Westminster Labour’s contempt for Wales and the left on show again
Labour has (again) insulted Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, mis-stating his title twice when introducing him for his speech to the party’s annual conference.
When Drakeford began his speech, the text on screen introducing him mis-spelled his title ‘First Minsiter’. While this might be written off as a mere typo, it also called him ‘MS AM’, using the now-defunct ‘Assembly Member’ alongside the correct abbreviation for a member of the Senedd:
The blunders caused amusement and anger among Welsh speakers, but it is not the first time the party has been shoddy towards Drakeford and Wales. In April, when Labour published a form for Welsh voters to register for a postal vote, it called Keir Starmer the leader of Welsh Labour – before talking about issues in Scotland and pointing to a non-existent address for would-be voters to return the form. One such piece of idiocy might be just incompetence, but twice is a sign of disdain.
The Westminster party’s contempt for the standing and independence of devolved sister parties goes wider than Wales, of course. Keir Starmer notoriously meddled in Scottish Labour’s business, deposing Richard Leonard to toady up to wealthy former donors in the (vain) hope he could tempt them back.
As well as being leaders of their national Labour parties at the time of these insults, Drakeford and Leonard have in common that they are both considered on the left of the party. Drakeford was also targeted by the right for smears before this conference for agreeing to speak at the parallel left event The World Transformed, with Starmer’s allies saying his participation made it harder for Starmer and co to write off TWT as a ‘trot fest’.
The Labour right hates a successful politician when s/he comes from the left. They’d love to see Drakeford gone and replaced by a Starmerite drone as in Scotland, but for the moment they have to content themselves with venting their contempt through petty insults.
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