Firms losing out in 'wired-less' areas
SIR - Congratulations to the citizens of Cardiff who will soon be able to connect wirelessly to broadband services in the capital.
Spare a thought though for those less fortunate citizens of Wales who are denied the advantages of the World Wide Web and the Welsh businesses who find themselves at a competitive disadvantage as they are located in "Wired less" areas.
Cilcennin is a small hamlet in rural Cardiganshire connected to a digitally enabled exchange but too far from it to permit broadband access. Indeed the telecoms infrastructure is so poor that some are happy to connect via dial-up modem at speeds of up to 20kbs with frequent interruptions.
Connections at such speeds are not conducive to the operation of modern business and the 20 businesses in the area are excluded from the benefits of e-commerce, placing them at a commercial disadvantage.
They, however, are lucky. There are now no BT lines available in the area while a number of residents, who cannot receive broadband, have not been reimbursed for the broadband equipment they purchased.
Congratulations once again to Cardiff but who will help those areas discriminated against due to their location?
Cilcennin BT Action Group
God help us
SIR - Being something of an ambivalent, a floating voter, I followed the creationism versus evolution debate with interest.
Half my brain says that there must be a God, a power that is way beyond the understanding of humanity's basic, starter-pack intelligence - and that includes Iolo ap Gwynn (Letters, May 16) - whilst the other half believes that we're all here through some extraordinary stroke of luck and evolution, the equivalent of my winning a lottery jackpot every time I buy a ticket.
I'm attracted towards evolution - although asset-poor my Mam insisted I was born lucky - except that no one can explain what there was before the Big Bang. Now I did read that scientists can create a little bang out of nothing - but hang on, if someone is there observing it all - yes, you're ahead of me already.
But why would God create something that is a threat to everything else on the planet? Yet again, if evolution is so clever, why has Mother Nature allowed such a desperately dangerous species to evolve into such a powerfully evil thing?
So I'm still confused. In the meantime I shall continue to believe that there is a God, and if I'm wrong, no harm done - but if I'm right, boy oh boy, I shall be way ahead of the game.
Finally, for all you great thinkers out there, including Iolo, the devil of a conundrum: you don't need to be a natural-born anthropologist or ethologist to observe that humanity is becoming increasingly and alarmingly unbalanced - from your unfriendly neighbourhood Asbo, via Tony Blair's Flying Circus, to the handful of the most powerful and dangerous individuals on the planet.
Now if, as evolutionists insist, God is removed from the age-old equation Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat - Whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad - then to whom or what do we attribute our collective and burgeoning doolallyness?
Draining our supply
SIR - The Welsh nation has very few natural resources left after years of exploitation for the benefit of the UK economy.
But, we do have an abundant water supply. Now it is being suggested that this also be used to prop up the overheated south-east of England.
Inevitably the standpipes will be loaded on a lorry in London and transported down to Wales for our use.
As water is now a privatised commodity we in Wales will have little influence on this scenario.
If this happens there must be compensation to the Welsh water users who are deprived so that the south-east's residents can fill their private swimming pools.
Other suppliers have to pay consumers if their supply is interrupted for more than a specified period.
If the suppliers of water in Wales go down this track there must be a payment scheme for Welsh consumers who miss out and that payment must be punitive.
Water's worth more
SIR - I agree with the principle of a national transfer of water. Water transfer within Wales qualifies but transfer to another country, say England, is an international transfer not a national one and so should be paid for.
In the past, Wales' precious resources of coal, iron and slate were exploited not for the benefit of Wales plc. The profits were transferred out of the country.
Water is probably the second most important resource for maintaining life on our planet - oxygen being the first, I suggest.
Those who argue that it is important that it should be exported free might wish to use the same argument with Middle East countries and the oil companies, seeking from them free oil, as they have plenty and we are short of it. Any bets on the answer?
Our water should be a national resource sold at the market rate. So what is a market rate?
It is usually defined as the price a willing seller will sell to a willing buyer when there is a perfect market of several sellers and several buyers.
But again does this apply to oil? You bet it doesn't.
The price of oil is what the monopolies can screw out of the consumer.
If we applied oil economics to our Wales water, Wales would soon be a very rich country. Wales plc would be a leading Celtic tiger. And why not?
Just remember we can live without oil but not without water for more than a few days.
Kikuyu not corrupt
SIR - As a former teacher in Kenya and a Kikuyu learner I take great exception to Roy Carpenter's outdated and misrepresentative claim that "corruption is part of Kikuyu culture" (Corrupt Kenya, May 22).
Bribing by officials is common in airports across the global south. This is no reflection of Kikuyu culture but a common feature of public life in historically young and poor countries where state-society relations work very differently to ours. Kenyatta's Facing Mount Kenya is not the sole Kikuyu guide as Mr Carpenter suggests. Kenyatta was as divisive as he was uniting among the Kikuyu.
Mr Carpenter would do well to read the works of Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, S. B Leakey or Binyavanga Wainaina for a wider appreciation of the wealth and diversity of Kikuyu culture, which is not "corrupt".
Today visitors to this magnificent country will not be paying any bribes at Jomo Kenyatta airport.
Comforts of a coach
SIR - Recently I travelled by Arriva bus from Aberystwyth to Cardiff and was astounded to discover that it was a service bus and not a coach.
Given that the journey takes four hours it is outrageous that the passengers are expected to endure such a high level of discomfort.
The bus is on two levels, has no seatbelts despite some of the seats being of the "flip down" variety, very little room for luggage and there were no comfort stops.
Anyone with children would be foolhardy to put them at risk on such a bus, and the elderly would find it very uncomfortable.
Given that this is the only mode of public transport travelling through from Aberystwyth to Cardiff I think it should be a proper coach, the same as the Swansea and Merthyr services.
The Welsh Assembly is subsidising Arriva, I understand - so presumably they find this situation acceptable.
Vale of Glamorgan
Sing out, players
ould Gareth Jenkins, as part of his new Welsh language battle plan, please teach the Welsh team to sing the National Anthem?
Watching players before a game not even attempting to sing is painful, and one cannot imagine how they have the energy to play!
Playing for one's country is one of Wales' greatest honours and to be able to sing with pride your country's anthem - well, what a battle plan!
Welsh stays in class
Tryst Williams is wrong (Opinion, May 25). By the time his son Hydref reaches adulthood, the "Welshness of Wales" will not have increased beyond recognition.
There will simply be more children aged five to 16 being given Welsh lessons in schools.
The percentage of them who will actually make significant use of the language outside the classroom is another matter altogether.
Gwenllian Morgan Court,
Weigh up leaders
SIR - Under the Freedom of Information Act our children should be told the weight and waist measurement of all our MPs, AMs and SMPs.
Origin of eggs
SIR - The Red Dragon on the eggs surely specifies the country of origin. That can't be wrong.