Monday, March 17, 2014

Tony Benn est Mort

Tony Benn at the Burston Strike School Rally 2010
Tony Benn at the Burston Strike School Rally 2010 (Photo credit: zoer)
So Tony Benn is dead. Another giant figure from my 1970s and 80s along with Margaret Thatcher,  another ideologue I did not care for that much,I always hated his smug arrogance that he always exhibited. I always felt it wasn't for his extremism and influence we might not have endured as much of Mrs T as we did,and no New Labour. but mild form of social democracy. One thing he was right about, and that was the overpowering executive stifling parliamentary democracy which 'made him.a bedfellow with some unlikely people like Enoch Powell (who apparently was a good friend of his)  Rest in Peace Tony.




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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Does Cardiff Council care about Cardiff's rich heritage?

http://www.clickonwales.org/2014/03/dont-rip-the-heart-out-of-the-coal-exchange/

Perhaps not? I speak as a  native and proud Cardiffian whose family was a major part of Cardiff's rise in the 19th and 20th centuries.

My great grandfather captain Richard Rees was a master of the GWR tug  The Earl, his cousin was a coal broker and my grandmother started her work life as a office junior at the City Coal Exchange, this building is as important as Cardiff Castle!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Whither St Mary's Caerau?

English: St Mary the Virgin Church at Caerau, ...
English: St Mary the Virgin Church at Caerau, Cardiff, in 1971 before it was deconsecrated and fell into ruin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It has come to my attention that the ruin that is St Mary's Church,Caerau is "closed to the public"? Not sure how you can could do that given the lack of a gate and effective fence.

This has been a terrible tragedy for years, with the only advocates, the Friends of St Mary's doing anything to keep it safe,by having regular taskforce  meetings with faithful members engaged in cleaning it up, and  nagging Cardiff Council about its deterioration! There is not so much they can do.

At the beginning of the 21st Century part of the the  the tower collapsed and Cardiff council was planning to demolish it,however by the hard work of  the friends led by Delia Jay and Rosemary Lewis they involved Cadw who ordered Cardiff Council to save the tower. This was done with a rather cheap cement. It failed in the end because they vandalism continued, it would have been sensible if they had spent money to secure it. Now it's back to square 1 and what to do.
The tower is in a dangerous state and Cardiff Council does not have money to keep it safe.

Last year in May there was an exchange of emails between myself and others involved on saving St Mary's and those archaeologists involved in the current excavations of the Hillfort (see CAER and Time Team show concerned with it)



In that exchange of 52 emails there was general agreement that something had to be done.However disagreement on what. CAER saw it and a caerau Heritage center as a good longterm plan, ACE (formerly Communities First) did not have the resources. I suggested that a Trust should be set up  to maintain St Mary's using the disused Caerau Evangelical Church as a place for activities. the idea was dismissed by CAER and ACE saying that they were better placed to get funds. Yet St Mary's done not have time

Now I hear that CAER has been discussing setting a trust and using local labour (both suggestions I had made) perhaps the talking needs to stop and action needs to begin before the inevitable happens.
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas a meditation

Christmas is a time of great joy, there is the joy of families being together or giving each other nice gifts,  and even making great sacrifices. It's also can be an time time of great tragedies.
In the the Christmas story you have the story of the birth of  Jesus with the rejoicing of the poor and the rich, as illustrated by the the shepherds and the Wise men with their gifts, and the Shepherds with the gifts of their joys.
Also there are the tragedies of the killing of the innocents by the paranoic Herod the Great, and the subsequent fleeing of the Holy Family to Egypt.
Personally my family had a wonderful Christmas,  firstly attending the Christmas creche at our parisn church of St Illtud, Llantwit thanks to the church's of all denominations in Llantwit.  It is quite fitting that a celebration of Christmas can only begin with the celebration of Jesus birth.
Then
by the magic of technology we were able to communicate with our family members around the world, by Face time and Skype,  and of course Magic Jack, and then we were picked up by my brother in law and niece,  Izzie and taken to my sister's house in Caerau, Cardiff for a wonderful dinner,  and with gratitude for the great gifts that we received (including my new Samsung tablet from my mother! Thank you Mum). A great meal prepared by my sister (thank you Trudie).
Then there are the tragedies around Christmas,  whether it is personal like my father's passing December 12th,2000,  a loss we still feel, or tragedy such as the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 which killed hundreds of thousands of people.
A recent tragedy was the death of Vincent Francis at a rugby match which he took part in. I was in school with him and he was quite young a terrible shock to his family, and a Christmas that will bring with it tragic memories, and something I will not forget.
We pray that Christmas will be a time of great joy,  but that those who suffer loss may receive comfort that they need.
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Vote, vote, vote for Liz Gould for Riverside

My late father when voting in local elections rarely voted for candidate by political party. For him you voted for the individual that you felt was the right person who was fit and honest.

There is an election in the Riverside and the choice is between Darren Williams for Labour and Liz Gould for Plaid Cymru.

I have nothing against Darren Williams except he works on the Labour Party payroll in one way and another and I just feel that there are too many of this type who are standing for councils who look like they using it as a stepping stone for higher office, or possibly may get a nice job rather like Luke Holland.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Another noted Welsh blog bites the dust

It seems that another popular blog in Wales has mysteriously disappeared?  The fine "another Change of Personal".

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wales could be worse!

 I have to admit that since we have come back to Wales I have done quite a bit of "bellyaching" about our circumstances which have not been good, and perhaps will mean that we may have to move to England, that is unfortunate. I was criticized by an acquaintance of mine about how I had always talked about going back to Wales as if it was Paradise and yet seemed to be running it down

. His criticism was un...warranted and out of line. Wales is a great country with a great people, that have been let down by a political establishment that has kept it down, and poor. I was filled with joy when wales (very narrowly) voted for home rule in 1997, I thought it was a great chance to release that great potential that the Welsh people had. In the past Wales was known for many great exports besides coal. It was teachers, Wales was (and is) known for her great teachers.All over England you will find clumps of teachers in her schools educating England's kids. However there is something wrong in Wales. Devolution promised us great hope, we given structural funds from the EU to build this great country of ours, and what happened to it, and more so what has happened to our education? Blame the Tory cuts cry Labour! Yet what about before the Tories were in power, who do you blame then. Whether it was Russell Goodwage blaming Rhodri Morgan for Cardiff's misfortunes in 2004 (his almost losing his seat I think), loads of money wasted and people in my own home still living in dire poverty with no hope. Money would have been better spent teaching people to be creative, creating businesses, instead they teaching them still to be dependent. And what is happening in my own community? A library that is only 25 years old, and was hailed in nationwide publications in the UK is going to be closed and demolished. And is provision shoved into some ugly Nissan hut that leaks with inadequate heating and air conditioning in the name of saving money, and finally the medieval church that stood on the hill For hundreds of years that was neglected and betrayed by Cardiff Council who promised the people of Caerau that they would take care of it, is ready to fall down. That is symbolic of what is happening in Wales.
however I come back to my former friend and answer his criticism of what is better? I will tell him, the company that I used to work for in Dodge City has now introduced a policy that if you are sick even for one day and don't have a doctor's note then you are terminated. That would not Happen in Wales. I had the temerity to suggest a union there, and they cut my hours (and I think contrived my termination there) Wales is definitely one up on that. The other and most important is healthcare. I took my daughter to get her sight examined some time ago, for nothing, that would happen back there. Yes healthcare is important, and at least we can get it without getting bankrupt, that is why Wales for all our problems is paradise, and we love it, and we should not have to leave it!
I admit that since we have come back to Wales I have done quite a bit of "bellyaching" about our circumstances which have not been good, and perhaps will mean that we may have to move to England, that is unfortunate. I was criticized by an acquaintance of mine about how I had always talked about going back to Wales as if it was Paradise. His criticism was unwarranted and out of line. Wales is a great country with a great people, that have been let down by a political establishment that has kept it down, and poor. I was filled with joy when wales (very narrowly) voted for home rule in 1997, I thought it was a great chance to release that great potential that the Welsh people had. In the past Wales was known for many great exports besides coal. It was teachers, Wales was (and is) known for her great teachers.All over England you will find clumps of teachers in her schools educating England's kids. However there is something wrong in Wales. Devolution promised us great hope, we given structural funds from the EU to build this great country of ours, and what happened to it, and more so what has happened to our education? Blame the Tory cuts cry Labour! Yet what about before the Tories were in power, who do you blame then. Whether it was Russell Goodwage blaming Rhodri Morgan for Cardiff's misfortunes in 2004 (his almost losing his seat I think), loads of money wasted and people in my own home still living in dire poverty with no hope. Money would have been better spent teaching people to be creative, creating businesses, instead they teaching them still to be dependent. And what is happening in my own community? A library that is only 25 years old, and was hailed in nationwide publications in the UK is going to be closed and demolished. And is provision shoved into some ugly Nissan hut that leaks with inadequate heating and air conditioning in the name of saving money, and finally the medieval church that stood on the hill For hundreds of years that was neglected and betrayed by Cardiff Council who promised the people of Caerau that they would take care of it, is ready to fall down. That is symbolic of what is happening in Wales.
however I come back to my former friend and answer his criticism of what is better? I will tell him, the company that I used to work for in Dodge City has now introduced a policy that if you are sick even for one day and don't have a doctor's note then you are terminated. That would not Happen in Wales. I had the temerity to suggest a union there, and they cut my hours (and I think contrived my termination there) Wales is definitely one up on that. The other and most important is healthcare. I took my daughter to get her sight examined some time ago, for nothing, that would happen back there. Yes healthcare is important, and at least we can get it without getting bankrupt, that is why Wales for all our problems is paradise, and we love it, and we should not have to leave it!