‘I don’t like nationalism’, because it’s ‘insular’ says Shadow Welsh Secretary
The Shadow Welsh Secretary has said she does not “like nationalism” because it’s “insular”.
But Jo Stevens, the Labour MP for Cardiff Central, denied that Keir Starmer, her party’s leader in Westminster, is a British “nationalist”, insisting that he is a “patriot”.
She made the comments during an episode of BBC Politics in Wales, in which she argued against Welsh independence, and suggested that if a Labour government was in power in Westminster, the UK would be “much better for everybody”.
In the interview BBC presenter James Williams suggested that Starmer “won’t go anywhere these days without a Union Jack behind him”.
James Williams asked: “What do you say to people who look at how much poverty there is in Wales, how much inequality, and say the UK doesn’t work for Wales?”
Jo Stevens replied: “I am a believer in the United Kingdom. I am a unionist. I don’t like nationalism. I don’t think it’s good. I worry about it. I’ve seen it across Europe. I see what it does.
“I respect people who want independence for Wales. I simply don’t agree that it’s the right answer for Wales and I think if you have mutual respect and cooperation between the four nations of the United Kingdom and the benefits that collective can bring with a different government in Westminster, that can be much better for everybody.”
‘What’s the difference’
James Williams said: “You say that you don’t like nationalism there but people would say look, what’s the difference between British and Welsh nationalism. Keir Starmer won’t go anywhere these days without a Union Jack behind him. That’s British nationalism isn’t it? What’s the difference?”
Jo Stevens replied: “I don’t think it is. I mean Keir patriot, in the way that all of us…”
James Williams interjected, saying: “Why’s one being nationalistic and that’s a bad thing, but one’s being patriotic.”
The unionist politician replied: “Because I think for me nationalism is insular, it’s looking inwards, it’s shielding away from the rest of the world rather than looking outwards.”
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