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Welsh politics professor’s savage burn to The Guardian during Drakeford discussion

27 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Professor Richard Wyn Jones on BBC Politics Wales

A Welsh politics professor has delivered a savage burn to The Guardian during a discussion about Mark Drakeford.

Richard Wyn Jones, Director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, told the London-based liberal newspaper’s Politics Weekly podcast that “even The Guardian has noticed devolution” if he could “put it in those slightly unkind terms”.

He made the comments during a discussion about the First Minister of Wales with Ruth Mosalski, Political Editor at WalesOnline and Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhondda.

Professor Jones was asked about what Mark Drakeford’s success during the pandemic might mean for Welsh independence.

He said: “Well, the paradox of the recent period is yes it’s underlined the significance of devolution, I mean even The Guardian has noticed devolution, if I can put it in those slightly unkind terms.

“We’re also in a period in which we have a UK Government that is intent on recentralising power in you know the name of the union and all that and we have a UK Government that is not respecting the mandate that Mark Drakeford has just won in the election, and so there’s a real tension here at the moment.£

‘Bankrupt’ 

He added: “Mark Drakeford is arguing, obviously Chris is right to talk about the practical issues around the NHS and so on and so forth, but Mark Drakeford has also made clear he think the union, the UK in its current state is basically bankrupt and that it needs comprehensive reform and we have a UK Government that is simply not willing to entertain anything the Welsh Government has to say about this.

“Meanwhile we’ve had the development of an independence movement in Wales, which is actually something I never expected to see in my lifetime.

“Around half of Labour supporters in Wales now say they would vote independence and Labour is doing really well in terms of hanging on to those voters.

“But if the devolution option keeps getting undermined from the centre then Labour have a long term dilemma.”

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hdavies15
hdavies15
30 days ago

The Guardian’s core readership is made up of “lifestyle lefties” who have a perverse attachment to a centralist UK government. They are content only discussing the merits of varying shades of UK socialism and despise, or can’t visualise, any form of alternative based around 4 separate national states. Thick or what ?

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
30 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I don’t think “thick” is the right term.

They are, essentially, just as English as English conservatives and just do not understand how the other nations view themselves – or even that the other nations view themselves as other nations.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
30 days ago

I recall being told by an English friend of mine that nationalism (in this context Welsh nationalism) was ‘a petty bourgeoise deviation from the goal of creating socialism’ as if this was enough to dismiss Welsh independence. It didn’t seem to occur to him that Wales was itself a victim of English imperialism. Had we been discussing any other independence movement (e.g. Irish or Indian) he would have supported it as anti-imperialism, but for some reason English lefties seem to have a massive blind sport when it comes to Wales. The only explanations I can think of are either: a).… Read more »

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
29 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Very well put, I have lived in London for many years and often find middle class English people the worst for prejudice against Wales and Welsh people. They seem obsessed with my accent and have to comment about it and question how I am in London or had this or that job. Many of them describe anywhere outside London as the ‘sticks’. It seems to come as a great shock to such people that I had a good job or have travelled outside the UK. It is all very boring and tiresome.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
29 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

OH MY GOD! You mean that you’re Welsh AND you managed to get a decent education AND a decent job? AND you’ve travelled beyond the immediate confines of your home valley? You really are very cosmopolitan! Are you sure you’re really Welsh? Sorry for the sarcasm, I couldn’t resist it. Most English people aren’t bad people, just very ignorant of anything not English. The left-wing friend of mine (I’m also very left-wing myself) was actually a very decent person, but my experience of English lefties is that, like most English people, they have a massive blind spot when it comes… Read more »

Erisian
Erisian
30 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I am an avid reader of the Grauniad and can assure you that I have no love for the UK Government. THat’s why I moved here and why I’m learning Cymraeg.
I’d agree that they do not pay as much attention as they should to the regions, but your characterisation is way off mark. Perhaps you might try reading it occasionally?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
30 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

Erisian glad to hear that you are leaning Cymreag. However, I have to take issue with you on two things: Firstly, Wales is a country not a region. If you are referring to the English regions then fair enough, although ‘the North’ (of England) deserves far better news coverage than they get, which is almost as bad as ours. I am always bemused by the fact that Boris’s Broadcasting Conservatives have a ‘North of England Correspondent’ has if they are sending despatches from a strange and foreign land. Although from the point of view of southerners Northumbria may as well… Read more »

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
29 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Yes often it only mentions Wales when talking about cheap holiday homes.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
29 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 is not a region.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
28 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

I read it every day it is basically Brit Nat in outlook on the whole

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
30 days ago

I presume Prof Jones was speaking as the co-author of the book; Englishness: The political force transforming Britain. I did ask if Nation could review it but essentially it is an examination of English nationalism from the perspective of the devolved nations. “They demonstrate that English nationalism is emphatically not a rejection of Britain and Britishness. Rather, English nationalism combines a sense of grievance about England’s place within the United Kingdom with a fierce commitment to a particular vision of Britain’s past, present, and future.” That sense of grievance leads them to the cognitive dissonance and mental turmoil that produces… Read more »

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
28 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

England is portrayed as a victim (of Scotland Cymru and NI) read for example Redwood’a comments recently, it plays to the hard core English nationalists and sets up a future crackdown on devolution especially in Cymru

Rhisiart Williams
Rhisiart Williams
30 days ago

Yes Cymru is a non party movement, any one can join as long their agenda is independence. Sex Religeon , Race and politics are left out side. Labour Tories, Lib Dems Plaid do not run us, and they will realise that we will pick and create our parties after Independence . Yes Cymru is By the people, for the people and with the people, no room for hidden agendas like a political party attempting to control us.

Hywel
Hywel
29 days ago

The Guardian – extreme moderation in action.

Iain Ó hAnnaidh i Mac Aoidh
Iain Ó hAnnaidh i Mac Aoidh
28 days ago

The Guardian doesn’t much like the Catalan independence movement either. I’m sure they could find a better freelance reporter here than
an Englishman sympathetic to, and active with, anti-independence and anti-Catalan language organisations!

Last edited 28 days ago by Iain Ó hAnnaidh i Mac Aoidh
Sian
Sian
28 days ago

I’m glad that we’ve got people of the calibre of Prof Richard Wyn Jones to call out papers like the Guardian. We need more of this from all influencers.

Jonathan Edwards
23 days ago
Reply to  Sian

Yes. Two thoughts. “The Guardian has noticed devolution, if I can put it in those slightly unkind terms.” And this is a “burn out”?! Discussion needs to be robust. Actually, the place for RWJ is in an elected/appointed Constitutional Convention for Wales, badly needed. He is cut out to be a Founding Father. Wales could do with all available talent, so Founding Mothers needed too, please. Can someone point me to a woman who has a record which includes an understanding of how Wales actually writes its own Constitution? The cadre of men is small. The single woman I’ve come… Read more »

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