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Welsh Conservatives criticise Gorsedd honour for Mark Drakeford – ‘blatantly political’

06 Jul 2022 4 minute read
The Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd and the First Minister Mark Drakeford

The Welsh Conservatives have criticised plans to induct the First Minister Mark Drakeford into the Gorsedd.

Mark Drakeford will be honoured by Gorsedd Cymru “on behalf of all key workers and volunteers” at this year’s National Eisteddfod in Ceredigion, on Friday morning 5 August.

The honour of being inducted into the highest ranks of the Gorsedd is reserved for the winners of the key Eisteddfod prizes and those who have made a significant contribution to Welsh life.

But the Welsh Conservatives called the choice “blatantly political”, suggesting an “apolitical representative” might be a more appropriate, less provocative choice.

They pointed to the fact that year’s National Eisteddfod has received £600,000 in taxpayer funding from the Welsh Government.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Culture Minister Tom Giffard MS said: “I’m really surprised that the Eisteddfod has engaged in such a blatantly political move like this.

“This is a nationally respected and loved cultural institution whose patrons will be disappointed that, instead of focussing on Welsh language and culture, the serving First Minister is being honoured for political reasons while the Eisteddfod is in receipt of a significant amount of public money.

“If the Eisteddfod really wanted to honour the public servants who got us through the pandemic, maybe they should honour them directly or, at least, an apolitical representative – this would be more appropriate than the provocative choice of the First Minister who let down key workers.

“After all, Mark Drakeford’s so-called dignified and careful leadership resulted in the highest Covid death-rate in the UK, a nightmarishly long NHS waiting list, and the blocking of a Wales-specific Covid inquiry – the Bereaved Families for Justice Group would be a better choice for this honour.

“Also, I’m not sure prioritising more politicians in Cardiff Bay over the NHS, school, and the economy can be considered a suitable path to address the needs and concerns of Wales like the Eisteddfod says – unless that is the explicitly political view of Eisteddfod bigwigs.”

‘Dignified’

Revealing that the First Minister would be honoured yesterday, the Archdruid, Myrddin ap Dafydd, said: “The contribution of our key employees over the past two and a half years has been tremendous, and we at Gorsedd Cymru want to show our appreciation and express our thanks to each and every one of them, who did so much for us all during the pandemic.

“Therefore, it’s a great pleasure to announce that our First Minister, Mark Drakeford will be honoured by the Gorsedd on behalf of all our key workers and volunteers at this year’s Eisteddfod.

“In welcoming the First Minister to the Gorsedd, we’ll thank him for his dignified and careful leadership through the difficult years of COVID-19 and the lockdown periods, and for creating a suitable path to address the needs and concerns of the people of our country.”

Responding to the invitation of Gorsedd Cymru, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said, “It is a great privilege for me to receive this honour on behalf of Wales’ key workers. They did so much to help us all during the pandemic.

“It’s important that we thank them for their heroic work during a difficult period for everyone”.

The First Minister will be honoured by the Gorsedd at 11:00 on Friday 5 August on the Eisteddfod Maes. A list of the others honoured by the Gorsedd is available here.

These names were originally published in July 2020, but due to COVID-19, have been unable to be honoured until now.

The Ceredigion National Eisteddfod is held on the outskirts of Tregaron from 30 July – 6 August. For more information, visit the website.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
5 months ago

Imagine being a Tory and on the day after two members of the Westminster cabinet have resigned and so has another MP, the Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Welsh Office no less, citing the corruption at Downing Street as their reasons, you’re wandering around flobbing on about Mark Drakeford getting an honour from the Gorsedd?! Does he think that the House of Lords, that Boris Johnson has stacked with dodgy people including a Russian national with close links to Putin’s regime, identified as a security risk by MI5 or 6, is funded by a magic money tree?! The disingenuousness of… Read more »

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Oh, so you trust MI5 and 6? Lol!

arthur owen
5 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Who do you trust,the KGB or whatever they are called these days.Really all these agencies are morally indefensible and totally neccessary.An independent Wales would have to develop their own ,or depend on others,I’ll let others decide which others they want to depend on.

Mark Hoffer
Mark Hoffer
5 months ago
Reply to  arthur owen

Morally indefensible or totally necessary? You need to pick just one.

Erisian
Erisian
5 months ago

Oh my! the poor little dears, has that nasty Labour leader done a better job of being a Welshman than any of them? Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
5 months ago

Never, never, never trust the corrupted Tory enemy. They will all be booted out pretty soon.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

OBE other bugger’s efforts…just saying…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

All Welsh key workers and volunteers need to be reminded that the Tories in Wales do not want their efforts through the years of Covid recognised and honoured.

Last edited 5 months ago by Kerry Davies
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Look who’s talking. The Welsh Conservatives recently criticised schools in Wales choice not to hand out books celebrating the Queen’s platinum jubilee so politicising the Monarchy. Hypocricy personified!

Marc
Marc
5 months ago

Long may The Welsh Conservatives remain the incompetent, amateur, pathetically ineffective and clueless bunch of brown nosed union loving Westminster door mats they far too often and clearly demonstrate to be

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

No mention of Vaughan Gething, shame…it was a double act…

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago

Congratulations First Minister.

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
5 months ago

Ha! Like Diablo complaining of foul play. The Eisteddfod’s move seems no different to a grovelling child seeking teachers approval though, and really quite shallow. Till now I’ve always presumed academics ran the setup.

Richard
Richard
5 months ago

The Orsedd is a cosy yet sanctimonious, self-important and self-perpetuating clique. You ask for a list of members and you are met with silence (same as with the Freemasons of course). The Archdruid is about to be given an honorary fellowship by the Chancellor of Aberystwyth University. In less than a month, the Chancellor of Aberystwyth University will be made an honorary member of the Orsedd by the Archdruid. Enough said.

Kenneth Vivian
Kenneth Vivian
4 months ago

Difficult to find one Giffard criticism that is not politically motivated.

Gareth Davies
4 months ago

Well done Mark👍 Richly deserved. By the way, the quietest place on the Eisteddfod ‘maes’ is the Conservative tent – there’s no-one there😂

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