Saturday, 21st May, 2011.

 Who’s Priming Us – And For What?

     A friend of mine is one of the few folk I know who uses Facebook as something more than a place to tell your 435 Friends that you’re about to make a cuppa (which is nearly always “well erned”) (yes, I do know how to spell, but this is Facebook we’re talking about . . .).

A recent comment on his Wall said:-

     “A UK Government Minister shows a complete lack of understanding and crassly comments on the victims of violent attacks, and he is not sacked. Tweedledee gives a veiled warning about the demise of our NHS. Our railway infra-structure was smashed in the 1960s. Our mining industry was closed in the 1980s. Only connect.”
     Apart from the “Only connect” quote, I wonder how much Facebook interest this statement will excite.   Perhaps his Friends are a chosen few who may well discuss what he says among themselves.
     Added to what he says, there have been two trips abroad which are of interest.   Elizabeth Saxe-Colberg-Windsor has been over in the Irish Republic for a few days;  and President Obama is coming over to the UK shortly.
     As the present Wasteminster government is comprised of mainly the same party as that which smashed our railway structure and wrecked our South Wales mining industry, perhaps we should ask “What’s in it for Wales?”
     “Not to get all the answers is fine;  not to ask all the questions is not.”
Equality, Not Domination
     There is a mythical land known as Englandnwales.   That land is spoken of mainly in the English controlled media.   Here, we are proud to say “Wales and England”, of course.
     Our land is often seen by our friends over Offa’s Dyke as simply another English county.   And many of our own people do very little to alter the situation.
     It is the holiday season and, due to the current Slump, we are getting more visitors from Mother England who cannot afford to go across the English Channel or the Atlantic.
     Many of them, when speaking about their homeland, use such phrases as “in this country” when they really mean “in England”, for many rules, regulations and cultural mores do not apply here in Wales.   And we often let them get away with it.
     We should say something like:  “D’you mean here in Wales?” or “It’s not like that in this country.”   Say it with a cheery smile on your face and they can hardly take offence.
     So when I heard Alex Salmond of the SNP saying that the people of Scotland wanted to be partners with the other countries in the UK rather than a subordinate to England, I felt good.   Because perhaps, just perhaps, the people of Wales will one day have the culture confidence to start asking for that self-same equality.



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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