Letter: Miners betrayed by the Government and by the TUC

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The Independent Online
CAL McCRYSTAL ('Why desert us now', 13 June) writes, 'the TUC looks back with pride at its campaign against the October proposals'. Why? It was not a TUC campaign but a TUC hijack. Genuine grassroots anger over the announcement of the pit closures resulted in a huge demonstration the next Wednesday, which the TUC did not sanction (it didn't want to upset the bosses). However, the TUC did call for a demonstration the following Sunday, four days later, a non-working day, which would not upset the bosses. Its inaction- action was duly endorsed by the Labour Party and Tory rebels.

Cal McCrystal says that from the 1921 'Cripple Alliance' a stronger organisation emerged - the TUC. Why then did the TUC instruct large numbers of workers to resume work days after the general strike? The miners were left to fight alone, and lose disastrously, as in 1984-85. Be it Citrine or Willis - 60 years apart - they merely wished to neutralise the anger from below, then, by stealth, stifle it. 'Leave it to us,' they said. We did. As a result 30 pits will shut and 30,000 miners will lose their jobs.

C L Cheetham

Thornbury, Bradford

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