Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The 1984-85 miners' strike - the build up

9 March will see the release of the book Images of the Past featuring the fantastic photographs of the late Martin Jenkinson. I am proud to be one of the co-authors - the other is Mark Harvey - and the added benefit is that25% of the author's (Martin's is going his wife and daughter) fee's are to be split with the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and the Justice for Mineworkers. I have written the 25,000 words for the book. 

In the run-up to the release of the book I thought it might be good to put one or two things on this blog. One of the key issues in the lead up to the strike was whether the Tories had a secret plan to close most of the pits. A speech by Arthur Scargill to the 1983 TUC is reprinted below from the Yorkshire Miner. 

Scargill's claims were ridiculed in the press and the media and coal board chairman Ian MacGregor even sent out a letter in June 1984 to every miner’s home stating: ‘This is a strike which should never have happened. It is based on a very serious misrepresentation of the facts ... miners have supported the strike because your leaders have told you this ... that we plan to do away with 70,000 jobs.That we plan to close 86 pits, leaving only 100 working collieries. If these things were true I would not blame miners for getting angry. But these things are absolutely untrue. I state that categorically and solemnly. You have been deliberately misled.’  MacGregor was lying. 

Report on Arthur Scargill's speech to TUC Conference in 1983 

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