Thursday, 28 April 2016

Justice With Courage, Indeed

And so, South Yorkshire Police limps, or possibly hurtles, towards disbandment.

By the Tories.

Notice that neither Theresa May nor anyone else has disputed Andy Burnham's almost casual observation that this was as much about Orgreave as it was about Hillsborough.

That point has been conceded in silence.

By the Tories.


  1. I visited Orgreave in June 1984, in order to do my work, as a service engineer, at a nearby factory in the adjacent area of Catcliffe. I'd travelled 60 miles or so from Manchester when, on turning on the road leading to the factory, I was stopped by a PC, who was standing in the middle of the road, and ordered to turn back, I was told I wasn't being allowed to go to Orgreave.

    I explained I'd no intention of going to Orgreave, I wanted to visit the factory 200 yards down the road. At that point a police inspector came up, I explained the situation, showing him documentation, proving my destination was the factory, not Orgreave.

    With that, the inspector told the PC to get into the passenger seat of my car, and I was escorted for the 200 yard drive to the factory gate.

    On that day day, the workers at the factory informed me there were over 5,000 policemen in attendance at Orgreave.

    A month or so later, mid afternoon on a Friday , I was driving north up the M1, just having left one of my sites in Nottingham. It was a bright, sunny day.

    To my amazement, in the opposite direction, came a convoy of at least 20 police minibuses, emblazoned with various police forces from the South East - the Met, Sussex, Kent, Essex, etc. They'd obviously just left Orgreave that afternoon.

    32 years on, we've still no idea of how much that particular police operation cost.

    I know of a number of police officers, who as a result of all the extra hours worked on duty at Orgeave, ended up paying tax at the higher rate, as they were earning so much money.

    Nice work when you can get it, eh?

    1. And then there were the men who were not really policemen at all. Soldiers, and apparently even SAS men, dressed up in fake Police uniforms. That kind of thing.

      I am starting to think that there may be a case for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission into the Britain of the 1980s. But how far would it ever be allowed to get?

      Some consolation is offered by the total absence of any Thatcherite cultural narrative about the 1980s. There is an astonishing amount of cultural material about, for example, the Miners' Strike, which has become part of the national mythology. Every word of it could have been written directly by the NUM, and that writing was still going on, even before this. Thatcherism has left no cultural monument in its favour. None.