AT LONG last, the Labour Party has asked in Parliament for an apology to the miners. The release of papers under the 30-year rule proves that Margaret Thatcher lied to the people during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5.
She and her hatchet man Ian MacGregor accused the miners of holding the nation to ransom. But her real game was the destruction of the mining industry and the communities it supported. Countless thousands of miners, their children and grandchildren were thrown on to the dole. Today, there are still ex-mining areas with 50% youth unemployment. She called them “The Enemy Within”; yet it was she and her cronies who were the real enemy to the British workers. It was these much maligned miners who fuelled the war effort against fascism.
It was these miners who worked in the most dangerous conditions, many giving their lives to increase coal production.
My father, as he lay dying with pneumoconiosis, said: “If I had my life to live over again, I would still be a miner.”
During a recent BBC Wales Today phone-in, some of the callers cheered Thatcher for closing the “dirty mines”. But not the miners. For them, a life of dignified hard work was better than dying on the dole. And I know my dad would have agreed.
Ray Davies author “A Miner’s Life”