WITH regard to recent columns and letters on the Thatcher government’s handling of the Miners’ Strike and riot at Orgreave.
After the feeble Heath administration, Winter of Discontent, power cuts, litter piling up in the streets and the unions running the country, a lot of people were glad of a strong leader like Margaret Thatcher when she confronted the miners in 1984.
However, there were reasons for the strike. Mining is dangerous – accidents, injury, death, and ill health from breathing in coal dust to name a few. Abroad miners were paid more, British miners wanted wage parity.
If work conditions are intolerable and wages too low, workers have the right to withdraw their labour.
The conduct of the police throughout the Miners’ Strike was excessive, particularly at Orgreave. The police were there to catch and convict criminals, not hit strikers.
Cases brought against the miners were thrown out of court because police evidence was flawed.
Remember, the police force at Orgreave was the same police force responsible for the Hillsborough disaster and, more recently, the Rotherham sex abuse scandal.
Were the police used as an instrument of the state at Orgreave and elsewhere? We need to know.
From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.
NOW for Orgreave. It remains to be seen whether the speech by Theresa May to the Police Federation will have any political impact, apart from enhancing her claim to be Prime Minister-in-waiting should David Cameron step down after the EU referendum.
The Hillsborough inqury must be extended to Orgreave where the reputation of the police is again threatened, and where the search for both truth and justice is paramount if the families and friends are to finally have closure.
From: Dr Glyn Powell, Bakersfield Drive, Kellington, Goole.
GIVEN South Yorkshire Police’s recent failings over grooming in Rotherham and Sheffield, it is important for all controversies involving this force to be cleared up. Actions at both Hillsborough and Orgreave served to create the culture of this force, and gave it the view that it was above the law.
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
LEEDS Council leader, Judith Blake, speaks of “a 30-year vision and plan for transport in Leeds” (The Yorkshire Post, May 24). Pardon the cyncism, but does this mean another 30 years on top of the 50-odd already endured, before the city escapes the declining mediocrity of all-bus public transport?
Success for your ‘Transport Summit’ councillor; but is this destined to be yet another – albeit high-flying – protracted talking shop which ends up merely tugging the forelock to Westminster when it comes to funding? The 2005, duplicitous, last-minute denial of funding for the modest three-line tram plan was compounded by the craven acquiescence of the city’s councillors and MPs.
It was an historic Labour-controlled council which condemned Leeds to the present choking mess. Dare we hope that the present one will try to atone by getting both a move on, and spades in the ground within two years?
From: D Webb, Rothwell.
YOU asked during the recent England versus Sri Lanka match at Headingley whether Test cricket should return to terrestrial television?
Test cricket is on Channel 5, albeit in highlights form. Long gone are the days when schoolboys ran home from school to watch the last few hours of the day’s play on the BBC and then went out and played the game until the sun went down.
Cricket, football and most of all rugby league have sold their souls to Sky Sports.
At the end of the day, money talks. The children of today would be better off playing more sport than watching it on TV, but it seems they are victims of new technology in more ways than one.
I wonder what damage mobile phones will have done to their brains in 20 to 30 years’ time.
From: Ken Barley, Langthorpe, Boroughbridge.
THE recent lovely photographs of gannets at Bempton bring back memories.
Whilst at school at Scarborough, I was taken to Bempton in about 1950. In those days these were known to be nine gannets!
Then there were the “climmers” who went down on a rope to collect gulls eggs for sale, who would for two shillings bring you a fulman’s egg back. One crawled as far as one dare to see the nests on the cliffs. No health and safety – all changed now.
From: Neil Richardson, Kirkheaton.
YORKSHIRE Bank’s David Duffy (The Yorkshire Post, May 25) broadcasts that his team has a focus on ‘driving a customer-centric culture, a customer first culture’. Does this translate into good news for both egocentric adults and also the listless few at the back of the queue?