Andrew RT Davies hits back at Tory ‘scum’ comments
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd Andrew RT Davies MS has condemned the Labour party for using unpleasant and dehumanising language.
Writing in The Sunday Times today he said: “Labour need to drop the nastiness, spend less time talking about the constitution, and work with others to deliver on the people’s priorities: jobs, NHS and education.”
Referring to comments made by Angela Rayner at the Labour party conference, he went on: “Over the past seven days we’ve seen a nasty side to Labour and one which isn’t fit for office let alone the challenge ahead. Rather than contributing to political debates in a sensible manner, they resort to vile insults.
“Calling people who vote for a party you disagree with ‘scum’ is not regional slang, as Angela Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader since tried to claim.
“People in politics must be able to see their opponents as human. If you dehumanise people, you justify all kinds of unpleasantness. You only need to scratch the surface of history to see how that can manifest itself.
“Just because you feel passionately about something does not make people you disagree with bad. If you see so many people in this country as ‘scum’ purely based on their political beliefs, you probably aren’t the right sort of person or party to be leading our country.”
Claiming that First Minister Mark Drakeford was calling for better intergovernmental relations on the one hand but being unwilling to play his part on the other, Mr Davies went on to say:
“He makes statements calling on the UK Government to cooperate and work with him on his priorities, yet at the same time labels the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom as ‘awful’. It has echoes of Rayner’s grim sentiments, and the public deserves better.
“And let’s not forget that over half a million people in Wales voted for Boris Johnson at the last general election.
“In fact, more people voted for the Prime Minister in Wales in 2019 than voted for Mark Drakeford in this year’s Senedd election, so labelling Conservatives’ ‘scum’ risks alienating a lot of the people Labour in Wales supposedly represent.
“In politics, you don’t just represent the people who vote for you, you must represent everyone. The approach now characteristic of Labour, whereby you call your opponents ‘scum’, divides people when we need to be working together.
“Ministers in Cardiff Bay shouldn’t have time to fight a grievance agenda on political powers and the intricacies of devolution, they need to be fighting tooth and nail for our people’s priorities.
“Rebuilding Wales after the challenges of the past eighteen months is a monumental task and one which needs us all to roll up our sleeves and work together.”