12 May 2016
For the second year running Strong Communities Healthier People (SCHeP) will be supporting the Merthyr Rising Festival to be held on the 3th, 4th and 5h June 2016.
SCHeP’s support will take the form of sponsoring the Waun Common Debates which will bring together shadow chancellor John McDonnell, noted political commentator Tariq Ali and speakers from the University to open up grassroots discussion and debate of contemporary social and political issues.
The three-day festival, now in its third year, aims to draw on the creativity, heritage and radicalism of a town synonymous with the industrial revolution and working class politics.
Mr McDonnell will speak about the economy and alternatives to austerity, while other contributors taking part in separate debates include writer, activist and novelist Tariq Ali, miners’ leader Tyrone O’Sullivan and a speaker from the University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies who will explore the media’s reporting of war.
Dr Martin O’Neill, from the School of Social Sciences and community lead for Strong Communities, Healthier People, said:
“From the Risings of 1831 through the Rebecca and Llanelli riots, Scotch Cattle, Chartism and the legacy of the likes of Keir Hardie, Aneurin Bevan and S.O.Davies South Wales has a long and proud tradition of social and political radicalism. The aim of these debates is to build on this heritage in order to stimulate informed and robust discussion of the most salient social and political issues of our time. Through sponsoring the Waun Common debates we aim to support and maintain that long tradition of Merthyr Tydfil as a crucible of radical political ideas.”
The debates commemorate discussions held near Dowlais just outside Merthyr during the original risings of 1831 which was one of the earliest organised actions of industrial workers in 19th century Britain and where more than 2,000 workers from Merthyr and Monmouthshire gathered at Waun Common to petition the King for reform following anger over low pay, debt and poor working conditions. These contemporary Waun Common debates will seek to commemorate the original spirit of the debates by exploring radical ideas while discussing current economic and political issues as part of the wider festival.
Strong Communities, Healthier People is a University project to create a sustainable model of collaborative research, education, engagement and knowledge exchange between the University and local communities in north Merthyr and Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown in Cardiff.
It is one of the University's five flagship engagement projects, otherwise known as its Transforming Communities programme.
The University is working with Welsh Government and communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond in areas including health, education and wellbeing.
Details of Talk by Dr John Jewell
Cardiff University school of journalism, media and cultural studies
"World War One: Propaganda, Recruitment and Reporting"
When we read or hear about the undoubted heroism of all those dead men, when we pause to consider their bravery and sacrifice we should remember also the course of events which did not let the British public know about the conduct of the First World War.
There was in place a system of propaganda which romanticised and demonised, mislead and obfuscated. Lloyd George, Prime Minister in 1916, told C.P. Scott, then editor of the Manchester Guardian: “If the people really knew [the truth] the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don’t know and can’t know.”
In this talk John Jewell analyses the role of government, media and the wider cultural elites in presenting a vision of conflict far removed from the realities of the Western front.