03 December 2011

Clarkson's Folly is Deadly Serious

Everybody already knew Jeremy Clarkson was a professional horse's ass when he commented on Wednesday, the day of the biggest strike in Britain in decades, that striking workers "should be executed in front of their families".

06 October 2011

Welsh Draft Budget: Death of a thousand cuts

The Welsh Government's 2012-2013 Draft Budget, published yesterday by Labour finance minister Jane Hutt, is the second one in a row to cut Welsh public services. 12.2% cuts to education, 3% cuts to the NHS and an average of 6% cuts to environment, housing, fire services and elsewhere across the public sector promise to make Welsh residents less healthy, less safe, and less financially secure over the coming year while hurting social mobility and wasting resources.

16 September 2011

Unemployment up in Wales

Enterprise zones doomed; invest in jobs, not business handouts

Figures released today show unemployment in Wales has leapt by more than half a percentage point to 8.4% over the past quarter. Over ten thousand people are on jobseekers' allowance in Cardiff

14 September 2011

Welsh-language teaching union UCAC to strike October 5th

Members of UCAC (Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru, "National Union of Teachers of Wales") have overwhelmingly voted to strike in defence of teachers' pensions, the Welsh-language teaching union announced today.

11 September 2011

September 11th, 2001

On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, I was an undergraduate just beginning my third year of physics at George Washington University in Washington, DC. I had to get up for a lecture. My alarm went off and, instead of hearing music, the deejay was giving a news report, clearly shaken.

"The World Trade Center is gone."

07 August 2011

More MLK on riots

This is starting to seriously bug me. Ever since the riot in Tottenham, many people who should know better have been circulating a "quote" from Martin Luther King Jr. that reads thus:

When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty and shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up and express their anger and frustration if you refuse to hear their cries. A riot is the language of the unheard.

The first sentence of this is not a Martin Luther King quote.

Martin Luther King on riots

Here's Martin Luther King's quotation on riots, in its context:

22 July 2011

Kicked out of Cardiff Council

Earlier today, July 21st, I attended a meeting of Cardiff Council as a member of the general public, but was ejected, in violation of the most fundamental claims of democracy on the Council's part, and despite having caused no disruption to the Council's proceedings and complying with every reasonable rule of the Council to the best of my ability.

12 July 2011

Cymdeithas activists sentenced

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society) activists Jamie Bevan and Heledd Williams have been fined for a direct action in protest against cuts to Welsh-language television statement S4/C. Jamie has also been sentenced to house arrest for 28 days but says he will defy the court's sentence.

03 May 2011

Why not the Greens?

Matty Townsend, one of the Green Party candidates for South Wales Central, has asked me if I'll be using my 2nd vote to support the Greens in their push to get an AM in Wales and "fight the cuts". Here's why not.

22 February 2011

The AV referendum in context

Excerpted from a longer piece being prepared for the Socialist Party's 2011 conference

The AV referendum is not going to be the question that determines whether Britain progresses to socialism or slides to barbarism; it will probably not even be a question whose outcome threatens the Coalition. In discussing how socialists should vote on AV we must remember that the mere fact of the referendum's proposal points to deep shifts within the British state.

17 February 2011

Olympic Gold and Welsh Rust

The media revealed yesterday that the first event of the 2012 London Olympic Games will take place in Cardiff on July 25.

Some in Cardiff see the Olympics as wholly good. The games, they say, will bring jobs, investment and publicity to a region lacking in all three. Unfortunately, the record of previous Olympics speaks for itself.

13 January 2011

South Wales Police can pick the other side

So now the jackboot is on the other foot. We hear recently that 1600 police officers may be cut in South Wales, including 688 in South Wales Police alone.

03 January 2011

Clear red water

Freezing temperatures across the United Kingdom have put water companies across the devolved areas of the United Kingdom to the test. The chill and thaw has burst pipes, leaving tens of thousands of people without water for over a week. In responding to the crisis, privately-owned Welsh Water Dŵr Cymru and privately-controlled NI Water have come up short compared to its publicly-owned, democratically-controlled counterpart in Scotland.