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SNP urge Scottish Labour to ‘learn a thing or two from Mark Drakeford’ on independence

27 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar. Picture by the Scottish Parliament. Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

The SNP have urged Scottish Labour to “learn a thing or two from Mark Drakeford” and stop disregarding independence as a viable option for the country.

The First Minister of Wales had said that it would be “absurd” to rule out independence as an option as he launched the Welsh Government’s Constitutional Commission.

The new commission led by Professor Laura McAllister and Dr Rowan Williams will examine options for how the constitutional structures of the UK can be reformed.

“The terms of reference for the commission certainly allow for independence to be considered as one of these options,” Mark Drakeford said in the Senedd.

“It would be absurd, and I think that that was the word that Professor McAllister used, to rule out independence.”

But the SNP have seized on his comments in order to put pressure on Scottish Labour to end their blanket opposition to any further independence referendum for Scotland.

Fiona Hyslop, the SNP MSP for Linlithgow, said that Labour’s “hard-line unionism” was failing “not only the people of Scotland but their own party members”.

“Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar continue to be out of touch with their own members in Scotland as a large chunk of them support the people of Scotland having a choice over their future,” she said.

“Whilst Labour in Scotland continue to fall into irrelevance, Labour in Wales have embraced democracy by acknowledging the right of the people to choose Welsh independence – Anas Sarwar could learn a thing or two from Mark Drakeford.

“If Labour continue to show unconditional support for Westminster control in Scotland then they will continue to slide even further into irrelevance.”

Mark Drakeford had however made it clear that he personally would be arguing that further autonomy within the UK would be his favoured option for Wales.

“If I have the opportunity, I will certainly give my evidence to the commission that entrenched devolution in a successful United Kingdom is the best constitution for Wales,” he said.

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Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago

“If I have the opportunity, I will certainly give my evidence to the commission that entrenched devolution in a successful United Kingdom is the best constitution for WELSH LABOUR,” Once you understand Labour as a vehicle for status & influence a great deal of clarity is obtained. Sorry to be a killjoy but people really need to listen to what the likes of Drakeford, Waters and Antoniw etc are saying. Their recent speeches are in the public domain – See Richard Wyn Jones’ Twitter feed for links. They are highly politically astute. They know the landscape is changing. They are… Read more »

Doctor Trousers
Doctor Trousers
1 month ago

The thing is, it is actually Mark Drakeford’s values that are completely in line with the original, core values of the Labour party. The Labour party was founded by people who, today, would be called Scottish nationalists by their own party. In fact, Britain’s first socialist MP, Robert Cunninghame Graham, who co-founded the original Labour party along with Keir Hardie, then went on to found an early form of the SNP. That’s in the history books, as much as Labour might wish it wasn’t, as it clashes with their ahistorical claim that independence is incompatible with socialist internationalism. It is… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Doctor Trousers
Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago

An excellent comment. Drakeford’s most recent phrase is “social solidarity.” It is beyond me why he doesn’t give due weight to a Welsh State in acheiving such a thing – indeed that Wales is far more likely to do so independently of an England that has fallen in love with the grotesque clownishness of Johnsonian Toryism (haven’t these people ever watched the film “It?”). I feel deeply cynical about the motives of senior figures in Welsh Labour. I think their recently modified language reeks of self advancement. They talk of what is best for Wales – they should wake up… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Arwyn
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Hi Arwyn

Do you meant the film “if….” with Malcolm McDowell?

Although “It” might be an apt reference to Bojo the Clown.

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

I was indeed thinking of the creature that lives in the sewers that will rip your arm off if you entertain its affected clownish facade … tongue in cheek of course.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Sewers: the best place for him (Bojo that is, not It).

Gareth W
Gareth W
1 month ago

If you think Mark Drakeford will embrace independence you are dreaming

Doctor Trousers
Doctor Trousers
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth W

I don’t believe that Mark Drakeford will embrace independence, but I do believe he’s telling the truth, or the truth as he sees it, ie that independence should be on the table as an option, even if it is not his preference. Just as he has previously said that Scottish independence should be a matter for Scotland to decide, even if he feels the union should remain intact. I think these are honest statements, even if I don’t trust the party itself as far as I could throw them.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

Unfortunately the debate is biased by the fact that in our FPTP electoral system the best way to get what Plaid want, independence, is to vote Labour who don’t want it at all but are willing to discuss it. Voting Plaid in far too many constituencies spilts the non-Tory vote allowing those who seek power by any means possible to triumph.

It mirrors the Catch 22 of those who want PR having to win under FPTP at which point PR is not in their interests. The feudal system under which we exist is abhorrent but it ain’t daft.

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

This is a threshold perception problem. If polling is accurate and the approximately half of Labour voters who reportedly support independence switched their vote to Plaid, Plaid and Labour’s vote share would switch position in the Senedd elections. Exactly the distribution of seats would be difficult to predict but Plaid would be the biggest party in the Senedd. If Labour will not deliver independence (and they won’t) there’s no point splitting the independence vote with them. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot! For interest, these polling figures suggest if the Labour indy vote went to Plaid, Deryn’s election projector puts… Read more »

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

All the lying, corruption and stealing of our democracy and he still thinks the union isn’t an absolute s**tshow and is worth defending. The tories and his labour overlords in England want to keep the status quo and will never agree to his propositions so maybe its time he stopped banging that broken drum and acted like a big boy instead of a servile cap doffer.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Labour has played a “blinder ” in Wales. Appealing to its older core, with promises of a federal UK in which Wales will play an equal part with the other 3 country’s. Then making pro indy speeches, and allowing candidates to stand as ” official Labour for Independence ” in more indy leaning constituencies. The only problem they have is, that this works in Wales, but over the border, there is no appetite in the Tory party to change the current system, and neither do the voters of England want change, they have already opposed devolution to English regions, thus,… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

I can only hope as their short sightedness on this leads to disillusionment amongst their Welsh identifying voters that Plaid will be what those voters need.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

“Entrenched Devolution” will only work if the Tories in Westminster agree to it too – and they don’t. We all know from recent experience Wales will not get any more powers no matter how much Drakeford demands them. Reform is not what the Tories want – they just want all the power for themselves. Hopefully, the commission will come to the same conclusion and realise that due to this issue – independence is the only option left on the table.

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