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Political squabbling over Tata putting people off politics says former Labour MP

26 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Sian James speaking on S4C’s Y Byd yn ei Le

A pivotal figure of the Welsh Miners’ Strike says the squabbling between the UK and Welsh Governments over job losses at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant is alienating people from politics.

Sian James, a former Labour MP and a community organiser during the 1984 strikes, says “there’s no need to ask why people have lost faith in politicians.”

She was responding to a question on Y Byd yn ei Le on S4C about the accusations from both governments that the other hadn’t done enough to support workers.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has accused the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of refusing to take a call from him to discuss plans to cut 2,800 jobs – while the Welsh Secretary David TC Davies has accused the First Minister of ignoring his offer of a call.

Sian James said the announcement of the job cuts in the iconic steel plant in Port Talbot had sent a “shiver through the community.”

Coal mine closures

Recalling the demise of the Welsh valleys following coal mine closures in the 80s, Sian James said the recent announcement was “so similar.”

Ms James, whose role in the miners’ strike was immortalised in the ‘Pride’ film, represented the Swansea East constituency in Westminster from 2005-2015.

“We know through experience what the end of that [coal pit closure] journey was – losing 23,000 jobs.”

“History has shown that it’s so difficult to tempt jobs back. And people start to think, what’s next, am I next?

“We don’t have the confidence in our communities anymore that jobs will come.”

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Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
5 months ago

That’s the nature of Devolution.

5 months ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

What do you mean?

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
5 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

Two Governments two political persuasions recipe for harmony What else could I mean?

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
5 months ago

Some honesty from politicians and TATA wouldnt go amiss. They are shutting down the production of new steel in Port Talbot because ( they say) blast furnaces are environmentally problematic. At the same time TATA are opening the worlds largest blast furnace. In India.
Such hypocracy, corruption and lies contributes to the low standing of politicians in most peoples eyes. You cant trust them.

Nia James
Nia James
5 months ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

Your last sentence is so accurate Linda, with Brexit being the perfect example.

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