30 January 2014
Labour is asking the government to issue an apology on behalf of Margret Thatcher’s administration during the 1984-85 miners’ strike.
The call for an apology came after recently released Whitehall papers showed that the Thatcher government had determined- regardless of industrial or economic cost, to close 75 pits at the time.
The papers were released on account of the 30-year rule, and revealed shocking information that Thatcher had considered sending out troops during the miners’ strike.
Michael Dugher who is the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister will ask the Cabinet Minister, Francis Maude to deliver the apology in the House of Commons.
However the Tories do not seem to be at all willing to make an apology. Lord Tebbit, the Trade and Industry Secretary during the strike, described the call for an apology as just as ‘absurd’ as asking for an apology for ‘freeing the Falkland Islands’. He went on to say that Ed Miliband was pressing the matter purely to gain money from Unite.
Michael Dugher, who is launching a Justice for the Coalfields campaign, said to the Guardian,
“For those of us who lived through the strike and who saw the events and impact they had firsthand, what was revealed in the cabinet papers may not come as a surprise. But it is no less shocking to consider that, far from being neutral as was claimed at the time, it is clear that the government took a deliberately calculated political approach guided by a complete hostility to the coalfield communities.
“That is why I am calling for justice for the coalfields. Ministers may want to sweep these events under the carpet, but the scars of the dispute and the subsequent closure programme remain on the memories, communities and landscapes of all coalfield communities. They must now apologise and deliver transparency to begin to foster reconciliation with the coalfield communities.”