Fighting Austerity’s ‘New Wave’
After the Johnson administration’s cynical conciliation with the ‘Red Wall’, and the punitive overcorrection of the Truss disaster, austerity has once again assumed its central place in British politics. The Tory government warns of ‘difficult decisions’ and ‘spending reductions’1 the Labour front bench stresses the need to be ‘fiscally disciplined’; the press predicts a ‘new wave of…
Transphobia and the Break-Up of Britain
It should come as no surprise that the UK’s most visible victimisation of a marginalised group at present – the war on trans rights – should become so intertwined with the fight to suppress secessionist movements in the state’s peripheries.
The popularity of the Welsh language
The Welsh language appears to be very popular these days. Particularly thanks to this year’s World Cup, where the FAW’s adoption of ‘Yma O Hyd’ has helped catapult Cymraeg to a degree of prominence hitherto unforeseen, prompting a curiosity about Welsh culture and history that reaches far beyond this country’s borders.
No more princes, no more masters
In the days following the death of Elizabeth II, it would appear that Wales is far from immune from the hysteria surrounding the British monarchy’s transition from one figurehead to another.
Preaching to the Choir
It’s bizarre that there is widespread shock at this forthright admission of zeal for class war and wealth transference, for such sentiments are demonstrated acutely in every political project the Tories have embarked upon since 2010.
Imagining the thereafter, abolishing the present
If the central imperative of revolution – in its immediate phase – is to upturn wholesale the existing Order of Things, then no concepts or structures are immutable.
The deeply embedded discontentment in the collective unconscious of British culture is plainly palpable in all aspects of life in this country.
United in fragments
Only now, as the crisis phase of the pandemic fades, can we begin to comprehend the full scale of its catastrophe.
The toponyms of a region contain within them much more than a mere etymology: they also form a system of signs, a web of interconnected meanings through which we can chart societal processes.
Further notes on parliamentary sleaze and the meanings of politics
The activities of Parliament and its members, rather than being the sphere in which the distribution of the sensible is contested and defined, is instead the very place whose performances enacts its own erasure.
Political Corruption Only Hints at The Misery Caused by The State
While lobby journalists have been enraptured by politicians receiving undue influence from private interests at the expense of democratic popular consent, the underlying causes and wider consequences of this misconduct remains largely obscured.
Covid realism and the spectacle of death
I noted while walking the streets this Halloween that the collective totems of horror and fear no longer primarily invoke the supernatural, but adopt an altogether more corporeal form.
Washed Up on Severnside: Life, Work and Capital on the Border of South-East Wales
Let us 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 national churn
The British-nationalist Right’s use of digital platforms is already well documented, but perhaps relatively under-examined is the extent to which that other transgressive tendency in Welsh politics – the liberal-left independence movement – is beholden to the structures of online organising.
A Wales for all
Solidarity to all those currently receiving targeted abuse and harassment from far-right ghouls, simply for attempting to forward the idea that a Welsh independence movement should necessarily be grounded in egalitarian principles.
Even In Labour-Dominated Wales, The Tory Restructuring Of The Electorate Is Real
Following years of overeager pundits predicting that this Senedd election would signal an epochal political rupture, perhaps the most notable aspect of last week’s trip to the polls is that ultimately, hardly anything changed.
Whatever the result, the Senedd elections cannot curb the UK’s increasing authoritarianism
As expected, rather than producing conditions conducive to an immediate political rupture, the coronavirus crisis has instead presented the Tory Westminster government with an opportunity to convert their unwarranted triumphalism and jingoistic hubris into a brutal reconsolidation of power.
Review – #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country
Any worthwhile political project today must contend with the irreversible destruction that the inexorable expansion of capital has wrought on our planet. Unwittingly or not, this is the discursive milieu into which #futuregen inserts itself, with Jane Davidson’s memoir-cum-manifesto passionately positing itself as testament to Wales’ contribution to the mitigation of global ecological collapse. In…
Finding IndyWales’ postcapitalist desire
After suffering helplessly under a Tory austerity that the people of Wales have never consented to, a true popular front is emerging in which most liberal-left activists, organisations and campaign groups appear willing to countenance the efficacy of ‘IndyWales’ as a vehicle for progressive political change.
Where next after the Tory Brexit power grab?
As the Tories try to push ahead with Brexit in the midst of a pandemic with their Internal Market Bill, they have launched an assault on devolution as a means of getting what they want from a future trade deal.
White Wales and Black Lives Matter
Despite protestations to the contrary, the structural imbalance of the Welsh public sphere can easily lead to situations where even a simple misunderstanding can reinforce some of the worst tropes latent in our collective culture.
Wales beyond borders: nationalism and the climate crisis
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.
The British Virus
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…
Solving problems the Welsh way
So, after a year of chaos and misery for workers in Gwent, there is some suggestion that perhaps removing the tolls from the Severn Bridges was a terrible idea after all. A familiar story of capital ruining the lives of helpless workers.
The Election That Never Took Place
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.
Unserious ideas for serious times
It’s a familiar melancholy, seeing Jeremy Corbyn, like Leanne Wood before him, becoming a more radical yet more marginalised voice within his party, post-leadership. Both were deemed to have failed electorally by their internal detractors, but achieved far more than they’ll ever be given credit for.
New Solidarities in 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…
Chartists in the Newport Afterlife
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…
On the renaming of the National Assembly
‘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. It is incredibly patronising to suggest that having one Welsh-language name makes it difficult for people to understand the Welsh Assembly’s purpose.
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.
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.
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. Gan fod y ddau fudiad wedi ennyn ymateb tebyg o safbwynt gwleidyddiaeth hil ac effeithiolrwydd eu tactegau, mae’n werth ystyried pa mor fedrus y bydd ein ‘mudiad cenedlaethol’…
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. 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.
Devolution and its misrepresentations
There are criticisms that Jeremy Corbyn 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.
Adam Price – Wales: The First and Final Colony
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…
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. This is, evidently, a gravely unhealthy situation for the rump democracy that is the devolved Welsh state.
Y cyfryngau amgen: ceffyl pren Troea?
Waeth i ni gydnabod un gwirionedd sylfaenol ar y dechrau un: nid oes unrhyw beth cynhenid Gymreig am y cyfryngau cyfrwng Saesneg yng Nghymru ac ni cheir ychwaith y fath beth â chyhoeddfan neu fywyd cyhoeddus penodol Gymreig trwy gyfrwng y Saesneg. Mae hon yn sefyllfa ddifrifol ar gyfer y gweddillion democrataidd a adwaenwn fel y wladwriaeth…
Anti-Welsh bigotry isn’t just symbolic: it’s a crisis of British capitalism
It’s been almost impossible to ignore the recent rise of anti-Welsh bigotry in the UK’s popular consciousness. It’s detectable as a ‘structure of feeling’ in post-Brexit discourse, a cultural expression that’s palpable but not fully articulated.
Eight Weeks That Transformed British Politics
Of all the strategists, ideologues and ‘outriders’ involved in Labour’s 2017 UK General Election campaign, you could be forgiven for being unaware of the contribution of Steve Howell, who served as Jeremy Corbyn’s Deputy Executive Director of Strategy and Communications.
The independence movement can’t afford to be ‘apolitical’ if it wants to create a better Wales
With the appetite for Welsh independence apparently gaining traction, there are growing calls to depoliticise the movement in an effort to broaden the discussion and ‘widen the debate’. While the desire to foster a greater interest and enthusiasm for independence is commendable, this can’t come at the cost of neglecting the political, social, ethical problems…
Detoxifying Welsh Labour
For the first time in living memory, the opportunity to build a mass socialist movement within the UK feels possible, and it could even be on the cusp of obtaining state power. Yet despite the leftward shift of the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, in Wales it’s hard to be filled with much enthusiasm.
The future is asemic
The most pressing issue of alternative politics today is how to establish even the possibility of conceptualising (and later actualising) a different way of organising society. When neoliberal capitalism has successfully assimilated into itself all means of cultural production, it becomes almost futile to articulate an alternative.
Politics and art in a post-factual age
This is, we are told, a ‘post-factual age’. The EU referendum has seen myth collide with fact, and myth has won to devastating effect. It has been said that the UK has ‘had enough of experts’, and such a situation has proven to be fertile ground for a politics based on untruth.