by Richey Edwards
Labour's Mark Drakeford has warned people against hand delivering Christmas cards this year as a further measure against the spread of coronavirus. Speaking at his Monday briefing he was asked what advice he could give about delivering cards and he duly responded. After all, we all need advice on such things from government don't we? Perhaps in Drakeford's increasingly totalitarian Wales, anyway. It's little wonder that Labour demand such daft daily briefings from the government in Westminster too, because the left cannot comprehend a situation where citizens think and act unilaterally without the interference of the state.
Drakeford's Wales is a prime example of what can happen when socialists are allowed to run riot. His recent 'fire-break' lockdown, and in particular his diktat over what could and couldn't be sold in supermarkets, led to the largest ever petition submitted to the Senedd. Children's clothes couldn't be sold, but Halloween masks were fine (even though trick or treating was banned) and you could buy all the booze you required. However, that might not be much considering that in Wales the price of alcohol is in some cases twice as much as in England - thanks to Drakeford's minimum unit pricing.
Earlier this year his regime declared that all alcohol in Wales must be sold at a minimum price of 50 pence per unit, meaning that the price of a cheap 2 litre bottle of cider would skyrocket from a couple of quid to £5 a bottle. There would be no exemptions to the rule, from supermarkets to village fetes, and anyone found flouting the new law could be fined £1,000. An identical law was passed in Scotland in 2018 by those other socialists (posing as nationalists) the SNP.
|Children's clothes 'non-essential', but get all the Smirnoff you want!|
The alcohol pricing law was, as always, supposed to be for 'our own good'. Citizens could not be expected to decide for themselves whether it was a good idea to get shitfaced every night, so the decision was taken for them by way of taxing them to death instead. And in a further assault on free choice the Drakeford regime has decided that smoking should also be limited further than it already it. Smoking will soon be prohibited outside Welsh pubs, cafes and restaurants, making them virtually no-go areas for smokers. Again, people are told this is for 'their own good', but is it really? Or is it about control? After all, we are told that we don't need to wear face masks outside because the virus is not potent in the open air, so how come smoke is bad? At a time when the hospitality industry is already on its knees, this new law will be about as welcome as another 'fire-break' (next one pencilled in for January by the way - vaccine permitting, oh and speaking of that the Welsh government won't rule out that being 'mandatory').
Drakeford remains the most powerful Corbynista in the Labour Party and in many ways coronavirus was like a godsend for the hard left. He and his SNP counterparts were only too happy to join Boris in a UK-wide lockdown in March, but they were much less enthusiastic to let go of those restrictions. As England opened up and the economy got moving again, pubs and shops remained closed in Wales. Pubs and restaurants were not allowed to fully reopen in Wales until a month later than those in England, but prior to that Drakeford decreed that you could sit outside - at the mercy of the notoriously sunny Welsh climate, naturally. What is it that Labour hate about pubs? Is it that they are places where people can congregate and speak freely, without government interference? Perhaps.
Labour supporters and lockdown enthusiasts in general would no doubt praise Drakeford (and Sturgeon) in their slower easing of restrictions, but did it make any difference in the long run? Seeing that Scotland was the first to re-introduce pub closures and Wales the first (after Northern Ireland) to re-introduce a full lockdown then the answer is quite clearly a resounding no. Prior to Drakeford's national 'fire-break' more than half the population of Wales was already subject to local lockdowns with infections concentrated in the north and south. His decision to clamp down on the rest of the country, where infections were low to non-existent, must have gone down like a lead balloon in mid-Wales.
However, perhaps Drakeford's biggest power-grab was his decision to effectively close the border with England. Initially this travel ban applied to people coming from tier 2 areas and above, but during the fire-break it applied to everyone. No-one could leave or enter Wales without a 'valid reason'. Some police forces on the English side co-operated with the ban and put out extra patrols to ensure people could not leave Wales. The constitutional and libertarian implications of this have been massively understated. This is not an international border, it is a boundary within the United Kingdom and it has never been subject to police checks. Even the so-called nationalists of the SNP have maintained free movement north and south throughout the pandemic. Drakeford appears to be drawing inspiration from east and west Berlin!
Furthermore, now that the lockdown has ended in Wales one would be forgiven for thinking that free movement could start up again. Nope. Drakeford has extended his travel ban indefinitely, posing a huge threat to cross-border Christmas gatherings. Imagine being told that you can't visit family members in England over the festive period or vice versa? At the moment this is a serious prospect with these lunatics running the show in Cardiff.
So if you live in Wales, please remember all this when you vote in the Senedd elections next year. Given the increasing assault on your civil liberties such elections have never been more vital. If Drakeford is elected this will give him a five year term to continue demolishing your individual freedoms. Just look at what he has done whilst non-elected by the people, because remember that he came to power mid-term - following the resignation of Carwyn Jones. Given an actual electoral mandate he will be even more dangerous.
Sadly, in true communist style, he may have already rigged the election in his favour. In next year's Senedd elections 16 and 17-year-olds will be allowed to vote, as will foreign nationals. Drakeford knows only too well that younger people are more ideologically left-wing and migrants are 'duty bound' in Labour's eyes to vote for the party that supports unlimited migration. It's a no-brainer for Chairman Mark in order to maintain Labour's grip on Wales, or should that be the Socialist Republic of Wales...
PS. Drakeford also asserted in his briefing that people were able to send cards freely throughout the pandemic. This is not true - the purchase of cards was banned during his lockdown!