‘Thatcher killed UK manufacturing’

Bolsover election count 2010 - Dennis Skinner
Bolsover election count 2010 - Dennis Skinner
Have your say

THE Iron Lady and the Beast Of Bolsover were political poison to each other.

But the beast was there in person to see the recreation of his ideological enemy.

Dennis Skinner, one of the fiercest opponents of Margaret Thatcher’s government and subsequent colliery closure programme, was actually an extra in the film The Iron Lady and got to see Meryl Streep deliver her performance close up.

He was impressed - but his take on the real Margaret Thatcher is still typically combative.

“Mrs Thatcher is a very divisive character and is mainly responsible for the demise of British manufacturing,” said the Bolsover MP, now aged 79.

“People talk today about where has British manufacturing gone, most of it went in the Thatcher years.

“We used to have 700 pits when I went down there in 1949. Now we have about three or four.

“That is what Thatcher is responsible for, destroying the shipbuilding industry, then the steel industry then the pits, then she finally teamed up with Murdoch to smash the print unions.

“That’s her legacy.

“I saw Meryl Streep when she was filming and I spoke to her afterwards and it’s pretty clear that she made a first class fist of it.

“She has always been meticulous in all her preparation for all her films, that’s why she’s won oscars and been nominated for oscars countless times and will almost certainly be nominated again.

Even on the neutral territory of a film set Dennis Skinner, pictured, was able to find some political mischief.

“The interesting thing about being an extra was that there were half a dozen Tory whips down there and they had to sit on the same side as me shouting isults at Thatcher,” he added.

“That was the most amusing part for me, Tory whips, yelling at Thatcher!”