Saturday, 23rd October, 2010.

It’s Only Wales

     Y’know, I could use that heading for
almost every piece I write almost every week.  
As Mother England views our land as a mere county of her country, we get
some foul treatment from Wasteminster.  
And the current ConDem bunch over there has done us down again.

     You’re fed up of hearing about the budget
– and you’ll become fed up even quicker when its Tory-inspired measures start
to bite.

     And those bites will go deeper into Wales than into most other parts of the United Kingdom.  
Already, the Slump (though please to call it “a recession”) has worried
working families immensely.   Pensioners,
too, are struggling – and I know of a fair few places where the choice between
eating and heating this Winter is a very real one.

     Now, to bolster up and support the
capitalist system which got us into this hideous mess in the first place, the
Tories – with full backing from their Lib-Dem allies – have cut and cut and cut
spending in our land.

     We must be aware that this budget is aimed
at losing over a quarter of the jobs in
That means a quarter of working-people will be “jobseeking”.   That means that families will suffer, and
there’ll be less money to be spent in our shops and on our services.

     Many of our once-thriving Welsh towns have
lots of empty shops now.   How many more
do we need before we start reacting against the system which produces this

     Or have the people of Wales become good little citizens who do
what they’re told by Those-Who-Know-What’s-Best-For-Us?


Meanwhile . . .

     . .
Gwynedd Council
has lightened the darkness by having a laugh – at the expense of its

     With wild abandon, the Council has decreed
that it should prettify the area by insisting that hackney-carriages (“taxis”
to you and me) should enliven their colour schemes by being black with red
bonnets and red backs;  private-hire
vehicles will be even prettier:  white
with yellow bonnets and backs.

     How charming!

     How tasteful, too – not a sign of purple
with pink spots.

     The excuse – whoops – sorry! – reason
for the Council’s wise decision is that the punters will be able to see at a
glance whether the vehicle they get into is a genuine registered and insured
one or a cowboy operator.

     The taxi-owners have responded quite
reasonably.   They point out that this
totally unnecessary expense won’t stop illegal taxis.   The cowboys will simply paint their vehicles
to conform with the bye-law.

     Is there no voice of reason on Gwynedd
Council?   Could not one of those illustrious
Councillors spot that flaw in the scheme?

     Or, as the darker nights come upon us,
should I be kinder to those worthies?  
Should I suggest that their collective sense of humour which created this
seemingly daft idea was aimed to make the dismal days to come a little

     And may I suggest that each Council in Wales adopts a similar happy-making
rule?   I trust that at least one area
will decide on rainbows being painted all over registered vehicles.   How lovely!

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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