On the renaming of the National Assembly

The Welsh Government wants to give the National Assembly for Wales a new bilingual name instead of a Welsh-only moniker.”

This shouldn’t be what ‘bilingualism’ is. ‘Bilingualism’ should have the confidence to give our institutions one name that everybody is empowered to use; not concocting a situation whereby two languages live parallel lives and never intersect.

Continue reading “On the renaming of the National Assembly”

Wales’ Progressive Alliances

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. While often crudely labelled as a ‘populism’ in which the left and right are equal actors, what we are actually seeing here is the struggle for revived and emergent political movements to channel widespread-yet-inchoate demands into a tangible mandate for government.

(Full article article available via New Socialist)

Senedd’s Welsh-only name speaks to us all

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. We believe that giving our democratic body in Wales a Welsh name would send a message that the Welsh language belongs to everyone regardless of their background.

(Signatory of an open letter published in the Western Mail)

From the Archive: Poetry Wales Winter 1968

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. We have our own literary culture, separate from and subversive to that which threatens it.

Full article available in Poetry Wales Spring 2019

Tu hwnt i ffiniau: Cenedlaetholdeb a’r argyfwng hinsawdd

Yn y misoedd diwethaf, ar hyd ac ar led Cymru, daeth dau fudiad protest gwahanol ond rhyng-gysylltiedig i’r amlwg, gan ddod at ei gilydd yn ein prifddinas. Y cyntaf yw’r adain Gymreig i’r mudiad rhyngwladol Extinction Rebellion a fu allan ar y stryd yn protestio ym Mawrth ac Ebrill eleni, pan ddaeth ymgyrchwyr a disgyblion ysgol i’r Senedd i fynnu bod Llywodraeth Cymru’n cyhoeddi ‘argyfwng hinsawdd’. Yna fis Mai, cafwyd Gorymdaith dros Annibyniaeth ‘All Under One Banner’ yng nghanol dinas Caerdydd. Dyma’r digwyddiad mwyaf amlwg a fu hyd yn hyn gan y mudiad Cymreig diweddar dros annibyniaeth.

(Full article available via O’r Pedwar Gwynt)

The Brexit Party and The Independent Group: the crisis of signification

The Brexit Party, Nigel Farage’s latest political vehicle, are apparently dominating the voting intention polls for the upcoming European Elections. Cue shock and outrage. How could this be? How could a party usurp their immediate ancestor, UKIP, a party built through twenty years of creeping cryptofascism, seemingly overnight? Rather than descending into amateur psephology, let’s keep it simple: if The Brexit Party are to be successful, it will be because they are called The Brexit Party.

Continue reading “The Brexit Party and The Independent Group: the crisis of signification”

Devolution and its misrepresentations

As is the case whenever he mentions a devolved policy area, there’s a lot of handwringing going on about this tweet from Jeremy Corbyn regarding the National Health Service(s) in the UK:

There are criticisms that he is misrepresenting who is actually ‘in charge’ of healthcare –a devolved issue — throughout the UK, and accusations that he ‘only cares about England’. There are grains of truth here, but it’s worth interrogating these criticisms further.

Obviously it’s important to point out what policy areas are devolved: low political literacy is one of the biggest challenges we face in Wales. It’s also true that Westminster Labour are guilty of frequently disingenuously misrepresenting devolved issues.

But it’s also disingenuous to criticise Corbyn for talking about the Tories ruining the NHS. Because, devolved or not, Tory austerity is ultimately responsible for the difficulties in funding universal healthcare in Wales.

Continue reading “Devolution and its misrepresentations”

Adam Price – Wales: The First and Final Colony

Jacques Ranciere’s Aesthetics and its Discontentssuggests that ‘the exploited rarely require an explanation of the laws of exploitation’, and that ‘the dominated do not remain in subordination because they misunderstand the existing state of affairs but because they lack confidence in their capacity to transform it.’ In Adam Price’s Wales: The First and Final Colony,the newly-elected Plaid Cymru leader diagnoses various such laws of exploitation imposing themselves upon the people of Wales, and identifies a lack of confidence as the prime reason for this continued plight. Yet his insistence on explaining the precise method of national subordination, along with his method of delivery, ultimately undermines his message.

(Full article available in Issue 62 of the welsh agenda)

Democratising the Welsh alternative media

Before we start, let us accept a basic truth: there is nothing inherently Welsh about the Welsh media, and there is no such thing as a Welsh public sphere. The extent and consequences of this have been ably documented and analysed countless times, but to summarise: the average Welsh resident goes through their day learning almost nothing of the political machinations that govern their lives, be that their local council, the Welsh Assembly, or the UK government in Westminster. This is, evidently, a gravely unhealthy situation for the rump democracy that is the devolved Welsh state.

(Full article available via Undod in English and in Welsh. Based on an article originally published by O’r Pedwar Gwynt.)