News

UK Gov should overrule Welsh government in a crisis to build case for the Union says Conservative editor

14 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford and Boris Johnson (OGL v.3).

UK Government Secretaries of State should take direct control of devolved matters controlled by the Welsh and Scottish Governments when there is a crisis in order to show that the Union can work in people’s interests, according to the editor of a Conservative news site.

Henry Hill, the news editor at ConservativeHome, said that opportunities for the UK state to show what it could do were becoming fewer and farther between because of the increasing autonomy of Wales and Scotland.

In order to save the Union, the UK Government should take control in circumstances such as the Covid pandemic rather than allowing the response to be run from Cardiff and Edinburgh.

“The problem is that as devolution gets more and more extensive, and the scope of the British state narrower and narrower, opportunities to act and be seen to do good will get fewer and farther between,” he wrote in the Spectator.

“A hollowed-out UK with full fiscal autonomy and no fiscal transfers, floated by some commentators as a way of finally buying off the separatists, would not have been able to rise to the occasion as today’s UK has done.”

He added: “Rebuilding the legitimacy of the British state will take time. But giving the Secretary of State for Health the authority to take control of the national response to an emergency situation such as a pandemic is an obvious place to start.”

‘Emotional’

Health care in Wales is a devolved matter, with the UK Government responsible for healthcare in England. A poll for ITV Wales in March suggested broad support for the Welsh Government’s handling of the pandemic.

According to the poll, 61% in Wales thought the Welsh Government had handled the pandemic well, while 53% thought the UK Government has handled it badly.

However, Henry Hill argued that the UK-wide furlough scheme was an example where a pan-UK approach had shown itself to be superior. Meanwhile, First Minister’s Mark Drakeford’s refusal to sign up to an NHS volunteering app showed that the devolved administrations sometimes did things differently “for its own sake”.

“It can’t be said often enough that the foundations of any defence of the Union have to be the British state being seen to work,” he said.

“That’s true even if you believe it’s essential to build up an emotional case for Britain because it is much easier to forge emotional attachments to something that is doing practical good.”

 

 

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Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago

Henry Hill’s blog can safely be ignored.
His comedian brother Harry is more entertaining.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago

An interesting take on the future direction of English mayoralties. I think that Johnson would be ripped to shreds by the English media if he took a totalitarian approach to London and Manchester.
It does once again confirm that the right wingnuts in England regard Scotland and Wales as colonies and not equal members of a voluntary union. It is almost as if they want to encourage us to walk away from UK.

defaid
defaid
2 months ago

The UK state has shown what it can do.

That’s why independence is so desperately needed.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 months ago

If the Union is working so well – why does every country in it (and that includes England – many in the shires couldn’t care less for Wales, N. Ireland and Scotland) want out? It isn’t working, it is too centralised, too corrupt and too colonial. That will not change and stupid comments like those in this article prove it.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve Duggan
Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

Another one looking to kiss Johnson’s backside? C’mon YesCymru get us out of here.

Erisian
Erisian
2 months ago

Conservative home: an echo chamber for the dying gasps of dinosaurs.

MWW
MWW
2 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

Beautifully stated

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
2 months ago

Hill knows perfectly well the people of Wales and Scotland would never give their democratic consent to such a draconian proposal so – in true colonial fashion – his ‘solution’ is to seize the powers mandated to wales and scotland in democratic referendums. Let’s hope the likes of hill keep coming up with outrageously undemocratic proposals like this – hard right unionist cranks like him are helping to dig the grave of the british state ☺️

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago

I went and had a look.
For all that this Brownshirt Bunter shouts his indignation, to their credit most of the members of the site are having none of it. Not much defence of our culture, but pointing out how much it would further the drive for independence.

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
2 months ago

Henry Hill – go and launch yourself into orbit!

So far out of touch – the only thing your ideas will acheive is driving the colonies closer to independance… so carry on dyn bryd fach!

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