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(64 Posts)
BMW6 Wed 17-Apr-13 23:50:58

Arthur Scargill loses battle to have union meet costs of London flat

Whatever happened to him?

Toadinthehole Thu 18-Apr-13 19:33:05

As I understand it, Scargill should have ballotted the entire NUM before calling a strike. He actually prevented this even being debated. He knew that he wasn't going to win this ballot, so instead he arranged for individual regions to declare strikes and force anti-strike regions into line (and as we all know, force manifested itself in varying ways).

It is hardly relevant to say that had a ballot been held later, he would won it. It is hypothesis. Also, it would only have been a recognition that the success of his tactics, not a properly democratic outcome, as the High Court recognised when it adjudged the strike illegal.

grovel Thu 18-Apr-13 19:56:28

Loved reading that Scargill judgment above. Beautifully drafted by the judge (whether he was right or wrong).

alcibiades Thu 18-Apr-13 20:49:47

I remember the miners' strikes, and wondering how it could be that so many families suffered because they couldn't get any financial assistance from the state, nor, it seemed, much in the way of help from the Union itself. Calling a strike within the rules would have prevented most of that suffering, but presumably Scargill wasn't focussed on that. And presumably he wasn't living from week to week as many mining families were.

And as for him calling a strike when the coal supplies at the power stations had been deliberately stockpiled to very high levels - that wasn't a particularly rational way of advancing the cause.

The graph in the article you linked to, niceguy, is interesting when comparing the decrease in output versus the decrease in manpower. I've got a vague memory of the Coal Board wanting to increase efficiency but that would mean changes to standard practice which the unions opposed - but I could be wrong about that.

grovel - lately, for other reasons, I've been reading various judgments. I don't always understand the technical details, but the impression I've gained is that judges are very, very careful in what they say and write. Not just because of a possible appeal, but because that judgment could form part of case law, which is a very important part of the justice system.

grovel Thu 18-Apr-13 22:32:03

alcibiades, true. I note that the judge in the Scargill case was promoted last week to the Court of Appeal and is now Lord Justice Underhill.

Yellowtip Thu 18-Apr-13 22:43:04

Nina I was once in the High Court as a very, very junior trainee solicitor with the solicitor who was representing Scargill, and that is a boast smile

The most memorable thing about the hearing was that the opposing side was led by an Old Etonian who very obviously nodded and winked at the judge who happened to have been in the same house at Eton.

The judge still decided for Scargill though, all credit smile (I didn't understand the application at the time, so no chance of explaining it now).

M0naLisa Thu 18-Apr-13 22:44:35

I thought he caused more mayhem them thatcher ever did. He was the main thinking behind her apparently

ShellyBoobs Thu 18-Apr-13 23:05:56

Scargill is a despicable, obnoxious, self-serving cunt.

Thatcher might have had policies which rode roughshod over the small close-knit communities around where I grew up but Scargill provided all the ammunition needed to get enough backing for it.

It's amazing how many modern lefties seem to think that Scargill was a positive thing for the mining communities when those who were there at the time certainly don't think so.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 18-Apr-13 23:18:41

"There should have been a ballot, but by May 1985 the majority of miners were on strike, and there can be little doubt that a ballot would have had an overwhelming endorsement."

Bollox. grin

grovel Fri 19-Apr-13 00:15:54

Yellowtip, the only institution I really believe in is the senior judiciary. Over and over again they tell the politicos that they will apply the law as decided by Parliament. They won't make perverse decisions to "suit" the government of the day. When I see a terrorist not deported, I'm infuriated but then thank God we've got judges who tell the government to "do it properly by your own rules". The alternative is unthinkable....

EldritchCleavage Fri 19-Apr-13 11:14:14

It cost £44 to mine a tonne of UK coal but you could buy it on the open market for £32. The socialist answer? Stop companies from buying foreign coal! WTF!?!

Not saying stopping coal imports was a viable answer, but I think it important to remember that the coal price was not teh only relevant cost. The social cost of dismantling the industry was massive , and ought to have been taken into account.

In the same way that Scargill simply ignored the economic costs of the coal industry as part of his political strategy, I consider Thatcher and the Tories ignored the very real and important social costs of mass de-industrialisation as part of theirs.

But you know, we the public have to acknowledge that we played a role in the political polarisation that Thatcher and Scargill embodied, helped along by a preference for simplistic ideology over realism, pragmatism and social justice. Not much has changed on that score, sadly.

EldritchCleavage Fri 19-Apr-13 11:15:28

Grovel, seek out the judgments of Millet J-there are some humdingers, principally his demolition of Kevin Maxwell, and of Steven Berkoff in his libel action against Julie Burchill.

Bosgrove Fri 19-Apr-13 11:26:40

I was too young to really understand what was happening during the miners strike, but I am a coal miners granddaughter, and my Granddad hated what Scargill was doing to the miners.

niceguy2 Fri 19-Apr-13 11:29:43

Not saying stopping coal imports was a viable answer, but I think it important to remember that the coal price was not teh only relevant cost. The social cost of dismantling the industry was massive , and ought to have been taken into account.

Why wasn't it viable? I mean as a nation we were using coal less & less anyway. Why not import it? We import our most of our oil & gas. Why was coal any different?

As for social costs, there of course was a large cost. A cost the government would have had to bear and did do so after they'd 'won' the miners strike and started to slowly close the mines. Redundancy pay, retraining costs, welfare benefits. There was also investments in the more deprived areas.

All the strike did was cause a lot of pain for the miners. And it seems unnecessarily so too. All so Scargill could go toe to toe with Thatcher.

EldritchCleavage Fri 19-Apr-13 12:55:58

Sorry niceguy, mangled syntax.

I meant I' m not saying that stopping coal imports was a viable or the only viable answer, i.e. I'm not agreeing with Scargill that coal imports should have been stopped.

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