Drakeford’s Wales ‘a testing ground for ridiculous ideas’ that ‘England subsidises’ claims Telegraph
Wales under Mark Drakeford has become a “testing ground for all the most ridiculous ideas in politics” that England is expected to subsidise, the Telegraph has claimed.
In the latest broadside on the Welsh Government by one of the newspaper’s columnists, journalist Kara Kennedy says that out of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, “Drakeford has a strong claim to being the worst devolved leader of the lot”.
The newspaper has recently taken aim at the Welsh Government in a series of opinion pieces, calling the First Minister “economically illiterate” and a “hero for the work-shy”, and saying that the new 20mph limit is due to “small-country syndrome” compensating for “feelings of insignificance”, and that plans for a four-day working week were “soviet”.
“Wales has become a testing ground for all the most ridiculous ideas in politics, and I fear Mr Drakeford is turning Wales into a laughing stock,” Kara Kennedy says.
Pointing to the 20mph speed limit in built-up areas and a new website to give advice about menstruation, she said that “under Mr Drakeford, there has been a tendency to take everything to extremes”.
“The Welsh Covid lockdowns lasted longer than almost everywhere else in the UK, and the devolved government seemed to glory in introducing the most ridiculous of restrictions,” she said.
“And as if people haven’t spent enough time at home being paid to do nothing, now Mr Drakeford wants to trial a universal basic income – long a dream of those who put economic equality ahead of wealth creation.
“Perhaps this is unsurprising given that the First Minister was a lecturer in social studies before entering politics. But if the trial is extended, all it will do is universalise welfare dependency and sap what is left of Wales’s enterprise economy.”
Kara Kennedy finished: “Mr Drakeford expects England to subsidise his projects. This is bad enough, but too many on the Left seem to regard his experiments as a model for the whole of the UK to follow. That way lies madness.”
‘Rue the day’
The article is the second by columnists in the Telegraph criticising the Welsh Government in two days, after Iain Dale, a British broadcaster, author and political commentator, took aim yesterday.
He warned that the Welsh Government will “rue the day” they introduced “mad” 20mph speed limits, wrongly claiming that they are “abolishing” the 30mph speed limit.
Wales became the first UK nation to make a move towards a default 20mph speed limit in urban areas last month, in a move that the Welsh Government said would help to save lives, develop safer communities, improve the quality of life and encourage more people to ride a bike or use public transport.
The new legislation will not apply a blanket speed limit on all roads, it will simply make the default limit 20mph, leaving local authorities to engage with the local community to decide which roads should remain at 30mph.
However, Iain Dale wrongly claimed that the Welsh Government were “abolishing 30mph limits and replacing them with 20mph zones”.
“It’s fine to put lower speed limits outside schools or old people’s homes, or even on busy shopping streets where people cross the road more often, but to impose them on a dual carriageway or main A-road is the transport equivalent of political correctness gone mad,” he said.
“I know transport planners have a job to do, but to constantly kow-tow to the anti-car brigade, as many local authorities have been doing without even consulting the public, is not just infuriating, it is counter-productive.”
He added that “national politicians in Wales will rue the day they introduced this mad policy”.
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