TV portraits of the Miners’ strike of 1984/5 stressed the violence of the pickets and responsible policing. This book challenges those images, looks at the impact of the strike on participants, and reflects on ongoing controversies and community pride.
The book is organised into three parts. In early chapters participants look back. So, Peter Smith speaks of his honest determination not to become a ‘professional sacked miner’ and Siân James tells of her excitement and pride at her community’s defence of a valued way of life.
Political controversies are examined: Was the strike the result of careful planning (on the part of the Thatcher Government, and/or the NUM)? How and why were striking miners, at Orgreave in June 1984, injured, arrested and vilified? Why were miners determined not to be ‘constitutionalized’ or balloted out of their jobs? How did the BBC and ITV misrepresent police action and show miners as ‘out of control’? Why did miners in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and elsewhere support, or oppose, the strike?
The final section examines enduring issues especially the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign. Is a more critical assessment of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher long overdue? Why is miners’ history and heritage – as seen in the Durham Miners’ Gala – so fondly celebrated?
Justice Denied: Friends, Foes and the Miners’ Strike; David Wray [ED]
ISBN13: 9780850367300 £15.99