Saturday, 4 January 2014

Arthur was right after all.

30 years after the Miners strike newly released cabinet papers from 1984 reveal mineworkers' union leader Arthur Scargill was not being a fantasist in his t to claim there was a "secret hit-list" of more than 70 pits marked for closure.

The government and National Coal Board said at the time they wanted to close 20. But the documents reveal a plan to shut 75 mines over three years.

A key adviser to then-PM Margaret Thatcher denies any cover-up claims.

The miners' strike began in March 1984 and did not end until the next year. It had a devastating affect on mining communities and was not helped by the likes of the then Labour Leader Neil Kinnock  who seemed at times to be more intent destroying Scargill  influence than backing effective solidarity with the miners.

Prehaps the biggest appology should come from him. but he probably remembers his role differently. He often does.

Nor was it helped by a complacent media including the BBC who portrayed  the miners as being violent and never showed the brutality of the police force used against them.

The  so called Interdependent and unbiased BBC  and I TV news showed film of  miners throwing stones before being charged by police on horseback.

Only years later was it explained that film had been "mistakenly" transposed. There were three cavalry charges before any retaliation by miners and their supporters.

Indeed as the revelations   come to light that Scargill was correct in his accusations that the Government were intent on closing 70 mines we need an investigation into whether the Government planned to actually   create confrontation and a strike and portray the NUM as the "Enemy Within".

The Tories it is known  deputed Nicholas Ridley to draw up a plan to utilise all the power of the state to provoke an NUM strike and to smash the union.

His plan involved building up coal stocks at power stations, arranging to import coal through scab ports, recruiting large numbers of lorry drivers prepared to drive at full speed through picket lines, expanding dual coal-oil power stations, slashing benefits to strikers' families and putting the police on a united, nationwide war footing.

When you consider all the investigative journalists  there were at the time it odd that the Tory Government  agenda seemed to only come under from the Morning Star.

What the miner strike proved is where power really lies in Britain and in 1984 and it wasn't the Unions and 30 years later it is even more concentrated amongst the elite whether in the government or the media.

1 comment:

Tarian said...

Does this surprise anyone that takes an interest in news and politics in Britain? The collusion between the media and the state has been exposed time and time again, decade after decade. Unfortunately only a minority seem to learn the lesson and is astonishing how many apparently educated people maintain a naive faith in the media as a guardian of liberty. Currently we can see this collusion at work in the Scottish referendum debate with widespread fabrication and deception by government and media and the active suppression of reports that demonstrate beyond doubt that Scotland has been exploited, robbed and lied to.