Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The real reason there wont be a public inquiry into Orgreave

There was widespread consternation yesterday at the announcement by UK home secretary Amber Rudd that there wouldn't be an investigation into the events at Orgreave during the 1980s miners strike. It had been generally expected that following the inquiry into South Yorkshire police force's central role in the Hillsborough disaster an inquiry into the same police force's handling of the deeply troubling events at Orgreave would be a formality. Indeed even the current leadership of South Yorkshire police themselves were said to favour a independent public inquiry into their predecessors role at Orgreave.


However perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised by this decision. What Amber Rudd really meant when she said an independent inquiry "wouldn't be in the public interest" was that it wouldn't be in the interest of former senior Tories, like the then PM the late Margaret Thatcher and then Home Secretary Leon Brittan. As any independent inquiry into Orgreave might throw up evidence of Thatcher's role in directing the british state's response to the strike and her use of army personnel and the intelligence services in helping to defeat the miners.

In the compelling 'The Enemy Within' Guardian journalist Seamus Milne details the efforts of intelligence service agents like Roger Windsor to sabotage the NUM during the year long strike. He reports how even a retired senior CIA officer met with miners leader Arthur Scargill to warn him that british spooks had infiltrated the miners union. Former serving police officers on duty during the strike have told of  'people showing up during the strike in police uniform who clearly weren't police officers". Indeed it's entirely likely army personnel were among the massed police ranks at Orgreave - something an independent inquiry might reveal.

Senior tories know that an independent public inquiry into Orgreave would most likely shed light on Britain's 'secret state' - that murky side of the British state the British ruling class would rather us ordinary folk didn't know about. The dark side of the British state which smeared Harold Wilson and plotted to assassinate Tony Benn http://www.8bitmode.com/rogerdog/lobster/lobster11.pdf. Which colluded with and armed loyalist terrorists in the north of Ireland and which has spied on trade unionists, anti nuclear activists and Scottish and Welsh nationalists for decades - and which is most likely spying on anti fracking activists today.

http://otjc.org.uk/about/ Website of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign


  1. In truth isn't the majority of the British public still eternally grateful to Mrs Thatcher for ridding this country of militant miners and their ilk.

    This is surely the reason why we haven't had a left wing government since. And the moment Gordon Brown promised a return to 'the left' he was booted into touch.

  2. Thankyou for your comment anon but i frankly doubt the majority of the british public are 'grateful' for the low wages and job insecurity which has become the norm for millions of working people since the Thatcher government defeated the miners and emasculated the trade union movement.

  3. Well, that is a slightly different issue.

    To bring about the mass closure of mines was, to many, a magnificent achievement, if only from the standpoint of public health and safety. Mining associated diseases and ill health are now becoming issues of a by-gone era. Workers live longer, much healthier lives.

    No-one can argue with this. And no-one will. But, agreed, it did have a social cost and it still has social consequences for those that were unable or unwilling to move to find new work elsewhere.

    As for low wages and job insecurity, I do agree. But I don't agree the closure of the mines was responsible for such.