Friday, 27 August 2010

Not the way to treat the King!"

During the last couple of days the media or rather I should I say our gutter press, here in Britain have been running a story on former miners leader Arthur Scargill, and about an attempt to expel him and others from the National Union of Mineworkers, which he led with loyalty and distinction for nineteen years (1981 to 2000), and of course throughout that great epic year-long miners’ strike of 1984-85.

The news that the National Union of Mineworkers has moved to deprive Arthur Scargill of full membership is an absolute disgrace. That an external dispute in a body with fewer than 2,000 paying members could trigger national headlines is testament to comrade Scargill’s staying power and his image as a class warrior and hate figure of the right.

I will not go in to the press details of the dispute, as these cannot be seen as reliably dependent, given the past hatred of the man and handed out by the media. I do not think that this comrade should be treated in this way, and have been defending him on a discussion thread run by the Independent Newspaper and following an article they published which can be viewed here. The piece underneath is one of my postings in reply to another commenter, and I thought it would be a good idea to reproduce it on the blog.

Not the way to treat the King!" 

Thank-you; for being a reasonable and an amenable contributor to this thread, and I for one very much appreciate that approach even when there are disagreements. Working people need more than ever to learn that to win, it is only possible to do so without firing-up conflict amongst ourselves - there's plenty of that in life's complexities and unavoidably in the on-going class struggle of which the 1994/95 miners strike was a historical part.

The many factors that come to mind for me, in the build up to the miners strike of that time, and are as follows: A shameful history of appalling exploitation, and let us not forget, of private ownership of the mines, nor can we dismiss the fact miners and there families were starved, locked-out killed and maimed in what has always been regarded as a very dangerous occupation, indeed I'm reminded of that when I see the reports of the Chilean miners who are currently trapped underground. And let us not forget the innocent children of Ynysowen Primary School, Aberfan - God bless their souls!"

I will not itemise the many horrific British mining disasters, but our miners really did pay the price and with their lives, which without them, their would have been no industrial revolution which made this country the workshop of the world, and put the Great into Britain. Now without going into a history lesson, the injustice of the system has seen these men locked-out as in 1926, or shot and killed by government troops, and yet people still bellyache about the violence of the picket-lines some 25 years on, and wrongly blame the miners - anyone would like to disagree, then come-on - bring it on!"

Thatcher was never going to compromise, she installed MacGregor for one reason and one reason only - confrontation. Breaking the line of defence for all working people, the Trade Union Movement, and in order that the Boss class could maximise their bloodsucking profits, earned on the backs of all working people.

Did Thatcher win?" Or more importantly did the world for the British working class change for the worst when our miners went back to work heads held high?"

Scargill the man has always advocated solidarity with other workers, one example was the tremendous support he gave to the Grunwick strikers and their brave stand in the 1970s. Yes he has always had our (working class) interests at hart, and of that I'm in no doubt. "Heritage" is taken to mean the battles of great men (and a few women) of the ruling class, not those fighting for justice against them.

The Miners are a part of our real Heritage, and lets remember that when we are forced to face a government that will attempt to make every man, women and child pay for the crisis of capitalism.
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Chris H said...

Indeed, MacGregor, Thatcher's hatchet man. Brought in to do one thing - break the NUM. And in doing so send a clear message to the rest of the Trade Union movement. If I had my way she'd be in the dock with Blair. Him for the illegal wars and her for breaking an industry because of vindictiveness and personal spite.

It's good you mention the price that miners have paid. Sometimes stabbed in the back by their own government, sometimes killed by private pit owners being careful with their pennies. And then treated in such a disgusting way by their own government. Don't forget that it was Thatcher's idol that sent the troops in to quell the miners with bullets.

My great-grandfather lost his life in the Senghenydd Explosion, the biggest loss of life in a mine I think worldwide. My grandfather was one of the many helping at Aberfan. My cousin losing his life during the miner's strike.

Did she win during the strike? I think so on balance. The NUM as you say now has 2000 members, the TUC is but a shadow of itself and international finance dictates our industry, or lack of it.

Anonymous said...

Just in case anyone is interested.

Public Meeting

Arthur Scargill
Ricky Tomlinson

Tuesday 7th September 2010.


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