Saturday, 2nd October, 2010.

What Comes First?

     I trust everyone whose heart is full of
Welsh pride will have condemned Monmouthshire Council for refusing to fly the
flag of our nation.   Instead, merely
that thing which we now must call “The Union Flag” will be flying above the
area totally on its own.

     This comes, too, when Newport is hosting an international Golf
Tournament and visitors will be coming to our land from places all over the
world.   Are
Those-Who-Know-What’s-Best-For-Us (the ones in Monmouthshire in this instance)
not aware that one of the attractions for anyone from abroad is that
Wales is different.   It is not another bit of Mother
England.   And that difference is a good
selling-point when it comes to tourism.

     Is the national costume of our Scottish
cousins a bowler-hat and pin-striped trousers so that they look like
Englishmen?   Certainly not.   I reckon the Scots would declare instant
independence if the kilt was replaced!

     So why are Monmouthshire councillors so
afraid to declare their county a part of
Wales?  
For goodness sake, they rule an enormous chunk of our land!   Or could there be a secret plan to ask a
country with no government of its own if they can be part of it?

Myths And Legends

     An old and traditional moan is going the
rounds again.   It has often come from
immigrants to our land from East of Offa’s Dyke, usually the dimmer ones.

    They arrive in their new homeland, having
done precious little in the way of research beforehand (other than spending a
couple of holidays here in Midsummer).  
They have been taught to believe that
Wales is simply another part of England, and then the culture-shock hits
them!

     Oh, and that traditional moan:  “You can’t get a job round here unless you
speak Welsh.”   And their follow-up
is:  “That’s why you get so many
unqualified people in the best jobs.”

     Well, I am an immigrant to Wales.  
I was a monoglot when I came here – still am according to my
Welsh-speaking friends when I struggle to converse with them in Cymraeg!   And I have always found work here.

     That deals with the first part of the
traditional moan.

     The “best jobs” part of it is a myth,
too.   The work I – even as a newcomer to
Wales – have found over the years has suited me to a
tee, so I have had “the best jobs”.

     Look – let’s get it straight:  if you’re thinking of moving from Mother
England to
Saudi Arabia or Singapore or Brazil, you will take a little time to
find out about the way of life in those places.  
Wales is not England.  
Therefore, we who make our homes here need to understand the local
culture rather than try to force locals to change their whole way of life!

     I rest my case.

It’s Not Unusual

     Three bodies were discovered in a Wrexham
car-park this week.   Investigators are
still trying to find out how they got there.

     The bodies – two adults and one youngster
– were put into black plastic rubbish-sacks before being dumped.   Investigators are still looking into the
affair.

     Why should someone want to destroy a whole
family and simply dump the bodies – of these three foxes?   Yes, I know foxes have a reputation for
killing chickens and that their activities need to be curbed.   But someone – or someones! – knows something
about the killings.

     So, somewhere in the Wrexham area there is
at least one sicko wandering around.

     But it is not unusual in Wales for animals to be killed – by
whatever means – and the bodies simply dumped.  
For a couple of years now, badgers have been illegally put to death and
dumped upon our country roads to make it look like road-kill.   The practice is due to the not-proven theory
that badgers pass bovine TB to cattle.

     And people living in rural areas secretly
slaughter the creatures “just in case”.  
Perhaps Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, will have something to say
about the situation.

     Meantime, people of Wrexham beware – you
may have a killer with a warped mind in your midst.

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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