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Readers unimpressed by Gething coverage smear

22 May 2024 3 minute read
First Minister Vaughan Gething

An evidence-free accusation that the Welsh media’s scrutiny of the scandals surrounding Vaughan Gething is “racist” has failed to gain traction, according to the results of a Nation.Cymru poll.

1,820 people voted in the online, self-selecting poll, which ran for 48 hours from Monday.

The final result saw 1,538 votes (84.5%) rejecting the accusation and 282 backing the claims.

We launched the poll after a small group of supporters and one of Mr Gething’s employees pushed the claims over the weekend, following the publication of a statement from two Labour activists.

The statement issued by the Welsh Labour BAME [Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic] Committee said: “For so many BAME people in Wales, the last few weeks will have been disturbing, unsettling and yet very familiar.

“In the Welsh media the treatment of Vaughan Gething has gone well beyond what one can reasonably call fair scrutiny … We fully endorse thorough political scrutiny from a free press and from an active political community. However, we feel that this scrutiny in recent weeks has crossed a line between fair examination and racially influenced attitudes and judgements, with a Black person being held to a higher standard.”

The signatories gave no evidence to back up their accusations, but a small number of the First Minister’s supporters used the comment as a platform to criticise scrutiny in the Welsh media, conflating it with a clearly racist article from the Daily Mail.

Weaponised 

Nation.Cymru CEO Mark Mansfield said: “I was obviously disappointed by the comments from the Welsh Labour BAME Committee but sadly not surprised when they were weaponised against the Welsh media on Saturday.

“A day earlier I had a feeling that this was the way the tide was flowing due to Mr Gething and his supporters’ inability to close the story down.

“On Friday I even tweeted: ‘It’s going to be fascinating to see how deep in the gutter some elements of Welsh Labour are going to go to attempt to deflect from Gething’s misdeeds. Pretty deep from the look of it.’ I guess we have the answer to that now.

He added: “Editorially we have always followed a strong anti-racist position and have exposed racist organisations and individuals operating in Wales, working alongside organisations such as Hope Not Hate.

“Members of the team have received death threats because of this reporting, resulting in the  police putting in place increased protection, and staff having to install security equipment for protection.”

He concluded: “To suggest our scrutiny of Mr Gething is out of proportion is simply untrue. Any Welsh politician involved in scandals of the scale embroiling Mr Gething would be under exactly the same degree of scrutiny.

“We stand behind every line of our reporting. We are regulated by IPSO and adhere strictly to the Editors’ Code.

“The Code states: “The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

“Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.

“You can contact IPSO here if you want to make a complaint. We are confident of the outcome.”


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Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
11 days ago

The mear ‘absence of evidence’ won’t wash with these self-appointed BAME/BLM types. They’ll just say it’s ‘unconcious bias,’ because you’re not even aware of it. There’s no defence against it in their eyes … you’re white, therefore you’re privileged, therefore you’re the oppressor – end of …. You can’t win!

Last edited 11 days ago by Gareth Westacott
Maesglas
Maesglas
11 days ago

Well said Mark. This is an act of desperation from Gething, who is rightly scrutinised for his behaviour. I would be overjoyed to see a First Minister from a different ethnic background. However, many events show that Gething falls short of the standards required of this post. He has been embroiled in many controversies in the run-up to and beyond his election by a tiny minority of votes to become FM. He is not up to this post or indeed worthy of the post. The fact that he and some of his colleagues are resorting to playing the race card… Read more »

Garry Jones
Garry Jones
11 days ago

I’m happy to see the result of this poll. Evidence I suggest, of mature journalism in an at times, fractious and partisan political climate.

A Evans
A Evans
10 days ago

The last defence of a villain is to scream “RACIST”!

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