Saturday, 29th August, 2015

A Battle Of Wills

     There’s a tree in Newtown, Powys.   It’s five-hundred years old.   And there’s a famous bottleneck in the town for the traffic which passes through there.

     So, to solve the bottleneck problem, fifty-six million quid is going to be spent building a by-pass.   But it will involve cutting down a popular tree, a fine oak.   That does not please local wildlife campaigners.

     Merfyn Jones owns the land over which the by-pass will be built.   He has said that, unless the road is built so as to avoid the tree – by a mere fifteen feet – the oak will die.

     I wonder what history that old tree has seen.   Five-hundred years of Welsh history and border squabbles, of course.   And I know that many holidaymakers from our Eastern neighbour actually enjoy the traffic-jams in Newtown!   “It lets me know I’m in Welsh Wales,” quipped one of them to me a couple of weeks ago.

     If the Save Our Tree Campaign – or whatever it’s called – succeeds, there surely must be a plaque of some kind put near the tree telling of the struggle to save it.

More History

     Going back, perhaps, to when that oak was a mere twinkle in an acorn’s eye, a 15th Century silver ring has been found in Haverfordwest.   I would imagine the person who dropped it hasn’t claimed it yet . . .

     So that and another from the same time of dropping found in Carew a couple of years ago have been declared Treasure Trove.   And both Carmarthenshire County Museum and The National Library of Wales have set their minds on getting hold of the finds and displaying them.

     I publish this in case any of my readers have lost the items and will claim them before it’s too late.

Even More History!

     Not so long ago, a man with a metal-detector came across a horde of Viking coins and ingots near Llandwrog up in the Gogledd.   That, too, has now been declared Treasure Trove.

     I’m told that the coins were minted in the 11th Century.

     I suspect some of my readers will wonder why I’ve stuck to historical matters this week.   Well, I have heard from people in our Welsh education system that the history taught in our schools includes only a small element of the History of Wales.

     I hope what I have published, then, gets you all thinking of how Wales came to be . . . well . . . Wales – rather than just being another piece of English territory.

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Saturday, 22nd August, 2015

A Demand For Truth

          A Welsh peer has had a go at the slowness of the publication of the report into Tony Blair’s Iraqi war.

          Lord Morris of Aberavon reminded us all that there are still families who lost relatives in that conflict who need to know why.   He has, therefore, urged Wasteminster’s Prime Minister to allow a Parliamentary vote to force the report to be published.

          The whole enquiry has been going on since 2009.   I wonder what the delay’s all about . . .

          Diolch, Lord Morris.

Treasure Trove?

          A rather attractive silver mount has been found up in the Gogledd.   It shows a female figure – probably a saint –  among other things.   It could be some sort of posh hinge for a Bible or prayer-book.

          Any of my readers up that way in the 17th Century and dropped it?

Rights Of Way

          The foot- and cycle-bridge up in Barmouth is under threat.   It looks as if it’s too costly to keep open.

          Apart from our hard-working farmers, the only really profitable industry in Wales these days is tourism.   The stroll across that bridge is a lovely one, revealing a superb part of our scenic land.    I don’t know how many folk walk or cycle that path in the course of a year, but we must bear in mind that they will spend their money locally and recommend that area of our special land to goodness knows how many other people.

          There is a petition to help save this excellent route, so join in, good people!

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Saturday, 15th August, 2015.

An Apology

      Several friends/readers have told me that BBC Radio Three, no less, apologised to Wales for ignoring us.

     Apparently, weather forecasts on the station give likely temperature for the capital cities of the nations which make up the “United” Kingdom.   However, listeners have let the station know that, while Belfast, Edinburgh and London temperatures are always given, Cardiff is often missed out.

     There was no explanation, though, of why that error has been made.   Such an explanation should be forthcoming, say I!

Sparring For Position

     The main news from our Eastern neighbour seems to be the election of a new leader for the Blair-created New Labour.    And, even on this side of Offa’s Dyke, we’re being treated to a blow-by-blow account of the contest.

     It seems that Jeremy Corbyn is the hot favourite.   But what The People of Wales must ask is “What’s in it for Wales?””.

     Mr. Corbyn is being criticised by Tories and by members of his own party for holding socialist views and for posing the threat that New Labour will disappear and The Labour Party will emerge.   Surely that should please any remaining member of |New Labour who still hold socialist principles!   It seems, though, that there are few such people.

     I believe the long road back to The Labour Party will improve no end the party’s credibility here in our land.   Many of our people battled hard and long to make sure the working conditions and the pay for those who produced the wealth of Great Britain were proud to hold socialist ideals.   The Valleys were, in recent memory, populated by Labour Party supporters.

     And, in this year’s General Election, New Labour failed to reassure working people that it was there to protect their interests.   Maybe, by the time the next General Election comes round, The Labour Party will have regained its place in political circles and that will show in the results.

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Saturday, 8th August, 2015.

Technical difficulties prevented me from posting my column last week.   Those difficulties reminded me of something:  as so much info is kept online these days, and without any physical back-up, wonder what would happen is there was a local or countrywide or complete planetary electricity cut . . . ?

But, before and in case that does happen, I make no apologies for published the article which should have been posted last week:  it is still totally relevant.

Odd Man Out

          Looks like the only Welsh MP the Lib-Dems have has been sidelined for some reason.   Tim Farron’s new so-called “cabinet” includes all the other Lib-Dem MPs.   I wonder why.

Or is it the quite usual case with English folk of “it’s only Wales”?

That phrase is popular among our Eastern neighbour when it comes to many important issues which affect the whole “United” Kingdom.   And we, The People of Wales, are too polite, perhaps, to make a fuss.

However, there is a point to make about Ceredigion MP Mark Williams.   My spies in that county tell me that there’s still the attitude to Mr. Williams that he is not a local, and was “parachuted in” from the Brecon area for the first election in which he participated – and won;  and he doesn’t speak Welsh.

Apparently, those things still loses him – and the Lib-Dems in general – the votes of local people.   Interesting folk, these Cardis.

(Note to my readers who have not the good fortune to live in Wales:  a Cardi is an inhabitant of Old Cardiganshire which, a few years back, was renamed “Ceredigion”.   ‘Tis said, by the way, that a Cardi has short arms and low pockets, e.g., a Cardi can buy from a Jew and sell to a Scotsman at a profit!)

For the record, it is known throughout that county that Mark Williams is one of the few honest MPs in Wasteminster.   There’s an accolade.

More On The Lib-Dems

          Is it just me, or do many others feel that politicians should be helping younger people to keep out of debt?

The Lib-Dems are trying to make it possible in Wales for young people to buy houses without putting down a deposit.   It’s called “getting onto the property-ladder”, a phrase used quite often by the Tories . . .

Would such a plan not mean that, having secured a financial deal to buy a property, the buyers would have a heavier mortgage to face than others who pay a deposit in advance?

And why the scramble to get on into debt on the property-ladder anyway?

I look forward to your answers to those two questions.

One Up For The Planet!

          A man from Llanelli fly-tipped a large amount of junk, was proved to have done so – and has to pay over six-hundred pounds for his anti-social behaviour.  He chucked all sorts of waste into Furnace Pond, a lovely spot in Llanelli.

Well done Carmarthen Magistrates Court for their action in this matter.

And fly-tipping is not only anti-social.   It kills off much wildlife, so the planet suffers.   Therefore, future generations may not, perhaps, be able to spend idle moments amid the beauty of Mother Nature and simply ponder on Life, The Universe and Everything.

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Sorry, folks:  for technical reasons – lost files – my Weekend Wales Watch won’t be published for a couple oof weeks. Just when I wanted to mention that the only Lib-Dem MP in Wales was left out of the party’s “cabinet”.

Keep visiting my blog – I’ll be back.

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Saturday, 25th July, 2015

Reasons And Excuses

     No, I’m not going to launch into a tirade about the oft-uselessness of politicians in general!   What I have to say is a little closer to home.

I’ve been accused – quite often it seems – of being anti-English in this column and elsewhere.   Perhaps, for instance, when I speak out about the English looking upon Wales as another of their counties, my opinions may be misinterpreted as being critical of every aspect of Mother England and her people.

What I try to point out is that Wales is a nation, just as England, Scotland and Japan or wherever.   And that we should be treated as such.

Alas, Welsh-nationalism is often used by a tiny percentage of the People of Wales as an excuse for prejudice.   And that prejudice is usually aimed at “These English”.

To be a Welsh-nationalist is not to be anti-English – it is to be pro-Welsh.   And to be working for an independent Wales.

That tiny percentage uses the excuse of “These English” for every ill in their often-dull lives.   Difficulties which occur in their lives are usually of their own making – so, in their dull-minded way, they have to blame those things on our Eastern neighbour.

There are more and more people moving to our land from the other side of Offa’s Dyke these days.   And I would remind you that I am an immigrant to Wales.   The newcomers need to be made welcome – then it will be possible to tech them about local traditions and history.   And what it’s like to “feel” Welsh.

And that, my friends, is what I feel.   And I thank the People of Wales for welcoming me and for teaching me of their way of life.

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Saturday, 18th July, 2015.

Decisions, Decisions

     I hear that George Osborne, Wasteminster’s Chancellor, has told us that there’s a “really strong” case for electrifying railway lines in North Wales.

Look:  there’ve been such programmes going on in South Wales for a while now.   Why should Y Gogledd be seen as anything different?

Indeed, right across Mother England these programmes have been going on for many years.   Yet there has been very little interest in that by the British media.

But, I suppose, Mr. Osborne may well be seeking popularity with the people of North Wales.   Now that the Tories are our controllers, they must seek to pacify any anti-Tory feeling.

So what he should do is simply get on with starting the proposed electrification and, when it’s done, the People of Wales up there in the Gog will choose to think what they like – instead of having carrots dangled in front of them.

The People React!

     No – it’s not a glorious revolution here in Wales!   Simply a demonstration of how a few lads in Cardigan feel about having to pay for parking.

The town’s parking-meters have been “vandalised” and put out of use.   Quickly, the local Council started the work of putting them back into working order.

Meantime, since the dreadful deed was done back at the beginning of June, local shops and other traders have found that more people are visiting the town and spending their money!

Surely that must tell councillors something.   But does any politician, local or national, take much notice of what’s really happening on his or her patch?

Questions, Questions

     Several . . . well, a few . . . of my readers have asked me why I don’t include this or that news item in my weekly comments.

Well, a lot of things happen in Wales every week.   I trust the questioners realise that.   And I only have one brain to cope with what I hear as I wander around our land.

So whatever takes my fancy, I write about.   Some things stick, some don’t.   Therefore, I comment on the few things which seem to be the most important to me.

If anyone wants to add items at any time, just scroll down and enter a comment.   Then, I may – or may not – approve it and it’ll get published.

But for goodness sake don’t use this facility for commercial advertising!   (Yes, dear reader, that happens more often than you think.)

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