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Trade and Industry Committee addressed by Arthur Scargill 10/12/1998

Arthur Scargill gave evidence to the Trade and Industry Committee of the British Parliament as leader of the National Union of Mineworkers on 10th December 1998. The discussion includes the decimation of the deep coal mining industry since the Miners' action in 1984-5 with the continuing importation of coal from abroad, include Europe and Australia, use of gas in place of coal and alternative sources of energy, including nuclear and renewable sources such as wind and solar power. Although the latter is seen to be a major player in future provision, taking into account the need for environmental protection, the reality is that coal is still being used. Not only is it imported but in Britain open caste mining is still an alternative which not only scars the landscape but is itself a major source of pollution.

In the video link Scargill makes the case, as he had done over decades, for a sensible balanced argument taking all factors into account rather than relying on uninformed arguments fuelled by self-interest and misinformation.

Given the energy crisis playing out now in 2024 how much have the arguments changed. Importation of cheap energy has been closed down with Western Governments seeking war to solve international disputes. Eyes have been on the rich resources of Russia and the Ukraine has been sacrificed to the end of acquiring resources as colonial powers practiced over centuries. As a consequence populations have suffered shortages of energy and food along with other essential commodities as prices shot through the roof. Who has benefitted.

The Socialist Labour Party Policies reflect the arguments made be Scargill as you can see in the Manifesto on this site. This is currently being updated, but I think the new one will retain a similar position.

John Tyrrell, President SLP, 30/4/2024

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