Monday letters: Hooligans took part in pit disorder

Should there be a new inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave?Should there be a new inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave?
Should there be a new inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave?
From: R M Weavill, Scholes, Cleckheaton.

RE Orgreave, readers would have you believe the violence only began after the police on horseback charged into the miners. Utter drivel.

Police officers were subjected to a constant barrage of missiles from ‘miners’ for quite some time before horses were deployed.

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Those involved in the deliberate targeting of police officers and horses had been about as near a pit face as I had; they were professional agitators. Had those horses not been deployed, far more officers would have been seriously injured or killed.

During that dreadful period of the strike I, like most of my colleagues, was spat upon, kicked, punched and subjected to every insult known; these were not the actions of the genuine miners who, rightly or wrongly, felt they had a grievance but the actions of professional hooligans.

During that strike I arrested around six or seven people, not at Orgreave as it happens but at other pits. Guess what? Not one of them was a miner!

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

I HOPE that the Home Secretary does not re-consider her decision to rule out a public inquiry into Orgreave. It is time to put this whole matter to bed.

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It was also disappointing to see a certain level of biased reporting (The Yorkshire Post, November 1). A number of high-profile people were in agreement with the Home Secretary that an inquiry is not justified, but they got little mention in the paper.

From: S Ellis, Rotherham.

REGARDING the miners’ strike and the Battle of Orgreave. If Margaret Thatcher and her government, with help from the ‘boys in blue’, were so squeaky clean and innocent, there would have been an inquiry years ago.

Don’t dismiss grammars

From: Peter Fleming, Leeds.

HAVING read the article (The Yorkshire Post, November 9) on the Parliamentary Education Select Committee hearing regarding grammar schools, it strikes me that this is yet another example of the political and academic elite being completely out of touch with what the majority of people actually feel and want.

I was grammar school educated. I came from a working class, council house background, and was reasonably academically inclined. I went to West Leeds High School and was streamed into a university education, had a career as an engineer, and all in all a good working life. My siblings, who are just as intelligent as me, but were not particularly academically inclined, went to Intake School, received good educations, went into good jobs and are at least as happy as myself. Grammar school education was a massive engine of social mobility for me, and still could be for others if properly implemented.

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I see the problem these days with better-off parents paying for private tutoring, but we need to find a way of maintaining access to less privileged children to the grammar school system.

Lisa Nandy states that grammar schools will “pit children against one another”, and “every school should be a good school”. This is typical of the PC nonsense that ruined our education system.

Politicians and academics need to get real, life is competitive, our education system should at least give our children some appreciation of this, and give children with academic ability from poorer backgrounds, the chance to excel. Don’t dismiss grammar schools on the ground that they are elitist; they are in fact just the opposite, subject to proper controls.

Scrap the pay cap for nurses

From: Anne Kennedy, Chair, Royal College of Nursing, Yorkshire and the Humber Board.

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NURSES across Yorkshire and the Humber are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to scrap the one per cent pay cap when he delivers his Autumn Statement on November 23.

The cap has meant that some nurses have seen their pay fall by up to 14 per cent in real terms since 2010. In Yorkshire and the Humber, some NHS Trusts are facing a recruitment crisis which could mean trusts will soon lack the staff needed to provide safe patient care.

Nurses are telling us they struggle to cope on their current pay levels and feel undervalued, which leads to low morale and staff leaving the profession for good. Unless the Chancellor takes urgent steps to ensure nursing pay reflects the complexity and value of the role, the nursing profession is being led into crisis.

Members of the RCN are calling for a fair deal by asking for an above-inflation pay increase and return to UK-wide pay rate in the NHS.

Check up on insulation work

From: Trev Bromby, Hull.

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HAVE you had your loft insulated to guard against the coming winter, and hopefully cut your power bills? Before you answer ‘yes’ get a qualified agent to check the job has been done to regulated standards.

A friend of mine, who used to do loft insulations, had cause to go into his loft (TV aerial trouble) only to discover the job half-done – but in such a way that to a casual glance it looked complete.

Whether the insulator was lazy, inept or dishonest matters not; the main contractor was appalled, offered a full apology and sent a competent insulator to rectify the botched job. But how many are not detected? So, before you answer an unqualified ‘yes’, get the work checked.