Even at the age of 77, Labour MP Paul Flynn clearly remembers the stigma of wearing 'the uniform of shame' to school during a childhood living in what he calls 'dirt poverty.'
In a wide-ranging and at time, intensely personal interview, he talks about the impact of his father's early death and the guilt his mother felt for the rest of her life because she felt she couldn't feed her children properly.
He explains how those early struggles shaped his political views, but in this excerpt from tonight's Face to Face programme, he tells me just how difficult it was for his family.
Paul Flynn's not afraid to be described as a 'nationalist' within the Labour movement and says Wales should have a full parliament, not 'half a parliament.'
But he goes further than many within his party would when he says that he believes Wales could go it alone if Scotland were to become independent.
Then there are other controversial views such as campaigning for the legalisation of drugs and for people's right to die. But he tells me he's not interested in being controversial for the sake of it:
I believe that there's room in politics for voices that are looking to the distant future and the near future rather than immediate gratification. And that's one of the great problems of politics - so many top politicians want this drip feed of adoration from the tabloids. They want to be loved, they want to be liked and often what seems to be right 24 hours later looks very damaging and foolish 20 years later.
Since recording this programme, that willingness to speak out has got him into further trouble and he's been suspended from the House of Commons for accusing the Defence Secretary of lying to parliament.
Find out more about the man behind the controversy, in Face to Face at 10.35pm ITV1 Wales.