Monday, 10 October 2022

The Forgotten Decade - political and industrial upheaval in 1980s Wales

With the publication of The Forgotten Decade videos that were made in 2016, and have remained 'private' on my YouTube channel will now be made 'public'.

 Whilst the book covers a wide range of events that happened throughout the decade in Wales. UK and internationally, there is also a sizeable portion which is centred on the SDP and Alliance with the Welsh Liberals.

This book provides us with an informative and eyewitness account of unfolding events of The Forgotten Decade of Welsh political evolution. Written in a semi diary style the book is ideal as a memory jogger for those that lived through this period themselves or for historians or the general readers who wish to learn exactly what was happening at the heart of Welsh politics in the 1980s.

Professor Russell Deacon

The videos are therefore the story of the SDP in Wales.

There are some eight in all. All of them were recorded live and uncut. No pre recording preparation took place for any of them it was just my on the spot recollections of events. Because of that, inevitably there will be some errors of fact regarding dates and timelines.

The authentic record is chronicled in the book. Until some months back, minutes, policy papers, press cuttings, conference material and many more (some 15 boxes ) followed me as I moved house some three/four times over 40 years. Now however they are at the Wales Political Archive. 

The book took Alun Gibbard and I some two years to complete.

This video covers events in 1981. The setting up of the SDP in Wales, its organisation, the creation of a constitution, efforts to ensure that the party in Wales would have a voice and policy making powers. Refers to the impact of the Falkland War on the SDP's progress and how Labour, under Neil Kinnock's leadership eventually had to change from being anti Europe and anti NATO.

My contention always has been that it wasn't Mrs Thatcher that made Labour change but the presence and impact of the SDP.