Editor: There are some insults you just don’t throw in this city
If there is one word you would never, ever throw at a former miner, it is the one beginning with s, ending in b, with ca in the middle.
Sheffielders have long memories and, although a whole new generation has since grown up without understanding life down the pit, those bitter days of strikes are still raw for thousands.
Anybody who doesn't understand that needs to go away and learn about the history of this region … quickly.
So, I am sure that every Star reader will have absolute sympathy for leader Terry Fox and little surprise that he reacted with fury when he was accused of crossing the university picket line yesterday. In fact, he had technically stepped over the line to go inside to discuss whether they should go somewhere else and then come back out … in, out, shake it all about? But it was the ultimate insult to a man who was once a miner and clearly cut deep. I imagine it also embarrassed the majority of those who were peacefully protesting their cause.
The council leader had just reappeared from the building which was due to host the full council meeting and declared that neither Labour nor Greens were willing to take part in the event there while unconnected protests took place outside. Confused? I haven't finished yet.
You might ask why they were at the Octagon in the first place. Well, rumour has it the usual venue of Ponds Forge wasn’t booked in time and had, quite rightly, allocated the slot to something else in the meantime.
If our local authority struggles to even get bookings correct for the most important council meetings and either doesn't spot major disruptive clashes, or doesn’t realise how our politicians might feel about them, well, I am almost speechless. Almost!
As one of our The Star's reporter’s wisely commented, ‘for some the miners’ strike never went away’. And long may that be the case. This city and the north has never fully recovered. It is that passion for fairness and desire to fight inequality which must drive our politicians to create better for the next generations – whether they happen to work in manual labour or academia. But there are still lines that can’t be crossed and not all are visible.