Brenig Davies takes notes at a rare interview Wales Eye were granted with the Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones.
WE - “It took me almost two hours to drive to the Senedd from Pontypridd this morning first minister.
"It is only 11 miles.
"When are you going to fulfill your commitment to improve transport links for our valley communities?"
CJ - “You know as well I do, that this is not a simple matter to solve.
"But I’ve always said that if valley residents were a little poorer they would not be able to own a car - let alone two in many cases.
WE - “Yes but I thought your policy was to reduce the level of poverty in the valleys, first minister.”
CJ - “You are absolutely right.
"We have had three bountiful bags of European funding to do just that.
"I often wonder where all the money went to be honest with you."
We - “Why didn’t you go to the party yesterday in London marking 50 years since the establishment of the Welsh office? (see http://tmblr.co/ZwCEOs1TANCAl ).
"This was surely an important event."
CJ - (coughs and looks at feet) “I had a packed diary didn’t I?
"I had to go to a black history project in Butetown.
"And anyway - have you seen the traffic on the M4 at that time of day?
"As for the trains - don’t ask".
WE - “But you have strongly emphasised Welsh Labour’s success in wisely-spending large amounts of money on infrastructure projects.”
CJ - “But we HAVE spent the money wisely.
"Only last week our minister for the economy opened a new slip-road in Pontypridd.
"Indeed I have forgotten how many slip-roads she has opened.
"We owe her a great debt of gratitude for so willingly leaving her comfortable room in the bay to open so many new roads.
"It is vital we relieve congestion on our roads, and it is the minister’s skill at opening new ones that gave me so much confidence in her brave decision to decide on the new M4 relief road at Newport.
"She had two other options.
"Be in no doubt the black route is the correct decision."
WE - “But is it not the case that the price of the M4 black route around Newport makes it the most costly option?
"Already there are rumours that the capital budget is being withdrawn, if not cut, from more pressing infrastructure projects.
"Education is being squeezed even more as a result of the black route, many are already saying."
CJ - “Well people say that.
"But it is just not true.
"Let me come back to the Pontypridd to Cardiff travel to work route.
"We are committed to a new metro system.
"One day in the future it will be built.
"My main concern is not the cost of this piece of infrastructure.
"No - my main worry is whether our present economy minister will still be in her job to open it."
WE - “I would like to stay with transport infrastructure projects if you don’t mind.
"I was listening to first minister’s questions.
"You will recall that the leader of Plaid Cymru asked you when the Cardiff to Aberdare railway line was going to be extended to Hirwaun.
"After all the track is still there.
"And until recently it was used to carry coal from Tower pit."
CJ - (angrily) “Well, I’m fed up with people going on about this.
"I know we aren’t living in the age of the horse and cart any more.
"People in Hirwaun stop me in the street to ask me about re-opening that line all the time.
"Although in fact because we haven’t reopened the line I have had little time recently to go to Hirwaun (whispers) no hang on, I didn’t mean to say that.
(Coughs again) "Anyway, it is not that I am without sympathy.
"But if the truth be known, all my time is taken up in trying to screw down Westminster, or more to the point that lovely new Secretary of State for Wales, to make sure he coughs up the money to pay for the electrification of the valleys lines.
"He is such a nice man - and young - compared to that Jones man from north Wales."
WE - “Would the electrification of the valley lines be extended to Maesteg?
"After all the early valley lines franchise did not include the line to Maesteg."
CJ - “Well can I speak to you in absolute confidence?
"Can I trust you?"
WE - “Yes, of course you can.”
CJ - “Well the truth is - and this must not get out - I have had an absolute commitment from that young, nice and naive - sorry I didn’t mean to say naive - Welsh secretary, that the electrification will start on the Maesteg to Bridgend branch line.”
WE - “Why the need for secrecy?”
CJ - “And I thought you were a well-informed reporter.
"Didn’t you used to work for the South Wales Echo?
"Well it must be kept under-wraps because - you fool - the newly-electrified trains will run first through my constituency, won’t they?
"Brand new, shiny electric trains.
"Just think of those extra journeys - they equal extra votes, don’t they?
"The other valleys will have their electric trains eventually.
"But I’m afraid to say, they will only get them after our minister for the economy has opened the M4 relief road around Newport.
"Who knows, by that time I might be back being a barista - sorry - a barrister in Cardiff.
"It will be so easy to travel from Maesteg to work in Cardiff at one of those expensive legal practices, on one of those nice clean and reliable trains once it is electrified.
"That is why - and this is the truth - I was so keen on the electrification of the main line going beyond Cardiff and through to Bridgend and Swansea.
"It was a hard fight to get the extention to Swansea approved, let me tell you.
"I think by know you can see the distance travelled by my infrastructure projects."