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England should listen to Drakeford to save the union, says Guardian

02 Jul 2021 3 minutes Read
Left, England’s flag. Right, Mark Drakeford. Picture by Doubledoppler (CC BY-SA 4.0).

England should listen to Mark Drakeford in order to save the union, according to The Guardian.

The liberal London-based newspaper suggested that to prevent the UK from breaking up, England should act on the First Minister’s call for “solidarity between peoples of the union” that was “grounded in respect”.

It said that a “conversation” about the “constitutional relationship” of the country was happening in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but added that it was “between niche and nonexistent” in England itself.

The editorial also criticised Boris Johnson for being “intolerant” of devolution and calling it a “disaster”

It also pointed out that his UK Government was “overwhelmingly” elected in England, and suggested that it “does not take other parts of the UK into much account”.

The article said: “This week, Wales’s first minister, Mark Drakeford, warned that the threat has never been greater.

“Faced with Mr Johnson’s ‘aggressive unilateralism’, Mr Drakeford summoned those who believe in solidarity between the peoples of the union, who support the pooling of resources, and who share values in common, to cooperate to reform the union to be fit for purpose and grounded in respect. He is right.

“This work is particularly urgent in England, for reasons that include its size, its lack of distinct political machinery, its centralisation, and Mr Johnson’s approach.”

‘Serious’ 

It also said: “This country needs a serious conversation about England. Not about the England football team – that’s for another day.

“The conversation this country – the United Kingdom – needs is about England’s future political and constitutional relationship with the rest of the union.

“A particular version of that conversation simmers perpetually in Northern Ireland. A dynamic one rages in Scotland. A third variation is developing in Wales.

“In England itself, the conversation lurks between niche and nonexistent. The issue is nevertheless latent.

“That needs to change. Why? Because, without a serious, calm and collective effort, the UK may be stumbling towards dissolution.

“Political and governance tensions exist not just between but within the nations: in England against London, in Scotland against centralisation, and in Wales against the south. Local government everywhere is in retreat.

“Mr Johnson is happy with that. His unionism is intolerant of devolution, which he dubs a disaster.

“His government was elected overwhelmingly in England, and he does not take other parts of the UK into much account, the prime evidence being the Northern Ireland protocol.”

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Chris
Chris
29 days ago

Westminster should listen. It is in England but this is for Greasy Johnson and the Johnsonites to address maturely.
They won’t of course. And that should be our catalyst to mobilise the mechanisms for independence.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
25 days ago
Reply to  Chris

It’s not just up to Westminster. It’s also up to the Scottish Government and the Sinn Fein members of the NI power-sharing agreement to agree to this, which they won’t, and no one could hardly blame them.

So no, Westminster shouldn’t listen, because by doing so, they would be ignoring Scottish and NI democracy, which should not be sacrificed at the expense of this Union.

My only (and distant) hope is that Welsh Labour are asking for the undeliverable in order to open the door to Welsh independence.

One can dream…

William Glyn THOMAS
William Glyn THOMAS
29 days ago

It is unique for the English Media to agree with anything other than England’s agenda. Mark Drakeford is being diplomatic in his approach but in my view, he should wholeheartedly go for INDEPENDENCE. Llafur needs to divorce from English Labour.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
25 days ago

UK Labour is on its’ knees – soon to follow Scottish Labour into political oblivion.

It has no sway over Welsh Labour anymore.

Time to break away and stop allowing them to use Welsh Labour as a distant gateway to Westminster.

Quornby
Quornby
29 days ago

Time for Labour to be an Independent party, raising its own finance and backing our national independence. If and when they decide to do this the Welsh political landscape will change forever and for the better. Our being in the UK is at the people’s whim….. that principle was entrenched by the first Scottish referendum. Right now, and right here, the people need the “Welsh” Labour Party to inform and to lead and to be unashamedly and honestly patriotic. Are they up to it? Well, some are, but we can all list the pathetic peerage hopefuls without much fear of… Read more »

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
29 days ago

Nothing will happen in England unless Civil Society in England begins to have a serious conversation with itself, about England’s place in the British Union and how England relates constitutionally to the non-English parts of the same. What also needs to happen, is for the Labour Party, The Green Party, the Liberal Democrat Party, Plaid Cymru and the SNP to form an electoral pact, one which could allow them – through tactical voting in each constituency – to defeat the Conservative and Unionist Party (to give it its full name) at the next UK General Election. That would lead to… Read more »

CapM
CapM
28 days ago
Reply to  Crwtyn Cemais

If we want a STV system and other constitutional /political reform it will be quicker, less difficult, more effectively done and the outcomes will be closer to what we want if we do it via independence.

Hoping that some grand UK wide ‘electoral pact’ will ride in to save the day for us is I think yet another manifestation of the Union myth that we’re better when we’re working together. A myth that is ingrained even in many of those who desire an independent Cymru.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
26 days ago

Why does the Guardian believe that the Union – a sovereign state that annexed countries without consent and through coercion – is worth saving? I have never seen a political and cultural gulf so wide between Wales and England as it is now. What Drakeford is asking for is undeliverable, as not just the Tory Government, but the Scottish Government and the Sinn Fein members of the NI power-sharing agreement also need to agree to this. The Guardian is advocating that the British establishment ignores all of this, in defiance of voters’ wishes and the political powers that represent them,… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by SundanceKid
j humphrys
j humphrys
22 days ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Johnson wears an England lapel badge, which is fair enough as he is English.
That is all we need to know.

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