Given that the climate catastrophe will soon necessarily envelope all political movements, such is its scale, it is worth us considering how adept our ‘national movement’ will be at answering the questions that this crisis will ask of us.
Despite an apparent need for profound change to the way we live in order to overcome this extreme threat to society, any sense of proto-revolutionary fervour at the onset of the covid crisis soon dissipated.
The crisis caused by coronavirus has triggered an unprecedented moment of introspection. Amid a growing consensus that we can never return to what we once thought of as normal, we asked some of Wales’ leading thinkers to suggest a single idea we need to consider, address or implement once lockdown is lifted (Preview from Issue 64 of the welsh agenda)
When assessing the media coverage of December’s general election, it would be reasonable to conclude that the politics of Wales barely featured at all. This election has compounded just how powerless political parties are when attempting to foreground Wales.
There are numerous conflicting prognoses of Wales’ future, but in the present moment we know this much to be true: almost a third of children in Wales live in poverty; the rollout of the UK government’s latest punitive welfare regime will affect a third of Welsh households; a post-industrial plague of scarce, low-quality employment is leaving whole swathes of the country without basic means of survival.
To live and grow up in Newport is to be irrevocably intertwined with the historical forces that built this city. Symbols of the past are etched into the landscape: what we might call our ‘industrial heritage’ is all around us. But these totems are not fossilised relics, and they’re not engaged with passively: they’re the milieu of our everyday life.
If liberal politicians and media figures are to be believed, the most alarming phenomenon of contemporary British politics is an increasing polarisation and ‘political tribalism’, exacerbated on the right by the Brexit crisis, and on the left by the political possibilities introduced to popular discourse following Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.
We write as people who are not fluent Welsh-speakers to call on you to rename the National Assembly with the Welsh-only name “Senedd”. We, as much as other people, want to see the Welsh language flourish and wish to see and hear it in our daily lives.
If there’s a common thread running through Parthian’s four new collections, it is the relationship between the universal and the particular; specifically, the sense of community solidarity generated through shared surroundings and individual experiences.
It is as clear now as 50 years ago: Welsh literature of any mode will never attain any cultural capital within the wider UK. There is, however, an ironic power in this. While the fragility of a culture under perennial threat is obvious to anyone invested in it, that it holds no value for a wider hegemonic literary culture is the very element which makes it so vital.