Monumentalism is a curse. Retired politicians and civil servants have little tangible to show from their lifetimes’ work.

The microsurgery of thousands of wise decisions does not produce results that can be seen or measured. But tall buildings do. That’s why many are tempted to build monuments that they can look back on as their personal achievements.

Monumentalism led to the epidemic of high rise flats in the 50s and 60s. Architects loved them. In 1976 a young councillor in Newport proposed halting work on the half-constructed St Julian’s flats, filling the void with concrete and inscribing on the side of the building, ‘This giant tombstone was erected in dishonourable memory of doomed concept of high-rise living.’

Newport Council disagreed but cut the total number of similar flats here to three. They were intended for grandparents seeking to live near their grandchildren in surrounding estates. That worked. Homage to Newport’s councillors who concentrated on low-rise dwellings.

Monumentalism by civil servants threatens Newport jobs.

Two massive hubs are planned for Cardiff for several thousand jobs. Centralising the work now done in small offices would be wasteful, increase traffic congestion and impose hours of unnecessary travelling. But big centres are gratifying to monument builders.

Gwent MPs are challenging these grandiose plans that could drain the life-blood out of the centres of Newport and other towns. It will be a long battle.

Newport is rare in holding a commemoration of the slaughter caused by nuclear bombs. Since 1982 local people have met to cast flowers on Tredegar House Lake remembering the 250,000 lives lost in 1945.

The likely cause of any new nuclear war will be by accident, technical failure, human error or misunderstandings. No sane person believes that a nuclear war could achieve anything but the destruction of humanity.

On the 6th August the Newport’s Women’s League for Peace and Freedom, the Cardiff Red Choir and other peace campaigners remembered the nightmare reality of nuclear war.

The threat from the irrational rulers of North Korea is familiar. The new peril is the apprentice President Trump who acts like a short-tempered petulant child. World conflicts that have long been dormant and frozen have been inflamed into dangerous new life by him.

The US is losing patience with him. Impeachment is a real possibility. We should stop flattering his bloated ego and withdraw the red carpet invite to visit us. He is beyond a joke. He could cost us the earth.