Saturday, 27th August, 2011.

Please Note:  This article could not be published on Sat., 27th August due to “technical hitches” on the part of WordPress.   Sorry for the delay, folks!

Any Excuse

     When the last lot of exam results were announced, there was a bit of ribbing among my friends about Wales being bottom of the UK passes league.   It was, of course, just simple leg-pulling and not serious criticism.

Recently, though, the low pass-rate in Welsh schools seems to have become an excuse for racism.   Is that the right word, or should it be “culturism” (which my spell-checker suggests is not a real word, though allows “culturist” who must base his outlook on culturism . . .)?

Anyway, this mind-set is not just confined to those who stay over to the East of Offa’s Dyke.   As I travel about and encounter Summer visitors to Wales, they recognise from my accent that I am not a Welshman born and bred, and many – too many – of them bring up the matter of the low pass-rate and refer to “these thicko Taffies”.

Fortunately, these prejudiced people are in the minority.   They feel the need to make their own culture seem superior and, I guess, themselves brighter than they really are.

When I tell them that the people of Wales are clever enough to have created their own government, thank you, and that Mother England does not have one of its own, they just go blank from misunderstanding.

This is not an anti-English rant.   Far from it.   It simply indicates that, among the brainless-classes (and we have a few of them born and bred in Wales), any excuse can be used for racism and for my new word culturism.

Patient Care

     There is a report that “slow turnarounds” by the Welsh Ambulance Service have cost us ten-million pounds over the past three years.

Ambulance crews, it seems, are taking too long to drop patients off at our hospitals and then get back on stand-by for their next call.

The crews – I know from personal experience – work very hard under often-rotten conditions.   They remain cheerful and caring under stress and that attitude certainly helps the patient.

If the Wasteminster government wants to drag Wales into a new war – legal or illegal – in a foreign land, it does so just like that.   The money – our money – is there immediately to fund weapons of war.

The answer to the so-called “slow turnarounds” is not criticism of our NHS or its Ambulance Service, but simply to raise the funding so that more ambulances, and their cheerful crews, are available.

Or is that answer too simple and too un-warlike to appeal to our double-headed UK government?

A Dangerous Place

     As I often tell people, “the most dangerous place in any community is the free lending-library”.

You will know the reason why:  that library contains ideas.   And ideas may contradict the perceived wisdom of what we are taught by the State.

So praise must be given to Dr. Sibani Roy who runs the Swanlake bookshop up in Colwyn Bay.   The good doctor is going to set up in her shop a space where folk can sit and have a proper read while enjoying a cuppa.

She’s doing it because she believes that people should . . . well . . . read books.   And Colwyn Bay is about to start closing a fair few of its free lending-libraries.   (Please to call it “cutbacks due to hard financial times” – that way, local residents won’t notice the real loss of a great facility.

I will pop into the shop next time I’m in the area, and hope you, dear reader, will do the same:  Doctor Roy is a great asset to her community and we should support her.

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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