Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.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 1913.

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:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleWarts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

triangleMutinies and strikes: when Bolshevism threatened British bosses

triangleCrunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners

triangleLots of discussions at the Miners Gala on the way forward

Strike:

triangleWorkers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleStriking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Union:

triangleConference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

Liverpool:

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

18/10/17

Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

18/10/17

Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

11/10/17

Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

11/10/17

Docks

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

11/10/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

11/10/17

TV

Shocking insight into Isis

2/10/17

Sexism

Hugh Hefner's exploitation of women

27/9/17

Football

Women's football - Sampson allegations

20/9/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

20/9/17

Socialist

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

20/9/17

Women

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

13/9/17

Women

New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed

13/9/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

13/9/17

Che Guevara

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon

6/9/17

Pensions

Bosses' pensions robbery

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2