Drakeford tourism plans has ‘unleashed tsunami of anti-English hatred’ in Wales claims former Labour MP
A former Labour MP has claimed that Mark Drakeford’s plans to crack down on second homes and consult on a tourism tax has “unleashed a vile tsunami of anti-English hatred” in Wales.
Tom Harris’ article in the Telegraph pointed to a now-suspended Plaid Cymru councillor’s Facebook post in which he appeared to be posing with a gun-shaped object and promised to guard Wales from “English people”.
It also noted that Mark Drakeford had been banned by the owner of Dan yr Ogof caves because of his “anti-tourism, anti-English policies,” including a “proposed tourism tax”.
Tom Harris, who served as a minister in the Department of Transport during Gordon Brown’s premiership, said that Wales was “heading along the same path” as Scotland “and it’s not just Plaid Cymru”.
“The (Labour) first minister, Mark Drakeford, has been banned from one of his nation’s best known tourist attractions for being ‘anti-English’, following a series of tax reforms aimed at discouraging non-Wales residents (also known as “the English”) from buying property there,” he said.
“He appears to like nothing better than to blame England for all Wales’s troubles, perhaps in order to outflank the Welsh nationalists in the Senedd. When devolution fails to work, as is usually the case, blaming the English is the fallback option.”
Tom Harris said that while councillor Jon Scriven had been suspended for his post it was worth “considering that there may be more significant factors behind the rising tide of anti-English zealotry in Wales and Scotland”.
He went on to ask whether “devolved politicians (nationalist or otherwise) believe there are no consequences to their rhetoric?”
“Does Nicola Sturgeon not think that it is somewhat inflammatory to say that Scotland is ‘treated like something on the sole of Westminster’s shoe’, as if England regards Scotland in the same way that the rest of us regard dog dirt after it’s been stepped in?” he asked.
“Is anyone truly all that surprised by anti-English Facebook posts from councillors, or by videos of middle-aged men calling young women “whores” because they support a party other than theirs? Hatred begets hatred. Why do nationalists continue to pretend to be surprised by this truth?
“Still, devolved politicians claim that the behaviour of the trouble-makers is entirely unrelated to anything they say. It’s all just a big, cynical confidence trick with as much credibility as a promise to build a border wall and to make people on the other side pay for it. It could hardly be a more dangerous game. And it needs to stop.”
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