Green war on jobs: Britain’s last deep coal-mine closes

Count the blessings the miners gave us – often at the cost of their lives

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

In the week before Christmas, the last-ever shift of weary mineworkers, faces streaked with sweat and coal dirt, blinked into the gray winter twilight at Britain’s last-ever working deep coal-mine.

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The last shift comes up from Kellingley

Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire, where some of these great men had given 30 years of their lives in dark, difficult and dangerous conditions, is now closed forever. A 30-foot plug of concrete will seal the top of the shaft, the colliery sheds will be demolished and the site will be handed over to property developers.

The men of Kellingley are the latest in a long, ever-growing line of victims of the greenshirts’ war on jobs. The pit could have been kept open for several more years, but in the present campaign of hate against coal the Government decided it must close, saying the investment needed to open a new seam was not “value for money”.

When I was a lad, cutting my journalistic fangs at the Yorkshire Post, I went down Kellingley Colliery at the invitation of a friend who been a miner there. Before the clanking, echoing cage lurched downward, I had thought that perhaps I should become a mineworker. For the miners were paid about twice what journalists at the Yorkshire Post got in those days.

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The pithead and winding gear

When we reached the bottom of the shaft, 2600 feet down, and the long, gray, dimly-lit gallery stretched away into the distance, the dust that hung in the air – not coal-dust, my friend hastened to explain, but rock-dust scattered everywhere to smother the coal-dust and make fatal explosions less likely – made breathing difficult.

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At the coal-face

This was no picnic, and I’d only been below ground for a few minutes, and I wasn’t even doing any manual labor. Kellingley was a show pit – one of the safest, most modern, most efficiently ventilated of Britain’s 100 deep mines.

Conditions in just about every mine in Britain were considerably worse than what I experienced during my hour-long tourist trip below ground. I thought no more about becoming a miner. I wouldn’t have lasted a week.

On Friday, as the final shift at Kellingley ended, there were cheers, applause and tears. Some of the men carried lumps of coal as mementoes. The last ton of coal from the pit, which once produced 1000 tons a day, will go on display in a mining museum.

At the peak of the coal-mining boom in the 1920s, one British worker in 20 was a miner. Even after the Second World War there were still 750,000 miners underground in close to 1000 pits.

With the advent of gas-fired and nuclear-fired electricity, nearly all of the pits had already closed by 1983/4, when the miners went on strike to try to bring down the elected government of Margaret Thatcher, just as they had ended the Conservative government led by Edward Heath in 1974.

A decade after Heath’s downfall, the miners downed tools out of misplaced loyalty to the Communist leader of their union, Arthur Scargill. I had known Scargill when he used to visit Whitelocks, the 16th-century Leeds pub. He was good company, but his far-out politics would lead to the destruction of deep-mined coal in Britain.

When Scargill called the strike, the miners did not know that on 28 July 1979, a couple of months after Margaret Thatcher had become Prime Minister, he had boarded a Polish freighter at Tilbury, bound for what was then still Leningrad.

There, like Lenin before him, he boarded a sealed train to Moscow. He spent three weeks at the Patrice Lumumba University, where terrorist grunts from all over the world were trained. His tutors, realizing that he was a cut above your average dim suicide bomber, transferred him to the Lenin Institute, where the leaders of terrorist movements from the IRA to the PLO were taught how to undermine the free world.

Five months later, Scargill flew by Aeroflot to Paris, then transferred to a British Airways flight so that, when he landed at Heathrow, he would not be seen to have arrived on a Russian aircraft.

Our problem, at 10 Downing Street, was how to let the miners know of this surely relevant recent episode in his biography. In the end, the account I have given in the previous three paragraphs was published in a discreet column by Ronald Butt, the veteran columnist for The Times.

Since not many mineworkers read The Times, I got on my Ducati Hailwood Rep and rode out to a country house somewhere in England, where lived a property magnate whom I knew to be loyal to Britain and to the Prime Minister.

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I chose David Hart to make contact with the miners because he could hold a friendly conversation with working people. Like me, he enjoyed their company and was at ease with them and – as importantly – they with him.

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A country house somewhere in England

As I rode along the long drive to the symmetrical front of David’s Elizabethan mansion, later bought by Claudia Schiffer, he was on his tractor mowing the grass in the park. He heard the bike (you could hear a Hailwood Rep four counties away, like Aunt Diana in the hunting field) and got off his tractor. I gave him the cutting from The Times and asked him to visit every pit in Britain, get to know the mineworkers, see to it that they came across a copy of the cutting, and report their reactions directly to the Prime Minister with a daily one-page note.

David left his tractor where it was, showered, changed, grabbed his go-bag and got into his top-of-the-line Mercedes. That year he traveled 29,000 miles on his own time and at his own expense, visiting pits in England, Wales and Scotland. The miners, than whom there are none more loyal to Britain, were horrified to find that their leader was in thrall to a foreign power ill-intentioned towards the country they loved. David reported to the Prime Minister that in Leicestershire, in particular, the miners were so angry that they wanted to do the unthinkable: break the strike.

David – again at his own expense – funded the Leicestershire miners to set up the National Working Miners’ Committee, which eventually became the Union of Democratic Mineworkers. The Leicestershire miners went back to work, a trickle that, thanks to David, soon became a flood.

He paid for an ad campaign that ran for weeks in all major newspapers, saying: “Come on, Arthur, gizzaballot!”

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The war room

In characteristically bombastic style, David set up a war-room in a rented suite at Claridges, London’s swankiest hotel. There, maps and papers were spread across the polished burr-walnut top of the grand piano, telephones were installed, and Personages discreetly came and went.

Eventually the Secretary of State for Industry, Peter Walker, who was far to the Left of the Prime Minister, discovered that David, not he, was running the response to the strike on behalf of the Government. In a fury, he telephoned David on one of the hotlines to the war room and yelled: “You can’t run this strike from Claridges!”

David calmly replied: “Well, Peter, perhaps you’d like to speak to Sir Ian McGregor, the Chairman of the National Coal Board, who runs all the pits? He’s with me now.”

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From left: Sir Peter Walker, David Hart, Sir Ian McGregor

Without David Hart, the Communists would have won the strike. David is now merry in Heaven as he was always merry on Earth, and it is high time that his central role in bringing Scargill down and defending democracy was recognized. Our war was never against the miners: it was always and only against their Communist leaders.

Some weeks later, just before the winter set in, Scargill announced that the mineworkers would stage a demonstration in London. I was at Downing Street that afternoon. Shortly after lunch, Oliver Letwin, then a fellow member of the Policy Unit and now a Cabinet Minister, ran into the room.

“It’s so unEnglish!” he wailed. “It’s the miners – they’re rioting all over Parliament Square!” Oliver tended to talk like a tabloid headline when he was agitated.

“Not to worry,” I said, “They do that in Yorkshire every Friday night when the pubs close. They mean no harm by it.”

“That’s all very well,” said Oliver, “but they’re marching on Downing Street!”

Sure enough, yelling mineworkers had gathered at the far end of Downing Street, where in those days a few flimsy barriers were all that stood between them and us.

“Tell you what,” I said, “I’ll go and talk to them.” I reached for my bowler hat.

“But, but, but, they’ll eat you alive!” said Oliver. “Surely you’re not going to wear that ridiculous Charlie Chaplin hat!”

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Monckton in a reinforced hunting bowler

“Watch and learn,” I said. I had had crowd-control training from a phlegmatic, pragmatic Yorkshireman in the Wetherby Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade.

“The most important thing if you want to approach an angry crowd and calm them down,” our instructor had said, in his matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, no-nonsense style, “is to wear a hat. Doffing it is the only way to make an unmistakably polite gesture at a distance.”

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A sketch of the big black door, signed by Margaret Thatcher

It worked a treat. As I stepped out of the big black door and Jim the Door closed it behind me, the miners jeered at the apparition of a pinstripe-suited twerp complete with bowler hat and furled umbrella.

I marched steadily towards them and, when I had halved the distance, I lifted my hat to them and smiled. Instantly, the jeers turned to cheering that you could have heard as far away as Kellingley.

The St John Ambulance instructor had said, “When addressing a rowdy crowd, just talk quietly to one man at the front. Don’t worry about the others. They’ll all go quiet so they can hear what you’re saying.”

That worked a treat too. After a quick word of reassurance to the nervous policeman at the barrier, I addressed a miner at the front of the crowd. “Gentlemen,” I said, “You’ve come a long way to give your message to the Prime Minister, but she’s out today. If you’ll come across the road with me I’ll get you all a pint in the pub. It’s the least I can do. Then you can tell me what you wanted to tell her, and I’ll put a note of it in her box this evening.”

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The Downing Street barrier, now replaced by cast-iron gates

The miners formed a docile crocodile as we crossed Whitehall to the pub. Their main grievance was that they were not paid enough. On this point, I agreed with them. Coal mining, as I had seen down the pit at Kellingley, is one of the hardest, most dangerous and most unpleasant jobs on Earth.

We parted as good friends, and two miners came to my farewell party in the State Apartments at Downing Street a few years later – the first miners, as far as I could discover, who had ever been inside the Prime Minister’s residence during a Conservative administration. What a curse is undue partisanship.

After the strike collapsed, the remaining pits were closed down one by one, for opencast mining was safer and cheaper and imported coal was also far less costly than our own hard-won deep-mined product.

I salute these great men who gave their all – and too often gave their lives – to power the industrial revolution. Eleven men died at Kellingley alone during its half century of operation, and that was one of Britain’s safest pits. Thousands more throughout Britain died of pneumoconiosis – dust on the lung.

In the 1950s and ’60s the particulate pollution from the coal-fired power stations of Britain used to kill an estimated 37,000 people a year through respiratory diseases. But, though it is not fashionable to say so, millions more were spared death by the many benefits of coal-fired power. The environmentalist totalitarians have yet to learn that an equation has two sides: benefit as well as cost.

What a tragic paradox it is, now that coal-fired power using pelletized, fluidized-bed and high-temperature combustion with filtering and fly-ash trapping is the cleanest source of energy per megawatt-hour delivered, that the men who made that great, life-saving revolution possible are now cast on to the tailings-heap of history by the totalitarian foolishness of the soi-disant “greens” whose generation-long refusal to allow poor nations to build cheap, clean, base-load power stations is killing tens of millions a year before their time by denying them the benefits of base-load power.

On the sad day that Britain’s last deep coal-mine closes, it is right to give thanks for the strength, the courage and the loyalty of those heroes of labor who dug the darkness underground to bring men light.

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With gratitude we will remember them

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276 thoughts on “Green war on jobs: Britain’s last deep coal-mine closes

  1. I clearly remember the both the strike bringing down Ted Heath and the associated three day week as well as the subsequent strike led by Arthur Scargill. I Certainly knew that he was a confirmed communist, but not that he had spent time in Moscow fraternizing with “terrorists” and presumably being taught how to usurp our elected government. I remember my relief when Scargill was finally defeated. I could never reconcile my views with the aims and methods of the likes of Gormley and subsequently Scargill.

    • And now the communists are embedded like fattened ticks in the Democratic Party of the U.S., including the Clintons, President Obama, John Kerry and Bernie Sanders.
      Where most of us would take a trip to France or England, they traveled to Moscow (in the Soviet Union, not the U.S. State of Idaho). Where most of us would say the pledge of allegiance, they plotted conspiracies with organizations whose explicit aim was to overthrow the U.S. Government. When most of us were serving the U.S. military or supporting those who did, they were either draft dodging or throwing someone else’s medals over the White House fence.
      God help us!

      • DB
        What is means…. is that in the political world when you go hard out to the left you do full circle and pop up on the right. And didn’t Trump love it. He will take praise from anywhere he can, even an ego (communist or not) like Putin. And if you think Obama is hard left in the world of politics it shows you really have no idea. Granted he is more concerned with social issues than the average president, but in the global picture???

      • Heh, Moscow, ID is a place that you don’t see referenced very often, but I did my geology field camp there (at the University of Idaho) back in…oh, the last century. Nice place, really enjoyed it.

      • I just love that picture of Lord M of B in his Bowler.
        I’m having it engraved on my chest as we speak Christopher.
        Thanks for that picture of what a proper English man should look like.
        G

      • Simon,
        …when you go hard out to the left you do full circle and pop up on the right.
        No you do not. Unless you use european definition of far right that is. Far left is communism, european far right is fash*sm, which is really a very nationalistic communism.
        People like Putin have great many reasons to meddle in politics of their enemy state, and all of those reasons are not designed to help them in any way shape and form.

      • Udar
        “People like Putin have great many reasons to meddle in politics of their enemy state, and all of those reasons are not designed to help them in any way shape and form.”
        You do have to wonder don’t you, why a guy like him is backing Trump. I mean it really doesn’t add up…. unless you are Trump, then it is just boosting his ego, something he enjoys.

      • Simon,
        You do have to wonder don’t you, why a guy like him is backing Trump
        Not really, you don’t.
        Putin is a KGB – and once a KGB, always a KGB. He plays games. He is good at them.
        He could endorse Tramp just so people like you would use it against him (Trump, that is). Or he might genuinely respect him (yeah, right). Or he believes that Trump will win presidency and plays to that. Or whatever. I see nothing in that endorsement, and I don’t understand why you see anything in it at all.
        I mean it really doesn’t add up…. unless you are Trump
        Do you actually believe Trump asked Putin for it?

      • “I mean it really doesn’t add up…. unless you are Trump
        Do you actually believe Trump asked Putin for it?”
        Absolutely not. Trump is not a politician he is a businessman. Big difference. Trump would miss the subtleties of the higher level complexities of relationships like this, which is why he will never make it to the top job.

      • @Simon, 9:30 am
        Trump is not a politician he is a businessman. Big difference. Trump would miss the subtleties of the higher level complexities of relationships like this,
        What do you think is the tool of the trade of a big-business man if not human relationships? At that level, everything is a “People Problem.”
        Did Trump deliberately ask, hint, compliment, or schmooze for a Putin “endorsement”? I don’t know. But businessmen like him are trained in asking for the sale. Make a deal that helps all parties. Get to Yes.
        I’m not a fan of Trump. But I don’t think he misses much that is important in the moment.

        • Simon,
          Like libs everywhere, you’re terrified of Trump. That is obvious: just observe who is under constant attack by the Left. That is who they’re worried about. They hardly ever attack Jeb Bush, do they? In fact, they promote him, knowing he would be a sure loser.
          And how about Obama’s HE-RO? Here he is, giving advice that Obama is taking:
          http://36.media.tumblr.com/dc34811e2de39a87e7308d702bcbf4f9/tumblr_nz0155DTCV1rhnukoo1_500.jpg
          Every act of terror by Islamists (which means almost all of them) is used to further control the U.S. population, by being turned into a fake ‘gun control’ crisis. Islamic terror is being used to push Obama’s agenda of confiscating guns from all law abiding citizens.
          Notice that the Islamic terrorists who have declared war on America never seem to attack in places where Americans can legally carry firearms. It’s just another example of Obama’s maxim: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
          Very cynical, no? But ‘Cynical’ appears to be Obama’s middle name… one of them, at least.

      • Dbstealey posts: “This is a science site”
        (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on posting 300 comments under the fake “BusterBrown” name is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

        • This is a science site, Bluster. But it’s not exclusively a science site. Proof: they let a pseudo-science commenter like you post here.
          But I have to say, it’s good for the ego to have my own personal entourage, who closely bird-dogs all my comments and saves them for re-posting.
          That’s what happens when you don’t have a life, chihuahua.

      • Udar,
        regarding Communism and Fascism, the map of political ideologies is Circular not linear.
        At one point you have Liberty, and Authoritarianism is 180 degrees opposite. Which ever route you take around the circle, whether it be left or right, you will eventually go from Liberty to its exact opposite.

      • Fanakapan:
        regarding Communism and Fascism, the map of political ideologies is Circular not linear.
        Definitions are important. Words are important. By your definitions, words like Liberty and Authoritarian are completely disconnected from concepts of Right and Left. Right and Left has nothing to do with either liberty or totalitarianism. You can have Conservatives that are essentially socialists etc. That is European system.
        Here in US, Right stands for Individual Freedom and Left stands for Government control. For example, white supremacists in Europe would be called ultra-right. In US, white supremacists are tiny fringe that is not called ultra-right. In US, the ultra-right are people like Tea Partiers. By that definition, Right and Left are not circular at all. Since we talking about Trump, a US businessman and US political system, my method is appropriate.

    • I must say this is a well written piece which has unearthed some material of which I was unaware. I hope Richard Courtney comes along, as he might have a different perspective on this.
      tony

  2. Well fascinating politically, but the end of UK coal is simply on account of it being too expensive to mine at the sort of safety standards we have come to demand.
    Green issues may see the end of coal fired power stations, true, but mining itself in the UK is simply totally uneconomic compared with strip mining in other nations.

      • Yes!
        Lord Monckton’s article brought to mind a grim picture of Samson letting Delilah cut his hair.
        Nevertheless… that hair grew…. and though he was blinded by the Philistines…. and though he died making it happen…. in the end….
        Samson won.
        And where in the world can you go to find some good Philistine food? Anyone listened to any good Philistine music lately?
        So, too, you AGW Ozymandiases, before very long it will be said of YOU: “Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.” (Shelley)
        #(:))

    • “but mining itself in the UK is simply totally uneconomic compared with strip mining in other nations.” While that may be true, it is still a good opportunity for the good lord to spin a bit of hate against the “greenies.” All lapped up by the rabid right.

      • Funny how leftists hate everybody. Europe, the only place in the world where socialists are considered conservative.

      • “Now tell us that wind and solar are themselves competitive against strip-mined coal.” Well they are certainly not cheaper in the short term, and it depends if you include long term damage as a cost?

      • England coal may be more expensive than other nations, but it still much less expensive than solar and wind in producing energy, which the government is forcing down everyone’s throat at tremendous expense. So for economic reasons, if I were you, I would dump solar and wind first.
        Oh wait it is not about inexpensive energy to grow civilization, maintain middle class standards of living and help people to rise out of poverty, No, instead it is about saving the planet from the imaginary CO2 monster.
        Well carry on then. You may even meet Don Quixote on your way to the windmill.

  3. I, a southern counties softy, went down a coal-mine for instructional purposes. Met a young man, whites of eyes and teeth visible. Brightly I said “this is my first time down a mine!” He replied, “Wish ter fook that were true of me”. Such brave men.

  4. I have read all these remarks for several months now and the big consolation in my thinking is that when the human race comes back to its senses all these mines for coal, wells for oil and all other fossil fuels are still there for the taking and will be when needed. The greenies can stop them but not destroy them. They are whistling in the wind.

    • The cost of opening up an old mine is probably more than actually sinking a new shaft. These mines will never have humans down them again. At best they might be used to make gas with from the coal in place there.

      • I was thinking that maybe if you could touch a match to them, and feed them some air, you could make come true the prediction that kids would grow up not knowing what snow is.
        g

  5. Well the British socialists are flying high at this moment in history and the British people will be the losers.

    • “Well the British socialists are flying high at this moment in history […]”
      I’m not sure just how you have come to that, rather remarkable, conclusion.
      The British socialists are in some disarray currently. Hard left fighting softer left and a leader who doesn’t quite know where he should put his weight if he doesn’t want the record for shortest office holder ever. Hardly “flying high”.
      I can only imagine that you are not British and have possibly read what passes for British MSM in the forlorn hope that they would keep you up to date on events here in blighty. Nah.

  6. Green War on Jobs
    It is a shame that the skeptical side has not done a better job of warning the common people that the greens intend to see them unemployed, cold, and shivering in the dark.

  7. Strange… the headline reads “Green war on jobs”, yet in the article you state the historical reality that “After the strike collapsed, the remaining pits were closed down one by one, for opencast mining was safer and cheaper and imported coal was also far less costly than our own hard-won deep-mined product”. The strike was about protecting jobs from those imports – not about changing the government, or any other form of politics.
    I hope your climate science, which I have up to now read and appreciated, is better based than this political drivel.

    • In response to Les, had it not been for the war on coal some of the pits, specifically including Kellingley, would have remained viable. And, if you don’t like the insight into political history that the piece reveals, never mind: others will appreciate it.

      • That is not a substantive answer. Yes, the piece offers some interesting historical detail, but on the main point, it offers distortion. The government had announced plans to close down the mines, and the miners fought to keep their jobs. For an operative of said government now to bewail the closing of the last remnants and blame the “greenshirts” for it seems a tad disingenuous.

      • Mr Palmer is not correct. Some of the most uneconomic pits were indeed due to close – a policy that governments of both parties had pursued. But the strike regrettably accelerated the closures. Kellingley, even at today’s low coal prices, could have remained viable were it not for the current anti-coal climate.

      • Lord Monckton, there is no contradiction between your statement and mine. Yes, the strike may ultimately have accelerated the mine closures, but it nevertheless was motivated by averting the closures that the government had planned.

      • Michael Palmer: it is not. We are endlessly informed that the Conservatives closed all the mines but it was Labour who closed many more.

      • From the observation that Labour closed down more pits than the Thatcher government did, it does not follow that the strike was not about protecting jobs. That is what I meant with “non sequitur.”

      • The miners’ strike was not about protecting jobs, or it would have occurred under Labour governments, which closed more pits than the Tories. It was about destroying rhe elected government of Margaret Thatcher. Fortunately, it failed. Thatcher, Reagan and John Paul II went on to bring Soviet Communism down. The world is a better place now that it is gone.

      • More creative history. The Soviet Union collapsed like a rotten tooth that bites down on a bone. Thatcher did not even supply the bone. The single person that far and away deserves the most credit for this is none other than Mikhail Gorbachev. He seems to agree:
        “We could only solve our problems by cooperating with other countries. It would have been paradoxical not to cooperate. And therefore we needed to put an end to the Iron Curtain. ”

        “Without perestroika, the cold war simply would not have ended.”

        There you have it in a nutshell.
        Lord Monckton, I greatly appreciate your entertaining and informative contributions to the debunkment of the silly global warming scare, but a reliable source on matters of history you are not. For that, you are too much of a romantic, too much enamoured of heroic sagas.

      • Funny how the communists of the time were citing the Soviet Union as the wave of the future. Those same communists are now claiming that everybody know that the Soviet Union was rotten to the core and collapsed all on it’s own.
        Sorry dude, it’s you who have been trying to rewrite history.
        Even the Soviets have admitted that their attempts to match Reagan’s defense build up bankrupted them. They also admit that the final straw was when Poland decided it would no longer prevent East German’s from using Polish territory to go around the Soviet blockades on the East/West German border.

    • Strange… the headline reads “Green war on jobs”, yet in the article you state the historical reality that “After the strike collapsed, the remaining pits were closed down one by one, for opencast mining was safer and cheaper and imported coal was also far less costly than our own hard-won deep-mined product”. The strike was about protecting jobs from those imports – not about changing the government, or any other form of politics.
      I hope your climate science, which I have up to now read and appreciated, is better based than this political drivel.

      I think that there is something that both you and M. Palmer miss in all of this. At the time, HMG could shut down pits because this was back in the good old days of socialism. HMG owned the pits back then.
      Not true today.
      I remember a Yorkshire (Carpet) ‘Mill’ owner (yes there are still some in operation) back in the late 80’s telling me just how glad he was that he could now buy Coal from wherever he wished. He retailed the story that Australian Coal (just about as far from Britain as one could get) was cleaner, cheaper and arrived on time. He had grown up having to obtain Coal from our semi communist system (back then) that quite often, forget quality, often didn’t even turn up (from 30 miles away!).
      My point here is to remind some people that, back in the ‘Scargill’ years, Britain was a very different place.

    • Because of high energy costs, brought about by the UK energy policy, there is now talk of subsiding UK steel.
      The UK has little in the way of a steel industry. Most heavy industry has for a variety of reasons priced itself out of the market, but the UK energy policy because it is has hiked up energy prices and because it has distorted what would be a level playing field now has to subsidise most related activities.
      So there has to be subsidies for steel and aluminium.
      There has to be subsidies for wind, solar, bio-mass and diesel STOR generation.
      There has to be subsidies for nuclear powered generation.
      And to cap it all, there has to be subsidies for gas powered generation because no one wants to build gas power generators because the national grid has to take renewables when available, and this means that gas powered generation can only be sold to the grid when renewables are not working. That is about 75% of the time since renewables only work for about 25% of the time. But the problem is that it is not profitable to run a business when you can only sell your product for 75% of the time. The profit in a business is made in the last 15% (or so) of sales, so gas powered generators are not profitable.
      In the last few months the UK government put out a tender for some gas powered generators and no one bid. Not a single tender was submitted!
      This is why the UK faces imminent brown outs, and the government is having to pay energy intensive industries to stop work and stop using energy when grid reserves become critical. So that has a big impact on the country’s GDP. Because of high energy costs and unreliable energy, UK manufacturing has to down tools at expense to the tax payer.
      Only a politician could make up such a world, and get us in such a mess.

      • The UK has no need for a heavy industrialised steel industry. There is so much recycling of steel that there is no need for blast furnaces. The UK has progressed onwards to carrying out high tech manufacturing using steel. So now we do high precision stuff rather than churn out tons of raw steel.
        An economist talks about the UK’s steel industry here – Tim Worstall.

      • Government Planned economies are so terrific and have such a great history of success. Let’s all do it that way, Not.

      • With the politicians (of both Tory and Labour) planning to end gas use by 2030 and close any gas power station that doesn’t use ‘carbon capture’ why would anybody bid to build new gas generation plant that will have a life of barely 10 years once planning approval and construction are taken into account? A reality check of blackouts, workers laid off, falling tax revenue (that will shake Osborne) and angry businesses is the only way.

      • sadbutmadlad:
        You said: “The UK has no need for a heavy industrialised steel industry.”
        I am not quite sure what you meant: (1) the UK economy has no need for steel production as a component; (2) the UK has no need for any industry based on steel; (3) the UK can get all the steel it needs by recycling.
        Steel is the single most useful material humans have ever developed. After concrete it is the second most used manufactured material by weight. It can be made in a wide range of hardnesses and alloyed with other metals to achieve various specialty properties. If we do not have steel, we are living in the 19th century, and probably in the first half of the 19th century at that. Last year the world made 1,665 million tonnes steel of which approximately 70% was new steel. Each tonne of new steel requires about 770 kg. of coal using the Basic Oxygen Furnace method, which has universally replaced the older Bessemer process.
        If your meaning was (1) above, then you may be right depending on a bunch of factors. If the UK economy can provide higher skilled jobs working with steel products instead of producing raw steel, that would follow the pattern of advancing industrial economies. It is one of the many blessings of industrial civilization that more people can earn a quality living using their knowledge and skill rather than the strength of their arms and back.
        If your meaning was (2) above, the world disagrees with you in a big way. The UK and every other developed economy needs steel, which somebody is going to make using coal. Until we develop something better, steel will be required to maintain and advance industrial civilization. No steel, no wind turbine towers.
        If your meaning was (3) above, you are also wrong, as shown by the production figures I cited. Steel used for automobiles is not available for recycling for 7-15 years. Construction steel has a lifecycle of 40-70 years. Developing economies will demand new steel far in excess of what recycling can provide. Total world steel demand last year was over three times what recycling alone could satisfy. Steel is already heavily recycled and there is not enough margin for improvement to alter the fact that increasing amounts of new steel will be required each year to satisfy demand.

      • Not really; academics WILL invent a world in which millions perish, as they, the academics pursue their fantasy , heaven on earth ideology.
        The politicians, in an effort to appear more intelligent, more informed, more enlightened, SUPERIOR to the unwashed masses, listen to and carry out the fantastical, idiotic, stupid ideas generated by academics.
        The result is misery for the masses.
        But for the academics, this is a desired result; for they have contempt for the “uneducated” and “inferior” masses.

    • Without coal fired power stations,
      how are they going to make cement
      and build houses or even surface roads ?
      “The UK’s biggest projects are facing a shortage of concrete due to the dwindling availability of a key material. Readymix incorporating fly ash or ground-granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) is commonly used on most major civil engineering schemes, including Crossrail and the Thames Tideway, chiefly because of its strong technical and environmental credentials.
      But supplies of fly ash have fallen recently due to the decline in use of coal by power plants. Cemex technical director Steve Crompton said: “Fly ash is obviously a by-product of coal-fired power stations, but they have been switching to biomass or to gas – so as a result there is less coal being burned, and less fly ash….”
      http://www.newcivilengineer.com/concrete-shortage-looms-for-major-projects/8666481.article
      According to the Coal Ash Association, these are its main uses today.
      (approximately in order of decreasing importance):
      Concrete production, as a substitute material for Portland cement and sand
      Embankments and other structural fills (usually for road construction)
      Grout and Flowable fill production
      Waste stabilization and solidification
      Cement clinkers production – (as a substitute material for clay)
      Mine reclamation
      Stabilization of soft soils
      Road subbase construction
      As Aggregate substitute material (e.g. for brick production)
      Mineral filler in asphaltic concrete
      Agricultural uses: soil amendment, fertilizer, cattle feeders,
      soil stabilization in stock feed yards, and agricultural stakes
      Loose application on rivers to melt ice
      Loose application on roads and parking lots for ice control
      Other applications include cosmetics, toothpaste, kitchen counter tops, floor and ceiling tiles, bowling balls, flotation devices, stucco, utensils, tool handles, picture frames, auto bodies and boat hulls, cellular concrete, geopolymers, roofing tiles, roofing granules, decking, fireplace mantles, cinder block, PVC pipe, Structural Insulated Panels, house siding and trim, running tracks, blasting grit, recycled plastic lumber, utility poles and crossarms, railway sleepers, highway sound barriers, marine pilings, doors, window frames,
      scaffolding, sign posts, crypts, columns, railroad ties, vinyl flooring, paving stones, shower stalls, garage doors, park benches, landscape timbers, planters, pallet blocks, molding, mail boxes, artificial reef, binding agent, paints and undercoatings, metal castings, and filler in wood and plastic products.
      That’s a BIG BLOW to multiple sectors of
      manufacturing and infrastructure. How do
      Governments think they will be able to make
      those things with no coal fired power stations ?
      The closure of Kellingly Colliery is the signal the Britain has lost its way, along with most of Western Europe, and The United States of America. When all the above mentioned products of the coal ash industry are no
      longer made in Britain, and must be imported from Germany or Poland. How will the current Conservative Government Fools explain this to their Electorate, that they threw away Britain’s industry in a moment of caprice, a green whim, made up by Labour Party Buffoon, Ed Miliband, and with policies put in place by Liberal Democrat Ex-MPs whom the UK Electorate have rejected at the last General Election?
      How many millions will be laid off work in the UK subsequent to the closure of coal in Britain, and won’t this lead to increasing resentment towards foreign immigrants, and civil unrest as a result of those pressures ?
      We shall see ….

      • Knute wrote … “Seems America has alot ”
        ….. but not for long under Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan”
        where it won’t just be electricity prices that will necessarily skyrocket,
        but all these produces mentioned above. Remember that the USA has
        already closed 1000 coal fired plants, and of course why do you think that
        China are building new coal fired plants..
        … clue : it isn’t just for the electricity !
        Chinese paint, or plastic pipes anybody ?
        wallboards or roofing tiles anybody else ?
        virtually anything else on that “Products” list above,
        and they are at a fraction of UK/EU/USA Prices ! ! !
        China (Mainland) › paint Found 1,548,426 Results
        http://www.alibaba.com/countrysearch/CN/paint.html
        China (Mainland) › plastic pipe Found 536,758 Results
        http://www.alibaba.com/countrysearch/CN/plastic%20pipe.html
        China (Mainland) › wallboard Found 14,863 Results
        http://www.alibaba.com/countrysearch/CN/wallboard.html
        China (Mainland) › roof tiles Found 283,496 Results
        http://www.alibaba.com/countrysearch/CN/roof%20tiles.html
        …… and so on …. did you see those prices ?!?!?
        Looks like the USA will not be selling much of these products at all,
        if it can even make them in the future at all. No politicians,have even
        considered this when they are pontificating about CO2 and their BULL !
        The arch enemy of Western Democracies (Maurice Strong)
        is now dead, having lived high on the hog these past several
        years as a guest of the Chinese, when he and UNEP and
        the UNIPCC were spouting all this climate garbagem and cutting
        down on coal part of HIS solution (except in China of course).
        Now China has all this stuff that we used to make ourselves.
        It isn’t just the manufacturing that’s been exported abroad,
        but all of those UK/EU/USA manufacturing jobs too !!!!
        We need Coal Fired Power Stations in the West,
        and they are NOT just for Electricity,,,,, Geddit ?
        Are you listening any Politicians in here ?
        Please !

        • Hmmm, I’m not a fan of the greenie zombie power but I’ll have to differ with you on “available coal ash supply”. We easily produced more than we consumed for decades. IF it does become a more valued resource, well have plenty for sale for the foreseeable future.

      • Sadly Knute, what these industries need is fresh dry anhydrous product in most cases, Such dry powder does not store easily, in open slag heaps, for the very reasons why it is used in cement, and cement replacement products, it reacts and sets rock hard, mostly due to ferric content. Look around you, and you will see where much of it went; into buildings and road and bridges mostly, but also in all those other products mentioned in the list above.
        This is the issue with people “guessing” that there will be enough & etc.
        Did you even read that article at New Civil Engineer ?

        • I did, thanks C3.
          It’s a lovely filler material.
          Wet fly ash gravity drains very easily when worked with a dozer.
          Cooked sand that cools into tiny ball bearings.
          The article panics where no panic is needed, unless they literally don’t have the stuff.
          Plenty in the States though.
          Perhaps I should go invest in one of the numerous landfills that have it.

      • wet fly-ash reacts and sets rock hard
        actually the composition of most fly-ash
        from US coals contains a high proportion
        of calcium oxide, as much as one fifth, as
        well as aluminium, iron, silicon, and other
        oxides and suphates.
        Such mixture is self setting, Once it sets,
        it is of no further use to manufacture
        products, such as I have described.
        Yes it could be “mined” from such sites
        as you mention, but it would need to be
        reprocessed in a furnace once again to
        reduce the content once more.This would
        of course cost real money and more energy,
        making such products much more expensive
        than if using fresh ash from power stations,
        Naturally such a process would be energy negative,
        instead of generating electricity, as at present in a
        coal fired power station. You say there is no need for
        panic, but there is already a shortage of fresh fly-ash,
        and especially in Europe, and particularly in the UK,
        which country this article was about. Even if excess
        fresh fly-ash were available for export, mining, trucking,
        handling, and shipping isn’t free. I think you fail to
        understand how serious this is, especially for the UK.

      • Re: above image of waste heaps …
        It is important to realize that there are two basic classes
        of fly-ash. Class C which is the more useful in the building
        industry, and which contains large amounts of calcium oxide
        and quantities of other minerals which closely resemble the
        constituents of pozzolanic materials originally used by the
        Romans, though they obtained such materials from volcanic
        sources, and mixed this with slaked lime to create concrete.
        Without knowing the chemical composition of what we are
        looking at in that photo above, we don’t know if this might
        not be class F fly-ash which can contain almost no calcium
        oxide at all, and thus is not only less useful in terms of a
        self setting cement replacement, but also less useful for
        manufacture of other products which rely on a high calcium
        content. The company on whose website the above image
        appears, trades in both types of fly-ash, and indeed is
        directly involved in landscaping and land reclaimation,
        and so not as much of the ash which they “dispose” of
        does go to mineable landfill as you might imagine.
        Again, depending on the lack of iron oxide and iron
        suphide content, it is possible to slake the fly ash,
        and it will remain transportable and workable until
        it dries out, when the calcium hyrodoxide will combine
        with CO2 gradually hardening, as it is converted into
        calcium carbonate. The calcium hydroxide will remain
        unreacted so long as it is kept wet, and so long as any iron
        compounds are insufficient to create appreciable reactions
        of a pozzolanic nature. Not only that, but even class C ash
        may be kept in a wet state until use, if to be used for some
        construction purposes, where it is intended to eventually
        go hard, such as in concrete or building blocks, roof tiles,
        and so on. Then a quantity of pozzolanic hardener such
        as sodium sulphate, or calcium chloride can be added.
        The bottom line is that what you see in that picture is
        not the end product, but we don’t know exactly what we
        are looking at, except that it is labelled flyash, and it
        looks wet,
        Of course the chemistry is far more complex than I have
        simply described, and during the hydration process,
        fly ash also chemically reacts the calcium hydroxide
        forming calcium silicate hydrate and calcium aluminate,
        forming a “geopolymer”, the exact plasticity and matric being
        highly dependent upon the ratio of aluminium to silicon compounds.
        For instance see this paper on the chemistry of class F flyash :
        http://sts.bwk.tue.nl/josbrouwers/publications/Conference12.pdf
        Suffice to say that there are very real problems with storage
        over long periods of time, if the plan is to use the product for
        building purposes eventually. Once the reactions described in
        that paper of class F fly-ash occur, then they are not reversible
        without huge effort and cost, and probably costlier than mining
        fresh virgin materials.
        By all means “invest” in a rock solid reacted landfill if you so wish,
        but it won’t be any future use for making building blocks, or roofing
        tiles, toothpaste, PVC wire insulation, water and sewage pipes,
        or for ocean piles, fishing floats and buoys, reinforced concrete
        beams, house-bricks, wall-boards and all that stuff.
        Still this has been a useful discussion, which does expose the
        fact that this once plentiful, and indeed so plentiful that it was
        once a “waste problem”, is now dwindling to dangerously low
        levels in some countries like the UK, and with Obama’s crazy
        clean power plan the USA will not be far behind. When the
        source of supply shuts down, then we must go back to the
        old methods of mining grinding and kilning rocks to make
        cement clinker, which is further processed to make so-called
        ordinary portland cement. This is costly and would make most
        large scale building projects perhaps twice as expensive
        in materials costs alone, compared with fly-ash based
        cement replacement and geopolymer products.
        We found uses for the fly-ash when it was cheap and abundant
        which priced out and replaced alternatives that we once used,
        and now that it is becoming in short supply, those original
        industries that supplied the old style products are no longer
        there to take up any slack. Fly-ash had become part of a much
        larger holistic system, and now it cannot easily be replaced
        without incurring significant costs. None of this was even
        considered by these UNIPCC and UNEP people who have
        imposed the daft regulations which could cause the imminent
        demise of these vital industries across the entire West.
        Still if we placed a moratorium on any further coal fired
        power station closures, and even reversed those so-called
        biomass conversions back to pulverized coal, then we may
        still be able to draw back from the precipice that beckons.

  8. Those interested in more details of miners’ lives in the 30’s should read George Orwell’s “The Road to Wigan Pier.” In the first part of the book he describes the brutal underground work and abysmal aboveground living conditions in vivid detail. In the second part, although an avowed socialist in theory, he trashes the reality of socialism and socialists unmercifully.

    • Mining is a very, very tough and dangerous job; no doubt about it.
      But one cannot compare mining conditions today with those extant in the 1930s.

    • Yes, indeed this is a good historical record,
      and readers might wish to see this analysis video,
      where in section 2, “Coal, Miners, and British Society”
      is discussed in detail [note punctuation].
      This video is a Podcast examining the book
      The Road to Wigan Pier
      for the Honors tutorial, HON 341 –
      George Orwell & Twentieth Century Political Life
      taught by Professor Rob Glover in the
      Honors College at the University of Maine.

      Professor Glover has some other tutorials on
      the other works of George Orwell (Eric Blair),
      We are grateful that the University of Maine
      has allowed these interesting lectures to be
      seen online by “Joe Public”. See Playlist if you like.

    • suicide bombing was a hit in Moscow in 1979. Any cite?

      What are you babbling about?
      The author makes no claims about bombings in Moscow in 1979.
      Now, you would not be attempting to create a strawman argument, now would you? We take a pretty dim view of these kind of things around here, you know.
      What is with this “any cite?” garbage. WHAT! Do I Look Like Your Librarian? I Am Not Your Librarian!
      As far as the Soviet Union and terrorists goes, The USSR and PLO working together even has it’s own Wikipedia(!) page. If you only thought to look there. No link, find it yourself.

    • You have misread the article – the suicide bombers were being trained at the Patrice Lumumba University, not bombing there.

    • Suicide bombings were not fashionable back then, and even if they had been, this does not sound like the kind of thing good old Leonid B would have approved. Lord M is making it up as he goes along.

      • Thank you, Mr Palmer, I noticed a long time ago that most people who frequent this blog can’t read and have a very feeble grasp of history. It is interesting to watch how one of the higher ups (the .1%) despise the proles, and feel so proud about it.

      • François

        December 21, 2015 at 9:48 am
        Thank you, Mr Palmer, I noticed a long time ago that most people who frequent this blog can’t read and have a very feeble grasp of history. It is interesting to watch how one of the higher ups (the .1%) despise the proles, and feel so proud about it.

        I am amazed at how a writer can use so few words, yet be so completely dead wrong in every one of them.
        You apparent disparaging claims against Monckton are wrong: He is the one sympathetic to the workers in the pits who have been sacrificed on the pitchforks and crosses of the self-called “green power” demands BY the self-serving elites who despise those “workers” who are now fired and thrown on the dole.
        Further, the readers and writers here are the one who DO “read history” and “remember history” – as opposed to the elites who work very, very hard to “re-write history” to fit their prejudices and hatred.

      • LOL
        IanW 0858: You have misread the article.
        Francois 0948: I noticed a long time ago that most people who frequent this blog can’t read.

      • Michael Palmer,
        Suicide bombings…does not sound like the kind of thing good old Leonid B would have approved.
        Oh yes, he was real humanitarian, that good old Leonid.
        FYI, Your good old Leonid B approved of great many things, among them assassinations of leaders of government and brutal invasion with great many people killed(see Afganistan as one of the examples). Or death penalty for such little things as having too much foreign currency, as another example.
        University of Patrice Lumumba was used to train terrorists (sorry, revolutionaries), so I am not sure what are you objecting to. It is you who making things up, not Lord M.

      • Udar — my objection was directly at suicide methods as a preferred method of Soviet warfare. Nowhere did I say that the Soviet Union shunned terrorism or guerilla warfare in general. Since it wasn’t obvious to you – my reference to “good, old Leonid” was sarcastic.

      • Michael Palmer,
        The fact of using that particular “institution of learning” by USSR to export revolution around the world is not in dispute, and you appears to agree with me on that.
        While suicide bombing wasn’t the preferred method, there was absolutely nothing that good old gensec wouldn’t approve of, which is also not in dispute, I hope.
        So, what is your beef with Lord M then? That he is not keeping exactly to the letter of the period?

  9. My grandfather died in a NE Pennsylvania mine cave-in in the 30s before I was born, and my father developed asthma as a mine worker. Also he was kicked by a mule which caused him life-long issues. GOD rest their souls as well as their global kindred spirits.

  10. Whilst no democratically elected government should be held to ransom by the Unions, and whilst Scargill had a political agenda of his own, and did not care about the workers, all of this could have been better handled. In fact, much better handled.
    At the end of the day, most of the people affected were hardworking and decent people. Whole communities were decimated. Of course, there were economic realities that meant that the future of coal had to be cut back, but it should have been staged, over decades, and those mines that were economic should have been kept.
    The problem was that this was a particularly bad era for industrial relations, and the UK lost its car industry, ship building industry, and most of its heavy industry, by the pig headedness of Unions, Management and Government. Everyone was short sighted, and the country is now paying a heavy price with its service led economy. The UK has been running a huge negative balance of trade for several decades, and that is not sustainable long term. A country needs to earn money, and it is only the financial service sector, and a small amount of manufacturing that brings in the money that everyone relies upon.

    • A country needs to earn money, and it is only the financial service section, and a small amount of manufacturing that brings in the money

      Indeed a recipe for softies.

  11. What a tragic paradox it is, now that coal-fired power using pelletized, fluidized-bed and high-temperature combustion with filtering and fly-ash trapping is the cleanest source of energy per megawatt-hour delivered, that the men who made that great, life-saving revolution possible are now cast on to the tailings-heap of history by the totalitarian foolishness of the soi-disant “greens” whose generation-long refusal to allow poor nations to build cheap, clean, base-load power stations is killing tens of millions a year before their time by denying them the benefits of base-load power.

    There is a failure among the STEM-illiterate population (into which all Social Justice Warriors and other “Liberal” fascist progtards unfailingly fall) to appreciate the “sunk capital” represented by the technological advances in petrochemicals fuels utilization for the generation of power. In the broad sense, these technologies are transferable to national economies all over the planet, barred only by governmental obstruction in those jurisdictions.
    In short, it’s really raining soup out there, and those Watermelon bastids are bent upon knocking even teaspoons out of the hands of their most desperately starving neighbors.
    How does such arrant misanthropy take seed and fester within what we’ll call the “minds” of our leftards?

    • They can’t understand capital formation or capitalism in general, so I guess we shouldn’t expect them to understand the concept of sunk capital.
      I once argued in a Grist.com comment thread that the climate alarmism movement (community) was misanthropic, generally. Those poor bleeding hearts simply could not understand what I was talking about. They didn’t FEEL misanthropic. They were only angry that people were using fossil fuels and emitting CO2.
      God how I sometimes despair at our educational systems.

      • I’ve lost track of the number of socialists I have debated who argue that the cost of a product should be nothing more than the cost of the raw materials used in it. That is, if there is 10 cents worth of flour in a loaf of bread, as far as they are concerned, you are stealing from the masses if you sell that loaf for more than 10 cents.

  12. Marxists may have desired to spread their revolution through terrorism and economic disruption (nowadays strikes have been replaced by the war against so-called climate change) but there is another strategy which is also still very much in use. This strategy involves undermining the cultural norms of society. It emanates from what is known as the Frankfurt School. If you look at what the Frankfurt School proposed it is frightening how much of it has already been implemented.
    http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=552
    http://www.whale.to/c/frankfurt_school1.html

  13. Unfortunately not. They will die of cold in energy poverty with thousands of others every winter month. When the number reached 5000 above normal one cold March 2013, the deaths went totally unremarked apart from one article in the Telegraph. Not a single MP was sufficiently concerned to even just note it in Parliament. The ‘greens’ are Malthusians they celebrate these deaths as a slow cure to the human cancer on the Earth. It is a mistake to believe that they have the same civilized values as you do.

  14. It is sad for me given my ancestry for my great great great grandfather and his son were coal miners in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

  15. A fascinating article – but was it not the case that it was the Nottinghamshire miners, not Leicestershire ones, who led the resistance to Scargill’s strike?

  16. I just don’t understand this war on fossil fuel. Maybe I’m not that bright, can someone explain why the lefties developed this hate of fossil fuel? It seems like their thoughts are “cut off your whole hand if you have a broken fingernail” kind-of logic.

    • greenliness is next to godliness
      in their minds it makes them morally superior and you cant possibly identify because you don’t possess the vision they do.

      • The origins of the soi-distant greens’ war on fossil fuels lie in te KGB’s arremots to undermine the West by interfering with its energy supplies. They knew the Industrial Revolution had been built on coal. They knew that nothing would be more damaging to capitalism than pushing up the price of energy.

    • Dear Victoria,
      You are bright, or you would not be interested in the answer to that question. It appears that you have not read many of the comments over the past years on WUWT. Since no one has answered you in nearly two hours, until someone more insightful and or articulate comes along, here is my attempt to summarize some of those comments below to answer you — to a point. The ultimate explanation for “why?” Is a mystery. It may be demonic. Seriously. Thus, I will not attempt to go much past the “what” of the issue and tell you a little story (true, unfortunately)… .
      ****************************
      Follow the Money
      {Leaving out a lot…. but, you ARE bright, Victoria, so…}
      Once upon a time, most of the people of England, Scotland, and Wales (alphabetical (ahem)) heated their homes, fueled their forges and boilers, and cooked their food with wood. As you can see (looking right, left, and all around), they ran out. Coal made it possible not only for the gentry to enjoy fine dining, it saved the lives of millions of poor people (including those of the miners’ own families).
      New technology and applied science made coal clean enough to burn in power plants and not cause harm to the people’s lungs. Then, technology and science made nuclear power the most cost-effective power source. Big Coal did not like that. Bad for business. The agents of worldwide Socialism (yes, they have been in the West, attempting to sabotage our economies/take over our governments for decades – see, e.g., the Venona Papers discussed at length in Ann Coulter’s book Treason) did not like that – coal miners were, unwittingly for the most part, among their best foot soldiers. Envirostalinism was born (or came into its own, anyway), goal: regulate nuclear power to the point that it is not economically viable using scare tactics.
      That worked for awhile. Then! A little group of entrepreneurs realized that they could make a lot of money off of windmills and solar cells (and other “sustainable”-but-not-efficient technology) and their beady green eyes lit up with goblinish greed. They had a small problem: their ventures would not be profitable without heavy taxpayer and power customer surcharge subsidies (along with contrived market-share-by-regulation). So, they walked across the street and knocked on the door of the Envirostalinists. “We need help,” they said. When the Envirostalinists saw the golden opportunity to undermine free market capitalism glittering in the hands of those Enviroprofiteers, they jumped for joy and said, “Come on in.”
      The Envirostalinists rallied their Envirocult true believers to create political pressure and to run their propaganda campaigns and the Enviroprofiteers stuffed gold into the pockets (a.k.a. “campaign contributions” and the like) of the Envirostalinist politicians (and also into those of the just plain, old-fashioned, greedy or power-hungry, politicians) and into the true believers’ pockets (via their clubs, like The Sierra Club) and into the pockets of just about anyone who would put “sustainable” or “earth friendly” or “green” on their product labels… .
      NOW! We have the glorious new era! Enviroprofiteers raking in profits off the backs of the miners whose lives they say they are improving. We have come nearly full-circle. Soon, the miners (and all of Jolly Olde England, Scotland, and Wales (alphabetical)) will steal out furtively, in the middle of the night, to find wood … .
      There won’t be enough and there are some vicious, amoral, head-choppers running about, now… . So, there will be semi-anarchy which the Envirostalinists (that is, the British version of the “Weathermen” (remember Obama’s pal, Bill Ayers, et. al.?) drool over the possibility of controlling one day.
      That will not be the end of the story, nevertheless.
      Truth will win. WWII ended in victory for the side of Right. Damaged lives and economic ruin across the countryside scorched by the Envirostalinist-Enviroprofiteer Reign of Terror notwithstanding, SCIENCE TRUTH WILL WIN out in the end.
      (Germany is a case in point (not there yet, but, on the road to recovery from Envirostupidity).
      No, they did not, “live happily ever after.” There would be more battles to fight, more greedy, freedom-choking, foes to crush. But, the AGW Battle is OVER.
      The End.
      *******************************
      At our discouraged, defeatist-language, friends here, a word in closing from Sir Winston Churchill: Never, never, never, never give up.
      GO, NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY!
      Your WUWT ally for truth (about economics and science),
      Janice

      • Ms Moore
        That was pretty good stuff.
        It has the foundations for an educational game similar to those that take players thru civilization building and destroying. Would have lots of lessons learned.

      • Thank you, Knute. Your generous compliment by one who adds much insight and pith to WUWT was very much appreciated.
        START
        RUN “SetID” {a little code that lets the player choose their name, age, occupation, etc…}
        RUN “INTRO” {code that asks player initializing questions such as, “Single player?” “Skip Introduction?” “What is this game about?”}
        IF “single” = 1
        THEN GO TO {more code}
        and REPEAT “A”
        UNTIL “points” = 49 and blah, blah, blah…
        END.
        Wish I had: 1) the patience; and 2) the coding skills (lol — I’m back at Pascal!! — C had just started to be taught when I was a junior).
        Thanks for the kind affirmation, though!
        #(:))
        Your grandson (or daughter (smile)) is going to have a wonderful time.
        Janice

      • Awesome job Janice, when is the book, game, movie coming out ??? LOL
        Actually, I sometimes play a game that is free AND adjustable ( you can completely write the story / rules/ players and ending yourself ).. I think I might use your example as a base for a game and see what happens ( if you don’t mind me using your idea )…
        p.s. the game is called ” Battle for Wesnoth ” !!

      • Oh, and Knute? I keep forgetting to add this. Please, call me Janice. By the way your waiting for me to give you permission was refreshing! (not that I am not guilty of first-name over-familiarity at times, too) Why retailers and banks think that I LIKE people taking liberties is beyond me. We (here in the U.S., I mean) need to regain a bit of the self-respect (and respect for others) our parents and grandparents had and politely, but firmly, ask to be given the courtesy of a title of respect until we choose to turn the relationship into a more familiar one.

      • Thank you (eye roll), Marcus, for the compliment on my feeble attempt at writing a game. That your game let’s you determine so much is cool. Thanks for taking time out to comment, here.
        #(:))

    • Because the power of capitalism is its ability, better than any other form of government, to raise the standards of living of a society.
      And to do this, ample supplies of inexpensive and RELIABLE energy are needed.
      Destroy the supply of reliable energy, and you impede progress and create hardships in society; e.g., lack of employment, etc.
      The communists understand this better than anybody and if you want to spread their political religion of hate, poverty, oppression and misery, then cut off one of the main drivers of progress; reliable and inexpensive energy.
      It really is that simple.

    • Many leftists want a massive reduction in the human population of this planet.
      The rest believe that wishing will make renewable power both cheap and available. This is the crowd that believes that all we need to do to create batteries capable of powering electric cars, is to pass a law requiring battery manufacturers to start building them.

  17. When Scargill called the strike, the miners did not know that on 28 July 1979, a couple of months after Margaret Thatcher had become Prime Minister, he had boarded a Polish freighter at Tilbury, bound for what was then still Leningrad.

    In the late 70s soviet policy was already more concerned with promoting Russian interests than with anything else, including communist dreams of world domination through empowering global proletariat, terrorist groups or suchlike. And look, what’s happened in the long run? Great Britain is importing more coal from Russia than her entire domestic production. In a world where Russia, although no longer communist, is still known to attach powerful political strings to goods exported en masse.
    A perfect game it is. Head — I win, tail — you lose.

  18. Amen to that. But don’t dispair.
    I predict that King Coal will make a triomphant comeback by the midst of the century, if not sooner. Then the great masses will have realised that they have been told porkies and they will revolt against the forced-upon-them energy scarcity. The gas will be running out and carbon, any carbon will again be the black gold that it once was. There will be few miners though; it will be mined by robots and combusted with clean-coal technology. Therefore, better not forget how to do that.

    • King Coal will make a triumphant comeback
      ====================
      it already is. as developed countries (try to) cut back on coal this makes it even cheaper for the 3rd world to use coal. short of bombing 3rd world countries back to the stone age, the huge supply of coal worldwide, along with the low cost, ease of use and ease of storage makes it inevitable that coal use will increase dramatically.

    • You may be right. If not, why did they plug the mine with 30′ of concrete? Why not 10′? Or 12′?

  19. What a fun read. Loved the story about David Hart.
    A man with some backbone.
    Can you imagine today’s generation doing that type of manual labor for 5, 10, 20 years ?
    If England is anything like the States’ elite, they’ll figure a way to shut down fossils (ie coal), then feast on the low pricing, declare victory, and come up with a multi billion dollar program (ie Hillary and her 30B
    http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/11/12/hillary-clinton-unveils-30-billion-plan-to-help-coal-towns/?_r=0) for the mining communities to rebuild themselves. Of course, it won’t be enough but it’s a good way to increase the voting base.
    Btw, loved the quote “Wish ter fook that were true of me”.
    The dirtier the man the truer the heart.

  20. One has to wonder what desperate straights drove men to forsake the green and light to go into a black God forsaken hole in the ground to be tormented by the demons of brown lung, cave in and explosion. One presumes the same desperation, fueled by enclosure, that provided generations of young male canon fodder to fuel the rapacious psychopathy of the British merchant classes. I suppose digging coal looked pretty good next to swinging from the triple tree or from the new drop, as communal lands were replaced by communal hanging in jolly old England- for centuries one the most f***** up places in the world to be a common man. I like a lot of Monckton’s writing, but this was really perverse little piece. What a sick world where some men are required to sacrifice their lives in the pit of hell so that others can attend meetings in Claridges. With apologies to Edwin Markham I give you “The man with the pick”
    Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
    Upon his pick and gazes on the ground,
    The emptiness of ages in his face,
    And on his back, the burden of the world.
    Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
    A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
    Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
    Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
    Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
    Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?
    Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
    To have dominion over sea and land;
    To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
    To feel the passion of Eternity?
    Is this the dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
    And marked their ways upon the ancient deep?
    Down all the caverns of Hell to their last gulf
    There is no shape more terrible than this–
    More tongued with cries against the world’s blind greed–
    More filled with signs and portents for the soul–
    More packed with danger to the universe.
    What gulfs between him and the seraphim!
    Slave of the wheel of labor, what to him
    Are Plato and the swing of the Pleiades?
    What the long reaches of the peaks of song,
    The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose?
    Through this dread shape the suffering ages look;
    Time’s tragedy is in that aching stoop;
    Through this dread shape humanity betrayed,
    Plundered, profaned and disinherited,
    Cries protest to the Powers that made the world,
    A protest that is also prophecy.
    O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
    Is this the handiwork you give to God,
    This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched?
    How will you ever straighten up this shape;
    Touch it again with immortality;
    Give back the upward looking and the light;
    Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
    Make right the immemorial infamies,
    Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?
    O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
    How will the future reckon with this Man?
    How answer his brute question in that hour
    When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores?
    How will it be with kingdoms and with kings–
    With those who shaped him to the thing he is–
    When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world,
    After the silence of the centuries?

  21. 28 July 1979
    the Patrice Lumumba University, where terrorist grunts from all over the world were trained.
    ============
    “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it”
    27 August 1979
    IRA kill the Queen’s cousin Lord Mountbatten
    Elizabeth II’s cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten, one of his teenage grandsons and two others were killed by a bomb on his boat at Mullaghmore in county Sligo, Ireland. On the same day the IRA also killed 18 soldiers at Warrenpoint in County Down.

  22. “In the 1950s and ’60s the particulate pollution from the coal-fired power stations of Britain used to kill an estimated 37,000 people a year through respiratory diseases”
    Noooo, that is green propaganda, it was coal burning in houses and factories that caused the smog that killed. The eco-fascists have got away with this lie for too long.

  23. … but as Eric Worrall posted on December 18 in WUWT:
    Britain has just controversially allowed fracking under National Parks. The fracking rigs can’t be erected inside the parks, but horizontal drilling from properties adjoining the parks, into land which lays underneath the parks, is now permitted.
    The movement away from coal is not necessarily a bad thing if it is replaced by natural gas and oil. Of course, that’s a big if.

  24. So deep coal mining in Britain has simply become un-economic in the face of a massive surplus of cheap US coal. Obama is exporting CO2 while braying about how developing nations need to build windmills. Any one who forces developing nations to only build “clean energy” generation is a mass murderer in my opinion. But i digress; this decision to close down the mine is mostly an economic decision that is being spun to give the ruling parties some “green” credibility.

    • And the U.S. is exporting wood pellets from millions of low value trees to feed into the boilers of Europe in a green policy formula. Also, recall that the one freighter that made it through the Northwest Passage in the Arctic a few summers ago was…….a coal ship. These examples just go to show how wayward energy policy of a city state can impact forests and mines globally.

  25. To RACookPE1978.
    Monckton boasts about apeasing the miners with a bowler hat and a pint in the pub, now, that is sympathy..

    • Francois, lol, you say everyone commenting on this site is so dumb you can hardly stand it… .
      (chuckling) Here. I will help you navigate the Word press reply code. Above, I will post a link to your 10:30am comment.
      Why, you are so very welcome!
      #(:))

    • François,
      “Monckton boasts about apeasing the miners with a bowler hat and a pint in the pub, now, that is sympathy.. ”
      It seems so to me . . Were you disappointed that there was not a big riot with tear gas and busted skulls? Explain yourself, please, by telling us what you would have done under such circumstances . . As it is, you appear to be just a judgmental jerk, badmouthing people you feel superior to.

    • Fascinating how the troll manages to completely mischaracterize the article. Again.
      On another thread this same troll whines that people here do not understand the articles we read.
      Self awareness is obviously not a survival characteristic in the kingdom of troll.

  26. Thanks for your personal insights and retrospective on the Kellingley Colliery, sir. It seems strange that by 1979, a union organizer anywhere in the world would need to visit Russia to what(?)… brush up on his socialist rhetoric? burnish his credentials for the rank and file? Perhaps even then the wheels were turning (in Russian minds at least) towards a more active Russian role in Western European energy.
    a December 11 Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Patterson noted:

    The U.K. already imports most of the coal that fuels its power plants, with imports first surpassing local production in 2001. Russia has been the biggest beneficiary of the U.K.’s increased appetite for imported coal, providing 46% of its thermal coal in 2014, according to the U.K. government. Coal supplies roughly one-third of the energy for electricity generation in the U.K., with natural gas and renewable sources making up the rest.

    Of the twenty-five top steel-producing companies in the world, rated by metric tons produced in 2010-11, the U.S. now possesses two. Russia has four and China has five. The largest producers in the U.S. are U.S. Steel, which manufactures 22 million metric tons, and Arcelor Mittal, a Belgian company with factories here which produces nearly 100 million MT. Both are heavily unionized.
    http://www.steelads.com/info/largeststeel/TOP25_Worlds_Largest_Steel_Companies.html

  27. what is the purpose of encasing the pit head winding gear in a box ? Make it look less like a pit I suppose ? I thought the wheels looked more interesting, more honest.

      • One headgear is surrounded by an air-casing so that the ventilation system works.
        The other headgear doesn’t have to be enclosed but the fact that it is, makes materials handling easier and conditions for the miners, dressed for going down the shaft to working in temperatures in the high 30s Centigrade, a bit less uncomfortable when it is minus 10 degrees and snowing at the surface.
        What would you suggest?

  28. A friend of mine was a miner for a year or so in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He told me a guy he worked with cut off his own toe with a shovel to get a few hundred quid in compensation and some time off.

  29. Such insider subterfuge with training in Russia would have to explain the suicidal handover of the British jet engine to Stalin and its use against Americans and Brits in Korea. Where is the Book of Real History kept?

    • many of the real stories go to the grave with the people who lived them.
      when they occurred, they couldn’t talk about it.
      when it was over, very few wanted to hear or would believe it.
      as the time goes by the elders feel the stories are less relevant and are no longer worth telling.

    • The Welland was it not ? We’d seen the future in what the Germans were producing in the Axial line, and maybe hoped to send the Russians off on the dead end track of Centrifugal 🙂

  30. I’d just like to add a couple of facts that I observed over my limited involvement with coal mining. First, as a student geologist, I went down a deep mine in Staffs somewhere – it was an eye opener, 2 or 3 guys operating the coal cutting machine, like a big bacon slicer! – and at least 20 other guys ‘napping’ in a gallery! I always believed miners worked really hard before that! Second, I was working on the surface when they were sinking the new Wistow Pit at Selby and stopping at a former miners house – he still got free coal delivered! Yeah – I appreciate the miners for their efforts – but the modern pit is not the same as a Victorian mine. I agreed that they got good wages simply for danger money – but hard work? – no, I didn’t see any! The miners strike was based on greed and ‘power’ in my opinion and ultimately, I felt they deserved to lose! I realise others may not agree – but it was bound to happen.

    • You are basically correct in your “danger pay” assessment and work versus non-work observation, at least in union operations.

      • In this day of numerous government agencies (e.g., O.S.H.A. in the U.S) enforcing worker safety regs., unions are just wage-inflating!, blood-sucking!, leeches!!

      • That’s all unions have ever been. The belief that unions caused the increase in workplace safety is nothing more than union propaganda.
        Workplace safety had been improving for generations prior to the first union being formed. What enabled the increased safety was two fold. Better technology, and sufficient wealth to employ the better technology.

  31. I was in the England during the 1984 strike. We were in a pub and someone would come in banging on a metal garbage can and “suggest” donations. Very effective, as nobody really wanted to be seen not “donating” to someone with what amounted to a billy club…
    It is amazing, though: Germany got credit for closing down former East German industry that was dirty and inefficient.
    But the left never gives Thatcher credit for doing so to the coal mines…

  32. It’s a fair bet that most contributors to this topic have never been in a coal mine, let alone an underground coalmine. Coal seams contain varying amounts of methane and extracting that coal has to be in a strictly flame-free and spark-free environment. Not only does methane represent a potentially explosive environment, but so does coal dust. At depth, the relatively soft seams are also prone to sudden, catastrophic rock-bust. Towards the end of their lives, most of the UK mines were exploiting relatively thin seams often only around a metre (3 feet) in thickness … contrast this to some of the open-cut black coal mines in Australia where thicknesses have ranged to 30 metres (~100 feet).

    • Flame free, eh? Thats a laugh.
      When I was down Bentley pit, the entire pillar under Doncaster was on fire, and had been for the previous 50 years. Once deep coal lights, which it can do spontaneously when introduced to oxygen, it is almost impossible to put out.
      The solution was lots of plaster of paris, to seal off entire walls, to stop the oxygen creeping into the seams. But all the sealed off sections were still too hot to touch.
      R

    • During my best shift on the face we produced 17,138 tonnes in 8 1/2 hours at an Australian long wall. Mines in the US routinely produce 10,000,000tonnes per annum from a long wall, and a mine in Queensland just became the first Australian long wall to do the same. This is the reason British coal mines that produced 1000 tonnes per day were uncompetitive. Also most were using the more dangerous advancing rather than retreating long wall system, for reasons I can not fathom. Britain will be left with a legacy of some fine coal mining equipment manufacturers, but with no testing and proving ground it remains to be seen how long that they will remain in Britain.

  33. The coal seams have been there since the Carboniferous Period 350 million years ago. They can wait and bide their time. The same applies to the shale gas and oil shales. Technology and applied problem solving can awaken them at times. They will outlast the windmills, climate cycles, policy reach, and national debt capacities.

  34. Loyal and intransigent all in one, the miners. All Arthur Scargill had to do was hold a ballot (as required by his miner Union’s laws) – in which he would have strolled to victory, and that would’ve been the end of Mrs Thatcher. I’m very glad the b*stard was so obstinate as without that we wouldn’t have seen him handbagged by a true leader. All these years later and he’s STILL bitter. Nice work, Maggie.

  35. Enjoyable, frank, informative, Lord Christopher, and typically self-effacing.
    But the message I get is a little ambiguous. Do you not agree that the demise of the UK deep-mined coal industry was certain, even for Kellingly, long before the current green movement got its fangs into the government neck? I know you above all as a free-marketeer, and it seems to me that the only possibility of saving the UK industry from its cheaper worldwide competitors was to institute import restrictions, or mining subsidies, by invoking a strategic national imperative? Of course, that wouldn’t have been possible within our membership of the European Union (surprised you didn’t mention that) and, ultimately, perhaps the WTO as well (there was an illuminating and costly row about steel, including an actual and damaging trade war, between a reluctant UK (as part of the EU) and USA 12-14 years ago (nevereally hit the MSM, of course).
    The green revolution is really, just a footnote to your story.

    • Though deep-mined coal is not as profitable as open-pit coal, Kellingley would have had several years’ more of life were it not for the Green war on coal.

  36. The Green Wars directed by fifth columnists need not be suffered. Somehow, we have to ignore the greenies and do what’s right for the real constituents. What in hell is it that causes us to heed them or even waste a minute on them. Misanthropy is essentially a political party now. It is a constant tax, a constant nuisance to no good end. It diminishes civilization, de-educates citizens, threatens our prosperity and security and delivers us into the hands of Neo Marksbrothers and the Nu Wuddled Order. We didn’t elect them and now they ghost write policy and regulations.
    I’m pleased that India, Canada and New Zealand have delisted Greenpeace as a charitable organization although young Trudeau is probably a soft touch for reinstatement in Canada (We elected this nice young fellow because Harper wasn’t cuddly and ran a tight ship, was a bit paranoid, looked to the interests of the electorate and created the best economy in the G8, a quaint idea these days – go figure?). Why do you have to have a leader who you would like to socialize with? It’s a different kind of job. This is why a lot of frustrated people in the west find Putin, Modi (India) and Republican candidate Trump a breath of fresh air (Reagan was thought to be a fool, a grade B actor who was remembered for co-starring with Bonzo – he changed the world and America) .
    It is one of those times that needs leaders that see nothing too big to fail!! It is why Donald Trump is grabbing all the headlines. It’s why a wise electorate would vote for him even if they can’t stand the man. Hold your noses. Sometimes strange bedfellows have to be accepted when you are saving the real planet, the one we live on. Compromise with the devil has never been a good strategy. So, you wish you had maintained control on immigration? Then back it all up and redo it. You think you might have dealt with Middle East issues differently. Scrap the plans and agreements, go to a no nonsense, self interested position and redraft policy. I think disengagement sounds about right except to support Israel, which is also going out of style. ME oil is essentially of little interest to America. Oh, and put a thousand constitutional experts on the job of adding thick boiler plate to the constitution while you still have a working document that won’t blow away on you. Defund the UN – it isn’t even a clever Trojan Horse….

  37. I fear the lord’s memory is playing him up. The UDM was a Nottinghamshire based organisation, not Leicestershire. I am sure the miners were glad to see the Times bearing toffs coming to visit them in their “top of the range Mercedes” from their country estates and Claridges suites. David Hart had been declared Bankrupt in 1974, owing close to a million quid. Fortunately for him (and the Miners) an inheritance set him back up again. He maintained two mistresses in expensive accommodation and commuted by helicopter. “You give me the impression you have lived in cloud cuckoo land,” the official receiver told him, reprimanding Hart for his “delusions of grandeur” and taking exception to the fact that many of Hart’s creditors were small tradesmen. Still, he could hold a friendly conversation with working people… he enjoyed their company and was at ease with them and – as importantly – they with him. I guess that makes it easier to rip them off for a million.

    • Don’t whihe, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire miners formed the UDM. And David Hart, having gone bankrupt in 1974, as many others had done that year, did not recover his fortunes as a result of an inheritance. He spent six months walking the streets of an up-and-coming district of London, learning the prices of domestic properties for sale and talking to estate agents. Then he went round offering to purchase people’s houses. He offered them 10% down and the rest on completion and, when the first vendor agreed, he had to beg the bank to honor his check. The bank, whom he had kept fully briefed, honored the check and he made $1.5 million that year alone – more money than his dad’s bank – which he did not inherit.
      Thereafter, he switched to commercial property. One of his deals was to buy and lease back to the then-nationalized British Rail an office building in Crewe. His negotiation was so successful that the rent payment exceeded the cost of servicing the commercial loan. Effectively, he got the building for nothing. By hard work and hard negotiation, he rebuilt himself and was able to compensate many of those who had suffered from his original bankruptcy.
      Britain has good reason to remember him fondly for his selfless devotion to the cause of liberty, and for his bearing the cost in time and treasure of helping the working miners to break the strike and prevent their Communist, Soviet-led leaders from unseating the elected government.

      • yes well. my mortgage was 11 thousand on a semi in Bournemouth and I am not impressed with the UK inflationary house prices. My son calls my generation bandits.

      • @knutesea
        I imagine because of what he has to pay out for a flat in London while his older relatives are sitting on 1/2 million, 1 million etc and no mortgage.
        that period when all the council houses were sold off people could get a mortgage never pay a penny towards it and still make a profit.

        • Ah, similar sense in the States. Young adults annoyed that they have to work their way up while relatives sit on fat savings. Something is amiss in the minds of the little demi-gods.

      • well they have a point.
        I don’t think anybody begrudges earned savings I think it is the inexorable growth in property prices particularly in the UK.
        I know we are responding to a Thatcher fanboy but I tended to disagree with her statement that “there is no such thing as society” and I didn’t think forcing councils to sell off all the social housing was a good move.
        Really Society needs a bit of management in my opinion.

      • Are you saying he didn’t inherit lots of money? Fact is, he did. This from the Telegraph obituary- not unsympathetic to Tories.
        “Hart lost everything down to his fountain pen. His mother sent round her butler to look after him in his misery. Indeed, it was thanks to his family that he soon restored his position (and his lifestyle), exchanging the estate in Somerset for one in Suffolk. In 1978 he was discharged from bankruptcy after his brother paid off many of his debts. Around the same time he inherited a substantial sum from his father, which he added to with further dealings in the property market in the 1980s.”
        Now, I don’t have personal information, but do you say this is wrong? I am not saying he did not have good qualities, but that he was helped very much by his family position of privilege.
        The miners, however misguided they were, suffered a great deal of poverty and hardship during the strike. I think bragging about the wealth of those that were acting against them is crass. Whilst they were trying to get by on hand-outs, children believing santa was on strike, picking coal off waste-heaps, you went to see Hart on a 900C high spec Ducatti. You went to see him in a country house (photo of similar given), he had a top of the range Mercedes, the war room was in the swankiest hotel in London. All unneccesary references to wealth and status, recited with inappropriate relish. Your talk of “the working people” is condescending. You refer to them as though they were something different, and the ability to communicate with them is some feat of translation. They are just people.
        Your headline is misleading, as it is not pronciplaly the Greens who did for British deep mine coal. As you say yourself “for opencast mining was safer and cheaper and imported coal was also far less costly than our own hard-won deep-mined product.” That is why we do not have any deep mined coal.
        All in all, I don’t think this is your finest hour.

  38. A song of tribute — for the miners. Regardless of “why,” or what or whom is to blame, men with that kind of courage and endurance deserve to be honored:
    (a parallel, not identical, situation)
    Allentown — by Billy Joel

    (youtube)
    **********************************************
    And also, for the miners, some encouragement, this is the beginning, the beginning, of a whole new chapter in each of your lives. That strength of character, the tenacity and courage that kept you going back “doon in’t bucking mine” day after day, year after year, will carry you on up the road. “Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up.” BELIEVE! Things may look grim for a bit, as they did for the folks in the video below, but, good things lie ahead for you!
    “Hold on Tight to Your Dreams” — ELO

    (youtube)
    I believe in you. Believe in yourself.
    #(:))
    Janice
    (over here in the U.S., cheering you on in your personal race of life)
    ***************************************
    Okay, okay, it IS not very likely any of them will see this (or, even, to be encouraged or to feel honored), but, even just one …

    • Yo, miners! #(:)) — one more song!
      A song from the era of the guys MY age who have worked in those mines for over half their lives — that makes it a good choice!
      Crank this one up loud and …
      Don’t Look Back” — Boston

      (youtube)
      (apologies for the American-centric videos in post above — I hope you can overlook that (especially! when you see that in one scene, the American flag is OVER the communists’ 🙂 )

    • Janice;
      The pictures of the steel mills are of Bethlehem Steel Corp., in Bethlehem, Pa.
      Bethlehem, Pa. and Allentown, Pa are attached at the hip and share a common border.
      When driving from one to the other, you really cannot tell when when you have left the one city and entered the other.

  39. “King Coal will make a triumphant comeback.”
    King Coal doesn’t need to return, he never left. World Coal consumption rose from 1.4 Billion Tonnes of Metric equivalent Oil in 1965, to 2.4 Billion in 2004 and then accelerated to 3.7 Billion in 2010. In 2015 it is about 4 Billion. Half the use is in China, where people know that CAGW is a Western Fraud.

  40. 1 there was relatively little gas-fired generation in UK in the Thatcher/Major years – nuclear, yes, and some oil, but not much gas. The “dash for gas” happened in the early years of the Blair governments.
    2 Kellingley’s main seams extend to the east of its recent workings and could have continued in production for at least another dozen years with development investment. But the sums required were probably greater than potential proceeds of production from recent panels, even at a modest premium above world prices in recognition of the benefits of access to local supplies and timely deliveries.
    3. time was when government would have supported continuing production in the interests of energy security, but no longer. There would be no point when the present administration is continuing the “green” anti-coal policies put into law by Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act through introducing carbon taxes actively designed to make coal-fired generation uneconomic no matter how much we need it to keep the lights on. No coal-fired generation = no market for domestic coal production, so why would anyone invest to keep deep mines working?

    • Not the relevant question. Which is: “did you also carry a ‘brolly, like John Steed?”

  41. “…He heard the bike (you could hear a Hailwood Rep four counties away, like Aunt Diana in the hunting field) and got off his tractor….”
    I can hear it now.

  42. My wife and I were married in 1984 and spent our honeymoon in Scotland. When we arrived there in August we had dinner with acquaintances from a previous trip. We sat in their living room in Edinburgh sipping single malt and watching the news, including an interview with the head of some miners union local from up north. We couldn’t understand a word he said. When we mentioned this to our hosts they admitted they couldn’t either.

    • Well, British dialects are exceptionally hard for an American to penetrate. As witness the following “cocktail party:”

    • The miner in question may have been speaking Doric, a rare and impenetrable Scots dialect that is spoken on the north-east neuk of Buchan and is incomprehensible even to most Scots. When my lovely wife and I bought a stately home there, one of the locals spoke to her in Doric and, to his astonishment, she understood him at once. She is Danish, of which Doric is an old variant. I had to learn it so that I could be understood when giving the opening speeches at local events. In the Second World War Doric was used apron the battlefield for radio communications because the Germans had no hope of understanding it, just as U.S. forces used Choctaws.

      • Probably not Doric as there were no mines in the north east. Apart from one outlier at Brora, there were no coal mines anywhere north of Fife. The most prominent Scottish miners leader was Mick MacGahey, and he was a Glaswegian, and had quiote a strong accent. I can’t recall any others.

      • Hard to imagine a union spokesman would use Doric in a TV interview broadcast at least to the rest of Scotland. I think the accent was just so thick and regional that neither we nor our hosts could penetrate it.

  43. A few years ago I visited a gold mine in Mexico and was greeted with Cornish pasties for lunch. The British miners used to tuck a couple of these under their mining hats just before descending underground. The Mexican miners they were training adopted the practice and although the mines have since closed those delicious pasties live on.
    One day the greenies are going to close all the gold mines. Then the diamond mines.

  44. Thanks, Christopher, Lord Monckton.
    This is a very good human story, about we carbon-based creatures that suffer the consequences of this man-made scam about global warming.

    • A great pleasure, Andres. I have long thought that David Hart’s central role in bringing the strike to an end should be revealed and recognised with gratitude, and that someone should say Thank you to the miners.

  45. Well said sir.
    I suspect that at some point we will dig up all that coal to make coal-to-liquid fuel for a substitute petroleum, but given today’s glut…not for a while.

    • Its a bit of a gamble. They want wind, solar, puppies and mountains. No more fossil fuels. The gamble is that they’ll be smart enough to secure the development of nukes before the climate turns cold. They don’t know that’s the gamble because they think they only have to worry about heating the place up, but that’s the real danger.
      Could very well be that fossils will be brought back if they don’t get the timing down for their brave new world.

    • Coal liquification is the wave of the future. And always will be. There are at least 35 different coal-to-liquid schemes. I did a study covering every one of them as of 1977. Every time the price of gasoline goes up, the price of liquefying coal goes up along with it. It’s the kind of thing you do if your Festung Europa hasn’t a lot of oil fields.

  46. There was a good lesson learned from the rotating shutdowns of electricity,it made you appreciate it.
    But as usual, many of the ‘Dimwits’ were calling for Scargill to be hanged by the neck because they missed the TV Soaps.
    Sad but true.

      • I owned two successive Hailwood Reps, on which I traveled all over Europe. On one occasion I had been with my fellow Knights of Malta on a visit to Lourdes in the French Pyrenees, whose chief miracle is that it is the best place in the world geared up to give severely disabled people a wonderful holiday. I had taken the bike, because the disabled children used to enjoy clinging on tight and going for short rides, and having their pictures taken (OSHA wouldn’t have liked that, but the kids’ shrieks of delight showed that they did).
        On the evening of the last day of the trip, I saw the sick folk and their helpers off on the train at Lourdes station and set off for Calais 700 miles to the north for the crossing back to the UK. The train hammered nonstop through the night, reaching Calais at dawn. I also thundered through the night and was on the platform at Calais Maritime to meet the train (no Channel Tunnel in them days). I had been there three hours when the train pulled in.
        My last bike was a Ducati 996 S, which I bought in Cyprus. Every Sunday at 7 am I used to ride out on the first-class, curvaceous biking roads of Cyprus with about 100 lusty Cypriot youths. I got into trouble with the Cypriot chief negotiator for admission to the European Union because my accent, after speaking the local Homeric dialect with them, was not that of Attica.
        I was once arrested for murder while riding the bike back from Nicosia to Limassol. A guy on a red bike had shot a family of four in their car in Nicosia and the police needed to say on the 8 pm news that they had arrested the suspect. They knew perfectly well from the start that I was blameless, for I had heard them talking on the radio. My leather jacket was red, white, blue, yellow and black for high visibility, but the murderer’s jacket had been brown. After I had alerted London and threatened the Cypriots with an international incident, the police wrote me a letter of grovelling apology and released me.
        I had to stop riding when a very rare disease led to removal of my adrenal glands, interfering with my ability to react to unfolding events on the road. I miss my bikes. I used to keep one in Cyprus, one at Heathrow Airport (from there to my London club was just 15 minutes), one at our apartment in Cannes and one in Scotland. I used to ride about 40,000 miles a year. Two wheels good, four wheels bad.

        • Marvelous moments. Freedom, the open road, unpredictability and friendly lassies.
          Always wanted a bike and toyed with a few but my mind wanders on the road. It’s perhaps the hum and the speed. Not a safe combination.
          Thanks for sharing.

    • I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, to have read (ok, skimmed) so many comments before I finally, finally, got to a comment about that bike.
      That beautiful bike. That very beautiful bike.
      Happy holidays to all.
      Best wishes.

      • I’m with you Tom Judd. As usual, I’ve enjoyed his lordship’s latest contribution to the site. But I just couldn’t get past that beautiful bike.
        Having said that, I’m not at all sure I’d like to ride it. My WR-250 has forks at least double the diameter of those spaghetti noodle things and has suspension technology light years ahead of what the old Duke is using. The brakes on my FZ-07 can do more with a gentle two finger pull than the old Ducati’s in a full panic stop. Which is probably a good thing, since – with those tyres – it wouldn’t be able to handle it anyway.
        Still, a gorgeous bike.
        I was at the IOMTT when Ducati released their latest iteration of the Hailwood replica saw some of the fast guys (including King Carl Fogarty {quietly revealing my age here}) take some “parade” laps on a few.

      • Actually, the Hailwood Rep, though underpowered by today’s standards, was able to hold its own against its then Japanese rivals because it handled so well. One could flick it in and out of roundabouts and around corners at mad lean angles, precisely because of its narrow wheels. And the forks were a lot stronger than they looked: I never had any trouble from them. The electrics were dreadful, though: the Italians, not a logical race, have never really understood how current works.
        I rode my Hailwood Reps for tens of thousands of miles. They had to be carefully and regularly serviced, but as long as they were looked after they went like the wind and drew admiring crowds everywhere. One had to be strong and fit to own one, because there was no electric start, and turning over the big 900 cc engine took some doing.

    • [..] On the evening of the last day of the trip [..]
      I have to say that I hadn’t released that you were writing a book (upstream comment). I will certainly be in line to get a copy. I imagine that some individuals will not be as keen though :^)

  47. Why not save the mine as a National Industrial Herritage site. People love to visit locations like this.
    As for coal and steel we will need a lot of the stuff in the near future to replace our worn out infra structure. Bridges, thousands of bridges, viaducts, nuclear plants, you name it.
    China has planned to revive the Silk Road and has planned for a second Channel to compete with the Panama Channel.
    I think a lot of people will be sorry for decisions like this especially if the Climate Hoax dissepates.
    Today NASA reported that fossil fuels cause cooling…
    Wattsupwiththat?

  48. One event which did nothing to improve the striking miners any good was a killing of an innocent motorist. He was driving his car and striking miners threw a concrete post over a bridge which crashed through the drivers windscreen killing him instantly. By all means take industrial action if you need to but leave innocent people out of it.

      • I had always considered Scargill a thug just as I considered Ian Paisely a thug too. Your account of his time in Russia just re-enforces my opinion of him.

      • Where do I suggest industrial action includes violence and destruction of corporate property? I do not. The violence and destruction didn’t help their cause but, IMO, that one event pretty much started the turn of public opinion against the strike.

  49. Shame that Margaret Thatcher became the first leader to endorse the global warming scare, something which our illustrious Lord of this piece conviently forgets. Of course closing down coal mines and breaking NUM was helped by the green scare which Thatcher found politically usefull at the time.

    • False. The Communist miners’ leaders had long been utterly defeated by the time the global warming scare arose. It was my successor at 10 Downing Street, George Guise, who wrote with her the 1988 speech in which she predicted 1 K/decade warming driven by CO2. She, like me,later revised her opinion on the basis of the evidence and the data.

      • I have been trying to respond to this post. She was NOT the first leader to endorse the scam but the very last.

  50. Nice eulogy, mi lord, but short on fact and long on ideology with regard to the miners’ strike. That was nothing about Scargill and everything about destruction of the power of Trade Unions, and Briain is forever poorer for what happened. I was there, I remember. Praising the last deep pit miners on the road Thatcher sent them down 30 years ago won’t change what happened, even if it does salve your conscience.

    • Just goes to show that we “remember” things we want to remember. I, too, was there, working on the railway, frequently in South Wales, which was closely associated with the coal industry.
      The strike was precipitated by Scargill’s determination to emulate the NUM of 10 years previously which, arguably, brought down the Heath government. They tried to do it in c. 1981 but the government backed off, leading, some years later, to Mick McGahey’s quote that it “wasn’t a u-turn but a body swerve”. After that, it’s undoubtedly true that the government planned assiduously for a head-on confrontation with the NUM by, in particular, building up massive coal stocks at power stations and by appointing Ian MacGregor to run the Coal Board.
      The most egregious errors were undoubtedly Scargill’s. Firstly, the strike started in the spring, just as electricity demand fell for the summer. Secondly, he steadfastly refused to countenance a ballot, as required under NUM rules. I’ve never understood the reason for this, as he would undoubtedly have won, at which point ALL miners would have stopped work. What would have happened after that is pure conjecture but things would definitely have turned out differently.
      Whilst McGahey argued against a national ballot, it seems that in later life he regretted some of the tactics employed by the NUM and, in particular, the split in the work force which gave birth to the UDM. Scargill, on the other hand, remains as obdurate as ever, refusing to countenance even the possibility that he may not have got everything right.

      • We remember things quite the same way but with different perspective. I recall quite clearly the strike being called over job cuts, disputed by the government of the time, but exposed in papers afterwards. this is not the forum for an in depth discussion on one key part of British mining history though.

  51. I don’t accept that you were responsible for defeating the miners by claiming that Mr Scargill was working for Russia. I was supporting the miners at the time and I don’t recall anyone believing that.The miners were divided by the issue of not being given a ballot on the strike and picketing . I don’t think that your argument that everything global warmists say is true but we simply can’t do anything about is very satisfactory, if global warming is a problem than solutions can be found we have managed cure most illness after all. I prefer to follow the scientist like Richard Lindzin who point out were the idea is wrong.

  52. Also remember that this was at the height of the cold war. The USSR was financing any organisation that could cause trouble for any government that did not overtly support the USSR.
    Soft support – educational holidays in the east for student leaders, ‘charity’ courses in Moscow for local council union officials and favoured workers. The list is endless.
    The complete history of soviet infiltration of the left in the UK government is still emerging.

    • Mr Richards is right. An acquaintance of mine at Cambridge was invited for interview at the BBC in 1973. When he returned, I congratulated him on having got the job, given that he had answered “Yes” to the sole question the BBC had addressed to him at the interview. He looked startled and said, “How did you know they only asked me one question?” I did not answer that, but I told him what the question was: “Are you a Marxist?”

  53. I wondered if WUWT might note the end of British deep coal mining.
    This was fairly big news here in Yorkshire on Friday, when production at Kellingley ceased.
    Indeed, there is a big damp patch in front of my TV, caused by a surfeit of politicians’ and pundits’ crocodile tears, overflowing from my TV set. These had been shed specially for the occasion that they had tirelessly worked to achieve. Commendations for special hypocritical tearfulness from local MPs Nigel Adams (Selby, Conservative) and Yvette Cooper (Wakefield & Pontefract, Labour).
    We were also treated to sobs from Michael Heseltine, who, no doubt Christopher Monckton will remember. “When plans were made in 1992 for the privatisation of British Coal it fell to Heseltine to announce that 31 collieries were to close including many of the mines in Nottinghamshire that had continued working during the 1984-5 strike.” (Wikipedia).
    I have a lot of time for Christopher Monckton. (Not so much for Heseltine!)
    But it is a pity that Monckton’s interesting and, at times informative posting, diverts attention away from the end of deep coal mining in the UK for a frankly partisan discussion of the Miners’ Strike 1984/1985. (NOT 1983/84!).
    In the interests of transparency, I started work for the National Coal Board as a Chartered Civil Engineer in 1976, following the 1974 “Plan for Coal”, endorsed by every political party in the UK and prompted by the quadrupling of oil prices after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
    My career in the Coal Industry hinged around keeping spoil heaps safe (following the 1966 Aberfan disaster), building new mines and redeveloping old ones (following the “Plan for Coal”) and then closing them all down safely, following Margaret Thatcher and the incompetent nitwits (not least John Major, Ed Miliband, Ed Davey & David Cameron) who followed her.
    Obviously the Miners’ strike is important in that narrative. As are a lot of other things. I don’t expect Christopher Monckton to give an unbiased account, any more than I expect him to admit that Margaret Thatcher must bear a very heavy responsibility for breathing life into the Global Warming scam. The fact that, no longer in power, she went through a moment of epiphany and recanted, hardly helps us now.
    The well known fact that Arthur Scargill, Mick McGahey (and others) were hard line communists isn’t exactly news (at least McGahey never pretended not to be!). But the fact that NUM leaders in 1984/5 were communists is a poor reason to close down Kellingley in 2015, a mine which was privatised with the rest of the industry in 1995!
    Of course the Government in 1984/5 couldn’t allow Scargill to win (although it was a close-run thing in November 1984 when it looked if the Deputy’s Union NACODS might join the strike). If Tony Benn had been Prime Minister he couldn’t have allowed that. But he, or a less dogmatic PM than Thatcher could have made a sensible compromise and ensure the industry was less damaged than it actually was.
    But it must be pointed out that a more sensible strategy for privatisation would have kept the industry going far better. And when the ridiculous decision was made in 2002 to close the highly successful Selby Coalfield, much newer, much bigger, much more productive than Kellingley, no-one in Government objected. The decision was made at a time when international coal prices were at one of their historic lows. And the privatised industry entered into long term contracts with the generators just at the time when prices were at the bottom! The coal industry had to try to survive with that millstone round its neck for more than a decade. For a lot of that decade British coal went to the power stations much cheaper than imported coal, but having shut Selby, they could no longer produce enough!
    It is interesting that British coal production costs were a THIRD of German coal production costs in the 2000s. Interesting also how much better the German industry and German miners (look at their pensions!) have done!
    So don’t believe all the stuff about British Coal being “uneconomic”. It was as “uneconomic” as stupid greenie policies (not least George Osborne’s “Carbon Floor Price”, Miliband’s Climate Change Act 2008 and massive subsidies for renewables) made it. And inept management certainly played its part!

    • Mr Brumby errs. The miners’ union received some $30 million that we could trace (and that was a lot of money in those days) from the KGB via the then Czechoslovak Embassy in 1984. The strike was a deliberate attempt by the Soviet Union to overthrow one of the most effective and vocal critics of Communist totalitarian dictatorship.
      Mr Brumby errs again. The Selby drift mine was closed owing to the discovery of a geological fault that made further working disproportionately costly and dangerous.

      • I think you’ve got that mixed up with Asfordby. Lots of small and even medium sized faults. And Selby (neither then Gascoigne Wood drifts nor the five shaft sites) was certainly NOT closed because of geological conditions.
        I’m sorry, absolutely incorrect.
        Whilst you are correct about the communist involvement in the 1984/5 strike, which I didn’t dispute, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the funding by our old chum Muammar Gaddafi.
        So not ‘erring’ at all. You might pretend that the only way to deal with the situation in 1985 was the one adopted by Thatcher. For the sake of argument, let’s say you are right. But after 1985, when Scargill was an irrelevance, did that necessitate the decimation of the industry in the run up to privatisation? Hardly!

  54. A perfect example of how green policies often ruin the environment is the UK Drax power station.
    It’s been converted from burning coal to burning biomass – in other words, it’s burning trees.
    Coal is more efficient than wood, so you need a huge amount of wood. I believe that now large numbers of trees are being cut down in Californian and shipped almost half way around the world to feed Drax. How mad is that?
    Here’s a simple question for the greens: suppose you dig up a ton of coal. You then cut down trees to provide the same amount of energy. Which destroys more wildlife habitat? The answer is obvious. It doesn’t matter how many tons you extract from a deep coal mine, the resulting habitat destruction is zero.
    Ironically, the advent of coal in the nineteenth century probably saved many forests around the world from destruction, just as oil possibly saved whales from extinction.
    And the final irony: the extra CO2 from burning coal is almost certainly helping to make the world greener.
    Many thanks to Christopher Monckton for this excellent piece and for his untiring work in the pursuit of the truth and the integrity of science.
    Chris

  55. War on stuff eh? I recall driving down the A339 from Basingstoke to Newbury….and “encountering” the Greenham Common “women” protest “camp”. In my car, the car was spat at, “mud” like blobs (It was human excrement) were thrown at it. And for what?

  56. Good to hear this side of the story.
    But, the UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher wasn’t innocent to the part per million level metathesiophobia of planetary proportions. http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/107817. Cannot exclude an intentional mousetrap from her part though – judging from the speed green leftists are running towards the cheese in it. Hope to live long enough to see it unfold.

  57. I tried posting this over four hours ago but it disappeared. OK, almost no-one will read it now. But there are some points here that need to be made, if only for the record.
    I wondered if WUWT might note the end of British deep coal mining. This was fairly big news here in Yorkshire on Friday, when production at Kellingley ceased.
    Indeed, there is a big damp patch in front of my TV, caused by a surfeit of politicians’ and pundits’ crocodile tears, overflowing from my TV set. These had been shed especially for the occasion that they had tirelessly worked to achieve. Commendations for special hypocritical tearfulness from local MPs Nigel Adams (Selby, Conservative) and Yvette Cooper (Wakefield & Pontefract, Labour).
    We were also treated to sobs from Michael Heseltine, who, no doubt Christopher Monckton will remember. “When plans were made in 1992 for the privatisation of British Coal it fell to Heseltine to announce that 31 collieries were to close including many of the mines in Nottinghamshire that had continued working during the 1984-5 strike.” (Wikipedia).
    I have quite a lot of time for Christopher Monckton. (Not so much for Heseltine!)
    But it is a pity that Monckton’s interesting and, at times informative posting, diverts attention away from the end of deep coal mining in the UK for a frankly partisan discussion of the Miners’ Strike 1984/1985. (NOT 1983/84!).
    In the interests of transparency, I started work for the National Coal Board as a Chartered Civil Engineer in 1976, following the 1974 “Plan for Coal”, endorsed by every political party in the UK and prompted by the quadrupling of oil prices after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
    My career in the Coal Industry hinged around keeping spoil heaps safe (following the 1966 Aberfan disaster), building new mines and redeveloping old ones (following the “Plan for Coal”) and then closing them all down safely, following Margaret Thatcher and the incompetent nitwits (not least John Major, Ed Miliband, Ed Davey & David Cameron) who followed her.
    Obviously the Miners’ strike is important in that narrative. As are a lot of other things. I don’t expect Christopher Monckton to give an unbiased account, any more than I expect him to admit that Margaret Thatcher must bear a very heavy responsibility for breathing life into the Global Warming scam. The fact that, no longer in power, she went through a moment of epiphany and recanted, hardly helps us now.
    The fact that Arthur Scargill, Mick McGahey (and others) were hard line communists isn’t exactly news (at least McGahey never pretended not to be!). But the fact that NUM leaders in 1984/5 were communists is a poor reason to close down Kellingley in 2015, a mine which was privatised with the rest of the industry in 1995!
    Of course the Government in 1984/5 couldn’t allow Scargill to win (although it was a close-run thing in November 1984 when it looked if the Deputy’s Union NACODS might join the strike). If Tony Benn had been Prime Minister he couldn’t have allowed that. But he, or a less dogmatic PM than Thatcher could have made a sensible compromise and ensure the industry was less damaged than it actually was.
    But it must be pointed out that a more sensible strategy for privatisation would have kept the industry going far better. And when the ridiculous decision was made in 2002 to close the highly successful Selby Coalfield, much newer, much bigger, much more productive than Kellingley, no-one in Government objected. The decision was made at a time when international coal prices were at one of their historic lows. And the privatised industry entered into long term contracts with the generators just at the time when prices were at the bottom! The coal industry had to try to survive with that millstone round its neck for more than a decade. For a lot of that decade British coal went to the power stations much cheaper than imported coal, but having shut Selby, they could no longer produce enough coal to meet all the demand!
    It is interesting that British coal production costs were a THIRD of German coal production costs in the 2000s. Interesting also how much better the German industry and German miners (look at their pensions!) have done!
    So don’t believe all the stuff about British Coal being “uneconomic”. It was as “uneconomic” as stupid greenie policies made it (not least George Osborne’s “Carbon Floor Price”, Miliband’s Climate Change Act 2008 and massive subsidies for renewables). And at times, inept management certainly played its part!

    • Mr Brumby errs. The head posting does not suggest that the Communism of Arthur Scargill caused today’s Kellingley closure: it states, in terms, that it is the climate scam that prevented Ministers from authorizing the investment that would have kept Kellingley open for several years, working the remaining untapped seam.

      • Monckton of Brenchley (replying to Martin Brumby)

        Mr Brumby errs. The head posting does not suggest that the Communism of Arthur Scargill caused today’s Kellingley closure: it states, in terms, that it is the climate scam that prevented Ministers from authorizing the investment that would have kept Kellingley open for several years, working the remaining untapped seam.

        So, repeating your words back so you can determine if “I” understand them correctly,
        The “climate scam” gave Mrs. Thatcher sufficient political and economic and ecological “power” to close down the mines “early” (even though at least one seam had sufficient coal left to justify the mine remaining open). Thus, the communist-led strikers were cut off of their economic and business “power” and leverage, and so failed in their ultimate goal: Destroying Thatcher’s government while appearing her “innocent victims” of her economic power as a capitalist.
        But! Did not those same communists learn: Are they not using that same “ecological/green/save-the-planet/stop-the-rise-of-CO2” power to destroy the US, the UK, and the rest of the western world that they despise and hate? (With, of course, the enthusiastic support of today’s Washington, New York, UN, and London elites and government-paid bureaucrats? )

      • Mr Cook is confused. Margaret Thatcher left office in 1990. Kellingley closed in 2015, a quarter of a century later. And, as I have already made clear, by the time Margaret Thatcher spoke about climate change in1990 the miners had long been defeated. The mine closure program had been decided before the climate scam got going. Kellingley was not part of that program.

  58. wickedwenchfan December 21, 2015 at 11:27 pm
    You are right here and Christopher Monckton is being disingenuous with his response.
    Yes, the NUM leaders had been defeated in 1985 (although they still can be seen on the BBC today!)
    Probably rightly too. I have no time for Scargill, famed for only ever negotiating one pay rise – his own. And his leadership during and after the strike was inept, to say the least, as Mr. Green Genes points out.
    But there is no question whatever that the big scary CO2 scam which Margaret Thatcher started was used specifically as another stick to beat coal, not only at the time of Heseltine’s “31 Pit Closure” programme but ever since. And the scam is still alive and well and still costing jobs and increasing energy costs.
    The fact that Margaret Thatcher recanted once out of power, didn’t help at all.

    • Mr Brumby errs. Since the miners had been defeated by spring 1985, and since Margaret Thatcher’s speech on climate change was not till 1988, the frequently-asserted suggestion that she took up the cudgels on climate change to beat the miners has no shred of factual justification, and I was correct to say so.
      Margaret Thatcher was unusual in her willingness to admit a mistake when she made one. She was misled during the late 1980s on the climate question but changed her mind – as did I – when the evidence became clear.

      • Mob
        In the name of a person’s honor and if you are indeed closer to the source, I hope you do the best you can to articulate this in your memoirs.
        Ms T has taken quite a beating on this urban legend.

  59. I think a note on the Miners’ strikes of 1972 & 1974 might also be worthwhile.
    The miners at that time were certainly NOT led by hard line communists, Scargill & his chums were activists but the NUM leadership was actually fairly moderate, despite the fact that earnings were trailing well behind car workers, for example. And the working conditions were absolutely dreadful, not a lot better than they had been before the war. Yes, there were excesses (like the infamous ‘flying pickets’) but Ted Heath lost the strike and the election not because of hard line miners, but because he was a complete drip.
    It is a fact that Al Capone only ended up in jail for tax evasion and not for racketeering, running vice gangs, murder and all the rest.
    I feel similarly about Ted Heath’s loss of power. Rather than an industrial dispute, it should have been just deserts for his conspiracy to mislead and betray the people of the UK by dragging them into the “Common Market” whilst taking great care not to admit exactly what kind of organisation we were joining. Treason which has been emulated by all his successors. Margaret Thatcher at least saw the light BEFORE losing power!

    • Mr Brumby errs. Scargill and McGahey, both Communists, played significant roles in the 1972 and 1974 miners’ strikes, which were, like the 1984-5 strike, attempts by an alien power to overthrow a legitimately elected government with which it disagreed. The earlier attempt was successful, but Margaret Thatcher was ready for the Communists by 1984. They lost, and their defeat played no small part in the ultimate defeat of the entire Soviet Communist system and the liberation of half of Europe from totalitarian tyranny.

      • Your Lordship,
        As you may know, Khrushchev poisoned Hugh Gaitskell so that the Commie stooge Harold Wilson would be the next Labour PM instead of a loyal, honest British civil servant.

      • No.
        The 1972 and 1974 strikes were about poor wages and the fact that miners were still expected to go home filthy, with no proper work clothes and had to try to get washed at home, (like a scene from “How Green was my Valley!”). Only being paid whilst actually underground. I have no doubt you will privately admit that this wasn’t handled sensibly!
        The fact that the Government thought that they didn’t deserve better treatment played straight into the hands of communist agitators, naturally. The fact that the USSR and their useful idiots tried to exploit every industrial dispute anywhere isn’t news and isn’t surprising. People like Ted Heath played straight into their hands. There is better evidence that the communists were a significant factor in strikes in other sectors (car workers, dockers, railways) than in the mines.
        But Heath’s inept handling of the situation only boosted the support of the hard liners in the union, leading eventually to the departure of moderate and rational people like NUM President Joe Gormley, who resolved so many disputes with NCB Chairman Derek Ezra over a sandwich and a pint, (and who got his members decent pay rises which they richly deserved),
        So Joe Gormley used the likes of Scargill as an ‘attack dog’ to nip management ankles and then put him back in the kennel whilst a cosy deal was struck. Unfortunately the threat that people like Scargill presented to the UK and to the miners themselves once he was in the driving seat wasn’t fully recognised. Yes, Margaret Thatcher had done her homework and had been preparing for a showdown for years. And Scargill showed how daft he is by picking a fight over a pit that really wasn’t worth saving (at Cortonwood) at the time that Thatcher had chosen and had prepared for.
        He then chose not to have a ballot when both miners and management, not only in Yorkshire and Scotland but in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire thought then and think today that he would probably have won. And, to be frank, I have had the ‘benefit’ of discussing this with them face-to-face times a’ many, over the last thirty years! But, of course, Scargill fell into the common trap of believing his own bullsh*t. And still strutted about claiming a famous victory, even as his members’ lives were in tatters.
        It was interesting to read your account about David Hart’s activities. Obviously I didn’t move in those circles at that time, but I was and have been on decent terms with a few senior managers who were much closer to what went on behind the curtain. I have no doubt that you know very much more of what actually went on, than you could possibly admit even today. And even I’m well aware that some things actually weren’t very legal anyway. Of course, thirty years ago, Hart with the Prime Minister’s backing could probably get away with stuff that would be more difficult today. I’m very hesitant to agree that the ends justify the means, but sometimes they do, I suppose. Maybe.
        We finished up at the end of the 80s and early 90s with a coal industry which was fairly lean and mean. By no means perfect. But more efficient, more productive and safer than it had been before or has been since. Although the early years after privatisation were pretty good, too. Good for the miners, for the industry and good for the Country. No subsidies whatever. A pity that the way privatisation had been done with the Generators and with Coal led to the situation that, as Richard Budge (Coal’s new CEO) pointed out, every tonne of coal he produced made enough profit to buy a paper of chips. But that same tonne of coal burned to produce electricity, made enough profit to pay for a candle-lit dinner for two with a decent bottle of wine!
        But by then the green nonsense-monster that Thatcher had breathed life into, in the late 80s, really got going. Eventually it will fail as it must. But how much damage will be done in the meantime cannot be overestimated. The wicked destruction of the coal industry is perhaps just some ‘collateral damage’. And it was interesting to see last week that even industry management and what’s left of the NUM were opining that Carbon capture and storage might have saved them. Even after all these years not understanding that destroying efficiency, hugely increasing prices, wouldn’t have helped anyone except BigGreen!

      • Brumby forgets that Wilson closed more pits than Thatcher ever did. But the Tories under Thatcher always seem to get the blame every time! WUWT?

    • Mr Brumby errs. The roles of communists such as Scargill’s and McGahwy in causing and aggravating the 1972 and 1974 strikes were far more central than he will admit. He also errs in implying that David Hart’s talking to the miners, setting up the National Working Miners’ Committee, initiating and funding the Gizzaballot campaign and working with the chairman of the National Coal Board were illegal. At no point was anything illegal done.

      • I fear you are again being disingenuous. The strike was exactly about what I said it was (or as ‘exactly’ as any brief posting will permit). Are you prepared to state unequivocally that poor pay and conditions had nothing to do with the strike?
        And your comments about what I wrote about David Hart’s activities are a classic ‘straw man’. Where did I say that “talking to the miners, setting up the National Working Miners’ Committee, initiating and funding the Gizzaballot campaign and working with the chairman of the National Coal Board were illegal”, pray?
        Are you suggesting that the activities I repeat in quotes represent the exact and total scope of David Hart’s activities?
        Pull the other one!

      • Mr Brumby errs. The pretext for the strike was one thing: the real, Communist reason quite another.
        Mr Brumby errs again. He now attempts to deny he had implied David Hart had acted illegally. However, he had written: “I’m well aware that some things actually weren’t very legal anyway. Of course, thirty years ago, Hart with the Prime Minister’s backing could probably get away with stuff that would be more difficult today.”
        Neither David Hart nor the Prime Minister acted illegally in any matter, whether the matter was or was not one of those mentioned in the head posting. It was important to us that in every respect our conduct should be fully compliant with the law. Let us have no more unfounded nonsense to the contrary.

  60. OK, then. Let’s just say, if it makes you happy, that “the real, Communist reason” was the cause of the 1984/85 strike and that no striking miner had the least concern about job security, wages, conditions, and so on. If it makes you happy then the 1972 and 1974 strikes were also because every one of 200,000 miners was either a KBG plant of at least a stooge for the Kremlin and was perfectly insouciant about having to change into and out of proper protective gear and shower in his own time. And that his wife would have to try to wash his work clothes clean of sweat and coal dust at home?
    Did you “err” in your head-posting expressing some sympathy for the plight of the Kellingley miners? After all, it seems a little strange to me that you should start a posting on the loss of jobs due to the Green Blob’s nonsense, to which all our political “elite” have signed up, only to launch into a discussion about who was to blame for what happened 30 years ago, when, as you sort of point out, we didn’t really have a Green Blob or a bogus CO2 scam anyway.
    Where did I now “attempt[] to deny [I] had implied David Hart had acted illegally? What I actually stated, you quote yourself “I’m well aware that some things actually weren’t very legal anyway.”
    I feel confident that, with thought, you will realise that you are so eager to show that I have “erred” that you haven’t paused to understand my point. And yes, there were plenty of things that “weren’t very legal” in addition to some of the very silly things Scargill and his henchmen got up to. Was it really legal to intercept groups of unarmed miners on motorway slipways and confiscate their car to prevent them from picketing Nottinghamshire pits? I’m not sure, but I do remember legal opinion at the time was very far from unanimous on that subject. Was it legal to reduce miners’ eligibility to child care and other benefits by the amount of their strike pay that they weren’t receiving? Was the police action at The Battle of Orgreave entirely legitimate? If so why did half a Million pounds have to be spent in compensation? These are but three examples from a host.
    Before you start frantically typing that I “erred”, you might wish to sit back and note that
    (a) I have no idea whether any of these things were actually illegal but I don’t think I’m unreasonable to suggest that they “weren’t very legal”!
    (b) I have no idea whether David Hart (or you, or Mrs. Thatcher) had any involvement whatever in the three particular issues I mention. Perhaps not, I am ready to be surprised.
    (c) I am not for a moment suggesting that the Battle of Orgreave should have been supported, or was a sensible idea tactically or strategically. I think there would have been a great deal of laughter in No.10 if the pickets had been successful at Orgreave or had forced a closure at Ravenscraig.
    Neither did I, nor would I now support flying pickets, especially violent flying pickets. I’m not a big fan of benefits, or of strikes (except as a genuine last resort and I can’t think of many instances where you could genuinely make a case for that!) but I think the financial treatment of miners’ families was shabby. Just my opinion. I very much doubt that today’s judiciary would have allowed that.
    And, if I might be so bold, might I ask a couple of questions?
    Firstly, I have been told numerous times by mineworkers and management alike and not just in Yorkshire but in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire as well (including a couple of management guys who were life-long Tory activists), that when the flying pickets did arrive at the the Notts pits, allegedly trying to reason with the Notts lads who had yet to decide whether to strike or not, there were some blowhards who immediately started throwing rocks about. It has been said many times that none of the miners (nor the pickets) recognised the rock-throwers.
    Using Occam’s razor, perhaps these were rent-a-mob types from London or Manchester. Perhaps they were the legendary lesbians and gays (see “Pride 2014” – if you really must). Perhaps everyone I spoke to was telling me porky pies. But it is interesting how often quite level headed people wondered if these were agents provocateur. Nah! Couldn’t be! Do you agree?
    Secondly, you had the evidence. Why didn’t you have Scargill in Court after the strike? There must have been half a dozen serious offences he could have been charged with. Was he just too useful, popping up and discrediting not just the miners but HM Opposition as well?

    • Could have been charged with? COULD…the operative word. And no charge would have stuck. That’s why none were. Why is that? Scargill was a thug, just like Ian Paisely.

  61. Those were the days as I remember as ” holding the country to ransom”. The docks, coal and car strikes and the later pushing (driving?) me to a long life with VW flat fours. I was in the military so could not strike of course, although lessening pay rises got to the point where I bought myself out in 1977. Those were the days where a pay rise took you into another tax band and back you went. Very bad for the young junior technicians mainly and some young married officers moving to benefits.
    Remember the TV picture shrinking due to power drops and outs. Never mind, the pubs remained open….better altogether!
    I left just before Mrs Thatcher came to office and within a short time rectified the military salary.Trying to remember the minister who threatened to close Ford Dagenham. Something to behold!

  62. The death of an idiom:

    I met a man the other day-
    A kindly man, and serious-
    Who viewed me in a thoughtful way,
    And spoke me so, and spoke me thus:
    “Oh, dallying’s a sad mistake;
    ‘Tis craven to survey the morrow!
    Go give your heart, and if it break-
    A wise companion is Sorrow.
    “Oh, live, my child, nor keep your soul
    To crowd your coffin when you’re dead….”
    I asked his work; he dealt in coal,
    And shipped it up the Tyne, he said.
    Dorothy Parker

    On Carrying Coals to Newcastle.

  63. Patrick MJD December 23, 2015 at 6:23 am
    Please don’t join Christopher Monckton in putting words into my mouth
    .
    Where did I suggest that Wilson didn’t close pits? I haven’t kept a score but the Lord Robens / Wilson closures were mainly of ancient pits that had been worked out and starved of investment. Even worse than Cortonwood and that I can assure you, was bad enough. Way, way past its sell by date. I can’t think of one pit they closed that was worth saving. Anyway, Lord Robens (and Wilson) have much worse to answer for, their abysmal attempt to try to dodge responsibility for the Aberfan disaster.
    More to the point, how many pits did John Major and Heseltine close? Probably more than Mrs. Thatcher, if you discount all those lost in 1985 because after 12 months of deterioration underground due to the strike, it wasn’t worth re-opening them. You can call that Thatcher’s fault if you wish. Or you can call it Scargill’s fault. The result was the same. The poor old miners (and the British economy) had to pick up the tab.
    Then there have been all the post-Privatisation closures. Don’t forget that these were allegedly the best of the bunch, the ones that the Government could sell on. They had nearly closed even Selby before privatisation, but that wasn’t anything to do with a geological fault, it was because the gung-ho previously privatised Generators thought they’d twist the coal industry’s tail before privatisation. Drax had been designed and built to take Selby coal and the station had been designed to take up to 30% ash (i.e. up to 30% of the product wasn’t coal but residual dirt). Unusual to burn coal that dirty but this meant that the NCB had been able to promise when the new coalfield was planned, ‘No Spoil Heap’.
    In nationalised industry, no-one much cared, one year coal would declare a big loss, another year it would be the generators, Next time it might be British Rail (whose charges for coal haulage to the power stations made up a very high proportion of their income. From memory something like 90% of freight charges).
    Well, Drax decided to reduce the specification to maximum 18% ash. And then to 16%. At that specification, the coal had to be washed at huge expense. And they finished up having to find somewhere to put 3 million tonnes of minestone waste per year. After they had previously promised not to build a spoil heap!
    All that cost an absolute fortune and was a very difficult thing to sell to neighbouring villages. As it turned out, it wasn’t cheap for the Generators, they had to re-jig the precipitators that took the dust out of the flue gases, as these had been designed for coal with the higher ash levels. It was a close – run thing to get approval for a spoil heap, without which there was nothing to sell at Selby.
    But over the last 15-20 years it has been the Green Blob all the way. And the useful idiots like Miliband. He’s most infamous, perhaps, for the Climate Change Act 2008. But his introduction of the rule that there would be ‘no more coal without carbon capture and storage’ was another beauty. Effectively preventing any major improvements or modernisation of all the generation plant. Which they now moan is old fashioned and getting less reliable. Ramping it up and down for wind helps like a hole in the head. If I had to grant the laurels for who closed the most decent pits, I’d pick Miliband and Davey. The two Ed’ed Green Monster.

    • “martinbrumby
      December 23, 2015 at 8:57 am”
      I am sure I didn’t. However, all of your posts appear to talk of the post 1973-ish era under Heath and Thatcher afterwards from 1979. I don’t see anything you have posted of the history of mining under Wilson, unless I missed it. It’s like the Beaching report. Tories may have prepared it, but it was Labour who implemented it.

      • Well, although I experienced the 1972 & 1974 strikes from fairly close proximity, (I was working as a young Resident Engineer on a water pipeline that went smack through two mining villages), I didn’t join the industry until 1976, when I accepted a job for a princely additional £14 per year. But I had quite a lot more responsibility. So, whilst I saw what went on, I wasn’t directly involved in 72/74.
        I do take your point about Robens and Beeching, however.
        Anyway, the title of Christopher Monckton’s piece is “Green war on jobs – Britains last deep mine closes.
        What happened in Wilson’s ‘reign’ is not much more relevant to that, than what the aristocratic mine owners got up to in the 1920s and 1930s. Not to mention the war!
        Whether the strongly Nazi and fascist sympathising aristocrats in the pre war period were more of a threat to the UK that a small gang of communist blowhard union leaders in the 70s and 80s, I leave others to judge.
        Certainly many of the big land owners have recently really filled their boots with BigWind subsidy money. But I suppose everyone has his own bête noire.
        The threat today from the hard line greenies, seems to me more severe than that from Scargill or Moseley. Perhaps it is just perspective, but I think things will get much worse before they get much better.

  64. Now that I’ve had my morning cup I’m wondering what will be done with the underground reservoir that is sure to rise at least to the level of the 33′ plug. That can’t be good for the local ground water.

  65. At the time of the 1984 miners strike, I was traveling daily on the M1,M18, & M180 & in the general area of the South Yorkshire coalfields, huge police presence, traffic was regularly stopped & interrogated, masses of police uniforms with no numbers.
    Used to see 20-25 Coaches (52 seat) parked on the hard shoulder of the M180 at the junction with M18 full of ‘coppers’, it seemed a lot ! Asked a friend (a local chief inspector) who said “the government line is they are all Bobbies on overtime, but, police boots & military boots are different, look at their boots” & guess what…
    He was at the battle of Orgreave, they were told to “incapacitate” demonstrators & no police officer would be prosecuted …whatever happened ! The violent police cavalry charge followed by dogs was the trigger to stone throwing by miners.
    The other IPCC (police complaints) independent report (2014 ??) stated there was police violence& perjury, plus the BBC coverage was edited out of sequence to distort the truth, (no change there).
    The 90+ miners arrested were acquitted after the police evidence had been discredited. South Yorkshire police paid £425,000 compensation for assault, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution.
    No police officer has ever been prosecuted. Police are still hated in South Yorkshire 30 years on.
    Bad times, all politically motivated, no winners all losers…Madness.

  66. British coal mine unions for decades had huge strikes and a lot of violence, so the country just got rid of coal. I don’t see any provable correlation to policy of CO2 emission reductions.

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