Saturday, 19th February, 2011.

Wrong Sort Of Cull

The Powers-That-Be – a branch of Those-Who-Know-What’s-Best-For-Us – in Wasteminster appear to have decided that Wales has too many MPs.

So the number of representatives we have in London will shrink.   Yes, I suppose fewer MPs to interfere with our lives sounds a good thing.   But the people we send to the UK Parliament have, in the main, a passing acquaintance with our land and how it holds together.

(Maybe those who go up to Wasteminster sometimes have been parachuted into a constituency from elsewhere at election time;  so they would be a little less familiar with the communities they represent.)

Suppose – just suppose – that an issue came up in “The Mother of Parliaments” which would cause great upheaval in Wales.   With fewer MPs representing our interests, that upheaval could happen – because we, as a nation, would not have enough parliamentary clout to give it the boot.

An interesting situation, isn’t it?

A Vote For Wales

In just over a week, Wales has a referendum – or hadn’t you noticed?!

It is a very simple issue on which we vote:  should the people of Wales have more say in the running of our own affairs;  or should we have to go cap-in-hand to Wasteminster for permission to expand our laws over which we already have jurisdiction?

In other words, are you and I who live in this special land clever enough to know what’s best for us?   There are those on the other side of Offa’s Dyke who think we are not.

And not only on the other side of that Dyke.   Many immigrants into Wales do not understand our history, our traditions, and our way of life.   Most of them seem to be from a fairly well established English class-system, and they want to change Wales into something less egalitarian.

I can say that, for – as you will read elsewhere – I am an immigrant to Wales.

So we – the people of Wales (or should that be The People of Wales?) – need to show Mother England and the world that we still retain our independent spirit.

Which is why I shall vote “YES” when I go to the polls.

But How?

A friend of mine who lives in one of our more rural counties is registered to have a Postal Vote.   Such a system is a boon to those who cannot leave their home and go to the polling-station.

This week, he received from his County Council his referendum voting papers.    Those papers had been designed in such a way that, after appending his date of birth and putting his cross in the right place, he couldn’t get the voting form into the envelope – Envelope A – provided.

He is not a young man, and it took him a little effort to fold the paper up and make it fit into Envelope A.   Then, having inserted it into Envelope B, all that remained was for someone to take it to the nearest post-box.

Having completed his struggles, he placed Envelope B in a safe place and re-read the instruction sheet which came with his voting form.   Even after completing the task of filling in the form and managing to get it into Envelope A and then the lot into Envelope B,  he found that the instruction sheet – bilingual though it was – was as difficult to follow as before his success.   When he told me all this and after expressing his thoughts about “office-wallahs”, he used a phrase containing the word “brewery” . . .

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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