Western Mail letters: Monday, October 28, 2019


So glad that Salem will stay in Wales

I was so pleased to read in Western Mail that the picture Salem will be staying in Wales. My late mother – who was born in 1896 – some time after her marriage in 1919 inherited a large copy of it. So I know it well. It originally came into the family by them collecting Sun soap wrappers.

I married and had two sons and as they grew up my mother would ask one of them once a year to take the picture down. She would then take it, with her sheet copy of Myfanwy, to the local chemist who always decorated his window for St David’s Day, even though he was a Scot.

My mother later gave the picture to my son, who had always liked it, so it was here in my house until he married. I had to regularly clean the glass because of all the fingers which tried to find the devil.

I had never heard or read why there should be a devil on the shawl, except from my mother who told me that Sian Owen went to chapel late (a sin in itself) so that she could show off her new shawl to everyone (yet another sin).

Mrs Lyn Prankerd


Candidates should all do majority’s bidding

If there is a general election, then I think that all prospective candidates should sign a legal document, committing themselves to abide by the will of the majority of their constituents, in decisions made such as referendums. Because currently the situation seems to be that our MPs are doing quite the opposite.

If they infringe what they have committed themselves to, then they should be ousted, and a by-election should be held.

The reason for my suggestion is the fact that we should have left membership of the European Union three-and-a-half years ago, but because of a bunch of self-interested MPs, we are still suffering the will of foreign parties. Let us bring back Democracy, and ditch reneging, self-interested individuals. Let us make Britain Great again!

Lyndon G Morgan

Gelli, Rhondda

So parliament has become an enemy?

So now it is Parliament that is a stranglehold on democracy. Used to be the EU. All a bit Alice in Wonderland. But interesting to see the Boris-view of history.

We were told it was Parliament that would ‘take back control’. Now seems we were mistaken. Apparently, it was the egotistical will of the Prime Minister and his cohort Dominic Cummings that was meant all the time.

This very evenly-split Parliament represents pretty exactly a very evenly-split nation. The Referendum to leave the EU was won by a tiny majority of just three-point-something per cent. Fewer than four people in every 100.

Yet it is still paraded as the Will of the People. It is the Will of Half the People. This is not a game of football where one goal, one million, decides the outcome for all time against all opposition. It is a mature democracy where MPs who represent the 17 + 16 people need to find a way through the tangled morass Brexit has become.

It is not a time for a general election. A general election is about party politics. Brexit has nothing to do with party politics. Both major parties are deeply split within themselves. We need something that can be put to the people so that we know if we are to be in or out.

Then we can have a general election to decide if, whichever way forward is decided, we will have it coloured Red or Blue. This is not a time for hectoring Parliament into having an election now.

In the PM’s Wonderland way with words, where they mean ‘what I mean them to mean’, he can say it is ‘reasonable’ to offer Parliament a couple of weeks of debate on Brexit in exchange for a general election at his specific and pretty swift time of choosing.

The BBC did not help the cause of honest communication in this matter when an interviewer asked a Labour MP why was Labour ‘running away from an election’. That is not ‘fair and balanced’ reporting. Why not ask why was the PM holding Parliament to ransom?

In any case, Labour is not the only party opposed to a general election. And few Conservative MPs would welcome campaigning in the cold of winter when people’s minds were turning to Christmas.

I am sure most would-be benevolent dictators would class their demands as a Wonderland ‘reasonable’.

I hope Parliament and the people of this country will have a more dictionary understanding of the word.

Jean Silvan Evans

Vale of Glamorgan

The way to tackle illegal immigration

illegal immigration and the consequent loss of life will continue so long as the high price of a ticket for the passage is perceived as a sound investment. This depends upon the prospects for gaining illegal employment, on the likelihood of being caught and the extent to which this would disrupt further employment, on being able to conserve much of the income from a very low wage by subsisting in housing conditions which should be regarded as unacceptable here and the ease with which the funds accumulated can be returned home.

The motivation could be weakened by action at every link in this chain. Employers of illegal labour could be jailed and their businesses closed down. Greater effort could be made to detect and apprehend illegal workers. They could then serve a term of imprisonment before being deported rather than simply being deported or bailed pending deportation, in either case to return speedily to illegal work. The minimum wage legislation could be supplemented or replaced by a minimum living standard, including housing, so it becomes illegal to use a work force living in this country in Third World conditions. The international transfer of money could be more tightly policed.

In reality, however, political interest in such immigration is only concerned with fobbing off and pacifying those of the public who object to it or with harnessing their anger to other purposes. Most of our political class is wedded to expanding the UK economy by growing the UK population through migration, to the benefit of those at the top end of society and the detriment of those at the bottom or who simply wish us to retain our country. Those politicians taking a different line are generally attracted by the prospect that the poor conditions for such migrants will ultimately turn them into left-leaning voters.

Business that are only viable with labour which is cheap to the employer (the ultimate cost being borne by others) should either close down or be offshored to poorer countries. They have no right to lure people here.

Simply punishing the illegal travel firms on those occasions when they are conspicuously negligent and incompetent is no answer to the problem.

John Riseley

Harrogate, Yorkshire

If nationalism is good, help the EU with it

I suggest that the hysterical and bigoted nationalism which we witness in the minds of supporters of international rugby and soccer has so changed the culture of Britain from what it was, to the degree where 25% of the adult voters, in matters such as politics, can never rise above childlike loyalty towards reasoned thought. “Britain first”, they call, in imitation of Donald Trump.

So Boris Johnson finds it easy to declare to his puppets that, since British laws and everything else are vastly better than foreign laws of the EU, that is a reason for the UK to break all previous valuable cooperation with 27 countries and become isolationist from any nation. That is Brexit, isolation, hoping that some nation wishes to cooperate with us.

But, if all these nationalists really believe that everything British is so superior, such as our laws, do we not have a duty to stay in the EU in order to raise all these nations to our lofty standards? Would it not be better for everyone, if we could establish the best laws, obviously British, across the world?

If British nationalists all believe we are so superior, those inferior folk all need us.

CN Wester man


Many thanks for re-opening the toilets

Grateful thanks and appreciation should be given to the taxi association, and the positive contribution from Blackwood Town Council on the re-opening of the toilets at Blackwood Bus Station.

Having submitted the 3000-name petition in March, all Blackwood Councillors and the whole Community were disappointed that this vital service was closed by the Council on April 1st.

On behalf of all residents this vital service should never have been withdrawn , and having had weekly complaints, I am so pleased for shoppers, vulnerable, elderly, disabled and young parents with their children.

The local community has come together, and again thank you to the partners involved in re-opening the toilets.

Cllr Kevin Etheridge


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