Diary

Michael Stewart

The arguments about the miners’ strike will go on for a long time yet, as is evident from Richard Hyman’s piece on another page. My own view remains essentially what it was when I wrote what turned out to be a controversial article last summer (LRB, 6 September 1984). Mr Scargill’s demand that no pit be closed except on grounds of exhaustion was economic nonsense; his attempt to achieve his aims by extra-Parliamentary means which included violence and intimidation had to be defeated; but the support he enjoyed inside and outside the mining communities was an understandable reaction to a government indifferent to high unemployment and worsening poverty, and determined to ram highly contentious policies through Parliament despite the paucity of its electoral support. This reading still seems to me to be correct.

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