People can make up their own minds

Arthur Scargill

Arthur Scargill

4
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I usually ignore opposing opinions to my own as everyone is entitled to their own view and that is the basis of our democracy.

However, Mr H says that I really must get my facts right about the Miners’ Strike and goes on to quote some figures of his own.

I think it is important to respond because the myths that he puts forward are the lies that have been believed by many in this area for more than 30 years.

Arthur Scargill was elected NUM president in December 1981 with 70 per cent of the vote; but in January 1982 miners rejected a leadership proposal to strike over pay by 55 per cent.

In October 1982 61 per cent of miners voted not to strike over pay and pit closures – despite a campaign by Scargill for strike action.

In March 1983, when the strike over Lewis Merthyr began to spread from South Wales, the National Executive Committee called for a national miners’ strike, but 63 per cent of miners rejected the proposal. Scargill ignored this vote and called a strike in March 1984.

Is Mr H seriously suggesting that this is a big enough mandate to call a strike?

Nottinghamshire miners were furious that a strike had been called without a ballot and actively resisted calls to strike which eventually led to the formation of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers in December 1985.

Pit closure figures are simple and straightforward.

From 1947 to 2007 the various Labour governments closed 949 pits and Conservative governments closed 882.

Interestingly, Harold Wilson closed 253 pits and Margaret Thatcher closed 115.

It doesn’t make good reading and a lot of people have been effected by the demise of this once great industry, but these are indisputable facts which can be checked in minutes.

There are lots of opinions but there is only one truth and I am sure people can make up their own minds.

Cameron Fleming

by email

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