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Author Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 24/10/2012 21:49:04
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derrickman wrote:

Aditaddict wrote:

Off Topic i know but "German management has revived Mini. " But they failed miserably with Rover ,or did they take the profitable part of the company which was mini ,and flog of the non profitable MG Rover ?


BMW were quite clear about that. The current Mini range is a completely new design developed by BMW. The Rover car range was essentially a combination of BMW, Honda and Peugeot parts and competed with the 3 Series BMW range.

BMW intended to close Rover, retaining only the necessary assets for the revamped Mini range and selling Land Rover to Ford, but instead, were persuaded to sell it to the Phoenix Group on condition that all its debts and liabilities passed with it.

Phoenix completely asset-stripped the Rover group before finally selling the intellectual rights, site and tooling to a Chinese investment group.




Chris beat me to it, but I wouldn't agree with all of that.

The purchase of Rover was a rather rushed affair and iirc was related to BMW wishing to acquire front-wheel-drive technology in a pre-emptive strike to bring their overall emissions / economy towards proposed limits. The acquisition of LR to compete with Mercedes was probably a factor.

Bernd Pietchsreider's admiration of the company that made the Mini was probably a major factor, not to mention various other yearlings for long-gone marques.

Rover died because it failed to move forwards at the right time and although the 75 was a good car, it looked terrible. The 200/400 replacement was too late, not helped by the removal of Honda from the equation.

At the time Rover died, it might have been a shock, but it was near-inevitable given the previous few years.

The sale to the Chinese was an utter farce and certainly wasn't planned that way - the 'Rowe 75' / MG750 debacle involving two Chinese companies is proof enough.

As for Mini, well it would have taken some sort of idiot to mess that up at that time; and BMW took the Rover genesis and turned it into a 'niche' brand. That could have been anyone, as long as they had enough customer clinics.

--

Filling space until a new signature comes along...
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derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 25/10/2012 05:59:03
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well, yes. The final decline of Rover was a long and messy affair. BAe should never have been allowed to become involved at all and their treatment of Honda, a hugely successful company in their own right, was guaranteed to fail.

BMW succeeded at Rover because they knew what they wanted to make, knew which parts of the business were valuable to them and which weren't, and followed a logical course of action based on those conclusions. They knew when to leave, and acted on that as well.

The last years of Rover were nothing more or less than political opportunism paid for by asset-stripping of the hulk. Blair was never going to allow Rover to collapse on the eve of a General Election, so the Phoenix Group takeover was attractive; the last-minute "loan" of enough money to pay that month's payroll had no other purpose and the Chinese farce was simply disposal of the corpse to anyone who would take it. I don't believe that Blair and Mandelson had the slightest interest in Rover provided that it didn't cause them political embarrassment at an inopportune moment.







--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199 Edited: 25/10/2012 06:01:09 by derrickman
ChrisJC

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 25/10/2012 07:52:44
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derrickman wrote:

Blair was never going to allow Rover to collapse on the eve of a General Election, so the Phoenix Group takeover was attractive; the last-minute "loan" of enough money to pay that month's payroll had no other purpose and the Chinese farce was simply disposal of the corpse to anyone who would take it. I don't believe that Blair and Mandelson had the slightest interest in Rover provided that it didn't cause them political embarrassment at an inopportune moment.


Surely you're not saying that a good-old Socialist like Blair was as manipulative and deceitful as the hated Thatcher?

Chris.
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derrickman

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 25/10/2012 08:20:39
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I hadn't thought there was anyone who still thought Blair was a "socialist" in any identifiable sense, any more than Cameron is a "Conservative" as the term is commonly understood.

--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
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jagman

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 27/10/2012 10:49:14
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Ty Gwyn wrote:


Yes ,your correct,it was a staged confrontation,but by the Police/Army/Government,

Yes ,pickets were bussed in from all area`s,not many from the Midlands mind,but as usual,these pickets were blocked from reaching their destination by the Police,

But Orgreave was a different case,they were waved in by the Police,it was all planned,looking back,it was the first instance of using what they call Kettleing,they had the Miners where they wanted them,surrounded.

Look up the Nicholas Ridley report of 1978,the plans were written back then to smash the NUM,and every other Union in the country,what you have left today,would make the Union founders turn in their graves,leaders who feather their own nests,at the cost of the working man.


Orgreave was stage managed, by the Police (which is what they are supposed to do is it not?)

There were no soldiers.

The Police needed to take control of the situation, at Orgreave they did so.
An old friend of mine was there, he was a fairly young Constable at the time (from Northumberland mining family as it happens) and he has always said they were told to get a grip on the situation and thats what they set out to do
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miner1985

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 27/10/2012 12:08:10
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I too was at orgreave, but unlike your friend the constable I was not paid and was fighting for my job.

We were allowed right into the area at Orgreave, unlike most other areas where we were blocked from doing so, they even told us where to park (very nice of them).

We were at the end where the railway went under a bridge, and had a field either side of us. On one side was a field full of mounted horses and in the other where the dog handlers, so the only way of escape was over a narrow bridge or across a railway line.

It was our first day there so we had no idea when the lorries were due, I was told by one of the Yorkshire boys that we would soon find out. Before the first load came, the police ranks opened and what looked like a cavalry charge took place, caught unaware we quickly retreated. Some went into the field where they we beaten by mounted police or attacked by the dogs. Others tried to get over the bridge, we went onto the (busy) railway line, by now snatch squads had come through the ranks with their smaller shields and we beating men about the heads. The lorries got in and stones were thrown but this was after the charge and not before (as per BBC).
During the lull between the lorry loads defences were erected to try and stop the charging horses from getting over the bridge and into the village beyond. The second load of lorries was again preceeded by the usual cavalry charge, which resulting in them riding through the village (much to the annoyance of many of the villagers - it was a mining village). Men were chased into gardens and if my memory serves some made it to a shoppling centre. The injuries to many of the pickets that day were horrific compared to what the police suffered even though the news tried to play this up!

That is how I saw it that day. It was a setup by the police. Some on this site seem quite happy to see men fighting for their jobs to be stopped from travelling and beaten up. After the strike many were victimised and never worked again (not all for violent offences duringh the strike - many just for being active).
I hope your constable friend now enjoys seeing the way his community has most probably died since the loss of mining jobs, but then again he probably made a fortune in overtime at our expense.
As for the poster who says how hard he works as a self employee I do not doubt that as he would need to keep his business going. But some of these mines were very productive and does he think that 1m tons of coal found itself mined on its own (or has he never been near a mine!).
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jagman

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 27/10/2012 13:45:11
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miner1985 wrote:

That is how I saw it that day. It was a setup by the police. Some on this site seem quite happy to see men fighting for their jobs to be stopped from travelling and beaten up. After the strike many were victimised and never worked again (not all for violent offences duringh the strike - many just for being active).
I hope your constable friend now enjoys seeing the way his community has most probably died since the loss of mining jobs, but then again he probably made a fortune in overtime at our expense.
As for the poster who says how hard he works as a self employee I do not doubt that as he would need to keep his business going. But some of these mines were very productive and does he think that 1m tons of coal found itself mined on its own (or has he never been near a mine!).


I have no doubt you went to try and save your industry. I have no issue with that at all.

What I will ask is if you went because you wanted to bring down the elected government of the day in the name of socialism?
Whilst your aim was to save jobs, Scargill's stated aim was to bring down the government in persuit of his own personal political ideals.

I have many miners in my family, including mine owners as recently as the 1960's.
I am very unhappy that mining has gone the way it has. I am a working class northerner and not a typical Tory type
At the risk of getting political, Scargill tried to play politics way beyond his remit.
He forced the governments hand and brought about the demise of big coal in this country.

As the saying goes, Scargill started the strike with a big union and a small house, he finished it with a small union and a big house.

I am as sorry as anybody that the industry has gone but Scargill takes the bigger share of the blame.
He tried to bring down a government, his political games cost this country its coal industry.
Hundred of thousands of people paid the price for him playing politics and losing.
IP: 2.217.231.231 Edited: 27/10/2012 13:46:23 by jagman
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 27/10/2012 18:11:46
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I have been following this but so far kept out of it.

I agree all of the comments about Scargill, but also agree about the miners sincerely believing that they were fighting for their jobs and future.

As an objective view, I would say that Scargill and Thatcher (the ultimate Tory) were both made for each other.
In the confrontations between strikers and police, there was a thug element on both sides.

I have a question for anyone who's opinions are polarised to either side. "Do you feel that the violence by your side was justified"


--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
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Ty Gwyn

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 27/10/2012 23:09:29
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Jagmans comment,No Soldiers?

Many a Miner on picket duty has come back with the statement,Police with no numbers on their uniforms,
And when been arrested by these Police with no numbers on their uniforms,All charges dropped,Any idea why?

Scargill/ Thatcher,it all depends on what you believe,have heard,or experienced.

With or without Scargill,the Tories and that puppet Blair would have run the industry down,in preparation for Privatisation,
Mcgregor brought in by Thatcher,after he had slimmed down the Steel industry,systematically slimmed down the coal industry,while exporting more coal from the US,where he had shares in Mines, in Virginia,Kentucky etc.he must have been laughing at the UK Government.
After the strike was over,this country was swamped with cheap Chinese coal,coming into South hampton docks at £23 per ton,at that time i was payed £10 per ton of coal produced in a Smallmine,a Miner in China was on £2.50 per week.

It was`nt Scargill that ended around 80 Smallmines in South Wales,owned mainly by Tory voters,but a Government that put cheap imports of everything,above a working population and energy security.

The results of which,we are paying for today.
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jagman

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 28/10/2012 08:11:24
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Ty Gwyn wrote:

Jagmans comment,No Soldiers?

Many a Miner on picket duty has come back with the statement,Police with no numbers on their uniforms,
And when been arrested by these Police with no numbers on their uniforms,All charges dropped,Any idea why?



No soldiers.

As to Policemen with no numbers, they are obliged to wear them which is probably why the charges went away. The arresting officer should have been clearly identifiable by his collar number
Far easier for those arrests made by officers without identification to go away rather than highlight the fact that many of the arrest weren't fully legal inthe first place

Its not uncommon for Police not to wear them, after the Ian Thomlinson business a survey suggested that up to 45% of Met Officers admitted that they didn't always wear them.

In the case of the miners strike, a lot of officers didn't want to be identifiable, especially those who lived in mining areas.

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miner1985

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 28/10/2012 10:00:37
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As Ty Gwyn said the plans to shut the mines were in place well before the strike and the only people who claim that it was the NUM that was responsible for closing them are appologists for the scabs who worked (they must now feel guilty as they are trying to make any excuse for crossing picket lines and not being able to save their own pits).

The main problem for the union was not Scargill, but those who came before him, mainly Gormley who managed to split the union via the bonus scheme (which by the way was voted against and then brought in area by area - can't remember Notts calling that undemocratic).

Some of the "loyal" tories who called us the enemy within had vested interests in energy companies abroad. So would benefit from the smaller and weaker industry here.

I have friends from Durham who say that the main cause of the violence in their area was due to the Met being used, clearly they have no understanding of mining areas and therefore no great care of what legacy they leave in that area. Strange years later that when their numbers where to be cut they appealed to the public for support (as if!!!). The attitude of many of the police forces during the strike left an atmosphere of distrust.

So if anyone on this site wants to believe that if we had accepted the first list of closures and agreed not to fight that they would have left the other mines and the union alone then keep on dreaming I'm sure one day you will also discover that the world is also not flat!
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pedrgogh

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 28/10/2012 10:32:35
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My wife and I and some of our family joined thousands of ordinary people in a London protest march against closure of the coal mines. We were kept standing in pouring rain for hours before we were finally allowed to proceed.
The march was filmed and photographed and what happened, nothing. It was all covered up no doubt by Mrs T as it showed how much the public were against what she was doing
It was not reported in the national press or on TV the only comment was " a march against pit closure in London went off peacefully". No mention of the fact that it was thousands of ordinary people and not miners trying to voice what they saw as wrong.
Don't try and tell me that the whole thing was not done for political / finacial motives.
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derrickman

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 29/10/2012 13:30:23
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there's probably more truth about the whole issue in the last few posts than I've seen in years. It certainly illustrates why the issue remains so emotive and intractable today.

The past is a foreign country, and they do things differently there.

You need to remember that the public at large were utterly sick of the unions and their political posturing at the time. Mrs Thatcher would never have been elected had it not been for the Winter of Discontent and the general situation that led to it.

The car industry unions were never off the news; the construction industry had been racked by protracted and vicious turf wars between rival unions in the 60s and 70s. Dockers, rail, power, everyone who could find a soapbox was threatening all manner of things. Demarcation, Closed Shop, Dock Labour Scheme providing jobs for life for registered dockers who had no role in the actual work of the docks; and don't let's forget the corruption and jobbery rife in the print unions.



Scargill, whatever else he was or wasn't, was a hard-line extremist who took money from third parties outside and opposed to this country, and made clear and overt threats about seeking to overthrow the government by force.

I don't doubt that the striking miners felt that they were striking to save their jobs, and they were quite right that the Conservatives intended to close most of the industry.

But, was it a feasible aim? I felt then, and still do, that they missed their chance in the preceding 18 months. The government's handling of the strike could never have proceeded without the stockpiles, and who dug those stockpiles? Who transported them? Once the strike began it could only be a fight to the finish - and Scargill handed Mrs Thatcher a free hand by politicising the issue from the outset.

What would a victory for the NUM actually have looked like? The only conclusion that I have ever been able to come to, is that the only way to actually win in any meaningful sense would have been to generate a Vote of No Confidence in the Commons and thereby precipitate a General Election leading to the election of a Conservative government headed by someone else - but who? I don't believe Labour were electable at that point and it's difficult to work out who could have replaced Mrs Thatcher. Certainly not Heath. Remember that the Conservative Party at that time was largely influenced by its area associations - a challenge to Thatcher from within was eminently possible if the will had been there to do it.

James Callaghan described Thatcher's election as "a sea change in politics" and he was quite correct. The miners' strike came five years too late.

Like it or not, the actual effect of the miners' strike was to completely exhaust both sides, and pave the way for the rise of Blair, Mandelson and the rest.

I don't believe that was any part of the intended result envisaged by either the miners themselves, OR the Thatcherite wing of the Conservative Party.





--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
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Morlock

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 30/10/2012 13:22:08
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May be of interest/relevance.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/oct/27/1980s-britain-thatcherism-final-reckoning
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derrickman

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 30/10/2012 13:49:25
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I saw that. Very partial and incomplete, as you would expect given the source and subject.

You can't discuss the Thatcher years without understanding WHY people voted for her. The Conservatives had long since lost their way, producing exotics like Heath and bench-warmers like Douglas-Home; Labour produced various oddities as they slid under the control of champagne socialists like Crosland, Benn and more lately, Harman ( who. let's remember, based her political career on the immigrant vote, which the union movement of the day strongly opposed ).

There was a general feeling of drift and faction-fighting. Thatcher seemed to be something new; you have to remember that she won two more general elections after the miners' strike, and Major won the next one - no party had successfully defended an incumbency three times before or since.


--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
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Morlock

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Breaking news on the battle of Orgreave
Posted: 30/10/2012 14:04:33
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derrickman wrote:

I saw that. Very partial and incomplete, as you would expect given the source and subject.


Agree, an extremely active era with much more to it than can ever be covered in a small and biased article.
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