Saturday, 22nd January, 2011.

Yes?  No?  Maybe?

The campaigns to vote in or out the proposal to give our Assembly law-making rights for our land have kicked off with all the excitement of looking at a dead kipper.

The whole thing seems to be polarising the two camps, one seemingly Right-Wing, the other Revolutionary-Left.   You can choose for yourself which one is which.   That is if you can be bothered.

The Referendum takes place in May.   And most of our people are far to absorbed in coping with the ever-rising cost of living to be interested in this political debacle.   Indeed, as I travel through Wales, I hear words of dissent concerning paying money to Assembly Members because – the theory is – they are simply an extra (and costly) tier of government.

And, whether we agree with that attitude or not, we all seem to have the same thoughts on the expansion of The Nanny State.

The Cost Of Keeping The Peace

AM Leanne Wood wants payments of up to five-grand cut from the wages of some of our Police officers.

Getting on for half of Welsh police-persons (he said, being all PC) are paid such bonuses for simply doing jobs which are classed as “demanding roles”.   Traffic officers are just some of the beneficiaries.

I assume that our coppers are not forced into taking on “demanding roles”.   They may show aptitude to sort out traffic situations or whatever, but it must be their individual choice as to whether they accept such responsibility.

Like you, I am a pretty law-abiding member of the public.   And I wouldn’t even consider becoming a policeman (yes, that is PC in my case!) in today’s selfish society.   So I realise that we must pay for the protection which we get.

But should we, when many of our people are struggling to make ends meet as shop prices climb quickly upwards, spend extra money in this way?

The Cost Of Inflation

There was an excellent and informative piece on Radio Wales morning news programme this week.   People up in Wrexham were interviewed about the cost of living increases.

There really are members of our communities who are having to make hard financial cut-backs.   And those people have already had to make cuts in their spending over the last year.

The question which fixed-income people – pensioners, etc. – are asking is “Where the blankety-blank can I trim back now that I’ve trimmed back to the absolute bone?!”

And I hear no politician even attempting to answer that one!

Who Do You Know?

Digartef Ynys Mon is a charity helping the homeless up in Anglesey.   The charity claims that Assembly funding for local councils to provide shelter for the ever-increasing numbers of homeless folk is insufficient.

Whenever the homeless are mentioned, many of us – even in the caring communities in Wales – trot out the argument that “these homeless people brought it on themselves”.

Now, I am sure that argument can be applied to some of the homeless.   But certainly not all.

I wonder how many of us who have proper accommodation ever come into contact with homeless people.   I wonder if any of us actually know someone who is sleeping on the streets.

I do.   I do not mean to brag when I say that I have befriended and worked with such people.   The odd thing is that, when one gets to know them, they turn out to be . . . fellow human-beings.

For all our clap-trap about being a caring society (and for all the many, many chapels and churches dotted about our land) we still tend to avoid these fellow human-beings so that we do not have to offer them a helping hand.

And this is Wales where we take pride in loving our neighbour . . .

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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