1984/85 Strike

The preparation for the strike began prior to 1977 when the Conservative Research Department which is part of the central organisation of the Conservative Party tabled a report “Final Report of the Nationalised Industry Policy Group” chaired by Nicholas Ridley. http://www.margaretthatcher.org/archive/displaydocument.asp?docid=110795

The Viscount Younger of Leckie KT KCVO TD PC (George Younger) wrote to Thatcher on 28 November 2002 “We did have a lot of luck, particularly with Arthur Scargill being such a bad strategist, but the fact is that we prepared every detail of how to keep the country supplied with coal even when both the mines and railways were not working.” Younger died 8 weeks later on 26 January 2003. http://www.margaretthatcher.org/archive/displaydocument.asp?docid=111443

So when MacGregor, Chairman of the National Coal Board, appointed and answerable to the Conservative government wrote to miners in June 1984 fourteen weeks into the strike, assuming he thought he was telling the truth, the Cabinet, which we now know was in charge of the strike they had started, knew different and was happy to let him lie. He stated the miners leaders had told them “That the Coal Board is out to butcher the coal industry. That we plan to do away with 70,000 jobs. That we plan to close down 86 pits, leaving only 100 working collieries. IF THESE THINGS WERE TRUE I WOULD NOT BLAME MINERS FOR GETTING ANGRY OR FOR BEING DEEPLY WORRIED. BUT THESE THINGS ARE ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE. I STATE THAT CATEGORICALLY AND SOLEMNLY. YOU HAVE BEEN DELIBERATELY MISLED.” MacGregor Letter

The Great Miners Strike of 1984/85 will be written about again and again but to those miners who adhered to the basic principle of supporting their fellow workers when asked to do so, knew the truth in 1984 and are vindicated.

The plotters and the liars are now in the open and history will judge them.

When Thatcher became Prime Minister on 4 May 1979 she said ‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope’ well in 1984 the opposite was true.

Ironic that the novel 1984 written by George Orwell and published in 1949 wrote “There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

Miners’ may be angry and determined but we are not mad.

Read Nicky Stubbs’s analysis of the Cabinet Papers that have been released up to 2015 ‘Divide and Conquer’.