WITH half-term approaching, the possible closing of the Welsh border is now fast becoming a political hot potato.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is actively considering the move to prevent movement from ‘Covid hotspots’ in areas in England into Wales during that holiday period.
Thus far, all appeals on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to introduce such a measure have been rejected.
As a party, GWLAD has serious concerns about the efficacy of lockdowns and the ruinous effects they have on people’s livelihoods and physical and mental health.
Even the WHO (World Health Organisation) have come out this week to say that blind dependence on lockdowns is unwise, throwing further doubt over the use of such measures.
But, having said all that, there’s a deeper question of democracy at play here right now.
That is, we have an elected Welsh Government chosen democratically by the people of Wales
That government should therefore have the right to implement a policy they believe is the right one for Wales, however inconvenient that could be for the UK Government.
If they now have evidence that mass movements of people increase transmission of the virus at this point, then they should be able to close the border for a period of time.
GWLAD chair Sian Caiach said it was very interesting to see how a Labour administration in Cardiff was now having to confront its own in-built biases.
‘The virus crisis is forcing a Labour First Minister to take action against the UK government. You couldn’ t make this stuff up’ said Sian Caiach.
‘What kind of an unionist is Mark Drakeford by now? He seems to have gone native, in putting Wales first and the UK second’.
She added that monitoring the border for a time would be simple enough when every road traffic officer now has a sophisticated computer on board, linked up to the DVLA identifying names and addresses of all car owners.
In his latest letter to Boris Johnson, Mark Drakeford argues it’s not about the border as such, but simply to prevent cases from ‘high-prevalence’ areas permeating into ‘low prevalence’ areas.
Drakeford is trying his level best to continue to present it as an issue to do with reasoned argument and empirical data.
But, ultimately he can’t shy away from the national question. Nor from the issue of democracy itself.