Making a point the size of Wales


Not in my name.

Mark Drakeford, the Labour MP for Cardiff West and former adviser to Rhodri Morgan, spoke for five minutes in the Assembly chamber this afternoon but his point was made the moment he got to his feet: the First Minister's suggestion that Milford Haven would offer a home to Trident submarines from Faslane if Scotland voted for independence might have been "entirely academic" (Mick Antoniw AM) or "entirely hypothetical" (Julie Morgan AM) but whatever it was, it would not happen in his name.

As he put it: "For myself I would be utterly opposed to the notion that Wales might be a home to nuclear weapons".

Such weapons are designed to destroy areas the size of Wales, he said, to kill millions. He, like thousands of Labour activists and representatives up and down the country - like Mick Antoniw and Julie Morgan - absolutely oppose these "profoundly destructive" weapons. Their view is that the world would be a better place without them and guess what, implied Mr Drakeford, that world includes Wales and Milford Haven.

Carwyn Jones sat stony faced, unused to difficult moments like these in a chamber where he's rarely made to sweat. His response when it came - there'd been "no grand plan" behind his comment, it had been an attempt to illustrate one possible cost of independence to Scotland. His government will "concentrate on the issues that are relevant to the people of Wales."

This was a Plaid Cymru debate. If his suggestion was that debating Trident was not relevant, they would surely have been itching to point out that he raised it in the first place.

Mr Jones' Milford moment of madness hasn't gone down well with some Welsh Labour MPs. It's clear not all Labour AMs liked it either. But Mark Drakeford reminded Mr Jones of a bigger problem - that the people who'll have liked it least might well be ordinary Labour activists.

Betsan Powys Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    #64 ' Boxer, can you be a little more precise, when did an employer "pay less" as a motivating factor in the workplace?'
    You will recall that the 1926 General Strike was essentially about a recommendation from the Samuel Commission to extend the working day, or reduce the hourly rate, or both. Hence 'Not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day.'

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    #69 Nemo! Are you serious?
    'I feel sorry for Betsan having to see this'
    You don't honestly think that Betsan works her way through every last blog on this site, sad sniping, 3rd form philosophy, grocer's commas and all?
    It would be interesting to see what Sinn Fein makes of an offer to produce a base in NI. Jobs for displaced shipyard workers vs opposition from the Eire Govt and Mr McGuiness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    This has got to be one of the most pointless debates on this blog. I can't see the SNP pusing this one too far given the local economic impact of closing Faslane. If it happens, Plymouth will be Trident's new home. Like so many before it has degenerated into petty bickering and sniping. I feel sorry for Betsan having to see this after working hard to write the item in the first place

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    As I have previously said RW in 25. It will never happen in a million years. So why did he even mention it Brownie points? It backfired on him, if it was for that. he's an amateur. They say Leanne Wood is ineffectual. What does this make him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    Carwen should learn to keep his musings to himself, a lack of any serious challenge is responsible I suppose. It is completely obvious that should an independent Scotland decide to evict the RN and its nuclear subs from Fasslaine, pretty unlikely considering the local jobs to be lost, the move would be to an existing RN base such as Plymouth. So a bit of egg on face is required.


Comments 5 of 71



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