Thursday, January 30, 2014

Apologise to the miners? Labour should be first in line

It is 30 years since the miners’ strike and certain Labour party members are dancing up and down  - I can only assume in an effort to gain some brownie points in their communities – demanding an apology from the Conservatives.

Cynon Valley AM Chris Chapman has joined in, tabling a statement of opinion at the Assembly which

“Acknowledges that many families and Welsh coalfield communities still remain deeply affected by the scars of the dispute; closure of mines; and job and industry losses” and

“Calls on the Conservative Party to issue an apology for the actions of the Thatcher Government during the strike.”

Now last I heard Mrs Thatcher was dead, why on earth should anyone apologise on her behalf thirty years after the event?  If the Labour party are looking for apologies then maybe they could look a little closer to home.

How about an apology from former Pontypridd MP Kim Howells?  At the time of the strike he was a miner’s rep.  When two striking miners killed a taxi driver by dropping a concrete block off a bridge over the A470 Mr Howells first thought was to run back to the office to destroy documents that may incriminate the union.

In his own words, as reported by The Guardian in 2004

 “I thought, hang on, we've got all these records we've kept at the NUM' offices, there is all those maps on the wall. We are going to get implicated in this. I remember thinking I've got to get to that office, I've got to destroy everything - and I did.”

David Wilkie, a father of four was killed and his reaction was to protect the union!

Then of course there is the current AM for Pontypridd Mick Antoniw. He was a partner in a firm of solicitors who were "severely reprimanded" and fined costs amounting to £88,000 by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority for irregularities involving miners' compensation claims.

Miner’s compensation cases were referred to his law firm Thompsons by the Unions. Thompsons failed to inform the miners that they did not have to use their services if they did not wish to. They then proceeded to skim off £10.9m from the settlements it secured for clients and paid it to the unions in the guise of 'administrative charges'

Maybe Mr Antoniw would like to make a public apology for that?

I am not condoning Tory policies or actions, but the Labour party have done nothing for this country and nothing to replace the jobs that were lost when the mines closed. The hypocrisy coming from some of them stinks.

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