Telegraph regards Wales ‘with contempt and disdain’ says Senedd Member after devolution attack
A Senedd Member has said that the Telegraph newspaper regards Wales “with contempt and disdain” after another article attacking devolution.
Blaenau Gwent MS Alun Davies was responding to an article in the newspaper claiming that the “Covid storm has exposed both the flimsiness and the pettiness of devolved rule across Britain”.
In the article, Madeline Grant said that under devolution Wales had “offered disproportionate influence to many average Joes with little prospect of finding it elsewhere” and that the country had descended into a state “of Pythonesque surrealism”.
“Before the pandemic, few would have registered Mark Drakeford’s existence,” she said. “To all but the most avid political junkies, this mumbling sociology professor turned Welsh Labour leader would have remained, at best, the answer to a pub quiz question.
“But the prospect of emergency has inspired Drakeford and others like him – those whose idea of leadership consists of looking at whatever England is planning, then doing the opposite. They have assessed the situation and see only a welcome opportunity to indulge their puritanical fantasies.”
Alun Davies, a former Cabinet member in the Welsh Government, responded to the article by saying that the newspaper was “talking to itself”.
“Virtually no-one in Wales actually reads this rag,” he said.
“The reality is that they look down on us. They regard us with contempt and disdain. That’s why this nonsense gets commissioned and published. It’s thinly-disguised prejudice.”
Madeline Grant was responding to the decision by Boris Johnson not to introduce tighter restrictions in order to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, which is more transmissible but thought by scientists to be milder than the Delta and Alpha waves.
Meanwhile, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have introduced some restrictions of their own – in Wales’ case, a rule of six at tables in bars and restaurants and a ban on crowds at large sporting events.
Madeline Grant added in her article that devolution “seems to result in similar pettiness, and differentiation for its own sake” and was “almost inherently biased towards failure and authoritarian politics”. While financial costs and the nuances of decision-making are outsourced, political capital accrues at home.
“With luck, these real-time experiments will remind voters at the Westminster polls that Left-wing politics, even when paid for by other people, ends in disaster,” she said. “Devolution has marooned millions of UK citizens with leaders they don’t deserve, but it may prove a gift to Boris Johnson.”
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