Saturday, 18th December, 2010.

A Way To Spend Money

The city centre of Newport is going to have a two-hundred million pound “face-lift”.

This is at a time when most Councils in Wales cannot afford much-needed salt to keep our roads open.   I wonder who suggested this sort of spending in these difficult financial times.   And will the person who suggested it in the first place please raise her or his hand?

John Frost is one of the city’s greatest sons.   He was pilloried for his Chartist beliefs.   One has to ask what he would have made of the “development plans” . . .

Dangerous Places

“Where is the most dangerous place in any town or city?” I was asked by a friend many years ago.

When I didn’t know, he said simply:  “The Public Library.”

I asked him why.   He told me that it was because it contained ideas.

Now, up in the Conwy area, seven Public Libraries are to be closed.   The idea is to make the service more up-to-date.   Again, I wonder who put the idea forward in the first place.

Because it deprives “ordinary people” of a source of knowledge – which is just what Those-Who-Know-What’s-Best-For-Us want.

I recommend you read “The English Common Reader” (a misnomer, for it covers the whole of what was, in the mid-nineteenth century, “Great Britain).   The book tells the story of the struggle to allow “the masses” to learn to read.

When that privilege was bestowed upon the working-class by “their betters”, all they were allowed to read was the Bible and religious-tracts.   It was not until sometime later, with the advent of the Working Men’s Institutes, that everyone had access to all sorts of books.

And, quite clearly from my experiences of Facebook, “the masses” have been carefully trained more recently to forget any sort of education.

Well Done!

James Jones of Rhyl deserves a medal.   He won’t get one, because what he did won’t make money for either himself or “the nation”.

The seventy-two year old was aware that milk was being stolen from his local doorsteps.   So he decided to do something about it.

He created a fake, putting washing-up liquid and water into a plastic milk bottle and leaving it on his doorstep.   Then he watched and waited.

The thieves took Mr. Jones’ bait.   He told the police.   Two men were arrested.   And – tee-hee! – one of ‘em drank from the bottle before throwing it away.

The thieves – and, it seems, litter louts – were fined for their wrong-doing.   And Mr. Jones’ public-spirited action has brought a lot of smiles to his neighbours and the world at large!

The Great Close-Down

Yesterday – Friday, 17 December – the whole of our land woke up and discovered that the overnight snows had caused chaos to our road-system.   Wales, it seems, was closed-down.

A few hardy souls tried to get to work, but they had been advised against it by pundits on radio and television.

I wonder just how well Welsh homes are prepared for such unforeseen emergencies.   Could you cope without going to the shops for a while?   Do you have alternative sources of energy – gas-stoves, even candles – if your electricity supply was suddenly cut off?

Bear in mind that such unexpected things could happen at any time of year.   So it’s up to you to prepare your home “just in case”.

If you’d like more info on this subject, contact – or send a mail to me.

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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