Jubilee 2022 – what next?

Symbols are important. They shape our perception of who we are. The in-your-face symbol of our subjugation is the monarchy. But it’s more than that. At a time when the differences between the poor and rich are becoming more apparent, where food and fuel poverty are rife, and people are homeless; the existence of such …

Who is Russell Goodway? Cardiff’s Arena “mastermind” and puppetmaster

If you ask one or two in the know about Cardiff Council and its machinations, it’s quite possible you’ll hear words to the effect of ‘It’s not Huw Thomas who runs the council’. And if it’s not the leader of the council who is leading, you might naturally ask, who has taken on that burden? …

A pacifist’s perspective on the war in Ukraine

This is a speech that Rhun Dafydd, chair of Cymdeithas y Cymod (Fellowship of Reconciliation) delivered to the Undod’s Senedd giving his input as a pacifist about the war in Ukraine. First published on Cymdeithas y Cymod’s website on 9th March 2022. Thanks for permission to publish on Undod’s blog. Good evening, I think first …

From land grabbing to the housing crisis: Nid yw Cymru ar werth

Real Wild Estates Company and the French mega-corporation L’Oreal Groupe, recently met to discuss plans to buy up land to rewild. They are explicitly looking to profit from forms of landlordism such as the private housing market and holiday lets while benefiting from public subsidies for activities such as tree planting. They also aim to …

2022 is the year for action

Annwyl Gyfaill, I’m writing this open letter as a call to action. It’s been floating around my head as I recover from Covid and a year of protest like no other. Now, as the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill (the Kill the Bill Bill or PCSC Bill) moves through the Westminster Parliament, for activists, …

What’s rural Wales’ problem?

Rural Wales is in trouble. Probably more trouble than in living memory, and from forces and trends that are unlikely to disappear any time soon. Economic dysfunction is old hat here of course. The social problems consequent on poor wages, low value added, and a lack of economic opportunity and market income are many and …

The Labour-Plaid deal is the faintest outline of a Wales beyond neoliberalism

On the surface, the deal announced this week between the two parties represents a real break with the status quo. Bringing in rent controls, caps on second homes and new state-owned companies would mean a dramatic break with the idea that the ‘market knows best’, and that direct government action to protect people and communities …

Covid-19 in Wales: 18 months of social murder

Image by youtookthatwell This week, a major parliamentary report has heavily criticised the UK’s initial response to the Covid-19 outbreak, calling it one of the UK’s worst ever public health failures. The report has focused on the response in England, over that in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The disastrous response to the pandemic in …

The case for free school meals in Wales – NOW

When the pandemic required the majority of schools to shut their doors in the spring of 2020, it laid bare some very unpleasant truths about the extent and depth of child poverty in Wales. It was immediately clear that, as well as offering children an education, schools are also part of the critical social infrastructure …

Wales is not for sale: We need special housing measures to defend our communities

Below is a translation and adaption of the speech I gave to the ‘Wales is Not for Sale’ rally on the Trwyeryn dam on the 10th July. I’ve added some parts left out for brevity’s sake on the day. I hope people will enjoy my contribution as much as I enjoyed doing it. It was …

“Freedom Day”: a very British self-deception

The new English Health Minister Sajid Javid has announced that on the 19th of July Boris Johnson will stand in front of the English people, barefaced, and proclaim “freedom”. England will remove all Covid-19 protections and let the virus circulate wildly at even higher levels: in other words “herd immunity” is back with a bite. …

Beyond the “trans debate”: an introduction to lost context

Following recent transphobia in the Welsh independence movement and at Cardiff University, a member of Merched Undod gives context to the “trans debate”, trans oppression and the ideology of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists. Undod stands in unconditional solidarity with trans and non-binary people in Wales and beyond. Content note: The text discusses transphobic violence and …

Professor Silvia Federici on socialism, feminism and care (video)

This discussion was recorded on Sunday 2nd May 2021. Here’s the original blurb for the event: Silvia Federici is a feminist writer, teacher and militant. In 1972 she was cofounder of the International Feminist Collective, which launched the Wages for Housework campaign. With other members of Wages for Housework and other feminist authors like Maria …

Robert Owen on his 250th Birthday – A Very Modern Socialist

Today it is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Owen, the socialist pioneer from Newtown who along with figures such as fellow countryman Richard Price, the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, and his French counterparts Charles Fourier and Henri de Saint-Simon, did so much to establish the principles and foundation stones for modern progressive politics, …

A Problem called Abolish

The most depressing incident of the election campaign for me was receiving a piece of Abolish the Assembly ‘literature’ through our post box.  It was a leaflet calling for the abolishment of the Senedd on the basis that it has legislated for sex education in schools. As well as illuminating a little of the elasticity …

In conversation with Sioned Williams – “I don’t come from a family of politicians, but I do come from a political family”

“It is key that the Left explains to its supporters that a vote for Labour is effectively a wasted one when it comes to the second vote.” With the election approaching, we’ve taken the opportunity to speak to some of the candidates. First here’s Sioned Williams, an Undod member and candidate for Plaid Cymru. Shwmae …

The Rhondda’s Next Step by Leanne Wood – a review

“The Welsh make and remake Wales day by day and year after year. If they want to. ” – Gwyn Alf Williams Where stands socialism in turbulent present-day Wales? A timely question on the threshold of elections to the Senedd. Are there still politicians who are unrepentant socialists? If so, what kind of platform do …

Housing for Wales, not holiday homes

On Saturday, November 21st, three ‘Wales is not for Sale’ rallies were held by Cymdeithas yr Iaith addressing the issue of holiday homes – in Llanberis, Aberaeron and Carmarthen. We were soaked through and Lake Padarn was bleak and grey. Llanberis in the rain is quite different from Llanberis in summer. As the tourists cannot …

Criminal Legal Aid in Wales

Dan Newman and Roxanna Dehaghani The criminal justice system of England and Wales is broken, according to the best-selling Secret Barrister. Decades of underfunding, exacerbated by the UK government’s austerity programme from 2010, have gutted the system posing great threat to access to justice. To date, the debate on the problems of criminal justice have …

Undod stands in solidarity with Gypsy Roma and Traveller communities

Undod stands in solidarity with Gypsy Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities, and with the protestors in Bristol who have this past week been brutalised by police whilst resisting the Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. If passed, this legislation will take away the right to trespass, with devastating effect on the lives of nomadic Gypsy Roma …

The civil disobedience of local authorities

How is someone meant to feel when a local authority decides to postpone a consultation on the future of a Welsh school?  That is the step taken recently by Carmarthenshire County Council in the case of both Ysgol Blaenau, and Ysgol Mynydd y Garreg.  Is it relief that there appears to be an element of …

The Fight for the Northern Meadows: A Salutary Tale for Today’s Wales

On the 3rd of March there will be a debate in the Senedd on the demand for an independent inquiry into the site for a Velindre Cancer Centre. Here Tessa Marshall, a campaigner with Save the Northern Meadows, provides a detailed account of the recent history around the development, highlighting the need for such an …

Radical independence cause makes gains in Catalonia

Radical independence forces made significant gains in last week’s parliamentary elections in Catalonia, as the pro-independence vote shifted measurably to the left. Turnout declined because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but reached 51%. A majority of voters opted for pro-independence parties for the first time, and those parties increased their majority by 4 seats. Leftist gains …

A social wage for parents and carers, a national carers’ pension, and a National Care Service for Wales

If ever there was a time when childcare, and care work more generally, has been thrown into the spotlight then the current pandemic is definitely it. In addition to unexpected and last-minute school closures due to COVID-19, many working families have had the difficult task of caring for their unwell or isolating children sent home …

The Museum: Another Labour Horror Story

After averting near-disaster this week with their plans to decimate the National Library, here the group Reclaim Cardiff examine Welsh Labour’s lemming-like behaviour with respect to another potty plan – plonking a Military Medicine Museum on the Senedd’s front lawn.  Just when you thought Cardiff Council could achieve no more, prior to Christmas they outdid …

The Land that Lost its Values

For those who grew up in Aberystwyth and the surrounding area, the National Library is a building and institution that is integral to the landscape and the memory it shaped. As a school child this is a place you visited in awe and hushed silence, to take a look at William Morgan’s Bible, the embodiment …