Respect for one’s betters

Interesting to see it confirmed that Maggie Jones, the woman who lost the safest Labour seat in Wales, is to take a place in the House of Lords.
She is one of 23 new working life peers and will become a baroness.
Defeated in Blaenau Gwent when Peter Law went Independent, Jones says she is being rewarded for her service to the trade union Unison.
“I am really pleased to have this opportunity to speak up for working class people in the Lords,” she told BBC Good Morning Wales.
And I’m sure the dear old working class are so glad to have you there, your ladyship.

Meanwhile, a survey reveals the Welsh to be the “most God-fearing in the UK”.
The Easter survey shows that despite a decline in numbers going to chapel and church, people in Wales are most likely to worship and to take the Bible as a reliable guide on how to live their lives.
What with the fire and brimstone of the pulpit on one side and self-important trade unionists in ermine on the other, it is sometimes difficult to know in which direction one should doff one’s hat first.

With the new series of Doctor Who starting this Saturday it is timely to report from the show’s recent preview at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.
Labour AM Leighton Andrews reports on his blog that Welsh Tory leader Nick Bourne was heard to comment during proceedings: “It’s the highlight of my life: I’ve just been recognised by a Dalek.”
Now I know these creatures are just cold-blooded automatons intent on bringing misery to the universe… but it’s still nice to see a Tory having a good time. Boom-boom.

The Welsh in Spain


For those interested in Welsh links to the Spanish Civil War, there is an article on Alun Menai Williams in April’s Military History magazine which is now in all good bookshops (as they say).
I’m presently working with Alun on a book about the Battle of the Ebro. It’s a follow up to his engrossing memoir From The Rhondda To The Ebro.
Alun, who recently celebrated his 93rd birthday, is one of only two surviving Welsh International Brigaders. Until recently it was thought he was the only Welsh-born survivor.
However, during the last few months I’ve had the honour of meeting and interviewing Bob Peters, another Welshman who fought against Franco.
His story, A Bullet Saved My Life, is due to be published by Warren & Pell in July around the time of the 70th anniversary of the start of the civil war.