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Mark Drakeford a ‘nationalist ideologue’ Telegraph columnist claims

28 Dec 2021 4 minute read
Mark Drakeford. Picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The First Minister of Wales is a “nationalist ideologue” according to a columnist for the Telegraph newspaper.

Henry Hill who is the News Editor for the ConservativeHome website said that Mark Drakeford “very much presents himself as a Welsh nationalist with a decidedly ambivalent attitude towards the Union”.

The First Minister himself has previously condemned nationalism as an “inherently right-wing creed” and said that devolution, which allows Wales to remain part of the United Kingdom, was “the best of both worlds”.

But the Welsh Labour manifesto for the 2020 Senedd elections said that “the UK is a voluntary association of four nations with sovereignty shared among its four democratic legislatures in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

According to Henry Hill this would mean that the UK was “less a country than the European Union” and amounted to “straightforwardly misrepresenting the UK to their voters”.

“Time and again, the emphasis seems to have been on doing something different for its own sake — perhaps not surprising for a party which once accused Michael Gove of ‘colonial attitudes’ when he dared compare school outcomes in England to those in Wales whilst Education Secretary,” he wrote.

“The spirit of Drakeford’s administration might best be summed up by the snarling headline on the front page of the Western Mail in May of last year, which began: ‘Stay out of Wales, English warned’.”

He added that “those who have only started hearing about devolved politics during the pandemic might not realise is that these attitudes are not a coincidence or an aberration”.

“Drakeford might not lead an avowedly separatist party, as his Scottish counterpart Nicola Sturgeon does, but he very much presents himself as a Welsh nationalist with a decidedly ambivalent attitude towards the Union,” he said.

He added that the cooperation agreement with Plaid Cymru was further proof that Mark Drakeford was a nationalist in disguise.

“To his defenders, all of this posturing is supposed to be a cunning attempt to hold down Plaid Cymru,” he said. “But that hasn’t stopped him striking a deal with the Welsh nationalists to support his administration just last month.

“All of this whilst continuing Labour’s two-decade track record of using devolution, and their dominant electoral position in Wales, to resist important reforms to the public sector, with predictably dire consequences for essential services such as education and health.”

‘Choice’

Mark Drakeford himself has fiercely rejected the ‘nationalist’ label, saying that he had grown up in the 60s in the Carmarthen area during the time of Plaid Cymru leader Gwynfor Evans’ victory and had chosen very early to be a socialist instead of a nationalist.

“I’m a fierce supporter of devolution,” he told Radio 4 Today in May 2020. “But I also want Wales to be part of the wider collective in which we have that big insurance policy which the United Kingdom provides in which we pool our resources and we redistribute them out to where the need is greatest.”

“The start of almost every day of my school life was people bring in roadsigns that they had collected overnight, and depositing them in different rooms in the school,” he said.

“But it meant that I had to face very early on really the choice between whether you were a nationalist or you were a socialist. And by the time I was about 14 I had already decided that I was a socialist.

“That the accident of geography, the chance of birth that you’re born in one’s particular spot on the planet, is less important – much as being Welsh matters to me, and it matters to me deeply in terms of the language and the history and the culture and so on.

“But in the end, the interests of working people in Carmarthen are the same as the interests of working people in Canterbury, or other parts of the United Kingdom, and that’s a more important bond.”


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Richard
Richard
11 months ago

Harry Hill needs to stick to the day job and not venture in politics 😶

I don’t think this will be the talking point in Tonypandy or gossip
in Gorseinon ……

Last edited 11 months ago by Richard
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard

I think you mean Henry Hill, Harry Hill is at least funny.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
11 months ago

Who is Harry Hill?

Richard
Richard
11 months ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

A very good bald English comedian who is also a doctor and and has a top TV prog on out takes.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Yeah but this is Henry Hill on whose life story they made the film “Goodfellas”.

Last edited 11 months ago by Kerry Davies
Richard
Richard
11 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

My mistake Kerry – sorry.
So many comedians around 🤣

Jack Bryn
Jack Bryn
11 months ago

Henry Hill is a self-proclaimed constitutional expert, who does not understand what a country is, what a nationalist is, and what composes a State. Hence, he is ideal for The Daily Telegraph and ConservativeHome. Wonder if he has ever been outside the M25?

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
11 months ago

English nationalism is good, but Welsh is bad? Sigh…
Hooray is not a talented writer is he? Bechod…

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
11 months ago

Been at the post-Christmas sherry too much, Henry?

Erisian
Erisian
11 months ago

He hasn’t met many Welsh Nationalists then has he?

Jack
Jack
11 months ago

Can we please stop reporting on what Telegraph columnists think as if its important?

No one cares what Telegraph columnists think. Their opinions aren’t important.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack

It’s worth knowing who these right-wing plums are, but nobody should take Henry Hill’s drivel too seriously. It’s only interesting in that it’s yet another shot across the bows in the Tory establishment’s propoganda campaign against Welsh devolution. Tory MPs in Wales and England have today performed the same function in their ludicrous criticism of Drakeford’s new anti-Omicron regulations. Tomorrow it’ll be the Daily Mail’s turn. As an extreme BritNat, Hill sees any pro-Wales measure by the WG as “nationalism”, and he condemns Drakeford’s perception that the UK is “a voluntary association of four nations” as evidence of the FM’s… Read more »

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
11 months ago
Reply to  Rhosddu

You can be socialist and want the best for your country, being part of this union is not the best for our country, the right wing minded in wales are most likely to want to keep the union

Gareth C
Gareth C
11 months ago

Padraig Pearse and James Connolly held differing views on socialism but were prepared to unite against the imperialist right wing of the ‘Empire’!

j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago
Reply to  Gareth C

Many on the right support even the FM against the Slurry.
We support Yes Cymru and Indy, however, to the hilt!

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
11 months ago

Correct. There are, of course indy-supporters who have a conservative political outlook, and there’s plenty of room for them, but in supporting Welsh sovereignty they have adopted a more radical outlook than any unionist of whatever stripe.

Grayham Jones
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Very true kick all English papers out of wales and stop listening to the English news we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh

Pedr ap Ioan
Pedr ap Ioan
11 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Keep your enemies closer Greyham…. If we had a strong Welsh media….we wouldn’t have to worry about English media… In our country…That where the Scots trump us! “trump” as in the proper meaning of the word, not as in the KKK orange one 😅

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago

So ironic from Harry Hill. Best stick to comedy rather than make ignorant uneducated comments about a subject you know not of. Firstly, as First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford’s main focus should be Wales and Wales alone, not a British Union that doesn’t even represent us. In my opinion the Telegraph is not even a serious newspaper. I’d call it a comic but it doesn’t have the charm of the Beano or Dandy. And you can’t really class it as toilet paper as it’s not soft on the backside but rather abrasive. Anyway, it doesn’t even flush well. Trust… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Y Cymro
j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Henery.

Gaynor Jones
Gaynor Jones
11 months ago

Can this site stop quoting news pieces from newspapers like the Telegraph and invest time in real stories and stop regurgiataing ones for the thin skinned amongst us

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones

Sorry, you are wrong. Nation Cymru’s article is newsworthy. Don’t shoot the messenger or allude to ones commenting as thin skinned, which is the language of GB News. Don’t do yourself a disservice by using similar rhetoric. You are better than that Conservative commentator Henry Hill is stating a falsehood. Mark Drakeford is not a Welsh Nationalist. He is foremost a Unionist. And as First Minister, Mark Drakeford’s duty is to fight for Welsh interests first not England’s. And if it means a coalition or talks with Plaid Cymru to enable stable government, so be it. English imperialist Henry Hill… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Y Cymro
j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones

Gaynor, would be good if NC would show ways to make housing and it’s design more affordable, how we can cooperate in preserving our countryside?

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
11 months ago
Reply to  j humphrys

I tend to agree that right wing Tory media bashing the Wales and the Welsh Government are not really ‘news’. After all their whole purpose is to promote and preserve the Neo-Liberal (failed) economics that we have suffered since Thatcher since it makes the media owners and other rich folk even richer. So if Wales does ‘socialist’ things like feeding poor kids in the holidays they will always give that a ‘bad’ slant. Perhaps NC ought to focus more on areas where Tory Neo-Liberal economics is damaging Wales. Yorkshire Bylines and Westcountry Bylines have had some good articles on the… Read more »

John Brooks
John Brooks
11 months ago

Mark Drakeford creates a false dichotomy when he says he chose Socialism over Nationalism. You can be both, and many are.
The struggle for independence from a colonial power is a revolutionary act and I am sure Mark would have supported the countries of the English Empire in their struggle to become independent nations.
Wales is the oldest English colony It is time for independence.

Dave
Dave
11 months ago
  • Interesting Article, total b******s of course #englishnatzi’s sorry Tories
Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
11 months ago

It is a bit rich for the Telegraph to talk about nationalism, a very good example of “The pot calling the kettle black”

Grayham Jones
11 months ago

We in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 get the people in your town’s out voting for new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
11 months ago

Its in the Torygraph so it is to be expected.
Good commentd made here.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
11 months ago

“very much presents himself as a Welsh nationalist with a decidedly ambivalent attitude towards the Union”.

I.e. a great and heroic leader for Wales who won’t let haughty, entitled, wannabe overlords in London push him about!

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
11 months ago

The only nationalist ideologues are the Tory party – English nationalistic ideologues. When are these people in the the English right wing press going to realise Wales – is a separate nation – and will look at things in a different way and that includes the people who run the nation. If people in England feel Drakeford is now a nationalist it’s hardly surprising if he’s become one, is it, considering the way the UK government has approached the devolved nations recently.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Duggan

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