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Independence supporters ‘understand advantages of the United Kingdom’ says Mark Drakeford

17 Jun 2022 2 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford picture by Ben Birchall / PA Wire.

Supporters of Welsh independence “understand the advantages of the United Kingdom,” the First Minister has said.

In a discussion on why Labour had been in power in Wales for 100 years come November, Mark Drakeford said that what was driving the independence campaign was a desire for decisions to be made at a local level.

Support for Welsh independence has risen in Wales from 14% with don’t knows removed when first polled by YouGov in 2013 to 28% in their last poll in March this year.

But Mark Drakeford told The Mirror newspaper: “What I think they want is a system in which as many decisions as are sensible are taken as close to them as possible.

“They still in a conversation understand the advantages you can get from being in a wider United Kingdom – but particularly from a Welsh perspective, a United Kingdom that will display some of those Labour values.”

‘Working class’

Musing on why Labour had remained in power for so long, Mark Drakeford said that he agreed that Wales was a “socialist nation”.

“If you take the essence of socialism to be that we are a country where people want to look out for one another – that sense of social solidarity,” he said.

“And a nation where people believe that collective solutions to common problems are the best way of solving them rather than setting people against each other through competition… then I think those basic beliefs, instinctive values, remain true in Wales.”

He added: “There is the nature of Wales – Wales is a working class country.

“If you ask people in England how many people there are who are middle class, there are more people in England who tell you they are middle class than there are middle class people in England.

“If you ask the same question in Wales, there are more people in Wales who tell you they are working class than there are working class people in Wales.”


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CapM
CapM
14 days ago

Supporters of Welsh independence “understand the advantages of the United Kingdom,” the First Minister has said.

Surely First Minister, supporters of Welsh independence understand the advantages of the United Kingdom are outweighed by the disadvantages.

Or they wouldn’t be supporters of Welsh independence. Does MD really have such a tenuous grasp of logic.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
14 days ago

I agree with Drakeford, however, as England becomes ever more fascist and authoritarian, Welsh Labour and indeed, all of us in Cymru that wish to continue as “a nation where people believe that collective solutions to common problems are the best way of solving them rather than setting people against each other through competition! and continue to be “a country where people want to look out for one another -[and have that sense of] that sense of social solidarity,” will in the end either be forced into independence or be subject to ever more atrocities and hardships from the rogue… Read more »

Dan
Dan
14 days ago

We are not in any way shape or form a “socialist country”. Either Drakeford doesn’t know what socialism is or he knows people in Wales don’t know. Socialism is not “when the government does stuff” nor is it “progressive and foreword thinking”, it is perhaps the most unsuccessfully social-economic model ever conceived with a 100% failure record.

We are a “Social Democracy”, the least bad social-economic model.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
14 days ago
Reply to  Dan

It depends what you mean by ‘socialsim’. I would argue that nowhere in the world has really been socialist (even if some governments have claimed to be) so we can’t really say it has failed for the simple reason that it hasn’t really been attempted.

I would agree that social-democracy is a better description of Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru though.

Dan
Dan
14 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

I would say China, Russia, Cuba, Vietnam are all examples of the theory of socialism put into practice. How we think things should turn out in theory and how they turn out in practice are two very different things. It seems clear that socialism is unable to resist authoritarianism. Hence why the above countries are living nightmares and have only really manage to survive having abandoned certain aspects such as “control market economy” in favour of “free market economy”(hence the wealth is hoarded and the authoritarianism is compounded) Alternatively the Nordic countries completely abandoned socialism for social democracy after they… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
14 days ago
Reply to  Dan

For every “socialist ” country you have named, the exact same can be said of “right wing” countries, endless South American coutries have been a living hell, the “disappeared ” became common in Argentina, Chile Brazil. Etc and military rule was common. So as with socialism it would seem the right are also unable to resist authoritarianism. A balance is always needed between the two.

Dan
Dan
13 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Well I’m a social democrat, which is a left wing ideology, so I completely agree with you. Liberal democracy is clearly the best choice.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
14 days ago
Reply to  Dan

I would disagree. Firstly, the Nordic countries didn’t abandon socialism for social democracy – they never even tried socialism in the first place, their left-wing governments were always social democrat. Secondly, countries such as China, Russia (or rather the USSR), Cuba, Vietnam etc. may have described themselves as socialist but that does not mean they ever were. Trotsky recognised this in his critique of Stalinist Russia – he basically said that the revolution had been betrayed by Stalin and that Stalinist Russia was not a socialist state. He also predicted that ‘Communist’ Russia would come to an end in either… Read more »

Dan
Dan
13 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

The Nordic countries absolutely attempted socialism, you can look up the reforms the Socialist labour parties had to do in those countries to avoid catastrophe. I’m tired of people claiming socialism has never been done. It has it just doesn’t work. Theory and practice are not the same. They all attempted socialism but it is a system unable to resist corruption and abuse. Do you not find it strange that of all the social economic models we have, socialism the most talked about maybe even the most famous, always seems to have “never been done” or “never been done properly”.… Read more »

WilliamsG
WilliamsG
14 days ago

Supporters of independence understand the advantages of independence ! Some strange logic at work there Mr Drakeford

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
14 days ago

“Supporters of Independence don’t support independence”? This assumption from Doormat has one ……….erm, is Bidenism catching?

Last edited 14 days ago by I.Humphrys
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
14 days ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

If anyone is a doormat it would be that good little servile droid Andrew R2D2.

Arwyn
Arwyn
14 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

I can just see Drakeford as C3P0 telling RTD2 to calm down.

“Oh, I just don’t know what’s gotten into his circuits.”

Glen
Glen
14 days ago

Wales is not a ‘socialist nation’, Wales is an anti-Tory nation.
Not the same thing.
There were plenty of Labour voters who would never vote Tory quite happy to switch to Ukip and vote for Brexit.

Last edited 14 days ago by Glen
Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
14 days ago
Reply to  Glen

So similar to Germany in the late 1920s.

Rob
Rob
14 days ago

or America in the 2020s if Trump comes back

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Unless he gets locked up, he’ll be back and probably win, isn’t that a worrying thought.

Gareth
Gareth
14 days ago

I support independence and can not see any advantage to my country in being part of the UK. We are self sufficient in producing electricity, but on average pay more for it than England,who depend on us to supply them, same with water. We get no monetary gain from this.We are happy to pursue a PR voting system where as it is opposed in the UK as a whole. We have been governed for the majority of the last 100 years and our finances controlled by a party that has never gained a majority vote in either Senedd or UK… Read more »

Sharon Rose
Sharon Rose
14 days ago

It is the deluded adherents of the myth of a middle class distinct from a working class…based on level of salary or wage…that continues to prop up political parties that purport to be working class. It is the middle class that needs to free itself of its delusion and recognize that if they cannot live well on the returns of there invested capital and who depend on a salary or wage paid by others or if self employed, income from their own labour each day…who must show up to work to earn their living and maintain that income at whatever… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
14 days ago

Is there an emoji for banging your head against a wall? Many independence supporters understand the advantages of cooperation and pooling of sovereignty for mutual benefit. It’s why we supported membership of the European Union. We all, without exception, understand the absolute necessity of democratic self-determination by means of a Welsh Nation State.

Mark Drakeford is being disingenuous about independence. Again.

PS. Wales is not a socialist nation. Welsh Labour is not a socialist party. Books have been written about this. Ask Dr Dan Evans.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
14 days ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Perhaps we need to separate out the concept of an independent Wales in a united kingdom of independent states (ie. Max Devolution) which would be beneficial just as being part of the EU was beneficial. The other position is an independent Wales in a disunited Kindom in which a Fascist England tries to impose its will on all the other nations. We are clearly in the latter at the moment and to be free of that would be good but I suspect economically DevoMax would be better. We have learned from Brexit what ‘independence’ or ‘soverign isolation’ can mean. Plotting… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
14 days ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Something like this? https://www.iwa.wales/agenda/2022/03/a-strategic-compromise/

Not everything I’d like but if it was a straight up choice between that or the status quo, I’d take it in a heartbeat. It’s something I can live with, wheras the status quo is both dysfunctional and intolerable.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
12 days ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Devo max still means Wales being beholden to the UK. Have proponents of this model thought through the consequences? For one thing, England is the largest country in the “union”. As such, it won’t accept being outvoted by three smaller countries. I don’t think even London would accept being outvoted by Wales and Scotland when it has a population larger than both countries. Parliament are unlikely to risk “breaking up” England to support this model when the current one works well in their interests. Finally, this model won’t be granted to Wales or Scotland without some sort of “catch”, and… Read more »

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
14 days ago

None of the 193 independent nations who are members of the UN would recognise Drakeford’s definition of ‘independence’. PS. millions of people in the north of england who would regard themselves as ‘working class’ deserted Drakeford’s party at the 2019 general election.

Keith Parry
Keith Parry
14 days ago

As in Scotland, We in Wales have got to get rid of Labour, if we are to have independence. The Labour Party is a Unionist Party sitting in the gutter with a begging bowl asking England ‘ can you spare a dime?’

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
13 days ago
Reply to  Keith Parry

Too true, begging for money and constantly blaming the tories is pitiful – get up off your knees and do something about it. The British Labour party in Wales have been in power for 100 years in the valleys and we’re still the poorest part of Wales, UK, and western Europe. Why people continue to vote for a party who is clearly happy with the status quo is a mystery to me. The British Labour party in Wales are a backward looking party and lack ambition, Mark Drakeford mentioning the class system is just one example of how they are… Read more »

CJPh
CJPh
14 days ago

Ooft.

Rob
Rob
14 days ago

Wales is only seen as socialist because we compare ourselves to England. Yes we are more left leaning then the English, but England is more left leaning than the USA. If they became the 51st state they would vote Democrat. Wales is not as socialist as many other European countries.
What political parties in Wales (especially Plaid Cymru) need to do is get out of thinking in British mode and get into thinking Welsh mode. This means identifying where Wales lies on the political spectrum and work from there.

Quornby
Quornby
14 days ago

I know what I want without help, and what I want is a sovereign Welsh state.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
14 days ago

I’m a supporter of Mark Drakeford, but I don’t agree on this.

All I can see is a union that is keeping us more and more subservient. Recent refusals from UK government to allow a St David’s Day holiday, refusal to devolve control of our own coastline (and then condescendingly telling us “I can’t see the problem”), refusal to devolve our own police and courts etc. highlight my point.

The UK government acts like a medieval overlord that wants to keep us subservient, dependent and in our place. So the disadvantages now outweigh the advantages.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
14 days ago

Poverty manager Mark Drakeford as a Unionist will always defend the indefensible. He states independence supporters understand the benefits of being part of a the United Kingdom, but he fails to understand, or ignores, how it came into being, and to this very day Wales is still not part of that very United Kingdom formed in 1707 between the Kingdoms of England & Scotland he champions with gusto. So I ask this of our First Minister three questions . Do you Mark Drakeford condone Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and current incursion into the East of Ukraine? And would you… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
14 days ago

Welsh Labour will have to make a decision regarding independence in the future. Once Scotland leaves the Union, and it will, we in Cymru will have to make our choice. In or out. No half way house which Welsh Labour are promoting at the moment.

thuggee
thuggee
14 days ago

we understand the union only too well, that’s why we don’t want to be part of it.

aled
aled
14 days ago

I see what he is saying in some respects. funny comments about class and made me laugh. the only middle class I know in Wales are the Welsh speakers! the demographic of independence supporting Welsh speakers is overwhelmingly middle class

Richard
Richard
12 days ago
Reply to  aled

Suggest you get out a touch more Aled 😂

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
14 days ago

Eh?

Richard
Richard
13 days ago

Not quite sure what independence is – from whom etc ?? What I think Mark might be referring to is the ‘ self determination’ that Gwynfor and Cymru Fydd pushed for . Independence is a top down giving from the stronger to the weaker Self Determination in the spirit of Gwynfor, Saunders, Lewis Valentine etc is a bottom up community empowered aspiration to develop confidence to manage one’s own , one’s community and one’s national destiny through respect ✊🏼 and understanding. It can not be handed down from colonial or other powers but only achieved through confidence and seizing the… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
13 days ago

This makes no sense.

Supporters of Welsh independence see little to no benefit of the union, otherwise they would not be supporting independence 🤦‍♀️

Last edited 13 days ago by SundanceKid

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