Bridgwater in the 21st Century
Bridgwater and the world around it may have changed many times over in the 70 years since 1938. At the same time, many things haven’t.
In 1938, Britain had a Tory-dominated National coalition government, with a socialistic Labour Party still in its infancy forming the opposition – and while the Liberals were nominally in government, they were very much Britain’s third party and fading fast.
In 2013, Britain has a Tory-dominated Coalition government, a Labour opposition, and a Liberal Party that’s very much Britain’s third party and fading fast.
In 1938, Bridgwater was run by a clandestine coalition of Tories and Liberals describing themselves as ‘Independents’ with a vociferous Labour opposition.
In 2013, Bridgwater Town Council is run by a Labour majority with Conservatives in opposition and no Liberals represented – but that council is in a junior position to Tory-dominated Sedgemoor District Council, gerrymandered into existence as a cast-iron Conservative fifedom in the 1970s (the District has been Tory apart from brief Lib-Lab period in the mid ’90s!).
in 1938, Britain was caught in the path of the rising fascist tide and trying to avoid involvement in a second global conflagration, the key debate of the day being, ‘how’.
In 2013, Britain has been a key player in the so-called ‘War Against Terror’ which has seen it fighting alongside American and minor allies in far-flung parts of the world, of which we know a little more than we did in the ’30s…
In 1938, Bridgwater was severely hit by the unemployment of the Great Depression and looked to the bulding of the Cellophane factory to put people back to work.
In 2013, the Cellophane had closed and the world, and the town, was suffering a new recession brought about by the greed and unaccountability of the financial sector.
In 1938, Bridgwater had a Tory MP who was thrown out by a liberal/socialist Independent.
In 2013, Bridgwater has a Tory MP…