Saturday, 21st August, 2010.

The Name Of The

     I asked a sports-fan friend of mine why
there seems to be the need for the Soccer season to start in the middle of
Summer these days.

     “Well, there are so many competitions in
the sport these days,” he told me, “and we need more time to fit them all in.”

     Then, this week, the news broke that a
Soccer player who earns – it was reported – ninety-thousand pounds a week is
going to play for
Cardiff City for a while.   The player is a decent and generous
man.   He does a lot of behind-the-scenes
charity work.

     But his wages come from his value as a
sportsman.   And the real reason for the
early start of the Soccer season stems from the fact that Soccer is no longer a
game.   It has fallen into the hands of
people whose interests are more centred on making capital gains than in sport.

     And where there is massive money to be
made, there is very often massive hidden fiddles going on.   “The love of money is the root of all evil.”   So, ultimately, the real benefits of all
sports will be forgotten.


Our Glorious Past

     The “Living The Poor Life” project has
produced loads of information about how “They” treated “Us” back in the
wonderful reign of Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria.

     Now, archives have been put online which
give us a fairly deep look into the Victorian system of Workhouses.   They were set up in the name of humanity, of
Christian charity.   In fact, they were a
ploy to stop “the masses” starving on the streets.

     When one’s country is the most powerful in
the world and owns most of the globe, one cannot have the hideous conditions in
which the poor live exposed to all nations, can one?

     So those at the bottom of the financial
barrel – “factory-fodder in peacetime, gun-fodder in wartime” – had to be
hidden away.   Or, worse, stopped from
rising up against an inadequate system and causing some sort of revolution.

     This was at a time when Trades Unions and,
indeed, the whole Working-Class Movement, were struggling into the light.

     Here in Wales, we had Workhouses.   Our people slaved away to produce the wealth
of the Empire and were given just about enough food to stop them dying.   Families were parted by the The Poor
Law;  husbands and wives never saw each
other again nor did they see their children.

     And in Welsh Workhouses – as well as those
in other parts of
Britain – there was corruption born of
greed among those who were running them.

     I would suggest, People of Wales, that you
find out how your area fared under The Poor Law.   Was there a Workhouse near you?   Is there any remnant of its building still

     And are you going to teach your children
about what the Lady Bountifuls of this land bestowed on the have-nots . . .?   If so, visit


Getting Connected

     Looks like Wales is catching up with the rest of the
world in the technological stakes.

a while, we who have the privilege of living in this land have been a bit slow
in connecting ourselves to broadband services.  
I wonder if that could be that decent connections to such a system have
been slow in being available to us.

     Oh, yes – places like Cardiff (which most
people East of Offa’s Dyke seem to think is the whole of Wales) have had proper
broadband for a while now.   But most of
our land is rural so nobody’s really been bothered about the people who live
there being brought up to date with technology.   (I could have said “nobody’s been bothered
about the people who live there” and left it at that.)

    Now, it is alleged, Wales is catching up with the rest of the

     Great news, eh?!   All we need now is nationwide coverage of
signals for our mobile phones.

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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