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Plaid MP: ‘Drakeford must stand up to Sunak and Starmer’s denial of democracy’

27 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Liz Saville Roberts during the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme debate

A Plaid Cymru MP says that Labour’s response to the Supreme Court’s IndyRef ruling reflects ‘smug’ attitude of ‘Westminster will always know best’.

Writing in the Sunday Times today, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP said that Mark Drakeford must “stand up to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer’s denial of democracy – and uphold the right of all nations to decide their own futures”.

Ms Saville Roberts argues in an article for the Wales edition of the Sunday Times that while Mark Drakeford has previously made the case for “democracy and the principle of self-determination”, his words do not hold weight if he “can’t even convince his Labour boss Keir Starmer to back him up”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 in July this year, Mark Drakeford said, “The Scottish National Party, much as I disagree with them on the issue won an election on the basis that they would seek another referendum. How can that be denied to the Scottish people?”

Antidemocratic

Following the Supreme Court ruling on Scotland’s right to hold an independence referendum on Wednesday, Keir Starmer’s official spokesperson confirmed to reporters that he would not agree to a referendum after the next general election.

Ms Saville Roberts writes: “The United Kingdom is not based on consent. Membership is not voluntary. That was the message to the people of Scotland and Wales after this week’s Supreme Court ruling. It confirmed what we in Plaid Cymru already suspected – that Westminster holds all power relating to our nations’ right to decide our own future.

“This stark reminder of the antidemocratic streak at the heart of the Westminster system poses searching questions not just for Scotland, but for the Welsh Labour Government too. Labour politicians in Scotland have long attached themselves to the smug blue and red comfort blanket that Westminster will always know best.

“Mark Drakeford, the Labour First Minister of Wales, on the other hand, has been defter on the constitutional question, showing that he understands the nature of power in the United Kingdom far better than his boss in Westminster or his counterpart in Holyrood.”

Counterproductive

She concludes: “Support for independence for Wales is now at the same level it was before the 2014 referendum in Scotland. Some unionists are sharp enough to recognise that an everlasting veto by Westminster on the nations’ right to decide will be entirely counterproductive to their cause.

“’Er gwaetha pawb a phopeth / Ry’n ni yma o hyd’. ‘Despite everything and everyone/We’re still here’. As the Cymru team’s unambiguously nationalist rousing World Cup anthem echoes in the streets of Wrexham, Cardiff, Bangor, Newport, a new confidence grows in Wales’s nationhood.

“Dafydd Iwan’s ‘Yma o Hyd’ was written in response to Thatcherism and the unsuccessful Welsh devolution referendum of 1979. Wales went on to vote in favour of devolution in 1997, and again for more powers in 2011. Because democracy doesn’t end with a referendum.

“Mark Drakeford is happy enough to wear the bucket hat and sing ‘Yma o Hyd’.

“But if he truly believes in Wales, he must make clear that he, and the Welsh Government, will stand up to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer’s denial of democracy – and uphold the right of all nations to decide their own futures.”


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Arwyn
Arwyn
2 months ago

She’s absolutely right. Talking of being deft and having understanding, Liz Saville-Roberts has that in plentiful supply. Would make a magnificent Welsh Prime Minister. But there is a little more to add. Welsh Sovereignty should be exercised in Wales by the Welsh Government. It should not be handed to the Westminster executive with a bow on top.

Gareth C
Gareth C
2 months ago

Time for Welsh Labour to stand and be counted. James Connolly eventually realised that an independent republic was the only way forward towards democracy despite being an active socialist all his life.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
2 months ago
Reply to  Gareth C

And leave the comfy chair? lol……………..

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
2 months ago

And exactly this is why I will never vote Labour again. In any context.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
2 months ago

Welsh Labour will have to one day support Welsh independence as the support for it within their own ranks is growing, particularly amongst the youth. We have so much potential in Wales, let us start believing in ourselves and what we can achieve as an independent nation. As for the UK government – it’s say about the future of these isles is declining daily.

Gwyn Hopkins
Gwyn Hopkins
2 months ago

 
The UK Government signed the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples 13/9/2007. Article 3 states: “Indigenous people have the right of self-determination. They freely determine their political status”. Why is the UK Government defying this international agreement? The Good Friday Agreement (1998) essentially gives the people of Northern Ireland the right to decide to hold a referendum on whether the territory leaves the Union. Why is that not so for Wales and Scotland?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

If you read this Liz could you please ask Ms Braverman did it not occur to the Home Office that they might have been ‘Doing a Handcock’, i.e. spreading a deadly disease around the country and community? Asking for a couple of dead friends of mine…

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