Saturday, 13th November, 2010.

Lest We Forget

Tomorrow – Sunday, 14th November – is the decreed “Official Remembrance Sunday”.

Some of us have checked the historical records and find that the original official Day of Remembrance was whatever day on which the 11th November fell.   That was to be regardless of it being a weekday or a weekend.

We were told that, at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, “we shall remember”.   So we did – and for many years, too.

Then it was realised, by Those-Who-Know-What’s-Best-For-Us, that it meant working days would be lost, production would be affected – and profits would be hit.   That last excuse was the real one which mattered to them!

It did not matter that millions of our working-people had died in The Great War – “the war to end all wars” – and the one after that.   It does not matter now that we’ve had hundreds, perhaps thousands, of working people killed both as volunteers or conscripts serving their country in various skirmishes all over the world.

What matters is that profits are made for our masters.

I went to a local war-memorial on Thursday, 11th November.   I kept the faith by having my own, personal two-minutes silence.   If you did the same, your heart is in the right place;  if you were unable to do so, then try to do so next year.

Our ancestors deserve to be remembered for what they gave.

Complaints Department

Lidl has many stores in Wales.   I shall, therefore, not name the one at which my friend and correspondent shops.   When his wife found that she had bought duff goods, she wanted to ring the store and ask what she should do.

Lidl does not advertise the numbers of its stores.   And, it seems, the only way to contact them is via the Internet.

One has to ask the obvious question:  “Why is this company reticent about helping customers to contact them?”

Also, as many of its customers were not brought up using PCs, lots of them won’t be able to contact the firm unless they live within walking distance of a shop.

So my friend found Lidl online and filled in the appropriate contact-form.   This is what he said:-

“Today, 9th November, 2010, my wife bought a bag of eleven Clementines.  When opening them at home, she found that three were rotting away.   As we live ** miles from your ******** store, AND AS WE CAN FIND NO PHONE NUMBER FOR ANY OF YOUR STORES OR OFFICES, we cannot complain at the store in person until the next time we are in ********.   That will be in a fortnight’s time.   PLEASE, LIDL’S, LET US KNOW WHAT WE SHOULD DO!  (A copy of this message will be sent to both our Assembly Member and our Member of Parliament.)”

The website gives the phone number of “Your Lidl Customer Service Team”:  0870 444 1234.   That is a premium rate number!

I will keep you posted on the response from Lidl.   And the reactions from my friend’s AM and MP.

Meantime, you might like to visit http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/offline-shopping-misc/lidl/304918/ The comment you read as you scroll down will enlighten you on the subject of Lidl even more.

The Look-At-Me Syndrome

Whatever the political fortunes of dear old Lembit Opik – ex-Lib-Dem M.P. for Montgomeryshire – he still manages to catch the headlines.   Now, he’s set up to be on “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here”.

I have never seen the programme, but I’m sure it’s LCD stuff used as an opiate of the masses.   I trust Mr. Opik will remember that voters did get him out of – well – there a few months ago.   What a pity that more Welsh voters didn’t follow suit and chuck out all Lib-Dem MPs.

Mind you, with all the excitement we’ve had watching those MPs turn their coats, it’s been more entertaining than any telly programme could ever be!

On Being Welsh

I’ve lived in this special land for decades and I will be first in line to grab a Welsh Passport as soon as the time comes!   So, for all intents and purposes, I’m as Welsh as they come (have a look at my profile to find out more).

It hurt, then, when ex-Wasteminster-MP Adam Price criticised the way our Senedd does its work.   Mr. Price, a member of Plaid Cymru, tells us that our Assembly Members “lack skills”.

Well, of course they do.   For instance, they lack the skill of making laws for Wales – because Wasteminster hold tight control over things like that.   They lack the skills of toadying up to their obvious superiors in London.

But, for goodness sake, Mr. Price – do you not comprehend that there is a Welsh attitude to Life, The Universe and Everything.   We in Wales are an easy-going sort of folk.   We don’t really like all that English formality (the word “cracach” could be mentioned here).

We have an easy-to-get-at situation with our politicians, and can see ‘em at times doing their shopping in the same stores which we go to ourselves.

Let us keep Welsh politics a bit less more formal than those of our cousins in the South-East of England!

Stop Press:  As I was putting this column online, I had a call from my friend the Lidl customer (see above).   He’s had a response from the company and will send me a copy so I will update the story next weekend!

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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