Bernie Sanders @ Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye

“Critics want to mention that they miss when hip hop was rappin’/Motherfucker, if you did, then Killer Mike’d be platinum”

CAN politicians win from the left? Bernie Sanders tried but isn’t the president of the United States and in the UK, Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn isn’t prime minister – at least not yet.

Bernie Sanders at the Hay Festival (Peter Williams)

But rather than ask can candidates who shun the safety of the centrist play book win perhaps it’s time to ask what keeps them from winning – or how do they set about winning? Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn @ Whitchurch Common, Cardiff

“Don’t tell me that you understand until you hear the man”

GROWING up in Cardiff in the 1990s I can remember newspaper columnists and correspondents to the letters pages often referring to Winston Churchill having addressed an election rally of around 50,000 people at Ninian Park in 1950.

Jeremy Corbyn poses for a selfie with a supporter. Photo John Morgan

The anecdote would usually be brought out as an example of how politics once captivated the public and campaigning was about more than stage-managed private photo opportunities and tightly controlled interviews. Continue reading

Taking a chance with Glyn Mathias

YOU don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone or so it seems to go – which is why I was pleased to take the opportunity to interview former ITN and BBC Wales political editor and Brecon resident Glyn Mathias.GlynBook

The veteran journalist, who has just published his autobiography, is one of quite a few high-profile characters to have lived in Brecon and the surrounding area. I wrote stories about the deaths of both Sir Bernard Ashley, widower of the fashion designer Laura, and Lord Tom Bingham, the former Lord Chief Justice and senior Law Lord, who lived at Boughrood near Brecon for some 40 years until his death.  On both occasion I regretted not writing about these people earlier, specifically before they died and were still within easy reach of my office. Continue reading