politics

The Sicilian Expedition: a second Brexit footnote

February 3, 2019 0 Comments
The Sicilian Expedition: a second Brexit footnote

After the 2016 Brexit referendum I suggested that the historian Thucydides, in the fifth century BC, can help us to understand how democracies have the capacity to change their decisions on major policies – and both the capacity and the duty to do so when those decisions are clearly, in retrospect, unwise or disastrous.  A […]

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Writing for affect

January 26, 2019 0 Comments
Writing for affect

By accident I happened on four late-night radio voices discussing ‘consent’.  Their focus was Samuel Richardson’s 1740 novel-in-letters, Pamela; or, Virtue rewarded, and Martin Crimp’s current stage production at the National Theatre, When we have sufficiently tortured each other, which is based on chunks of Richardson’s lengthy book.  Both are tough reads, in the #MeToo […]

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Dilyn Iolo

January 13, 2019 0 Comments
Dilyn Iolo

Bore mwyn, di-haul o Ionawr, a dyma bedwar ohonon ni’n cychwyn ar Daith Gerdded Treftadaeth Iolo Morganwg.  Taith gylchol o ryw bedair milltir a hanner yw hon, un o gyfres o deithiau cerdded wedi’u dyfeisio gan Gyngor Bro Morgannwg, gyda help Valeways, Ramblers Bro Morgannwg a’r Undeb Ewropeaidd (cofio hwnnw?). Taith berffaith ar gyfer canol […]

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M4+: a road to nowhere

November 25, 2018 0 Comments
M4+: a road to nowhere

Two public issues overshadow all others. That’s because doing little or nothing about them puts our own existence in danger. They are our own warming of the earth’s environment (anthropogenic climate change) and our destruction of life on earth (loss of biodiversity). Very soon Members of the National Assembly of Wales may be asked to […]

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What’s wrong with BBC news?

November 17, 2018 6 Comments
What’s wrong with BBC news?

Nowadays I seldom choose to watch or listen to ‘national’ BBC news programmes. I’m certain I’m not alone, to judge from personal enquiries and listener statistics: the Today programme lost 800,000 listeners between August 2017 and August 2018. Some of this listener loss could be down to the changing shape of media – there are […]

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Cymru yn cynhesu

October 22, 2018 0 Comments
Cymru yn cynhesu

Ydy, mae’n digwydd Erbyn hyn does dim amheuaeth. Datganodd yr IPCC (UN International Panel on Climate Change) y mis yma fod tymheredd y blaned yn rhwym o godi’n sylweddol. Y brawddegau allweddol yn yr adroddiad yw’r rhain: Amcangyfrir bod gweithgareddau dynol wedi achosi tua 1.0°C o gynhesu byd eang yn uwch na lefelau cyn-ddiwydiannol … […]

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Carmarthen to Aberystwyth by train

August 17, 2018 5 Comments
Carmarthen to Aberystwyth by train

It’s our first time on the Gwili Railway – thanks to a nearly-three year old boy obsessed with trains, or, more accurately, steam locomotives.  We spend several hours pottering back and forth along the four mile track between the Railway’s current termini, Abergwili Junction and Danycoed, on two trains, one pulled by a steam engine, […]

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The Mundaneum

July 22, 2018 0 Comments
The Mundaneum

Until last week I’d never heard of the Mundaneum.  But it’s such an exceptional institution that it deserves to be much better known. To visit the Mundaneum as it is today you need to go the Wallonian city of Mons and search out the Rue de Nimy.  There, in an adapted department store, you’ll find […]

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Tories go to Hell

July 8, 2018 2 Comments
Tories go to Hell

After a week of poisonous anarchy among our Tory rulers it seems apt to give space to a cartoon in Welsh, issued in Llanrwst as a woodcut print in around 1834-36 (according to Peter Lord). The artist is James Cope. Almost nothing is known about him, except that he was born in Caernarfonshire in 1805 […]

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To Soweto by way of the Plough & Harrow

June 17, 2018 1 Comment
To Soweto by way of the Plough & Harrow

Of all the Great Causes we pursued back in our days of hope in the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was only one that came to an unambiguously good end: the abolition of apartheid in South Africa.  Wales was blessed with one of the most active Anti-Apartheid Movement organisations anywhere, and the cause united […]

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