Coleridge's great cradle poem, "Frost at Midnight", was composed in Nether Stowey in 1798 while the poet was struggling with the social and psychological pressures of living under state surveillance. The poem describes a seasonal February frost, but alludes also to a wider political frost that Pitt's repressive government was laying across the country. The poem's reference to the Frost performing its "secret ministry" is as chilling today - newly chilling - as it was in the midst of the Romantic period's own war on terror ("terror" then signified by the French Revolution and its anti-monarchist sympathizers).
In today's Click On Wales (23.9.13) published by the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA), I discuss a new chill affecting political discussion, particularly where Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) - or drones - are concerned. You can read the full piece here.