Saturday, 19th June, 2010.

The Voice Of Our
Youth

     It was so good to hear the voice of Craig
Wilson on my radio this week.

     He is the youngest Mayor in Britain, and his patch is Whitland, down
there in Pembrokeshire.   Craig – or
should I call him “Your Worship”? – is twenty-two, and his sister is a couple
of years younger and is his Lady Mayoress.

     The lad (whoops – disrespectful!)
understands the ideas and concerns of the youngsters of Whitland, but is aware
of the feelings of older people, too.  
It seems that he’s going to be a breath of fresh air around the place.

     Which brings me to an obvious point.   With all the distrust engendered by crooked
politicians – mainly those in
Westminster – it must be our aim here in Wales to set the example to the rest of
these Isles and involve our young people in politics.

     Alas, Westminster – and often our Cardiff-based
Assembly Government – seems so far away from younger voters.   Far away, that is, in both geography and in
outlook.

     Should we not be involving all of our
people in local politics, therefore?  
Maybe the youngsters can shove us oldies into getting off our cushions
and doing something.

 

Helping “These
English”

     The deeper I travel into the North of our
land, the more I hear the divisive phrase “These English”.   It seems to happen more in the rural areas.

     I suppose Welsh-speakers feel that the
immigration of lots of our cousins from over Offa’s Dyke will affect the
language.   Though I try to speak a
little “Cymraeg”, I am not fluent.   And
there are certainly a tiny few linguistic-fanatics in
Wales.  
Those fanatics can make the language a divisive issue – and that is not
just putting a line between the Welsh and “These English”:  most of our own native born-and-bred people
do not speak Welsh.

     Us and Them situations are not good for
any community.

     So wasn’t it good that North Wales Police
are helping Mother England to find a whole stack of
England football shirts?

     The shirts were stolen back in February,
and it seems their loss will cause the English Soccer team to play less than
well in the World Cup.

     And, whilst on the subject of the World
Cup, I feel that the narrow-minded bigots in our land who object to the flying
of the English flag here during the event should be told how daft they
are.   So there.

     (Before I am pilloried for being one of
“These English” for saying that, please have a look at my details, for there
you will find that I am “a total Taffophile”!  
It’s just mindless daftness to which I object.)

 

Legends And Lies

     I was taking a leg-stretching stroll after
a drive through
West Wales.   The Summer scenery about me
lifted my spirits.

     A pair of walkers came towards me so, when
we met, we had a chat.   They were on
holiday, staying in a small village not far away.   The couple – man and wife – came from
Cambridge and wanted to know a little more
about the area.   I told them what I
knew, mentioning that, in my travels through our land, I’d learned a little
Welsh.   (Indeed, I am still learning.)

     Then, the gentleman told me a story which
I have heard time and time again from English visitors to
Wales.  
He had gone into a shop where “they” were speaking English until he
walked in.   Straight away they switched
to Welsh.

     “Whereabouts was the shop?” I asked him
innocently.

     “Round here,” he said.

     “In which village?” I asked.

     Oddly enough, he could not quite
remember where it was . . .

     Look – that story has been told to me for
decades by various English visitors.  
They can never quite remember where the shop is.

     And they – and my informant this week –
know that they are lying.

     I bade the couple goodbye – but only after
telling them that I did not believe that tale.

     You need to know that only immigrants to Wales will be told that English lie.   And I do not know why the liars bother to
tell us their fable.

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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