Has any UK-based government won six successive terms? That’s what Labour just achieved in Wales.
It shows the advantage that sitting governments can use, when they actually deliver on their promises and do their best to help the population.
The mainstream media have been unforgivably quiet about it. Perhaps the London-based hacks think Wales doesn’t matter. They certainly pay more attention to Scotland, where the SNP has won only its fourth successive term.
@BBCNews “SNP wins an historic 4th term”. How about “Welsh Labour wins an historic 6th term in Senedd”? 🤷🏻♀️
— Dawn Bowden (@Dawn_Bowden) May 8, 2021
That could all change very soon, with both devolved governments likely to support independence referenda if proposals are put before them.
I know Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to make it happen. The surprise here is that Mark Drakeford has said he will support an independence referendum in Wales, if there is a majority in the Senedd for holding one.
Mark Drakeford tells BBC News unequivocally that if there was a majority in Senedd for a Welsh independence referendum, he would support holding one. Says the Scotland policy is a matter for Scottish Labour but I think the wry smile on his face made his position fairly clear…
— Luke Cooper (@lukecooper100) May 8, 2021
The contrast with Labour’s performance in England could not be more extreme – as social media commenters have merrily pointed out:
The fact Labour socialists performed brilliantly and Labour centrists performed abysmally fully vindicates everyone who said a breakaway socialist party could succeed. Just imagine what might have been if Corbyn and others had made that step.
— RD Hale (@RD_HaIe) May 8, 2021
Labour in Wales has put socialist principles into practice and has been repeatedly backed by the public.
The whole Labour Party can learn from your experiences.
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) May 8, 2021
Wales chose decent, proud socialists over all the noise from UKIP, Abolish the Welsh Assembly and the forces of the right.
Why? Because there weren’t a bunch of self-serving Centrists around to sabotage it. There’s a lesson there.
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza 🏳️🌈 (@TheMendozaWoman) May 8, 2021
The lesson was very clearly put by Simon de Jever: “Drakeford is a left wing Corbyn supporting leader. Starmer is a Corbyn bashing centrist. Drakeford has had a spectacular win even in Brexit areas and Starmer has reduced the Labour vote to 29%.”
And Andrew Feinstein added: “Makes you think Starmer’s purge of the left and massive shift to the right might have been a mistake!”
The victory creates huge problems for Keir Starmer because his failure will be measured against Drakeford’s success. Some are already laying bets that Drakeford’s suspension from the Labour Party is already in the mail.
But if Drakeford is serious about permitting an independence referendum, it could create a monumental problem for Boris Johnson.
He can’t refuse permission for such a poll on the basis that we’ve had one recently (as in Scotland) because we haven’t.
He can’t rely on Wales rejecting independence because he knows his government has been so appallingly useless that many Welsh people may consider going it alone to be preferable – even if it means a few lean years in the immediate future. We’ll have hardship under the Tories indefinitely.
And it means he could be in line for a double dose of shame as the prime minister who presided over the end of the United Kingdom.
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