News from Rob Mimpriss

8th September 2019: Gorymdaith!

While UK politics was in uproar, while a former minister crossed the floor to sit in the opposition benches during the Prime Minister’s speech, and while the Prime Minister’s foul-mouthed adviser berated the leader of the opposition while apparently drunk, while the Prime Minister renewed his threats to take the UK out of the EU illegally, and his new cabinet was racked by resignations just a week into the parliamentary term, another Welsh community council (Penmynydd & Star, Anglesey) voted unanimously to support independence, and another independence rally was held in Merthyr Tudful on Saturday 7th.

The location was chosen as a town which has suffered greatly as a result of Britain’s industrial and post-industrial policies, and might therefore benefit greatly from an economy redesigned to serve the people of Wales; as a town rich in industrial heritage and surrounded by walking country, which if it were close to a capital city of Europe might be expected to flourish; as the where the Red Flag was first flown, as one speaker reminded us, and near where the NHS was conceived, yet where the Dic Penderyn, named after a martyr of the Merthyr Rising of 1831, is now a Wetherspoons; and also as a town still enmeshed in the mental habits of unionism: predominantly a Brexit town, as one marcher with local roots told me, where Brexit parties might seek to foment resentment against Welsh speakers and against Wales’s emerging political profession. Even so, a woman who came to her front door and held up a picture of her late father in military uniform did so, she explained to the press, to express his support for Welsh independence as well as her own.

Among the writers, singers, politicians and sportsmen who addressed us, the Scottish academic and independentist, Iain Black, presented research showing confidence as a predictor of voters’ behaviour in the Scottish independence referendum: pro-independence voters demonstrated greater faith in their own abilities and those of the Scottish people as a whole, and a greater acceptance of risk. As it becomes ever clearer that Brexit expresses nothing more than defiance and despair that will leave poorest parts of the UK even poorer, it seems that the independence debate asks us whether we are willing to assume the power to address our dissatisfactions. Incidentally, counters reported 5,200 marchers and 31 dogs.

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Dangerous Asylums

‘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