Adam Price’s colonialism comments ‘deliberately offensive’ claims Vaughan Gething

A row has started between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru over language used by Adam Price AM regarding “reparations” that he says the UK Government owes Wales.

Last month, the Plaid Cymru leader called for a ‘Welsh Reconstruction Fund’ to be set up to compensate for what he described as Wales being “ground down into crippling poverty” by “British rule”.

In an interview with the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Mr Price repeated the comments.

Mr Price had argued that Wales had an “extractive economy” and “political power centre outside of our nation”.

This was “analogous if not identical” to the colonial experience, he said.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething AM has denounced what he said was a comparison with the oppression of people of colour with being Welsh.

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Plaid seek to present themselves as a party of tolerance and inclusion. Adam Price’s choice yet again to use the provocative and racially loaded language of reparations is far from tolerant and inclusive. It is deliberately offensive attention seeking. This isn’t hidden, he brazenly admits it in the interview.

He deliberately conflates the oppression of people of colour over the centuries with being Welsh, despite Wales’ own role in that oppression being widespread and well documented. This is shameful.

His faux-intellectual posturing is nothing more than Trumpian populism. We cannot allow this poison to take hold in our politics.

– VAUGHAN GETHING AM, HEALTH MINISTER

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In his interview, Mr Price said: “For me I feel very strongly that it’s not possible to understand the predicament we’re in without acknowledging the centrality of the fact that we had an extractive economy with a political power centre outside of our nation”.

For most people that is analogous if not identical to the experience of colonialism. The context, of course, is going to be different in every case.

The term internal colonialism was invented to describe the experience of African Americans in the United States. In fact, there is a quote from the 19th century where they were referencing our experience – the Welsh inside the British Isles – in order to explain their own experience of internal colonialism.

I don’t think you can understand the predicament we’ve been left in without those two salient facts and the interrelationship between the two.

– ADAM PRICE AM SPEAKING TO THE INSTITUTE OF WELSH AFFAIRS

In October last year, the UK Government said it was allocating “more than half a billion pounds” of additional funding for the Welsh Government, including £120 million for the North Wales Growth Deal.

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