"Sanny" Sloan, the Miners' MP - his life, times and family (2020)

Esther Davies

Esther Davies, “Sanny” Sloan’s great-granddaughter remembers her great grandfather:
I always knew that my great-grandfather “Sanny” (Alexander) was a socialist MP, who represented South Ayrshire from 1939 to 1945, and had been involved all his life in trade unions and local government. I also knew that he had experienced great poverty and injustice, and the dreadful effects of war. He fought against these evils on behalf of ordinary people, for individual rights for workers, for better employment conditions, better housing, better education and training, freedom for the colonies and for lots of things now accepted as reasonable but then seen as radical. Further, I knew that old men would weep at the mention of his name and recount what he had done for them.

He became very involved in the struggle for the rights of ordinary people through fighting the injustices which he had first experienced himself. He was just as concerned about injustice to others. He wanted equal opportunity for all. He was passionate about education and was elected to Coylton School Board in 1900. In 1919 he also became a member of Ayrshire County Council, on which he served for 25 years, and he was a prominent and active member on the education committee, and also chaired the housing committee. For nine years he was the secretary of the Scottish Miners’ Federation, and he was a Labour MP from 1939 to 1945, when he died. A man of wide interests, he also argued for colonial independence, and better conditions for serving soldiers.