This week saw Labour, ‘Welsh’ Labour, that is, make two comments which damn them.
The first was made by parachuted MP, son of Kinnock, who stated unambiguously that all peoples should become assimilated. To his middle class way of thinking, society would benefit from having every man, woman and child who lives in the UK adopt a white English Christian ( non practicing is fine) lifestyle. ‘Wait!’, you say, ‘he represents Wales so he surely doesn’t want to assimilate us?’ ‘True’, I reply ‘but as a man who was raised by a father who thinks Welsh people have barely any past, and that the one we do have is dubious, it’s safe to assume that he is his father’s son and that it’s English assimilation after which he hankers’.
Under Kinnock junior’s imagined regime, there is no room for multi culturalism or differences of religious belief, no celebration of ethnicity and only one way of speaking – his way. English. All people who choose to make their home in the UK should strive to become poorer and unprivileged versions of his smug and entitled self. Whether or not we would still be able to order a pizza or an Indian takeaway he didn’t say but I think it’s probably safe to assume that he has no problem with us quaffing the occasional portion of foie gras. These assimilation types are awfully hypocritical about things like that.
Meanwhile, we also saw Carwyn Jones, First Minister and Labour’s leader in Wales, make a public comment in Y Senedd whereby he accused Neil McEvoy, Plaid Cymru AM, of being hostile to incomers – an unsubstantiated ( and unsubstantiable) accusation that Plaid Cymru host racists within their ranks, and that Neil is one of them.
This was a shabby and opportunistic swipe from a First Minister who should know better and who, if he had any comments to make about racism, would have been better placed addressing his own floundering representatives. However, it’s really not untypical of a weak, split and disunited Labour party which is struggling to decide how and where to place itself within the current political landscape. While the media focus on Corbyn and his weak leadership, the Welsh angle gets entirely overlooked. However, we have a weak leader too, one who evidently has enormous problems within the Welsh branch of the UK party.
After Trump was elected, I pondered how far to the right people would keep edging when trying to find solutions to the problems placed upon our communities. https://ygwladgarwr.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/brexit-trump-wales-what-next/
With that, I was thinking specifically of how we, the public, might react. I wondered if, as things became more difficult, people would find new ‘others’ to persecute, but I did so with a vague optimism that Wales would be steered in a different direction by political leaders who were willing to separate the wheat from the chaff. Welsh Labour just answered my questions and burst that bubble. Under their leadership, excuses will keep being made, we will be encouraged to keep blaming, keep shifting and keep persecuting as they make every public effort to deflect responsibility and to fill UKIP’s boots.
After this week, Labour in Wales have confirmed that rather than being a party with a recipe for success, they are a party who are clean out of inspiration. What was the background and what prompted these comments of theirs? Jones’ juvenile spite aside, were he and Kinnock using cynical tools in a desire to claw back Brexit voters? Or are they both so without care and conscience, they are becoming assimilated into right wing way of thinking and no longer think twice about the dangers of racist and xenophobic accusations and rhetoric? Either way, whether real or contrived, their swing to the right is not what Wales needs and neither will it enrich any of our lives.
This hate-thy-neighbour ugly double speak is going too far and if we are not vigilant, I fear that we, Wales, will be dragged into an entirely hostile place that very few of us will ultimately enjoy. Call me and people like me whingers, remoaners, leftie luvvies, traitors, cybernats or any other ‘shut your mouth’ adjective, none of this detracts from the fact that we are entering a world where once vaguely reasoned and reasonable people now throw out nasty, hurtful, antagonistic remarks without compunction or apology and where, in the end, there will only ever be losers. If our government want to take us down that route, it’s time we consigned them to the history bin.
We can’t change a Labour that is determined to plot its own course, but between us we can reject it. We can do that by joining and/or voting for Plaid Cymru and by getting involved with Yes Cymru. It’s time we got active and stopped our Wales becoming a casualty of this horrible political war. Historically, the aggressors are seldom remembered with any reverance. The peace makers however….. that could be us, Wales