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Drakeford tourism plans has ‘unleashed tsunami of anti-English hatred’ in Wales claims former Labour MP

25 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Tom Harris (left). Mark Drakeford (right) Picture by Doubledoppler (CC BY-SA 4.0).

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.”

‘Hatred’

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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George
George
1 month ago

Wales will never get a fair hearing in The Telegraph but everyone could see that the one councillor (now suspended) making a stupid and utterly needless joke was going to lead to articles like this.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  George

It was a funny joke and trolls gonna troll. Do we stay silent and timid and hope that the trolls don’t pick on us? Personally I don’t see cowardice as a viable strategy

Gavin Williams
Gavin Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  George

The Telegraph is conducting a concerted campaign against the everyone and everything welsh, verging on xenophobia.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Williams

Verging on? Oh they crossed that line years ago. Hateful little rag

Ann
Ann
1 month ago

So what about the councillors in areas in England where tourism taxes and restrictions on second homes are being considered?

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Ann

sshhh, we’re not supposed to know about that.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Ann

The ‘ i ‘ had an excellent two page presentation this week on second : holiday homes in S E England – nothing anti english noted

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

Dude obviously hasn’t been to Cymru recently. I have heard a few anecdotal stories about English lads getting a hard time from overzealous and drunk old men in Scotland. …but in Cymru, I’ve heard and seen nothing from anyone I have spoken to about independence, about Cymru as a country, that has indicated any “anti-English sentiment”. In fact there is a lot of reluctance towards Independence from many because, like it or not, a lot of people who are Welsh do not see themselves as far removed from Englishness as a lot of people in Scotland do. …but the problem… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

For the lethal poison injected by the unspeakable hate stoker Tom Harris, you have just supplied the curing antidote. Beautifully written. It needs to be sent to him.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Diolch, If you think that is so and you can get it to him, please feel free to do so.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cathy Jones
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

That should be repeated to a wider readership, put it in an envelope and send it to the Guardian at least Cathy…

Crwtyddol
Crwtyddol
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Tom Harris should simply ask himself,
” Why is there anti-English sentiment ,?”
Protesting aganist it is meaningless and achieves nothing. Rather, determine why these feelings exist and rectify the situation. Otherwise he’s just whinging pathetically rather than being proactive

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Judging by the amount of countries that have a tourist tax, or those that are considering one, the English must be the most hated people on the planet, as all of these countries attract tourists from England. I am so glad that when I go abroad I am not subject to the same tax as an English person would have to pay. I am so glad I am a Cymro, it is saving me thousands.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

About the only people I ever heard whining about tourism taxes were Brits – in Italy and Majorca. One was splitting hairs claiming he’d already paid it on his Thomson Tui invoice, had to tell him to move on and shut up.

defaid
defaid
1 month ago

“Heading along the same path as Scotland” is a statement I view with positivity and optimism. “… non-Wales residents also known as the English”. By whom? Or is this just his conceit that England is the world’s only nation of substance? “… in order to outflank the Welsh nationalists in the Senedd.” But isn’t he accusing MD of being the same? The N-word is used by a particular set, and with a specific connotation. You never hear them speaking of patriots. “When devolution fails to work, as is usually the case…” Can he give three examples? “… rising tide of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by defaid
defaid
defaid
1 month ago

Deleted — the comment to which I was replying disappeared while I was typing. Good shot!

Last edited 1 month ago by defaid
NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  defaid

Was it mine!! Good to see censorship of anything that is anti bigotry.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Yeah your posts are nothing to do with anti bigotry.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

yet another attack on the Welsh, this time from a failed Scottish Blairite with his own media company and Torygraph column, I bet he’s no friend of Scottish Independence.

Dewi Davies
Dewi Davies
1 month ago

So which part of what Nicola Sturgeon said is incorrect?

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
1 month ago

Tom Harries, a legend in his own head as I had never heard of him before this article & will probably never hear of him again. He will now disappear amongst the plethora of misguided nobodies being dredged up from the swamp to attack what they fear the most, the rising numbers of people who are either full on supporters of independence or at the very least are indy curious. Forget that the UK is heading for the financial abyss & corruption amongst the establishment is on the rampage, no, let’s slime our way to the torygraph & spill our… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago

Rehashed old rubbish. If Cymru does anything less than bend over backwards to demonstrate its British credentials then it is some sort of pernicious nationalism. Never mind the nationalism of the Tories and Labour that has ripped through our culture, language, heritage, communities and so on. I suppose the polite response would be “get in the bin!”

Marc
Marc
1 month ago

He says that Wales was “heading along the same path as Scotland “. I bloody well hope so!

Last edited 1 month ago by Marc
DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
1 month ago

It has been in LONDON BASED NEWPAPERS that areas of England are trying to stop rich people from London and the South East of England buying second homes HOLIDAY HOMES and pricing locals out It is happening in Cornwall Devon which is a rich tory area itself Yorkshire and around EAST ANGLIA which is Norfolk and Suffolk so they can do it BUT WE ARE NOT ALLOWED the TORYGRAPH love to get hold of stories like that so they can rant their anti Welsh hatred

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

What a load of absolute gonads!
1. Correlation is not causation
2. There is no “English hatred” just rejection of arrogant “muscular unionism”
3. There may be a robust response to the Torygraph’s persistent daily anti-Welsh hatred
4. Who in hell is Tom Harris?
5. Are the English towns and regions who impose tourism taxes ALSO “unleashing a tsunami of anti- English hatred?

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago

Is anyone on this page able to start a petition against this parasitic Dan yr Ogof company, whose only interest in Cymru is to pimp her out to the highest bidder? I’m afraid I don’t have the IT skills!

“Ymaith â’ch gwarth o’n parthau
Wŷr brwnt a segurwyr brau
Di lên a di-ydlannau”

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhufawn Jones

Dan yr Ogof – yn dal i fyw yn ogof dywyll yr Ymerodraeth lle mai unig ddiben gwledydd eraill yw eu hysbeilio. Angen rhestru’r busnes hwn yn un o elynion y genedl Gymreig.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhufawn Jones

Whenever you are anywhere that has leaflets for Dan yr Ogof, just take a couple… straight to your recycling bin.

Benjiman Angwin
Benjiman Angwin
1 month ago

When Louisiana passes laws to use its tourism to serve its own people that is not anti-Northern. May I suggest if you have hang ups about how Welsh run their own country when you don’t live here that you think too much about England’s past and not enough about its future?

Phil Nedin
Phil Nedin
1 month ago

This is a non news event. The 7 bridge toll was a “tax” on visitors, the London congestion charge was a “tax” on visitors! If you want to see/hear actions that creates division then consider Wales supply water to the South East England because it would be to difficult to build reservoirs there. Also the telegraphs comments on the Welsh language, Liz Truss on the Wales FM. All meant to fuel the divide.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

I advise self-hating Tom Harris to close his bigoted mouth as he has no idea what he’s talking about when it come to Wales or hatred he knew our history as a people at the hands of the English establishment. This is a man once elected as a Labour MP in Scotland, who willingly sold out his constituents & country by supporting & campaigning for Brexit. He also admitted to voting for the Conservatives , twice, as a sitting Labour MP, who then resigned from the Labour party before he was pushed to join fellow extremists in the trash Conservative… Read more »

AntonJacques
AntonJacques
1 month ago

I think one of the main problems a lot of English folks (specifically ones with access to the media) think Nationalist = evil.

However, I think for Scotland and Wales, the people who want independence are lovely (for the most part), they just want an optimistic seperate identity from the rest of the UK.

An English nationalist however tends to have more connotations with BNP, UKIP and a hatred for foreigners.
They seemingly conflate the two things together.

English nationalism is absolutely not the same as Celtic nationalism.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago
Reply to  AntonJacques

Yes, I would agree. The thing is that in England, at least while I lived there, there was quite a bit of regional pride. For a start we were Northerners and thus not soft and over pampered like those southerners. We also hated Whitehall because it allowed the Southerners to be so well provided while deprived areas in the North were not supported. I also suspect that the Northerner thing actually subdivides into Yorkshire and other areas who are very proud of their identity and cultural background. Thus my feeling is that for lots of folk across the border being… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

This man was a Labour MP for 14 years then took a job with the Tory UK government and supported (if not voted for) the Tories in 2019. We hear a lot about Labour needing to rid itself of this faction and that faction but what about ensuring they purge themselves completely of Tory infiltrators or are they even bothered? This matter has clearly shown there is a Pacific Ocean of red water between Welsh Labour and Starmers’ crew.

Glen
Glen
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Unionist Scots Labour are as close to Scots Tories as Plaid are to Labour in Wales.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

Actually sacked by gordon brown because he was useless. Has shifted far to the british right since then – he’s now a brit nat brexiteer who votes tory and has advised tory govt’s. His opinions on devolution and welsh politicians are as about as ‘objective’ as Nigel Farage’s would be…and about as worthless too!

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Just where do they find these ‘ has beens ‘ from – or perhaps in his case ‘ never was ‘ been might be a better label….

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago

The editors of NC would do well to watch the Maitlis Edinburgh lecture and curb the rampant bothsidesism. Some views are so patently outlandish and irrational that they do not deserve a platform.

Siarl
Siarl
1 month ago

Unfortunatly he does have a platform, The Telegraph. I see nothing wrong with NC letting me know views that I wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Who said the Tourism tax is targeted at just the English? Is England the only place we get tourists from? If there is growing English resentment in Cymru it certainly doesn’t come from a tourism tax – remember we’ve had centuries of issues with our neighbour. If he’s concerned about anti-english tendencies he should be pressing the UK government and establishment to start giving Cymru more respect!

Chris Franks
Chris Franks
1 month ago

Anti Welsh bigot.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

We blame the English because the blame usually rests with
Their government.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago

Why do people have to think everything is about the English? As if they are the centre of the world

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

Well they are in a strange way. After all, the plughole down which all political and intellectual waste travels is situated right under them ! Metaphorically speaking, that is.

Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago

And at the same time this unevidenced clickbait is published in the Torygraph the future PM is unable to say whether the President of France is our friend or foe! I would suggest Mr Harris look at Brexit as the great bringer of xenophobia to these shores.

Robert Griffiths
Robert Griffiths
1 month ago

May I kindly suggest to Tom Harris, the former Labour MP who’s now working for the Tory Gov’t, keep your bigoted anti-Welsh opinion to himself and as he was a prominent Brexit campaigner during the EUref, I’d rather be a Welsh “nat” rather than a Uk nat right wing xenophobic charlatan like him anyday.

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago

In itself, Tom Harris’ rant is inflammatory. Inflammatory to those Welsh and Scottish who he clearly believes can’t think for themselves, depending on what politicians say. Perhaps that’s why he’s an ex MP. Plonker.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

So, is it only Welsh and Scottish “separatists” who can be considered “nationalists” then?

The rhetoric coming from Westminster vowing to ignore the devolved nations and undermine their democracies is not “dangerous” then?

What a vile, hateful and inflammatory piece.

Last edited 1 month ago by SundanceKid
Alun Lenny
Alun Lenny
1 month ago

Tom Harris is a fine one to talk about social media posts! He was forced to stand down as Scottish Labour’s Internet Advisor in 2012 after ridiculing Alex Salmond on YouTube. He lost his Glasgow seat to the SNP in 2015. An active Brexiteer, this former Labour MP and ‘committed trade unionist’ is now an adviser to the Tory government on Scottish issues. A Dr Who fan, he ‘firmly opposed a female actor playing the Doctor.’ Duh!

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