Saturday, 15th December, 2012.

                                        The Cost Of Christmas
It seems that thousands of people in Wales are having loans pushed at them by the banks. That’s nothing to do with those banks wanting to help those people to enjoy a wonderful Christmas. Banks do not work like that – they are not benevolent institutions!
Surely that is a lesson even the dimmest among us should have learned from the news coming forth from this present financial Slump.
Anyway, lots of people – ones who go out to work each day and pay their taxes – fall into this debt-trap. And, even if you do not work and have a bad credit-rating, you can borrow money.
The banking fraternity (should I call it that?) justify their seemingly generous attitude by revealing that 70% of those who borrow money pay it back within the given time limit.
They do not reveal what happens to the 30% who don’t.
So, when you go Christmas shopping (often to buy things your loved ones don’t really need), remember the KISS Principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

                              Commemorating A Great Welshman
In 2014, we shall be celebrating the centenary of one of the greatest poets and writers of the 20th Century: Dylan Thomas. A year-long festival will be held in his honour.
And a man who has achieved greatness by just being born is one of the patrons of that festival. Yes, our democratically elected Prince of Wales, Charles Windsor, has even visited Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea, where Dylan was born. What a boost for Welsh morale and Welsh patriotism, eh? Our Prince was even photographed sipping a cuppa in the living room of the house. House that for the common touch?
The question must be asked, though: during the bad flooding of recent memory, why did our Prince visit the North of England and not the land which elected him as Prince? I will ask him that when he comes round canvassing at the next election . . .

                                        The Hidden Costs
We are rarely – if ever – told by the media of the reasons why wind-farms are not always a popular thing. There are health hazards, we hear from the anti-wind-farm lobby (though it’s hard to discover what those hazards are).
But now something has been revealed – and by the media, too. In Powys, where there seems to be a wind-farm lurking on every horizon, the County Council has asked for help from our Welsh government to foot the nigh-on three-million quid it needs to fund inquiries into the pros and cons of five more wind-farm applications.
Having looked at the facts, I do not believe that wind-farms pay their way. Certainly not in a reasonable amount of time. And, if Powys Council continues at this rate – contrary, of course, to the will of the local people – we shall find very, very few quiet places along the Marches where we can simply “stand and stare” and think gentle thoughts.

Picture in Archie Lowe, Editor.docimg201

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About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for some years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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