Friday, 24 September 2010

The Coalition: Return of Maggie Thatcher? by Laurens Otter

The argument here owes something to the proposition put forward by former miner Dave Douglass in the 3rd volume of his autobiography entitled 'GHOST DANCERS': price £12.95, published by Christie Books PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1ZS'. Dave Douglass was a branch official in the NUM and a member of its Yorkshire Executive during the miners strike of 1984/5 and his book will be reviewed in Northern Voices 12; out next month.

There are obvious resemblances between the present Coalition Government and the Thatcher era; perhaps most relevant is that:

Thatcher came to power with what, some leftists then suspected, and now, in retrospect and after some government admissions, all agree was a preplanned scheme to provoke a showdown with the miners. They would be forced either to strike at a time of the government's choosing – when large stocks of fuel had been stockpiled and a press and Public Relations scheme had already prepared the ground – or alternatively, to suffer salami-slicing to reduce not only their pay and conditions, but also their future action.

Cameron has come to power and appears to be goading what remains of an active trade union movement in much the same way, with the same intent, and the fact that Liberals have agreed to join him in the Coalition does not contradict this, nor will it necessarily impede such a strategy and throughout he wishes to rub their faces in the shit by making them support a variety of right-wing policies, in the knowledge that they dare not break the alliance and go into opposition.

Thatcher was elected at a time when a number of articulate liberal middle class intellectuals were campaigning against nuclear power and were sympathetic to the miners; had they continued their activity, their testimony about the evils of nuclear power might well have been enough to sway the struggle in the miners favour. They didn't because in the year prior to the strike there were a significant number of curious deaths in such circles.

These were sufficiently worthy of suspicion as to cause those who took an interest in such matters to think they have been state murders, but not so far that there was any certainty, so that the Governmental party and venal press could dismiss the suspicions as mere conspiracy theory. It seems fair to expect a similar series of unexplained deaths.

No comments: