Letters - November 7, 2016

ORGREAVEHow can PM show this is no cover-up?When Amber Rudd met with the Orgreave campaigners, she gave them hope that the Government would launch another inquiry into the violence used by police against the striking miners in 1984, following an independent inquiry that finally reached justice for victims of Hillsborough earlier this year.

Monday, 7th November 2016, 9:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:39 pm
Police officers at Orgreave during the miners' strike of 1984-85

The inquiry would hopefully put an end to the families’ struggle to uncover the truth of the allegations of police misconduct. Mounted police armed with truncheons, ran through the miners’ ranks and many suffered injury.

The announcement was met with shock and anger when the Home Secretary surprised parliament announcing there was “not sufficient basis” for a new probe. We can draw parallels with Hillsborough, when the same police force was involved in cover-ups.

We know that there were differences, however, with the way Thatcher managed police forces during the miners’ strike as they were given increased pay and encouraged to see miners as “the enemy”.

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While the shadow cabinet condemned the decision, it was a bad day for Theresa May who has stated she wants to govern for all communities in Britain. How then can she show her government are not engaged in a cover- up?

While Rudd denies justice now, the truth must be released, within an independent review. Until then, neither the Orgreave campaigners nor the British public will see justice done!

Marjorie Nye

Knowle Avenue



I will never forget pain of the strike

The Tories are continuing to refuse an inquiry into the policing of the Orgreave picket during the 1984 -5 Miners’ Strike, where 95 miners were charge with riot and unlawful assembly. If found guilty, such charges carried the possibility of life imprisonment. The case against the 95 collapse due to the police falsification of evidence.

Coming from a South Yorkshire mining community, and living there throughout the year-long strike, I feel that my community has been cheated of justice. After Orgreave, 10,000 police from around the country were based permanently in the South Yorkshire coalfield, which resulted in an escalation of violence as our pit villages were “locked down” by what felt like an occupying army. Any future demands for an inquiry should go much further than Orgreave – the policing of the strike as a whole should be examined.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission already has evidence of officers committing assault and perjury. Yet it refused to investigate. The Home Secretary’s refusal to launch a public inquiry when such evidence exists can only be described as a cover-up. We need to ask ourselves what is it they are trying to hide.

Would it show that, far from being neutral, the police were used for political ends? Would it expose how the strike was micromanaged by Margaret Thatcher? Was the manipulation of evidence an institutionalised practice in South Yorkshire Police?

Too many falsehoods in relation to the strike are still peddled by the Establishment, tabloid newspapers and Tory politicians. They try and paint a distorted picture of the miners and the dispute.

It was a noble strike with the miners only guilty of two things: fighting for a job and the future of their communities. For that they came up against the might of the British state. I was 26 at the time and till the day I die I will never forget and I’ll never forgive. The campaign for justice will continue.

Mick Mulcahy

via email


Rise above the noise of the Brexit row

Today the Daily Mail has photographs of the three high court judges on its front page with the headline “Enemies of the People”.

In my opinion it is the Daily Mail who act more like enemies of the people.

Throughout the referendum campaign they promoted the lies of the Brexiteers knowing them to be wrong in order to persuade people to vote leave.

They did not tell their readers that they would be worse off as the basic costs of living – food, petrol,heating etc –would rise as a direct result of Brexit.

The people voted to leave by 52 per cent to 48 per cent and this has to be carried out.

However, the terms upon which we exit are vitally important.

The decisions on these terms are too important to be left to a few individuals in the government, behind closed doors, ignoring our elected parliament.

This decision by the judges will force the government to bring forward their plans to parliament as to how they intend to negotiate Brexit.

MPs need to join in this debate. They need to rise above party interests, listen to their constituents and make sure the government acts in the best interests of the UK as a whole.

Mike Turner

via email


Don’t let your phone take hold of your life

In the last few days alone, we’ve seen three major stories about mobile devices and their potential to distract us. None of us are immune to distraction, and as technology continues to proliferate our lives we can only expect it to take a greater hold. Research out this week to coincide with our second Accident Awareness Week puts the issue in stark relief. Almost half of UK adults admit they have put themselves in danger because they’ve been distracted whilst walking or driving.

Technology itself is not the danger. It’s the hold many allow it to have when we should be utterly focused on a different task.

If protecting our own safety isn’t enough to convince us, the stories we’ve seen this week should serve as a reminder of the devastating impact one moment’s distraction can have on those around us.

Simon Trott

Managing Director, National Accident Helpline