Tim Evans

Balancing act

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The new First Minister of the Welsh Assembly, Carwyn Jones, is a slight turn to the right from his predecessor, Rhodri Morgan, who retired last month after ten years.

Morgan understood the need to distance himself from some of the worst aspects of New Labour but to compare Morgan with an icon of the left like Aneurin Bevan, as Neath MP Peter Hain did last week, is nothing short of ridiculous. In talking left, Morgan was more able to hold support in the large parts of Wales where New Labour would be less welcome.

Transcending the Troubles to Come Out of the Blues

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Jane Hardy's review of Simply Heavenly and of Langston Hughes's other work ('We Know We Are Beautiful', January SR) rightly locates the blues as a major inspiration.

Hughes's poetry not only addresses the same daily concerns and struggles as the blues, but also has the rhythms and cadences of the blues deeply embedded in it.

In Shock and Awe at the Horror of Imperialism

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There is a grim sense of poetic justice about the slow motion catastrophe engulfing the Bush administration and its Blairite poodle ('Wipe the Smiles Off Their Faces', May SR).

On every single point the Stop the War Coalition has been proved correct - over WMDs, over the war on 'terror' and over the way ordinary Iraqis would react to an occupation. Like some Hollywood remake of The Mummy's Curse, this 'foreign adventure' is beginning to destroy all who have been associated with it.

Firing on the Home Front

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Peter Morgan's article 'Tales From The Tabloids' (January SR) illustrates how during war the government, the military and the media collude in a reconstruction of truth.

There is a further dimension to all this, however. As some commentators have noted, the US's military 'successes' in Afghanistan are encouraging the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Bank to push through similarly robust and abrasive measures in the economic sphere. These measures drive down living standards for the poorest and most vulnerable, directly creating the desperate conditions out of which so called 'terrorism' grows.

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