Wales can’t wait for Westminster to get a move on – whatever those with contempt towards us say

Mark Drakeford’s coronavirus announcement.

Gareth Ceidiog Hughes

The fact that we have a deadly pandemic on our hands hasn’t stopped some from telling the Welsh they should know their place.

This was made clear when the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, confirmed that the lockdown restrictions to tackle the coronavirus would stay in place for a further three weeks.

As I understand it, this was on the basis of a COBRA meeting with the UK government and leaders from the devolved administrations.

A tweet from Sky News Breaking said: “Wales’ First Minister says Scotland, Northern Ireland, and UK government have confirmed a three-week extension to lockdown restrictions.”

The tweet received an avalanche of hostile and sneering responses from people aghast that the leader of a nation in his own right had the temerity to divulge what was happening on a matter of the utmost importance.

A typical response read: “It’s like a flipping echo chamber in the U.K. now. Everybody nationalist politician wants to get in on the act and claim ownership to demonstrate that they who are in charge (which they ain’t), and it’s them that’s funding crisis support, which they aren’t. they U.K. Govt are.”

It should be pointed out that Mark Drakeford is not a nationalist politician. He is in fact a unionist; though his support for the union is not without caveat or equivocation. I can’t image that being treated this way fills him with a great deal of warmth towards the United Kingdom, and indeed who would blame him.

Another response said: “Rather stealing the thunder there, isn’t he?”

Another said: “You should of let the UK Government announce it before telling people. Comedy at its best.”

Let’s just leave aside the fact that it’s “should have” not “should of” for a moment, and think for a moment about the sheer contempt this shows for the people of Wales. The message is clear. Get back in your box Welshies. We’re better than you.

Similar scorn was directed at the First Minister of Scotland a few weeks ago when she announced what had been decided at a COBRA meeting before those who think of themselves as her betters.

But if you thought that all the hostile responses to the First Minister of Wales came from England then you’d be wrong.

One such response from a chap who went by the name of Lee, from Cardiff, no less, said: “That’s great @MarkDrakeford, but most of us here in Wales will wait for the proper government and their announcement.”

 

Respect

There are people in our midst who believe that it is big, that it is clever, to look down on their own country. They do not have confidence that the people of Wales can make their own decisions. It is a form of Stockholm syndrome. Siding with a school bully can make the weak feel strong.

But it isn’t strength to fail to stand up for your own kin when they’re being demeaned by morons. I don’t know about you, but I am not so pathologically insecure in the ability of my own nation that I believe that we can’t handle briefing the media on a subject that is highly relevant to us.

Governments elected by the people of Wales are just as legitimate as any other, and should be accorded the same respect, and I despair at my compatriots who cannot see this. Unfortunately for some, they have absorbed the views of those who look down on them, and have made them their own.

Wales should not have to wait around for the Westminster establishment to get a move on. Indeed, doing so, especially in these circumstances can have deadly consequences. The idea that we should just sit around, twiddling our thumbs waiting for the Westminster establishment to tell us what to do, at any time, is frankly absurd. The seriousness of our current predicament makes it even more so. When a deadly virus spreads exponentially, time is very much of the essence.

Wales has announcements made on its behalf without it even being consulted all the time. It has policies that its people didn’t vote for imposed on it all the time. Its leader reveals something important on a matter of real public interest that pertains to all four nations of the UK just once, and people lose their God damn minds. The pique demonstrated was really quite extraordinary.

If you can only feel secure when Wales behaves meekly, then I suggest the problem isn’t ours. The public health crisis engulfing the nation makes this even more apparent.

Articles via Email

Get instant updates to your inbox

32
Leave a Reply

avatar
10 Comment threads
22 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
17 Comment authors
RhosdduWrexhamianJonesyJohn Youngj humphrys Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
John Stretton
Member

Boo hoo, we’re soooo upset.

John
Guest
John

As an Englishman who has made a life in Wales, and no fan of Welsh Labour, I am aghast at the number of Welsh people who actively rubbish the idea of nationhood, who tell me I am wasting my time learning Welsh, who are blindingly ignorant of Welsh history and culture. (except when the tribal rugby comes round). I fear that consensus about devolution still hangs by the thinnest thread…

jones
Guest
jones

Yes most of us Welshies love the status quo,could call it laziness or no ambition,no drive,we’re laid back see! Constantly get run over by trucks,even then we accept the norm.
It’s good to have some English in our midst to put fire in our bellies,but keeping that fire running is a real difficult task, Maniana, Maniana.

John
Guest
John

jones, sorry about your misreading of my post. I didn’t generalise, you did. I was talking about real interactions I have had with real Welsh peopleI’m sorry that I’m English, but you need to begin to see those for whom Welsh citizenship is not about ethnicity, it’s about a commitment and a passion for the country. Yes, we do exist. No, we don’t have the feeling of centuries of repression hanging on our shoulders as do, I think you are suggesting, true Welsh men and women. But you need to see who your true allies are, because I know far… Read more »

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

I think you’ve misunderstood what Jones said. There was no anti-English comment there.

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

In a way, it’s a Brit thing, this election of ignorance. And maybe even worse in England?
The people who post this bile are generally of the class lately know as “the white van men”, semi skilled or not.
They are all over the net, I have seen, and hate everyone, Europeans in particular. They love Trump as he talks
in simple put-down terms and the crazier he gets the better, though some have bailed out lately, probably since Boris nearl shook hands with the grim reaper. So, Cymru, keep calm and soldier on.

Ann Swindale
Guest
Ann Swindale

Totally agree. I am horrified by the number of posts I see on Wales on Line and some Facebook pages criticising Welsh Government! These are all from people in Wales I should add! I have to keep reminding everyone that Wales government closed schools and cancelled non-urgent hospital appointments and surgery before UK government decided that perhaps they had better do something!

mark
Guest
mark

I have my doubts about how genuine some of them are, you’ll probably find they’re professional trolls paid to do a job, look up 77th brigade, the British Army’s very own internet trolls, it’s a way of keeping the Welsh & Scottish communities divided & to keep the establishment firmly in control.

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

I think, Mark, some are professional and others hate-filled. Women tend to be more about practical care and let me add, the sooner Welsh women get moving the better!!

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

There’s also no guarantee that ‘Lee from Cardiff’ is a Welshman. When I lived in Cardiff, there were plenty of English working or studying there whose attitude towards things Welsh was little short of contemptuous.

J.R. Thomas
Guest

Cytuno’n llwyr – mae’r elfen o daegorwydd sy’n ymddangos yn ein undebwyr mwyaf anwybodus, yn codi cyfog.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

…a chrac.

Plain citizen
Guest
Plain citizen

Various people of Wales constantly have policies they didn’t vote for imposed on them by the Cardiff elite. Not a lot we can do about it though. This thread seems to be about giving that self interested and arrogant group even more power.

mark
Guest
mark

I would say the people of Wales constantly have policies forced on them by a Westminster elite that we didn’t vote for, If you don’t like the Welsh Government we have elections next year, that will be your chance to “do something”

John Young
Guest
John Young

He did rather leave an open goal for you there Mark. What a silly post.

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

And of course policies imposed by Westminster has MWGA!

Phil
Guest
Phil

This is typical of the Welsh.fight in any wars that the English government sees fit but we won’t fight for our nation. We constantly have things imposed onto us but what do we do .nothing until we have a leader such as Adam price who will put Wales first Wales will stagnate. Labour in Wales are yes men to the English labour while Welsh conservatives think to be led by English rule is acceptable I really can’t understand intelligence of the Welsh ( I am Welsh and proud to be so .except not proud when we are expected to bow… Read more »

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Surely the hard fact is that here in Wales we’ve had almost three centuries, ever since the era of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell, during which the concept of ‘Britishness’ has dominated the political discourse. Subsequent developments – the union of crowns between England and Scotland in 1603, the union of the English and Scottish parliaments in 1707 and finally the union of the British and Irish parliaments in 1800 – yet further reinforced that same message across the British Isles, and over such a long period of time it’s inevitable that a substantial and significant national psyche emerged as… Read more »

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Three ‘down’ votes, I see! Since I’m certainly not writing as an upholder of traditional patriotic ‘Britishness’, I suggest you’re not aiming at the right target. It’s barely more than four months since we had the general election in which Welsh voting patterns outside y Fro Cymraeg uncannily echoed those in most of England- even down to long-standing Welsh Labour seats switching to the Tories in identical fashion to the way English east midlands and north-east seats also switched that way. Even the Beast of Bolsover’s former seat’s now held by a Tory. Quite unlike the situation in Scotland, where… Read more »

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

The vote in the Wal Goch was a result of people’s awareness of the inadequacy of Corbyn, and not a communal embracing of ‘Britishness’, although Wales does, admittedly, still contain many with that mindset.

WJD
Guest
WJD

So what’s new remember that doyen of the Labour Party George Thomas saying when Welsh secretary, “ for gods sake don’t tell the English what we cost them”.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

George Thomas, Arglwydd Tonypandy! Now there’s a depressing blast from the past …

He always called to my mind one particular verse from the psalms: ‘I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people’. 😉

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Role model for Lawdy Kinnickio.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

He was way worse than Kinnock as far as I was concerned!

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Of course, you are spot on! It was agony for you too, then?

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

He became Welsh Secretary in my first few years of living in Wales, when I was still a student. In my view he was one of the most contemptible and ludicrous politicians of my lifetime – a cringing, snobbish, obsequious ‘Stockholm syndrome’ pseudo-Welshman. I’m not much of a fan of politicians as a breed, but for me he was one of the worst. At leaet Kinnock – who was my local MP for some years back in the early ’80s – had some principled convictions, whether you agreed with them or not, whereas Thomas was a pathetic self-serving sycophant. His… Read more »

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Well said!!

Jonathan Edwards
Guest
Jonathan Edwards

Come on Wales, wake up! Protest. Follow the US States: First protest – North Carolina   11million population, moderate State, lots of lost Welsh exiles. Second – Michigan 10m moderate swing State. Now protest in the Hoosier State ie Indiana, sensible Mid-West State 6.7m  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4bYm8XBFxM Great States of Texas (10th largest economy in the world) and Vermont are actually opening Monday BTW – wonder why all 3 protests led by feisty women?

mark
Guest
mark

you’re fooling yourself if you seriously think mericans can make sensible decisions, look who they elected as president, his opening gambit was that this was all just a hoax?? You watch the number of deaths increase in those states over the next 2 or 3 weeks. Wales doesn’t need to follow anyone.

Ceri
Guest
Ceri

Nobody, no organization, no government played this well, not for lack of trying or believing in conspiracy theories, just because we simply don’t know enough. Data gathering, treat the sick as best as we can, plan for a better future. Cymru can only ensure our populace is better served in any future crisis by striving for self-determination. Without this we will always suffer the brunt of the UKs failings and live of the smallest crumbs from UK success . I’m drawn to American notions of ‘freedom/liberty’ (but not 100% convinced) as a good model for Cymru, but placing lives on… Read more »

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Among others, Latvia and Korea were both/are competent. Otherwise it is as you say.