Saturday, 19th November, 2016

Again, technical reasons have prevented me from publishing an article this week.

If I cease to write this column from now on, don’t be surprised.

Thanks to all those of you who’ve followed my rantings aver the years.

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Saturday, 12th November, 2016

How “They” Spend Your Money

     Looks like Welsh Councils have credit cards!

     And they use ’em for all sorts of purposes, many – perhaps most – of which do not benefit those they serve.   They serve – in case you’re a Councillor somewhere in our land – the people whose area they “rule”.

     The Taxpayers Alliance, which is a group set up to keep an eye on what our Councils get up to, revealed that among lots of other things lots of taxpayers’ money was spent at Tesco and iTunes!!!   Pembrokeshire Council, it seems, has the biggest credit-card spending record.

     I would suggest that you check your own County Council’s spending.   Bear in mind that there would be interest to be paid for credit card transactions.

     Have a look at this link:-   http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/welsh-councils-92m-credit-card-12147193

Short but not sweet!

     Yes, I haven’t written much this week.   That’s not because nothing much has happened in Wales this week.   It’s because my time has been very limited.   I will try, try, try to write a proper column next week.

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Saturday, 5th November, 2016

Capital Cuts

     Cardiff Council has been hit by austerity.   Despite Assembly funding, they still haven’t enough cash to pay for what I reckon are important facilities.

     The amount of “savings” they hope to make is about twenty-five million pounds!

So they will be charging more for public-services.   Burials will go up by thirty pounds a time, cremations up to ten pounds.   So stay healthy for as long as you can, folks.

An extra 50p a week is going on school meals – if you have a couple or more kids, you’ll have to find the cash from somewhere.   The many youngsters having to have school meals is that both Mam and Dad have to go out to work to keep the family’s heads above the rising financial waters.

Leisure centres will be flogged off to private companies – so that won’t really affect the pound in your pocket.

So, with similar things happening not only in Cardiff but all over Wales, it would be a good idea to start keeping your larders well stocked.

Land of Bards

     R. S. Thomas was a man whose poetry was not often the most cheerful.   He passed away in 2000, and now some of his unpublished poems have been discovered.

     They were found in notebooks  donated to Bangor University by his wife.   There seem to be an awful (I think that’s the right word) lot of these poems in his own handwriting.   Those notebooks would be worth a bob or two on the open market, I bet.

     And it would be interesting to see what Thomas didn’t manage – for whatever reason – to get published.   We shall see . . . perhaps.

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Saturday, 29th October, 2016

Strange Celebrations

     Suddenly, or so it seems, the season of silliness is upon us.   This weekend, the Trick Or Treat people will be knocking on doors – using a tradition they borrowed from the US of A – scrounging treats.   It seems, of course, that they will be a day or two early, but school starts next week.

     If they knock on my door, I often ask them to perform a trick on me.   I have never once been tricked – because it seems all the youngsters just want a treat.

     And then comes Bonfire Night when grotesque models of Guy Fawkes will be burned at the stake.   Here in Wales, I would have thought we were civilised enough to forget this very English tradition.   Have the pagan fire-festival by all means – but why remember the viciousness in pretending to put to death by horrible means a man whose history and actions  most of the revellers do not know?

A Hard Day’s Night

     The number of night-workers in Wales has risen by 29% recently.   That’s according to statistics, and we all know about them.

     And, it seems, one in seven of the People of Wales are now doing night-work.

     Why has this happened?   I ask because I am assured by many people who are supported only by the Welfare State that there is no work about – anywhere.

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Saturday, 22nd October, 2016

Rebellious Words

     In talking with a friend, the subject turned to Welsh independence.   He’s a staunch believer in our nation making its own decisions, so we often – well, always – drift into that subject.

     There is much fuss going on, apparently, to ensure that the Welsh language is being taught in schools in Wales – and that sufficient time is devoted to its teaching.   In some schools, particularly along the Marches he tells me, Welsh lessons are regarded by the teaching staff as something of a joke.

     I think it’s true to say that many parts of our land are English-only areas.   Welsh died out – stamped out! -in these areas decades, if not centuries, ago.   The Marches, of course, have been infiltrated by English immigrants from time immemorial.   And, these days, many retired folk from our Eastern neighbour make their homes there.   That’s understandable:  our scenery is wonderful.

     And, as I constantly hear from English monoglots in Welsh-speaking areas, “English is the language of commerce all over the world“.

     So is speaking Cymraeg (Welsh) simply an act of rebellion?   It’s said so in some places in Wales – and, as a learner – I tend to agree.

More Independent Thoughts

     The “rebellious Scots” (the label still applies after centuries!) are shouting about having another Brexit referendum for Scotland!   We in Wales must keep an eye on their thinking.

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Saturday, 15th October, 2016

Again for technical reasons, Archie’s column will not be published this week.

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Saturday, 8th October, 2016

A Plaid Cymru Victory!

     I can do no better this week than to start by asking you to watch this video.   Wasteminster’s “Welsh Secretary” makes an accusation, and – in my opinion – Leanne Wood makes him look a complete fool.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-37584427

Remembering Our Past

     We should never forget the tragedies inflicted on Wales by the greed of the rich.   The Aberfan Disaster, though it happened half a century ago on the 21st of this month, thankfully remains in the memories of The People of Wales – and rightly so.

     I understand that Karl Jenkins has composed a special choral work to commemorate the event of 1966.   It’s going to be performed in our capital at a special concert on 21st October.

     Let us never forget.

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