Saturday, 26th September, 2009.

Slipping Through
The Net

     I try to avoid mentioning particular
people and particular cases, but I was greatly moved by the report of the
Cardiff teacher who bullied her pupils on a
grand and dangerous scale.   Those pupils
went through terrible times, poor mites.

     Before State intervention and the setting
up of the Comprehensive system, there were still single-sex secondary
schools.   These were left-overs from
class dominated education.   And,
certainly in the all-boys schools, there was institutionalised bullying.

     The masters bullied the pupils.   Prefects bullied non-prefects.   And pupils were encouraged to bully each
other.   I kid you not.   It happened even in the classless society
which is

     Back then, the scars – some of them
physical – on the bullied lasted a lifetime.  
Are those kids who were bullied recently by that teacher going to carry
their scars through life?

     One has to ask the question:  “How the heck did that woman ever get to be
teaching youngsters?”   And that must be
followed by:  “Why did not an adult
working at that school not spot what was happening?”

     We must bear in mind that we all make
mistakes.   And we must be on our guard
for our fellow-workers who are dangerously outside the normal.

     Yet this isolated case must spur the
people of
Wales to continue to preserve and to build
stronger our caring communities.


Tregaron – Top Of
The Polls!

     In the early days of this column, I asked
readers to let me know where in
Wales was the worst driving.   There was a good reaction.

     Right at the top of the list came
Tregaron, which is in Ceredigion.   And
those who “voted” for it told of horrendous things which they’d experienced on
the roads in and around the town.

     I passed through the place – very cautiously
– recently.   Nothing has changed.   But at least a couple of the rotten drivers
are kind enough to warn people of their lack of skill – by wearing cowboy hats!

     Now, I understand, the bottleneck which is
Tregaron is going to get a by-pass.  
About time, I suppose – but will that by-pass improve local driving
skills?   I doubt it:  such bad driving becomes ingrained after a
few decades . . .


Have I Got This

     Up in Flintshire, our Assembly Government
bought forty-three houses and it cost us – for it was our money which was used –
one-and-three-quarter million pounds.  
Bay Watch lashed out that cash so that the properties could be knocked
down.   Prior to the demolition of those
still-inhabitable houses, your Assembly spent your money on providing security
guards for the places.

     Perhaps that was in case anyone damaged
the houses before the contractors could knock ‘em down . . .

     All this hoo-hah was so that the A494
could be widened into a seven-lane highway.

     But the plan was scrapped in the Spring of

     So these houses, which are being knocked
down now,
are going to be replaced by – wait for it – “affordable housing”.

     I rarely admit to agreeing with a Tory,
but the local AM, Mark Isherwood, is quoted as saying “What an astronomical
waste of money!”   He’s the Conservative
spokesbloke for Social Justice.   And,
perhaps, he has the additional remit of Speaking A Bit Of Common Sense.   Thanks for your words, Mark – and so say all
of us!

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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