One Rule for the English Prime Minister, Another for Scottish and Welsh First Ministers…

Even those intent on tuning out of politics over the bank holiday weekend would have been hard pressed to miss the row north of Hadrian’s Wall when Sturgeon broke her own Covid mask laws, which she had doggedly refused to scrap. Despite this being the second time the Covid Queen’s been caught breaking her own rules – supposedly put in place to protect the health of her citizens – the police only spoke to her “to remind her of the importance of wearing a face covering when there is a legal requirement to do so.”

It all begs the question, why is it just No. 10 and No. 11 residents to have been given Fixed Penalty Notices for breaking Covid rules?

Twitter responds “because they made the rules” whenever anyone suggests keeping a sense of proportionality about the Downing Street rule-breaking birthday party. In the cases of Sturgeon and Drakeford they too made their national rules. As Labour say, it really does look like one rule for Downing Street and another rule for everyone else…

mdi-timer 19 April 2022 @ 10:48 19 Apr 2022 @ 10:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Six Times Labour Lawmakers Were Law Breakers

Labour is making hay while the sun is shining over Boris and Rishi’s fixed penalty notice charges, as you would expect. Generally it is a good rule that lawmakers can’t be law breakers, though it is the case that ministers receiving fixed penalty notices is hardly anything new. Guido thought he’d wander down memory lane to help contextualise Labour’s performative outrage…

Starting off most recently, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford called for the PM to resign as “You can’t be a law-maker and a law-breaker.” This seems to be a new position from Drakeford given his own health minister Eluned Morgan received a speeding fine of £800 just last month as well as a six month driving ban. She remains in situ…

Then we get into the weeds of Blair and Brown’s ministers. Most prominently among whom must be Harriet Harman. While serving as a minister and deputy leader of the Labour Party, Harman was charged with not one, not two, but three speeding offences; in 2003, 2007 and 2010, wracking up a whopping £810-worth of fines and nine penalty points on her licence. Harman has accused Boris of not only breaking laws he made, he broke laws in place to keep people safe. Much like speed limits… 

Fixed Penalty Notice queen Harriet Harman then piroutted and defended Baroness Scotland, serving as Gordon Brown’s Attorney General at the time, when she received a £5,000 civil penalty notice for hiring an illegal worker. While this would have been bad enough, Scotland was a Home Office minister who helped introduce the very legislation under which she received the fine. Scotland said the penalty was caused by a technical error and compared it to a parking ticket, saying “it’s not a criminal offence”. Brown said “no further action was necessary”…

Lastly there’s Liam Byrne, who said yesterday “We cant have a rules based order with leaders who break the rules.” In 2007, Byrne was fined £100 after admitting to using his mobile while driving, as well as receiving three points on his licence. The fine was ironic as, at the time, Byrne had been a long-standing road safety campaigner, tabling a petition in 2005 from constituents calling for tougher penalties for dangerous drivers.

He once told a parliamentary committee that the most dangerous drivers were “serial potential killers” and said he was “shocked” at the leniency of sentences handed down to them.

mdi-timer 13 April 2022 @ 10:46 13 Apr 2022 @ 10:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Drakeford Extends Welsh Covid Act Powers into September

Tomorrow Mark Drakeford is expected to decide whether it’s finally time for Wales to join England in lifting the last of its Covid restrictions, including masking and mandatory isolation. Sturgeon’s already announced she’s delaying doing the same for Scotland, after overreacting to yet another variant. Now Wales might be in for disappointment as well…

Earlier this week, the expiration date for provisions in the Welsh government’s Coronavirus Act 2020 was quietly pushed all the way back to 24th September. The first provision extends the ban against business evictions, while the second relates to homeschooling. Unlike in England, where the final temporary measures of the Coronavirus Act expire tomorrow…

It’s two years and a day since the UK went into lockdown, yet Scotland, Northern Ireland, and now Wales are all still holding onto emergency powers into the autumn of 2022. What are they waiting for?

mdi-timer 24 March 2022 @ 14:59 24 Mar 2022 @ 14:59 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Welsh Labour’s Mixed Messaging on Nuclear Deterrence

It turns out Nicola Sturgeon isn’t the only devolved leader who doesn’t understand foreign policy. Not to be outdone, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has waded in to offer the usual Corbynite lunacy on nuclear deterrence, insisting that now is somehow the perfect time to discuss disarmament. If there’s one person Putin will no doubt listen to, it’s Mark Drakeford…

Speaking at a Welsh Labour Grassroots event at the weekend, Drakeford said:

“If ever there was a moment when the world should again become serious about nuclear disarmament, it is now…”

He then doubled down in a BBC interview:

“I think anybody sensible looking at the world we are in, knowing that President Putin has nuclear weapons in his hands, would want to see a world in which the reduction in nuclear weapons across the world ought to be an effort that any sensible government would wish to pursue.”

Yet during questioning by Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS, who asked Mark Drakeford to confirm the Labour Government’s support for NATO, Drakeford said: “the Welsh Government is entirely signed up to the protections that NATO membership provides to us”. So which is it, Mark?

mdi-timer 17 March 2022 @ 11:30 17 Mar 2022 @ 11:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Welsh Government’s £200,000 TikTok Splurge

When the Welsh Government isn’t begging Whitehall for more money to shut down their own economy, it turns out they’re busy splashing the cash they do have on the favourite social media platform of 14-year-olds. A written answer from Mark Drakeford on the government’s total TikTok ad spend reveals they’ve splurged an incredible £237,327.81 in the last two years…

The adverts in question involved a boy and a girl dancing alongside text telling users to wear a mask:

Drakeford would probably have got better value for money if he’d he done the dances himself…

mdi-timer 2 February 2022 @ 16:58 2 Feb 2022 @ 16:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Drakeford’s Big Self-Promotion

Mark Drakeford went a step further than even Nicola Sturgeon in pushing the limits of the Union on Friday by referring to himself as “the Prime Minister of Wales” during a Covid press briefing. Speaking to BBC reporter Mark Hutchings, who asked Drakeford whether he planned to set a firm date for the lifting of Wales’ Covid restrictions, the First Minister said:

“No I won’t because I’m the Prime Minister of Wales, not a horoscope writer for a daily newspaper. And it’s simply impossible for anybody to peer into the future of coronavirus with the sort of definiteness you were suggesting.”

Hutchings later gave Drakeford the benefit of the doubt by suggesting it was just a “slip“. Probably, although Drakeford also changed his Twitter handle to “@PrifWeinidog” back in October – a direct Welsh translation of Prime Minister…

mdi-timer 24 January 2022 @ 10:37 24 Jan 2022 @ 10:37 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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