UK Government told to stop showing England-only coronavirus ads in Wales

Part of the UK Government’s advert

A Welsh MP has written to the UK Government calling on them to stop “confusing” people by showing their coronavirus adverts in Wales.

Arfon MP Hywel Williams said that England now had different rules and guidelines to Wales and that the “stay alert” ads should not be shown.

The Wesh Government has stuck with the ‘stay at home’ message and does not allow travelling for exercise or unessential travel to meet members of different households.

In the letter, Hywel Williams said that a number of UK Ministers when making announcements, including the Prime Minister, have failed to be clear that they only applied to England.

“During the last few weeks, there have been several disappointing examples of UK Government Ministers making policy announcements without making their territorial extent clear,” the Plaid Cymru MP said.

“I merely note that my colleagues and I have made representations to ministers, including the Secretary of State for Wales, asking them to make clear to the Prime Minister that he was speaking in large part about England only measures.

“All this has caused distress and confusion for many individuals and businesses in Wales, as evidenced by the vast number of emails I and colleagues have received asking for clarification about what applies to England and what to Wales.”

 

‘Progress’

Hywel Williams added that he was concerned that any confusion created by the UK government’s lack of clarity between lockdown measures in Wales and England could threaten public health in Wales.

“Our progress in lowering community transmissions cannot be allowed to be undermined or reversed by mixed messaging,” he said.

“As Nicola Sturgeon has already requested for Scotland, I also ask that the UK Government refrain from deploying your ‘stay alert’ advertising campaign in Wales.”

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RhosdduJohn EllisSteve DugganJeff Williams-JonesWrexhamian Recent comment authors
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Theresa Green
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Theresa Green

Of course if the word “United” as in United KIndom was applied, none of this would be necessary.

Ceri
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Ceri

One of the factors that has led to the disproportionately large death rate here is that we are ‘United’ to a world travel/trade hub without the ability to close our border, collect statistics easily and enforce differential care based on the vastly different factors at play on our side of the clawdd. Greece, 10million citizens, 1600 deaths. The closer we ‘unite’ during a time of pandemic, the higher that number will climb. Dangerous rhetoric, Ms. Green.

Ceri
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Ceri

Quick edit**
Greece – 10 million citizens – 1600 deaths

Ceri
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Ceri

Jeez! I seem to have boomered myself. greece less than 200 death in a pop. of 10million.

Cymru has more than 1600 deaths in a pop. of 3million. Duw mowr, save me from technology.

Dai
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Dai

United Kingdom in name only. In reality it is an Anglo centric, England dominated system. In its entirety, not just in the context of this crisis, Westminster cannot move from its old colonialist attitude and regognise the democratic processes of recognising the other three nations.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

But a freely and democratically elected UK Parliament opted for devolution, which inevitably will mean departure from a political/administrative form of ‘one size fits all’. You have some problem with democratic decisions decided by what I assume you agree is a legitimate Parliament?!

Ceri
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Ceri

The individuals within the Westminster Parliament will often opt to restrict, obfuscate and deny the mandated abilities of the devolved parliaments for what seems to be little more than defense of the institutions of Westminster and Whitehall themselves. Parliament didn’t opt for devolution, the people of Cymru did. Westminster didn’t step in our way then, but have since made stepping in our way into their very own national sport.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I’m attempting to start where I assume she is, rather than where I am – and where presumably you too are!

Ceri
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Ceri

Duly noted; treat my statement as floating 😉

Phil
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Phil

Theresa I totally agree with your comment

so pity England hadn’t United itself with Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland in this situation.would have been a lot better for all

Ceri
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Ceri

Based on…

Phil
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Phil

Common sense

Ceri
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Ceri

That clears that up then…

Ann Swindale
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Ann Swindale

There really should be an England only parliament as well to manage the services which are devolved to the other 3 nations. Having the PM or Sec of State for Health in the UK cabinet really muddies the waters

John Ellis
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John Ellis

It’d make sense. But there appears to be minimal interest in or appetite for it among average English voters in each and every part of that country.

K. K
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K. K

I agree. Move it to York and then maybe more investment will come to the North of England. They’re such a baffling lot are the English because they bang their drum about their cultural institutions and identity but seem oblivious to the need for an English parliament.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Generally they think Westminster’s their parliament, and what does for them should do for everyone else too.

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Yorkshire, John? The old cricket enemy………….before you became a Cymro.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I grew up within a few miles of Old Trafford. and ,my granny and aunt actually lived there, less than a mile from the ground.

And later, when I lived in Swansea in the early ’70s, I was but a stone’s throw from St Helen’s and the ‘Cricketers’ pub.

But cricket never gripped me. Still doesn’t!

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Yn daro’r hoelen ar ei phen, Mr Williams!

Pawl
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Pawl

It is almost as though Boris ‘bodybag’ Johnson and his cohort are doing this deliberately for some reason. What can that be?

John Ellis
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John Ellis

They want to put an end to devolution, and they scent a means of at least preparing to do that in the context of the present crisis. As with Trump in the USA, everything’s political as far as the Bunterites are concerned, and even a tragic emergency can throw up opportunities which sharp politicians can seize and seek to exploit.

j humphrys
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j humphrys

He’s a couple of points below Sir Starmer. And my old Mom is saying “There’ll be one hell of a bloody row once
this is over, mark my words!” We’ll have to see.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

So we will.

CapM
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CapM

it would be a good if those black zip bags were from now on be referred to as…. “Boris bags”

Jeff Williams-Jones
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Jeff Williams-Jones

And I’ve just received an e-mail from Companies House to say “we’re closely following government guidelines: Stay alert, Control the Virus, Save lives”. This is advice according to English guidelines. Companies House is based in Cardiff, which I always thought was in Wales. Should it therefore not be subject to Welsh law?

John Ellis
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John Ellis

It may happen to be based in Cardiff, but as it’s an executive agency for the whole of the UK sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy at Westminster, that won’t even have occurred to them.

Jeff Williams-Jones
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Jeff Williams-Jones

Yes. Quite so. I think that’s the point I was trying to make. It wouldn’t have occurred to them in exactly the same way that it doesn’t occur to many other so-called British institutions. Britain=England.
If I “happen to be based” within a jurisdiction I expect to have to conform to that jurisdiction..

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Exactly. But devolution’s only two decades old; set against the weight of a centuries-old entrenched unionist polity, the civil service mind’s still struggling to adapt!

Ann Owen
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Ann Owen

The ‘confusion’ and promotion of the new England slogan in Wales is completely deliberate – they’re hoping that people in Wales will of themselves follow the England rules in sufficient numbers to sweep away the approach and make our powers unenforceable. Think again!

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I suspect it’s more than that. My hunch is the following! The faction now wholly dominant in the Tory party is the one which was most deeply and viscerally opposed to devolution, being committed to the traditional centralized unitary British state. The current crisis gives them an opportunity to assert their political stance on the matter, so they’re effectively conducting their PR as if devolution didn’t exist. Given that the SNP governs in Scotland, they won’t major their efforts there. Instead they’ll be looking at Wales, where – unlike in Scotland – their party did pretty well in last December’s… Read more »

j humphrys
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j humphrys

The European media has begun to distinguish between England and the rest of us. Something new.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Indeed they have,and it’s an intention which is a positive in its effect; I noticed on the TV news today that the media are now continuing to say that the changes announced by Bunter on Sunday evening apply exclusively to England.

But I don’t anticipate that this will make an iota of difference to the UK government’s intention to seek to undermine, and subsequently if they can to eradicate, devolution in Wales.

Wrexhamian
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Wrexhamian

How unfortunate for them, then, that Drakeford’s pre-emptive strike rendered Johnson’s ‘one nation, one government’ try-on ineffectual. It’s also why they tried to hoover up all the PPE supplies that Scotland and Wales were trying to buy, and put a stop to Cardiff Bay’s arrangement with the Roche over testing kits.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I suspect you’re correct. But this is only the beginning of the war of ideas. I don’t believe that the Bunterites will easily let this go.

Ann Owen
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Ann Owen

** CORRECTION: “…..sweep away the WELSH approach…”

Steve Duggan
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Steve Duggan

The UK Government have to honour the devolved powers of the individual nations within it, whether the Converatives like it or not. This week the Welsh Parliament started to flex it’s muscles and about time too – for too long the ‘Assembly’ has been pretty much ignored by Westminster, it’s now begining to dawn on the establishment there that the other countries, in the UK, can not be just pushed around. Tougher times may yet be ahead – if the virus kicks off big time again in England, just monitoring and stopping traffic on Wales’ borders may have to be… Read more »

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I agree – but just don’t expect that the Tories in Westminster are likely to give up on their ideology. I don’t believe that they will.

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Things will get very interesting at that point, John. We will have an instance of what Thomas Hobbes meant by divided sovereignty, or more accurately competing sovereignties. Westminster will work from the premise that state legislation trumps Welsh law. If a pro-Wales government should come to power in Cardiff bay, then, in the words of J Humphreys’ Mam, “There’ll be one hell of a bloody row”.

I think they’ll try to override the ban on travel from England to Wales by claiming authority over the public highways.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Possible, I suppose. But as far as I’m aware every aspect of roads is devolved, so doing that lawfully within existing legislation looks problematic.

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Just checked and you’re right. Scratch that one.