It’s not all gloom.
One Welsh industry is booming because of the coming recession. Supermarkets shoppers have recently moved to buying their tomato soups in attractive sachets. Flushed with cash they are tempting impulse buys.
Now the recession-sensitive shoppers are checking the prices of the tins, which are about a third of the price of the over-packaged sachets. It’s great news for the Welsh Tinplate industry which ahs been having a lean time lately.
Admiral insurance is opening a new office to employ 500 new staff next week. Other firms are booming. A new Welsh body set up by WAG this week brought together industry, business and unions into a team to shield us from the worst of the recession.
It’s worthy initiative that strives to keep our recession a shallow one.
Jim Waggett 1922 -2008
On a pavement in South Africa in the early forties a British soldier saw a pregnant women walking towards him. She stepped off the pavement to give way to him which was what she had to do. She fell into the road. The soldier ran to help her. A voice barked at him ’Leave her on the ground.” It was a white South African policeman who was pointing a gun at the soldier.
The soldier protested that the woman was pregnant and continued to pull her to her feet. ‘If you don’t stop that’ barked the policeman ‘I’ll shoot you dead.’ That was Jim Waggett’s unforgettable brush with Apartheid. His son Geoff said that it was only recently that he learned why his father hated apartheid so much.
Geoff lovingly recalled his father’s distinguished life as a soldier, a church deacon at St Cadoc's Caerleon, a father and a politician. It’s the small things that evoked sweet memories, Jeff recalled, like the treat of ‘lemonade and crisps at the Greyhound Inn at Christchurch ‘ and the ‘bedtime stories that Jim made up.’
Twice Jim served as Chairman of the fondly remembered Caerleon Council, now absorbed into Newport City Council. Jim was the father figure of Labour in Caerleon and transformed a nominally Tory area into a safe Labour haven for decades. His son recalled the days of soft corruption in south Wales politics that are happily gone and did not infect councillors of integrity like Jim. A well known personality in the life of Caerleon approached Jim with a request to sign a shoal of planning papers. The promise was that 'They'll be a house in it for you.' Jim sent him packing.
As a trade union leader in one Civil Service Union he led the first strike ever in the DHSS office in Newport with the help of the secretary of another civil service union who is now my wife.
His funeral today as St Cadoc’s was a proud occasion. Hundreds of his friends recalled his full rich life with appreciation and gratitude.
Newport People First
Pictures of the first visit of this group to Parliament. They are pictured after a lively question and answer session in Portcullis House.