* * *
Simon McCoy: If you want to get in your car, you can, you can drive as far as you want, but you're not allowed to go into another nation.
Daniel Sandford: (chuckles incredulously) Don't cross the border!
Simon McCoy: (incredulously) Don't cross the border!
Daniel Sandford: I think this goes to the heart of the problem that the Westminster government is having with trying to make sure that the other nations march alongside them a bit. Of course to a degree there's some politics going on, the other nations are flexing their muscles a bit, saying 'we're not going to take regulations from Westminster'...but it is a ridiculous situation where someone who lives in England on the Welsh border can drive all the way along to the coast of East Anglia to go to the coast but can't cross five miles across the border into Wales under these same rules, but to be honest with you, nobody's going to police that. That's just what they're asking people to do because of the different rules in the different countries.
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Crikey. If anyone doubted that Anglocentricity is alive and well at the BBC in London, this should put their minds to rest. Where to start?
* First of all, as I understand it, the Welsh police are in fact attempting to police the restrictions, but it obviously becomes considerably harder for them to do that if the state broadcaster is wrongly giving people the impression that the law is optional and will not be enforced. It's no exaggeration to say the BBC have undermined the law of Wales. That warrants a prominent correction and apology.
* Given that the law in Wales this week is essentially the same as the law in England last week, and given that the police in England were enforcing that law last week, why would it seem in any way strange or unthinkable that the Welsh police would be enforcing it this week? Unless of course Sandford thinks that laws passed in Cardiff are 'pretend' laws and only laws passed by Westminster are the real thing.
* Note the downright weird implication that the three nations that remain united in upholding the "stay at home" policy are the ones who are out of step, rather than the one nation that has actually decided to go off and do its own thing.
* Note the suggestion that the devolved administrations are a "problem" for the English authorities. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that England going rogue is a problem for the devolved administrations?
* Note the subtext in "trying to make sure that the other nations march alongside them a bit" that Westminster is the long-suffering 'parent' administration and the devolved administrations are stubborn children who aren't doing the very reasonable and modest things that are being asked of them. You'd think after more than twenty years of devolution, the BBC might by now have got their heads around the idea that the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments have parity of esteem with Westminster on devolved matters, and that if the four governments are going to "march in step", that requires dialogue and compromise - not everyone just doing whatever Westminster decides is best.
* Note that Sandford thinks that the impact of "politics" has only been felt in the decision of the devolved nations to stick with the previous UK-wide policy. It seems far more likely that the devolved nations have actually been following scientific advice, and that the dog's breakfast of the new policy in England can be largely explained by political considerations (ie. splits within the Tory party).
* No, Daniel, it is not "ridiculous" that different laws are applied and enforced in different jurisdictions. It is, in fact, entirely routine and unremarkable. Look at it this way: people in Dover are twenty miles away from France and several hundred miles away from Newcastle. Is it "ridiculous" that the laws that apply in Dover also apply in Newcastle but not in France? No? In that case, why the incredulity about exactly the same principle applying to someone who lives five miles from the Welsh border? Could this betray a proprietorial attitude towards Wales in particular? Cardiff can play at law-making, but as soon as those laws interfere with the God-given right of an Englishman to do what he likes "in his own back yard", they must obviously be disregarded?
The BBC’s Home Affairs correspondent has said that non-essential travel between England and Wales won’t be policed. This is dangerous fake news that @BBCNews needs to urgently retract pic.twitter.com/eS5P1GHD14— Adam Price (@Adamprice) May 11, 2020
It's started. Today a couple from Liverpool arrived at their holiday home in Llandegfan. Anglesey. Elderly people next door have been self isolating for 8 weeks. "Boris told us we could" was the reason. (This was on Facebook this evening with pic of car).— Richard Evans (@rich_wynne2020) May 11, 2020
Of course also potentially responsible for an upsurge in the Welsh epidemic is @BBCDanielS , who presented the laws of Wales as toytown rules that no-one could seriously expect to be enforced on English people (and he had a little chuckle as he said it).https://t.co/YxHFkHUIRg— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 12, 2020