For those not old enough to remember this is made to seem like so very long ago. That is deliberate like so many things concerned with the breaking up of the miners’ strike in 1984-85 and to The Battle of Orgreave in particular. It doesn’t suit the tories and they look to downgrade the significance of the events that took place.
Back in October Amber Rude, the so-called home secretary, rejected an inquiry in Orgreave. She claimed that very few lessons for the policing system of today could be learned from any review of events 30 years ago. She said it as the smell of cover-up was heavy in the air.
Her comments have been contradicted by the latest release of papers from the time that show it was no concern about policing today that caused the rejection. It was that Thatcher feared an “anti-police … witch hunt” if a public inquiry were held into policing during the miners’ strike and Amber Rude didn’t want that feeling aired again.
Leon Brittan appears in the papers as well. No, not about that sort of thing this time, he said at the time that the“government should not encourage any form of inquiry into the behaviour of the police”, according to declassified minutes of a 1985 meeting reported by the BBC.
It also seems that Brittan’s permanent secretary at the Home Office, said “internal questions” needed to be asked about “political influence” on operational police policy.
Joe Rollin, chairperson of the Orgreave truth and justice campaign, said: “The only people who didn’t want an investigation were the Tories and that’s because Margaret Thatcher and the Tories were ultimately responsible for brutal police behaviour during the miners’ strike.”
Thatcher has her fingerprints all over this case and sections of the establishment are still going out of their way to prevent the whole truth being revealed.