Saturday, 7th November, 2009.

Forgotten Heroes?

     This week saw an oft-forgot anniversary,
one on which we should remember with pride the work of our Welsh people.

     I asked a few people – right here in Wales – if they knew what we should be
celebrating.   Very few of them, even
friends I’ve known for years, could tell me.  
The fact that it might have been the night when we civilised British
recall the burning of a Roman Catholic a few centuries ago was mentioned a fair
few times, of course.

     Well, I had to remind them.   And, in case you can’t quite remember, I’ll
remind you, too.

     The Chartist Movement was a good and
popular protest.   It was a battle –
sometimes literally and physically – for freedom and democracy.   Violence by the establishment was used
against the Chartists.

     We must be proud enough to remember Wales’ part in those struggles – proud
enough, perhaps, to use our search-engines to find out more about those good
people.   Google:  The Chartists in
Wales – that ought to do it.

 

Better Late

     Forgive me for ignoring, a week or so ago,
the news about the “trailer park ghettoes” along our North coast.   It was only brought to my attention this
week.

     A great number of the self-unemployed from
the big English cities are moving in up there and living in holiday caravans
all the year round.   Yes, they disappear
somewhere for a couple of months if and when the parks close.   But they are coming to our land in
increasing hordes.

     They do not pay Council Tax;  they receive Social Security “benefits”;  and they know darned well that they are
highly unlikely to find work here.

     They even claim Housing Benefits!

     The trouble is, these people are affecting
our holiday-trade.   Who wants to hire a
‘van and spend a week among such drop-outs?

     Now, local politicians are addressing the
challenge.   It will take a lot of
sorting out, that’s for sure.   And it is
not just a
North
Walian

situation.

     Should we not be strengthening our Welsh
Assembly Government so that we could be a little choosier about who we allow to
come to live in
Wales?

     I must point out that I write all this as
an immigrant to Wales myself.

 

A Visitation

     Britain’s Prime Minister brought hope and
enlightenment to the whole of
Wales when he visited Broughton.   His words at the Flintshire Airbus factory
must have inspired the workers greatly.

     Gordon says that the three-hundred-and-forty
million quid
of our money – yours and mine – which
Westminster has lent to Airbus had helped
secure its future.   So that’s alright,
then.

     But hang on – “helped secure”?   Not “has secured”?   From that I gather its future is still in
the balance;  is still open to the whiles
of capitalism.

     And yet the man – whose avowed top
priority is employment – also said that he is determined to ensure the plant
will continue to be the biggest factory in the
United Kingdom.  
I suppose that, as he continues his progress round his realm, he will
notice that the place could end up as the
UK’s only factory!

    
Travelling about
Wales, I notice how many factories and
industries have gone, forever, from our land.  
When I cross Offa’s Dyke and visit English big, industrial cities, I
find the same thing.

     Gordon, we in Britain have hardly any production plants
left.   We have precious little industry
with which to combat the still-present Slump.  
Or has nobody dared tell you that . . . ?

 

To End On A
Brighter Note!

     Wales should be pleased at the news that
we now have two National Theatre Groups.  
The Welsh-language based one has been running – successfully – for some
time, of course.

     Now, an English-language one has been
launched, and the two Groups will work together as much as possible.

     Wales – dare I keep mentioning it? – is a
land which produces much native talent.  
Look at our performing arts scene, at the number of internationally
famous performers.   Look, too, at our
painters and sculptors.   Look at our
writers.   We can be justly (but humbly)
proud of those people.

     The new Theatre Group will help more of
our talent to flourish.

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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