(English) Wales Without Labour 30/05/201905/05/2023 - Stephen Morris Mae’n ddrwg gennym, nid yw’r cofnod hwn ar gael yn yr iaith hon eto.
7 o sylwadau ar “(English) Wales Without Labour”
Though I don’t share her enthusiasm for either the Conservative Party in general or Boris Johnson in particular, Allison Pearson’s column on the day after the General Election is definitely worth a read. Nothing else I read on the day quite captured the sense of joy and release at the thought of what the UK – including Wales – had been delivered from:
Any party that wants to dominate politics in Wales in the future is going to need to understand what makes her friend’s Uncle Carl tick.
I wonder whether, given the binary choice, Pearson’s Welshness would win out over her Britishness. Born in Carmarthen to English parents, and moved to Market Harborough in Leicestershire as a child. She doesn’t strike me as any friend to our cause, given the cloying, excessive Brit-patriotism, ridiculous melodrama, probably fabricated anecdotes and Conservative Party hagiography in that article, I’m sorry to say. The woman is also something of a crank from what I’ve read, and incidentally was declared bankrupt in 2015. There’s your commitment to conservative tenets of individual responsibility and accountability(!).
What makes Uncle Carl tick, I’d wager, is the Red Tops, a simple and easily digestible campaign slogan (in fairness a masterstroke) and his wanting of critical capacity. It’s a brilliant con-trick these Brexiteering Borisites play, the singling out of cohorts such as the ‘Metropolitan elite’, Brussels, etc, while being totally blind to the egregious and entrenched eliteness of the upper echelons of the Conservative Party. I also question how much antisemitism factored into the concerns of people like our author before it became a stick to beat Labour with. Granted, it is no friend to Wales, but in no way are the Borises and Farages of the world. Of course, into this void there is plenty of room for Gwlad to grow in. I’d be interested to get your take on Brexit, as I gather you’re against the EU but I’ve not seen anything written in which your stall is set out.
As for Allison Pearson, only she can answer those questions, but I don’t think her loyalty to Wales is in any question. She regularly identifies herself as Welsh in her writing, and diligently follows a large number of Wales-related accounts on Twitter (including my own).
If I were to take a guess, I’d put her in that – really quite large – category of Welsh people who are patriotic about Wales, but support the Union at least in part (perhaps even, mainly) because they see it as a bulwark against Wales becoming a Labour one-party state, dominated by the type of radical socialists who tend to make the most noise within the nationalist movement, despite still being relatively few in number.
As I’ve often said, my own belief is that an independent Wales would be significantly more conservative than it is at present, partly because the Welsh Labour party would quickly wither under the amount of scrutiny it would get in an independent country, and partly because the ‘conservative’ brand would no longer be convoluted with (and tainted by) the ‘Tory’ brand.
Very quickly regarding Gwlad and Brexit, we have within our ranks rampant Brexiteers (frankly, I’m one) and committed Remainers. What unites us is the observation that Wales voted for Brexit, unequivocally, it’s a political reality, and even if Wales wanted to rejoin the EU then we’d be ill-served by having the England-Wales border acting as the EU frontier.
I got quite the flavour of chest-beating British Nationalism from that article, with its tedious references to the ‘British nation’ and how it finally got what it wanted, despite half the nations in this union *not* wanting it. Brexit, and Wales voting for it aside, this sort of homogenising Britishness should be anathema to everything Gwlad is about.
The fear of perpetual Labour rule is a fallacy, one easily straightened out by asking why affluent areas in the South of England for example vote Conservative. Growth of our own economy and enterprise will undoubtedly bring about a shift away from Labour, as you say. This is not a difficult set of logical steps to follow for an ostensibly intelligent woman.
I voted remain, but for pragmatism as much as anything else, I’d be happy for Wales to stay out. An open border or trade agreement with England makes far more sense than one with France. Scotland would have an easier time returning to the EU, as their border with England is much shorter, less complex and has fewer population centres nearby on either side. It makes greater sense in the case of an United Ireland inside the EU.
I’m guessing you see the EU as eroding national sovereignties. I always saw it as a sort of halfway house between unfettered free trade and full-on, ‘doors shut’ protectionism. One thing I do appreciate greatly about it is its spirit of co-operation and sharing between countries, a spirit I’d love to see emulated between an independent Wales and her neighbours.
As regards the modernisation and diversification of the Luxembourgish and Dutch economies to offset the decline of coal mining: could this be paralleled with how London’s Docklands, in the face of containerisation, were modernised to a phenomenally successful degree with a shiny new financial services centre called Canary Wharf? Only in a month of Sundays would Welsh mining towns have had anywhere near this level of due care and stewardship, to weather the storm of transition to more modern economic activity within the British State. Perhaps, radical socialism was felt to be the only option; exerting itself at once as an effect, as much as a cause for anything. These places sure as hell could never have effected shift in orientation by policymakers towards their interests at the ballot box.
That’s a tricky one. Cardiff Bay, of course, had a phenomenal amount of money pumped into it, though still chicken feed by comparison with what Canary Wharf had. It’s hard to imagine spending on that scale being committed to the Valleys, but the attitude that was prevalent there throughout the 1980s and 90s – a combination of implacable hostility to the government of the day combined with unconditional loyalty to the Union (and the Unions, all of whom had failed to deliver on their promises) – meant that the government had no incentive to lift a finger to help.
I’m quite certain that, if most Valleys seats had been Conservative / Plaid Cymru marginals, then the story would have been very different indeed. It was the case then, as it has been throughout the 20th Century, that it was the Labour Party that held Wales back.
So no blame falls at the Conservatives’ door then? Instead of being a government for all, they only looked after ‘their’ people and only if there was to be something in it for them electorally.