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Welsh Secretary ‘wishes’ Wales hadn’t been allowed to set its own Covid rules

04 Mar 2022 3 minute read
Simon Hart photo by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

The Westminster-appointed Welsh Secretary has suggested that he wishes Wales had not been allowed to set its own Covid rules.

In an interview with Times Radio, Simon Hart said that he would have preferred it if “we could have approached all of the Covid reactions and interventions as one UK”.

The Tory MP made the suggestion after being asked about the comments of Baron Frost, who sits in the House of Lords, who claimed that the pandemic had shown that it was “nonsense” having different rules in different parts of the UK.

Writing in the Telegraph, Frost said said that the step was necessary to “save Boris, the Conservative Party and the country”.

A recent opinion poll showed that 60% of people in Wales preferred the Welsh Government’s approach to tackling the pandemic.

The YouGov survey also suggested that 17% of people in Wales preferred the approach to tackling the pandemic taken in England  by the UK Government, while 10% said they don’t know and 13% said neither.

During an interview with Simon Hart, Times Radio broadcaster Matt Chorley said: “On the subject of Covid, your former Cabinet colleague Lord Frost, said it was nonsense for Wales to have its own Covid rules. Do you agree with him?”

Simon Hart replied: “I must say that I wish that we could have approached all of the Covid reactions and interventions as one UK. I think it would have been easier to communicate that to the population. I think it would have been easier to administer.

“We would have got a greater degree of public understanding and compliance for longer, and the real truth is, and sometimes people do say well ‘you know didn’t Welsh Government handle it rather better? Weren’t the outcomes rather better?’.

“The reality is if you look at all of the measurements of success or failure, whatever they might be in Covid, actually there was precious little difference between England and Wales.”

Lord Frost picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

‘Rebuild the UK nation-state’

In his article for the Telegraph, Lord Frost said: “First, we must rebuild the UK nation-state as a collective endeavour for everyone within it,” he said.

“The democratic nation-state is the best way human beings have found to create political community and loyalty, to facilitate solidarity, and to make people feel part of something bigger.

“A country with self-respect cannot have its laws set by others. We must therefore finish the business of re-establishing our sovereignty in Northern Ireland – step by step, if necessary, but with no doubt about the final goal.

“We should put an end to ‘devolve and forget’ in Scotland and Wales. Local decision-making is fine, but it should come within a sensible national framework. The pandemic made clear the nonsense of having four different travel and public health policies.”

He also called for stopping “inward migration” and not “conceding special privileges to people purely because they are members of a favoured group” so that the government could “build a more cohesive Britain”.

“Any other path means fragmenting and ultimately undermining our collective life in this country,” he said.


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Dafydd
Dafydd
6 months ago

I wish for a new bike, a train set, a scalectrix….

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

I wish all tories would follow the example set by the oozlum bird

Arwyn
6 months ago

Boris’ Tory Party is a mob of ideological headbangers. The centrist and liberal conservatives have been driven out and all that remains are the right wing, Anglo-British Nationalists, spivs and shysters. They have not once in the history of the democratic vote in Wales, secured a majority of MP’s, AM’s or MS’s. Yet they govern us and Simon Hart represents us at the heart of the UK Government. We don’t have to put up with this. We need to dismantle the Tory UK and build something better, something that begins with Welsh, Scottish and English Nation States. Plaid have the… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Arwyn
arthur owen
6 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

They get to govern Wales because a majority of the Welsh people keep voting for another unionist party.The majority of the members of that party are pissed off about it,but not pissed off enough to stop being unionists.

Arwyn
6 months ago
Reply to  arthur owen

A fair summation of the situation. I’ve long said that Labour Unionism enables Tory Nationalism. The trouble with UK Labour is that they think they need Welsh & Scottish votes to win in Westminster, yet history shows that the UK nearly always gets the government that England votes for. Didn’t stop Starmer from saying in his WoL advertorial that “Labour doesn’t win (a general election) unless it wins in Wales.” That was his attempt to demonstrate Wales’ importance to Labour. Labour needs a complete change of mindset. They need to recognise that the UK State is effectively a Tory political… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Arwyn
Mark
Mark
6 months ago

Its really offensive when members of the most corrupt english government in living memory think they have a right to look down their noses at Wales and other devolved governments and tell us how we should be governed, They’re not even discussing it with “us” they’re talking at us.

Erisian
Erisian
6 months ago

What is the point of having a so-called secretary of state for Wales who does not give a tinkers damn for Wales. Can anybody point me at anything, anything at all, he has ever done that was of any use to us? He cannot even be said to promote the ‘Union’ as he seems intent on pissing us off every opportunity.

Last edited 6 months ago by Erisian
Andrew
Andrew
6 months ago

A secretary of state for a nation he would rather didn’t exist. An enemy of the state more like.

G Horton-Jones
G Horton-Jones
6 months ago

If you like me think Putin has completely lost the plot
Remember Simon Hart is way ahead of him

Dewi Williamswhat
Dewi Williamswhat
6 months ago

“Make people feel part of something bigger”, “collective endeavour for everyone one within the UK” etc. Fine words, and Frost expects the Welsh to swallow this when repeatedly we are being told by English celebrity authors and Frost’s own London influential media that Wales is “living off English hand-outs”. Frost’s epithets would have some credibility if he proffered when saying these fine words that this would be achieved by exchanging with Wales, the South East’s lucrative pen-pushing, paper shifting of the financial and stockbroker houses together with the numerous high tech high skilled soft industries for its defunct heavy industries… Read more »

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Can you imagine an English Prime Minister (someone who can’t even follow his own rules) telling Welsh families that they can’t spend Christmas together, or that they cannot go further than 5 miles? Would that not have fanned the flames of nationalism further?

Grayham Jones
6 months ago

Kick this idiot out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 months ago

…… Meanwhile Wales wishes we could choose our own Welsh Secretary – or better still abolish the post.

John Williams
John Williams
6 months ago

I agree Simon. Your Russian business friends should have been allowed to set our rules.

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