What a hoohah about a pathetic old joke. Who else but Rhodri could turn such a worn out gag into a front page story in the Western Mail. The only minor consolation is that it was reported that Peter Hain and Tony Blair were embarrassed.
First time I heard the gag, it was from the lips of Lord Emlyn Hooson, when he first stood for election to the House of Commons around 40 years ago. Emlyn claimed to have visited a lifelong Liberal supporter who switched to the Conservatives on her deathbed, because she preferred the Tories to lose a supporter than her beloved Liberal Party.
But we don't have to worry too much about Ian Paisley's sensibilities - even if the joke was tasteless. I heard yesterday what the future First Minister of Northern Ireland has to say in response is to the mention of Peter Hain's name. Apparently Hain has acheived unity accross all parties in Northern Ireland for the first time ever, though a common loathing of the Secretary of State himself. It seems he refers to Peter as the 'Orange Man'. Now that is a modern and rather good joke.