Saturday, 11th February, 2012.

A Question Of Identity

     No names, no pack-drill on this one.   Suffice it to say it was part of a broadcast on Radio Wales.

     Two people who live and work inWalesand, I believe, were born and brought up here, were talking about various places in our land.   One of them mentioned somewhere called Capel Queue-rig.

     For a moment, I thought I needed to consult a map or go online to find out ifWaleshad a new town or something.   Then I realised what the Welsh person was saying.

     She meant Capel Curig, but had mispronounced it in the way English visitors often do.

     One of the greatest assets we have here in Wales is our tourist-trade.   Part of the attraction of our land to visitors is that it is different.   Our history is not simply that of England and our own, often peculiar traditions have survived over the centuries.

     Our language, though constantly needing protection, is a part of our history and traditions.   Therefore, our people should respect that language – even if they do not speak it nor have the desire to learn it.   (I can tell you from personal experience that it is not the easiest language to learn from scratch long after one has left school!)

     So may I suggest that Radio Wales gets its act together and ensures that its presenters and staff at least know how to pronounce place names?   That would be a part of putting Wales– as a separate country toEngland– on the map.

“They’re All The Same.”

     That’s a phrase wherever I go and chat with people about politics.   It refers to political parties.   And I have to admit that there are many similarities, especially when it comes to gaining power and/or financial advancement.

     Of recent times, we have become used to hearing of corruption in high places, usually in political high places.   Indeed, I hear that the editor of The Daily Mail claims that Tony Blair could not have invadedIraqwithout the support of Murdoch-owned newspapers!   It’s a funny old world.

     However, we in Wales have an alternative.   We have in our land a party with is firmly rooted in Welsh soil.   It does not have to stick the word “Welsh” in front of its name to make it sound as if it has such roots.   It has a Welsh-language name, too:  Plaid Cymru.

     Presently, there’s a campaign to elect Plaid’s new leader.   .   Simon Thomas – ex-MP for Ceredigion – has dropped out of the running and is backing Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion.   My money would be on one of the two ladies who are standing, for I feel, perhaps, Dafydd Elis-Thomas – good man though he is – is a bit long in the tooth now.

     Whoever is elected, it will be done without the aid of corrupt newspaper owners, and the new leader will, I know, be part of The People of Wales.

Another Kind Of Race

The charity “All Wales Ethnic Minority Association” – AWEMA – is to be closed due to serious financial mismanagement.   That has not only shocked many of us, but has also given rise to an upsurge in racism and nasty wisecracks.   Those who’ve run the charity have done race-relations in Wales no good at all.

     Dr. Rita Austin, Chairperson of the charity, is reported as saying that she will manage “an orderly exit”.

     Anybody know what that phrase actually means?

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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