Army considered for miners’ strike

Police step in when rebel miners cross the pickeLIne at Bilston Glen colliery in Midlothian in March 1984.''�The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.
Police step in when rebel miners cross the pickeLIne at Bilston Glen colliery in Midlothian in March 1984.''�The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.

Revelations that Margaret Thatcher came close to using troops during the 1980s miners’ strike have been welcomed by Midlothian’s MP .

Government documents released last week show that the former prime minister considered the use of troops to break the strike.

A secret government group codenamed ‘MISC 57’ discussed using troops to move coal stocks.

Midlothian MP David Hamilton (Lab), was an NUM delegate for 20 years while he worked at Monktonhall Colliery and was the Lothian strike co-ordinator during the 1984-85 strike.

He believes that the documents released by the National Archives in London are good for youngsters to see.

He said: “It comes as no surprise to me and many people involved in that dispute. But this revelation is good, as it shows young people just how far the state will go to protect what they see as important to them.

“I think it’s worrying though that they even considered using the army.”

Read more on this story in the August 8 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.