Thursday, 31 May 2018

Stigmata (film)..and the Gospel of Thomas

Stigmata (film)

A washed out red image of a woman with arms oustretched as if being crucified
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rupert Wainwright
Produced by Frank Mancuso, Jr.
Tom Lazarus
Written by Tom Lazarus
Rick Ramage
Music by Billy Corgan
Elia Cmiral
Cinematography Jeffrey L. Kimball
Edited by Michael R. Miller
FGM Entertainment
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • September 10, 1999
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language Aramaic[1]
Budget $29 million[2]
Box office $89.4 million[2]
Stigmata is a 1999 American supernatural horror film directed by Rupert Wainwright and starring Patricia Arquette as a hairdresser and atheist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who is afflicted with the stigmata after acquiring a rosary formerly owned by a deceased Italian priest who himself had himself suffered from the phenomenon. Gabriel Byrne plays a Vatican official who investigates her case, and Jonathan Pryce plays a corrupt Catholic Church official.
Despite being a box office success, earning over $85 million on a $29 million budget, the film received generally negative reviews from critics.


In the Brazilian village of Belo Quinto, Father Andrew Kiernan, a former scientist and a Jesuit priest who investigates supposed miracles, examines a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe weeping blood at the funeral of Father Paulo Alameida, who had previously experienced stigmata. While Andrew is collecting evidence, a young boy steals a rosary from the father's hand. The boy later sells it to a woman in a marketplace, who sends it to her daughter, Frankie Paige, living in Pittsburgh.
Shortly afterward, Frankie is attacked by an unseen force while bathing, and receives two deep wounds on her wrists. As the wounds are treated, doctors cannot find the cause. Frankie asks a priest if he is Andrew Kiernan, the scientist, priest and investigator. When the priest says he is Father Derning, the lights in the train flash and Frankie is whipped from behind by an unseen force. While Frankie is hospitalized again, the priest sends security tapes showing the attack to the Vatican, and Andrew is sent to investigate.
Andrew interviews Frankie, believing her wounds may also be stigmata. When she tells him she is an atheist, Andrew tells her that stigmata is when the deeply devoted are struck with the five wounds that Jesus received during the crucifixion. Frankie begins to research on her own what the cause could be. Her head begins to bleed, the third stigmata wound caused by the Crown of Thorns. Frankie runs home, where Andrew is waiting, and then runs into an alley. As Andrew pursues her, Frankie smashes a glass bottle and uses the shards to carve symbols on the hood of a car: when Andrew approaches her, she yells at him in another language.
Andrew takes Frankie to Father Derning's church, and the Vatican translates what she was yelling in Aramaic. The next morning, Andrew returns to her apartment to find her writing on the wall, now covered in Aramaic. Frankie talks in a male voice, speaking Italian. Wounds appear in her feet, the fourth wound of stigmata. Andrew emails photographs of Frankie's apartment wall to the Vatican, where Brother Delmonico recognizes the words and deletes the pictures. He tells Andrew the words are from a document the church found that looked to be an entirely new gospel. Father Dario shows the pictures to Cardinal Daniel Houseman, who also recognizes them. Delmonico phones Marion Petrocelli and tells him the missing gospel has been found in Pittsburgh.
Andrew goes to Frankie's apartment to find the wall she wrote on painted over, and Frankie attempts to seduce him. When Andrew rejects her, she attacks him and denounces his beliefs in a male voice, ending with Frankie levitating off the bed, crying tears of blood. Houseman and Dario arrive with Derning and take Frankie to another church, sending Andrew to Derning's. At Derning's church, Andrew meets Petrocelli, who tells him the words Frankie has been writing are part of a document found outside Jerusalem they believed to be a gospel in the exact words of Jesus. Petrocelli, Delmonico and Alameida were assigned to translate it, but Houseman ordered them to stop. Alameida refused and stole the document to continue translating it alone, having been excommunicated by Houseman.
Petrocelli tells Andrew that the document was Jesus telling his disciples that the Kingdom of God is in all of us and not confined to churches. Petrocelli tells Andrew that Alameida suffered from stigmata. Andrew races to the church where Frankie is, while Houseman and Dario attempt to perform an exorcism on Frankie. Frankie shouts at them in a male voice, and Houseman attempts to strangle her. Andrew stops him, and the room is set on fire. Now believing Frankie is possessed by Alameida's spirit, Andrew offers to be Alameida's messenger instead. He walks unharmed through the fire to retrieve Frankie, bidding Alameida's spirit to depart in peace. Some time later, Andrew returns to Belo Quinto and finds the original documents for the lost gospel in Alameida's church.
Text describes the discovery of the Gospel of St. Thomas, believed to be the closest to the actual words of Jesus stating that the Catholic Church refuses to recognize the document as a gospel and considers it heresy.



Box office

Stigmata, produced on a $29 million budget, premièred at the box office in the number one position, earning $18.3 million in its first weekend, becoming the first film in five weekends to outgross The Sixth Sense at the box office. In the United States, Stigmata earned $50,046,268. Internationally the film earned $39,400,000 for a total worldwide gross $89,446,268.[2]

Critical response

The film received poor reviews; Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 22% approval rating at, based on 89 reviews (19 positive, 70 negative).[3]
Roger Ebert called it "possibly the funniest movie ever made about Catholicism — from a theological point of view."[4] Gabriel Byrne was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his performances in both this film and End of Days, where he lost to Ahmed Best as the voice of Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.


Scream Factory released the film on May 19, 2015 for the first time on Blu-ray.[5]


  • "Release". BFI Film & TV Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved December 15, 2012.

  • "Stigmata". Box Office Mojo.

  • "Stigmata". Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1999). "Roger Ebert's review of 'Stigmata'".

  • External links

    What Were Some Implications of Gnosticism?


    Did Jesus really have an identical twin? Was he married to Mary Magdalene? Were gospels destroyed that should have been in the Bible? Did Jesus talk to the cross on which he died and did the cross walk out of the tomb speaking? Was Judas a hero who alone of the disciples understood Jesus and, in betraying Him, was carrying out Christ's secret instructions?
    Writings from the second through fourth centuries either make these claims outright or suggest them to modern readers. Produced by individuals whom we now identify as "Gnostic," these texts have been put forward in recent years as reasonable alternative forms of Christianity, as branches which were unjustly suppressed, as teachings which should be allowed to modify the dogma that came down to us or as books that should have been incorporated into the Bible. Naturally this is of concern to those orthodox Christians who understand what the texts actually contain. There is a danger that those who do not may be confused or misled by the popular claims. In this article Christian History Institute seeks to show who the Gnostics were, how we know about them, what were their main writings, what they taught and what, if anything, we can learn from them.

    What Was Gnosticism?

    Gnostics did not call themselves by that name and there were many variations of what we now call Gnosticism. While some forms were completely unrelated to Christianity, others considered themselves a higher type of Christian. But although Gnostic beliefs varied a good deal, we can sum up a few essential points on which all agreed:
    • The material world is bad, the spirit world is good. The material world is under the control of evil, ignorance or nothingness.
    • A divine spark is somehow trapped in some (but not all) humans and it alone, of all that exists in this material world, is capable of redemption.
    • Salvation is through a secret knowledge by which individuals come to know themselves, their origin and destiny.
    • Since a good God could not have created an evil world, it must have been created by an inferior, ignorant or evil god. Usually the explanation given is that the true, good God created or emanated beings (Archons) who either emanated other Archons or conjugated to produce them until a mishap by Sophia (Wisdom) led to the creation of the evil Archon who created our world and pretends to be God. He hides truth from humans, but sparks of Sophia in some humans fill them with an urge to return to the Pleroma (divine realm) where they belong.
    These ideas had implications that could not be squared with either the Old Testament or apostolic writings, which is why early Christians rejected them.

    What Were Some Implications of Gnosticism?

    Since Gnostics held matter to be corrupt, they considered the body to be corrupt, too. The trend of some Gnostics was to teach that there is no harm in indulging fleshly desires since the body is utterly corrupt and beyond redemption anyhow. Other Gnostics, perhaps the majority, held that the body must be kept in check by strict asceticism. Whether one chooses plan A or plan B, the underlying doctrine makes it impossible to understand how God could become a true man with a fleshly body in Christ Jesus.
    If matter is corrupt, Christ's body also was corrupt. Since the "Christian" Gnostics accepted Christ as in some sense the savior, they were prone to a heresy called docetism, which taught that Christ only appeared to have a man's body. Those Gnostics who avoided docetism and allowed Christ a real material body taught that the Christ spirit entered into the Jesus body at some point and was later withdrawn. Even on this point Gnostic writings differ. Some say that the Christ spirit abandoned the man Jesus and left him to die alone on the cross, others that someone other than Jesus was executed. In Gnostic writings, the resurrection was either ignored or viewed as a spiritual, rather than a physical, event. There was no settled Gnostic position on these points. Each Gnostic worked out a solution as he or she pleased, freely inventing myths to his or her own satisfaction, borrowing at will from the thoughts of predecessors.

    When Did Gnosticism Arise?

    The origins of Gnosticism are not known. Some of its ideas, especially the pervasive theme of androgyny, can be found in Plato. Various scholars have attempted to trace Gnostic dualism to Zoroastrianism and other features of Gnosticism to Buddhism or Judaism. A treasure trove of Gnostic documents found at Nag Hammadi include several works which represent a sour, blasphemous Jewish Gnosticism that takes a perverse delight in saying spiteful things about God as He is revealed in the Old Testament.
    As this suggests, elements of Gnosticism existed before the advent of Christianity. Peter, Paul, John and the writer of Hebrews were probably addressing budding Gnostic ideas when they insisted that Jesus came in the flesh and was a man like us. John's Revelation mentions groups who incorporated sexual acts into worship, which was also the practice of some Gnostic groups. However, the majority of Gnostic manuscripts found at Nag Hammadi as well as the Gospel of Judas and other such writings are clearly a reaction to the already-existing history-based Christianity of those whom we call the orthodox-- those whose faith was based on the oral teaching and writings of the apostles and their associates (the apostolic writings were widely distributed and accepted throughout Christendom although not every area had all of the books that made it into the New Testament and some accepted books that did not make the cut).

    Valentinus Invents "Christian" Gnosticism

    The founder of "Christian" Gnosticism was Valentinus, who was born in Carthage about 100 A.D. He became connected with the Christian church. After almost being elected Bishop of Rome (i.e.: pope) he drifted into open heresy. Apparently he was a poet; some have credited him with authorship of the earliest version of the poetical Gnostic homily Gospel of Truth. Desiring to present apostolic authority for his teaching (without which he knew Christians would ignore him), he claimed that he had received instruction from a follower of Paul named Theodas or Theudas. Even if this Theodas really had been a follower of Paul, it would not validate Valentinus' teaching, for we know that some followers of Paul fell away, for he and other apostles warn of those who shipwrecked their faith and of wolves in sheep's clothing who will come among them. With the deaths of the apostles and their immediate successors, falsehood found it easier to take root. There were no eyewitnesses left to repudiate false claims.
    As Valentinus' life dates show, the "Christian Gnostic" movement and its writings date from the middle of the 2nd century AD or later. By then, most, if not all, of the writings that became our New Testament were 80 to 100 years old. Consequently various Gnostic writings quote from or allude to almost every one of them. In turn, Gnostic writings spurred a whole new Christian literature when it became necessary to refute the spreading falsehood. Late in the 2d century, orthodox leaders began to produce works to counter the growing Gnostic influence.

    Why Did Early Church Leaders Oppose Gnosticism?

    Why did orthodox leaders oppose Gnosticism? First and foremost, Gnosticism did not square with what they had been taught or with the accepted writings of either the Old Testament or of the apostolic period. Gnostic gospels, coming, as they did, decades-- if not centuries-- after the original Christian Scriptures, were not more likely to contain truth than the received apostolic writings, but instead more likely to be inaccurate because of their longer reliance on oral transmission (assuming they attempted to base their thought on any kind of tradition, which is doubtful). Secondly, orthodox leaders feared that Gnostic cults would deceive members of their flocks and lead them to hell. Having examined Gnostic teachings, they were convinced that Gnostics were employing the old deception used by Satan in the Garden of Eden: that by knowledge one can become like God. In their opposition to Gnosticism they appealed to the older scriptures, to history, to tradition and to their own authority as properly appointed Christian leaders. The resultant battles helped remake the church.
    The three main results of the battle with Gnosticism were an increased emphasis on apostolic succession, the tightening of the church hierarchy and the definition of the Scriptural canon. One way to counter the inventions of the Gnostics was to show that as a church leader you had the truth because you had been trained and commissioned by a man who was trained and commissioned by a man who had been trained and commissioned by an apostle who had been trained and commissioned by Christ: thus the church developed the idea of apostolic succession. When only a few generations of church leaders separated a church leader from Christ, this argument held considerable force. Another way to resist heresy was to emphasize a hierarchy of church leadership in which no man could be made priest or bishop unless he stood in the tradition of previous leaders. This also happened. And finally, with spurious books emerging claiming the authority of apostles or their associates, it became necessary to decide just which writings were authoritative and which were not. Efforts to settle that question defined the canon of Scripture.

    Wrong to Reject Gnosticism?

    Were the orthodox wrong to reject the new form of "Christianity?" Several modern writers make it seem unfair of them. However, consider it this way: if you have a faith with specific teachings handed down to you by mentors you trusted and who backed up their position with writings of the apostles and their associates, and then along comes a new sect demanding that you change what you have been taught and deny the clear teaching of your tradition and books, are you obliged to do so? Hardly. On the contrary, it is more reasonable to expect the new cult to prove itself and defend its emerging practices. If the rival faiths clash, may that faith win which is best able to inspire its followers and meet their spiritual needs.
    The opponents of Gnosticism won the battle. In fact, they were so successful that Gnosticism was long known almost exclusively through the sharp critiques that the orthodox wrote against it.

    How do we know about Gnosticism?

    For many years our knowledge of Gnosticism was primarily through the refutations made by the orthodox. Orthodox Christians of the early church, including Epiphanius, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Hippolytus took issue with the Gnostics and other heretical groups. They declared that the Gnostics invented myths about Christ and human origins, blasphemed and created new gospels at whim. Some of the orthodox descriptions tally closely with actual Gnostic documents that have now turned up.
    Since the 18th century, we have recovered a number of Gnostic writings. Modern champions of Gnosticism claim that the orthodox were mistaken, that they misunderstand the attempt by the Gnostics to explain reality through myth. However, from the Gnostics' own writings it is more than apparent that the early defenders of orthodoxy got the story right in all its essentials. If anything, they understated the blasphemy and folly of many Gnostic writings.
    The greatest Gnostic find to date has been the Nag Hammadi Library discovered in 1945. Portions of 46 different treatises (duplicates brought the total to 52) were discovered in a clay pot near Luxor, Egypt. These are by no means all of the Gnostic writings. Other books, such as the Gospel of Mary were known from earlier times and orthodox writers mention others that we have not yet found. One work that Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons discussed has been known for centuries but only recently released in English translation--making quite a splash. This is the forged Gospel of Judas which makes Judas the greatest of the apostles because he helped Jesus achieve liberation from his body.

    What Was the Relationship of Christianity and Gnosticism?

    Gnosticism was largely an attack on historical Christianity or an attempt to infiltrate or undermine it. Gnostics quoted from or alluded to most of the writings which entered our New Testament and wrote in opposition to them or distorted them. In order to entice Christians into accepting their books, Gnostics made out that the books were written by apostles or other famous figures from the Gospels and Acts. In other words, they forged them. No major scholar of any persuasion that I know of accepts that any of them were written by those whom they name as authors.
    Gnostics claimed Christians were a step lower than themselves in the scale of enlightenment, that Jesus gave secret knowledge which the uninitiated did not share. For instance, the Gospel of Judas claims Jesus gave secret instructions to Judas who was therefore the most enlightened disciple. As the Gospel of Judas shows, one class of Gnostics took a demonic delight in standing Christian teachings on their head and inventing stories that would discredit God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit--the equivalent of a modern artist who puts a crucifix in a bottle of urine.

    Why I am an Eco-Socialist........sometimes " I can't see the road for the rain in my eyes"

    Why i am an Eco-socialist ...sometimes " I can't see the road for the rain in my eyes"
    In the end when you look at the faces of Jeremy Corbyn Caroline Lucas, and Leanne Wood their faces so aptly reveal their soul.

    In the end it comes down to who you are really deep inside. Its the emotion for me of seeing my son, seeing my lover. It comes down to reaching outwards, it's about knowing the history, literature and culture of Europe. It's about experiences of traveling, knowing the smell of the air in the countries of Europe, it's about smiling about our own odd little ways and theirs. Its about knowing what we share together and not what keeps us apart. Its about coping with the fear of change within ourselves and not about denying it and projecting it onto the other. Its about how the Soul of humanity under Socialism is more alive , more expansive and more aware.

    It's knowing that there is more than one book, that there is no us and them. It's about knowing that Tom Paine prior to his pamphlet “Common Sense” reminded the English that they were always part of Europe, its about knowing that Europeans want equal access to knowledge and education. It's about knowing that the French think one way, the Germans another, it's about knowing that the Magna Carta was imposed by French Knights, and the Glorious Revolution by a Dutch Army, that Christmas Trees were a Victorian tradition tradition that came from Germany. Its about knowing that a ruling elite never surrenders it rule easily or gently. Its about how we walk with the broken and the abandoned. Its about having fun, laughing and being kind. Its about knowing that you find prejudice everywhere but you also find empathy. It's about knowing the prejudice within yourself, it's about k owing the true meaning of Jihad.

    It's about knowing that even if you have been wrong or broken the law , your argument is still as important and emotional and uplifting. It's about knowing that we are all immigrants, that we all came out of Africa, that our ancestors were all economic migrants, that Aaron Banks that great saint of the Kippers and the Tories has no real loyalty to anything other than themselves and their pockets. It about knowing that the conspiracy of conservatism is simply about hanging on to privilege. That conservatism to quote Mill is empiricism tempered by prejudice. Its about knowing that in the words of Henry James that you can never say the last word on anybodies heart.

    It's about knowing and feeling in your heart, tolerance, understanding for the refugee, the victim of domestic abuse, the broken and the outcast. It's about daring to think in new ways it's about crossing over to new solutions and new perspectives. It's about not liking self assurance, and for those who are blaming the other, the little Englander and the simplistic Tory analysis of the Daily Mail.
    It's about seeing how Shakespeare was influenced by those European ideas stretching back to the Greeks. It's about seeing how the latest edition of Big Brother shows how important the works of Freud and Darwin were and are. It's about celebrating both popular and high culture and k owing what they are. It's about appreciating that Nietzsche was not a Nazi and that Margaret Thatcher was no friend of the Welsh or women. It's about seeing situations with new lenses and new filters. It's about understanding that we make new wines in both new and old vessels. It's about seeing the Mediterranean Sea and smelling the air. And finally its about possibilities, hope and respect. That is why I am an Ecosocialist appropriately and deeply within my heart.

    Its about the symbolism and faith in Socialisn. Its about how by looking at the threat of Isis, we do not forget the evil and poison of the far right. Its about what will come next if we forget the true nature of the Conservative party .. Its about the fact that the right-wingers worship the “free market” and the privatization of the NHS .I look at Theresa May, and Boris Johnson and I feel a revulsion deep down in my soul, in my mind and see them as abominations to all I have ever learnt, read, or felt. I would rather be a rebel than a slave.I have stood in the dock, lost three houses and been without a bank account and been homeless. Yet i have never sought to blame someone who was darker skinned, has a different sexuality or faith or philosophy. I have never been a Tommy Robinson character locked on the external locus of blame..that is why to the very end I will be an Ecosocialist . In the words of Oscar Wide "Every saint has a past , every sinner a future" Life is a lens through which we see the world and its meaning and that its not my fault if you see the world through a frosted single piece of glass. I would rather be a rebel than a sight may be dimmed but my lenses are wide numerous and multi-dimensional...and yours you bluekippers ? I think not... sometimes I cant see the road for the tears in my eyes......


    Robinson and the insecurity of the white male

    Robinson and the insecurity of the white male.. The Tommy Robinson saga revealed itself yesterday as the litmus test of ontological insecurity. The far right screamed and the hard right church of insecure masculinity just did not get it. The conspiracy theorists raved and spat. They were male yet insecure in that They screamed and shouted ...they claimed they were exposing paedophiles yet they were only interested if the paedophile had a darker skin. They conveniently forgot about the EDL man charged with the same crime. They forgot that Tommy's actions would simply risk freeing a paedophile.. 

    They wanted their country back but knew nothing of legal process and of law They threatened gay journalists, politicians and the police, they treated social war on the liberal left..
    Even getting the softer right to admit that anything was wrong with the Robinson approach was like trying to get the essence of liberalism out of the bricks of the Hitler bunker. When you did they screamed ad hominems like it was projectile vomit. It was an external locus of awareness not an internal ontological one. It was the Left that was to blame, they hated the expert, the historian and the social scientists. The Left were the cause not the bankers; the system and the market. To them Tommy was in Calvary be was their messiah the distilled essence of hate. The fear of the other the different was clear.. they were white males; insecure projecting, displacing; afraid the inner Tommy Robinson that has possessed so many will not go away till we know ourselves, know our insecurities and fears. Till then he will not go away.

    Graham mallaghan makes this very interesting point  " And another EDL activitist - also a fine aryan - groomed, raped, and killed 15 year old Paige Chivers in Blackpool a few years back, and it doing life for it. His flat was a destination for vulnerable girls whom he plied with drugs and booze before raping them. He killed that young person because she threatened to expose him. He had previously been a BNP activitist. And Jason Connolly, who killed Baby P, was obsessed with the Nazis and a follower of present day far right movements. He had an IQ of 75.

    It is darkly amusing how many followers of the far don't realise that Iif they got the fourth reich that they long for, many of them would be loaded into cattle trucks shortly after its establishment. With his record of persistent criminality, Yaxley-Lennon/Robinson would be one of them."

    Adventures in 'White Fragility'

    February 14, 2017
    Having hard conversations with people about race and intersectionality can be extremely uncomfortable, especially with my white friends. Currently, our political climate has made it difficult to go about your day without being bombarded by some kind of call to action, for this cause or that, or call your representative and tell them to vote “NO WAY!” However, as a person of color, who is also queer, I’ve lived my whole life suffering under the yoke of intersectional oppression. I’m cool! I can keep going without being too worried or anxious about what’s going on in the world. I just prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

    I wake up every day expecting some form of microaggression or another to be peppered throughout my day. Last week, we were doing a presentation on microaggressions and how to spot them when you see one. I asked if anyone has dealt with a microaggression or seen one happen. I told the folks in the audience I could probably go all day giving them several different examples that have happened to me, just during work situations.

    The one I like to tell was the time I was going to a hotel and presenting a training in one of the conference rooms. I walk up to the front desk to ask them where the training was being held.

    Front desk person: “Oh, housekeeping is on the 2nd floor.”
    Me: “No, I’m actually putting on the training for [insert organization name here].”

    He then proceeds to point me in the right direction, and I was on my way. Mind you, he didn't apologize for assuming I was there for the new housekeeper training.

    When I arrived at the room, my Program Coordinator was already there, and I asked her did they try to send her to the 2nd floor, too. She looked at me puzzled, and I told her what happened. She recalled that she said the exact same thing to the same front desk person, and he automatically sent her to the room where the training was. She is white, just in case you were wondering. She said she probably got there maybe five or ten minutes before me.
    However, when I tell this story to people I don't work with, many will try to invalidate my experience and say that either A) I am being too sensitive and reading into things, or B) he didn’t mean it that way. Which I truly believe white people say so they can feel better about the world we live in and that it’s not as racist or sexist or homophobic as it actually is. This is where a lot of my white friends have failed and faltered when it comes to understanding their own “White Fragility.” To become a real ally, accomplice, advocate, or whatever you want to call yourself, one must admit they are also part of the problem they are trying to fix.

    Dee Sabol, our Executive Director, wrote about this in her recent blog about white privilege and white responsibility, what that means and what that looks like. She also brought up the term White Fragility. The term was coined by Robin DiAngelo, who said “White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium” (2011, pg. 57).

    Basically, when a person of color calls out a white person’s privilege a myriad of emotions well up inside the white person that comes to the surface as guilt, shame, denial, sadness, and frustration. Depending on your toolbox and coping skills it can manifest itself as defensiveness, anger, and tears. White tears are dangerous, and many folks of color have written on the dangers of white tears. The tears of white women have killed young black men or got them strung up in a tree or dragged behind a car. The tears of black, brown, native, LGBTQ+ (unless they are white), and non-able-bodied people are discounted, minimized, or completely ignored.

    Whites who position themselves in self-defense against attacks of racial bias turn the narrative around and place themselves as the “real” victim, who’s being blamed, attacked, and used as a punching bag for race and racism in society. DiAngelo (2011) describes this as positioning themselves as morally superior while at the same time concealing the power of their own social location.

    In Sara Watts (2016) article “White Fragility is Real: 4 Questions White People Should Ask Themselves During Discussion About Race,” and the four questions are:

    1. Am I trying to change the subject?
    2. Am I using inappropriate humor to deflect?
    3. Am I getting defensive or angry?
    4. Am I going out of my way not to focus on “the negative?”

    Watts concludes by saying white people who feel hopeless, angry, and desperate to help they don’t know what to do to end systematic white supremacy. However, she does know that when the conversation of race is brought up, and white people become angry and defensive conversations stop, and so does understanding. Therefore, nothing is resolved, feelings are suppressed, and tensions continue to build. In order to help and not be a fragile white person, you have to be okay and get used to being uncomfortable.

    Courtney Martin, (2015) a self-proclaimed white woman, wrote:

    "If it feels difficult, and it does to me, you’re probably on the right track. Dismantling centuries of dehumanizing institutions and practices — both in the world and within ourselves — can’t be a simple process. The good news is that transforming your fragility into courageous imperfection is the beginning of a lot more joy. It’s the beginning of a lot more connection. It’s the beginning of the end of racism."

    To be able to truly feel joy one must know what the opposite must feel like, and I guess that would be centuries of dehumanizing institutions and practices of oppression. So don't ever tell me I don't know what true happiness feels like. It feels like freedom. It feels like the sound of chains breaking. It feels like the collective liberation of all people. It feels -- amazing.

    I don't expect everyone to think, or feel, or act the way I do. I do expect people (those who want real social change) to dig deep down inside themselves and ask, "How much am I willing to sacrifice for justice? And, what does that truly look like for me?" As a person of color I am not your guide through this adventure of white fragility. However, I am willing to be your friend and ally through the process of finding your courage to overcome the shame, guilt, anger, and frustration that has paralyzed so many for so long from showing up (Judge 2017). Showing up for #BlackLivesMatter. Showing up for immigrants, refugees, and Muslims. Showing up for the LGBTQ+ community. Showing up for women and girls. Showing up for people with different abilities. Showing up for everyone who isn't like them. Basically, just showing up when historically marginalized people need you to show up.

    I'm not going to tell you how to show up. I'm not going to give five easy steps on showing up. Because finding the courage to overcome years and years of social programming is complex. It requires a commitment to do the work, to overcome your own personal limiting beliefs and fears. It requires white people to share their privilege equitably. It's not about losing or giving away your power, but to find a way to share and work together in order to create a pluralistic society, to begin dismantling a system that has privileged and empowered a certain group of people based on race for hundreds of years, and thousands of years for patriarchy.

    I do not discount, ignore, or minimize white people tears. Because those feelings are real. But, for far too long I have set aside my own tears to comfort the white fragility of others. Now, it's your turn to wash your face and get back to work. Because we have a lot of work to do.


    DiAngelo, Robin. (2011). White Fragility. Retrieved from

    Judge, Monique (2017). White Fragility Leads to White Violence: Why Conversations About Race with White People Fall Apart. Retrieved from

    Martin, Courtney E. (2015). Transforming White Fragility into Courageous Imperfection. Retrieved from

    Watts, Sarah (2016). White fragility is real: 4 questions white people should ask themselves during discussions about race. Retrieved from

    Young, Damon (2015). The Term “White Tears” is Funny, but What it Often Leads to Isn’t. Retrieved from

    Additional Readings

    Adler-Bell, Sam (2015). Why White People Freak Out When They’re Called Out About Race: White Fragility is a defensive response to real conversations about race. Retrieved from

    Kegler, Anna (2016). The Sugarcoated Language of White Fragility. Retrieved from

    Morris, Ben (2016). The Myth of White Fragility and How Social Justice Warriors Fail to Understand Their Critics. Retrieved from

    Wednesday, 30 May 2018

    More fun from the DWP

     I heard recently from h the DWP that one of my clients made a freedom of information request on his DLA claim from some six years ago. The DWP felt that as I had done extensive work with the client that I was too biased. The client in question has a major psychosis and a severe personality disoder.. During the same clients PIP assessment a couple of months ago the client was so tense that be made his hand bleed because of tension. I wonder how the DWP acting on the dictates of IDS have the nerve to accuse me if bias . 

    They of course have no bias they merely go along with the dictates of their political master's who wish to make it so difficult for legitimate claimants to claim benefit . This is of course entirely different to someone who has built an understanding of a fragile and vulnerable individual. The DWP feel no problems here and feel that bias to Tory economic policy is perfectly acceptable...yet they can comment on a therapeutic relationship without knowing the client or myself...they have to lose on June 8th....there is nothing new here last year in another case I had a letter from the DWP telling me my job was to cure the client not to challenge their health care makes me sick....

    The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson

    The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson

    There is no Frigate like a Book
    To take us Lands away,
    Nor any Coursers like a Page
    Of prancing Poetry –
    This Traverse may the poorest take
    Without oppress of Toll –
    How frugal is the Chariot
    That bears a Human soul.

    - Emily Dickinson

    Emily's Final Illness:

    In the two years before her death, Emily's health began to fail.  This was 1884, just a few years after she buried her mother.  She and Lavinia had nursed their mother for her last seven years of life.  How frightening it must have been for Emily to face being an invalid - she knew too well its pain and loss of dignity.

    Bright's Disease?

    Emily began to weaken and to suffer blackouts,  Doctors diagnosed an advanced case of kidney disease (Bright's Disease.) NOTE: Modern physicians disagree - we'll learn what our member, Dr. Norbert Hirschhorn, believes, after extensive study, in a journal article (to be posted later today.)

    Death of Emily's Friend:

    In August of 1885, Emily received word that her dear friend, author Helen Hunt Jackson, had died.  Emily and Helen were both born in Amherst during the same Fall, and reconnected years later.  It was just months before, in writing to Helen after learning of her recent fall and broken leg, that Emily wrote this poem:

    Pursuing you in your transitions,
    In other Motes --
    Of other Myths
    Your requisition be.
    The Prism never held the Hues,
    It only heard them play --

    [Member Mary Narkiewitz brought this poem to us last year on this date - I found it and present it here.]

    Emily's Last Love Dies:

    At the same time Emily's health began to fail, she was told that Judge Otis Lord had died - the man she loved with whom she contemplated marriage.

    For the next two years - the last of her life - Dickinson remained an invalid, rarely leaving her bed.  Emily wrote very few poems during these years - one is quoted above.

    Emily Refuses Treatment:

    By the end of 1885, Emily began to refuse medical examinations. Feeling weaker and weaker, she sank into her pillows.  She wrote her last poem:

    And all that Heaven was --

    As May, 1886, approached, Emily seemed to know her time was limited.  In early May she wrote the letter, to her two favorite cousins, from which her epitaph would come:

    "Little Cousins, Called Back, Emily" - Emily's last letter . . .

    Emily had written the words "Called Back" once before to her "Little Cousins."  In a letter dated January 14, 1885, Emily wrote of a popular novel by Frederick John Fargus - its title: Called Back.

    Emily closed that earlier letter to Fanny and Loo Norcross:   "That we are permanent temporarily, it is warm to know, though we know no more."  [Did you notice the words "know no more" may be taken several ways? That's our Emily!]

    Emily's Funeral:

    Emily's funeral service was held at the Homestead.  Emily wore a robe of white flannel and lay in a white coffin.  The service was conducted by George Dickerman, who read from Corinthians.  Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson read Emily Brontë's poem "Last Lines."

    Emily's coffin was placed on a bier of pine boughs adorned with violets.  Lavinia placed two heliotropes in Emily's hand and whispered that they were for her to take to Judge Lord.  At her request, her coffin was carried to its resting place, next to her parents, at West Street Cemetery.

    “The grass of the lawn was full of buttercups and violet & wild geranium.”  - Higginson wrote about Emily Dickinson’s funeral, May 19, 1886:

    She died—this was the way she died.
    And when her breath was done
    Took up her simple wardrobe
    And started for the sun.
    Her little figure at the gate
    The Angels must have spied,
    Since I could never find her
    Upon the mortal side.

     - Emily Dickinson

    **thanks again to Susan Snively we have this information on the poem.  It is #154 in the Franklin Edition, and dated 1860.

    Susan also wrote us this message:
    "Surely Emily's funeral was a poem in itself.  Higginson's comment, "perfect peace on the beautiful brow" is a comforting tribute."

    Below is Emily's poem, "I felt a Funeral in my Brain"

    Operation Tân (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈtɑːn], "fire") looking back on 1980 or what happens in Wales under the Tories

    Operation Tân (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈtɑːn], "fire") was the name of a series of police raids in Wales between 1 October 1979 and 30 September 1980. The aim of the operation was to identify "Welsh extremists" responsible for burning second homes with English owners.
    It has been criticised as a more generalised trawl of left and nationalist milieux within Wales
    For more details see Political policing in Wales" John Davies, Lord Gifford, and Tony Richards. (1984, Cardiff: Welsh Campaign for Civil and Political Liberties
    Over the palm sunday weekend 1980 the police and special branch carried out 'operation fire' which saw police forces across wales raid the homes of dozens of people and make scores of arrests (frequently illegally).

    The Welsh Socialist Republican movement had been formed in January 1980. They published a journal called 'socialism for the welsh people'. The  WSRM had 12 acive branches in Wales and produced a weekly paper y faner goch (the red flag) and a monthly magazine 'the welsh republic'. As well as organising among working class people across wales welsh republicans established fraternal links with republicans in ireland and organised a protest in wales to support the irish republican hunger strikers (welsh police attacked the protest and broke it up). 

    Developments like this in wales clearly caused great alarm in the upper echelons of the British state - they had their hands full with events in northern ireland at the time - and it seems clear the emerging welsh republican movement was singled out for special treatment by the thatcher government and the British intelligence services. The palm sunday raids in 1980 hadnt succeeded in destroying the welsh republican movement so what became known as the 'conspiracy trial' took place in 1982.  

    In 1980 and 1981 a number of small explosive devices had been planted at places strongly identified with the british state in wales - army recruiting offices, tory party offices etc and in late 1981 there was an explosion at the welsh office in cardiff (no people were injured in any of these explosions). Different groups claimed responsibility for these devices - one was called the 'workers army of the welsh republic' and another 'the sons of glyndwr'.  

    In the following months a number of members of the welsh republican movement were arrested and detained on suspicion of causing explosions. One of the defendants (Dafydd Ladd) admitted the charges but others pleaded not guilty and went on trial early in september 1982 with the trial ending two months later. All except one of the defendants was found not guilty of all charges, and none of them was found guilty of carrying out the explosions. The jury accepted the defence case that there was a police conspiracy against the defendants and believed the defendants when they said evidence had been planted, confessions altered and manufactured and had been extracted under 'duress' ie they were beaten and abused by interrogators. 

    The trial cost over 500,000 pounds - millions in todays money and while the convictions it resulted in were neglegible at the end of this period the nascent republican movement in wales had been shattered and has never seriously re-emerged - maybe that will change with the affects of brexit on wales and a landslide tory government at westminster? Knowing what we now know about the activities of the british state in ireland did the 'WAWR' and 'sons of glyndwr' really exist or were these the actions of intelligence operatives or agent provacateurs
    • Mae rhywun yn gwybod (Somebody Knows) by Alwyn Gruffydd
    • To Dream of Freedom by Roy Clews, 3rd edition, Publisher: Y Lolfa, 2004. Concentrates on MAC and the Free Wales Army in the 1960s. Includes interviews by participants.
    • Freedom Fighters: Wales's Forgotten War 1963–1993, John Humphries (2008). Looks at FWA, MAC and Meibion Glyndwr with many interviews and historical facts.


    "Political policing in Wales" John Davies, Lord Gifford, and Tony Richards. (1984, Cardiff: Welsh Campaign for Civil and Political Liberties )

    The Welsh Socialist Republican tradition..resources and history.

    I came across this archive of the Welsh left last week. Its a fascinating collection that lasts from the 1950s to the John Marrek battle within Wrexham Labour party. It deals with a period of history that asks questions to all on the left. On Friday I did a piece on both the Brit left and the Lexit left and was a strange synchronicity that I came upon this information.

    "It is often ignored by the traditional left. In many cases it originates around the mistake that a Welsh socialist Republican tradition is somehow an unconscious right wing nationalist group. Yet the blind spot it reveals on the Lexit Left is that their championing of the leave campaign is entirely separate from the implications of Brexit and its consequences for those who have experienced racist or homophobic treatment since then. We all have blind spots and yet very few of either the Brexit Left or Brit left see it. The issue of Wales and the issue of Brexit is a prime example of this weakness.
    This issue of Wales also has implications for Plaid and others in the questions that it asks. Plaid has long had a tension within it that goes back to tensions between Saunders lewis and Gwynfor Evans, Dafydd Elis Thomas and Dafydd Wrigley and between Leanne Woods and others. It will probably move into a new struggle in the next ten years between Adam Price and Rhun ap Iorwerth . Looking back over the last fifty years we see that Plaid has yet to fully decide if it is a Socialist Party or a “Welsh Liberal Democrat” one. The coming Plaid election contest between Adam Price and Rhun ap Iorwerth will decide that......

    Its totemic battle will be based around Green ideas, about attitudes to Renewable s and Nuclear power and to the issue of Europe and political moderation, it will be based about Welsh, the market and the progress of the Corbynistas in Wales.. These documents provide similar trends and approaches. Please reflect upon them.

    I can supply a small anecdote around the establishment of Cymru Ymlaen by John Merrick and Ron Davies. In the Spring is 2004 I was the Leader of Wales Green Party and was invited by both John and Ron to meet them in Vojon,s in St Helens Road in Swansea. We had a pleasant and interesting discussion and it was agreed that I would speak at a meeting at Wrexham Miners institute at a meeting of the Welsh Left. At the end if the meal the owner of the restaurant recognizing Ron Davies and John Marek asked them to sign the visitors book . About a week later there appeared in the Brian Walters column in the Evening Post a story about a " Secret Curry" that had taken place between representatives of the Welsh Left. It seemed that we had been rumbled because Lawrence Bailey leader of Swansea Council had gone to the same restaurant a few days later and on signing the visitors book had seen our names there.....

    Ron Davies came to Davies and spoke to about fifty members of Swansea Green Party, I attended with John Mathews a public meeting of the left in Wrexham and spoke on the Platform with John Merrick and Tommy Sheridan. I remember the visit well and the long train ride from Swansea to Wrexham shared with Martin Shipton.

    There were further meetings held at between myself , Miranda Lavey and John Marek at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay but by the coming of the European elections in June of that year no understanding had been worked out.

    Over ten years later the left in Wales still has no clearer direction as numerous possibilities still compete and clash with one another. Very little has changed over the years as this fascinating archive reveals.....anyway welcome to Monday...Since I found the archive about the Welsh Socialist Republican tradition I seem to have alarmed Facebook's security fears. Often when I share a post I have to fill in a code to do so... I think I have been noticed....again..

    Anyway I liked this survey from the archive......
    Here is the link

    Index to Documents & Literature

    Document 1| Language
    Document 2 | 1953 editorial
    Document 3 | Welsh Republican Manifesto [1950]
    Document 4 | 1965 Thayer
    Document 5 |Legacy of a patriot
    Document 6| 2007 Terror
    Document 7 | Dennis Coslett
    Document 8| John Jenkins
    Document 9| John Jenkins, Royalty and the State
    Document 10| Welsh TV
    Document 11| The Republican Movement 1973
    Document 12| Red Wales (1) 1974
    Document 13| Republican Standpoint in Cymru
    Document 14| IMG review of Socialism for the Welsh people
    Document 15| 1980 WRSM Statement
    Document 16| WSRM First Congress
    Document 17| 1980 Class & National Struggles (RCLB)
    Document 18| Notes on welsh nationalism and Plaid Cymru (IMG)
    Document 19| The Nature of the Welsh Socialist Republican Movement (IMG)
    Document 20| Plaid
    Document21 | Carn 1980
    Document22 | Direct Action
    Document23| Police State in wales
    Document24| Repression
    Document25 | Writing on the Wall
    Document 26| Welsh nationalists under attack
    Document 27 |Robert Griffith
    Document 28 |WSRM Defendants’ Statement   Class Struggle February 1984
    Document 29| WCCPL STATEMENT Y Faner Goch, Issue 14 (winter 1983-84 )
    Document 30| article on the trial
    Document31 | Dafydd Ladd’s OPINION
    Document 32 | Red Wales (2) Where We Stand 1984
    Document 33 | Get Off Our Backs
    Document 34 | Bere Letter 1984
    Document 35 | Meibion Glyndwr Carn 65
    Document 36 | Carn 100 From referendum to referendum
    Document 37 | Cyfamodwyr Three
    Document 38 | A Republican overview on Republican Socialist re-groupment in Wales.
    Document 39 | Ranting & Raving – the lack of critical discussion of the Arts in Wales
    Document 40 | Advertising Copy 
    Baberis, McHugh & Tyldesley (2000) Encyclopaedia of British and Irish Political Organisations. Continuum
    Carn magazine – since 1973 the quarterly publication of the Celtic League dedicated to “secure or win” the political, cultural, social and economic freedom of the six Celtic nations – Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, Mann, Scotland and Wales.
    Class Struggle, newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain
    Clews, Roy (1980) To Dream of Freedom: the struggle of M.A.C. and the Free Wales Army.   Y Lolfa, Talybont, Wales
    Cymru Goch (nd) Get Off Our Backs! Wales A Colony
    Evans, A.H. (1975) English Historians and Welsh History: an examination (Self-published)
    Evans, D. Gareth (2000) A History of Wales 1906-2000. University of Wales Press
    Griffiths, Robert (n.d. 1980?) Turning to London: Labour’s Attitude to Wales 1898-1956 . Y Faner Goch pamphlet
    Humphries, John (2008) Freedom Fighters: Wales’s Forgotten ‘War’, 1963-1993 Cardiff: University of Wales Press
    Jenkins, John (1981) Prison Letters. Y Lolfa, Talybont, Wales
    Miles, Gareth & Griffiths, Robert (1979) Socialism For the Welsh People. Y Faner Goch pamphlet
     Neil Kinnock and the Anti-Taffy League (1979) Y Faner Goch pamphlet
    Osmond, John (1985) Police Conspiracy? Y Lolfa , Talybont, Wales
    Thomas, Ned (1991) The Welsh Extremist: A Culture in Crisis
    Y Lolfa; New edition Paperback [Victor Gollancz; 1st Edition (3 Jun. 1971)]
    WSRM (1981) For Socialism and National Liberation. Resolutions and Reports of the First Congress of the Welsh Socialist Republican Movement

    2000 onwards

    While there continues to be a mushrooming of small protest organisations on the Welsh nationalist scene, some, like Cymru Annibynnol (Independent Wales)[1] launched in 2000 as a protest against the 2001 Census’ lack of Welsh tick box, can gain rapid attention and short-lived momentum.

    The Welsh Republican Army (WRA) (Byddin Weriniaethol Gymreig) said to have re-formed in 2000, is a small Welsh Republican paramilitary organisation, that traces their lineage back to the Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (MAC) – Movement for the Defence of Wales and their slogan ‘Fe godwn ni eto’: ‘We shall rise again‘.
    A spokesperson for the WRA made this statement in 2007 on its aims: “The WRA’s primary objective is to establish a Welsh socialist republic and free Cymru from its shackles. We will continue to oppose the British state’s domination and rule of our country.” It was reported in June 2005, that The Welsh Republican Army went to the town of Cilmeri and spray painted over the signs in the town which show the English spelling of the town’s name, and also visited the town railway station and sprayed Free Wales logos in the surrounding area  .
    Welsh freedom struggle still has some way to break the dominance of English political allegiance and influence in Wales. Referendums on devolution for Wales were held on 1 March 1979 _ Turnout was 58.6% _and 18 September 1997_and turnout was 50.1% in 1997. There was little support for devolution in the 1979 referendum, with only 20.3% of voters in favour. The 1997 referendum on the other hand produced a slim majority in favour of a Welsh Assembly; 50.3% of voters voted ‘Yes’ to an Assembly while 49.7% were opposed.
    Yet, in the 21st century Plaid Cymru has remained the main vehicle for proponents of Welsh independence aspirations. Plaid are clearly the dominant party of Welsh-speaking Wales, with all the Welsh-majority seats and their support outside the valleys, reflecting the linguistic nature of its constituency more than anything else. It campaigned for Welsh to become an official European Union language. On 15 July 2008 the EU Council of Ministers approved a new status for the use of Welsh as a “co-official” language within EU institutions. This agreement, at the request of the UK Government means that Co-official languages can receive certain services in the EU, such as for example interpretation during meetings, translation of final legislation or the possibility for citizens to correspond with EU institutions in the language.
    Expression of a revival in welsh socialist republicanism continued to be premature: April 2003 saw the publication of a new (short-lived) radical weekly called “Seren” / Star encompassing socialist, environmental and republican news.
    In August of the same year, John Marek AM hosted the conference, “Red green and radical – building a left alternative in Wales”. It attracted speculation of the formation of a new political party corresponding to the SSP in Scotland, indeed Tommy Sheridan, the most prominent Scottish Socialist Party member of the Scottish Parliament, was a speaker at the conference. Marek was thought a strange candidate to unify the radical left, as a commentary in Carn observed, he:
    would still be a New Labour AC if he had not been deselected by his local Labour party, is a unionist with a dubious attitude towards the language.” [2]
    In late 2003, Cymru Goch subsumed itself into the new Forward Wales party formed around the ex-Labour member of the Welsh Assembly John Marek. That party was disbanded in 2010.

    Mike Davies provided a republican overview on “Republican Socialist re-groupment in Wales” in the first few years of the 21st Century:
    • Document 38 | A Republican overview on Republican Socialist re-groupment in Wales.[3]
    Socialist republicans have been a tiny force in Welsh politics for the past 20 years. During that time Cymru Goch, although a dynamic party that published the only monthly Welsh political paper, reached out to other socialists and republicans through a series of unity ventures that culminated in the unsuccessful Welsh Socialist Alliance.
    This was cynically hijacked by the Socialist Workers Party, who used it as an electoral vehicle without appreciating the need for a deeper alliance to unite the left in Wales. The problem with trying to create left unity in Wales, unlike Scotland, is that the British left groups here (small though they are) have never accepted the need for separate organisation.
    This led to Cymru Goch reluctantly withdrawing from the WSA in 2002. It then organised a highly successful three-day event opposing the Queen’s jubilee with speakers from the IRSP, SSP attending Clwb y Bont in Pontypridd. It turned out to be something of a swansong for the organisation.
    That summer, the party agreed, in an attempt to broaden its appeal, to launch a monthly tabloid paper called Seren (Socialist, Environmental, Republican News). The aim was to link up the various left, trade union and community campaigns in a practical if loose alliance – an attempt to build a grassroots unity based on cooperation rather than forced mergers between sectarian groupings.
    As luck had it, the launch coincided with the growing anti-war protests and for a time Seren went weekly to reflect the activities throughout Wales. It succeeded in building up a network of distributors way beyond CG’s membership.
    Then in March 2003, Wrexham’s Assembly Member John Marek was deselected by Labour. After talks with local socialists, he decided to stand as an independent in the May 2003 Assembly elections. Marek had become an increasingly vocal critic of New Labour from a left reformist viewpoint – he had given much practical support to the anti-war movement and recent firefighters’ strike.
    His success in the election—stunningly overturning a solid Labour majority—led to meetings with the SSP and Marek himself called for a Welsh Socialist Party. Unfortunately, he was also under the influence of a Labourite clique and soon pulled back from an SSP-style party, preferring instead to opt for Forward Wales. This sought to unite the left without clarity on the national question and pulled its punches on socialism – not a good start but the left within it (including ex CG-comrades) felt it was a step in the right direction and couldn’t be ignored.
    Fudging key issues kept many socialist republicans from joining the new party, leaving the Labourites in the ascendancy. The party continued to move on, gaining a councillor in local elections and winning over Ron Davies, the ex-Welsh Secretary. This, although a publicity coup, only succeeded in strengthening the reformist grip on the party.
    The ongoing tensions between the left and the ex-Labourites, coupled with Marek’s effective sole funding of the party through his salary and allowances, ended with the left (including the sole councillor, national secretary and press officer) quitting the party.
    Seren continued to publish, maintaining links between leftists in all parties, although it’s fair to say that most are now not in any organisation. Financial pressures led to Seren becoming a web-based publication——and socialist republicans in Wales continue to be in a state of re-groupment.
    Some have opted to join Plaid Cymru, which has a strong socialist republican grouping based around Leanne Wood AM and Jill Evans, the party’s Euro-MP. Leanne in particular has become the most prominent republican in Wales with her principled objections to the Queen opening the Assembly building on March 1.
    The electoral system, not the be all and end off for socialists of course, militates against an SSP-style party in Wales breaking through. In Scotland, the PR system has allowed both the SSP and Greens to win seats while in Wales there is little hope of that happening because the list system is far more restrictive. The party has moved significantly to the left in recent years, calling itself “the socialist party of Wales” in the last General Election and moving away from its cultural nationalist heritage. In truth, it always had a left-wing element but that was dominated by a cultural nationalism in the post-war years.
    It has been a consistent voice for environmental campaigners and aligned itself with the anti-war movement. Adam Price MP, another left voice in the party, is seen as a future leader and has established close links with dissident left union leaders such as Bob Crow of the RMT railworkers’ union.
    Independence is not an issue fudged, socialism is central to its liberation agenda and there has always been an environmental, grassroots element to Plaid’s political message. Plaid, in short, is a world away from the SNP’s right-wing nationalist vision and – for this writer at least – seems like the natural home for Welsh socialist republicans. At a time when there is no Welsh republican organisation and the British left has all but vanished in Wales, the presence of a credible left-wing party in Plaid Cymru is heartening to say the least. Socialists within Plaid will be working to ensure that it can take control of the Assembly in the May 2007 elections against a Labour Party beset by sleaze and scandal.
    Post-devolution we’re a post-colonial country still waiting to be decolonised. It is these contradictions that describe our present predicament: we are a hybrid state living in the cracks between a dependent past and an independent future.
    Thus in November 2009, Adam Price, then Plaid’s MP for Dinefwr and East Carmarthenshire[4] had tried to describe the Welsh dilemma, or as Gareth Miles argued in ‘Ranting and Ravings’ a submission to the Welsh Arts Council that same year, “many of our critics, like the majority of their compatriots, are not sure exactly what Wales is.”

    The self-declared Socialist republican, Leanne Wood was elected leader of Plaid Cymru on 15 March 2012. The first female leader of Plaid Cymru was the first party leader to be a Welsh learner rather than already fluent in the Welsh language. A Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 2003, her Plaid Cymru profile includes her commitment to working “for Wales to become a self-governing decentralist socialist republic”.
    On the fringe doubts were expressed:
    Leanne Wood taking the leadership of Plaid Cymru will spread and perpetuate the illusion that Plaid Cymru is or can become a vehicle for a progressive, socialist and republican movement, that Plaid Cymru can challenge the Westminster imposed austerities, take Wales out of the neo-imperialist wars in the middle east and elsewhere, and get rid of those imposters posing as the Prince and Princess of Wales.[5]
    Despite the historical discontinuities, what reasserted itself is the idea that a socialist and republican Wales is a desired goal necessary for a progressive and equal society. Internet activism opportunities sees the spirit and message of welsh socialist republicanism still broadcasted by bloggers like Gethin ‘Iestyn’ Gruffydd and Nickglais, editor of Democracy and Class Struggle blogsite and also a member of Great Unrest Group 2012 for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party. There are individual social media venues, such as Y Repwblic ~ Conversations with Wales’ Republicans, that act to preserve and advance various strands of radical thought[6] and elsewhere on the internet, Radical Wales[7] exists as an independent platform for considered radical political analysis, commentary and discussion. It strives to contribute by providing a space for the extra-parliamentary left of anarchists, communists, greens, left-republicans and socialists outside of the major political parties to explore issues important to them. It says:
    Inspired by the long line of rebels and revolutionaries who have stood outside and against the political process of the ruling class in Wales, we publish original articles that continue that tradition.”
    The latest manifestation of that ideal sprouting again at the margins of the political life but arguing the points made by others throughout the modern history of Wales, was in the appearance in March 2013 of a magazine advertised as Liberation Magazine – Voice of Welsh Socialist Republicanism
    • Document 40 | Advertising Copy
    liberation 2The reason for launching Liberation Magazine is that we take the view you cannot win a game where the rules are made by your opponent.
    In the case of Wales, the British State determines the rules and Welsh people are supposed to play the Welsh Assembly game according to its rules.
     It is arrogant imperial intellectual and practical colonialism where very important decisions on Welsh Life are taken in London and not Wales.
     The Welsh are closetly seen as unfit to govern their own country.
     Liberation Magazine unashamedly stands for a Welsh Socialist Republic an idea that has been maturing in Wales for over a century.
     The Labour Party and Plaid Cymru in Wales have never really embraced the idea of Welsh Socialist Republic.
     Sometimes Plaid Cymru flirts with the idea but quickly backtracks under pressure.
     Monarchism has not only infected the Labour Party but also sections of Plaid Cymru.
     We launched Liberation Magazine because we want a journal where the Welsh, the Socialist and the Republican cases can be argued and discussed.
    A new strategy and new tactics needs to be developed for the social and national liberation of Wales in the 21st Century if Wales is to arrest its current trajectory of economic and social decline.
     Liberation Magazine is about ideas, the precursor of events and the inspirer of people.
     “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”.
    – Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Our ambition is to create new ideas and start a winning game for Wales."