Newport is Dead, Long Live Newport

chartist-mural

There comes a time when you have to say – enough is enough.

When things have gone too far; when somebody needs to make a stand.

And by sending their workmen to smash down a monument to one of the most important events in modern Welsh history – Newport Council has done just that.

They’ve stood up for the rights of corporations to build massive retail developments wherever they want; without interference from the people who live there.

Because there’s nothing more important to the advancement of Welsh society than the building of retail developments – nothing. No history. No culture. No community. No individual.

By smashing the mural to bits, Newport Council has hammered home this simple and powerful message. Forget about the Chartists. Forget about protests.

Don’t bother collecting petitions or holding-up banners. Don’t bother trying to use reason or logic or appealing to basic human decency. Because none of that matters.

There is no history. There is no democracy. There’s only consuming.

Or as Newport Council put it:

The mural is a modern day depiction of an historical event that happened in Newport and has served to remind us of Newport’s past, but we must now focus on Newport’s future.

And that future is to make Newport town centre a retail wonderland. To create a dreamlike world of generic shops, corporate branding and private security.

It’s not a world where people need to be reminded of their collective power to change and challenge the establishment.

It’s not a world where people need to be confronted or confused by art or culture. It’s a place to buy stuff you don’t really need.

And already this brave new world has started to take shape. As the workers were lobbing the final bits of the Chartist mural into a council skip; the news came through.

That sweet, sweet news. Yes, it was indeed true – Newport’s retail development was to become home to Britain’s biggest 99p store.

Newport is dead. Long live Newport!

Newport-vision

Comments

  1. Was it not possible to act, before the workmen arrived, to prevent this desecration? If there was opportunity to petition, to rally, to protest, to physically deny access with a crowd of people, to get it dismantled and rebuilt in another location, e.g. a museum, etc. then this article is just bleating.

  2. The 99p Store is going in the old M&S building not the new development. We wait with baited breath what delights that place has in store….World’s largest mobile phone accessory store? We can but hope.

  3. This is a disgrace. I’m actually quite upset. The least they could have done was to move it and preserve it elsewhere. It’s the first I’ve heard of this and I’m gutted. I spent much of my teen years in the town and was always moved by the murals growing up. The constant reminder that once, not so long ago, something big happened there; something important that changed lives and changed history. This is disgusting. Why do Newport Council think they can compete with Cardiff for retail? They need to make Newport different. Total lack of any creativity or thought or care. “If man cannot embrace his past, he has no future.” RIP Newport.

  4. The’ve done the same in Cardiff. Newport might have seen it as a dire warning rather than a shining example. Small shops going under, no individuality or culture, no sense of people power, even thought its the people that pay the rates. I suspect the propping up of the facia of all being well cant continue. if were looking at China for example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9yfZBZdQaM

  5. To the councillors of Newport, you are just scum. Probably your only reason to become members was not for the benefit the local people but to benefit your own shallow careerist futures. You are a disgrace to the whole of Wales. Sorry, good people of Newport, but to protest against the narrow minded corporate bias the councillors have shown, I will never come to Newport to shop again. All the best

  6. Wow! Look at that gleaming polished shopping centre,; Sun shining, people smiling. – – – – Now where have I seen it before? Everywhere, that’s where!

  7. You Council knobs listen up: those who forget the past are doooooomed to repeat it…

  8. “Newport’s out-of-town retail development was to become home to Britain’s biggest 99p store.” And this is Labour for you. They are not creating wealth, they are managing our poverty.

  9. None of the protests will matter if Labour are elected again in Newport. Newport’s council is run by Labour, they have two Labour MPs and two Labour AMs. You reap what you sow, you elected these traitors (to both Wales and the working class) and now you are paying the price. It’s time the electorate made the Labour party reap what they have sown. And that goes for every single person in Wales.

  10. They tried ALL that. The Labour run council didn’t want to know, the Labour MPs didn’t want to know, the Labour AMs didn’t want to know. The Labour Government’s Culture Minister didn’t want to know. Cadw who are meant to protect and keep (that’s what cadw means) Welsh history didn’t want to know.

    The destruction was a sneak attack two days before they were due to make one last rally.

  11. allegedly the “castle”/keep/ (nothing really) has an inlet for bringing in goods when the tide is low (or something like that) found only in newport and japan. we have old tramlines (well did have) we have a mural of the the great john frost not only depicting great political prowess but personal aswell (well we did have) and we’re being fed with promises of a “rejuvinated” town centre…. uhhhh isnt that what they did with the kings way? try to make it nice… and most of the units lie empty…. ummmm didnt they redo john frost square? try to make it nice with the big silver balls… but most of it is littered with scum and empty shops…. theres are 31 (yes 31) empty shops on one side of newport (from vodaphone to lloyds tsb)….oh wait theyre not empty anymore, ones a party shop, ones mobile phone shop, ons a mobile phone shop, ones a mobile phone shop, ones a mobile phone shop and the rest are mobile phone shops. i moved up here 6 years ago and i hate it, i HATE newport, i dont hate the welsh, my mother lives in newbridge (lovely place, lovely people) but newport is another story all together. dunno why i wrote all that considering no one will read it

  12. although (im really not trying to be racist here) if it was a religious thing there would be absolute uproar and chaos

  13. Indeed, St David’s Two is a curse on the city not a benefit. It has sucked the shops out of other areas and is just moving the prosperity from one part of the city centre to another part so that a major land owning company could make a lot of money. The shops in St David’s Two aren’t even that good really.

    Newport will have a shopping centre which will face a big hurdle before it is even built, and the powers to be in Newport don’t want to face this simple fact but it is true. Newport is too close to Cardiff City Centre, it won’t be able to compete and it will get squeezed on the other side by Bristol and Cribs Causeway. That is the truth of the matter and yet no one wants to open their eyes and see that there are already too many ‘shopping centres’ to satisfy the demand. What Newport should have tried to develop was more niche shops and playing on its wonder river front area, with bars and cafes situated there rather than another retail monstrosity.

  14. I have lived in Newport for the past 13 years having moved here from
    elsewhere in the UK.
    I have formed the opinion that the people of Newport deserve everything they get as it is
    them (and only them) who continually vote for these politicians and councillors
    who incidentally have the dubious reputation of being amongst the most corrupt
    in the country, When will you ever learn?

  15. What no one here seems to remember is that CADW sent people in to look at the mural and see about moving it to a new location, but it was not feasible for it to be done. That is why the mural ended up being removed like that. Also, you look at Newport and it is a disgraceful shell of a city. If the council didn’t try to rejuvenate the city centre you would all just moan that they are leaving it to rot and when they do try something you moan even more. Get your heads out of you rear ends and realise that something has to be done about Newport. Its already the butt of every welsh joke and its only going to get worse if the council doesn’t do something to make it better. You’re all moaning that they should have done something different with the city, but none of you seem to have any suggestions as to what they could have done. So how about embrace the fact that they are trying to make it a place worthy of city status… Its either rejuvenate Newport or destroy it… Your Choice!!!! And looking around it now, you destroyed it years ago.

  16. CADW said it wasn’t suitable to be registered as listed in order to protect it, they sent a company in to inspect the mural and see about removing it safely and rehoming it elsewhere… But that company deemed it too costly a procedure and that there was no way to be certain that it would even work.
    So do your research before you start slating them for removing it.

  17. Of course, because what Newport really needs is another cheap 99p shop. Real class, there.

  18. yes your right £600 000 to remove it that is very expensive! but then considering that the 2 developments are costing 135 million pounds, don’t you think that 0.5% of that budget would have been worth using to save a piece of art/ history?

  19. I agree, thats not exactly a huge amount to spend on saving a piece of history, but it would have been a huge amount of money to have wasted on a procedure that was only 50/50.

  20. I don’t consider 20p for every man, woman and child in Wales to be a lot of money. I did read the report and since they have failed to keep and protect this important memorial to a significant moment in local and national history they have failed to live up to their stated aims.

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