‘One of the most awful UK governments we have ever seen’: Drakeford blasts Tories
Mark Drakeford has branded the UK Government as one of the “most awful” that “we have ever seen” during his speech to the Labour Party conference in Brighton.
The First Minister said it was incompetent to “its core” and accused it of having “visceral reactionary instincts at home or abroad”.
He told the conference that the “future is different in Wales” because of the “ambitious” policies his government had put in place.
These included free prescriptions, free childcare, abolishing the right to buy council houses, and putting the railways back under public ownership.
He argued that a Labour government in Westminster would treat devolution as the “UK’s greatest strength, not its greatest mistake.”
Mark Drakeford said: “The future is different in Wales because of the ambitious policies Welsh Labour in government has put in place. Free prescriptions and free breakfasts in our primary schools. Free childcare for working parents.
“We didn’t have to reintroduce bursaries for nurses because they were never scrapped in Wales. Fracking doesn’t have to be prevented in Wales because it’s never been allowed.
“We’re building council houses again in Wales and we’ve abolished the right to buy. Our children are protected from physical punishment. And our railways are back under public control.
He added: “Everything Labour has achieved in Wales, across England and in Scotland, has been achieved in the teeth of one of the most awful UK governments we have ever seen.
“Incompetent to its core and automatically hostile to anyone who does not share its visceral reactionary instincts at home or abroad. Just imagine what we could do if we had a UK Labour government committed to renewing and rebuilding the United Kingdom so it genuinely worked for everyone.
“A new relationship built around mutual respect. Proper participation. One that recognises that devolution is the UK’s greatest strength, not its greatest mistake.
“And where the radical re-direction of power to local places is the way we keep the United Kingdom together – together by consent. A new union that only Labour can offer and a country built again on Labour values to which people in all parts of the UK would choose to belong.
“As we look to the next general election and the road to power in Westminster – it is to that experience, those ideas and that practical innovation of Labour in power across the UK – with its rich legacy of progressive socialism – on which we can draw.
“Turning thought into practical action across our country. In the straightforward, day-in, day-out demonstration that trusting Labour with the power to govern, really does work – works for you; works for the place where you live and works for the whole of the United Kingdom.”
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Whilst I have no disagreements with the things Mark Drakeford has listed as real achievements in Wales, or about his visions for the future, his stubborn insistence over remaining in the union is what will eventually stifles any positive social or economic progress. Wales simply can’t wait for another Labour government, which is unlikely for at least another 5 years, and quite possibly ten. Even if a Labour government is formed in Westminster it’s likely to be implementing the same discredited neoliberal policies as the Tories, and at best will only paper over the cracks of a political system that… Read more »
I appreciate your sentiments. But at the moment Drakeford has to make the required ritual gestures of support for the union, or the Labour party will throw him out and the Tories will cancel devolution and impose direct rule from London. Then we will be worse off than we already are. Under current rules little enough can be done under devolution, but such as his powers are, Drakeford is making the most of them. It is also a consciousness-building exercise. As more and more people realise that in important respects life is better in Wales than in England, more and… Read more »
I agree. I also despise UK Labour trying to hang on to the achievements made in Wales and pass them off as their own or use it as another example to champion the union. You are quite right that Starmer is lukewarm towards independence. I really don’t think he favours more powers for Wales, well certainly not without certain “preconditions” which I doubt, would be advantageous to Wales, so I don’t know why Drakeford is foolish enough to take his support of further powers for granted. Furthermore, we as a country, should absolutely not have to wait for UK Labour… Read more »
Good to know you support an independence when Wales doesn’t have to pay billions for English infrastructure, when the English pay for resources like energy and water they currently just take and Welsh taxpayers no longer have to fork out for fake Imperial glory and nuclear weaponry.
If you think Drakeford is a Marxist you are definitely divorced from reality. As for the rest of your silly little rant; NHS Wales has saved my life three times so far so I am happy with them. If you really think Wales has a “third world” education system you clearly don’t know many third world countries. Wales is poor, yes. That is largely due to London-centric economic policies that have concentrated economic activity in a severely overheated south-east region while the rest of the UK (not just Wales) suffers. Home Counties english attitudes have always seen Wales primarily as… Read more »
With Neo-Blarite Keir Starmer & English Labour showing no desire to repatriate to Cardiff not only Wales EU powers hijacked by Boris Johnson’s Tory idiocracy or any will to repeal bills cynically created to interfere & bypass Welsh devolution, but to honour previous Labour manifesto promises & pledges to devolve powers over policing, youth & criminal justice systems & others retained by Whitehall, but cynically not to England, Scotland or NI of the gain power. And if they don’t will make same mistakes again by losing the next General Election allowing the continuation of the most calamitous chaotic bilious anti-Welsh… Read more »
“Just imagine what we could do if we had a UK Labour government committed to renewing and rebuilding the United Kingdom so it genuinely worked for everyone.”
Just imagine how much more we could if we had an independent Wales.
I’d say to ones in Wales hostile to any idea of Welsh Independence. Take a trip to any oil-rich Arab state that literally began from the desert up in recent memory. There are Skyscrapers galore. 1st world interconnectivity and a prosperous people highly educated. And yes not all are democracies, but neither is Britain. Then come back to Wales and compare like for like. Think I know the answer. Wales was that very oil-rich state once. Only difference. Where they had oil and were independent. We were ruled by another country, had coal and were resource-raped by Whitehall over and… Read more »
Not to dismiss that rape of Wales’ resources, but we still have an abundance of other natural resources which we need to keep within our control and make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.
Very wise.Try to get Utilities and Transport under Welsh Gov. control. The support private enterprise, with university cooperation where require.
People like Danny Blanchflower say they are keen to help, we should snatch
his offer up as it’s like discovering diamonds behind the cabbage patch!!
I agree. Wales has so much still going for it. From our vast history, myths & legends which are ripe for serialisation & film. Our stunning countryside full of rolling hills and lofty mountains. Miles of untapped hydropower potential with our beautiful coastline and other natural resources galore, especially our crystal clear water that we alone should profit from. And the most important resource of all. Us, the Welsh people.
You are right there about our history, myths and legends just crying out to be turned into film, Tacitus has written several screenplays for a start…
I have long thought that Porthmadog was a little hasty knocking down its cinema when they could have had a festival of films made in Wales.
On another piece on N.C there is an award winning film company in Caernarfon who might just pick up on this…
An old mate from Coleg Harlech and Aber days was home from the Gulf for a couple of weeks and we met up on Assheton Smith’s slate dock for a couple of hours after a 7 year gap just the other day. He has a good job in education and has gained a dive masters ticket in his spare time and lives a quiet, comfortable life. He loves it there, gets on with everybody and has no wish to return to the UK anytime soon if ever. He would agree with you there… What a nice spot for a chat… Read more »
“Just imagine what we could do if we had a UK Labour government committed to renewing and rebuilding the United Kingdom so it genuinely worked for everyone.”….yawn the tired and discredited ‘elect a labour govt at westminster and everything will be fine’ mantra peddled by welsh labour unionist sycophants for years. No thanks Drakeford we’ve been down that road before – It’s the road to nowhere so far as Wales is concerned. And it’s why increasing numbers of people in Wales are finding the option of Welsh independence so attractive.
Yeah, UK Labour’s like those old underpants we used to have to wear, all floppy and……….
Drakeford has a tightrope to walk. If he makes too much of “unionism”, Labour in Wales will go the way of Labour in Scotland. Remember when Labour’s leadership sent senior figures to campaign on the same platforms as Tories during the Indyref campaign? That was one of the greatest and stupidest political miscalculations ever. But if on the other hand he does not make some token gestures towards unionism, Labour’s current purge-happy leadership will get rid of him and the Tories will abolish devolution. Probably sell the Sennedd building to an amusement arcade operator or something. My guess is Drakeford… Read more »