In Neath Metropolitan Police Waved £50 Notes At Striking Miners

Mr Hain: Members of the Metropolitan police who had been bussed down to Neath waved £50 notes at striking miners. The Government should have the courage to apologise now for the dastardly practice of criminalising the miners.

Ian Lavery: I fully agree with that, but, speaking for myself, I will not accept any apologies. I prefer to see those on the Tory Benches, the Government of the day, as the enemy within: it was not the miners but the Tories who were the real enemy within. We have three pits left. Let us get off our backsides and ensure, as soon as we possibly can, that they continue to operate, funded by state aid. Let us keep those pits working.

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.