The Miners' Strike 1984/85

The lessons of the 1984-5 miners' strike

This a welcome re-issue of a booklet published shortly after the miners’ strike by Socialist Organiser (a forerunner of Workers' Liberty). Alongside the original articles and illustrations there are updates and a new introduction.

A review of Class Against Class: The Miners’ Strike 1984-5, edited by Sean Matgamna.

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Miliband calls for a “proper” Orgreave investigation

Ed Miliband has called for a “proper investigation” into police conduct during the bloody confrontation at Orgreave during the 1984-85 miners' strike.

Ed Miliband has called for a “proper investigation” into police conduct during the bloody confrontation at Orgreave during the 1984-85 miners' strike.

The 'Battle of Orgreave' saw thousands of police violently confront picketing miners in South Yorkshire, leading to many injuries. Almost a hundred pickets were then arrested and charged with riot, unlawful assembly and other offences. However, when the cases came to trial, all collapsed and were dropped, undermined by fabricated or non-existent evidence.

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Working-class history at Ideas for Freedom

The AWL believes that socialist organisations must be the “memory of the working class”. A big part of our job is to preserve, rediscover, discuss and spread the lessons and inspiration of past struggles, victorious and defeated.

Our annual event, Ideas for Freedom (3-6 July), will include many discussions on working-class history, with a focus on the First World War and the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike.

Our annual event, Ideas for Freedom (3-6 July), will include many discussions on working-class history, with a focus on the First World War and the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike.

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Which side are you on?

Look Back in Anger by Harry Paterson is published by Five Leaves, Nottingham. It describes the events of the 1984-5 miners' strike in Nottinghamshire, one of the areas where many, though not all, miners scabbed.

A review of Look Back in Anger by Harry Paterson, about how the national 1984-5 miners' strike played out in Nottinghamshire.

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The left in the miners' strike

This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the great miners' strike. A new book by Workers’ Liberty, out this week, tells the story of how working-class communities fought a Tory ruling-class government. But how did the left conduct itself?

The Labour Party, led then by the former "soft left" Neil Kinnock, refused to indict the government and brand its activities for the vicious class war they were.

This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the great miners' strike. A new book by Workers’ Liberty, out this week, tells the story of how working-class communities fought a Tory ruling-class government.

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Could the miners have won in 1984-85?

The beginning of this month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the great miners’ strike. This article, by Sean Matgamna, written in 1992, at a time when the Tories were pushing through many pit closures, discusses the lessons of the heroic miners’ fight, and the effects of their defeat.


It is a famous picture, the one of Arthur Scargill being arrested at the “Battle of Orgreave”, on 30 May 1984, where miners fought a long battle with troops of police and with police cavalry at a coke depot outside Sheffield. It was one of the turning points of the 1984-85 miners’ strike.

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the beginning of the miners’ strike.

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Year of the Heroic Scab: The Miners' Strike 1984-'85

The typical hero of Mrs Thatcher's brave new Britain during the 1985-85 miners' strike was the scab.

"By their heroes ye shall know them... for in the individuals whom they exalt and glorify and hold up to the youth as example every class and every movement unfailingly reveals its standards of worth, its morality, its very soul."

"Thus the communist workers of Germany glorified the name of the courageous and incorruptible Liebknecht who sacrificed his life in battle for a great cause. The degenerate Nazis countered with the dedication of their official hymn to Horst Wessel the pimp who was killed in a brawl...

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The Scab as Hero: The Miners Strike, 1984-5

"BY THEIR heroes ye shall know them... for in the individuals whom they exalt and glorify and hold up to the youth as example every class and every movement unfailingly reveals its standards of worth, its morality, its very soul.

Thus, the communist workers of Germany glorified the name of the courageous and incorruptible Liebknecht who sacrificed his life in battle for a great cause. The degenerate Nazis countered with the dedication of their official hymn to Horst Wessel the pimp who was killed in a brawl...

The typical hero of Mrs Thatcher's brave new Britain during the 1985-5 miners' strike was the scab.

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The Year of the Heroic Scab: The Miners Strike, 1984-5

"BY THEIR heroes ye shall know them... for in the individuals whom they exalt and glorify and hold up to the youth as example every class and every movement unfailingly reveals its standards of worth, its morality, its very soul.

Thus, the communist workers of Germany glorified the name of the courageous and incorruptible Liebknecht who sacrificed his life in battle for a great cause. The degenerate Nazis countered with the dedication of their official hymn to Horst Wessel the pimp who was killed in a brawl...

The typical hero of Mrs Thatcher's brave new Britain during the 1985-5 miners' strike was the scab.

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