Penarth Labour AM – and Labour Leadership candidate – Vaughan Gething has revealed that when studying at Aberystwyth University he received “grief” from Plaid Cymru supporters for being a member of the Labour Party – and also claims people are now “more content to be bigoted in public”.
In a BBC interview, broadcast on S4C’s Newyddion9 news programme last night, Gething said “Often comments made in and around school, sometimes at work, or nights out – well, people say things – you know – being called a ‘nigger’, being called ‘a black bastard’, those things happen, – and that is part of the reality of being black.”
Gething went on to way that “What we’ve seen in the last 5 years in this country is that people are more content to be bigoted in public””
Harking back to his time in Aberystwyth University, Gething also complains about “how uncomfortable and how – um – how angry some of the division was between some Plaid Cymru supporters and the Labour Party .”
Gething says there was what he calls “a real unpleasant personal edge”.
Aled ap Dafydd, Chief correspondent of Newyddion9, asked Gething “Against you?”.
Gething replied: ” Yeah, yeah. I got more grief in Aberystwyth for being a Labour Party member – and for the perception that I was English, not Welsh – than I did for being black. That was really uncomfortable and unpleasant part of my student experience” .
Gething says “I really enjoyed my time at Aberystwyth” but admits that “not all of it was pleasant”.
In the student residential hall, Neuadd Pantycelyn, Gething he says “the atmosphere was not always a kind and welcoming one – and I actually think it did a disservice to the [Welsh] language because Pantycelyn should have been a big window into the language – an open door – but not everybody felt that way.”
In the Welsh Labour Leadership election – which is open only to Labour Party members – ballot papers have to be returned by December 3rd and the result of the election is due to be announced on December 6th .
The two other candidates are Baroness Eluned Morgan and Professor Mark Drakeford.