Having heard or read a few interesting items lately, I realised and put them together as a a quirky time-slice portrait of the ‘United Kingdom’ – which I thought I’d share. Most are freely accessible materials, but to read the articles on Scotland requires subscribing to Red Pepper (which would be good because it’s always worth reading and it desperately needs subscribers!)
Wales: The Welsh M1: Cerys Mathew on the A470 which runs nearly two hundred miles through the heart of Wales from Llandudno to CardiffBay. It was created to connect north and south of the country yet it takes four hours – sometimes more – to make the journey. It’s certainly not the fastest road in the UK but to drive the A470 is to truly understand the landscape, history, culture and language of Wales.
England: It was 20 years ago today… How has England changed? In 1994 Will Self wrote a long essay about English culture: how has the nation changed since then? And do the old cherished ideas of Englishness bear any resemblance to reality?
Scotland: At the crossroads: A new-born star – Roz Paterson sees new political alignments and vibrancy on the left; Imagining a better nation – Creating a different Scotland is beginning to galvanise radical thinking, argues Jim Johnson; More views on independence – Katy Clark MP, Philip Stott and Carolyn Leckie. Step backward, leap forward – Scotland is resistancing global capitalism, writes Tom Nairn
(for an earlier version of Tom Nairn’s essay see New Faces of Nationalism
Northern Ireland: Excluded and silenced: Women in Northern Ireland after the peace process by Margaret Ward