Wednesday 8 May 2024

Black Gold?

Tomorrow, Grahame Morris will lead a Commons debate on the scandal of successive Governments’ direct theft of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme, which was once so mighty that it owned the Watergate Complex, the ultimate Trustees of which therefore included Arthur Scargill and Mick McGahey. As punishment for the Strike, the miners are now being starved in old age. Like the jaw-dropping Single Justice Procedure, and like the plight of those who were still serving the abolished sentence of imprisonment for public protection, there ought to be an ITV drama about this.

Would a change of Government make any difference? The last Labour Government continued and worsened the robbery of the miners, and it introduced the IPP. It has no policy to abolish the SJP, which is right up the street of someone like its candidate for Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper. Kevan Jones, when is anyone going to be arrested as a result of the Post Office scandal?

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair’s Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party of Britain, although nor would I expect to stand against it. But if it did not contest North Durham, then I would. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. But there does need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.


  1. Wonder if Lavery’s ‘redundancy’ payment in 2010 comes up. Bet it doesn’t…

    1. You obviously have no idea how a trade union works. Notice that only public school journalists in the leafiest corners of London have ever thought that this was a story. Ian's reception among the old miners and their families has to be seen to be believed.

      Plus either he or Richard Burgon, by common consent Leave voters both, would have beaten Starmer for Leader, and would then have been in post throughout everything that the other side would still have got wrong during this Parliament. What a missed opportunity.