The next decade will be the most significant period ever in Welsh politics, according to BBC Welsh Affairs Editor, Vaughan Roderick, on the day of publishing a volume of his work to mark twenty years since Wales voted for a National Assembly.
In the book, Pen ar y Bloc, which is published this week, Vaughan says that ‘the tectonic plates are moving and questions that would have seemed ridiculous ten years ago are now reasonable’.
These movements, he says, mean that questions arise about the existence of some of the larger parties in their current form, and also could mean that the days of the politics of class could be nearing their end. He also predicts the possibility of the United Kingdom and the European Union breaking apart.
‘Will the United Kingdom, the European Union, or both, be likely to fall to pieces or can they succeed in re-creating themselves? We shall see’.
The book, written by Vaughan and his fellow BBC journalist, Ruth Thomas, reproduces the best of Vaughan’s successful blog, ensuring that his witty writings will not disappear in this ‘Digital Dark Age’.
Publishing the volume, which includes new material that explores some of the most important political developments since 1997, will mean that a completely indispensable record of Welsh history has been created.
The volume also pays tribute to former Wales First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, who died on the 17th of May this year. Vaughan wrote the tribute especially for this book.
Professor Richard Wyn Jones, head of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, said: ‘This is a world class political commentary: witty, wide ranging and broad its spirit. It stands as further proof that we have been extremely fortunate as a nation to have Vaughan Roderick guide us through all the twists and turns of two decades of devolution’.
Since the late 1970s, Vaughan has witnessed many of the events that have changed Wales - from the Cymdeithas yr Iaith protests, the miners’ strike, the fight for devolution up and the Brexit vote.
He did so on radio and television, and from 2004 by writing for the BBC online news service, initially through the O Vaughan i Fynwy column, and through his blog from 2007 onwards.
His editor, Ruth Thomas, says that Vaughan’s unique voice has defined ‘a generation’.
‘All that a journalist can do is report and measure the importance of a story as it appears at the time, through the glasses of our lives’ said Vaughan.
As a result of the his sharp analysis over the decades, Pen ar y Bloc is a comprehensive, vital and witty summary that anyone who has an interest in Welsh history and politics will enjoy.
Pen ar y Bloc will be launched at The Senedd at 6 o'clock on Tuesday, 19 September, with Vaughan Roderick, Ruth Thomas, Betsan Powys and Professor Richard Wyn Jones. It will include a panel discussion between Jane Hutt AM, David Melding AM, Helen Mary Jones and Kirsty Williams AM. The evening is organised by Y Lolfa and the National Assembly for Wales.
Pen ar y Bloc by Vaughan Roderick (£14.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.