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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 December 2017

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

Miners rally in Wales, April 1984, photo D Sinclair

Miners rally in Wales, April 1984, photo D Sinclair   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Local residents and ex-mining families were outraged when news came through that Dewsbury Conservative Association was intending to have their annual dinner at the National Coal Mining Museum at the former Caphouse colliery in Overton near Wakefield.

It was planned for 10 March, just days after the anniversary of the end of the 1984-5 miners' strike. Given the role of the Tory party under Thatcher in running down the mines and forcing the 1984-85 dispute in order to break the power of the miners - then the most combative and best organised union - many local people saw this as an insult to the whole point of a museum commemorating the industry.

But also, the last deep coal mine in Britain at Kellingley on the other side of Wakefield, closed by the Tory-led coalition, is a more recent reminder of the contempt the Tories hold the industry in. They are prepared to bring coal in from places such as China to fuel local power stations.

In a matter of days almost 2,000 people joined a Facebook group set up to protest the event and e-mail and ring the museum demanding they withdraw the event.

At first museum management put up a defiant statement that they would be going ahead as they had to be 'politically neutral'! But just a day later they were forced to cancel the event after the catering company withdrew.

This is a victory for local working class communities and groups such as the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign which had planned to picket the dinner if it went ahead.

But it also raises questions around why the museum management thought accepting the booking was a good idea.

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In The Socialist 13 December 2017:


What we think

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International socialist news and analysis

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907


Socialist Party news and analysis

Save our NHS

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Them & Us


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Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

Teachers strike in Sheffield

Newham anti-academies strikes


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

South London health bosses' cover-up

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting


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Related links:

Miners:

triangleRed Mary - a Force of Nature

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

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

Museum:

triangleBritish Museum: Carillion workers demand to be brought back in-house

triangleRussia 1917: how art helped make the revolution

triangleArts unions agree joint campaign work

triangleFight the 'burning' of our museums and libraries!

Wakefield:

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: 10 years since the economic crisis

Dewsbury:

triangleUnited show of opposition to NHS cuts in Dewsbury

triangleNew phase of campaign against Dewsbury NHS cuts

Britain:

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Political perspectives for Britain

Orgreave:

triangleJoin the Orgreave Halloween rally

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