The Miners' Strike 1984/85

Claiming our lives

Vicki Morris reviews a major exhibition of works by Nottingham-born artist Paul Waplington.


The Paul Waplington exhibition at Nottingham Castle showed works from what the exhibition notes call “a recent but by-gone age”, the 1970s and 80s.

A Central TV documentary about Waplington, broadcast in 1984, forms part of the exhibition. In it the artist comes across as the original “Grumpy Old Man”, mourning the passing of this by-gone, almost golden, past.

A review of a major exhibition of works by Nottingham-born artist Paul Waplington.

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Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) has been established to campaign for an independent public enquiry into the policing at Orgreave coke works during the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.

The campaign focuses particularly on events of 18 June 1984, when 95 miners were arrested and later charged with riot or unlawful assembly; the former charge carrying a possible life sentence at the time. The cases were subsequently dropped, but no apology has ever been offered. Campaigners also believe an independent enquiry could reveal the truth about the policing operation at Orgreave.

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign is fighting for an independent public enquiry into policing at Orgreave coke works during the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.

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Thatcher destroyed working-class lives

Workers’ Liberty activists Karen Waddington and Jean Lane appeared on the BBC’s Big Question debate programme on Sunday 14 April, discussing Thatcher’s death.

Karen and Jean were involved in Women Against Pit Closures and other class-struggle activity during Thatcher’s government. The poet Benjamin Zephaniah also appeared on the show.


Nothing changed for me the day Thatcher died. My local authority is still suffering from cuts, and people in my village are still suffering from the devastation caused by Thatcher’s pit closures.

Workers’ Liberty activists Karen Waddington and Jean Lane appeared on the BBC’s Big Question debate programme on Sunday 14 April, discussing Thatcher’s death. Karen and Jean were involved in Women Against Pit Closures and other class-struggle activity during Thatcher’s government. The poet Benjamin Zephaniah also appeared on the show.

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Now bury Thatcherism

What we hold against Margaret Thatcher is not that she was “divisive”. We, revolutionary socialists, are “divisive” too — only we want to rally the worse-off to defeat the rich, while Thatcher rallied the rich to defeat the worse-off.

In a recent opinion poll, a clear majority (60%) thought that the taxpayer should not cover the cost of Thatcher’s funeral, and an equally clear majority, 59% to 18%, thought “Thatcher was the most divisive Prime Minister this country has had that I can remember”.

Thatcher represented the wealthy classes in an era when the mechanics of world capitalism had changed. We are still in that era.

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Thatcher: now her politics must die

If we believed in a hell, we would have no doubt Margaret Thatcher would now be in it.

Now we must send to hell, too, the politics which she represented.

Labour leader Ed Miliband declared that: “We greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength”.

With a low-key comment that he “disagreed” a bit with Thatcher, he said that she had “moved the centre ground of British politics”. That, from a Labour leadership always keen to claim that it is occupying that same “centre ground”.

Over decades up to the 1970s, mineworkers, dockers, car workers and other groups acquired some civilised conditions. Thatcher’s government smashed their unions, their industries and their communities.

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Women: the heart of the resistance

An account of the role of working-class women activists in the Miners' Strike


Click here to download article as pdf.

An account of the role of working-class women activists in the Miners' Strike

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Get that animal off me!

A lot of the press coverage of the student struggles has focused on the “violent” aspects of our actions (smashing a few windows at Millbank, a few folk going a bit nuts and kicking in a bus-stop or two, a police van getting a little battered and spray-painted, a few others bits and bobs getting broken).

The violence that the capitalist state is prepared to mete out to a group of schoolkids shows the lengths they’re prepared to go to in order to defend their politics.

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