Saturday, 14th April, 2011.

Having It Both Ways

     The political opposites of Plaid Cymru are launching their campaign to win seat in local elections.   Their leader – over there in London– has claimed to believe in self-determination, of course.

Now, the “Welsh” Conservatives are about to tell us that it’s “power to the people” time.

Their public image is going to be one of allowing local people to have the right to decide on local issues.   Well, that’s the image, anyway.

And I’m sure sticking the word “Welsh” in front of their name has always convinced the swallow-anything people of Wales that the party is controlled from right here in Wales.   Surely a name like that could mean nothing else . . . could it?

The Cost Of Working Hard

     They are now an elderly couple who were born and bred in rural Wales.   They were brought up to be thrifty and to work hard.

They worked hard, then, right from their early teens until they were unable to work any longer.

They built a small business by the sweat of their own brows, receiving no assistance from government grants.   That business was founded on hard work and honesty.

That business provided them with a neat little home which they purchased from the profits of the business into which they poured so much of their time:  long hours and calls for help from their customers and neighbours at all times of day and night.   They always tried to help those in need.

The husband’s very first trip beyond Wales was when he was called up to serve in the Second World War.   He once told me that it was a great culture shock to him, especially being pitched into an English-only environment.

Now, they have to live in a care-home.   And, simply because they have worked hard and been thrifty all their lives, their material possessions mean that the State will not subsidise their care fees.

Each of them has to pay six-hundred pounds a week from their own resources for the care they receive.

Can this be fair when those who have carefully avoided any kind of employment all their lives can look forward to a financially carefree retirement?


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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