Saturday, 26th May, 2012.

Fire In The Land

     I found it amusing that the BBC’s UK station, Radio Four, announced the arrival of the Olympic Torch in Wales with great care.   Though it would pass through places like Abergavenny, Brecon was the town which was mentioned.

That, I suspect, was that the UK station – based as it is firmly in London– did not want to mispronounce one of our place-names.   Mustn’t antagonise these colonials, must we?

When Radio 4 Extra featured the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, the English announcers and commentators on the station seemed to enjoy mispronouncing the name of that town.   Indeed, many jokes were made at the town’s expense:  “Sounds like a rude word” was one of the hilarious comments.   Side splitting, eh?

If we in Wales– even if we’re first-language Cymraeg – can pronounce Wolverhampton and Manchester and, even, London, surely highly-trained BBC staff can be taught how to pronounce our Welsh place-names.   It would only be polite.

The Game’s Afoot!

     In a couple of years, our Scottish cousins will be voting in a referendum to express their views on independence from the UK.   It seems they never asked to join that organisation, so they would like a chance to let the UK know what they think.

Of course, there will be many who simply won’t vote.   That is inevitable.   And politicians have not gone out of their way to encourage people to exercise their democratic franchise.   “They’re all as bad as each other,” is the common excuse for not voting that I hear right across Wales.

The answer is, I believe, not to sit on one’s backside when there’s an election on.   Show you’re not apathetic by going to the polling-station and spoiling your ballot-paper.

However, the point I’m making here is that – one day – Wales will have a similar referendum.   It will take a while to achieve:  the apathetic must be encouraged to understand what is happening around them.   They must have it pointed out to them that the people of Wales are not trusted (by the Wasteminster government in London) to make our own decisions and create our own laws.

So, as I said last week, when we in Wales are discussing “independence”, we must pose ourselves the question:  “Independence from what?”

Strange Weather Days

     Well, no weather days, in fact.

Each morning, I start my working day by listening to the Weather Forecast on Radio Wales just before seven in the morning.   It’s pretty accurate.

However, on Saturdays and Sundays, there is no weather in Wales unless one is a hill-walker.   I do not want to know how chilly it is on top of Snowdon, nor if there’s a hurricane blowing across the Brecon Beacons.

I want to know if the weather will be suitable in our towns and villages to wander the streets without waterproofs.

So, Radio Wales, get a grip and realise that hill-walkers are in a minority and shoppers outnumber them considerably.


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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