Learn lesson and move on

Mr H accuses me of attacking mining communities in his letter of October 25. He also asked in an earlier correspondence if I understood resentment.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 6:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:02 pm
Margaret Thatcher

My father was a miner in South Yorkshire until he broke his back in a pit accident, thankfully he recovered sufficiently to go on and work in the steel industry for the rest of his life. My grandfather was a miner too, and many of my friends are ex-miners, one of them being injured at Orgreave from which he still bears the scar. So yes Mr H I understand resentment.

The mining communities were victims of an ideological war between Thatcher and Scargill, a power struggle between unions and government. Pit closures were inevitable because we were extracting a natural resource that one day would be exhausted, hence the hundreds of pit closures over the last sixty years, it could have been about pay and conditions or any other excuse, but they both wanted a confrontation and as always when powerful factions collide then working people suffer as two world wars proved.

Most of my ex-miner friends moved on to other jobs or used their redundancy to start small businesses, others just had no urge to do anything and just did enough to get by. Some were resentful and angry about what happened to them for a time, but decided to get on with their lives and stop looking over their shoulder. They had suffered enough and were sick of politics and being pawns, they felt used and rarely talk about those times now.

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Of course there are many who never let go, or latch onto a crusade to fill a void in their own lives, most of them have never been miners.

Then we get the Terry Palmer mentality, the “ burn in hell” nonsense that says far more about him that it does about Thatcher. I detest certain people and their views but I wish them no harm or resentment, and if there is a Hell I think many of your readers will be sweating as much as me. Man hands on misery to man and it’s time to stop doing it, we can’t change yesterday but we can change tomorrow. Let’s learn the lesson and move on.

Cameron Fleming

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