Top cop says "Thatcher pushed towards police state in miners' strike"

Submitted by martin on 10 April, 2013 - 6:35

John Stalker, former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, wrote in the Daily Mirror of 14 April that "Britain has never been closer to becoming a police state than when Margaret Thatcher was in charge".

Stalker writes:

"She turned the police into a paramilitary force and put us on to a war footing...

"That was never more clear than during the miners' strike in 1984 when I believe Margaret Thatcher took Britain to the brink of becoming a police state.

"She decided that 'her' police force was going to keep the miners and pickets under control. It was all about showing who was boss...

"The Thatcher government decided to bring [police forces] together in a 'mutual aid system' to deal with the miners – a nationally mobilised police force working under a central command at Scotland Yard...

"One official guideline said it was “perfectly in order” for miners in Kent to be prevented from travelling to Yorkshire if they were likely to cause disorder – a 300-mile exclusion zone.

"It was a form of house arrest and it happened in many places with pickets turned back at county borders...

"This was a militaristic operation wrapped up in jargon to make it look like policing... But to Margaret Thatcher the miners' strike was a war".


Submitted by AWL on Mon, 22/04/2013 - 15:25

The Sun's very right-wing political writer Trevor Kavanagh has, in his own way, confirmed Stalker's picture.

Kavanagh, for his own reasons, puts the blame on the Leveson Inquiry and the complaints made against abuse by the Murdoch press. But his picture of the police is that they are "becoming a law unto themselves".

"The police are leading the charge.

"Last week, three civilians were arrested over stories that a Police Crime Commissioner charged £700 for chauffeured cars despite being handed a new £23,000 Hyundai.

"You might think this information was in the public interest. No, they risk prison for misconduct in a public office in two cases and 'perverting the course of justice' in one...

"Britain set an example to the world by establishing a force which polices by consent. By definition, a wall of secrecy removes that consent...

"It is now common for suspects — innocent and guilty — to be held in absolute secrecy while their personal lives and careers are in limbo indefinitely.

"Dozens of decent journalists who have been left to swing in the wind, uncharged for more than a year, know exactly how this feels.

"Police are playing a dangerous game. The name of the game is justice and freedom. The danger is that police are becoming a law unto themselves.

"Chief constables have shut down normal channels and begun reacting with hostility to legitimate inquiries".

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