North-East MPs back call for inquiry into the Government's handling of Miners' Strike

The Northern Echo: The Miners' Strike The Miners' Strike

NORTH-EAST MPs have backed a call for an independent inquiry into the Government’s handling of the Miners’ Strike.

Twenty-two MPs have signed an early day motion urging an investigation and requesting that the House of Commons acknowledged its dismay that senior cabinet ministers “micromanaged” the 1984/85 strike while claiming to be “innocent bystanders”.

Secret papers published last week revealed that the Government was aware that National Coal Board (NCB) chief Ian MacGregor was plotting to close 75 pits.

At the time, ministers and the NCB claimed that only 20 mines would shut.

As well as accusing senior ministers of deliberately misleading the public, the motion highlights a further revelation that Margaret Thatcher was considered deploying troops during the strike.

The motion was proposed by Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, an ex-miner and former president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Writing about the issue last week, he said: “The Government and National Coal Board always claimed that only 20 or so collieries were to be closed.

“The NUM knew the number was far higher despite its vehement denial by MacGregor and Thatcher.

“(This new information) shows just how little regard was actually given to the people of the country who were deliberately misled by senior politicians and civil servants.”

Five other North-East MPs have backed the motion including Easington MP Grahame Morris and Ian Mearns, who represents Gateshead.

A typed record of a meeting held at Number 10 in September 1983 says: "Mr MacGregor had it in his mind over the three years 1983-85 that a further 75 pits would be closed. There should be no closure list, but a pit-by-pit procedure.

"The man power at the end of that time in the industry would be down to 138,000 from its current level of 202,000."

The meeting was attended by seven people, including Margaret Thatcher, and the minute, headed "not to be photocopied or circulated outside the private office", ends: "It was agreed that no record of this meeting should be circulated."

A second document written a week later by a senior civil servant suggested the same group should meet regularly in future but there should be "nothing in writing which clarifies the understandings about the strategy which exist between Mr MacGregor and the secretary of state for energy".

The early day motion states: “That this House is appalled to learn what thousands of people in mining communities have strongly suspected for 30 years in the wake of the release of the Cabinet papers relating to the 1984-85 miners' strike, that senior Cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister, micromanaged the Government's side of the strike, whilst publicly claiming to be innocent bystanders; notes that, all along, the National Coal Board had the intention to close over 70 collieries whilst publicly claiming the number to be around 20; further notes that senior Cabinet Ministers deliberately misled the country; further notes that when those striking to protect their communities seemed to be on the verge of victory, the Government plotted to bring in the armed forces to avoid defeat; and furthermore demands a full independent inquiry into the then Government's handling of the 1984-85 miners'

Comments (5)

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7:40pm Thu 9 Jan 14

mike1952 says...

Are we surprised by this - lying and scheming runs through the very core of the Tories who prove time and time again only the rich and those in the South have their priority. In 1939 Hitler kept blaming the Jews for Germany's problems and brain washed the population into thinking this was right and as a Society not caring what happened to them, From 2010 the Tories have blamed the welfare state and particularly the unemployed/disabled for UK's problems and have brainwashed the majority population in to thinking this was right - so now no one cares about the poor except those running Food Banks. Thank you 'The Big Society' and I am not sure Labour's 'One Nation' is much better.
I have no doubt an Enquiry would be run by a rich Tory Judge anyway.
Are we surprised by this - lying and scheming runs through the very core of the Tories who prove time and time again only the rich and those in the South have their priority. In 1939 Hitler kept blaming the Jews for Germany's problems and brain washed the population into thinking this was right and as a Society not caring what happened to them, From 2010 the Tories have blamed the welfare state and particularly the unemployed/disabled for UK's problems and have brainwashed the majority population in to thinking this was right - so now no one cares about the poor except those running Food Banks. Thank you 'The Big Society' and I am not sure Labour's 'One Nation' is much better. I have no doubt an Enquiry would be run by a rich Tory Judge anyway. mike1952
  • Score: -2

8:14pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Voice-of-reality says...

After this length of time a costly inquiry would be a waste of money. Better to allocate the millions that such an inquiry would cost on something needed.
After this length of time a costly inquiry would be a waste of money. Better to allocate the millions that such an inquiry would cost on something needed. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 6

6:12am Fri 10 Jan 14

darloboss says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
After this length of time a costly inquiry would be a waste of money. Better to allocate the millions that such an inquiry would cost on something needed.
the more people that find out what conservitives think of the " lower classes " the more chance they will never never get back in government
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: After this length of time a costly inquiry would be a waste of money. Better to allocate the millions that such an inquiry would cost on something needed.[/p][/quote]the more people that find out what conservitives think of the " lower classes " the more chance they will never never get back in government darloboss
  • Score: -6

9:13am Fri 10 Jan 14

st-george1 says...

The mining communities, the Labour Party MP’s and Marxist trades union anarchists ALL TELL LIES ...
Mr Callaghan ...ditched 10,000 jobs because imported coal was cheaper and demand was dwindling
Mrs Thatcher ...ditched 190,000 jobs because she would not be blackmailed to pay miners more for less at enormous cost
MR WILSON ....ditched 210,000 jobs, FIRST because he could do no wrong or so the Labour voters and miners thought
Like the IRA communities, each generation are still forced to continue to expose their hatred for law and order, displaying their bigoted, if not racist views of Mrs Thatcher and anyone else such as brother, sister, son or daughter who disagreed with their folly.
So bring on an enquiry … and lets see how Mr Wilson escaped !
The mining communities, the Labour Party MP’s and Marxist trades union anarchists ALL TELL LIES ... Mr Callaghan ...ditched 10,000 jobs because imported coal was cheaper and demand was dwindling Mrs Thatcher ...ditched 190,000 jobs because she would not be blackmailed to pay miners more for less at enormous cost MR WILSON ....ditched 210,000 jobs, FIRST because he could do no wrong or so the Labour voters and miners thought Like the IRA communities, each generation are still forced to continue to expose their hatred for law and order, displaying their bigoted, if not racist views of Mrs Thatcher and anyone else such as brother, sister, son or daughter who disagreed with their folly. So bring on an enquiry … and lets see how Mr Wilson escaped ! st-george1
  • Score: 3

10:08am Fri 10 Jan 14

RichFlint says...

Today's MPs should focus on today's problems, that's what we pay them for
Today's MPs should focus on today's problems, that's what we pay them for RichFlint
  • Score: 0

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