Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Goldthorpe Former Miners Burn Effigy Of 'Thatcher The Scab

“Seen the site for Maggie’s grave? It’s OK, but I reckon the dance floor is a bit small.”

“Maggie’s funeral is the first time the 21 gun salute is fired into the grave.”

“Breaking news—the devil has been made redundant”.

I haven't said anything about the dead Margaret Thatcher simply because I hate to even utter her name.  Ron Reagan's BFF was a piece of horse dung and hopefully she is burning in a fiery hell.  Margaret Thatcher was an enemy of working people, the Irish, progressives, ordinary British folk, the enemy of human kind in general...and our cheerful commander in chief took her dancing.  

And the British ruling class turned her funeral into an expensive and outlandish piece of state finery.  Well, why not she was their lady, they owed her one.  

At the time of her funeral, CounterFire wrote:

The British ruling class is burying one of its own. Existing in a cocoon of privilege, insulated from the grim mood of alienation that pervades the lower depths of British society, the political establishment has decided to turn Thatcher’s funeral into a state pageant. The profiteers and the millionaires wish to pay homage to the class warrior who smashed the unions, destroyed manufacturing industry, privatised our public services, and screwed the poor.

At a celebration of her death in the community of Goldthorpe, Heather Hopwood, 51, the landlady of the local pub and the daughter of a mine  said, Thatcher destroyed our community. No jobs - people have no jobs. Goldthorpe used to be a thriving community."  Said Robbie Conroy, 66, a miner for more than 30 years who wore a hat with "rust in hell" written on it at the party,  "She was willing to let children starve,"

At another gathering in east Durham David Hopper, of the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) made his feelings clear in comments to the Northern Echo:

“I am vindictive. I’d have shot her,” he added, speaking in front of the club’s plastic smoking shelter at about lunchtime – after just one pint.

“I am bitter. I wish she’d died 50 years ago – or never been born.
There were many, many such gatherings and many many such stories across Britain when the "Iron Lady" died. 
Working people know their enemies and they knew Thatcher well.
“I’m having a drink to it (her death) right now,” David Hopper, regional secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in north-east England, told AFP.

“It’s a marvellous day. I’m absolutely delighted. It’s my 70th birthday today and it’s one of the best I’ve had in my life.”
In London's Trafalgar Square chants of "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, dead, dead, dead" filled the air as revelers popped bottles of champagne and danced under intermittent rain showers. 

A tongue in cheek comment at Pride's Purge brought a smile (and a tear) to this old commies face:

In a touching tribute to Margaret Thatcher, groups of former miners have decided to honour her memory by agreeing to be beaten up and falsely arrested by police in a demonstration against her legacy taking place in Trafalgar Square today.

As a mark of respect, senior police officers have jointly agreed with miners leaders to recreate the infamous 1984 Battle of Orgreave in which miners were beaten up and falsely accused of rioting and unlawful assembly in celebration of the former prime minister.

The former miners will be joining socialists, travellers, students and other anti-capitalist protesters who were regularly beaten up by the police during Lady Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister to celebrate her legacy of being baton charged and hit on the head with truncheons until they bleed.

A delegation of ex-miners from Durham are also hoping to be assaulted, unlawfully arrested and maliciously prosecuted by police in a memorable re-enaction of the infamous trial in 1987 in which police had to pay out £425,000 to them after admitting they had been stitched up.

Senior police officers have also confirmed they have agreed to honour the former prime minister by not disciplining any officers for misconduct whatever they might get up to during the demonstration.

I'm not done.  I've held this hatred inside for a long, long time.  I remember Margaret Thatcher.  I saw what she did when she did it. 

At a soccer match in Liverpool following her death fans held up a sign which read, "You didn't care when you lied, we don't care that you died."

The People's World reported:

Thatcher sent 5,000 police in to attack the 10,000 striking miners with scores of injuries resulting. "She used miners as a political springboard. She knew what she was doing and it was a horrible way to do it," Daren Vaines, a former miner, told the BBC. In coal country Thatcher is remembered as the person who took nationalized publicly controlled industries and sold them off to private bidders, tossing workers out onto the scrap heap. She branded the striking miners "the enemy within."

No wonder the bar parties last night in Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, Durham, Northumberland, Scotland, south Wales, Kent, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire!

The ex-miners in Yorkshire began celebrations early.

One of them said: "We meet in the club every Monday afternoon. We'd been putting a bit of money by for when she popped her clogs.

"One of the lads waked in, told us she was dead and tipped the money out onto the table."

Among the Yorkshire celebrants last night was Mick Appleyard, a former miner and union official. "She killed my village," he said. "Sharlston [in West Yorkshire] is now a low-wage, menial wage economy, for those who are lucky enough to find jobs. Our young people are on the streets. There's nothing for them. They turn to drugs and drink because there is nothing else."

So yeah, they, we hate that woman, always have and always will. 

David James, whose fathers worked in the mines of Wales wrote in a sadly poetic commentary at TruthDig:

There wasn’t a “state” funeral for my dad or for any other of the hundreds of thousands of courageous colliers of South Wales, and the rest of Britain, who risked everything, every single working day of their lives, in the most appalling working conditions and danger, for the sake of their families and the country, and by whose hard labor and raw courage—courage enough to face plunging down hundreds and hundreds of feet into the blackness of those subterranean hellholes every day in a “cage”—cut the very wealth, by their own hands, that funded the entire might and prosperity of industrial Britain, and won all the wealth that today funds the Tories’ own selfish inheritable privilege and advantage, as well as that of their erstwhile “British Empire,” over more than two centuries. 

 There were no TV crews from around the world in attendance, or pomp and ceremony, or glinting be-sworded regimental cavalrymen, or sickeningly fawning politicians, or kings, queens and heads of state at a Westminster Abbey for my dad’s funeral. Just a simple service and a pint or two, shared amongst loving old friends and family in a spare Welsh chapel and pub. But that man and his collier brothers were worth a thousand more than all the rich Tory bastards on earth put together.

No, there was no such memorial extravagance for either my dad, or all those countless and now historically “anonymous” and “insignificant” workers; the enemies within, who really did deserve such immoderate commemoration, as whole generations of now increasingly forgotten British coal miners and steelworkers surely did. The whole bloody lot of them.

The strength and bravery of those perfectly ordinary men and women of the British working class, summoned up day after relentless day for their whole lives, was brutally and savagely betrayed by that greedy, evil and wholly misbegotten Thatcher.

Have I said enough.  I could go on and talk about her comments that Nelson Mandella should rot in jail, her efforts with Reagan to try and kick off a nuclear war, her attacks on pensioners, the sick, the elderly, the weak and the impovrished.  Some guy named Harry Paterson adds:

The Poll Tax, riots, poverty, record unemployment, the most draconian and repressive employment legislation anywhere in the developed world, more small businesses going to the wall than at any period prior to her rule, her defence of and friendship with Chilean mass-murdering dictator General Pinochet and the ruination of the NHS to name but a few of her achievements.

And so finally, I return to Mr. James who said he just could not face the State Funeral,

No, my wife and I just couldn’t face it. We couldn’t possibly endure the nauseating injustice, perversity and crude horror of it all. We couldn’t possibly be present for such a disgustingly ugly and grotesque spectacle. So we got a plane out of there. We left the Tory-governed, Daily Mail reading, fascist outhouse that is present-day Britain for the duration. Thanks to the generosity of my good Aussie cousin and his lovely wife from Melbourne, since Monday we’ve been in a little townhouse they rented for a couple of weeks in Ronda, Spain.

That’s Ernest Hemingway’s Ronda, the beautiful little pueblo blanco in the southern mountains of Andalucia, where that great American writer, the genuine hero and true hombre valiente, once lived and loved and went to his beloved bullfights, and celebrated his last, best birthday. It’s the town where he wrote of profound human decency and courage in the face of the European-wide onslaught of mindlessly cruel Thatcher-style fascism and anti-art in the 1930s.

Ronda in Andalucia. Where during the Spanish Civil War its noble citizens threw over 400 stinking fascist pigs to a gory death, chucking them alive off the cliff into the deep and plunging ravine that bisects that little mountain town; a town that boasted a number of Welsh coal miners then in Spain to fight fascism for the Republic. I do so hope they had a big hand in the chucking off ceremony.

An excessively merciful end for this kind of subhuman filth? Perhaps. But the good people of Andalucia have always been renowned for their generosity and humanity.

No. On Wednesday, as they deliver the rank and stenching corpse of Thatcher into the moldering earth, my wife and I, and cousin and his bride, shall be in Ronda, raising a glass in celebration of the death of that monstrous woman, as shall millions of righteous people everywhere, and in celebration of the life of my dad, and of the courageous lives of coal miners everywhere, and of the life and works of Ernest Miller Hemingway too.

The following last bit of news come from some copper, no less, who saw the Queen of Evil up close and is from the establishment Daily Mirror.   His analysis is lacking, he is a cop after all,  but his comments are telling all the same.

Margaret Thatcher dead: Authoritarian ruler took us to the brink of becoming a police state

Former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester says she turned the police into a paramilitary force and put us on to a war footing


Britain has never been closer to becoming a police state than when Margaret Thatcher was in charge.

As Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester I saw at first hand how her authoritarian policies could have permanently shattered the bond of trust between the police and the people.

She turned the police into a paramilitary force and put us on to a war footing.

I met her several times during my time as a senior police officer.

She took an uncommon interest in law and order, and always acted as if she was the Home Secretary as well as the PM.

That was never more clear than during the miner’s strike in 1984 when I believe Margaret Thatcher took Britain to the brink of becoming a police state.

She decided that “her” police force was going to keep the miners and pickets under control. It was all about showing who was boss.

In 1974 changes in policing had seen the formation of huge new forces, such as Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Strathclyde.

A decade later, the Thatcher government decided to bring them together in a “mutual aid system” to deal with the miners – a nationally mobilised police force working under a central command at Scotland Yard.

And it had one of the biggest impacts on the independence of policing because it put chief constables secondary to government wishes.

We got streams of instructions from the Home Office on how the strike should be handled, cleverly covered with legal fig leaves saying things such as, “of course the Chief Constable has complete control over operational matters, but this is our advice”.

They left me staggered.

A picket inspecting a line of police officers outside the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham. June 1984
Defiant: Striking miner walking past massed ranks of police at Orgreave in 1984

One official guideline said it was “perfectly in order” for miners in Kent to be prevented from travelling to Yorkshire if they were likely to cause disorder – a 300-mile exclusion zone.

It was a form of house arrest and it happened in many places with pickets turned back at county borders.

No chief constable would have taken such measures on his own. The courts would rightly have called it nonsense.

This was a militaristic operation wrapped up in jargon to make it look like policing.

It was even based on national emergency legislation designed for wartime situations.

But to Margaret Thatcher the miners’ strike was a war.

Some chief constables began to see themselves as generals and military strategists.

I’d even heard rumours that soldiers were being dressed up in police uniforms to boost numbers.

An assistant chief constable travelled with Manchester officers wherever they were deployed, so I took him aside and asked: “Are there fifth columnists in there?”

He had no knowledge of it happening and I had to believe him.

But I don’t know for sure that it wasn’t happening in other places – that it isn’t just a myth.

I don’t want to give the impression that the police became a repressive, aggressive force intent on crushing the pickets.

There were excesses on both sides.

Leslie Bolton from 'Women Against Pit Closures' defends herself as Police mounted on horseback attack, Sheffield
Leslie Bolton from 'Women Against Pit Closures' defends herself as Police mounted on horseback 
attack, Sheffield

John Harris

There was some vicious behaviour by police officers – many of whom were responding to violent attacks on them.

I know many officers who never worked again because of the injuries they received.

Our relationship with the public had been set back a long way – and in some parts of the country, such as South Yorkshire, it still hasn’t recovered.

As police we lost a great deal. We became people to be feared, not respected.

There were stories of officers boasting about their overtime money, and sticking notes on pickets’ buses saying: “Thanks, you’ve paid for my two weeks in Majorca.”

The miners’ strike took us beyond what a police force should be.

If it had continued much longer we would have been permanently landed with a nationally-controlled police force.

We could have found ourselves living in a police state. 

I could have quit the job I loved because I knew this wasn’t the right way of doing things.

But after the strike I wanted to help build back trust in the police so that young officers didn’t think this was how it should be.


John said...

Perfectly accurate, thankyou. Those in UK who didn't live here in South Wales, or the NE / NW of England, really don't know the half of it. Thatcher destroyed mining communities, drove unemployment up instantly to figures in the 90% bracket, caused suicides and poverty the likes of which we'd never had a hint of before. No-one in the South Wales valleys will mourn her passing. And no-one will ever forget the Miners Strike. The legacy of that, too, is we will never again trust the Police.

Harry Paterson said...

Thanks for the mention. There's a lot more to her role in the strike than even we thought at the time. All covered in my book http://www.amazon.co.uk/Look-Back-Anger-Miners-Nottinghamshire/dp/1907869956/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412509813&sr=1-3&keywords=look+back+in+anger
Excuse the shameless plug.

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