A Tory peer has come under fire for telling the House of Lords poorer people struggling to afford rents in London should move to Wales.
Baroness Gardner of Parkes made the remarks during a debate in the upper chamber this week.
She said it didn’t matter where people lived if their homes were paid for by the state.
She also told Lords that as a
“New South Welshman myself”, she knew Wales was a “beautiful country”.The row came as a new limit on housing benefit for people aged 16 to 64 living in Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey is set to be introduced from April.
In her original remarks,it appears Gardner was responding to Plaid Cymru’s Dafydd Wigley, who spoke prior to her in the debate, later said he was concerned by any potential plan to “cleanse” Greater London
The housing issue is not such a battle now. It has been addressed by putting a ceiling on housing benefit.
“I heard the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, talk about Wales and the shortage of work there.
“Surely a lot of those people who cannot get anywhere else to live in the country could go to Wales.
“If you are living on a benefit, it does not matter where you are living if it is fully paid for by someone else.
“Wales has always had a marvellous reputation for literacy, and I am quite sure that the schools would be good there. You want to be able to live in a safe, clean environment.
“Again, Wales is a beautiful country. I am a New South Welshman myself.”
Wales on Sunday 17th February 2013
Plaid Cymru’s Dafydd Wigley, who spoke prior to Baroness Gardner in the debate, later said he was concerned by any potential plan to “cleanse” Greater London.
“I was quite surprised, as were a number of colleagues from various groups across the benches that she should have said that.
“The implication is that a young mother with children in school can’t afford to keep up their payments with rents very high in London and that they would move to Merthyr Tydfil or Middlesbrough.
“Well, goodness me, it would be moving them away from all their family and support network but also moving them into areas of high unemployment.
“In areas like Blaenau Gwent and the Rhondda there are 11 or 12 people chasing one job.”
Lord Wigley added it was “unacceptable” if public policy went in that direction.
Wales on Sunday 17th February 2013
Wikipedia offers some insight into Gardner :
"She was born in Parkes, New South Wales as Rachel Trixie Anne McGirr, the daughter of Greg McGirr, a former leader of the New South Wales Labor Party. From an early age she was known as Trixie.
Trixie Gardner is a dentist by profession. She gained a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 1954 from the University of Sydney and later studied at Cordon Bleu de Paris. She was a councillor of Westminster City Council from 1968 to 1978, and was Lady Mayoress 1987-88.
In 1970, she stood for the Conservative Party against Barbara Castle (Labour) in Blackburn, and in 1974 stood against John Pardoe (Liberal) in North Cornwall. In 1971 she was made a Justice of the Peace.
On 19 June 1981 she was created a life peeress of the United Kingdom, taking the name Baroness Gardner of Parkes, of Southgate in Greater London and of Parkes in the State of New South Wales and Commonwealth of Australia. She was ennobled for her two decades of community and local government work in the Tory cause, the first Australian woman to be so honoured.
On 4 April 2007 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney."
So her connection to Westminster Council rather than New South Wales may be the root cause of her idiotic contribution and points to her not wanting any poor people living around her .
But it would be all to easy to dismiss this as a arbitrary remark by an obscure Tory Politician but it reflects thier policy as aw hole and as Wigley said, pointed to of "the cleansing of London of the poor and unemployed".
Gardner probably, was not singling out Wales as she probably would have refereed to a part of England id a Northern Labour peer had preceded her.
But its unbelievable that such a insensitive and stupid person should be part of our legislature , Unelected and with no mandate and who we can't remove from office no matter what she says.
The sooner we abolish the House of Lords and titles and the likes of Baroness Gardner of Parkes returning to being plain Trixie Gardner the better.