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He had a talent for political annihilation, masterminding Margaret Thatcher's operation to break the miners' strike from his luxury suite at Claridge's. "It got to the point where she really let me run it," he recalled in 2003.
My family became infected with what I have called a disease – a distrust of the police that spans generations. But this week, the government has the opportunity to turn the page on these years.
Last month, the home secretary, Amber Rudd, asked me what an inquiry would mean after all these years. I’m now a grandfather and I want my grandchildren to be able to trust the police, as I was brought up to do, I said. She nodded.
South Yorkshire police could gain as much from an inquiry as ex-miners and their relatives. He says it may provide a sense of closure since police are still distrusted in former mining villages although most are too young to have been there.
Amber Rudd’s announcement of October 31st 2016 - that there will be no enquiry into the infamous Battle of Orgreave - leaves those interested in what happened on that dramatic day floundering for key facts . . .
as historically accurate and politically spin-free as possible
occasionally throwing missiles
from the start, some stones were definitely thrown - quite possibly not by miners - from the back of the crowd and both police and pickets in front hit.
more stones, some of which bounced back off the shields and into the front lines of miners. Some flew over the top of the line and hit officers beyond, such as PC Akers, hit in the face by a brick and taken to hospital around 8am. (PC Ackers may have been the one seen with his nose hanging off his face.)
More missiles were thrown
Already, some (albeit just a few) police are “losing it” - ignoring the "no heads" order . . .
More miners were throwing stones now.
Logistical support had broken down (if it was ever there to start with) and few had been able to drink anything for hours, despite the heat.
Others suggest that a few militants started throwing stones.
the pattern of stone-throwing and the police response was inevitable
either passively endure missile throwing against them (which is extremely frustrating, especially when hot and thirsty) or launch limited “defensive” charges to drive the stone-throwers away.
the police now came under a heavy barrage of missiles - the retreating miners had discovered a ready supply of missiles including from a scrap yard
at the range protesters were throwing missiles at, they could hardly miss. For several minutes the line of long shields holding on the roadway came under intense bombardment from stones ripped from an adjoining field boundary wall, and various items of scrap.
still throwing missiles.
Having failed to drive off the stone throwers, Clement now ordered a more general advance, driving the miners up Highfield Lane, past the first village houses. A new line was formed opposite No.31 but still the stones flew, forcing the police to shelter behind their shields, inclined upwards.
Others were caught and beaten, in some cases severely, by short shield officers apparently suffering from “red mist”, unable or unwilling to restrain themselves after being forced to endure a galling barrage of missiles, nor apparently differentiating between stone throwers, other demonstrators and innocent onlookers.
began stoning them again
by mid-afternoon the stone throwing, and thus the battle, finally petered out.