As the pressure mounts for a public inquiry, the forces of reaction have started to spout their same old lies and misinformation. Some of it can be found below in our latest media round up.
The Flame Still Burns
The pits are all closed but the impulse to celebrate the heritage and to record the impact of coal mining – whether with banners and memorials or in film, drama, painting, poetry and music – continues unabated. With Banners Held High 2017 celebrates the creative power and spirit of coal mining, past and present.
Workshops and debates connect issues from the epic year-long miners’ strike to the struggles we face today.
– Keynote speaker Dennis Skinner MP
– Celebration of the life of Davey Hopper
– plus a packed programme of exhibitions, music, poetry, debates and films
Saturday 4 March 2017 Unity+Works Wakefield WF1 1EP T 01924 831114
Doors open 10.30am Day-time [programme 11.00am-5.00pm
Tickets on sale from Monday 17 October
“The OTJC has seen Sunday’s press reports suggesting that the Home Secretary has “ruled out a “Hillsborough-style” public inquiry” into Orgreave, as it would “potentially take a very long time and be totally unwieldy in terms of cost”.
When we met with the Home Secretary last week she did not lead us to believe that a decision that there should be an inquiry had already been made, and had we known that, we would have focussed our conversation with her differently.
However we welcome the fact that the Home Secretary is now apparently actively considering how Orgreave should be investigated and not if. She appears to accept that it is essential that these events are looked at.
We also welcome the fact that reports suggest she is considering how to make the Orgreave documents public: full disclosure was an essential part of the transparency and truth achieved by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, and the same is needed in respect of Orgreave.
In terms of the model for any inquiry, the OTJC has always been willing to discuss different formats for any investigation, as well as that of a full public inquiry. (Contrary to the quotes in the press, there was no “public inquiry” in the Hillsborough case: there was an independent panel report, and then fresh inquests, which the Attorney General himself sought).
However the OTJC believes that a lawyer led, non-public review, which is the form of inquiry to be inferred from press reports, would be totally inadequate in this case since the base data and evidence is well established through the original trials and the work of the IPCC. It is the more far-reaching and significant questions about policing, political responsibility and individual accountability that require a judge or Panel-led inquiry. We repeat our position that if any inquiry is to be effective and command confidence, it must have full powers to ensure that all relevant evidence is obtained, the ability to produce a detailed report and the involvement of those with sufficient expertise and independence to deliver robust conclusions.
In terms of costs, it is also important to remember that the IPCC did 2 years’ worth of investigation on the Orgreave case, and so a significant amount of work has already been done. We therefore consider that the costs are likely to be less than those of the Hillsborough case.
We hope that the Home Secretary will engage with us further about this issue in an open way.
9.00 -9.45am – Registration -plus coffee and tea
10.00a.m – Welcome from Chair of Conference Sheila Coleman – Hillsborough Justice Campaign
10.20am Barbara Jackson Orgreave T & J Campaign
10.40am Eileen Turnbull Shrewsbury 24 Campaign
11.00am Roy Bentham Blacklist Support Group
11.20am Jawed Siddiqi Rotherham 12 Campaign
11.40am Open for further contributions
12.00 – 13.00 – LUNCH
13.00pm Bridget Bell Introduction to film
13.05pm Film –Battle of Beanfield
13.55pm John Dunn Ex Derbyshire NUM & OTJC
14.15pm Helen Steel Police Out of Our Lives Campaign
14.35pm Open for contributions
14.45p.m TEA BREAK
15.00pm Henrietta Hill QC– OTJC legal counsel
15.30pm Closing remarks from main speakers
16.00pm Conference closes.
Media coverage from the last few days.
Paul Routledge speaking on the writing sent to him by miners and their families when he was a columnist on the Daily Mirror. National Coal Mining Museum, Caphouse Colliery, 27 September 7.00pm.
The event is part of Wakefield LitFest
Tickets £2.00 available from www.ncm.org.uk or 01924 848806