From: Chris Skidmore, Yorkshire Area NUM Chairman, Huddersfield Road, Barnsley.
WHILE acknowledging that everyone who pens a letter to The Editor is entitled to their own opinion, it is becoming somewhat tedious when that right is being abused. I don’t suppose for one minute that Ron Firth, Hilary Andrews or Bob Simons (who have expressed their misguided opinions) were actually present at Orgreave on June 18, 1984.
As a former mineworker who did more than his fair share of picketing and was present at Orgreave on the day in question, I find it distasteful that they use phrases like “assorted hangers on”, “rent a mob” etc. Probably because they were not present, they are indifferent as to whether the Armed Forces supplemented the assembled ranks of police or not.
South Yorkshire’s chief constable at the time, Peter Wright, is no longer with us to question re-his statement given on July 17, 1984, on BBC Radio 4 that “truncheons were only drawn in extreme self-defence”.
Surely a public inquiry would decide if this was merited? A public inquiry works both ways and would surely assist this to happen.