Saturday, 27th June, 2009.

Motoring &

          Sir Stirling Moss knows a thing or two
about driving.   Many of my older readers
will recall what a hero he was when he became World Champion Racing Driver way
back when.

          Sir Stirling is in his eighties now,
but he’s still as sharp as ever.   He
reckons – and not without just cause, let me say – that older drivers should
have to pass a driving-test at regular intervals, rather than have them on the
roads when they have not realised that their reactions are impaired.   I think it was on Radio Wales where I heard
him interviewed on the matter.

          The interviewer asked what age
rendered a driver “older”, and suggested that it was at Sir Stirling’s present

          The old hero remarked that he would
prefer such regular tests to start much younger than that.   And, as someone who is aging rapidly and who
drives round the highways and by-ways of
Wales a fair amount, I agree totally.

          Sixty, perhaps, would be a good age to
have to go through a driving-test.   The
next one could be at sixty-five, then every year until the driver was
seventy.   Perhaps, after that, the tests
should be more frequent.

          If, however, this rule were to become
law, there would, of course, have to be an exception.   Those of you who drive regularly (or even
occasionally) through
West Wales would agree that every driver in Tregaron must re-take her or his test
every month!   No-one who has driven
through or even near that perky little town needs to ask why . . .


The Stress Of

          For many weekends now, I have
commented on the way The Slump is affecting ordinary working-people.   It’s important to mention such things as
they dominate the news.

          We have lost a lot of Welsh jobs since
this Slump began.   And we all
commiserate with those who are thrown out of work.   I know from speaking with such people that
there is often a feeling of worthlessness which comes to them.

          We have been conditioned to use the
word “redundancy” by Those-Who-Know-What’s-Best-For-Us for about
half-a-century.   It’s use began as a
linguistic weasel-word to cushion the blow of getting the sack.

          But what of those who have the threat
of “possible redundancy” hanging over them.  
Often, the bosses filter the information that “there may be
redundancies” well in advance of putting their plans into action.   That way, a lot of workers will start
looking for alternative employment.  
Some will find a new job.   And
those who do will not have to be paid

          Good trick, innit?

          But one must remember that those who
work under the threat of redundancy suffer the stress of uncertainty;  it leads – more often than any governmental
body will admit – to depressive illness.

          Oh – and after using the
above-mentioned ploy for a while, Corus has announced a lot of redundancies
this week.


O, Ye Of Little

          A “committed Christian” up in North Wales – Barmouth, I think – has described
homosexuality as a “disability”.   The
gentleman is a local politician, too,

          It amazes me that there are people
whose personal belief-systems rule out the possibility of there being any
alternative to those beliefs.   We do not
like religious fanatics doing anti-social things like becoming
suicide-bombers.   But we seem to
tolerate them if they wear dog-collars and rant about things which they do not
appear to understand.

          If the Christian God made humankind “in
His own image” – as I’m sure our
North Walian friend believes – then why did he
make me heterosexual and some of my friends homosexual?   Is the Christian God bi-sexual, perhaps?

          Mind you, surely this Christian bloke
should have quoted Romans, Chapter 1, verses 26 and 27 – and let the rest of us
make up our own minds on what that bit of scripture means . . .

Archie Lowe


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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