January 29th, 2014

Justice for David Wilkie, True Working Class Hero

Labour have launched a bizarre “Justice for the Coalfields” campaign this week to seek an apology from the Tories for the miners’ strike. What about  “Justice for David Wilkie”?

Two Welsh NUM activists were jailed for life in 1985 for the murder of taxi driver David Wilkie during the miners’ strike. He was killed when the two striking miners threw a concrete block off a bridge as Wilkie bravely drove a working miner to a pit in South Wales in November 1984. Passing sentence, the judge Mr Justice Michael Mann said the strikers had “engendered a climate of violence”.

Labour’s Neil Kinnock called it an “atrocity”, the NUM funds and is affiliated to the Labour Party. Michael Dugher would be better off demanding an apology from those Labour supporters who created the climate of violence that lead to the death of David Wilkie, a real working class hero…

UPDATE: Labour’s campaign has come to a grinding halt.


  1. 1
    I remember that. The BBC doesn't though. says:

    Are they still in Prison?

  2. 2
    Displaced Brummie says:

    The Labour Party starring in the new inaction movie, “Labour: Hostage to Fortune.”

  3. 3
    Andrew Efiong says:

    Labour have lurched so far to the left they’ve fallen back into the 1980s

  4. 4
    Anne Scargill says:

    When Arthur has breakfast he has three shredded wheat in his bowl. He eats two and the third is place on top of his head.

  5. 5
    cep says:

    How many pits did labour shut down..?

  6. 6
    Mitch says:

    The Met police who came up here were absolute b*stards and caused as much trouble as they could. Even the local coppers couldn’t believe it (I have family in the police).

    It was a terrible time all round. No apologies – forget about it and move on.

  7. 7
    John Lennon says:

    A working class tax avoider is something to be.

  8. 8

    Excellent idea. Sad it’s a non-starter.

  9. 9
    Jimmy says:

    An excellent comparison. Wilkie’s killers and the conservative party should both be treated the samm\e way.

  10. 10
    Gerhard Berger says:

    My daughter is getting drilled on the DP.

  11. 11
    Not Scargill says:

    Did not Labour during office close more coal fields than what happened during the eighties?
    If so perhaps Kinnock and those around should apologize first.

  12. 12
    cep says:



  13. 13
    Jazz Porridge says:

    Looks like Labour are retreating to their comfort zone. 50% taxes and coal miners.

    Will Ed Millyband don a sheepskin jacket?

  14. 14
    Mitch says:

    Surely someone in the Labour party is aware that Scargill was MI5 and that the story isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems?

  15. 15
    MB. says:

    Did Kinnock call the murder an atrocity or the jailing of the murderers?

  16. 16
    Gromit via sign language says:

    Master is f’king useless!

  17. 17
    Don't know which way to turn says:

    Geedo. How’s about better editorial control? You have put Two excellent and thought provoking posts up at the same time.

  18. 18

    “I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.”

    [michael grimm r-ny]

  19. 19
    cep says:

    Trying to change the subject..?

  20. 20
    When to close a pit says:

    Please define when a coal pit becomes unworkable?

    Depth of pit shaft,
    distance from shaft,
    height of coal seam,
    frequency of coal faults.

    Then compare with geological surveys of pit closed. You may completely agree with the local decision.

  21. 21
    Willie & Coe says:

    We love a good fender bender.

  22. 22
    bergen says:

    Doubt it. I seem to recall that the convictions were reduced to manslaughter on appeal.

  23. 23
    Blue Peter Goldfish says:

    Former miners’ union leader Arthur Scargill tried to use laws introduced by Margaret Thatcher to buy a council flat in London (refused as not even his primary residence and rent paid by NUM).
    In 1993 he applied to buy the flat on the prestigious Barbican estate under the right-to-buy scheme championed by Thatcher, his political enemy.
    Nuff said!.

  24. 24
    Mitch says:

    This country is underpinned by coal. The decision to close pits wasn’t based on the economic viability of the industry.

  25. 25
    Anonymous says:

    Typical labour ignore anything the unions or their supporters do why don’t they just have a Stalinist one party state and kill their opponents in gulags.

    Oh shit I have just given them the theme for their next policy document

  26. 26
    Miliband from Doncaster says:

    Drink home brew
    Keep a whippet
    Wash at work

    and best of all never leave the village

  27. 27
    Numbers watcher says:

    About 290 mines closed when Wilson was in office and about 160 when Thatcher was in office.



  28. 28
    The Labour Party says:

    No, the pits had to be closed because coal is a filthy fuel. That is why our Dear Leader Ed Miliband is committing Britain to a carbon-free future. No coal or gas-powered power stations.

    Coal = evil. The Dear Leader has spoken.

  29. 29
    The Labour Party says:

    We are glad you have forgotten that we told a string of lies and started an illegal war that killed half a million people Jimmy.

    Tories = evil.
    Labour – lovely cuddly progressives.

  30. 30
    Anonymous says:

    Hancock and Shankland were released on 30 November 1989!!

  31. 31
    Shurdyrover says:

    Hancock and Shankland were released on 30 November 1989.
    8 years they got but served maybe 5! Justice eh??

  32. 32
    Charlie says:

    By the 1980s 75% of mine were losing ,money: average price British Coal was £44/T, World Price was £32/T. British coal varied from £21/t Nottingham to £121/T for Deal.

    When ships went from coal to oil powered pre WW1 , demand declined: when trains went from coal to diesel power demand declined and when gas went from coal town gas to N sea Gas demand declined.

    Many of the cheapest coal supplies are large open cast mines not more than 400m deep. Some of British mines were1200m deep and the working face was 1000s of metres from the shaft.

    The development of an underground mine in E Midlands was stopped because of of faulting.

    Mitch ,learn a little about all the factors which the cost of coal and also compare with other energy sources.

  33. 33
    bergen says:

    I worked for the old NCB during and after the strike. Although some people over lunchtime chat thought he had to be some sort of deep-cover mole, those that had met him said that he seemed simply a bonkers megalomaniac.

  34. 34
    Killer Bercow says:

    *innocent face*

  35. 35
    Mitch says:

    The cost of producing coal in the 80’s was un-naturally high. I’m not saying that we can get it all out cheaply. I’m saying that we have millions of tons left, which we do, and that sometimes a local industry needs to be supported, anyway.

  36. 36
    Kick the foreign city of London out of England says:

    Exactly. The same people who still rail against the pit closures’ are the same people who demand we shouldn’t burn fossil fuels.

  37. 37
    Curtis Stigers (rhymes with tigers) says:

    Can we have an apology from Labour for totally screwing up the country?

    They must be really desperate to be dragging up the miners’ strike.

  38. 38
    wycombewanderer says:

    Why was Mad Frankie so polite?

    I’d have used two words? The second being OFF.

  39. 39
    Evil liebor says:

    You may have noticed our pilot gulag at Stafford.

  40. 40
    bergen says:

    Opencast coal was extremely profitable- per unit of energy even more so than North Sea oil.

    But the deepmines couldn’t begin to compete on international energy prices. Since our mines shut even the Ruhr coalfield in Germany has shut. There is hardly a large working colliery in Western Europe left so it was not just us.

  41. 41
    Northerner says:

    Belt the wife and thump the kids.

    Make sure your sons get emphysema or crushed by equipment driven by a drunk union official.

  42. 42
    PatientGuy says:

    It’s their 30th anniversary next year. I wonder whether Hancock and Shankland will be holding a reunion. Shankland still lived in Rhymney until very recently.

  43. 43
    Earl of Croydon says:

    Ive often wondered upon which grounds he was given a council flat. Surely this was his second home, so how in the name of god was he allocated a council flat?

  44. 44
    frank says:

    Would that be the Miners strike that started, in spring of all times, without a proper ballot of members? A strike that accepted money from the communist bloc- the most evil state ever created?
    Maggie won handsomely. What’s not t like.
    How about a Labour Party apology for the fact that every Labour voing heartland is an economically destroyed dump?

  45. 45
    Jimmy says:

    You forgot Stilton Eating Surrender Monkeys.

    btw is that a picture of Guido’s car?

  46. 46
    Socialism = Starvation says:

    The law on murder appeared to me to have been re-written to entail that the killers were only liable for manslaughter.

    And upon hearing of the death, Dr Kim Howellls, then of the NUM, started shredding papers because he feared a police raid might uncover their strike plans.


  47. 47
    Hargaret Modge, Labour MP and Hypocritical serial long term aggressive Tax Avoider + expenses thief says:

    Bloody good. It’s about time the Tories grew a backbone. Now get Scargill to apologise for being a loud aggressive twat, Prescott for being a loud aggressive twat, Kinnock for being a loud aggressive twat, Bliar for being a war criminal, Brown McSnot-Gobbler for stealing all our money and Blinky Balls for being a loud aggressive twat. Hmm seems to be a pattern emerging here….

  48. 48
    I dislike socialists intensely says:

    Socialists ,scum of the earth.

  49. 49
    Lamp posts for hire says:

    … not to mention the fact (naturally!) that the Labour Government had already closed more pits than Thatcher ever got close to.

  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    Pit closures right or wrong? Doesn’t matter now. Regardless of whether it was right at the time, PM Margaret Thatcher prepared for a strike approx. one year in advance. Nothing wrong with being prepared? She then triggered the strike she prepared for. The strike itself was damaging to the industry in that some pits became problematic because of inadequate maintenance in the meantime. As we now know, she had planned to move to use up the reserve she’d built and move to imported Polish Coal rather than use British coal fields as a preference. This to crush a union rather than for any other reason. This wasn’t based on market economics but rather on ideology. Pits would have closed on a more gradual basis otherwise.

  51. 51
    Lamp posts for hire says:

    You have to enquire at the local Lodge for an answer to that one.

  52. 52
    Socialism = Starvation says:

    I think, IIRC, that Col. Gaddhafi might have handed over some dose to the NUM as well. That was after Yvonne Fletcher was shot by a gunman shooting from the Libyan Embassy.

    Has anyone in the ‘Miners’ movement’ worked out yet that once you dig coal out of the ground, it does not grow back as such, so mines have finite operational timespans and when the coal isn’t worth it, it is time to close?

  53. 53
    Lamp posts for hire says:

    She had just lived through the delights of Labour in government, you know, three day week, no electricity, no garbage collections, bodies in the street. Real Socialist Utopia that was. I remember it well as I had to pick up a couple of extra boxes of candles so I could do my homework.

  54. 54
    Socialism = Starvation says:

    She did not trigger the calling of the strike without a ballot of members, that was the work of the NUM.

    Odd that the Polish Communists allowed us to buy their coal when the Eastern Bloc were funding the strike, or were they being mischievous?

  55. 55
    Dontvoteforanyofthem says:

    “The decision to close pits wasn’t based on the economic viability of the industry.”

    Correct, the decision to close the pits was based on the economin non-viability of the industry.

  56. 56
    Dontvoteforanyofthem says:

    Luckily, during the 1980s. labour needed more than 35% share of the vote to win a majority in parliament. The seats have been massively gerrymandered since then.

  57. 57
    Terry Leintrowsar says:

    Yeah, ‘cos propelling a high-velocity concrete block through a windscreen to impact the driver won’t definitely cause death will it?

    UK legal system. Rip it up and start again.

  58. 58
    NE Frontiersman says:

    14: I heard this from an ex-copper who said the same about Benn. He may have been pulling my chain, but judging by the success they brought to the Labour movement, I could see his point.

  59. 59
    NE Frontiersman says:

    51: The Gaddafi story was a fake. Roy Greenslade, the ‘professor’ of journalism who used to write for the IRA (he’s an in-law)under a false name while at the Guardian, was forced to admit that he had paid rival NUM figures £60k (from memory) to concoct the story while he was at the Mirror.
    Greenslade is also the man who wants to tax the Web to subsidise the MS press.

    Why anybody thought that Scargill needed help to ruin himself or anything he touched is a bit of a mystery.

  60. 60
    Dontvoteforanyofthem says:

    No, nobody in the miners “movement” have realised that.

    I know a lorry driver who delivered pit props to a mine, which was empty. The miners would turn up, spend all day in the canteen then go home. There was no coal to mine at all. They still went on strike to try to save their jobs.

  61. 61
    The Critic says:

    Children of the Damned more like.

  62. 62
    The Critic says:

    Thanks Jimmy- I did not realise Labour had rebranded themselves as Surrender Monkeys. However, having given up the UK’s right to self -governance, financial stability and moral probity of any sort, I can see why a name change was in order.

    Will that be a cornerstone of One Nation Statecraft?

  63. 63
    When to buy British Coal says:

    There is nothing stopping Labour donor Mittal from buying up the company running coal extraction in the UK and using it to power his iron and steel making industry.

    He hasn’t, Labour hasn’t lobbied, Unions haven’t complained, Labour haven’t returned his donation as being lets say unethical.

    13 years Labour never came up with a policy over coal mining in the UK.

    Labour won’t have British Coal.

  64. 64
    Airey Belvoir says:

    I wish that Cameron had thought to include that powerful point in his reply.

  65. 65
    Tesco is shite says:

    Correct, LPFH. The Labour pit closures were partly the responsibility of one AW Benn, PhD (Hypocrisy), I believe. Hell – they may have been LARGELY his responsibility. Anyone know more?

  66. 66
    Labour Scum says:


  67. 67
    Charlie says:

    Look at underground coal gasification and coal bed methane.

  68. 68
    Rightwinggit says:

    ” If you want to be a c­u­nt, then just follow me..”

  69. 69
    chris1943 says:

    Shook hands with Scargill in the 70s. Hands like a bloody lady, never done any real work. Millitwit is the same. how can you possibly say you on the side of the workers when you have never done any?

  70. 70
    chris1943 says:

    I remember that back in th 60s or early 70s there was a magazine out in the coal industry called ‘The Miner’ The editor of it went to East Germany as a political refugee, which I found funny even then.

  71. 71
    Anonymous says:

    Partly correct. Few here would want to (publicly) admit it, but decision to close most of the remaining coal mines was more about the need to smash a union. A union that dared to stand up for the mining industry.

    Also, what was the number of miners beaten and put in hospital up by the police? Not something that many here might be interested in – much less care about.

  72. 72
    johnpreid says:

    Labour should apologise for the way Kim Howells shredded evidence to say which miners he’d sent to the bridge where unknown to him,they threw a brick off it killing Taxi man,David Wilkie,who was taking to work a miner who’d voted not to go on strike, I’m also waiting for Labour to apologise for taking money form the NUM,who’s leader had not only not balloted his members did they want to strike, but let his miners try to beat up those who’d voted not to go on strike

    Even Neil Kinnock and the new statesman said we must not forget the debt the country owes Norman Tebbit,

    I’m still waiting for the Labour Party to apologise for militant trying to beat people up, I’m waiting for the Labour Party to apologise for the far left infultrating the Wapping dispute ,burning down the paper mill, trying to kill Kelvin Mckenzie, I’m waiting for the Labour Party welcoming with open arms the Leaders of the IRA to the .GLC, to apologise

    And yes apologise for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

  73. 73
    Anonymous says:

    Yet more spin from room 101 of Tory HQ? Not retreating, but starting rejecting New Labour, returning to their roots, and questioning:

    why the Tories refuse to take action against the greedy bankers?

    if Dave supports a 40% top rate of tax?

    whether someone will to say ‘sorry!’ to the miners?

    then the Tory Party is going to break its’ close links with big business?

    why Dave wanted to bomb Syria and aid the terror gangs?

  74. 74
    Anonymous says:

    More of same bully-boy tactics from the hard-right?

  75. 75
    Anonymous says:

    Are you really attempting to link the Labour Party with a Stalinist one-party state – that kills “their opponents in gulags”? If so, if is typical of the over-the-top comments to be found on this site. But don’t stop, it totally undermines your case with reasonably and fair-mined people. While this kind of reds-under-the-bed nonsense might work in the US – this the UK.

  76. 76
    By the way says:

    You forgot to make clear “the death was not related to any union work”. And that, as you must be aware, that law on murder has not changed and manslaughter was the verdict of the Jury. But why let the facts get in the way of good smear story?

  77. 77
    Anonymous says:

    And when will anyone say sorry to the miners beaten up by the police and put in hospital?

    Also, the fact remains that Tory MPs voted for an illegal war, based sex-up evidence and claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Will they apologise for being conned by Tony and his mate?

  78. 78
    Star Mountain says:

    Arthur was a Coal Miner for 20 years !

  79. 79
    Star Mountain says:

    They were released after about eight years in prison .

  80. 80
    Star Mountain says:

    The Government provoked a Strike in March 1984 .

    The Strike was Constitutional under NUM rules .

    We would have accepted money from Satan himself to aid the Miners Families .

    The Miners nearly won on at least 3 different times during the Strike .

  81. 81
    Star Mountain says:

    Tories , lower than Vermin .

  82. 82
    johnpreid says:

    I don’t know if they’ll apologise for being conned by Tony, suppose they believed him based on he had the power of government behind him, as for miners being beaten up, you forgot when the miners surged at the lorry transporting the coal ,they pushed How green under a wheel, ,and also what of the working miners beaten up ,by those on strike, or the cops beaten up by striking miners who were out in hospital, there was one WPC in the police station that had bricks throne through the window that had her face slashed by those miners

  83. 83
    johnpreid says:

    No it’s just where they had big majorities like up, north ,they lost lots of votes, and the Tories still stack up votes in the Home Counties,in 1992 to make the votes more even boundaries were changed to favour the Tories,and the same in 2004′ but they’re still bias towards Labour,,it’s hardly labours fault,if the electorate only vote in marginal seats,more to labours favour,

  84. 84
    johnpreid says:

    It would explain, Benns transformation from Gaitskellite, maybe he saw militant infultrating labour, thought the only way that he could stop ,Trots over taking the country ,was to give Mrs T his support, by singlehandedly, swinging labour to the left, and letting Labour lose 4 elections,

  85. 85
    johnpreid says:

    The death wasn’t related to any union work, You do know that the NUM leaders sent those miners to that bridge to have a protest,

  86. 86
    johnpreid says:

    The 3 day week was under Heath, and Heath caused it, as there was enough coal, to try to make the union look bad, and him look good, fortunately the public, saw through it, he was out of the door within weeks,

  87. 87
    Anonymous says:

    I think this is a horrible thing thous two idiots shouldn’t of done that curse you dean and Russell

Seen Elsewhere

Liz Kendall For Leader | Indy
Bashir Booted Out By Respect | Respect
Americans Try Haggis | Guardian
Page 3 and the Art of the Self-Pity Statement | Guardian
Steven Woolfe For UKIP Leader? | Asa Bennett
Mohammed — in Pictures | Speccie
Leon Brittan’s Accusers Must Show Their Evidence | Dan Hodges
New Saudi King Renames Roads While Body Still Warm | TechnoGuido
In Davos, Carrying a BlackBerry is a Status Symbol | Business Insider
New Labour in Peep Show Quotes | Telegraph
Here is What a 7 Way Debate Sounds Like | BBC

Find out more about PLMR AD-MS

George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…

“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The Tories are welcome to him because he will cause them embarrassment. Fortunately Respect was able to act before he did it to us.”

Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:


AddThis Feed Button

Guido Reads

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,716 other followers