Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 March 2009

The miners were right!

JUST WHAT planet does the media live on? Its coverage of the 25th anniversary of the miners' strike tried to say it was all about Arthur Scargill versus Margaret Thatcher.

Dave Griffiths

Forget the other 180,000 miners involved! Forget the support from ordinary people across the country that stopped miners starving or being starved back to work.

Forget that the government and the bosses as a whole had decided they needed to break the ability of working people to negotiate decent jobs and pay. In order to super-exploit workers for the next 20 years the Tories had carefully planned to break the unions.

They attacked the coal industry and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in particular, as a route to cut real wages and make jobs insecure, so they could let their free market rip in a 'race to the bottom'.

And how it worked for them! For those at the top: super-profits for 20 years. For us: insecure futures, broken communities and now the mother of recessions as they try to make us pay for their greed.

That's why 90 ex-miners from Littleton colliery in the Midlands met outside the site of their former pit with a banner saying "Striking miners: We were right".

The same media that poured out lie after lie to divide working people and who, despite their crocodile tears for mining communities, all backed the government and employers, also try to report the historic events of 1984-85 as about 'miner against miner'. Not the truth that the miners were the front line of a battle against the Tory government, fighting a battle for us all.

Former NUM official Sean Farrell summed things up in a passionate speech about what happened. "They smashed a profitable coal industry and the communities that went with it. Communities that had values and represented the best of Britain. Thatcher represented the worst of Britain: Greed. She called us the 'enemy within' and did everything to break us.

"They told us service industries would take us forward but now we are all surrounded by the consequences of that greed with the disgusting bail-outs, using our money, of those who have savaged our economy."

The miners were right. Breaking workers' rights and getting super-profits hasn't improved everybody's lives, it has brought an economic disaster and a hugely divided society.

Labour betrayed the miners and later Liverpool City council's struggles and opposed the anti-poll tax campaign, and then lost the next two general elections. They chose to stand up for the 'free market', and now they haven't a clue. They have left working people defenceless in the face of the economic storm.

We'll all need the fighting traditions of the mineworkers if we're to find a way out.

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

In The Socialist 19 March 2009:

Fight tuition fees: fight for jobs: fight for a future!

Youth march for jobs

Unison witch-hunt

Stop the witch-hunt

International socialist news and analysis

Worldwide protests at killings of Tamils

Rosa Luxemburg - still relevant today

Ireland: Make the rich pay

Tibet: The 1959 uprising

Socialist Party campaigns

The miners were right!

End the 'benefits trap'

Liverpool University: Stop the cuts!

Tube strike ballot

Crisis in the legal aid system

Socialist Party congress

Socialist Party congress reports

Videos of Socialist Party Congress 2009

Perspectives for Britain and the world 2009

Socialist Party election campaign

The European elections and working-class representation

Lessons of the 2004 election

Campaign for a New Workers' Party

CNWP website

Socialist Party workplace news

Strike threat wins job back

Isle of Grain - Low-paying contractor exposed

2.5 bn profit, but BT still announces pay freeze

Rhyl: One-day teachers' strike

Rooftop protest wins apology from Royal Mail

Airwave Solutions: Striking against job cuts

Salford university


Home   |   The Socialist 19 March 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


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

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Lessons from the 1980s' miners strike


triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleJoin the Orgreave Halloween rally

triangleTheresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

triangleThem & Us


triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleBoeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangleMonarch abdicates responsibility to workers


triangleThe end of the Tories?

triangleNasty party out the Tories

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Justice for Tube cleaners demo



Salford Unison condemns pay cuts


Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike



Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP



Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish



No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!



Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg


John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation



Join the Orgreave Halloween rally



Workplace news in brief


Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights


Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs



Too much to cross the Mersey


Royal Mail

Set for national strike action



Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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 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 ...

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

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?

More ...

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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice