Saturday, 24th September, 2016

The Changing Face Of Wales?

     A friend commented to me that “Wales isn’t what it was”.   Well, that was a wondrous piece of philosophical observation.   “What does he mean?” I wondered.

     No Owain Glyndwr?   No Welshmen being hit by arrows in the middle of Hereford?   Or was this something more basic?   I asked him.

     He told me that he’s been to the Republic of Ireland a few times and noticed while driving narrow country roads that, if he pulled in to allow someone to pass him, the other drivers nearly always acknowledged his courtesy by letting their double-flashers blink a couple of times.

     “That sort of politeness has disappeared here in Wales,” he moaned.

     And, come to think of it, it has.   He has suggested that independence from Mother England – which is what the people of Southern Ireland have – might be a good step towards bringing back traditional Welsh politeness!

     Hmmm – I shall have to think about that one.   If it could be true, I shall ask Plaid Cymru to include it in their publicity.

Even In Wales . . .

     . . . we seem to be tainted by terrorist fears.

     This week, a man in Cardiff has been arrested on charges of stirring up terrorist activity.   And our police are still searching for other evidences of potential terrorist activities.

     Yes, it’s happening in cosmopolitan Cardiff.   That’s a big city.   So most folk who live in the vast expanses of rural Wales are, perhaps, not concerned.

    But I have been told that “these prospective terrorists have to live somewhere, and out in the countryside is a safer place for them than in the middle of one of our big cities“.   A case of build your bomb in the Cambrian Mountains and carry it to your target, then.

     Perhaps we should all be alert – but not nosey!

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Saturday, 17th September, 2016

For reasons beyond my control, there will be no Weekend Wales Watch this weekend.

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Saturday, 10th September, 2016

Health Problems

     Here in Wales, our NHS is said to be “in crisis”.   This crisis is in local areas where GPs are really under stress trying to keep up with the increasing number of patients waiting for appointments.

    The answer is simple:  more money should be spent on these local surgeries to provide more specialists on call.   That would take a lot of pressure of our GPs.

     The Wasteminster government is already selling off bits of the NHS to private companies.   But such companies have one purpose:  to make money.   So it’s difficult to imagine them putting more funding into any part of the NHS unless they are sure a greater financial reward will be gained by doing so.

      Therefore, somehow we must ensure that our Assembly Government takes proper care of our NHS, and ensures that the money needed to take the pressure off GPs can be found.

Employment Problems

     Workers at the Ford factory in Bridgend are concerned about their future.   The American-owned company is about to curb its manufacturing of engine-parts.   So, quite rightly, the unions are asking the management how safe their members’ jobs are.

     No answer is forthcoming presently.   But, if there is less work, there will be fewer jobs.   And that will throw hard-working members of our community onto the dole.

     The fault lies not in our people being idlers and scroungers – it lies in the fact that work is being transferred abroad.   And that is to places where pay and conditions are far worse than those in Wales.

Brexit Problems

     Carwyn Jones – he’s our First Minister if you recall – is in the USA erstwhile to promote Welsh businesses.

     He will also be mentioning what could happen unless the “United” Kingdom is very careful when it leaves the EU.   It seems he’s worried about the break-up of the UK.   Perhaps he will not say so openly, but that would seem to mean that he is opposed to Welsh independence.

     Many of The People Of Wales believe that, if we were allowed to run our own country, we could do a darned sight better job that us being told what to do by Wasteminster.

      Think about it:  if mistakes are made by a genuinely independent nation, they will be the mistakes of the people of that nation, and not by some distant body which supports causes other than each nation making its own decisions.

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Saturday, 3rd September, 2016.

No News Is . . .

     . . . well – just no news!

     I have found/heard absolutely no news of Wales this week which is worthy of my often sarcastic comments.   Yes, there’s been a lot of hot Autumn weather.   Yes, our “United” Kingdom politicians are still up to whatever they’re always up to.   Yes, Wales is still a beautiful country the people of which deserve to have total self-government.

     BUT, as I’m hoping to spend some “leisure time” this weekend, I apologise to all my loyal readers that this is such a short – and probably dull – burst.   I promise to make it properly interesting next week.

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Saturday, 27th August, 2016

Helping Education

     We should always concentrate on educating our people, and give them a broader outlook on many things.   So the work up in Aberystwyth goes on to improve facilities at the University there.

     Yes, the entire job is going to cost £100,000,000 – which sounds like an awful lot of cash.   But it will not only improve that education centre, but it will help the economy of the area:  many, many students attend Aberystwyth University.   They come from Wales, of course, and also lots of other countries all over the world.

     And, of course, Aber Uni promotes the Welsh language.

     There are three main things any government – that of Wales or anywhere else – should concentrate on.   They are health-care, education and security.

Health Matters

     I was shocked as I drove along and listened to the news.   I heard that smaller hospitals were “uneconomical” and there is a plan to close them.

     What, I ask, is meant by “smaller”?   Surely, if one lives in an area a long, long way from a major town or city, one needs a local hospital.

     And then I listened to the report later in the day – and a feeling of relief came over me.   The plan to close “smaller” hospitals only refers to the English NHS.

     Thank goodness, once more, that we in Wales have control over our own NHS.   And our AMs are aware of the challenges of living in many of our rural areas.   Won’t it be good when our Assembly Government has full control of all matters Welsh?

Protecting The Language

     I hear from up in Bangor that a “developer” (how I flinch when I hear that word!) has been refused permission to build three-hundred-and-sixty-six new homes in the town.

     The reason given is not one which is given every day:   Gwynedd Council is concerned that such a “development” would have a bad effect on the Welsh language.   I suppose, then, the worry is that many of those new homes will end up being occupied by immigrants, not local, Welsh-speaking people.

     When I use the word “immigrants”, I mean people from our Eastern neighbour, Mother England.   And most people who come to live in our land from that country understand nothing of Welsh culture and history.   And most of them never bother to learn.

     Pov hwyl!

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Saturday, 20th August, 2016

A Not-The-Olympics World Record

     The Rio Olympics have dominated the news for far too long.   The headlines tell us who’s won what and how proud we should be of Team GB.

    I was bored with the whole thing from Day One, so it’s good that there’s news from Wales which, though of world-shaking importance, does not seem the have dominated the news on Team Broadcasting GB.

     One-thousand-four-hundred-and-fifty-seven sounds a big number to me.   That’s how many lambs Gareth Daniel and Ian Jones sheared in nine hours yesterday, right here in Wales.   And that established a new world record.

     Fair play:  it was mentioned on Radio Wales.   But why did it not make news headlines right across the “United” Kingdom?   That has to be a rhetorical question, for we who live in this special land are all aware of the answer . . .

The Weather Strikes Again

          Wales’ biggest music-and-surfing festival in Abersoch has had to alter its programme severely this weekend due to the rather sudden weather change.

     I love its name:  “Glass Butter Beach”, and feel sorry that such an event – which brings many visitors to our land – has been so affected.   The more get-togethers of happy festival-goers there are, the better for society in general.   We can meet people from various walks of life at such events and realise that, despite what the greedy media-controllers tell us, to love is easier than to hate.

     Let us, though, be mindful that there are great changes happening to our weather system.   And let us prepare ourselves and our homes “just in case”.

     I will conclude this weather-watch piece by quoting something which a friend of mind often says:  “Whatever the weather, we have the privilege of living in Wales!”.

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Saturday, 13th August, 2016

It’s Holiday Time!

     Right in the middle of the main holiday season – a source of income so needed in Wales – the promenade in Colwyn Bay has been closed.

     Not for long, of course.   And the closure is of importance to “the developers”.   Developers are people who make money out of changing things:  green fields into supermarkets, sea-fronts into “better-looking” places . . .  You know the kind of thing.

     And you’ll know that I’ve raved about “developments” in this column before.   They so often involve big money and change places that don’t need changing.

     I wish Colwyn Bay well, and hope that the millions of pounds their Council is spending on this “development” will soon be earned from the holiday-trade, enhanced as it will be by folk holidaying there just to see the new sea-front . . .

Remembering Wales’ Past.

     There has been a series of plays on radio this week about the “development” of Wales since the early 1800s.   Each one of the plays has simply been a dialogue between a local Welshman – from the Merthyr area, I think – and an English “developer”.

     I learned how the coming of the first railway line, which was from London to Swansea, altered Welsh clocks!

     Yes, really!   Before the coming of the good old steam-engines, Welsh clocks were set to sun-time.   I.e., noon was when the sun was at its highest point.   Makes sense to me.

     The Englishman pointed out that, as London was eleven minutes earlier when the sun was at that point, then Wales must conform to the English capitals time.   The Welsh farmer argued, of course, but the argument was settled because people might become confused and miss their trains from Swansea!

     See, dear reader – imperialisation does not always come by force of arms, but by subtle degrees.   Which is why our land is seen by the English now as just a rather large English county.

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