Tag Archives: wrexham

Wrexham and the rubble of the Red Wall

The article by the American BBC journalist,  Anthony Zurcher,  “Does UK hold clues to Trump’s Fortunes?referred to by John Leaver yesterday, compares Wrexham,  recently much in the limelight, with the rust belt in Trump’s America.

I   have lived in Wrexham all my life and fought the seat five times as a Liberal candidate. Due to the defection of Tom Ellis from Labour to SDP in 1982 and his choosing to fight the neighbouring South Clwyd seat, 1983 produced the closest three way result in the UK, with less than 2000 votes separating the parties. I was third. By the 1990s, Labour had lost control of the Council, and for a time,  Aled Roberts led an effective Lib Dem administration. Currently, it is led by independents.

In my youth, there were still 12 collieries in the Wrexham area, not least the ill fated Gresford. There was a steel works at Brymbo producing the highest quality steel for Rolls Royce aero engines. There were numerous  brickworks, two breweries and a leather works and, on the former wartime ordnance factory on the outskirts of the town, the Wrexham Industrial Estate was developing.

The heavy industry disappeared. In 1980, ten miles down the road at Shotton, nationalised British Steel axed 6,500 jobs, the largest redundancy in a single day in Western Europe. Brymbo closed in 1990 with a loss of 1,100 highly skilled steelworkers.   The last colliery at Bersham closed in 1989. The breweries and leather works were long gone. Were these closures due to malign Thatcherism, or international economic pressures and influences?  Labour holds fast to the former explanation.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 84 Comments

Opinion: Why Wrexham Labour Party should be ashamed: The curious case of Aled Roberts

It’s estimated that well over 30% of the Welsh population speak Welsh as their first language – that is growing year on year. Hundreds of thousands more across the world speak it – even in a distant corner of Argentina – the valleys of a Patagonia. My partner from Rhosllanerchrugog and her family speak Welsh. They are fiercely proud of their heritage and would be absolutely disgusted with the treatment of Aled Roberts AM. It appears that they don’t speak Welsh at the Electoral Commission!

Now let me declare an interest, I don’t know Aled Roberts, I know his mum …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 21 Comments
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