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This report is taken from PN Review 129, Volume 26 Number 1, September - October 1999.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

In the early 1960s, I was for a time a member of a Bristol club at which it was customary to end each convivial session with three verses of 'The Queen'. Since memory lets you down almost as often by its retention of what you would prefer to forget as by failing to lug forward what you wish to remember, I find that I still effortlessly recall those loyal lines. One phrase, 'confound their politics', I frequently take out of context and apply to politicians of all shades. Unlike many of my fellows (if the turn-out for the recent election is anything to go by), I am afflicted not by apathy, but a failure to suspend disbelief in the efficacy of political process and the worthiness of those who engage in it. I know I should be delighted that we now have our own National Assembly, but I find myself trying hard to work up a little trust in the new institution. True it lacks the powers that have been handed back to the Scots, but it is, after all, the nearest thing we have had to a parliament in Wales since the days of Owain Glyndwr. I still look to our elected representatives to set us an example of principle and common sense and so often they don't. I should have become more forgiving of their human failings, and have to some degree, but the tattered remnants of that naive expectation cling. In my sister's view, it comes ...


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