Public has access to Ridley Report

Fascinating how Christopher Dorman-O’Gowan (News Post Leader, May 15), seems to be taking a lead from fellow right-winger Nigel Farage, and assuming that if you simplify and repeat a mistruth enough times, people will believe it.

In particular, he seems to live in hope that only members his own party are ‘in the loop’ as regards Thatcher’s policies in the 1980 and that the ‘Blame Arthur Scargill’ mantra still has purchase.

However, thanks to quality journalism in The Economist and elsewhere, and to Seumas Milne’s excellent book The Enemy Within (recently re-published with additional material), the public at large now has access to the details of the Ridley Report, drawn up secretly by Nicholas Ridley with the specific aim of destroying both the NUM and the British coal industry, and to details of the means by which Thatcher – with the complicity of the press barons and government agencies, including the secret service – implemented it in a manner more closely akin to the dark politics of a Middle Eastern dictatorship than to that of a Western democracy.

Interesting too how he lets his guard slip in his reference to the campaign for pay for younger workers at British Leyland in the 1970s, though, of course, one can see how distasteful the concept of ‘a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work’ - even for young people – must seem to a stalwart of the party of the zero hours economy.

Indeed, the philosophy of the modern Conservative Party might well be summed up in the old political mantra, ‘To make the rich work harder, you pay them more. To make the poor work harder ,you pay them less’.

David Spraggon Williams

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