Saturday, 22nd October, 2011.

Old And Cold

     “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.”   Yes, I know.   But I must pass on this statistic to you.

In that mythical land EnglandnWales, it is reported that two-thousand seven hundred deaths were caused by last Winter’s cold weather.   That is deaths among our aging population, many of whom simply could not afford Winter fuel.

Most – the vast majority – of these people worked hard all their lives in the belief they would be looked after in their old age by the system they served.   It did not happen.

They paid their money into a system which now rejects their needs.

Coupled with that, our ConDem government in Wasteminster has decided to cut the Winter Fuel Payment for OAPs.   The trouble is, you see, that people are living longer so have become a drain on the State.

These days, there are many, many people young enough and fit enough to work (and pay their taxes) who are part of a “benefits culture”.   They have been taught over at least three generations that one can live an easy life on “the Social”.   So they do so.

And, as I travel through Wales, I find that there are jobs around.   They may not be glamourous posts – but once one is in work, one can find other gainful employment.

Then, our society would not have to penalize those who live to a ripe old age.   Perish the thought that the current system is killing off old folk to save money, of course.

The statistics do not show how many of the people of Wales alone died of cold last year, by the way.   So please keep a kindly Welsh eye on your neighbours to help them through hard times.

Try To Believe . . .

          . . . that it’s only a game!

Wales’ Rugby Team, though losing first the France and then to Australia, are still a force of which we should be proud.   Yet, as I wander through Wales, I come across so many doom-laden people, all in deep mourning at our lads losses.

As a nation, we know that we always look on the dark side of any situation.   If the sun shines, we trot out our stock phrase:  “Oh, we shall suffer for this . . .”

But the bright side of the whole World Cup Rugby has been to bring our people together and to assert our Welshness.   It has put Wales, as a geographic location, well and truly on the map of the world – everyone now knows where Wales actually is and that we are not simply another bit of England.

The masses of supporters who went to cheer our Team in New Zealand have shown the warmth and friendliness which is part of our culture.   The Welsh language has been heard in the streets of Auckland.

So my thanks – and yours, too, I hope – to our Welsh Rugby Team for bringing these positive benefits to our nation.

What’s Wrong With Getting Old?

          Although my opening may indicate otherwise – to Those-Who-Know-What’s-Best-For-Us – there’s still something to be said for growing older.

Ida Lawrence who lives up in Flintshire is 103 years of age.

She is an example to us all.   She regularly attends her keep-fit classes at her local community-centre – though she claims not to have enough time to keep herself properly fit.

Bear in mind that, if you live in Wales, there’s somewhere near you where keep-fit classes are being held.   So stop sitting on your ar . . . er . . . armchair watching rubbish on telly.   Get out there and do what young Ida does – I dare you.

Ida fach, you are an example to us all.


archie.lowe@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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