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Welsh Government rubbishes Daily Mail ‘woke wars’ story

05 Sep 2023 4 minute read
Horatio Nelson (L). Image by William Barnard is marked with CC0 1.0. Winston Churchill

Martin Shipton

The Welsh Government has rubbished a story in the Daily Mail which alleged it was planning to rename roads and buildings honouring Winston Churchill and Horatio Nelson.

According to the Conservative-supporting newspaper, which historically backed Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s, the UK Government is “drawing fresh battle lines in the woke wars by passing laws to stop British heroes being removed from street names”.

The Mail’s story stated: “It comes as the Labour administration in Wales plans to rename roads and buildings honouring Winston Churchill and Horatio Nelson.

“An ‘anti-racist Wales action plan’ published by First Minister Mark Drakeford, which pledges to ‘review and decolonise our public spaces’, has raised the possibility of changing addresses such as Caerphilly’s Churchill Park and Nelson Street in Chepstow.

“An ‘audit of commemoration’, part of the anti-racism plan, identified 204 ‘persons of interest’, 57 monuments, 93 public buildings and 442 street names with ‘red-amber-green colour-coding’ for ‘distinctions of certainty and/or culpability’.

“Nelson has 31 commemorations, there are 47 for the Duke of Wellington and Churchill has 15.

“The audit says the Second World War leader was ‘widely hated in South Wales mining communities for his actions as Home Secretary during the Tonypandy riots’.

“It adds he ‘expressed a belief in the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race and was opposed to dismantling the British Empire, taking a romanticised view of its achievements’.”

Trafalgar

The Mail story added: “Meanwhile Nelson, hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, wrote to his wife saying he would ‘die a firm friend of our colonial system’.

“Explorer Christopher Columbus is under threat ‘for having initiated the modern era of contact and colonisation through four trans-Atlantic voyages … among the profound consequences were the devastation of the native populations of the Americas, European colonialism and the trans-Atlantic slave trade’.

“Even Gandhi, the anti-colonial leader of the Indian independence movement, is under scrutiny for a speech in 1896 saying whites were degrading Hindus and Muslims ‘to a level of Kaffir’ – a highly insulting term for black Africans.

“Other figures singled out include ex-Prime Minister William Gladstone and explorer Sir Francis Drake.”

The Mail added that provisions in The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, now passing through Parliament, will ensure a street in England cannot be renamed without two-thirds of residents agreeing to it.

It quoted the Welsh audit report, which said: “The terms of reference for this project separate the audit stage from issues arising, which might form the basis for a second stage. The present document seeks to capture information, not provide a set of answers.”

Nonsense

A source in the Westminster Government is quoted by the Mail as saying: “This is exactly the sort of woke nonsense which would apply across the country [sic] if Labour managed to control more than just Wales. That is why we are giving people the power to stop it in England. Apart from anything else, it is extremely disruptive to change postal addresses.”

However, in Wales the renaming streets would be within the powers of local authorities rather than the Welsh Government, while there are no powers to force the owners of buildings to change their names.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “There is no truth to these claims. The audit was first published in 2020, identifying public monuments, street and building names associated with the slave trade and the British Empire. This, and the guidance that is in preparation, has the purpose of helping public bodies reach well-informed decisions about existing and future commemorations.

“The guidance makes no specific recommendations about what decisions to make or what action to take. All decisions should be developed through public consultation.”


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John Davies
John Davies
7 months ago

The Daily Heil does a pretty good job of rubbishing itself without any assistance being necessary. It is, however, worth noting that Nelson was in favour of the slave trade and vehemently opposed the campaign to end it.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

It’s not called the Daily Fail for nothing. How ironic that a paper who supported the Nazi party in the 1930s Germany should make such spurious claims. And I see the far-right favourite go to acronym these days is Woke. It’s either woke this or woke that to almost every subject matter says everything about this turd infested Tory trash toilet paper. The Daily Mail is the English equivalent of the Proud Boys in print and reminiscent of those Bud-light swinging red necks in the American deep south who bemoan being scorned for flying the Confederate flag, who lament how… Read more »

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
7 months ago

Daily Fail not even good enough for Toilet paper the worst of the right wing rags

Gareth
Gareth
7 months ago

Dead cat strategy, as another political storm unfolds for the Tories in England, ( schools RAAC ), run a story about how bad things are for us Cymru, and how lucky the English are not to have a ” woke” labour government.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

I wish WG would wake up…lives are at risk…

A.Redman
A.Redman
7 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Perhaps the Welsh public should be given the FULL cost of the 20
.mile limit in Wales being imposed by the Labour Government. If more money was given for the NHS in Wales and Education it would be appreciated far more than words can say.

Simon
Simon
7 months ago
Reply to  A.Redman

Hear hear, well said 👏

Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
7 months ago

So hard to believe it is the best selling newspaper in wales.

Bethan
Bethan
7 months ago
Reply to  Rhobert Davi8s

Seriously?? Come on Wales sort it out. That paper has George’s cross all over it. What are you thinking? They couldn’t care less about you. Why give your money to that mulch?

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  Bethan

Of course it is. There are so many Anglo colonists here that it’s inevitable they read their favorite rag to top up on their pet prejudices.

Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
7 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Well the next most popular newspaper is the Sun. Wales is a diverse country with more Tory MP’s than Plaid. I may be wrong but I don’t think there are any Plaid Councillors in Caerdydd. As for Anglo colonists many of them if there are that many may be of Welsh descent because there are more people of Welsh descent living in England than Wales. The world is a global world becoming more diverse by the week.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
7 months ago
Reply to  Rhobert Davi8s

That just tells me most people in Cymru don’t buy newspapers.

Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
7 months ago
Reply to  Owain Morgan

No your wrong there the diverse people of Cymru purchase the Mail and the Sun. It is there in black and white.

Windy
Windy
7 months ago

The name “daily Mail “sounds sexist it should change its name to “daily thing” or something similar, I didn’t suggest “ daily it “ as hopefully someone would put the letters S and H in front to make it more correct

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
7 months ago

“A source in the Westminster Government is quoted by the Mail as saying….”

Translation: quote made up by the Daily Mail itself.

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