Letter: Time for miners to change tack

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Sir: As someone who was born in what used to be the heartland of the South Wales coalfield, my sympathies will always be with the miners, but I do wonder if their passionate pleas to keep the mines working is the right approach.

I don't think anyone in a modern society should have to work in the appallingly filthy, unhealthy conditions to be found under the black hills, and I'm puzzled why anyone should wish to continue with such work. It seems to me that the miners should be fighting for the replacement of the pits by other, more healthy, more productive industries.

The Government should be, and should have been since 1947, phasing out the mines gradually, but only when they can be replaced by new jobs that would enhance the quality of life in the areas stricken by unemployment and deprivation. These wonderful, tough, hardworking, and cultured people should not be wasted in the dole queue: in a country badly in need of industrial expansion they are a valuable asset.

Yors faithfully,


London, W5

22 October