Jacob Rees-Mogg is a great advert for Welsh independence

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Gareth Ceidiog Hughes

Jacob Rees-Mogg is a huge asset for the independence campaign.

It is almost as if he’s a YesCymru agent in the unionist camp, because each time someone like this Old Etonian buffoon talks down to the people of Wales, it does us a huge favour.

This is because he reminds people of what the Westminster establishment thinks of us, and of whose interests they really serve. Spoiler alert – it isn’t ours.

His ill-judged and fact-free intervention into Welsh affairs came following the decision of the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, to make it against the law to travel here from covid hotspots across the UK.

Tory Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton, asked him this on the floor of the House of Commons: “Can my right honourable friend confirm that it would be illegal for the Welsh Labour Government to introduce an intensive border within the UK to restrict movement between England and Wales?”

Rees-Mogg, who co-founded the hedge fund Somerset Capital Management, replied: “What would you expect of a hard-left Labour Government?

He added, with his customary and rather overcooked affectation of poshness: “The approach to putting a border between England and Wales is unconstitutional and will place the police in an invidious position considering that they serve the whole of the United Kingdom.

“We are one single United Kingdom, and we should not have… borders between different parts of the United Kingdom.”

First of all, what Drakeford has done is not unconstitutional. It is well within his powers because public health has been devolved to Wales. Jacob Rees-Mogg has acted unconstitutionally in the past when he aided and abetted the UK Government when it shut down the Westminster parliament.

Wales also has four police forces and each of these covers its own patch. Yes, they cooperate with each other and with forces across the UK. But they don’t serve the whole United Kingdom.

It isn’t really a border between England and Wales either because it’s a ban on travelling from covid hotspots across the UK, including in Scotland. The principle on which this decision was based was already being applied between counties within Wales, and it was deemed anomalous as well as dangerous not to apply it beyond the Welsh border. You don’t even have to agree with the restrictions to know that Rees-Mogg’s comments are nonsense.

 

Aghast

The desire of some to paint this as a Wales vs England issue and stir up unnecessary division in the process isn’t just unseemly – it’s grotesque. The hysterical wails of outrage any time we diverge from our next-door neighbours for public health reasons is more than pathetic.

Despite what Rees-Mogg may prefer, we are not merely one single United Kingdom because that assumes Wales isn’t a nation in its own right – which it most certainly is. His precious United Kingdom probably won’t exist for much longer anyway, and it will be due in no small part to the insufferable arrogance and callousness of people like him.

We should remember that this is the man who implied that the people who died in the Grenfell fire did so not as jolly clever and sensible as he is. Obviously had nothing to do with the inequalities of the ridiculously classist society that has been was structured in order to protect the privilege of people like him.

It’s the same kind of mentality that says if you’re poor, it’s all your own fault, and not because the establishment has its foot on your throat. Rees-Mogg exemplifies everything the Westminster establishment is and everything an independent Wales wouldn’t be.

The Westminster establishment, used to Wales just nodding along for so long, is aghast that we have the temerity to believe we can actually make our own decisions. They expect us to sit down and do what we’re told, so when we refuse to do so they view it as very uppity indeed and it makes them angry.

Any course of action Wales takes that isn’t subservience just doesn’t compute. They view Wales as a vassal state. They believe our role within the union is to affirm their unwarranted sense of superiority. It is a role that Wales is becoming increasingly reluctant to play.

Now, this is purely anecdotal of course, but I’ve seen a lot of people on my Twitter timeline react to his absurd remarks by joining YesCymru. He is a valuable asset, so let’s make the most of him. Jacob Ress-Mogg is fast becoming the unwitting poster boy for the Welsh independence movement. Perhaps YesCymru should even make him an honorary member.

So, I dearly hope Rees-Mogg and his ilk keep the condescending comments about Wales coming. Each time they let us know what they really think of us, they push us closer to independence.

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