Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 May 2016

After Hillsborough verdict...

Independent inquiry into Orgreave now!

Simon Carter

"It's time for a public inquiry into the policing of the miners' strike (1984-85), not just Orgreave and the role of the police, but also the role of politicians. We need to look at the wider context of the way the police were used and the agenda set for them by government."

Surprisingly this comment is from Sir Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police. Fahy says the politicisation of police under Thatcher created a culture of class hatred, as shown in the police response at the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster.

It was on 18 June 1984 when thousands of riot police, many on horseback, brutally attacked a mass picket of striking miners at the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire. Orgreave was one of many police assaults on striking miners and mining communities during the year-long strike.

Hundreds of miners on that day were injured, some seriously. Many were arrested, and 95 charged with 'unlawful assembly'. The subsequent trial of these miners collapsed after six weeks because the police evidence was unreliable.

There is plentiful evidence of police assaulting striking miners, and subsequently perverting the course of justice and committing perjury. Despite this, the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission said last year it would not pursue a criminal investigation into police actions "because of the passage of time".

That decision amounted to a whitewash of the role of South Yorkshire Police, and indeed the Tory government. Thatcher's aim was to crush the strike by the National Union of Mineworkers, in order to break organised workers' resistance to pit closures and privatisation.


The violence perpetrated by South Yorkshire police at Orgreave, which has gone unpunished, was one in a string of disgraceful and potentially criminal actions. These include the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy in 1989, with 96 dead. And covering up the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham between 2007 and 2010.

In a further development, Hayley Court, a former media specialist for South Yorkshire police, says she was pressured to "spin" coverage of the Hillsborough inquests in favour of the police.

Dave Jones, the new interim head of South Yorkshire Police - after the suspension of David Crompton following the Hillsborough inquest verdict that police unlawfully killed 96 victims - has offered Orgreave justice campaigners "a hearing".

The Orgeave Truth and Justice Campaign has long fought for a full and independent public inquiry into the 'Battle of Orgreave'. The Socialist Party backs this campaign.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

In The Socialist 11 May 2016:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories retreat: now drive them out!

No to the bosses' EU, yes to international solidarity

Teachers force Tory academies u-turn

TUSC announces '20-city tour': the socialist case against the EU

Independent inquiry into Orgreave now!

Blair played matchmaker between Saudi oil barons and Chinese dictators

What we saw

Them & Us

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

John Mann's Israel hypocrisy

Council estate exhibition shows the full picture

Film review: Eddie the Eagle

The Socialist postbag

Elections 2016

Elections showed anger and fragmentation

TUSC election campaigns show opposition to cuts

Over 1,700 votes for TUSC in Warrington

Scotland: SNP wins but new openings for socialist alternative emerge

Wales: no change and all change

Northern Ireland elections: positive moves against sectarian politics

Over 1,800 votes for TUSC candidate in Bristol

Third anti-cuts councillor elected in Southampton

TUSC increases vote in Coventry by 25%

Fourth place for TUSC in Liverpool

Workplace news and analysis

Blacklisted workers win millions in legal victory

Government blinks first in junior doctors' dispute

Trade Union Bill becomes law

Prison officers walk out over health and safety

Potential new steel bosses refuse to take on pensions

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Let kids be kids: children 'strike' against Sats tests

What way forward for Tamil rights?

Save Paignton Hospital campaign launched

May Day demo says: no cuts to childrens' centres!

Support for junior doctors at campaign stalls

International socialist news and analysis

Greek general strike: more needed to defeat austerity

How to trump Donald


Home   |   The Socialist 11 May 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleDurham Miners' Gala

triangle35th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave

triangleOrgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally

triangleOrgreave - no justice, no peace

triangleIn the words of Amber Rudd, "no one died at Orgreave"


triangleTV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleProtesting is not terrorism

triangleEyewitness report: workers' struggle in France on the boil


triangleLessons of the heroic 1984-85 Miners' strike

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

triangleMansfield council must step in to save miners' park

South Yorkshire:

triangle"If you think bus and rail services are crap, sign our petition to take them back"

triangleMajor funding for flood risk management needed


triangleWestex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike


triangleHillsborough justice eluded


triangleRefuse collection workers strike


triangleManchester & Salford Socialist Party: What does the general election result mean for 2020?


triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The role of the Socialist paper and social media

Greater Manchester:

triangleArriva Rail North under pressure after nineteenth Saturday strike


triangleSecret police infiltration of workers' movement exposed

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Royal Mail

Collective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries



Bus drivers halt sackings - now restore our pay



Fully fund hospices to care for vulnerable children



Help us continue to fight for workers and socialism


Socialist Party

Building the Socialist Party



Postal workers walk out over health, safety and junk mail



Fight for safety, staffing and services - Covid chaos for benefits claimants


Northern Ireland

Bosses concede to walkouts in Northern Ireland


Bin workers

Refuse collection workers strike



Hull construction workers force bosses to shut down site over health and safety fears



Key workers should make bold demands



Self-isolation class divide: decent homes for all!



Leicester: Nylacast worker exposes truth



More than ever, we need accountable union leaders



Councils must use resources now for emergency response

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020