A FORMER Scottish miners leader, David Hamilton, has called for a full investigation into the 1984 miners strike and abuses of power by the Thatcher government which, he says, are being repeated now.
Mr Hamilton, who is now Labour MP for Midlothian, has made his call following revelations that Margaret Thatcher’s government lied about its true intentions to close hundreds of pits ahead of the strike and evidence has emerged that suggests it deliberately provoked the industrial action.
As a trade union organiser, Mr Hamilton spent two months in prison during the strike in 1984 where he was one of the NUM leaders in Midlothian. After the strike, he was sacked by the coal board, despite winning an industrial tribunal, and he and his wife were blacklisted from working and remained unemployed for two years.
Speaking to The Scotsman, Mr Hamilton said he wants an apology for what happened “but I don’t expect I will get one”.
He went on: “What I do hope is that there will be a genuine investigation into all this.
“If the truth had been told at the time then I genuinely believe that the result would have been totally different. Because if she [Thatcher] had had the miners out in unison the effect of it would have been far greater and the public support for it would have been far greater.
“What killed us was that some miners were still working and those miners who were working will now be just as angry as I am to have found that it was a lie all the time.”
He also pointed out that abuses such as phone tapping, blacklisting and victimisation which have been making headlines recently were used during the strike.
He said: “Don’t think this is 30 years ago. If it can happen then don’t think it can’t happen now and it is happening now. The more things change the more they stay the same.”