Mudcat Café message #2530683 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12277   Message #2530683
Posted By: GUEST,Ian
03-Jan-09 - 03:46 PM
Thread Name: Music: Police and Striking Miners
Subject: RE: Music: Police and Striking Miners
Hi Jim,

Thanks for your last post to me. I am not too sure about conceding to Thatcher and all that, and just out of interest, it is cheap champagne, although more because neither deserve a decent vintage..

My point was, as always, trying to raise debate. I do appreciate your taking the heat of this.

I was trying to say without pointing it out too easily, that music is a wonderful instrument of propaganda, and whilst making the singer popular, makes the subject uneasy.

I moved away from the socialist movement as I decided that two wrongs do not make a right.   It is my problem, my having to deal with it. But please forgive me for not getting too excited when hearing Billy Bragg or Roy Bailey glorifying the thugs who knocked on doors of miners in Nottinghamshire and yes, Yorkshire, threatening them.

We decried the USA elections when Bush got in through bad vote counting, we were outraged when Westminster Council gerrymandered housing to get tory voters in swing wards.

Yet recording pits as having voted to strike when they voted not to strike is somehow OK if it fits in with a point of view? Using miners to overthrow a government in a Western democracy is OK??? I don't remeber being asked to vote on overthrowing an elected government. Even Joe Gormley stated that was not his intention in '74.

I was at Orgreave. Like many of my colleagues, I was dismayed by the numbers of people there stood at the back shouting "Charge lads!" Not been down a pit in their lives, especially not the women amongst them... 50 of us on a coach afterwards vowed not to be involved again. We were sick of seeing our union dues in the back pockets of agitators offering us our money if we used our cars for secondary picketing.

Songs can and will be sung about class struggle. Songs will be economical with the truth because that is how recording events often is, (see tabloids for details.) However, at the risk of letting the truth get in the way of a good song, there are many people, many ex miners who were disillusioned with the strike, could not understand why the strike ballot was held, when the 6 month long overtime ban was depleting stocks and drawing MacGregor into negotiating. But Scargill, McGaghy, Capstick and their mates claimed to be representing miners, but were representing undemocratic political movements, as all those I have just mentioned happily admitted at the time.

Yes, songs have been written (wrote a few myself) and yes, the details will be lost in the haze of time until it will be a tale of us versus them.

In the meantime, let me end by mentioning the last time I saw Roy Bailey. He sang "Blackleg Miner" and I counted over 20 people who supped up and left that night in Sheffield (Grapes, Trippet Lane.) I was amongst them.

You see, us versus them is OK so long as we know who "us" are. Perhaps this should be in the threads about why folk clubs are dying / losing relevancy / losing numbers / where are the young 'uns?