It is always nice to have a letter. When I say always, it might be stretching it a little. Of course those household bills and tax demands are to be avoided at all costs. With a bit of luck, the dog, if you have one, will intercept that junk mail and dispose of it through their regurgitative system.
Today, Friday (Apr 26) it was the turn of my son to intercept the post, (later and later these days).
A large white envelope (not brown before you cast aspersions) arrived through the door at Chez Wales News Online.
There buried within was a wheel type thing, one you may have made as a child to see who liked which colour, pop group and whatever else entertained the urchins of the council estates across the land before the onslaught of the Internet.
The wheel gave information on us as the people of Wales. How many of us take exercise, use the Internet, eat 5 a day, speak Welsh, use libraries or are happy with life. Well that’s nil point for most of those ticked negative. The results of this National Survey (I can’t remember having completed) state that:
85/100 use the internet
33/100 use libraries
70/100 are in good health
23/100 get their 5 a day
53/100 do regular exercise
19/100 speak Welsh
82/100 are happy with life
Make of that what you will. There are some great story lines there. It seems that we Welsh are Internet loving, half fit, poorly read, in reasonable health, not keen on volunteering or fruit and veg and with a hatred of speaking Welsh but happy with life in general.
Given that so much money is being spent and will be spent on the Welsh language or getting us to speak it at least, the results may not please the Taffia in Cardiff Bay. The 82/100 happy with life will because they are guaranteed to hold on to their jobs as a result. Unhappy people make jittery voters (non scientific research used).
Another story line might be questions over why a package as well put together and as expensive is sent through the mail with the invite to take part in a National Survey for Wales in return for £10.
Now I am not knocking Dr Steven Marshall the author of the letter and custodian of a large amount of money (20,000 households chosen) willing to dispose of to anyone willing to take part. The package sent would have cost a small fortune alone.
What Dr Marshall asks for is for someone from Chez Wales News Online to take part in an interview to tell the Welsh Government what one thinks of health, schools, sports and council services.
Forgive me for believing that we have councillors, rural, town and county, AM’s and MP’s for this very purpose. Don’t they have any of this information and for that matter they probably have an office quite close to Dr Marshall so they could drop a few post its on his desk with something to the effect of; Ray Jones from Sandy Road says that the local residents are suffering from asthma and bronchitis as a result of the traffic issues and the chaos is in part to blame on over development and cack-handed planning, locating a school in an area where there is only one small road in and one small road out. Perhaps they could visit the twitter feed of the notorious blogger on council issues Jacqui Thompson or prolific tweeter on planning issues Patricia Breckman. Our guess (and it is a guess) is that people will do what they normally do with large letters like this and add to the recycling profit and loss sheet of the local environmental depot.
Of course there will be some (like Mrs Wales News Online) who relishes the prospect of a free tenner for simply sitting in front of a civil servant or at least one of their lackeys and answering a few questions.
Here at Wales News Online we would like to offer you a pre-emptive chance to let the Welsh Government know what you think. We can’t offer a tenner but we can publish the best responses and put it before a rather large number of people for their observations. I dare say that it might be seen by the hoi-polloi in government. We are told that they do log on to the website from time to time.
So in no particular order. Send us your views on;
Keep it brief and to the point and don’t forget those five a day. We really need to get that figure up.
Dr Marshall, Wales News Online salutes you. Please forward the tenner ASAP (white envelope preferable).