politics

Cribarth

November 13, 2016 0 Comments
Cribarth

It’s the morning of the Pumpkinification of Donald Trump.  Three of us have fled the bloggers, tweeters and trolls, to the head of Cwm Tawe.  We park in Ystradgynlais, near Ysgol Golwg y Cwm, and walk up to the track of the old Swansea Vale Railway.  This and the Brecon and Neath Railway it connects with […]

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Y £5 newydd: ymlaen i’r gorffennol

October 23, 2016 2 Comments
Y £5 newydd: ymlaen i’r gorffennol

Yr wythnos ddiwethaf cyrhaeddodd fy mhapur pum punt newydd cyntaf.  Ychydig ddyddiau cyn hynny derbyniais i trwy’r post The new Fiver, taflen (uniaith Saesneg – er bod fersiwn Cymraeg ar gael) gan Fanc Lloegr sy’n ceisio esbonio’r newid a rhoi cysur i’r cyhoedd. Rhaid imi gyfaddef, yn anaml iawn y byddwn i’n aros am eiliad […]

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A curious traveller in north Wales

August 20, 2016 0 Comments
A curious traveller in north Wales

There’s an excellent collaborative research project in train at the moment, led by Bangor University, called European travellers to Wales.  Its workers are busy unearthing accounts by tourists – writers and artists – from the Continent who visited Europe between 1750 and 2010.  At the same time another project, Curious travellers: Thomas Pennant and the […]

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A small room in south London

August 17, 2016 2 Comments
A small room in south London

An early morning in late summer.  Light from a cloudy sky falls evenly into the small room from the window on the left, under a partly closed roller blind.  No particular object inside is highlighted, each is democratically equal.  The floor is made of narrow, carefully fitted wooden boards.  There’s no carpet, no rug.  Opposite […]

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The debate about Mytilene: a short footnote on Brexit

July 16, 2016 2 Comments
The debate about Mytilene: a short footnote on Brexit

In 428 BC, three years into the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies, the city of Mytilene on the Aegean island of Lesbos decides to secede from the Athenian empire. The oligarchic rulers of Mytilene fear that what independence they still have – unlike other states they had retained their navy […]

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The case of Sir Martin Sorrell

April 24, 2016 1 Comment
The case of Sir Martin Sorrell

From time to time the world of big business suffers a flurry of concern about the remuneration of chief executives.  Recently shareholders of the advertising company WPP worked themselves into a mini-lather about the pay of the company’s boss, Sir Martin Sorrell. Sorrell’s annual salary is £1,5000,000.  In March this year he gained a share award […]

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The destruction of culture: a plea to Swansea Council

March 13, 2016 7 Comments
The destruction of culture: a plea to Swansea Council

What makes a city a city?  I mean, in the sense of a particular, distinctive city.  Its people, certainly, its geography, landscape and architecture, also its economy and politics.  But what really sets a city apart from its neighbours is its culture – that network of traditions, customs, institutions and habits, most of them with […]

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Brexit: a Martian sends a postcard home

March 7, 2016 2 Comments
Brexit: a Martian sends a postcard home

My dearest brothers and sisters, It is two years since you did me the honour of despatching me on a voyage across the solar seas to inspect what the Britons call their ‘mother of parliaments’. I must own that, reviewing my previous report to you, I cannot absolve myself of an embarrassing naïveté about this […]

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Sport is not the answer

December 19, 2015 0 Comments
Sport is not the answer

According to the NHS Britain is the most obese nation in western Europe. A quarter of adults are obese. Levels of obesity have risen threefold on thirty years, and if trends continue half the population will be obese by 2050. Diabetes, heart disease and cancer are just a few of the diseases that can follow […]

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The Home Rule All Round movement

November 28, 2015 0 Comments
The Home Rule All Round movement

To get a swift appreciation of the whole sweep of Welsh history for a current project, I’ve been re-reading John Davies’s great Hanes Cymru / A history of Wales (rev. ed. 2007). It’s a big book but the pleasure of reading it is even bigger. Especially when you pause in your reading to remember John […]

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