Saturday, 9th May, 2009.

A Cash Apology

          The North Wales water pollution dangers have
passed.   The nasty things lurking in the
taps of
North
Wales
have
gone.   So the water company is paying
ten quid a household to pay for the extra kettles which were boiled to kill the
germs.

          Without wishing to spread gloom,
despondency and panic, I wonder if, now that there’s insufficient money
available to fund so many of our services, this sort of pollution could happen
again.   Indeed, a friend mentioned to me
recently that, if terrorists wanted to upset the apple-carts, they might be
able to pollute water-supplies.

          Having seen so many lovely lakes in
our land which are actually reservoirs – the Elan Valley springs to mind – I
know that they are often out in the wilds.  
In the gloriously hot Summer of 1976, so-called hippies descended with
their tents on those lakes and used them as toilets.   Extra precautions had to be taken to ensure
a pure water-supply.

          The supply from the Elan Valley to Birmingham was disrupted some ten years
earlier.   This was done, as I’ve
mentioned in this column before, by “Welsh extremists” who damaged a ten-inch
water-pipe, rendering poor old Brum waterless for a while.   I doubt if any of our reservoirs and
pipelines have regular security guards.

 

Ten Glorious Years

          There was dancing in the streets of Wales on Wednesday as we all celebrated
the tenth anniversary of our Assembly.  
The cups of tea flowed like wine, too.

          Big Rhodri claimed that, due to the
efforts of him and his fellow AMs,
Wales was becoming more confident in
itself.   It’s not often I agree with any
political pundit, but I think there’s some truth in what he said.

          I have made the point before now that Wales has the least culture-confidence
than any of the other Celtic nations.

          The great advantage of sending our
representatives down to
Cardiff Bay is that they don’t have to travel
so far to work as they would in
Westminster.  
Then, one can often see them – particularly in rural areas – going round
the (local!) shops, or walking along the street.

          And, if the Bay Watch gang were given
proper law-making powers, their efforts would continue to help our
culture-confidence grow.

 

Accountability

          In the light of the news of
expense-fiddling among The New labour Party’s front-benchers in
London, one of the laws which must be
passed –
Westminster permitting or not – that our AMs and their pay
must be transparently honest.   They must
make themselves totally open to the electorate.

          Indeed, I have asked my own AM, in a
face-to-face situation in a public place, all about his or her (not telling you
who s/he is) financial dealings.   My AM
has all available savings in a building society based in
Wales and owned by the people of Wales.

          And yours?

Archie Lowe

archie.lowe@laughingdragons.co.uk

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About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many 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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