Princess Diana's role in my parliamentary life was 13 years ago - beyond the reach of Google's tentacles to delve.
Not that I ever meet her. I kept to my advice of telling MPs how to avoid royalty. But surprisingly she found a debate I had in the Common on the subject of the plight of young people leaving care. Shocking reports revealed the depth of misery of those who left full time care for full-time neglect at the age of 16.
Vulnerable damaged young people, scarcely more than children, were dumped into lodgings with little support. They were ill-equipped for independent living. Predictably many ended up in lives of crime, exploitation and poverty.
The debate was well attended and there was a supportive meeting organised by Barnardo's and other childrens' charities. There was not a ripple of interest from press or Government until a letter from Princess Diana arrived on my desk a month later. She said she had read the debate, was sympathetic to the cause and was especially impressed by some comments by my fellow MP Frank Cook. This gave the campaign a great fillip. The subject was then well aired in the media.
Sadly the news was soured by criticism that Diana was interfering in politics by supporting a campaign led by Labour MPs. Her help was welcome and valuable but the pro-Charles papers were more interested in bad mouthing Diana than in highlighting a scandal that was wreaking the lives of thousands of young people.
To her credit, she tried.
Twenty five year ago, pundits said that there was only one future popular sport - squash rackets. That's why Newport invested heavily in new squash courts as the core of a new sports village at Spytty Park.
Teams for many parts of the city competed in races and water polo. The pool has the unusual but very useful facility of altering its depth for different activities. Free swimming for the pensioners and keep fit campaigns have guaranteed the pool is very busy.
The neighbouring Velodrome was also fully occupied today It had a boost when Manchester's shut down for a couple of mouths. Cycling clubs from many English cities transferred their allegiances here permanently.
The Newport Sports Village is a brilliant success and a credit to the Newport City Council.
Memo to the Argus.
When you publish an analysis on election funding, give the job to a reporter who can count.
Today's hilarious junk maths Argus findings are that Labour spent an average of £7,216 in the Assembly elections in the seven Gwent constituencies. As the party spent over £7,000 in only one of the seats, there's something amiss here.
Even a casual calculation proves gross innumeracy. The true average spend for Labour was £5,358. That's nearly £2,000 adrift. Also the total Gwent spend calculated on the Argus abacus is £6,000 wrong. As the whole spin of the story is high Labour spending, the piece is a wild exaggeration.
Does anyone ever check this garbage? Do sub-editors still exist? An equally absurd story about an alleged increased rat infestation since the introduction of twice weekly bin collection was printed without the intervention of any intelligent judgement. The figures proved the opposite to the story's headline.
But that's the criteria. 'Rat plague threat' sells papers. "Rat complaints reduction" does not.
More advice to the Argus. Send the staff on a course on 'Statistics for beginners.'