CHRIS Evans MP made some valid observations in the recent Argus article about the “Justice for Coalfields Campaign”. Now that we are fast approaching the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike of 1984/5, the piece was interesting.
Chris is a trained historian and knows that history, and historical sources can be interpreted in many ways, that is why I was shocked he did not give a more balanced viewpoint.
I fully concede that the Thatcher pit closure programme was extreme, and a “state of emergency” drawn up.
These arguments are further backed up with the recently-released cabinet papers of this period. This period of industrial strife was further intensified by the phraseology used by the Thatcher right-wing Government, the right-wing press, and that great tactical genius Arthur Scargill.
The thing that saddens me most about this period was that the brave miners were used as political pawns by both sides.
The 1984/5 pit closure programme destroyed the Gwent Eastern valley coalfield communities forever, of which my home village of Markham is a classic example. I hope the “Justice for Coalfields Campaign” is successful in its aims, but I fear all it will do is open up bitter divisions once more.
Wayne Thomas Monmouth Walk Markham