Thirty years on the fight goes on

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the year-long national miners’ strike.

No one in our mining communities right across the country needs a date on the calendar to remind us of what happened all those years ago.

The impact on so many communities that are still trying to rebuild and recover from the loss of so many jobs and a way of life that had sustained them for generations is still a bitter pill to swallow, and memories of what happened to miners and their families in 1984 are all too raw to forget.

For the men the struggle to save their jobs and their industry was an uneven one, faced as we were by the hysteria whipped up by the national forces not to mention the tens of thousand of policemen and women sent into ‘battle’ with the strikers by Mrs Thatcher.

We were adamant that Mrs Thatcher and the coal board’s Ian Macgregor claims that only 20 pits would close with the loss of some 20,000 jobs were simply not true, and only recently when cabinet papers were released under the 30-year rule were our assertions vindicated that the government knew the figure was 75 collieries and 64,000 jobs.

So what I am vowing to do is to expose the truth about the Tory government’s role in the strike and I believe this can best be done by a full independent inquiry which I will press for with all my might to get justice for the miners of Britain.