Saturday, 10th December, 2011.

Memories, Memories

     Or, perhaps, I should have titled this piece “How Are The Mighty Fallen?”.

Hearing the very name of Little Jimmy Osmond brought back a time when most pop-singers looked as if they knew what soap was.   Jimmy was the youngest of the many, many offspring of Mr. & Mrs. Osmond, and he had his own solo hit:  “Long-Haired Lover From Liverpool”.   That was long before his voice broke.

“But what,” I hear you cry, “has this to do with Wales?!”

Well, after the days of having miles and miles of white teeth ended for the Osmonds, they sort of disappeared.   Donny sometimes crops up, but not often.

And, last Saturday on BBC Radio 4, Jimmy popped up in the programme ‘Loose Ends’.   His voice has broken, by the way, and he told the world (Radio 4 can be heard on Long Wave still) that he is playing Pantomime Dame this Winter – in Swansea!

Now, Swansea is one of my favourite towns.   It has a lovely atmosphere of cups of tea and friendliness.   But it is a far cry from Top of the Pops and being all over the rest of the telly and having your picture on the front page of all the newspapers.

And, with so many great comics in our land, do we really need to import someone from America (whose religion, I seem to remember, forbids cross-dressing) to act in a tradition that the Yanks really don’t understand?

There’s no business like show-business.

Who Controls Who?

     It’s a question I often ask.   Because sticking the word “Welsh” in front of something doesn’t mean it’s anything to do with Wales.

You will know that the “Welsh” New Labour people and the “Welsh” Liberal-Democrats got together this week to ensure that the “Welsh” New Labour budget was passed in our Senedd.   Plaid Cymru – a party born, bred, based and centred in Wales – opposed the measures.

But the aforementioned “Welsh” parties went ahead, hand in hand, and won the day.   (Of course, I will not ask the question “Who will the Lib-Dems next suck up to in order to gain a little power?” because that would be naughty of me.)

Both New Labour (I refuse to be conned into calling it “The Labour Party”) and the Liberal-Democrats are based firmly in Mother England.   Therefore, English values and English ideals must be a big part of their philosophies.

You can contact Archie Lowe via this column 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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