Saturday, 20th November, 2010.


In last week’s column, I told you of the dealings a pal of mine had with Lidl Stores.   (Scroll down to remind yourself.)

Well, my congratulations to the company because, as that column went to press, he rang me to say that he’d received a letter from Lidl.   He was very pleased at the efficiency of their main British office.

The letter they sent to him – though, perhaps, a standard one – apologised for the state of the goods his wife has bought.   And, much to her delight, had enclosed a voucher for an amount greater than that of her original purchase.

So, dear reader, this tale ended happily – and it seems to have a moral.   “If you feel any company or business is failing to satisfy your needs, be brave enough to complain.”

Acting For Ourselves

I’ve told you before of a friend of mine who runs a small group called “Help Yourself”.   Its aim is to encourage individuals and families to become more independent of outside help.

One of the things it promotes is called “Nan’s Pantry”, which gives details of how to ensure that one’s home is prepared for things like imports to Britain stopping (for any reason) or for financial income to be disrupted.

Details can be had from

I mention this because a great supporter of the Wasteminster ConDem government spoke with (well, it was more like ‘at’, really) me the other day.

“You and your wanting Welsh independence!” he scoffed.   “Look what’s happened to the Independent Irish Republic.   Don’t want Wales to end up like that, do you?”

I simply pointed out that, yes, when Wales becomes an independent state, such things may happen.   Mistakes – large and small – will be made by our leaders, just like the mistakes of the leaders in Eire.

But they will be our own mistakes.

What Cost Cutbacks?

My visits to The Irish Republic have taught me how much cheery culture-confidence its people have.   They fought for their emancipation and, over the years, they have come to value their Irishness.

Our heritage – the heritage and history of Wales – must become important to all who live here:  even immigrants like me.   But such heritage is being threatened by – oh, that dreaded phrase – “cut-backs”.

Over the next three years, The National Library of Wales will be losing about a million pounds of funding.   This means that repository of much of our culture won’t be as efficient at its job as it should be.

Worse – jobs will have to go.   And, as it’s based in Aberystwyth, that will make the local economy even more dire.

I hear the our Senedd values the Library and what it does.   If so, that expletive-deleted Budget which it’s codging together should reflect that.

Maybe, once we’ve shaken of Wasteminster’s hold on our nation, we shall put our culture into proper perspective.

Who’s Better Off, Then?

Lord Young of Graffham – wherever that is – bears a second title:  he is the Prime Minister’s “Enterprise Advisor”.

And this enterprising Tory Lord has echoed the words of the late Harold McMillan, Tory Prime Minister a few decades back.   Lord Young tells us that we’ve “never had it so good”.

When McMillan said “You’ve never had it so good”, he was, in fact, referring to his own wealthy class.   The workers who were producing Britain’s wealth back then were struggling to make ends meet just as they are now.

David Cameron leapt upon this vote-losing statement, of course, and M’Lud has apologised for his “insensitive” remark.

So that’s alright, then.

Hands Across The Bristol Channel

Our Cornish cousins were badly hit by the recent storms.   Many, many of them are still unable to go back into their homes.

As a fellow Celtic nation, we send our commiserations to those good folk.

Wales did not go unscathed by the weather, of course.   I trust that, wherever you live – Wales or anywhere on the planet – you will take heed of the second paragraph of this article above and act wisely:  these are strange and troubled times.

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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