Mar. 5th, 2009

inbhirnis: (Default)
The BBC is just going out of its way to make me feel like an old fart... Interesting that they picked all black and white pics, making it look as if this all happened a VERY long time ago.

Here's a fascinating montage of images and music of a very tense time in the UK. Time for a trip to iTunes to get some of those songs, I think..

Plans by Mrs. Thatcher's Conservative government to close large numbers of pits resulted in clashes between miners' unions, those who were recruited to cross picket lines, and the police, which lasted for a year.

It was a brutal clash. With the benefit of 25 years of hindsight, it's easy to see that with coal reserves declining, the industry in Britain needed drastic reorganization, but as usual, Thatcher used a mallet when a scalpel and some empathy would have been better. A decent plan for retraining and promotion of new industries for these areas that were utterly dependent on coal would at least have shown the government was not ignoring their plight. But, trimming union power was also part of the agenda, so the mood for compromise was slight. And, Arthur Scargill, leader of the miners' union, was no angel - he used this as a way to gain national prominence and an attempt to push the Labour Party further into the control of labour unions.

The losers, of course, were the workers and those communities that depended on the industry. Well-paying jobs gone, unemployment through the roof - it would be good if the Beeb followed this up with a trip to some of the villages and towns to show what has happened in the last 25 years.

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