Don’t put your faith in Corbyn – he doesn’t care about Wales

Picture: Chatham House (CC BY 2.0)

Benjiman L. Angwin

Jeremy Corbyn visited Bangor and Aberconwy over the weekend, where Labour fancy their chances having come within 92 and 635 votes of toppling the incumbents.

Corbyn is lauded by many on the Left but the truth is that he is a wolf rather than a shepherd; he does not have Wales’ best interests at heart.

When Corbyn comes to Wales and calls for fundamental change in the NHS, education and social care, he’s attacking his own party’s track record.

Either he doesn’t care enough to have educated himself about how devolution works, or he’s trying to take advantage of the public’s ignorance about how it works. May I suggest the more insidious latter?

He also has done nothing to fight against a rock-hard Brexit which will be ruinous for Wales economy.

It would certainly be ruinous for Bangor, a University City, its economy dependent on its researchers’ ability to work within the EU and thousands of international students.

We also had the spectacle of Albert Owen telling the assembled crowd that Plaid Cymru were “the establishment” and that it was time to get rid of them.

Labour have won a majority of MPs in Wales since the 1920s and have been in government in Wales since 1999. Plaid Cymru have never been in charge.

It’s a very Trumpian tactic – to try to project your own political weaknesses on your opponents.

The irony is that Arfon’s current MP, Hywel Williams, is more of a socialist and internationalist than many within Labour’s own ranks.

Neglect

It’s clear that Corbyn wasn’t here because he cares about Wales; all he wants is another obedient Labour MP who will put Corbyn’s own ideological crusade first. What’s best for Wales is a long way down the list.

Corbyn’s politics is British socialism, which sees Wales’ unique culture and language as a barrier against the UK ‘coming together’ as a collective.

But the truth is that the real barrier against ‘coming together’ in this way is:

  1. The fact that the UK Government has been consistently neglectful of Wales, a tradition that Corbyn is sticking to with his demand for a Hard Brexit
  2. A lack of respect for Wales’ cultural differences. Bangor is in an area where 65% speak a minority language which British Socialism has shown little but antipathy towards

The Welsh will never move on until they stop believing that British politicians will give Wales’ economy or well-being any consideration at all.

Corbyn talks a good game but he is ultimately a London-based, career politician who has spent his entire working life inside the Westminster bubble.

Corbyn doesn’t care that by winning Arfon, Labour would strike a deadly blow against Plaid Cymru, and to use Gwynedd’s motto, ‘cadernid Gwynedd’ (the might of Gwynedd).

If Labour is actually a socialist party, then its blatant effort to knock out another socialist party—and the only party (socialist or aligned with other economic ideologies) consistent in its efforts to put Wales on the political agenda at Westminster and Europe—is hypocritical.

Those on the Left of the Labour party deplore colonialism overseas but have a blind spot for their own colonial attitudes within Wales itself. What’s best for Wales doesn’t matter.

We are simply votes to be harvested so that they can continue an ideological war with the Tories in which Wales is just collateral damage.

Don’t be manipulated by Corbyn’s populist British socialism. He isn’t Wales’ Messiah; if we ever get our own ‘mab darogan’ (son of prophecy) it will be someone who actually cares about Wales’ culture and acknowledges it as a country.


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Cofi Dre
Guest
Cofi Dre

I agree entirely with this article, and what it says is self-evident, but I’m afraid Plaid has made this threat worse by fighting the last election, thanks to whoever was in charge of their manifesto and campaigning, on a ‘If you want Corbyn’s policies, vote Plaid’ ticket, so this cack-handed slogan has come home to roost: why shouldn’t Labour come in and try to sweep up? If Plaid treat Corbyn as a political ally, the don’t be surprised your voters vote for him rather than you. Labour is the enemy, Labour is the establishment in Wales, and Labour take from… Read more »

Dafydd Thomas
Guest
Dafydd Thomas

Corbyn attacking Wales NHS, it’s about time more people started attacking the Welsh labour government on this mater and the cause of failings. We have an elderly population in Wales which our first minister thinks is positive. Well is it positive for the NHS Wales! Surgeries close (Carmarthenshire) with nowhere for people to go and this due to a preponderance of aged immigration. In 2011 the immigrant figure from England show that of those that came 26.2% were over 65. The Welsh population and including the small number of immigrants from all over the world were only 16.3% over 65.… Read more »

Gareth
Guest
Gareth

“He also has done nothing to fight against a rock-hard Brexit which will be ruinous for Wales economy.”

Please remind me how hard Leanne Wood fought for for the remain vote before the Brexit referendum?

Dafydd ap Gwilym
Guest

English Labour Leader is a Unionist just like our Welsh Labour leader – a Unionist! Neither for Wales! Simple!

leigh richards
Guest

“Either he doesn’t care enough to have educated himself about how devolution works” yes Jezza’s poor voting record on devolving powers to wales would certainly seem to suggest this ben https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10133/jeremy_corbyn/islington_north/divisions?policy=6708

Cymru Rydd
Guest

I was at the rally. Corbyn is a great public speaker- but no interest at all in Wales. What enraged me most was First Minister Carwyn Jones’s introduction. In Bangor, within the heartland of the Welsh language in the north-west: one paltry, and throwaway comment about the weather in Welsh and all the rest in English. Apparently, this happened exactly the same at the first world war commemoration service in Belgium as well. He can spout away with the best of them about how awful Newsnight were and so on- but when it comes to practicing what he preaches, and… Read more »

Gregory
Guest
Gregory

I completely agree with this posting. I have been suspicious of Corbyn ever since the 1980s and even though in principle I agree with many of his ideals – an essentially socialist independent Wales is my ideal – once you read the fine print its all Westminster politics underneath. He belongs to a type for whom Wales is a source of MPs and holiday cottages and retirement escapes to the country, and nothing else (Wales would be so nice except for those PEOPLE, so Welsh don’t you know…and we’ve tried to change them for their own good…). A lot of… Read more »

sibrydionmawr
Guest

That’s essentially the kind of Wales I’d be happy living in, and I think you’r spot on with your analysis of the way Wales is viewed from Millbank. This is where we are also severely let down by the likes of Plaid, who seem to be extremely reticent in fighting Wales’ corner on these very issues, probably because they seem utterly incapable/unwilling to deal with the resultant accusations of ‘racism’ from the serried ranks of BritNats within the Welsh Labour Party, and the mainstream British party. Why is it that anyone who even so much as voices mildly separatist notions… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

Plaid Cymru has never been “unassailable in Arfon”. Wigley’s seat Caernarfon was different and included Pen Llyn and Eifionydd. When Arfon was created it was a notional Labour hold, shorn of those areas which went to Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

Communist & WelshNash
Guest
Communist & WelshNash

Looking forward to your next opinion article tearing into Theresa May and the Tories! In the meantime, another angle on Comrade Corbyn

http://www.aledgwyn.co.uk/432844318

Dafydd ap Gwilym
Guest

Agree with you on next article!

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Don’t waste your brain or your time on May &Co they are an utter mess and we know it already. Patriots in Wales need to focus on getting shot of Westminster/Whitehall domination and their Red Tory puppets down the Bay. Focus energy on clarifying policy options and priorities for Wales to get off its backside and start to thrive on its own 2 feet.

Emma Thomas
Guest
Emma Thomas

What a dilemma I liked côrbyn for uk up until now and I m unsure if this is how he feels about wales .. yet when it come down to Tory versus labour it has to be labour cannot someone just educate him a bit better because he’s missing something g if he thinks plaid are not socialist s I would now hope someone works on this harder because the heart of the man I see as good-

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

‘Faith’ is the key word. The socialist Left has become the new Christianity. If you are you not with us your, ‘toxic, immoral, evil, fascist, selfish’ and so on. Corbyn (and populism Left or Right) is a cult. This cult is being aimed at our young people, just like Jihadism, because young people are succeptable to surrendering the ability to question ideologies. I sincerely hope Plaid will distance itself from this ideology based upon saying anyone who does not agree with us is an immoral person. It’s nothing more than religion dressed up in suits.

sibrydionmawr
Guest

These kinds of things only happen because our ‘education’ system disables the young from questioning things, and it is the needs of capital that has cause this as much as anything. Young people are discouraged from actually thinking by the state education system as capitalists want a docile workforce who will not question. It’s no accident that young people leaving university are saddled with enormous debt, as that tends to make them docile workers who won’t speak out for fear of losing their jobs, should they be so lucky as to have one fitting in with their qualifications. As soon… Read more »

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Become infiltrated by the left? Universities (especially newer universities) are almost complete dominated by the left. They already are infiltrated (though i admit your word jnfoltrated is a tad harsh). I would rather use ‘unknowingly indoctrinated’.

Euron
Guest
Euron

Voted for him last time and happy to do it again.

Keith Parry
Guest
Keith Parry

This is Wales! Corbyn is an English imperialist. He believes that London should rule Wales. As in 2017 vote Labour to keep the Tories out. Result Tory Government. Nothing so stupid in Wales as the Brit Left.

Anarchist and Welsh Nash
Guest

Corbyn is a top-down Socialist with Messianic tendencies.

What we need in Wales is to develop our country along anarchist lines: i.e no top down politicians with their big egos.

Rather, society working together on the same level to create the kind of nation we all know Wales can be.

Wales is small enough and communal enough to do this.

Dafydd ap Gwilym
Guest

Agree with A&WN a new country a new concept controlled from the streets, every neighbourhood, parish, hamlet, village, town upward making everyone responsible. After a while it will be second nature to be involved as communities used to be.

This way you have greater control of local authorities, organisations and agencies to ensure they deliver what they are supposed to and prevent anyone working toward self interest.

A new concept would mean new and no harking back to those ‘isms’ that have already been, tried and failed.

Colin Cheesman
Guest
Colin Cheesman

It might be useful to have some background on the writers of such pieces to gauge our response.

Tame Frontiersman
Guest
Tame Frontiersman

Devolution and the fact that Labour have been in power for 18 years in Cardiff Bay stands in the way of a simple narrative for the Westminster Labour Party. When the big guns of Westminster politics visit Wales to press the local flesh they are no doubt hoping they can get out a sound bite to reinforce their core messages that will be heard and resonate with voters far and wide, and most of those voters live – in England. NHS funding is of course a devolved matters and spending on it is proposed by the Welsh Government in its… Read more »

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

The key thing must be that Labour has set out it’s stall to take Arfon at the next election which could be sooner than many expect – that is I suspect what Corbyn is banking on. Labour is on the crest of a wave with a slick machine now and Plaid is probably spent out? From the outside looking in it sounds like the Battle for Bangor and the student and academic population, maybe health workers and other public sector workers etc. The weakness suggested in that Corbyn is not interested in local issues, is relevent, but only to people… Read more »

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Quite well spotted. This is literally a battle for Bangor. Students and movers in from from England are about to take one the last Welsh heartlands away from us by becoming the majority in the eastern end of the Arfon constituency. We cannot let Bangor fall to demographics which care naught about the local issues, not Wales as a country.

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

Looking at the constituency (which is recent and a marginal because of boundary changes, which have brought Bangor into it) and the only three elections to go on – it seems that Plaid actually did well initially in taking the lib dem vote in 2015, which has now collapsed and is pretty much non-existent, while UKIP stole some of the Tory vote initially and possibly got more people out to vote in 2015. UKIP dissapeared last time around and their voters seemed to have split 3:1 in favour of labour, with the rest going Tory. Plaid got pretty much the… Read more »