Saturday, 12th March, 2011.

Wishful Thinking?

Our Assembly President spoke his mind immediately after the “YES” vote was announced.   Lord Elis-Thomas said that we – that is the UK – should scrap the post of Welsh Secretary now.

I thought it was a bit premature to express such sentiments.   It would, I felt, scare the pants of those who live in Wales yet think that their fellow residents are too stupid to make their own decisions.

And, of course, the very thought of the I-word terrifies those who want the English class-system to continue wherever England’s colonies are.

But, it seems, President Elis-Thomas’ words have begun – or brought to light – the fact that there is a movement to rid the world of the post of Welsh Secretary and to scrap Wasteminster’s Welsh Office.

There are only two things I can say about the situation.   Firstly, can we have the money saved by the ridding and scrapping invested in our land, please?   And, secondly, why has Plaid Cymru ceased to use the I-word in public?

Shed A Tear For An OAP

That august Tory journal, The Daily Mail, gave me a giggle this week.   It seems to have shot its Right-Wing tendencies in the foot by publishing a front page which read:

“WORK FOR LONGER AND GET A SMALLER PENSION”

And, right beside that headline was a photograph of a poor, impoverished pensioner.

It is no myth that, throughout this Winter, people who are on pensions really have had to choose between heating and eating.   Our senior citizens expected, during their working lives, to be able to manage in their retirement.   That was a proviso when the Welfare State was set up by good people like Nye Bevan.

The photo showed an old lady who has been on State Benefits all her life.   Just imagine what would happen if her benefits were lowered.   How would she cope after being kept by the State for all that time?

Oh – and the lady in the photograph was Elizabeth II, Queen of England.

A Cleft Stick

Hands up if you’d like to be our Rural Affairs Minister at the moment.

Elin Jones, the current Minister, really has got a difficult job on her hands:  to cull or not to cull.

Badgers, allege the farming fraternity, spread bovine TB.   Thus, the whole of farming in Wales is affected adversely.   Not a good thing to happen, as our farming-industry is the last large “production line” we have.

The Animal Rights protesters claim that badgers do not spread bovine TB and that killing them would be a cruelly unnecessary procedure, and upset the balance of nature.

So Ms. Jones treads a difficult path:  upset the farmers or upset the Animal Rights lobby.   She will be unpopular whatever she decides.   I wish her all the best – she is a lady who knows rural Wales very well, so understands the issues.

Meantime, throughout rural Wales, badgers are being slaughtered illegally and their bodies dumped along our roads to pretend they are “road kill”.   That’s a clever and cunning process – but I know of nobody who has been prosecuted yet . . .

 

 

archielowe@googlemail.com

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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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