Washed Up on Severnside: Life, Work and Capital on the Border of South-East Wales

Let us first acknowledge that the industrial history of the Severn Estuary’s urban sprawl provides an indicative snapshot of the entire historical trajectory of capitalist production: the commodification of natural resources for private profit, the exploitation of labour and the crushing of its organised resistance, and a post-industrial ruination when such forms of wealth extraction are no longer expedient. More recently, we can also observe phenomena commensurate with the neoliberal phase of this trajectory: the shrinking of the state and the consequences of the full marketisation of social relations (the casualisation of labour, the gentrification of communities, the privatisation of key services, and so on).

Full essay available in The Welsh Way: Essays on Neoliberalism and Devolution, published by Parthian Books