Saturday, 3rd December, 2011.

The Dithering Ends

     The National Library of Wales up there in Aberystwyth has pondered for a while about accepting £300,000 bequeathed to it by a seemingly fascist sympathiser.   Now, the Library will accept the donation from the late Breton nationalist Louis Feutren.

Louis’ form of nationalism led him to join the Waffen SS in world War 2.   He wore the appropriate uniform and, presumably, fought against the Allies when they entered his land.

I was once told that “a patriot loves his country;  a nationalist hates all other countries”.   Is there truth in that?   I sometimes wonder.

Personally, I love Wales and see our land as a nation.   That alone makes me, I suppose, a nationalist.   And I am very glad indeed that the activities of a few of my fellow nationalists – such as Meibion Glyndwr – were aimed at property and not people.   It would have been and still would be a tragedy if working towards independence led to the kind of things we witnessed in Northern Ireland.

Though there are still a few hotheads about who want to do battle with Mother England.   They may be football-hooligans or similar in their spare time . . .

So our National Library has £300,000 to spend – wisely I hope.   And the surprising thing to me is that Aberystwyth is in Old Cardiganshire.   I’ve never known Cardis to bicker over accepting money in the past!

The Winter Storms Begin

     I’ve been caught in a few storms in the past few days.   The rain has pelted down, the wind has all-but knocked me over.

So I hear many born-and-bred Welsh folk trotting out the predictable epithets about terrible weather.   Look, good people, we’re well into Winter now and November wasn’t too bad!

Our hearts, though, should go out to those who – having worked all their lives – have ended up struggling to make ends meet.   Those who have produced the wealth of our nation and the UK have been used then pushed aside on a pittance.

Getting on for half of homes in Wales are suffering from “fuel poverty” this Winter.

Our Senedd is committed to helping people who live in “deprived areas”.

Now then, those two phrases are interesting:  “fuel poverty” and “deprived areas”.   The first covers the fact that, yes, there are decent, neighbourly people in our land who really are having to choose between eating and heating.   The second seems to hide the fact that there are precious few places in Wales which are not deprived – of a decent income and decent living conditions.

So those who work suffer.   They complain – and I hear this everywhere I go – that dole-scroungers and their kind are paid well by The State, whereas working-people are not paid good wages by their bosses.

The question I always pose when hearing that comment is:  “What do we DO to change things?”

Dodging The Issue

     Yes, the industrial action by many workers this week did cause some disruption.   Yes, their cause was just.

The strike was about the future.   Not just the future of those workers, but the future of you and I, too.   It was about those who’ve worked all their lives receiving due benefits when retirement comes.   It was about your youngsters having a secure life.

Yet the action was not supported by all Union members.   Blacklegs – a word not much used these days, so ask your gran’dad what it means – defied their Unions.   The boss-classes brought in scab labour.

And I’ll bet those who were on strike will now work cheek-by-jowl with those blacklegs and scabs.

It should not be so.

You can contact Archie either via this column’s Comments, or at



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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