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Right miner July 18, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Read about this character, Patrick McLoughlin, former miner, now not merely a Tory MP, but now recently appointed Chairman of the Conservative Party and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
The wiki page is interesting. He was in the NUM, but “became an industrial representative for the National Coal Board’s Western Area Marketing Department” and “Although a member of the NUM, he broke ranks during the 1984 miners’ strike and later came to national attention when he stood up at the 1984 Conservative Party Conference to announce that he was a working miner”.

A strange journey, no?


1. Gearóid - July 18, 2016
2. EWI - July 18, 2016

Not really. There’s always scum willing to sell out their own side for ambition and personal advantage, plentiful examples abound even in these parts.

Liked by 1 person

3. sonofstan - July 18, 2016

I’ve met people who tell me the miners’ strike was instrumental in beginning a journey away from Labour. Scargill still arouses very strong feelings in some. I know most here- me included- would read the story one way, but there was other narratives and it wasn’t just people falling for the Tory line.


CMK - July 18, 2016

Where did that journey lead to, though? Are the small people happy with a million British people depending on food banks? Are they happy with the benefit sanctions killing hundreds? There is, in my view, a link between the miners strike and the horrors of Tory rule now.

I get where you’re coming from. I’ve been shocked to meet seemingly humane people from the UK who vote Tory. Scargill was an asshole in many respects but what the miners represented was worth fighting for against the Tories at the time.

Also, what ‘Scargill’ arouses those strong feelings? The media caricature, the relentlessly demonised ‘union baron’? Of the egotistical union leader facing the full force of the UK state both in its overt and covert guises, throwing everything at him short of outright assassination?

No more so than here, many peoples views of events in recent UK history are shaped by a media that it fanatical is its determination to protect the established order, as we can see with the way Corbyn is being hounded almost as relentlessly as Scargill.

Liked by 2 people

gendjinn - July 18, 2016

+1 Your last paragraph is so true.


4. roddy - July 18, 2016

In my youth I spent periods of 2 or 3 months in various factories as part of a training course.In one of them I returned for a second period to discover that the shop steward was now a foreman and was worse than any of the management.


CMK - July 18, 2016

Sums up CIE as it used to be; not sure if it’s still that way. The union-management revolving door never stopped spinning.


5. Joe - July 18, 2016

A strange journey that many have travelled. I know you remarked on it before WBS – a right trajectory over time. All those radicals in their youth, now time-serving, status quo-preserving trade union officials or worse.
Think yer man’s journey was strange – try Eoghan Harris.
It’s in the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists too. The hero meets a chap who was once a firebrand for socialism but got disillusioned and is now making his money as a hack for the tories.

I worry sometimes that I might be beginning to suffer from the same syndrome myself…

Liked by 1 person

dublinstreams - July 20, 2016

the trajectory can be leftward round the back to the right


6. Pasionario - July 18, 2016

I remember his “working miner” speech to the Tory conference during the strike. It was, whatever you think of him, an impressive piece of oratory. Scargill’s crime is that he allowed people like McLoughlin to look like they were standing on the moral high ground.

I don’t actually think he made much of a journey at all. He was already a local Tory politician before the strike. There’s always been a tradition of working-class Toryism in England going back to the 19th century. And during the post-war years, that was compatible with trade union activism as well. Sometimes there was a sectarian dimension to this, notably in Liverpool where working-class Protestant constituencies consistently returned Tories for decades.

And it was the votes of trade unionists, appalled by the Winter of Discontent, that put Thatcher in power in 1979. Her speeches during the Seventies actually played on the theme of “responsible trade unionism” a great deal.


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