It would be wrong to blame the police for the worrying number of Islamic extremists in Cardiff as highlighted in the national press. The question is who is to blame for allowing an atmosphere in which religious fascism spouted by extremists can thrive?
For too long politicians, charities, minority groups and others such as health and education officials have all known about forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and oppressive attitudes towards gays, women and so-called non-believers. Yet there has been an abject failure to speak out, let alone take any action. Worse, many of these same people have been quick to denounce as "racist" anyone who has raised concerns - as I know from my own personal experience.
From across the political, religious and ethnic spectrum we should unite to say loudly and clearly that Britain welcomes anyone of any colour or religion who works hard and respects our traditions. But there is no place for those who come with primitive and backward views which they then seek to impose on others. These people should be shown the door and the sooner the better.
The Welsh NHS - or rather those running it - continues to let down patients. I have been approached by two women in separate towns in Monmouthshire. They have found lumps in their breasts but were told they would have to wait up to two months to see a specialist. Weeks of stress during which cancer could be developing would never be tolerated in England. Why do we put up with a second class service in Wales?
What do we think about motorway service stations? An industry insider has pointed out to me that fuel should be cheaper than in a garage because it is much easier to run a tanker up and down a motorway than through a busy town. He also suggested some companies dominate certain motorways - a claim I am checking. I have noticed that many now charge high fees for anyone wanting to grab a quick nap in a car. I tried stopping in the middle of the night recently at three services to get a bed and was told they were full (something which I doubt). I have no problem with service stations making a profit but I’m concerned they sometimes use their position in a manner that is unfair.
It was another great weekend in Monmouthshire with crowds lining the roads to see the British Cycling National Championships. As well as providing fantastic entertainment, it will hopefully encourage people to take up the sport.
*Published in the South Wales Argus on 30 June 2014*