Saturday, 24th October, 2009.

Wales Wonders

     With so much poverty in our land, I have
heard rumblings concerning our Senedd’s wisdom in handing out a large amount of
money to help Theatre Gwynedd.

     Yes, of course we need things like art and
drama – those things are part of our culture.  
However, there are young families struggling to find adequate housing
and pensioners fearing the coming Winter’s fuel bills.

     Should not, the argument goes, any art
form be self supporting?   Surely
anything which is creative will attract paying customers;  and the rubbish will be sussed by a
cleverer-than-the-rubbish-creators-think public.

 

In Defence Of What?

     The trouble with Protest Movements is that
everyone involved knows what they are against.   But there’s nearly always a great ignorance
as to what they are for.

     The “Welsh Defence League” sounds like a
group which is hoping to protect the Welsh language.   But apparently not.

     The WDL’s protest which was planned to be
held in
Newport has been called off.   It was not about protecting Cymraeg, or even
defending the people of
Wales.  
Its members are against “Islamic extremism”, as the punch-up which occurred
in
Swansea last week shows how much WDL
supporters want peace and harmony . . . not at all by the looks of things.

     The Welsh Defence League is a bunch of
racists.   Let us reject their prejudices
and protect our country’s acceptance of all decent people.  
Wales accepted an old goat like me, so
why not do the same for Muslims?

     There is a book – still available, I would
hope – by Ned Thomas called “The Welsh Extremist”.   If you can get hold of a copy, you’ll see
how Ned demolishes the concept of “extremism”.

 

A Couple Of
Warnings

     Do you get as fed up as I do with
phone-calls from commercial companies whose service-centre employees barge
right in to a sales-pitch as soon as you answer?

     I’m told that, up in Ceredigion, County
Council staff are warning folk of a particular scam.

     A call which pretends to be from BT tells
the unwary that their phone-bill is unpaid and that they will be disconnected
unless they pay up right away.   Then,
the caller asks for bank card details – claiming that BT want paying for bank-charges
it has incurred.

     I trust you’re not ‘twp’ enough to fall for
that, but spread the word, anyway.

     I have had several phone-calls recently
from con-artists who claim they are from Barclay’s Bank.   A pre-recorded message – very badly produced
– asks to speak to a “Mr. Ryan Hopkinson” about his credit-card.   I just put the handset down and wait until
the recording stops:  that way, the
caller pays for the call.   They give, by
the way, a number to ring back.

     Well, this very week, they must have
become tired of me not ringing them back to tell them that no-one of that name
lives under my roof.   So I’ve had two
service-centre operators call me asking for the same bloke.   The callers seem to be based a long way from
Wales, for when I explained to them that no “Ryan
Hopkinson” lives in my home, my street, my area, my county, they didn’t quite
understand.

     We must beware, constantly, of these
hoaxers.   They are dangerous
people:  dangerous to the individual, dangerous
to the economy.

 

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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