Saturday, 8th January, 2011.

Cause And Effect

Well, we’ve already seen the start of the effects of the once-promised-not-to-do measures of the ConDem government.   VAT has caused some interesting changes already.

In our smaller towns, my spies reported that, though the smaller family-run shops were closed on Monday, the big chain-stores were open.   One understands the difficulties of those smaller shops:  it costs money to employ staff.   One understands the advantages of the chain-stores:  they can afford to open on Bank Holidays, for they know that they can use that as a “loss leader”.

And that “loss leader” was perfectly timed, for many, many shoppers were out with their purses and wallets to snap up what they could before the VAT increase happened the very next day.

Such things will cause our local smaller shops financial damage.   They had to open on Tuesday with the extra VAT neatly in place.   Some – perhaps many – will have to close for good.

I must stop that nasty little streak of cynicism within me from whispering that the ConDem scheduling of the increase for Tuesday could have been part of a plan to help those with shares in big business . . .

Get Ready!

This week, the running dogs of the Referendum were released.   Publicity is going to be out telling us of the forthcoming vote to give our own elected government the power to make our own laws.

Why should the people of Wales not be allowed to make laws for their own land?   Why, indeed, should not people in every part of these Isles be allowed to do the same?   Is it right for somebody in Wasteminster to control what the rest of us want for ourselves?   (When I say “Wasteminster”, I mean the people who actually control that noble House . . . )

Before the polling-stations open in May, we shall all be thoroughly fed up with hearing the word “Referendum”.   But that does not mean we should miss the opportunity of making the now-world-famous salute (first used by Welshmen at Agincourt – details on request) to those “from away” saying how we should run our country.

I must tell you that I am no sort of extremist.   If you want to read something about that topic, get hold of a copy of Ned Thomas’ excellent book “The Welsh Extremist”.

Anything You Can Do

I mentioned that, over Christmastime, lots of bold (or loony) swimmers went into the sea mainly to raise funds for charities.

Perhaps it’s some sort of terrible virus which is going the rounds and which the Media is keeping from us, but the same thing happened on New Year’s Day in Saundersfoot.   And a record number of swimmers – all in fancy-dress – turned up to splash about off the excellent beach which graces that neat little town.

The phrase “record number” gives the clue to how quickly this virus is spreading.   There were one-thousand, three-hundred and seventy-five of ‘em – if that isn’t an epidemic, I don’t know what is.   I shall stay away from Pembrokeshire for a while – well, I shall stay away from anywhere by the sea in Wales, too!

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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