From: William Snowden, Dobrudden Park, Baildon Moor, Baildon.
whilE reading Tony Earnshaw’s contentious review of Still the Enemy Within (The Yorkshire Post, October 1) an image came unbidden into my mind: the late and much lamented columnist for The Yorkshire Post, Bernard Dineen, smiling ruefully and shaking his head.
Bernard Dineen would have recognised that this production is not so much a “documentary” as a left wing polemic, designed to inculcate the young, naive, ignorant and gullible – the internet generation of social media.
Bernard was more worldly wise. Indeed, his contemporaneous accounts of the causes and consequences of the 1984-5 miners’ strike represent a masterclass in erudite and empirical, political analyses.
They should be essential reading for all students of political history.
Mr Earnshaw asserts that the production “asks its audience to consider what Britain might have looked like had the miners won”.
Well, recorded history reveals what happened when “the miners won” in 1974: the Conservatives were defeated; and Labour capitulated – buying off the miners with a 35 per cent pay rise.!
The Left reached its zenith, and Britain descended into industrial anarchy, culminating in the ‘winter of discontent’: strike-bound railways and airports; pickets at hospital gates, turning away patients; the dead unburied and rubbish uncollected.
A “better.. happier... wealthier” Britain? Hardly. In 1979, Britain was a bankrupt nation, indebted to the IMF; bottom of the European, economic growth table; beset by hyperinflation and mass unemployment; mocked as “the sick man of Europe”.
That was Margaret Thatcher’s political inheritance. But that little lady did what all those “brave men” dare not do: she confronted and defeated the militants.
The director of Still the Enemy Within claims the film reflects the views of “ordinary people”.
But there are other “ordinary people” who were caught up in that violent, conflict whose views are ignored – like the many “ordinary people” supported Margaret Thatcher in her courageous battle to defeat the militant “enemy within”.
And those “ordinary people” recognise the debt of gratitude this nation owes to that extraordinary lady.