Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/797/18120

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 February 2014

Who supported the 1984-85 miners' strike?

Tony Mulhearn, Liverpool 47 councillor 1983-87

Demanding a government apology for Thatcher's ruthless attack on the miners sounds hollow coming from Labour MPs.

Labour's leader then, Neil (now Lord) Kinnock, did absolutely nothing to assist the miners in their titanic 1984/85 struggle to defend their jobs and communities.

The state's role in deploying the forces of repression against Arthur Scargill of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the miners is well-documented.

New generations of working class activists need to recall the measures used by a hostile Thatcher government to crush the miners.

But the Labour leadership's baleful role, bending the knee to big capital, cannot be forgotten.

Infiltration

There was illegal deployment of a national police formation like an army of occupation in the mining communities.

There was the use of spies from different state agencies to infiltrate the NUM at the highest level; the planting of false evidence against Scargill, eg the phoney 'witnesses' describing how Scargill and others allegedly shared out money received for the miners.

There was police fabrication of false evidence and the forging of reports charging innocent miners with criminal intent.

This activity went to the very top of a rotten anti-working class state machine, directly controlled by Thatcher and her acolytes, one of whom, Lord Tebbit, still condemns the miners.

He uses the absence of a ballot to justify the most appalling brutality since the army shot down unarmed miners in Tonypandy in 1910.

Calling for an apology can be justified. But apologies should also be sought from Kinnock and his fellow right wingers.

They shared the approach of electricians' union general secretary Eric Hammond, who became the first trade union leader to serve with the inner councils of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Hammond also invited Tebbit, principal architect of Thatcher's anti-union legislation, to the union's training centre as a distinguished guest and organised scab labour to run Rupert Murdoch's presses at Wapping.

At the 1985 Labour Party conference Kinnock spoke in the debate on a resolution calling for amnesty for miners convicted during the strike.

He launched a vicious attack on the NUM leadership, supported by Hammond who described the NUM leadership as donkeys.

Tony Benn's diaries show that not one trade union leader who supported the miners was called into the debate.

Eventually under pressure the chair called in Ron Todd from TGWU (now Unite). His speech giving full support to the miners implied that Hammond was akin to a jackal. Miners and their families in the gallery were reportedly weeping.

Solidarity

At the same conference Kinnock launched his pernicious 'grotesque chaos' speech against the Liverpool 47.

However, unlike his Lordship, Liverpool city council had a proud record of supporting the miners. The 47 councillors went on miners' picket lines across the North West and set aside a portion of the rates to assist miners' families experiencing real hardship.

Miners' collecting facilities were made available throughout the city and several major fund-raising events were organised, raising tens of thousands of pounds.

Council leaders spoke at mass rallies with Arthur Scargill and other miners' leaders, pledging our full and unconditional support.

An estimated 1 million was raised in Liverpool for the miners. As a token of their appreciation Lancashire miners presented a specially created brass miner's lamp to the Liverpool 47.

Apologies will never rectify the damage perpetrated by a crazed prime minister and a thuggish union-buster called Ian McGregor, imported from the USA to break the car and steel unions, then the NUM.

But the lessons of both a treacherous Labour leadership, and of a Tory government prepared to use any methods to break the working class, should never be forgotten.

Out soon

A civil war without guns

by Ken Smith

The Socialist Party's history of the 1984-85 miners' strike, A Civil War Without Guns, by Ken Smith, is being reprinted with a new introduction in time for the 30th anniversary of this colossal struggle. Watch this space for more details.

Available from Socialist Books

PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD

020 8988 8789

www.socialistbooks.org.uk

bookshop@socialistparty.org.uk

Please make cheques payable to Socialist Books

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 5 February 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bedroom tax beaten in Scotland

Who's robbing our NHS?

Trade unions - time to break Labour link is now!

Labour taxing the rich? Balls

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Sochi winter Olympics - -breaking all records!

Ukraine: battling forces no friends of working class


Reports and campaigns

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference

Socialist Students: Preparing for struggles to come

Cameron's cruel cuts hammer the homeless

Floods: fully-funded environmental planning needed

Stop 98 million cuts in Worcestershire

Fleetwood: MP tries to evade hospital campaigners

Building the Socialist Party


Socialist Party workplace news

Stop the tube cuts: Support the strikes!

PCS: Re-elect fighting, campaigning leadership

NUT national executive agrees date for national strike

Yorks ambulance workers strike again

Preparing action in Lewisham

Royal Opera House workers win living wage

Future Directions dispute settled

Tebay: RMT rally


Readers' comments

Who supported the 1984-85 miners' strike?

Pete Seeger - Sound of US protest movement

Osborne claims recovery - super-exploitation is reality


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 February 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Miners:

triangleDurham Miners' Gala

triangle35th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave

triangleOrgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally

triangleLessons of the heroic 1984-85 Miners' strike

triangleObituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter

Strike:

triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

triangleStrikes: more determined than ever

triangleRoyal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

triangleIt's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

Union:

triangleThe Activist Issue 82 - for retail workers

trianglePay Deal: ACAS sides with management - a missed opportunity to fight

triangleThe Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019

Labour:

triangleSwansea: Corbyn rally attracts turnout but many can't get in

trianglePrepare now for the struggles after 12 December

Liverpool:

triangleHillsborough justice eluded

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

4/12/19

Socialist Party

The Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019

27/11/19

Plymouth

Plymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords

27/11/19

Minimum wage

Minimum wage debate

27/11/19

BT

The private sector will never provide broadband to every home, nationalisation will

20/11/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

13/11/19

Theatre

Theatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

13/11/19

Social Media

Readers' opinion: Twitter's banning of political ads threatens workers' voice

6/11/19

Minimum wage

Minimum wage debate: what should we be demanding?

6/11/19

TV

TV: Crime and Punishment - this brutal watch is a damning indictment of cuts and capitalism

30/10/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

30/10/19

TV

TV: The Accident - Will capitalism be exposed in upsetting, true-to-life drama?

30/10/19

Film

Film reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

30/10/19

Economy

Life in the gig economy

30/10/19

Councillors

Opinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

24/10/19

Liverpool

Tony Mulhearn - a Eulogy

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999