Thursday, 31 March 2016

Does backing Port Talbot ruin my claims to be Green?

Max Boyce  used to tell a joke back in the '70s about two men standing at a bus stop on a cloudy day. "Excuse me," asks one to the other, "is that the sun or the moon up there?" "I dunno, mate," replies the other. "I'm from Port Talbot."

I suppose you could argue if I was really Green and a Environmentalist  I would be in some way welcoming the end of Steel making in Port Talbot. It is after all not a particularly  clean part of our Nation.

Indeed if it was still part of a Nationalised Industry , I expect the government would have been leaking  horror stories of pollution and effects on the health of the communities , for a number of years to run alongside the loss making.

But the Environment is also about people as well

Port Talbot is Tata's biggest UK plant with about 4,000 workers but councillor and ex-steelworker, Tony Taylor,  has said closure would have a much wider impact.
Mr Taylor said:
 "You've got to take into account 3,000 directly employed, 3,000 contractors, 6,000 in the supply chain and then you've got people who rely on the steel industry.
"You're talking about 15,000 jobs could be lost in a community like Neath Port Talbot."
The closure of Port Talbot would be decimating  for South Wales as a whole and the knock on effect will reach well beyond the boundaries of the borough.   

We have still not recovered from the devastation of the Tories ideological  closure of Steel Plants and Coal Mines in the eighties.  

In the 1930 some of may Mother Brothers left Wales in their teens to look for work in England and they  never returned apart to visit .

It would be tragic if this was to happen again

Looking  at the River Taff the other day an seeing someone fishing near the Treforest Industrial Estate I pondered whether  Margret  Thatcher could be claimed to be our Greenest  Prime Minister.

But being Green is not about de-industrialisation and we can't all in Tipi's in  Llandeilo .

Good luck to those who do but we can't sustain the rest of our communities   in such a way and we look at Industrial areas like Port Talbot  and working out how we can sustain it and also manage any environmental impact.

But in the long run this can only come from our own Government and not from Westminster Tory or Labour whose concerns despite  their rhetoric about "Northern Power Houses" where there is no devolved government are only concerned about the Bankers of the City of London , where there is almost an incestuous relationship.

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