Letters, Wednesday, August 6, 2014

16
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Time to face the reality of closures

THE letter from Mick ‘The Pen’ Brown (July 26) quite rightly states that aid was imperative in the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s, but the rest of his comments are an insult to readers intelligence.

 He firstly states that the 1984 miners’ strike was self-inflicted – surely, even he knows that Thatcher inflicted the strike.

 He states: “He is sick of hearing moaning miners, who all seem to have a big chip on their shoulders.”

 I do not think it is about any chip on the shoulder. It is about the British Coal Industry and miners’ jobs and communities being destroyed by lies and deceit and the illegal use of the courts and police to brutalise and criminalise thousands of British workers, when even today we import more than 50million tonnes of coal annually.

 He talks about many mine workers taking redundancies and opening businesses and making a success. We do hear of very rare cases like that, but the vast majority are either still unemployed, working for less wages than when the pits closed or claiming state benefits and handouts.

 Will ‘The Pen’ take a look around our communities, see the social problems, despair, food banks, poverty and scandalous youth unemployment? Maybe then he will enter the real world.

David Hopper,

General Secretary,

National Union of Mineworkers

Miners not enemy

‘THE Pen’ writes that he is sick of reading about miners (July 26) moaning about something that happened 30 years ago.

 Thirty years ago they came out on strike, not for shorter hours, not for longer annual holidays, not for bigger pensions, not for early retirement, but simply to have a job.

 At the time the fire brigade did not come out to support them, nor did the teachers.

 ‘The Pen’ reckons that the miners seem to have a chip on their shoulder, well, maybe they have but it is no bigger than a lot of certain members of the public have regarding the miners’ redundancy payments. The green-eyed monster never forgets or forgives.

 The miners, at the time, were accused of being the enemy within. Accused by a government, which we now know, had paedophiles and liars within its ranks.

 The truth is starting to come out. Who is the enemy within now, the bankers and MPs of all parties?

 ‘The Pen’ says that the government of the day did right to send aid to Ethiopian famine victims, but the government then, as now, would rather give aid to anyone other than its own people. Think NHS, think EU, think of the floods that never should have happened, and how slow the help was in coming and, of course, how little there was.

 Thirty years ago the miners were forced to use soup kitchens, however, times have moved one, the public now have food banks.

 What goes around, comes around.

R Tomlinson,

Seaham