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Maggie/915

Margaret Thatcher

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Thought we had to embrace "foreigners" or be demonised as racist! :D

Just give the kids a balanced view, and let them use their own brains. You don't need to go very far (over the Irish Sea) to see what happens if you force the next generation to own your myopic view of the past.

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Come on GGG; I'm sure Thatch didn't forsee the ownership of her 'brave new world' being overseas. As you know the majority of so-called British firms are owned by foreign entities ... just look at power generation & distrubution, telecoms, finance, and on and on and on. I know it's all a result of 'globalisation' and how the 'market is king', but it does stick in the craw a bit.

I'm completely with you on presenting a balance of views so that folks (+ youngsters) can make their own minds up. I'd defend to the end the right of those crutch-leaning, narrow-eyed evangelical religious types to go about their proselytising in peace ... but those opposed to their mistaken ways must be allowed to mock. Ditto with politics, footy, history, etc.

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It would bug me if we didn't own great chunks of overseas stuff too. Amazing what British firms still own in the States - the late Lords Hanson & White showed them how to do it over and over again. Half the world's aircraft fly on RR; City of London, and we punch well above our weight in many areas. Only reason the French dominate European nuclear and we have to buy their power is that we let them, and having decided on 5 or 6 new (French built) nukes we are still dithering!

What sticks in my craw is the slow steady march to a European super state by yesterday's men with last-century ideas - the Fourth Reich by the back door! Think she saw that one coming! :)

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Maggie Thatcher is generally despised in the North East mainly because of what she did to the mining industry.

So exactly what effect did she have on the coal mining industry in Northumberland?

When I started work in the mines in the late 1950's there were 63 collieries in Northumberland as can be seen from the attached list that is taken from a National Coal Board plan drawn up in 1957. A few of these may already have been closed at the time the plan was drawn up but we can be sure that there were in excess of 50 operating mines in 1957.

When Maggie's party won the elections in 1979, the only collieries still working were Whittle Drift, Lynemouth, Ellington, Woodhorn, Ashington, Bates and Brenkley Drift.

When she left office in 1990, Ellington and Whittle were the only two collieries still operating.

So, according to my calculations, during the 11 years that Maggie was PM only 5 collieries were closed.

It was her predecessors that were mainly resposible for the destruction of the industry, not Maggie, and almost all of the mines around Bedlington were closed under the Labour government of Harold Wilson.

The coal mining industry in Northumberland had to come to an end sometime and what hapened was inevitable. The tragedy is that not one government, Labour or Conservative, in the last 55 years made any real effort to establish new industries to replace the jobs lost by the closure of the collieries in Northumberland.

attachicon.gifNORTHUMBERLAND COLLIERIES 1957.doc

James,yes,the small pits were closed by the labour government,in the 1950's-through to the 'sixties,but only because they were scratching around for coal,exhausted of productive coal seams.

If you worked in the mines,then you should have been familiar with the.."PLAN FOR COAL",which was drawn up,for the future of the industry.

The plan was to create "Superpits",like the Selby project,where many underground mines would feed their coal over miles of conveyor belts,to a central drift conveyor belt,[massive!]which would bring the combined production straight to the surface.

I still have my original copies of "The Coal News",which was the coal industry promotional free press to every mine.

These plans were laid out in detail,and were going to cost billions of pounds,with the promise to the miners of a very long prosperous future,with wages and conditions which would be the envy of all other industries........

What a laugh!

They brought in a bonus scheme which,at one pit,like Ellington,miners were very well paid,because of high coal seams,massive investment in machinery,and excellent working conditions..[by our standards...still bad compared to surface industries!]

At Bates pit,in the Three-quarter seam,conditions were atrociously inhuman,seawater coming in everywhere,bad roof breaking up,so we couldn't get the same amount of coal,therefore little or no bonus at all.

The canteen ladies worked hard,in hot conditions,[that is,when the canteen wasn't under four feet of sewage water

when strong east winds and heavy rain caused flooding all over Blyth!],but they were on the Area bonus,which meant that they usually had more bonus than us men on the coal faces and development works,risking our lives every day.

When we finally drove new roadways to open out reserves of over a hundred million tons of clean,low-sulpher,coal,in 1985-6,thatcher ordered the cage ropes to be cut..pit closed...just like THAT!

The trouble with a debate like this,is that people who know nothing about mining history,how our ancestors were treated by the greedy coal-owners,[how WE were treated by greedy millionaire politicians],[about WHY unions were formed],try to demonise the miners.

[i fell into the same trap a week or two back,spouted off about the council,I was wrong,and apologised for my ignorance,to Malcolm,and Adam,when I should have held my trap shut,until I knew the facts!]

It takes a man to stand up and say "sorry"!

Scargill was accused of not "having a poll"......was I dreaming that I put my cross on the strike voting paper,at Bates pit?

Oh,I forgot.....it was a pit to pit ballot.....someone wanted a National ballot,WHY?,were we a set of dumb nuts?,we already made our feelings clear for strike action,to save our pits,nowt to do wi money.

It was a ploy to delay strike action,by all this talk of "illegal ballots".

History now,as Maggie says,let's have a democratic debate,where we can discuss it,with no personal derogatory comments to each other,but the fact is,thatcher did more harm than good,destroying hundreds of communities all over our nation.

She was cruel to kids,by taking the free milk out of their mouths to save coppers....that was before she became p.m.

It's now nearly 1-30am,and I am gonna pile some z's up,now,cos i'm getting wound up just thinking back to the hardship we had in 1984......

....it's not good for the old ticker!!!...and certainly not worth it!!

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Ah, how soon they forget!

 

In August, two miners from Manton, who protested that the strike was not 'official' without a ballot, took the NUM to court. In September the High Court ruled that the NUM had breached its own constitution by calling a strike without first holding a ballot.

 

No mention there that Scargill had already brought down the Heath government, had failed in his attempt to cause another national strike - this was his third attempt!  Scargill wasn't at all interested in mine closures, else he'd have backed NACODS who insisted on doing underground maintenance to ensure that the pits weren't lost.  They very sensibly argued that if they were prevented from doing their work then there was no point in protesting the closures, as the strike would bring about the very thing that Scargill was pretending to oppose.  This didn't matter to Arthur; he wanted the next chapter of his Marxist revolution, at whatever cost!

 

No one is trying to "demonise the miners" - demonisation is a socialist thing, a substitute for broadly based fact, and proper analysis.  History is history, but it has to be set in historical context, and in the values of its day.  That's a thing sadly lacking from socialist rhetoric. The game is to apply modern "enlightened" value to the past.  If it were possible to wind the clock way back you'd find that there was fairly broad agreement on how things should and would change.  There would be a few extremists on both sides, but the them-and-us thing has been manufactured to suit agendas.

 

No one is disputing that the miners worked hard and that the conditions could and should have been much better, but by the standards of the day they were well paid.  Hard economics caught up with that - nothing else!  The wages, industral disruption, and social unrest caused by Scargill outran the use of the coal resource to the country.  Something had to give!  Many miners foresaw this, but local ones were misled and didn't. That's not their fault, but it is nervelessness lamentable. Fact is that we'd be in more or less the same state without the strike, as we now are after having suffered it. Others here have already pointed out the economic fundamentals.  What is left is a badly misplaced sense of grievance. Passing that on to future generations helps no one.  Yes, it's fine to recall the past in all its detail, but don't force future generations to re-live just one version of it!

 

And... please don't bring up that lame Thatcher, Milk Snatcher nonsense.  At every school I went to most of the milk went down the drain because kids wouldn't touch it!  When originally introduced it was a vital measure to ensure children's health.  And, surprise, free milk was introduced by Lord Butler in the Education Act of 1944 - a Tory minister in a Tory led government!

 

In 1968 Harold Wilson's Labour government withdrew free milk from secondary schools. In 1971 Margaret Thatcher (then Secretary of State for Education) withdrew free school milk from children over seven,

 

Wartime rationing had long ended, but even in 1971 there was still some marginal benefit in giving it to under 7's, so she did!  MT was a scientist, and carefully considered all the scientific and economic advice she was given.

 

No blame on Harold though, he did the right thing to protect national resources.  But, Labour conveniently fail to mention their major part in ending free milk, and hope their supporters are as dumb as they believe.  They then magnify MT's part out of all proportion.  This suits their agenda of demonising her to their supporters (who they actually despise), whist claiming to be her heir within their own elitist circles.

 

It seems that to be a good Labour supporter you need a mighty short memory; no appreciation of simple economics, and absolutely no interest in historical fact (or even current affairs)!  It also helps if you are young, impressionable, and clueless as to how the world actually works (a point not lost on Alex Salmond)! ;)

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One third pint bottles.  Actually I tell a lie about one particular school in Gosforth; the unused stuff quickly disappeared into the kitchens to be used in the school dinners, which were - of course - billed to parents! :)

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GGG wrote:  "One third pint bottles. Actually I tell a lie about one particular school in Gosforth; the unused stuff quickly disappeared into the kitchens to be used in the school dinners, which were - of course - billed to parents! :)"

 

 

Aye! ... an example of true capitalism at work and straight out of the Tories playbook of depriving the poor kiddies and then 'stiffing' the parents.  GGG's tale may be an urban myth ( "... I tell a lie ..." ) but you never know.

 

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GGG wrote:  "One third pint bottles. Actually I tell a lie about one particular school in Gosforth; the unused stuff quickly disappeared into the kitchens to be used in the school dinners, which were - of course - billed to parents! :)"

 

 

Aye! ... an example of true capitalism at work and straight out of the Tories playbook of depriving the poor kiddies and then 'stiffing' the parents.  GGG's tale may be an urban myth ( "... I tell a lie ..." ) but you never know.

 

No urban myth; lifetime guaranteed first person testimony that.  And, none of the kiddies involved were poor; all adequately fed from Tory (and enlightened Socialist) homes.  There may have been an odd few scholarship kids from poor backgrounds, but exactly who was a state secret. You know, the sort of thing those evil Tories do simply to salve their consciences. ;)

 

Interesting proggie tonight on Radio 4 concerning this disadvantaged jewish kid from a South Wales mining community who got to grammar school. I thought the best bit was when he came up against posh, privileged, public school type across the dispatch box in the HoC over - of all things - education policy.  That's the same posh public school twit who introduced tuition fees for higher education - after promising not to!  I will leave you to fill in the names. :)

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Thatcher was clever on her choice of letting working class people buy there council houses at ridiculous low prices,people

Bought them spent money they did not have trying to better themselves,then lost there jobs,then there houses,with nowhere else to

Live.she did'nt invest the money into more housing,so it was her way of killing the community we loved,it was also another swipe at

The Woking class people she loathed.on the other front it was another way of trying to destroy union workers rights if there was a strike

Most people would break it if they were property owners.during the miners strike it would be interesting to see the miners who went

Back were home owners on ratio with the ones who weren't ...

When lord Gormley took on the Tories I bet there wasn't as many home owners as the later...

Mind you Arthur's big ego didn't help..

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Well the LAST thing on my mind on leaving school was "ganin doon the pit" I never heard ANYONE say a good thing about it, to the contrary even me mates at the time who were there hated the job.

In response to Adam,s comments about folks taking their lives because they lost their jobs, it happens in every industry, we dont know their circumstances one minute your earning and paying the bills etc then its taken away from you it must be a horrible situation to find yourself in and the mental health issues of it all can become unbearable for some, dont forget the miners were on "strike" and not eligable for state handouts, I remember helping with food parcels etc I also remember families at odds with each other standing nose to nose over the rights and wrongs of "ganing back". It was,nt nice but it was an experience and memories that will live with me forever.

The strike was futile there was only ever going to be one winner, I remember saying that in the "Terrier" one night and I was sitting in the company of striking miners, they also knew but felt obliged to "stay oot".

I remember thinking well I admire your blind loyalty but its not putting bread on the table.

The rest is history and a lesson learned the unions would no longer be in a position to pull down an elected government, thats up the majority its called democracy.

I will reiterate my pesonal opinions I am not nailing my colours to the mast here to the contrary I dont think any of the political parties have the ballsMrs Thatcher had I think Tony Blair should be tried for genicide along with Bush, Gordon Brown should be done for robbery and deciete and the bxxxxr who is in charge now has,nt a clue and the only thing the labour lot have is balls by name and not nature.

God rest you Maggie for the courage of your convictions alone, if we had another Maggie regardless of politics I think we would ALL be better off.

WINDEY-WINDEY....!!!!!!!!!!!HEH HEH!!!!!!!!!!

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I worked with a lad at Bates,who was a really powerful,strong,and also strong-willed person.Great to work with,and the most hilarious sense of humour you could imagine,with a character that was well-known wherever he went.

After the strike was declared over,and on the first day of our return back to work,all our Marra's were unanimously

voicing our opinions on what we would do with thatcher-the hatcheter.......!!!

Keith,[aye..another Keith!..]spoke out in his very powerful voice,above all the chatter of the lads.....

...."Whey aa think she's a wonderful woman....."..!!!!..."a wadn't mind xxxxxxx her"!!!!!!!!!

There was an uproar,and if it wasn't for Keith's character,and his build,I think somebody might have been incensed enough to have a go at him,bearing in mind all the tensions that were still present,what with those that had returned earlier,having to work with the "loyal" ones.

He kept this winding -up going for a day or two,till everybody finally realised....

He would say.."Luk wat she's done for ye...better pay...better conditions".....[we were working in the wettest part of the whole pit,in the Three-Quarter seam]...etc!

Badger,was certainly a queer bugga,but a smashing marra![er....queer as in "funny"...just for correctness!!].

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