Political squabbling over Tata putting people off politics says former Labour MP
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.
‘Sdim eisiau gofyn pam fod pobl yn colli ffydd mewn gwleidyddion’@SianCJames1 sy’n dweud bod pobl yn colli ffydd yn eu gwleidyddion oherwydd cecru rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru a Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig. #ybydyneile | @s4c pic.twitter.com/3p43EK527G
— Y Byd yn ei Le (@ybydyneileS4C) January 25, 2024
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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