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News from Rob Mimpriss (2017)



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Poster advertising the publication of Halloween in the Cwm and A Book of Three Birds on 7th October 2017

Buy Halloween in the Cwm Buy A Book of Three Birds



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Slideshow

State of Wales logo Nation.Cymru logo

Some facts about Welsh independence, posted by Yantorbo Rob on Youtube; a clip from current affairs programme, Y Byd ar Bedwar, demonstrating the pressure, in this case deliberate, to which English incomers subject Wales’s national language and culture; and a brief video by Robin Williams reminds us of the Welsh Not and the cane, the two weapons that were used to Anglicise schoolchildren in Victorian and Edwardian Wales.

These articles also make the economic case for Welsh independence. One, by former Member of Parliament, Adam Price, in Huffington Post, explores the greater flexibility that smaller economies have over large, and a second, by Adam Price in Wales Online, suggests how an independent Wales can address its budget deficit; the third, by Gwynfor Evans, and recently republished by Bella Gwalia, argues that an independent Wales would adapt its economy to serve the needs of its people, and studies the objections that prevent that case from being made. Mike Hedges A.M. argues that Welsh independence would be less risky than Brexit, since its terms could be negotiated prior to a referendum, a series of articles on State of Wales explore Wales’s currency options as an independent state, and Dr John Ball of Swansea University, writing for the Institute of Welsh Affairs, reflects more generally on the economic structures that a Welsh state would need.

An article by John Dixon politely destroys the false dichotomy set by Carwyn Jones between the head and the heart, while warning us that Welsh democracy cannot be safeguarded within the British state; Adam Price reminds us of Wales’s status as an English colony; and an article on Politics by Rebuttal asks whether an independent Wales would be willing to give up its language, its natural resources, and its democracy, as conditions of accession to the United Kingdom. And Hannah Arendt, Amos Oz and Ernest Gellner offer thoughts on nationhood of relevance to Wales, after the jump.

Meanwhile, the Welsh government’s strategy to increase the number of Welsh-speakers to one million by the middle of the century, Cymraeg 2050, leads to accusations of child abuse in The Guardian and The Times which Ifan Morgan Jones describes as akin to racial prejudice; while research conducted by Roger Scully finds widespread support in Wales for policies to protect and preserve the Welsh language.


The last few chapters of Hannah Arendt’s book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, yield ideas of value to us in Wales. First, Arendt emphasises the relationship between civil liberty and the nation state, such that the emergent Republic of France proclaimed the Rights of Man and gave equal status to its Jewish population, because the nation state bases its authority on its right to treat all citizens as equals, regardless of ethnicity or creed. Hence, nationalism is by nature civic nationalism, and to apply the term ‘nationalism’ to the racist and imperialist movements of the last century is either to misunderstand the phenomenon, or to abuse the word.

But while the nation state, says Arendt, treats all its citizens alike, it also seeks the uniformity of a single national language and culture, and cannot tolerate indigenous minorities within its borders: it seeks to destroy the Slovenes in Hungary, the Germans in Romania, either through assimilation, or through genocide. Unconsciously, Arendt echoes the language of Matthew Arnold, supporting the decision of the UK parliament deliberately and utterly to annihilate Welsh culture as a means of destroying the will of the Welsh people to rule themselves, and to better themselves — the unhappy effects of which we still suffer in our impoverished and divided country. Hence, to speak, as Rhodri Morgan spoke, of Wales as a nation and of Britain as a nation, of being both Welsh and British with disadvantage to neither, to imagine a future for Wales in Britain which is more than a cultural, social and economic slow suicide, would be, in Arendt’s view, a terrible political mistake: Wales’s act of national stupidity — Wales’s Brexit.

Those for whom the word ‘Welsh nationalist’ automatically carries connotations of militarism, racism, and the hysterical love of the nation state might consider the following passage by Amos Oz (In the Land of Israel. 1983. Trans. by Maurie Goldberg-Bartura):

This is the place to make my first shocking confession — others will follow. I think that the nation state is a tool, an instrument, that is necessary for a return to Zion, but I am not enamoured of this instrument. The idea of the nation state is, in my eyes, “goyim naches” -- a gentiles’ delight. I would be more than happy to live in a world composed of dozens of civilisations, each developing in accordance with its own internal rhythm, all cross-pollinating one another, without any one emerging as a nation state: no flag, no emblem, no passport, no anthem. No nothing. Only spiritual civilisations tied somehow to their lands, without the tools of statehood, and without the instruments of war.

But the Jewish people has already staged a long-running one-man show of that sort. The international audience sometimes applauded, sometimes threw stones, and occasionally slaughtered the actor. No one joined us; no one copied the model the Jews were forced to sustain for two thousand years, the model of a civilisation without “the tools of statehood.” For me this drama ended with the murder of Europe’s Jews by Hitler. And I am forced to take it upon myself to play the “game of nations,” with all the tools of statehood, even though it causes me to feel (as George Steiner put it) like an old man in a kindergarten.

Finally, the philosopher Ernest Gellner in his book, Nations and Nationalism, explores the history of separatist nationalism as a response to the centralising and assimilationist policies that emerged in the historic nation states as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution. His thinking is summarised in the brief quote below:

The roots of nationalism in the distinctive structural requirements of of industrial society are very deep indeed. This movement is the fruit neither of ideological aberration, nor of emotional excess.... [It is] the external manifestation of a deep adjustment in the relationship between polity and culture which is quite unavoidable.’.



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Click to read a short story for Christmas: ‘Going South’ by Richard Hughes Williams, a story set in the slate quarries of Caernarfonshire, translated by Rob Mimpriss.



It’s money for nothing, mate; I sit here twiddling my thumbs. Anyway, I signed off your MOT, only don’t ask too many questions about the paperwork, says David Davis.



From 3rd December: Tory MP Heidi Allen, reduced to tears by Frank Field’s quietly moving account of the hunger and desperation to which Tory benefit reforms have reduced his constituents.



Posted by Josep Goded to Facebook: pictures taken of a unionist and a separatist protest in Catalonia, of which one, and one only, has been declared illegal by Madrid.



Hywel Williams MP writes for nation.cymru on Clause 11 of the EU Withdrawal Bill, and its potentially disastrous effects on Wales’s right to govern its own affairs.



Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony is a little like watching an articulated lorry attempt a three-point turn in a meadow.



A tweet by Andrew Neil: ‘OECD even more gloomy than OBR: forecasts higher unemployment, weakening economic growth, falling consumer confidence and collapse in investment. UK growth falls to 1.2% in 2018, 1.1% 2019, from only 1.5% for 2017 (1.8% in 2016). Largely down to Brexit, says OECD.’



Friday 1st December, 1-3pm, Canolfan Ucheldre, Caergybi: The Art of Fiction — A Creative Writing Workshop with Rob Mimpriss.

The art of fiction involves the balancing of two very different skills. On the one hand, we place our characters within a believable world, both natural and built, and within an economy and society which provides and limits our characters’ opportunities, and which they struggle against, or find their place within. On the other hand, we seek to explore the inner lives of our characters, and the stories, true or false, which they tell about themselves, as heroes, as victims or as villains. This seminar will draw on characters from Wales and America, the novel and the short story, to explore the ways in which realistic fiction can be enriched by the myths which are concealed within us all.

Entry: £5/£4 concessions. Hosted by Ucheldre Literary Society, with the financial support of Literature Wales.



A new deal for the people of Britain, outside the EU...



#ToryDeathToll: At least one in two hundred of the UK population are now homeless, according to figures published by Shelter and reported in The Guardian.



#ToryDeathToll: Tory austerities are linked to 120,000 deaths in England alone, according to research published in BMJ Open, reports the Independent.



‘The fear of a no-deal Brexit is the beginning of wisdom.’ Proverbs 9.10.



‘Three kinds enjoy the protection of God: the drunken, the simple, and those who still support Brexit.’ Talmud.



Andro Bater, on the situation in Wales and Catalonia: ‘The age old autonomy conundrum. You are free to do what we tell you. The democracy that you will get is the one that we will allow you. Your freedom is at our discretion.’



10th November 2017 — click to read an open letter to Theresa May: Amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill



3rd November 2017: In Catalonia, the imprisonment of political leaders is met with protests as crowds assemble city squares to bang noisily with pots and pans — a disruption that the government of Spain is quick to condemn as illegal.

And in a second-floor flat in Cardiff Bay, a few minutes’ walk from the Welsh Assembly, a householder briefly bangs a saucepan lid against the cooker, for the purpose of dislodging a small piece of boiled carrot that has stuck between the glass top and the stainless steel rim. Having removed it, the householder rinses the lid, and proceeds to wipe it dry with a tea towel displaying the colours of the Welsh flag and ten basic items of Welsh vocabulary.

Thus are the longings and aspirations of the people of Wales maintained.



Pavel Iosad, a linguist at Edinburgh University, dissects an article by Magnus Linklater on the fate of Scots Gaelic, revealing the fuzzy thinking, the double standards, the condescension, and the assumptions of uselessness and inferiority, which speakers of minority languages contend with, despite the lived contemporary reality, the potential of the language and others like it, the pain but also the hope. Whether you speak a minority language or not, whether you come from a stateless nation or not, you probably want to make sense of the world you live in, in its complexity and its humanity. Please read this.



Click to read: Eleven things we have learnt from stateless-nation debates



When David Cameron told other EU leaders that he was planning a referendum on EU membership, they told him, ‘Fine. Good luck with that.’ When Theresa May informed the EU that the UK would rescind its membership in two years, they said, ‘OK. Whatevs.’ When Puigdemont held Catalonia’s referendum on membership of the Kingdom of Spain, and later when the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence, they were met with accusations of rebellion and disobedience, and with physical and legal violence.

When David Cameron wrote to Jean-Claud Juncker to express the UK people’s concern that EU membership undermined British sovereignty, he received a thorough, thoughtful and respectful reply. When Carwyn Jones expressed concern that the Conservative government’s Wales Powers Act was a power-grab in all but name, he was accused by Stephen Crabbe, then Secretary of State for Wales, of using rhetoric to fuel the dangerous fires of nationalism.

I trust there will be no further nonsense about the situations being the same.



Viscount Rothermere, ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts!’ Daily Mail, 15th January, 1934

While those lefty libtard universities try to indoctrinate your kids, the patriotic Daily Mail has always stood up for your values...



An Open Letter to Theresa May

Theresa

I was wondering if you would be so kind as to supply me with the names of civil servants at your establishment who are involved in predicting the UK's economic prospects, with particular reference to Brexit.

Furthermore, if I could be provided with internal documents which relate to the likely impact of Brexit on the UK economy, and to the legality of withdrawing Article 50, I would be much obliged.

I sincerely hope you are able to provide me with such, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Rob
cc Chris Heaton-Harris



Those who say that the Catalonian referendum was undemocratic, but would have been more democratic if more voters had been assaulted with clubs, complain that a turnout of 42% does not provide a mandate for independence. But 42% isn’t the turnout. It is merely the number of voting slips the authorities were able to rescue from the Spanish police.



Along with the £1500 first prize available to entrants of a forthcoming literary award is the promise that the winner’s manuscript will be read, and I quote, by a top London literary agent.

I have already had a manuscript read by a top London literary agent. It was Patricia Kavanagh, as a matter of fact. She remarked that I could be assured of a distinguished career, if only I were to not be so Welsh.



This petition, calling for the Senedd to given the same powers as the Scottish Parliament, will be considered for debate in the UK parliament if it receives 100,000 signatures.

In a country of fifty million or more, like England, one hundred thousand signatures equate to one five hundredth part of the population. In a country of three million, they equate to one thirtieth. If a bill reaches Parliament, it is debated by 650 MPs, of which forty will represent Wales, and 533 will represent England. Hence, a parliamentary bill on powers for the Senedd which is approved by every single MP in Wales can still be defeated by English MPs who have more than ten times their number.

This, we are told, is democracy, and to question democracy is to be a nationalist, if not a racist, a separatist and extremist, atavistic, illiberal, a traitor and an enemy of the people. Hence, by the democratic constitution of Spain, voters in Catalonia are beaten with clubs because they wish for an independence that the population of Castille is not inclined to offer, and Brexit might have been prevented, had the populations of Germany and France insisted by force on their right to vote.



'The calling of a new election makes no sense at all unless the supporters of Independence are banned from contesting it. Many other measures – all an undeniable breach of human rights – are being undertaken to try to reduce the capacity of the Independence movement to campaign. The banning of pro-Independence parties really is not a very large step further down the road. Meanwhile Rajoy has almost certainly concluded that there is no breach of human rights so blatant that other European governments will not back it as the “rule of law”.

'There is no sense in which the current hardline moves of the extremist Spanish nationalists in power in Madrid will end the crisis in Catalonia. They will merely plunge it into a much more vicious phase.'

Craig Murray, on Madrid’s suspension of democracy in Catalonia



17th October 2017: Dw i newydd lladd chwain y gath. #HiHefyd.



15th October 2017: On this day in 1940, Lluis Companys, President of the Republic of Catalonia, was executed by a Spanish firing squad.



Unemployment to rival the 1980s, a skeleton health service, rising costs of living, vastly reduced armed forces, higher crime, greater political discord, a recession worse than we have seen in fifty years and lasting ten years of more, will result from Brexit. But you're a spoilt little millenial, and deserve it, says Peter North.

Yet he does not consider other quite rational possibilities, that Scotland will secede from the U.K., and Wales and Northern Ireland will follow. The thought does not ever occur to him. Brittun, like the Kingdom of Spain, is eternally and indestructibly indivisible. That’s what Brexit is all about.



One night, when Carwyn Jones was blind drunk on imported potcheen, Ieuan Wyn Jones had to phone him up and talk him out of declaring the Welsh Republic straight away. He wanted to wear his bandoliers, and everything.



Poster advertising the March for Europe in Manchester, 1st October

2nd October 2017: I gather from a friend who keeps an eye on the pro-Brexit forums that what I attended in Manchester yesterday was a ‘vicious mob.’



The Britannia Airport Hotel. No souls are left on these premises overnight.



The Britannia Airport Hotel. Please do not feed the other guests.



The following remarks, posted by Aled Edwards on Facebook, describe what he calls a ‘ministerial coup d’état’ in the wake of Brexit:

As a former member of the All Wales Convention and as a democrat I'm deeply troubled by the UK Government's Brexit intentions concerning devolved powers.

During the referendum held in Wales on 3rd March, 2011 voters were told clearly that if they voted ‘yes’ the Assembly would 'be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for without needing the UK Parliament’s agreement.

That referendum produced a 63.49% ‘yes’ vote. It should trouble every democrat in the UK that Ministers now intend to deprive the Assembly of the powers to legislate without gaining the agreement of UK Ministers in many of these subject areas.

Given this overwhelming referendum result in 2011 and the failure of the Ministers concerned to gain for their party a Welsh mandate in recent UK General Elections and a Welsh General Election held as recently as 2016, it could be argued that this attempt to restrict Wales’ democratically mandated and elected legislature amounts effectively to a Ministerial Coup d’état. If you cannot acquire power for your party through the ballot box you seek to gain it through other means.

I offer this document as a reminder of what was made abundantly clear on the ballot paper in 2011. This power grab by the few over a mandate provided by a nation cannot prevail. Whatever one's view of devolution this intention should worry all of us who care about democratic processes.



The NHS reports that St John’s wort was an effective antidespressant in thirty percent of cases. Then again, I have yet to meet a bottle of Malbec that didn’t cheer me up.



Modern psychiatry favours a multi-faceted response to depression, including lifestyle tweaks, cognitive changes, and the assassination of selected political leaders.



This bottle containing extract of St John’s wort in 284mg capsules, which I bought specifically for the purpose of alleviating depression, advises me not to use St John’s wort if I am suffering from depression.



‘I say once again that the British people have spoken. They have spoken on nationhood; they have spoken on unity; they have spoken on law and on public morality, and we will tolerate no argument, no dissent. And to anyone who would question the will of the people I say this: if you will not have British democracy, you must have the authority of the British state; if you will not accept the result of the Referendum on National Unity and Greatness, then you must obey the orders of the Emergency Committee. And if you will submit to neither the people nor the state, then you are guilty of crimes against the state and against the people, and on those crimes we show no mercy.’

Theresa May, Pronouncements under the Emergency Powers Act (2027), vol. i, p. 17.



‘We do not call ourselves nationalists. Rather, we consider ourselves to be unionists, for what we celebrate and protect is the unity of the British nation, invincible because indivisible. Therefore, we no longer speak of the Welsh language, of Scottish democracy, of the Irish peace process, but rather, of the British armed forces, the British state, and the British language, binding our people together, and to us, throughout the four counties of Britain.’

Theresa May, Pronouncements under the Emergency Powers Act (2027), vol. ii, p. 9.



News from a friend at the March for Europe, London, 9th September: A local Sikh who spoke at the rally reported that since the Grenfell Tower fire, at least twenty survivors have attempted to kill themselves.



At first Google Streetview seemed determined that my virtual journey through Betws y Coed should end in a carpark with my nose jammed against a coach. It’s great that a global conglomerate like Google can show a respectful understanding of local experience.



When English Brexiteers explain to me, as though it obviates discussion and invalidates facts, that Wales voted Leave: Brexplaining?



A report by the UK Treasury, published in 2016, puts the permanent cost of Brexit per average household at £2,600pa in the case of continued Single-Market membership, and £5,200pa if the UK leaves all post-war European structures. If such estimates are reasonable, then there is no question of a ‘soft Brexit,’ even if devised by a mind as keen as Keir Starmer’s. There is only the question, how much suffering the pride of the Brexiteers demands of their fellow citizens.



This bottle of Malbec should be drunk within three years, but it’s as well to be on the safe side.



According to The Independent, survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire are being invited to ‘bid’ for accommodation. Words can no longer express my anger at the Tories, their inhumanity, greed and hypocrisy; my hatred, my contempt, my disgust.



If Welsh-speakers are bilingual, than bilingual policy is an extravagance; if they are not proficient in English, then it is a hindrance. If the Welsh language is healthy, then it does not need official protection; if it is moribund, it does not deserve it. These are the rationalisations of those who want the Welsh language dead, the Welsh people forgotten, and who will use any argument, no matter how groundless, to make that demand seem reasonable, says Dylan Llŷr, writing for nation.cymru.



People on the BBC Wales Facebook page are gloating because they think the change from a Welsh-language Commissioner to a Welsh-language Commission means that Welsh will lose its official status. They are gloating because they think this.

You cannot have a temperate discussion about who should deliver official Welsh-language status, because the trolls turn up and say that Welsh shouldn’t have any official status. You cannot have a temperate discussion about how to teach Welsh in schools, because the trolls turn up and say that they don’t want their darling kiddiewinks learning Welsh in school. You cannot have a temperate discussion about any policy or law agreed by the Senedd, because the trolls turn up and demand the abolition of the Senedd. Every conversation concerning Wales takes place against the background of this hateful, ignorant, racist clamour.



I present two agricultural proverbs as recorded by the great scholar and poet, Iolo Morgannwg (1747-1826), with my own translations:

Tri pheth a gynnydd yn y glaw:
Gwlydd ac ysgall ac ysgaw.

Three things thrive in rainy weather:
The weeds, the thistles, and the elder.

Gwell gweled dodi’th fam i’r esgor
Na gweled hinon teg yn Ionor.

Better to see your mother buried
Than see the passing of Winter hurried.



Image of the proposed Iron Ring outside Flint Castle

While it has been said that the #ringofshame was a work of art crushed by the anger of a mob, it might also be said that anger is the poor man’s rejection slip.

When a work of art offends the weak because it is historically inappropriate or culturally insensitive, they shout, and accuse, and demand that it be halted. But when a work of art offends the strong, they ignore it, and it dies. They do not explain the motives behind their decision. They do not even state that there has been a decision.



According to a report by Credit Suisse, Brexit cost UK householders £1.2tn in the twelve months following the EU referendum, says an article in The Independent. Meanwhile, economics Prof. David Blanchfower, former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, describes the UK as becoming ‘the sick man of Europe’ in his article for The Guardian.



Regional inequality in the UK is rivalled only by Mexico, making England one of the richest, and Wales one of the poorest countries in Europe.



Photograph of landscape with Milky Way

The Story of Rhitta the Giant: A mediaeval tale of wars, giants, stars, beards and the need for European unity, taken from the 1862 anthology, Cymru Fu, and translated by Rob Mimpriss here.



Article in The Times newspaper attacking Welsh-language education

Image from The Times newspaper taken from Nation.Cymru

‘A part of me thinks, why bother - it’s gone. But as it may be just the beginning, it seems worth reiterating some points about the Times editorial. This was another classic example of historical English-British prejudice and fallacy dressed up in rational liberal discourse.

‘Telling a people to restrict the teaching of their language is to tell them their culture is inferior, not worthy of the effort. This is bigotry for which the most adequate word we have is racism.’ Huw Williams at nation.cymru.



‘Not sure what’s more upsetting: the shite Guardian article [attacking Welsh-language education as politically-motivated child abuse], the foulness it provokes, or the hurt and exhaustion of maligned Welsh speakers.’ Jasmine Donahaye.



Taken from Nigel Farage’s Facebook page following the terrorist attack on Finsbury Park Mosque

We are not required to believe that Fascist movements can only come to power in an exact replay of the scenario of Hitler and Mussolini. All that is required to fit our model is polarisation, deadlock, mass-mobilisation against internal and external enemies, and complicity by existing elites. In the Balkans in the 1990s something that looks very much like Fascism was produced by a very different scenario, a change of course by leaders already in power.’ Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism.



Sharp scissors should be banned in schools, alcohol in prisons, and votes on foreign policy in the United Kingdom.



Tweeted by @Liam O'Hare: Theresa May briefly visited Grenfell Tower, but refused to meet any residents.



Brexit Means Racism: And here, members of the pro-Brexit group, Brexit HQ, express their hatred and contempt for victims and survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.



11th June 2017: Tweeted by @AngrySalmond: Loyalists in Liverpool attack an Irish pub. DUP supporters carrying UVF flags.



My friend and colleague Sarah Hills Wright makes the following timely remarks on the purpose of fasting and the nature of mercy in Islam, and the Muslim community’s response to the atrocities in Manchester and London. They appeared on Facebook, and are reprinted by her kind permission:

So, I go to the allotment the other day and my poorly designed, expensive portable and rechargeable radio refuses to continue to find the channel I am after. No brainer for those that know me well enough which channel I am looking for. Anyway, it gets stuck and I end up half way through planting a butternut squash realising that I am listening to Radio Islam... err... what do I do? Turn it off and listen to the slugs munching the seedlings or just roll with it for a bit? So I do. Roll with it. They talk about eating disorders in Ramadan, they talk about healthy options for breaking the fast of an evening, you know, the obvious... too easy to reach for the deep fried stuff, try something a bit less calorific and healthy etc. Anyway, after a bit an Imam comes on, talking about Islam and how it relates to the rest of the world. He says if anyone needs to be afraid of their neighbour, that neighbour is not a Muslim. It is then I understand that the the true doctrine of most religions does not propagate violence, but that it is humans that do that, misguided humans who have found a comfortable concept to justify their meanness by wrongly interpreting a doctrine that is there to create peace.


So I think on and on and think that in all my efforts to be comprehensive and understand the world around me, I forget to look from the wider perspective. I forget to engage with the truth of the existence of others, and how it looks from where they stand. I learned so much from the serendipitous moment of a broken tuner: I learned that fasting is a challenge to find peace and constance even in the face of hunger and deprivation. I understand it is an opportunity to find balance in diet and need. I learned that exercising self-discipline for the greater good is universal. I learned that I had so much to learn.

Today by choice I tuned in to Radio Islam. It was mid afternoon and I was again in the process of organising nature around me. Deweeding the patio, trimming the rude infiltration of the ever growing grass. This time on Radio Islam they were hosting religious leaders from many faiths and philosophies: a Buddhist, a Christian Priest, a Rabbi and a Sikh. Mainly they were asking in this month of reflection how other faiths saw mercy, the main focus of the first ten days of Ramadan. The language from the other leaders was slightly different. The Buddhist leader translated mercy as compassion, the Christian as forgiveness. It was interesting to listen to, even if women were conspicuous by their absence... used to that in a religious arena... but mostly it was as we all are, a human connection with what is familiar, and a strong desire to believe in the human capacity for love. Let’s face it, our longevity relies upon that capacity when we need: we rely on love and the capacity of those around us to feel it. Why would we not nurture that above division, fear and anger?

We search and search, we continue to search for something that we have a massive and innate capacity for and we fail and fail again to see that the love we have for ourselves is extendable, that the love we have for ourselves needs only to be extended.



‘He who goes for seven nights without dreaming deserves to be called wicked.’ Talmud.



The Talmud recognises forty types of manual labour, minus one: To sow, to plough, to reap, to bind, to thresh, to winnow, to sift, to grind, to bolt, to knead, to bake, to shear, to wash, to comb, to dye, to spin, to warp, to shoot, to weave, to cut, to tie, to untie, to sew, to tear, to hunt, to kill, to skin, to salt, to singe, to tan, to cut, to write, to erase, to build, to pull down, to snuff out, to fire, to smite, to carry.



‘Of the twelve hours there are to the day, God divides his time thus: Three hours he spends in study of the Torah. Three hours he spends administering justice. Three hours spends in feeding the hungry, and three hours he spends at play with the whales.’ Talmud.



‘Nothing which was being done, no matter how stupid, no matter how many people knew and foretold the consequences, could be undone or prevented. Every event had the finality of a last judgement, a judgement that was passed neither by God nor by the devil, but looked rather like the expression of some unredeemably stupid fatality.’

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism.



‘The mob is primarily a group in which the residue of all classes are represented. This makes it so easy to mistake the mob for the people, which also comprises all strata of society. While the people in all great revolutions fight for true representation, the mob always will shout for the “strong man,” the “great leader.” For the mob hates society from which it is excluded, as well as Parliament where it is not represented. Plebiscites, therefore, with which modern mob leaders have obtained such excellent results, are an old concept of politicians who rely upon the mob.’

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism.



According to a report by Berenberg Bank, Brexit offers no significant economic advantages to Britain in the long term. Its relatively small economy, compared with China, the U.S., and the E.U., would be a disadvantage when negotiating trade deals, as would further deregulation of the most lightly regulated developed economy in the world.

Business Insider



fascist dictatorship unelected bureaucrats won the health and lost the safety criminals have more rights than peace pounds and ounces tvs in cells wont stand for it for the queen the variety show the speech white christmas white minority snowflakes liberals and proud salt of the earth salt and vinegar hangings too good for a clip round the ear a fag in the john and a job at sixteen not like in my kids learned pakis showed respect no lip no cheek of the best is great is full and tadpoles frogs krauts ruskies in a jar the ira the scots the welsh and too many graduates a proper pint and a smoke in the coat and no knickers and a matinee for a shilling so-called bring back throw away gone to the cane the key the dogs the noose too good for traitors muslims jews justice not that im good old fashioned british at the end of a rope



‘We hope to reach again a Europe united but purged of the slavery of ancient, classical times — a Europe in which men will be proud to say, “I am a European.” We hope to see a Europe where men of every country will think as much of being a European as of belonging to their native land, and that without losing any of their love and loyalty of their birthplace. We hope wherever they go in this wide domain, to which we set no limits in the European Continent, they will truly feel, “Here I am at home. I am a citizen of this country too.”’

Winston Churchill, Amsterdam, 9th May 1948



My only objection to living in York would be that York is not in Wales, which would hinder my pursuit of my political goals. But once I have achieved my political goals, York will be in Wales.



Poster for Dangerous Asylums reading in Aberystwyth


READING AND DISCUSSION
Friday 3rd February
7.30pm, Morlan Arts Centre, Aberystwyth

Dangerous Asylums: Stories from Denbigh Mental Hospital Told by Leading Welsh Writers

Glenda Beagan, Carys Bray, A. L. Reynolds, Manon Steffan Ros, Simon Thirsk, Elaine Walker, Gee and David Williams.
Contributing editor: Rob Mimpriss

Published by North Wales Mental Health Research Project, Department of Psychological Medicine, Hergest Unit, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor

‘In this exemplary collaboration between medical science and imagination, lives preserved in official records, in the language and diagnoses of their times, are restored not just to light, but to humanity and equality. This anthology is a resurrection.’ Philip Gross.



This 10,000 lux daylight lamp, designed to counteract seasonal depression, will not significantly delay the eventual heat death of the universe, or the inevitable extinction of the human race.



Alarmed by warnings in the UK press that the oceans would freeze, the earth become a snowball, and humanity's last pitiful survivors be confined to a single nuclear-powered train, ever circling the earth to remain in summer, I prepared myself by turning the storage heater in my bedroom up to 2 last night, and filling a hot water bottle. My precautions proved adequate.



Wales ranks alongside Portugal and the Eastern European states in terms of prosperity according to this image from Eurogeographics: suggestive both of the failure of eight hundred of British union, of Wales’s reliance on E.U. trade, and of our potential as an independent nation.

Link

Figures taken from StatsCymru, shown in this image by Dafydd Elfryn, depict Wales’s export surplus and dependence on trade with the E.U., now threatened by Theresa May’s Hard Brexit. Meanwhile a petition by Plaid Cymru calls on Theresa May to keep Wales in the Single Market.



‘John Redwood — ah, there’s a name that brings back memories — argued yesterday (just before the new appointee was named) that the new ambassador should be someone who thinks that Brexit is “straightforward.” Now, there do seem to be a lot of those to choose from, but given the complexities already identified, I wouldn’t want to put anyone with such a simplistic viewpoint anywhere near the negotiations, purely on the pragmatic basis that they’re unlikely to understand most of what’s being discussed.

‘The Brexiteers’ approach to negotiation seems to be falling increasingly into the traditional British way of dealing with foreigners — speak to them slowly and loudly until they do what we want. The strange thing, to me, is that they seriously seem to believe that it will work.’

John Dixon, blogging with his customary courtesy and devastating restraint at Borthlas



This year
2016 2015 2014 2013

I am the author of three short story collections. Reasoning and For His Warriors, originally published by Gwasg y Bwthyn, Caernarfon, with Welsh Books Council support, now join Prayer at the End in revised editions at Cockatrice Books. My anthology of fiction, Dangerous Asylums: Stories from Denbigh Mental Hospital Told by Leading Welsh Writers, including work by Gee and David Williams, Glenda Beagan, Carys Bray, Simon Thirsk and others, was published by the North Wales Mental Health Research Project, October 2016. I am a member by election of the Welsh Academy.

I am the translator of Going South: The Stories of Richard Hughes Williams (Cockatrice, 2015), Hallowe’en in the Cwm: The Stories of Glasynys (Cockatrice, 2017), and A Book of Three Birds, the seventeenth-century classic by Morgan Llwyd (Cockatrice, 2017). In addition, I have translated fiction by D. Gwenallt Jones, Angharad Tomos, and Manon Steffan Ros.