Friday, 16 September 2016

From Oxford To Orgreave

The position of the Blair and Brown Governments on an inquiry into Orgreave was always that there was nothing into which to inquire.

The only reason to hold such an inquiry is in order to vindicate the NUM, to such at extent that the job of writing the report may as well be given to Arthur Scargill himself.

Why, then, has Theresa May granted one? Because she still hates Margaret Thatcher for having been the first woman Prime Minister.

That would be regarded as madness in anyone who did not go to Oxford or Cambridge, and perhaps it is no less mad in someone who did.

But it is quite typical of them. I mean that purely as an observation. A lot of them are like that. They just are.

In the years leading up to the 1979 General Election, the then Theresa Brasier, an undergraduate at Oxford and then a recent graduate of it, vocally expressed her disappointment that she would not, after all, be the first woman Prime Minister.

Lining up with the miners, of all people, over Orgreave, of all things, is the most pointed way of trashing Thatcher's legacy without needing to transfer any territory to Argentina.

Meanwhile, the NUM and its various legacy organisations, which still have considerable clout within the trade union movement and on the Left, ought to press their advantage.

One of the five seats to be filled by Government appointees on the new BBC Board would be the very sweetest revenge of all.


  1. There surely needs to be a thorough new enquiry- into the disgraceful and violent behaviour of Arthur Scargill's thugs.

    No other country would have put up with it.

    The accounts of violence towards the men who dared to defy Scargill’s pickets make truly horrifying reading.

    On the morning of November 30, 1984, a taxi driver called David Wilkie headed towards Merthyr Tydfil, in South Wales.Wilkie’s passenger was a miner who had defied the pickets to continue working.

    And as Wilkie turned onto the A465, two of Scargill’s men, perched on a bridge overhead, dropped a 46 lb concrete block onto the roof of his car.

    Wilkie was killed instantly, leaving a devastated fiancee, who was pregnant, and three children.

    Ludicrously, Scargill himself claimed that all these stories had been invented by the Press.

    That would have come as news to men like Tony Hollman, a working miner from South Wales who had to call the police to rescue his wife and child from their own home after they were besieged by a mob of 150 jeering pickets.

    It would have come as news, too, to another Welshman, Monty Morgan, who turned up to work at the Garw Colliery, near Bridgend, in early August 1984, as a protest against what he saw as Scargill’s bully-boy tactics.

    When he was driven home that evening, escorted by police, dozens of men pelted the vehicle with eggs, bricks and bottles. Outside his council flat, where his wife stood trembling with fear on the doorstep, was another reception committee, consisting of 100 taunting, shouting pickets.

    The NUM had called for a national strike in three ballots over the previous two years — and it was rejected by a majority each time.

    So in March 1984, Scargill decided not to call a vote at all.

    Instead, he demanded that each NUM area come out on strike independently, without ever calling a national ballot.

    However, many miners, especially in the Midlands, refused to join what they saw as an ideologically motivated hard-Left coup.

    On the very day of the Battle of Orgreave, for example, the Coal Board reported to Margaret Thatcher that more than 60,000 men were back at work at 58 different pits.

    Scargill deployed violent thugs to intimidate many of those who crossed his picket lines.

    1. Take it up with the Tory Prime Minister.

      The miners have always controlled the cultural narrative, as the young people say, where the Strike was concerned. Have you ever come across any other depiction of it?

      And now, they control the political one, too. That has taken the first Conservative majority government of the present century, but there we are.

  2. I'm not taking about the "narrative" as you may have noticed. I'm challenging the narrative with the facts.

    And Scargill, (a Young Communist and open Stalin worshipper) did not represent "the miners" at all.

    As I've just shown most of them defied his thugs and went back to work including on the day of Orgreave.

    Every time the NUM called a national strike for the preceding three years they were rejected by a majority of miners!

    So don't sully the reputations of the great majority of decent miners by pretending he represented them.

    1. Take it up Theresa May. She has now sided unconditionally with the NUM. Such is her hatred of the woman who usurped her ambition.

  3. What's that got to do with the facts?