Saturday, 5th September, 2009.

An Interesting
Response

          I had a swift response from Lisa Rogers
whose “Girl Talk” on Radio Wales I mentioned last week.   Thanks, Lisa.

          I’ll start by mentioning this week’s
show and what I think was an unintentional comic moment.

          The girls were discussing the
challenges presented to mothers who carry on working.   It’s certainly a difficult balancing act at
times.   One young lady told of how she
had been made redundant as soon as she’d told her boss that she was expecting a
baby.

          That led to chat about how ladies with
no children don’t quite understand what difficulties can occur for
working-mothers.   She told of a work colleague
of hers who had no children – “She had no conception,” said the speaker . . .

 

Who Are The
Homeless?

          Occasionally, I am labelled as “a
woolly-minded liberal”.   Perhaps, then,
the comments I’m about to make will give people the chance to call me “a
fascist” or some such.   You pays your
money and you takes your choice.

          From Sir Fon comes the good news that
homelessness has dropped by twenty-two percent.   That statistic poses the obvious
question:  “Where do these homeless
people – some three-hundred of them – come from in the first place?”.

          My spies on the old “Woolly Back” tell
me that many of them appear to be drop-outs from English big cities who drift
in because they know that Big Brother State – well, in this case, the local
authorities – will look after them.  
They know, too, that they are unlikely to be offered work.

          Anglesey is not the only part of Wales to suffer the burden of such an
influx.   It happens all over our land,
especially in the rural areas.   It is a
drain on the resources of decent people who are either working or seriously
looking for ways to make themselves independent of State handouts.

          I say this from the point of view of
being an immigrant to
Wales myself.   So I cannot be accused of an anti-immigrant
bias.   However, if our Assembly could
make laws for
Wales without going cap-in-hand to Westminster for approval, I reckon something
could be done about the ever-increasing problem of deadwood ending up here.

          I would suggest that some political
group should be not only be thinking about independence for
Wales, but should also be openly calling
for it.   Saunders Lewis, where are you
now?

 

Having Ranted On
Like That . . .

          .
. .
I have to mention – and not for the first time – that, as I wander
through this magical
land of Wales (my work entails travelling!),
I notice many Big Issue vendors hanging around the streets of our larger
towns.   A lot of them, it seems, are
people from abroad.

          The glorious con of making a living by
flogging that magazine was highlighted a few years back in a not-very-big
seaside town on
Cardigan Bay.   At one stage in its business
plan, Big Issue had twelve people selling it on the streets!

          A local broadcaster noted the fact,
spoke of the situation on his radio-programme, and asked why the situation
existed.   He discovered that most of the
vendors lived outside the town, that they were on State “benefits”, and could
afford to take taxis to and from “work”.

          So he contacted Big Issue Wales and
asked for comment.   “We will get back to
you”, came the reply.   Big Issue Wales
did not get back to him.   He rang them
again, this time inviting a spokesperson from the organisation to come onto his
show.

          His offer was refused – but within a
couple of weeks, Big Issue had disappeared from the streets of that town.

          I wonder – and I’m sure you do, too –
how many of these vendors ever get into full-time, or even part-time, proper
paid employment.   Or how many of them
are still taking “public money” (yours and mine) and not declaring their Big
Issue earnings.

 

A Journey Through
Our Land

          In 1188, Gerald of Wales – a rather
self-promoting monk – travelled through this country “preaching the Crusades”.   Many of our people believed that they should
join the Crusaders to promote the Christian message.

          The account of his journeyings, now a
museum-piece, is on display in
Cardiff.  
It contains some really weird accounts of strange things happening in
those days, many of them shown as “magical” happenings.

          The book gives no hint – and neither
did Gerald’s preaching – of the terrible ways in which the Crusaders in general
treated their enemies.   Things like
swinging little Muslim children round by their ankles and beating their brains
out on walls are not mentioned in the tome.  
And you and I know that such things are still kept hidden from the
general public these days.

          Indeed, we are still conditioned to
believe in the nobleness of the Crusaders and their cause.   We must be careful that accounts of any
current conflicts are not kept secret, or that the real reasons for those
conflicts are not covered by pretend truths . . .

 

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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