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Opinion

The toxic entitlement of Labour

06 Jun 2024 5 minute read
First Minister Vaughan Gething – Image: Senedd

Ben Wildsmith

How times change. The last I remember, Nation.Cymru was being condemned in the Senedd as a Pravda-style mouthpiece for the Labour government, whilst Plaid Cymru’s Senedd cohort were the toothless handmaids of its agenda.

Martin Shipton, Adam Price, and Mark Drakeford were equal partners in a bicycle repair business that was set to cash in on a 20mph tyranny over Welsh motorists.

Chinking glasses of Chablis as they smiled contentedly over Cardiff Bay, the triumvirate conspired to deny plucky Andrew ‘Real Ting’ Davies his seat at the table. Muwahahaaaaa!

So, what’s going on by here now in a minute?

First off, let’s raise a cap to Hannah Blythyn and Lee Waters. Objecting to your boss by pulling a sickie is the most authentically working-class action conceivable.

I’d be disappointed if they didn’t treat themselves to a pub lunch after croaking their apologies down the phone.

Understaffed

There’s nothing quite as enervating as a suddenly understaffed workplace. Everybody must rush around picking up unfamiliar tasks and speaking to people they know don’t know. In Labour’s case yesterday, that meant the people of Wales.

‘Hello, I’m concerned that the First Minister is only in place because of questionable donations from a convicted criminal whose wealth derives in part from loans the First Minister facilitated.’

‘I’m terribly sorry, we’re understaffed at the moment, but it says here that you’re a racist.’

‘Good morning, is it right that the First Minister lied to the Covid Inquiry about deleting messages it had asked for?’

‘I haven’t read the notes so I’m going to assume that you are a Tory who wants eight-year-old children to be forced down the mines. Thank you.’

‘Hello, I’ve never called in before but I’m worried that the dignity of Welsh democracy is under threat and…’

‘Will you shut up, it’s D-Day for God’s sake!’

Media pressure

Labour has never come under this sort of media pressure before in Wales and its fragility was on full display on Wednesday.

Hefin David MS has spent the week flouncing around like a grounded teenager, issuing preachy tweets with the replies disabled, and insinuating that any dissent must be grounded in prejudice.

Mike Hedges MS appeared so broadsided by events that he relinquished syntax in favour of an incoherent soundtrack to his mimed outrage.

When no Labour members of the Senedd agreed to appear on BBC Wales, Stephen Kinnock MP stepped in to instruct the nation that Vaughan Gething was a man of integrity and honour.

The cumulative impression given by Labour figures is that commonplace scrutiny is an impertinence. By yesterday evening, the wider Labour family was joining in.

Tweets like that attracted dozens of outraged responses which went ignored. The institutional pillars of Labour: the MSs, MPs, union officials and party workers were content to pronounce and then leave their statements to stand alone.

Well, they would, wouldn’t they? The entire civic structure of Wales has been moulded by Labour over the last century. Anybody who works for the government, most councils, the charitable sector, the media, and, increasingly, private business, knows their position exists in relation to its monolithic presence in national life. I’m on the committee, Butt…

Entrenched

The Labour establishment in Wales seems as entrenched and interdependent as the public school mafia in England.

So, when Adam Price reflected the ghost of Aneurin Bevan back at the Labour benches during yesterday’s debate, it was received as heresy.

‘Shame on you!’ called the Gething loyalists.

On telly, Kinnock denounced Plaid Cymru as being ‘in bed with the Tories’ in this ‘gimmick’, this ‘stunt’.

Specific objections, it seems, can only be part of a juvenile and partisan hostility to the governing party.

An overwhelming Labour majority seems inevitable in Westminster and the party in Wales needs to buckle up.

With no Tory overlords to blame for hospital waiting lists, exam results, potholes, or endemic regional poverty, the automatic moral superiority implied by a red rosette will be revoked.

The Senedd has no confidence in its leader. That is a hard fact, not something that can be politicked away. The people telling us to ignore it are also insisting that clever men from London are required to represent our parliamentary constituencies.

The toxic entitlement of the Labour Party in Wales is creating a vacuum in representation last seen by Scotland during the Blair years. If it refuses to listen, then it must be made to hear.


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HarrisR
HarrisR
1 day ago

I must admit alongside the serious nature of all this, there are moments of high comedy. To take one “peach”, Russell Goodway tweeting that it is gross hypocrisy to be concerned about Vaughan’s particular “entrepreneurship” as Labour had been taking dodgy money from dodgy sources for decades! That’s a courtroom winner Russ!! And the Hefin & Vikki “Skaters for Gething” act, hyper tweeting dramatically on the very thin ice of the political future of Gething like Torvill & Dean. Wales hasn’t had this much excitement since a refreshed Shaking Stevens slid right off the top of the piano and onto… Read more »

Paddy
Paddy
1 day ago
Reply to  HarrisR

“Vaughan Gething would not be First Minister if he hadn’t taken the money”, from someone trying to defend him.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 day ago
Reply to  Paddy

That’s classic comic material, that one!

Jon Coles
Jon Coles
1 day ago

Exactly, Martin. Exactly.

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
1 day ago

Really enjoyed that Ben, made me chuckle, and Labour needs to reflect on how the electorate justifiably feels about the actions of the entitled.

Erisian
Erisian
1 day ago

The suggestion that there is any common ground between Plaid Cymru and the Conservative & Unionist party is simply insane.

Bob Fleming
Bob Fleming
1 day ago

Wrong thread?

Last edited 1 day ago by Bob Fleming
Valley girl
Valley girl
1 day ago

It’s time Welsh Labour split from English Labour and all it’s Welsh puppets. They are rotten to the core: https://novaramedia.com/2023/11/14/the-corruption-behind-starmers-rise-has-finally-been-exposed/

Last edited 1 day ago by Valley girl
Linda Jones
Linda Jones
7 hours ago
Reply to  Valley girl

There is no such entity as Welsh Labour its all just Labour singing to the tune dictated by Labour Westminster. They do nothing for Wales. An unaccountable body of careerists taking Wales for a ride while feathering their own nests. They have to go. Plaid is the only party with Wales at its heart.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
1 day ago

I’m on the committee, Butt… this sums up one of the key reasons why the south Wales valleys are amongst the poorest in western Europe. Yet valley communities keep on voting Labour. Shame on Labour for abusing the trust voters in the valleys have placed in you for the last century. Labour corruption in the valleys is well known, in planning and in council employment. Labour are a disease that needs to be treated otherwise the Wales will continue to be the economically sick country of Europe.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 day ago
Reply to  Cwm Rhondda

The disease needs to be purged, scoured out, but only the people in those communities can do it by using their vote. Also be more active and get involved in nominations for candidates, although the Senedd is now tucked up by “head office” with the closed list scam. Disrupt the party machine and if that don’t work, either join another or start a new party.

Neil McEvoy
Neil McEvoy
9 hours ago

I have been very impressed by Nation recently. Well done & keep it up. Re: the GMB; it gave up representing eotkers properly years ago. Ask any Cardiff Council employee who has needed their help. Unite the Union has taken a lot of members from them recently for good reason.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
6 hours ago

Excellent article that hits the nail on the head. The Labour party today, in my opinion, is corrupt, undemocratic and entitled with ‘politicians’ feathering their own nests at the expense of the people. EG how many £millions did the Kinnocks amass while representing us? At the same time I see no tangible benefits for their constituents (including the current one) for their time in office. Still some of the poorest areas in Europe.
Plaid is the only answer.

Rick Bull
Rick Bull
4 hours ago

Welsh Labour is no different now than it was a few months ago so why kick up this stink now? The backlash is grossly disproportionate to the supposed offenses which are within the rules and tame by Westminster standards. Of course Wales should be better than Westminster but that means changing the rules. It doesn’t mean ganging up on someone who hasn’t been given a chance. If Wales’s morality mob hounds Mr Gething out of office for not actually breaking any rules the “optics” globally will be terrible.

FrankC
FrankC
4 hours ago
Reply to  Rick Bull

It’s not by Welsh standards. This is arguably the biggest scandal ever in Welsh politics. I’m guessing you cast your vote elsewhere.

Gething’s behaviour has been appalling and has brought our young democracy into disrepute. He must go.

Rick Bull
Rick Bull
52 minutes ago
Reply to  FrankC

If you don’t like the rules change the rules. Inventing new ones when it suits the baying mob isn’t how a modern progressive democracy works.

FrankC
FrankC
4 minutes ago
Reply to  Rick Bull

People who disapprove of what Gething has been up to are are a baying mob?

I think you’ll find the majority of people in Wales disapprove of the first minister’s actions. I’m guessing you are one of his few remaining stooges.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
55 minutes ago

Where’s Jeff? I didn’t agree with allot of what he said yet in all fairness he was a good contributers to most of the topics on this page.

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