The Thatcher Government Used The police Against The Miners In A Completely Wrong Way

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the former chief constable of Devon and Cornwall, John Alderson, complained officially that the Thatcher Government had used the police against the miners in a completely wrong way?

Mr Spencer: I am very much aware. I was there and I lived in those communities at that moment. I saw what was happening on the picket lines. There were friends of mine whose fathers were on the picket lines and whose brothers were on different sides of the argument, one in the National Union of Mineworkers and one in the Union of Democratic Mineworkers. Those scars are still there in my community and they are not helped by holding party political debates such as this one, instead of working together to try to improve those communities. I am saddened that this is more about trying to draw a groundswell of support for the Labour party at the ballot box than it is about genuinely solving the challenges we face, certainly in some of my communities in Nottinghamshire.