In the two previous articles in this series of three, I discussed the weaknesses of the political order in Wales. The first analysed the quietism of our political culture under the shadow of partisanship, and the second discussed the underlying trends that render our politicians so averse in practice to the radicalism they preach. In this third essay I would like to try to shed light on the hinterland of these discussions, namely the relationship between Wales and Britain, and particularly with our neighbour, England. A well-worn observation is that Wales cannot be understood without this context. But a more…

The Withering of “Welshness”

‘Smelling out a Rat’ by James Gillray, 1790 — An Image of Richard Price © Trustees of the British Museum

In a previous essay, I wrote about the political quietism that afflicts the Welsh political culture of Labour’s one-partyism, and how this has become an even more pronounced problem during this current crisis. Since then, with anxiety increasing, conditions worsening, and anger rising, there has been a noticeable change in tone and language in our public sphere. The most infamous example was not the type we may have hoped for. Vaughan Gething’s reference to fellow MS Jenny Rathbone was revealing — not least because it disclosed an aspect of the political quietism I had not referred to, namely its macho…

Cover Image: Antigone (La Petite Vermillon) — Jean Anouilh

No doubt all of us have been trying to make sense of recent events in Wales, as we face what is hopefully, but not necessarily, a once-in-a-lifetime-crisis. For me, it is difficult not to witness the stresses and strains we are now experiencing without thinking about the internal contradictions of our very particular political order — one characterised by what commentators like to call ‘one-partyism’ (more of that in a moment).

During these reflections my mind has meandered more than once to the tragedy of Antigone.

Why think of her, you may ask?

Well, the crux of her tale is…

Huw L Williams

Academic. Cymraeg. Politics of the Left. Philosophy. Bois y Dole.

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