Saturday, 4th July, 2009.

Wales And
The World

          Suddenly – or so it seems – the land of Wales is being noticed throughout the world.

          This week, the Pontcysyllte aqueduct
was declared a World Heritage Site, which puts it into the same category as
Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal.

          It will bring tourists to our land,
and give the world a greater appreciation of our nation.   I’m pretty sure that Thomas Telford and his
pal William Jessop had no idea what their construction would do for
Wales two hundred years on!   But thanks, lads!

          Also this week, Wales and its culture
has been at the forefront of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in
Washington, DC.   In a Radio
Wales news report, some of our cousins in the States told of their Welsh
roots.   Welsh people settled in great
numbers in places like
Ohio, for
instance –  even though Welsh emigrations
are hardly known compared with those of the Irish and Scots.

          Of course, all
of those mass emigrations were made by economic migrants.   But, though there are Scottish and Irish
celebrations all over the States every year, there seem to be no Welsh
ones.   The question must be asked – “Why?”

 

Even Mother England
Notices

          On BBC Radio 4 the other evening, our
own
Sian Pari Huws, an excellent broadcaster, presented a programme
about Rhayader, Powys.

          If you’ve
never been there, it’s a lovely place to visit: 
one of those warm, cheery, walk-round-in-half-an-hour little towns of
which we in Wales
are proud.

          Sian
discovered that Rhayader has lots of charitable people who volunteer to help
out many good causes.    To present such
a programme to the entire population of these Isles on a radio station based
firmly in London must have educated
folk to the fact that Wales
still has that elusive quality “community”.

          Well done, Sian;
 and well done BBC!

 

 Democracy
And Open Government

          Our Senedd has published, online and for all to see, the
expenses claimed by our AMs.   I have
checked the claims of my local AM, and they seem to be on the modest side.

          But you need to check your own AM’s expenses!   We must keep an eye on our elected
representatives in
Cardiff Bay, and
ensure they don’t end up in a cheating fiasco like the
Westminster crew.  So have a look at http://www.assemblywales.org/allowances

 

Great Joy!

          This very
week, we celebrated – and how! – the fortieth anniversary of the investiture of
Charles Windsor as “Prince of Wales”.  
Street-parties abounded, there were festivals all over Wales,
and thousands of our people sent congratulatory greetings to Charles on his
wonderful achievement all those years ago . . .

          Er . . . hang
on . . . sorry – I dozed off while watching film clips of the investiture.   Had the Media not mentioned the anniversary,
I reckon very few of us would have noticed it.

          Indeed, I
have never met anyone who lived in Wales
at that time who voted for Charles to be their Prince.   Such is the nature of democracy, I suppose!

          The clips
showed his Mam wearing a funny hat, him wearing a crown, and both of them using
an outdated and strange form of the English language.   The ceremony was then, and is now, an
outdated form of whatever it is a form of.

          We in Wales
would like to choose our own leaders, thank you very much.   All Charles Windsor did to get the job was
to be born.

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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