Margaret Thatcher’s Government was guilty of a conspiracy to ‘hammer’ striking miners in the yearlong 1984-85 strike claimed Neath MP Peter Hain.
‘Cabinet papers recently made public under the 30 year rule prove that Thatcher used the full might of the state to attack the miners and their families,’ Mr Hain said after a debate in the House of Commons today.
‘Her strategy was to criminalise the miners using every trick in the book. Miners driving to support fellow strikers had their car keys taken from them.
‘A coach hired by miners in Neath did not turn up after police told the coach company miners could not hire it.
‘Road blocks in Nottinghamshire alone led to 160,000 miners’ pickets stopped in first seven months of strike in clear breach of the law.’
He continued: ‘The miners and their families – especially the women support groups – worked heroically but they could not win against such a brutal government. It’s legacy haunts us today: proud and strong coalfield communities destroyed, robbed of jobs with no investment to create new ones.’
Read Peter’s interventions in the debate here
Neath MP and former Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain joined with other past Secretaries of State to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wales Office.
Mr Hain, one of only three former Secretaries of State to hold the position more than once, recalled of his time in the Wales Office, ‘I am very proud of my achievements in Gwydyr House from the securing of free bus travel for pensioners, to developing a new policy bringing together post 16 schooling, further education and training under one umbrella and taking through the far reaching 2006 Government of Wales Act which put full legislating powers on the statute book.’
Peter Hain MP has slammed Welfare Minister Lord Freud for his derogatory comments about disabled employees.
It was revealed today that Lord Freud had suggested some disabled people were not “worth” the minimum wage in a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference.
A former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mr Hain said: “His comments, his attitude, the total disregard for the hardships of disabled people, it was despicable.”
“The suggestion that having disability somehow impacted on whether or not an employee deserved the National Minimum Wage really was reprehensible. “
“It should not matter who you are, a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay is all any of us want. The Tories have shown once again the utter contempt they hold for so many workers across the UK.”
Lord Freud made a grovelling apology this afternoon, however calls are growing for him to be sacked.
Neath MP Peter Hain has led the tributes to former Cadoxton County Borough Councillor, Valdo Funning who passed away on Wednesday.
Mr Funning had been unwell for some time but speaking after hearing the sad news Mr Hain said, ‘Valdo was a man of the community, a greatly respected and long serving Community Councillor on Blaenhonddan, Neath Borough Councillor and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Councillor.
‘He was a stalwart of the Labour Party, who will be fondly remembered for his dedication to the community, his extensive knowledge and of course his wit. He will be sorely missed.’
Peter Hain MP has today written to comprehensive schools across the Neath Constituency, urging them to join the Make Your Mark campaign.
Ahead of the Youth Parliament in November, the veteran politician and former Leader of the House of Commons has contacted schools asking them to raise awareness of the Youth Parliament initiative.
It is all part of a campaign which aims to increase political engagement with young voters.
Mr Hain said, “after the Scottish referendum we saw immense political engagement from young people which was hugely encouraging.”
“Traditionally politics has been seen as primarily for the middle-aged and elderly to the detriment of the young, I hope with this campaign we can challenge that and re-energise young people to take part in politics.”
The Youth Parliament is an event exclusively for those aged 11-18. They can vote on the five issues which matter to them most, these will then be debated by Youth Members of Parliament in November.
For more information visit www.youthparliament.org.uk