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The bonfire of the vanities comes to Wales

I know Wales sometimes has been partial to a medicinal drop of puritanism – some areas prohibited the sale of alcohol on the Sabbath as late as 1996 – but I struggle to see what conceivable benefit this brings to anyone other than Jeff Bezos:

Wales lockdown: Supermarkets told to sell only essential items

Supermarkets will be unable to sell items like clothes during the 17-day Covid firebreak lockdown in Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said it would be “made clear” to them they are only able to open parts of their business that sell “essential goods”.

Many retailers will be forced to shut but food shops, off-licences and pharmacies can stay open when lockdown begins on Friday at 18:00 BST.

Retailers said they had not been given a definition of what was essential.

The Association of Convenience Stores and the Welsh Retail Consortium have written urgently to the first minister, expressing alarm over the new regulations.

Sara Jones, head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said: “Compelling retailers to stop selling certain items, without them being told clearly what is and what isn’t permitted to be sold, is ill-conceived and short-sighted.”

Welsh Conservative Andrew RT Davies tweeted: “The power is going to their heads.”

31 comments to The bonfire of the vanities comes to Wales

  • Nick

    Welcome to government over regulation. Never waste a crisis.

  • James Strong

    Luckily I can still buy my premium quality Penderyn whisky (seriously, Penderyn is very good) because booze is essential, as evidenced by off-licences being open.

    But I can’t buy thermal vests and a raincoat to keep me warm and dry if the weather turns bad.
    But that’s OK because I’m not supposed to be out of the house anyway.

    I have asked my super-level councillors in Cardiff, officially known as Members of the Senedd, to speak out about this policy. I am not 100% convinced that their response will be suitably robust and clear.

  • Mr Ed

    Why aren’t the retailers challenging by judicial review any such restrictions (if they are made into law) as Wednesbury unreasonable?

    It’s so obviously absurd that a challenge would be merited. Perhaps they want a subsidy for lost (or delayed) business instead.

  • Stonyground

    They wanted their own parliament didn’t they? If they ask for local “democracy” isn’t it better if they get it good and hard?

  • Peter MacFarlane

    17 days?

    That’ll be like Boris’ three weeks, or Nicola’s 21 days, won’t it.

    Off with their heads.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    To be fair, Stonyground, they didn’t want it very much. (My apologies if I am repeating stuff you already know.) The website of the Senedd, as it calls itself now, says,

    Devolution Referendum: 1979

    The first vote on devolution in Wales took place on 1 March 1979. This followed a Royal Commission on the Constitution in 1973, chaired by Lord Crowther and subsequently by Lord Kilbrandon. It recommended the creation of elected bodies for both Scotland and Wales. The proposal for the creation of a Welsh Assembly in 1979 was rejected by the Welsh public, who voted four to one against the UK Labour Government’s proposals.

    But as usual with the progressives they repeated the vote until their side won by the tiniest of majorities.

    Devolution Referendum: 1997

    In May 1997, when Labour came back to power for the first time since 1979, the Labour manifesto included a commitment to holding a referendum on the creation of a Welsh Assembly. A White Paper, A Voice for Wales, was published in July 1997. It outlined the UK Government’s proposals and, on September 18, a referendum was held.

    As the results were announced, constituency by constituency, Wales had to wait for the very last declaration before knowing the final result. Of those who voted, 50.3 per cent supported devolution – a narrow majority in favour of 6,721 votes.

    (Emphasis added.)

    I would have more respect to the claims of distinguished Remoaners in Parliament that the Brexit referendum was illegitimate due to Leave’s relatively narrow 52%/48% victory if they could point to their similar protestations regarding the utterly tiny margin of victory for Welsh devolution.

    There was another “devolution” referendum in 2011 about something or other. It certainly wasn’t about whether devolution should be reversed.

    For all that, I am not opposed in principle to Welsh devolution or anyone else’s devolution. You are right about local democracy allowing people to learn by experience how certain political theories work out in practice. What irritates me is that the referendums are structured by the political class to ensure that the onward march of history only goes in the direction they like. The European Union are also masters of this technique.

  • Luckily I can still buy my premium quality Penderyn whisky (seriously, Penderyn is very good) because booze is essential, as evidenced by off-licences being open. (James Strong, October 23, 2020 at 6:14 am)

    Speaking as a Scot (that’s the PC-approved way to open almost any remark, right? 🙂 ) – I have to concede that Penderyn is a decent whisky.

  • Further to Natalie Solent (Essex) (October 23, 2020 at 8:57 am), in 1979 all Scottish regions except Strathclyde voted ‘No’, but Lothian was instead reported as a ‘Yes’ vote. which let the pols colour in the whole central belt as voting ‘Yes’. The very narrow Lothian result was inverted by the simple trick of allowing some 2000 votes that has ‘YES’ (instead of the required mark) in the Yes box, but disallowing a comparable number that had ‘NO’ in the No box, on the grounds that the latter could be a double-negative. (The instructions on the ballot were very clear and emphatic, as always, but in every election there are those who don’t read the instructions. 🙂 )

    I don’t know if a similar trick was pulled in Wales in 1997. To be fair, if it was, and if (proportionately estimating percentages of such votes from Lothian/Wales populations) it had been enough to reverse the result, the margin would have been comparably narrow at most. But I repeat, I do not know whether a similar trick was perpetrated.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    It’s all about power and a sort of “ sacrifice” mindset.

    Who is John Galt?

  • David Norman

    It appears to be a classic example of power without responsibility. The Welsh Government imposes the lockdown but the Treasury holds the purse strings; so the Welsh will be looking to the Treasury and the English taxpayer to ameliorate the consequences of their, to my mind foolish, decision. I don’t think there is much evidence to suggest that the UK Government has the spine to resist.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Oh, and related to my John Galt line, here is a great Ayn Rand UK interview with Quent Cordair, who runs an art gallery with his wife, in the Napa area of Northern California. He took on the local officialdom an won the right to run his private gallery in defiance of moronic ordinances linked to COVID. It is a shame that not more businessmen and women have sued over this rather than just watch their businesses being destroyed.

    I visited the Cordair Fine Art gallery in the early Noughties during a long holiday in California, and I can strongly recommend a visit.

    (Of course, running a Napa business also involves the forest fire threat that those idiots in Sacramento have made worse. That is another story.)

  • James Hargrave

    If Westminster houses the fat arse of the body politick, and North Britain offers the pain in the fundament, the Principality has a dripping fistula in ano.

  • Nemesis

    I think the clamour for devolution was precipitated by too much centralisation by parliament and it taking over too much responsibility for peoples lives. If power was devolved down to a more individual level, this would have been largely avoided.

  • Mr Ecks

    ?? why the shops themselves didn’t just tell Drakeford to fuck off.

  • It appears to be a classic example of power without responsibility. The Welsh Government imposes the lockdown but the Treasury holds the purse strings; so the Welsh will be looking to the Treasury and the English taxpayer to ameliorate the consequences of their, to my mind foolish, decision. I don’t think there is much evidence to suggest that the UK Government has the spine to resist.

    In fairness, this sort of nonsense won’t stop until HM Treasury does start saying “No” to local councils (and both the Welsh and Scottish “governments” are little more than that and should never have been established in the first place). Want a government? Go for independence and see where that gets you. I’m sure Wee Snippy Krankie and her band of demented porridge wogs would LARP it up, but the truth is that they would be £9 billion in the hole the 1st day of independence and all the garbage and lies about being a “Celtic Tiger” and rejoining the EU as an independent Scotland are delusional to the point of insanity.

    I know less about the Welsh arrangements, having lived for years in Scotland but never spent any significant time at all in Wales. Presumably this Labour Welsh idiot thinks he can get an uplift economically/politically by “pulling a Sturgeon”.

    It will only stop when HM Treasury funding does.

  • Ferox

    If the shoppers were willing to scourge themselves while chanting “All for the State, nothing against the State” – would that be sufficient to allow them to purchase a pair of jeans?

    The point of all this is humiliation and control, right?

  • Sam Duncan

    Supermarkets will be unable to sell items like clothes during the 17-day Covid firebreak lockdown in Wales.

    First Minister Mark Drakeford said it would be “made clear” to them they are only able to open parts of their business that sell “essential goods”.

    Well, you learn something every day. I didn’t know Mr. Drakeford was a nudist.

  • Supermarkets will be unable to sell items like clothes during the 17-day Covid firebreak lockdown in Wales.

    First Minister Mark Drakeford said it would be “made clear” to them they are only able to open parts of their business that sell “essential goods”.

    Meanwhile those online stores like Amazon get a trade boost against their bricks-and-mortar competitors. Not exactly a great look…

  • Paul Marks

    Well the World Economic Forum (all those international Woke Corporations) will be pleased – their plan to totally smash the economy of the West carries on. Every little helps – destroy the majority (yes the majority) of small independently owned business enterprises in San Francisco, utterly smash the economy of Wales and on and on.

    The Socialist government in Wales is, without knowing it, doing the bidding of “international Capital” – they may think they are serving Karl Marx, but they are really serving the ghost of long dead Saint-Simon the French totalitarian whose Collectivist utopia would not shoot the Big Business types – it would PUT THEM IN CHARGE. Credit Bubble bankers at the very top – and all (of course) in the name of “science” and “public health”.

    Meanwhile – the chief economic adviser to Prince Charles turns out to be a World Economic Forum person (I suspect no one is going to die of shock learning that) – and, rather more depressingly, the new social media manager at the Daily Telegraph (one of only two anti lockdown newspapers in the United Kingdom) has been covering the World Economic Forum.

    It is all coming out in the open now – “The Great Reset” is not something chanted to Satan in some underground chamber, it is on the front cover of Time Magazine. And the Twitter feeds of these people is all about what they will do when “Trump” is gone.

    They are so arrogant, so confident that they can enslave us all – and that we can do NOTHING to stop them, that they are not even hiding it any more.

    Build Back Better, The Great Reset, Agenda 21, Agenda 2030 (the United Nations working with the WEF – all those vast Woke Corporations), Sustainable Development Totalitarianism, Stakeholder Capitalism – FASCISM.

    Yes FASICSM – Vast Government and Vast Corporations and utterly crushing every aspect of freedom. That is what the Marxist fools of Antifa and Black Lives Matter are really serving – and they do not even know it.

    I almost hope the Marxists manager to turn the tables on their “Sustainable Development”, “Stakeholder Capitalism” FASCIST masters.

    For example, if Antifa actually were the anti Fascists they think they are (they are NOT) they would understand that the Fascists are the Corporations connected to the World Economic Forum.

    Instead Antifa Marxist thugs go and beat up BLACK people (yes black people) protesting at the Censorship of the Biden family corruption by GOOGLE.

    Why do they not understand that Fascists are Google, and the other “Woke” Corporations, NOT free speech protestors?

    Well, to be fair, I suspect some of the Marxists DO understand this – but they take the money of the Fascists (such as “Woke” Bank of America) anyway.

    And freedom and the free market?

    Neither side (neither the Fascist Corporations of the World Economic Forum or the Marxists thugs they finance to beat people up on the streets – and to burn down small business enterprises) believes in liberty – indeed they both want to utterly destroy liberty.

  • Paul Marks

    “Why should major Corporations want to ban the sale of luxury goods – this hurts them”.

    Like the mask mandates this is about POWER – getting people used to SUMISSION, to obeying orders (especially, yes especially, orders that make no logical sense).

    One people are robbed of their reason, and will obey any order (no matter how irrational) the World Economic Forum, and people like them, will have won.

  • Looks like Guido Fawkes beat me to it…

    Guido can only presume at this point Mark Drakeford is in fact an Amazon sleeper agent…

    [LINK] – MARK DRAKEFORD’S ‘NON-ESSENTIAL ITEMS BAN’ IN ACTION

    Madness.

  • David Norman

    To do Drakeford’s idiocy justice I think the warped logic must be that as clothes shops aren’t allowed to open supermarkets would have an unfair advantage over them if the supermarkets were allowed to sell clothes. As John Galt and Guido have spotted, Drakeford appears, sadly, to be unaware of that newfangled thing called the internet.

  • David Norman

    Sorry, I see that Drakeford has in fact sought to justify the ban on the sale of non essentials on the grounds that I suggested. Complete simpleton.

  • Mr Ecks

    Keep repeating “madness” and “I can’t believe it” is of little use. Carry a small pair of scissors, cut the plastic and take what you to the checkout. Is there an offence of stealing goods offered for sale –while paying for them? If they wont deal leave the right money and walk out with goods. Be polite. Fight with security scum if they attempt to assault you. Get it all on video.

  • TJ

    If I was a supermarket I would set up internet terminals in the closed aisles and encourage people to order online with next day delivery.

  • If I was a supermarket I would set up internet terminals in the closed aisles and encourage people to order online with next day delivery.

    If you’re going to do that you might as well just order it from Amazon. It will probably be cheaper.

    If you order it for delivery to the Amazon locker in your local supermarket you can even pick it up when you do the rest of your shopping.

    😐

  • You expect the big retailers who rolled over for every daft initiative going (like ‘Challenge 25’ and restrictions on paracetamol) to stand up now?

  • You expect the big retailers who rolled over for every daft initiative going (like ‘Challenge 25’ and restrictions on paracetamol) to stand up now?

    Sadly not.

  • bobby b

    It’s the big retailers that will come out of this bigger. This has all been a huge consolidating event, wiping out the marginal and the almost-adequate players and leaving the big and stable ones with the markets to themselves.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes bobby b – you have nailed it.

    That is why such companies as Amazon have supported the lockdowns and other restrictions, and given money to the Black Lives Matter Marxists – who burn down their small business competitors.

    Someone like Jeff Bezos does NOT believe in Marxism – or in Saint-Simonism, he knows it is all drivel. But he wants the left to leave him personally alone (hence his backing of the socialist Washington Post newspaper), and he wants small business competitors eliminated.

    Most of the massive Corporations want the small business competitors to be eliminated – either by government regulations or by rioting Marxists (or both).

    The Marxists who scream they are “fighting Big Business” are serving Big Business (like the Marxist thugs who knocked the teeth out of a black man who was peacefully protesting against Google censorship of the crimes of the Bidens).

    The “Anti Fascists” are serving the Fascists – the Corporate State types, such as the World Economic Forum (and a Legion of other such Fascist bodies).

    Top-down control of every aspect of society – by a vast government bureaucracy joined-at-the-hip with vast Corporate bureaucracy (with free competition and real customer choice – exterminated).

    The rule, of every aspect of human life, by the “educated” elite – who dominate both Big Government and Big Business.

    It is one of the great ironies of human history – the Marxists are, at least presently, serving a “Capitalist” Power Elite.

  • Nick Roberts

    Ironically, Amazon couldn’t get a packet of Skittles into Wales yesterday. Our delivery was apparently turned back at Offa’s Dyke. Chortle. Still, if it saves the life of a single child it will have been worth it, mkay?

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