Theatre in Wales

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A Political Diary

Politics & Politicians , Wales & United Kingdom , March 30, 2021
A Political Diary by Politics & Politicians The politics of the last decade have been fissile. Four general elections in nine years does not suggest a settled state. Politics spill across to the arts. What is often declared to be “political theatre” by its makers is not, the article below 13 July 2018 looking at the discrepancy.

I went to see Scotland's theatre in the year of its independence and wrote sceptically about theatre's inattention. “Why a playwright has such small interest in his own country's texture is a bit of a puzzle” 5th August 2014

This is an untidy sequence made up of three parts that are wholly distinct. There is observation from the ground as election campaigns were fought out. These despatches were first published by the Institute of Wales Affairs when it had a livelier public face. The Europe referendum is covered more broadly in my book about the year of pivot, 2016, “Between the Boundaries.”

Secondly there are accounts of live events. The National Library is host to an annual lecture of the Wales Political Archive in the first week of November. I have not been to all but have seen and heard Rhodri Morgan, Nick Bourne, Jane Hutt, Ann Clwyd. The Hay Festival used to run an early morning strand devoted to Wales, history and politics. In England I have heard Ken Clark, Julia Gillard, Chris Patten, Ruth Davidson.

The last public event I attended was at Aberystwyth's International Politics. The occasion was Mark Drakeford, delivering an hour-long lecture followed by a half-hour of questions. The human presence was different from the one restricted to the news bulletins, with wit, warmth and wisdom to be felt.

If there were ever an example of the volatility of public life this was it. The date was 27th February 2020. Within a couple of weeks public life, private life and political decision-making were to be thrown into emergency.

Thirdly, there are reviews of books with a leaning and liking, towards independent-minded back-benchers. The Prime Minister is not treated reverently in a weighty biography.

From Mark Easton's book “There are strong forces at work’ writes the head of the UK Statistics Authority in 2011 ‘to demote rationality, analysis, and the pursuit of knowledge within government.’

The links are:

23 April 2021 Plaid Cymru Senedd Election Manifesto

28 December 2020 Jane Davidson “#futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country”

20 December 2020 Abolition of Welsh Development Agency

30 October 2020 Lockdown and education examinations

28 February 2020 Opaque accountability of power in Wales

05 February 2020 Out of the European Union & identity politics

31 January 2020 Labour electorally routed

13 December 2019 Election Diary Westminster General Election

25 November 2019 Election Diary Westminster General Election

19 November 2019 Election Diary Westminster General Election

15 November 2019 Sonia Purnell “Just Boris”

09 November 2019 Election Diary Westminster General Election

10 September 2019 Geraint Talfan Davies on Europe “Unfinished Business”

31 July 2019 Laura Macallister on BBC Wales. Jess Blair on open government

04 June 2019 Danny Dorling, Anne Widdecombe, Ben Lake MP on Europe & Ireland

30 May 2019 Laura Macallister, Kevin Morgan, Bevan Foundation on 20 years of devolution

04 April 2019 Martin Johnes“Wales: England's Colony?”

23 March 2019 “The Carwyn Years”, tourist Wales, Pinewood Studios & Welsh Government

25 February 2019 Television look-back at 1979 devolution referendum

07 November 2018 Alastair Campbell “Diaries Volume 7, 2007-2010”

29 April 2017 Campaigning for Westminster election

26 April 2017 Campaigning for Westminster election

21 October 2016 Chris Mullin "Hinterland"

18 October 2016 Ken Clark “Kind of Blue”

13 June 2016 Hilary Benn speaking on the European Union

09 June 2016 Two weeks to go until European Union referendum

05 June 2016 Mike Parker “the Greasy Poll”

03 May 2016 Campaign notes for Senedd and Holyrood Elections

09 September 2015 J R Clynes “Memoirs 1869-1924”

06 August 2015 Steve Hilton “More Human”

26 May 2015 Westminster election postmortem at Hay Festival

08 May 2015 Linda Colley “Acts of Union and Disunion”

27 May 2014 European elections post-mortem at Hay Festival

17 May 2014 John Campbell “Roy Jenkins”

15 May 2014 John Campbell “Roy Jenkins”

04 March 2014 Norman Davies “Vanished Kingdoms”

29 November 2013 Anthony King and Ivor Crewe “The Blunders of our Governments”

16 July 2013 Christopher Clark “The Sleepwalkers”

25 May 2013 First Minister & Natural Resources Wales CEO at Hay Festival

26 April 2013 Wyn Thomas “Hands Off Wales”

12 April 2013 Paul Flynn “How to Be an MP”

10 October 2012 Martin Johnes “Wales since 1939”

09 October 2012 Chris Mullin “A Walk-On Part”

10 September 2012 Bob Marshall-Andrews “Off Message”

26 June 2012 Tom Davies “the Reporter's Tale”

15 April 2012 Robert Peston “How Do We Fix This Mess?”

14 February 2012 Mark Easton “Britain etc”

31 January 2012 Felix Aubel memoir “A Rebel's Story”

31 August 2008 Journalism & Nick Davies “Flat Earth News”

Reviewed by: Adam Somerset

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