Margaret Thatcher and the Miners’ Union – changing the industrial climate.

by nuclearhistory

How Margaret Thatcher planned to undermine miners’ union

Secret plans to run down domestic coal industry were being drawn up even before the year-long miners’ strike had ended
• David Hencke and Rob Evans
•, Sunday 29 August 2010 21.00 BST

Picture: Arthur Scargill among miners at Orgreave

Secret plans to run down the domestic coal industry and defeat any future strike action by unions were being drawn up by Margaret Thatcher even before the year-long miners’ strike had ended, cabinet papers reveal.

The plans were approved by a group of inner-circle ministers in September 1985 ‑ five months after the strike ended. They sealed the fate of the British coal industry and were rigorously followed by successive Conservative governments. Under the plans, ministers agreed to keep a permanent stockpile of at least six months’ supply of coal, increase coal imports, build more oil-burn, nuclear and gas-fired power stations and encourage development of more opencast mines.

They also agreed to a deal with the French to supply power stations with electricity by doubling the size of the cable connecting the two countries, and to switch coal deliveries to power stations from rail to road to prevent the unions from disrupting deliveries.

Other parts of the plan included changing the law so that rioters could be more easily prosecuted, and cutting state help with mortgage interest payments for home owners on benefits. The latter was to ensure that strikers with homes could face repossession, but was not to be officially acknowledged as part of any anti-strike plan.

Ministers also sanctioned an overhaul of internal communications between management and workers in nationalised industries. In addition, they agreed to the appointment of a more media-savvy public spokesman for the coal, steel, water and railway industries then in state control.

A cabinet paper admitted that Arthur Scargill, the miners’ leader, had outgunned the government with his handling of the media during the dispute.

“The NUM used the media with considerable skill and to good effect, due in large measure to Scargill’s personal fluency and energy,” it said. end quote.

I would expect that people with remembrance of Maralinga will increasingly have cause to reflect upon the fate of the British Miner’s Union.

The 9 percenters (advocates of nuclear power, which generates 9% of the world’s electricity) have accused people opposed to nuclear power and nuclear pollution of denying climate science. It is a general weapon of pro nukers to make an amalgam of two considerations: nuclear power and climate change. If one is opposed to the underpinning philosophy of either, then the 9 percenters tend to accuse one with being resistant to the other.

As if people opposed to nuclear power were somehow dumb simply because of a considered position. In reality the attempted pincer movement has no effect. It may be useful propaganda for internal use within the pro nuke camp.

The first nuclear pile commenced operations in Dec. 1942 and ever since the nuclear industry has claimed modernity and hegemony. It has demanded and received huge amounts of taxpayer funds and in total has cost far more than the balance sheets of nuclear companies indicate. For the Dole money they get is hidden. (long story. Well documented elsewhere.)

One upshot of this is that the decades long diversion of funds from people and government to nuclear industry has dramatically delayed the development of alternatives to fossil fuels.

The 1934 patents of Leo Szilard are not the end of science. Sustainable alternatives are gaining ground, and growing in generating capacity at a fast rate globally.

The free range of science I expect – fully and absolutely expect – will result in new advances and understanding of the forces which underlie the cosmos. Fission is not the be all and end of that process of learning.

During the nuclear weapons test era a series of tests stand out as indicators of apparently radical insights into the nature of the forces which drive the planet energy balance.

Argus, Teak and Orange.

The concepts revealed by the results of these tests are, still today even after the passage of so many since they took place, viewed by the “energy and climate experts” in the pro nuclear camp as proof of lunacy within the camp of the insightful alternative energy camp. Any alternative to nuclear energy in the apparent view of the pro nuker camp is proof of climate denial and any alternative energy source they do not understand is apparently science fiction.

No, just a technology to harness a source of energy confirmed by the diagnostic used of weapons, but otherwise totally unrelated to nuclear bombs.

My opinion is that nuclear power is not the answer to climate change. There are alternatives.
Appreciation of the sudden climate change has a long history. And climate change deniers were once held the orthodox position.

To label anyone this or that for the purposes of leading by the nose is a technique perfected by the advocates of nuclear power in the 1950s. It is very sad to see in operation still.

” All data concerning (1) design, manufacture, or utilization of atomic weapons; (2) the production of special nuclear material; or (3) the use of special nuclear material in the production of energy, but shall not include data declassified or removed from the Restricted Data category pursuant to section 2162 of this title.[1]”

“Whether or not it is constitutional to declare entire categories of information pre-emptively classified has not been definitively tested in the courts.” “When the legality of the born secret was directly challenged in a freedom of the press case in 1979 (United States v. The Progressive) where a magazine attempted to publish an account of the so-called “secret of the hydrogen bomb” (the Teller-Ulam design) which was apparently created without recourse to classified information, many analysts predicted that the Supreme Court would, if it heard the case, reject the “born secret” clause as being an unconstitutional restriction of speech.

The government, however, dropped the case as moot before it was resolved”

I bet I have already been called a name.

It saves them from having to think while they operate from the basis of an old and learned drill.
A drill that is inappropriate in a democracy.

Let’s look a bit more closely at the concept of the Double Bind as applied by Thatcher.

1989 Nov 8 We
Margaret Thatcher
Speech to United Nations General Assembly (Global Environment)
Document type: public statement
Document kind: Speech
Venue: United Nations Building, New York
Source: Thatcher Archive
Journalist: –
Editorial comments: Text as printed and released by the No.10 Press Office.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 4051
Themes: Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Foreign policy (general discussions), Foreign policy (development, aid, etc), Foreign policy (International organisations), Science and technology, Transport

“Mr President, it gives me great pleasure to return to the Podium of this assembly. When I last spoke here four years ago, on the 40th anniversary of the United Nations, the message that I and others like me gave was one of encouragement to the organisation to play the great role allotted to it.

Of all the challenges faced by the world community in those four years, one has grown clearer than any other in both urgency and importance—I refer to the threat to our global environment. I shall take the opportunity of addressing the general assembly to speak on that subject alone. ……..”

“What we are now doing to the world, by degrading the land surfaces, by polluting the waters and by adding greenhouse gases to the air at an unprecedented rate—all this is new in the experience of the earth. It is mankind and his activities which are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways.”

We are seeing a vast increase in the amount of carbon dioxide reaching the atmosphere. The annual increase is three billion tonnes: and half the carbon emitted since the Industrial Revolution still remains in the atmosphere.

At the same time as this is happening, we are seeing the destruction on a vast scale of tropical forests which are uniquely able to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Every year an area of forest equal to the whole surface of the United Kingdom is destroyed. At present rates of clearance we shall, by the year 2000, have removed 65 per cent of forests in the humid tropical zones.[fo 3]

The consequences of this become clearer when one remembers that tropical forests fix more than ten times as much carbon as do forests in the temperate zones.

We now know, too, that great damage is being done to the Ozone Layer by the production of halons and chlorofluorocarbons. But at least we have recognised that reducing and eventually stopping the emission of CFCs is one positive thing we can do about the menacing accumulation of greenhouse gases.

It is of course true that none of us would be here but for the greenhouse effect. It gives us the moist atmosphere which sustains life on earth. We need the greenhouse effect—but only in the right proportions.

More than anything, our environment is threatened by the sheer numbers of people and the plants and animals which go with them. When I was born the world’s population was some 2 billion people. My [ Michael Thatcher] grandson will grow up in a world of more than 6 billion people.

Put in its bluntest form: the main threat to our environment is more and more people, and their activities: • The land they cultivate ever more intensively; • The forests they cut down and burn; • The mountain sides they lay bare; • The fossil fuels they burn; • The rivers and the seas they pollute.

The result is that change in future is likely to be more fundamental and more widespread than anything we have known hitherto. Change to the sea around us, change to the atmosphere above, leading in turn to change in the world’s climate, which could alter the way we live in the most fundamental way of all.

That prospect is a new factor in human affairs. It is comparable in its implications to the discovery of how to split the atom. Indeed, its results could be even more far-reaching.”

“I am thinking of action to improve agricultural methods—good husbandry which ploughs back nourishment into the soil rather than the cut-and-burn which has damaged and degraded so much land in some parts of the world.

And I am thinking of the use of nuclear power which—despite the attitude of so-called greens—is the most environmentally safe form of energy. ” Margaret Thatcher. 1989


1990 Nov 6 Tu
Margaret Thatcher
Speech at 2nd World Climate Conference
Document type: public statement
Document kind: Speech
Venue: Palais des Nations, Geneva
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Journalist: –
Editorial comments: 1115 onwards.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 2582
Themes: Energy, Environment, Foreign policy (Middle East), Foreign policy (development, aid, etc), Foreign policy (International organisations), Science and technology

“Mr. Chairman, Your [King Hussein ] Majesty of Jordan, President Koller, Distinguished Colleagues, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I begin by thanking Heads of Agencies and Organisations for sponsoring this Second World Climate Conference, and indeed all those connected with it. It is a most important event for all our countries and I wish you success in your endeavours.

Mr. Chairman, since the last World War, our world has faced many challenges, none more vital than that of defending our liberty and keeping the peace. Gradually and painstakingly we have built up the habit of international cooperation, above all through the United Nations. The extent of our success can be seen in the Gulf, where the nations of the world have shown unprecedented unity in condemning Iraq’s invasion and taking the measures necessary to reverse it.

But the threat to our world comes not only from tyrants and their tanks. It can be more insidious though less visible. The danger of global warming is as yet unseen, but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations.

Our ability to come together to stop or limit damage to the world’s environment will be perhaps the greatest test of how far we can act as a world community. No-one should under-estimate the imagination that will be required, nor the scientific effort, nor the unprecedented co-operation we shall have to show. We shall need statesmanship of a rare order. It’s because we know that, that we are here today.”

“I want to pay tribute to the important work which the United Nations has done to advance our understanding of climate change, and in particular the risks of global warming. Dr. Tolba and Professor Obasi deserve our particular thanks for their far-sighted initiative in establishing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC report is a remarkable achievement. It is almost as difficult to get a large number of distinguished scientists to agree, as it is to get agreement from a group of politicians. As a scientist who became a politician, I am perhaps particularly qualified to make that observation! I know both worlds. “
Targets on their own are not enough. They have to be achievable. Promises are easy. Action is more difficult. For our part, we have worked out a strategy which sets us on the road to achieving the target. We propose ambitious programmes both to promote energy efficiency and to encourage the use of cleaner fuels.

We now require, by law, that a substantial proportion of our electricity comes from sources which emit little or no carbon dioxide, and that includes a continuing important contribution from nuclear energy.” Margaret Thatcher.

The British Isles should consider the introduction of Barium tax, a Krypton tax, an Xenon Tax, a Strontium tax and so on down the fission product creation and decay cascade.

In my opinion.

It’s all moot, the technology is out of date and expenditure on it is delaying clean sources of energy at the present time.

Though in my view we probably do not know enough about about what’s in the secret shed. There is always stuff on the back burner.

Fission is not a high point of science. It is a low point.

Neither is it the end point.

” I do not understand how it works” : Edward Teller.

What else is there apart from nuclear fission?


Lastly, is this impeding openness in relation to reactor failures and emissions at the current time?
” All data concerning (1) design, manufacture, or utilization of atomic weapons; (2) the production of special nuclear material; or (3) the use of special nuclear material in the production of energy, but shall not include data declassified or removed from the Restricted Data category pursuant to section 2162 of this title.[1]”

I don’t know, I’m just asking.