How best to define Home Secretary Amber Rudd after today’s controversial announcement that there will be no inquiry into events at the “Battle of Orgreave”?
Well, I could say that – as her name suggests two of the colours used on traffic lights – she is extremely green to think she can make such an announcement and expect the issue to go away.
Or I could suggest that she has lived up to her surname, in that a ‘Rudd’ is defined (after Australian politician Kevin Rudd, not her) as an “extremely boneheaded political move”. The definition certainly seems appropriate here.
Explanations for Ms Rudd’s evasiveness have been flying thick and fast. A former BBC industrial correspondent, speaking on the BBC’s PM programme, said he thought an inquiry would reveal too many links between South Yorkshire Police and the Conservative Government of the day, as then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher was “micro-managing” its response to the miners’ strike.
This certainly seems to be borne out by Cabinet papers from the time, on which Mrs Thatcher scrawled a query about the possibility of direct government funding to provide horses and dogs for the then-chief constable, a Mr Wright.
As Steve Walker states in his Skwawkbox article: “The Orgreave scandal, at its heart, is not a scandal into a criminal police force, even though the same force was involved in both Orgreave and Hillsborough.
“It is a scandal that exposes the black heart of the Tory party going back decades and continuing right through to the present, which they and their backers have spent billions of pounds hiding.
“And that is why Rudd and her party had no intention of allowing public scrutiny.
“The police were not in any sense ‘rogue’. They were acting under instructions that were already in preparation fully 7 years before the Battle of Orgreave. The police were simply a weapon in the hands of the real culprits: self-entitled Tories who felt no compunction whatever about using the police and other state apparatus against ordinary citizens simply trying to defend their livelihoods and the communities that depended on them from the predations of arrogant politicians in the pockets of private interests.”
He adds: “They’ve never stopped doing what they were doing then.“
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed his party will continue to push for an inquiry.
He said: “What happened in Orgreave was dreadful. What happened in Orgreave was terrible. What happened in Orgreave damaged the lives of those families who were wrongly accused of things they did not do.”
This is not over. Amber Rudd – and her forerunner as Home Secretary, the current prime minister, Theresa May – would be a fool to think otherwise.
There will be no inquiry into the notorious events at the so-called “Battle of Orgreave”, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced.
Thousands of miners and police clashed at the Yorkshire coking site in 1984.
Campaigners said officers led by South Yorkshire Police were heavy-handed and manufactured statements.
However, Mrs Rudd said she did not believe there was “sufficient basis… to instigate either a statutory inquiry or an independent review”.
In a written statement, Mrs Rudd said: “Despite the forceful accounts and arguments provided by the campaigners and former miners who were present that day about the effect that these events have had on them, ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions.”
Do you want Vox Political to cover a story? Use this form to tell us about it:
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: