Parliament was recalled earlier this week following the death of Margaret Thatcher.
I spoke in the consequent debate and, whilst acknowledging the fact that she was the first woman to become prime minister, pointed out how her domestic policies caused great concern and harm to many people and communities.
I commented about the miners’ strike and said that having come from a mining background and representing a mining constituency, my overriding memory of the year long strike was the enduring poverty and hardship that miners and their families endured. The effect of the pit closure programme, particularly on male unemployment, was disastrous for coal mining communities.
I also noted that the government of the day had a responsibility to bring the dispute to an earlier end, something which they did not do.
Last Saturday I attended a march marking the closure of Maltby Colliery, where I worked, the sixth and last coal mine to close in the Rother Valley. The bitterness caused by the dispute and its aftermath was still evident amongst many people.