With the news that Arthur Scargill has lost his court case which he brought against the remnants of his own union, this is an opportune moment to reflect on the history of this hypocrite who put revolutionary politics before the interests of his members, destroying entire communities in the process.
Free marketeer and avowed anti-socialist Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of Great Britain at the same time as the two unrepentant communists Arthur Scargill and Mick McGahey took control of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Britains' most powerful union at the time.
Coal mining was one of the biggest industries in Great Britain which not only powered the industrial revolution but the Royal Navy as well. The entire economy was powered by coal and the industry employed hundreds of thousands of workers with the NUM having a membership approaching half a million. The NUM wielded immense power and in 1974 they used this power to bring down the elected government of Prime Minister Edward Heath.
The post war discovery of oil and availability of cheap coal from overseas made the nationalised British coal industry uncompetitive and an unsustainable drain on taxpayer and the economy as a whole. This forced the government to rationalise the industry which inevitably meant that unproductive mines would have to be closed.
These closures were used as an excuse for the NUM to strike work and by using blackmail, intimidation and the usual threats of violence they brought the country to its knees and the downfall of the Heath government.
Due to the timing of the strike this sad period in British history was known as the 'winter of discontent', there were power cuts, a three day working week, mountains of uncollected rubbish in the streets and even the dead were left unburied.
The collapse of the economy and the government handed power to the union controlled Labour Party which promptly caved in and its first concession to the NUM was an increase in wages of 20%.
This was a typical piece of socialist logic which did nothing for the long term viability of the industry and which only made matters worse in the longer term.
Enough is written about Margaret Thatcher's ideology and motivation but the same is not widely known about Scargill and McGahey.
Arthur Scargill followed his father into coal mining and communism. While his father was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), young Arthur was a member of the Young Communist League (YCL).
As part of the infiltration strategy of communists into mainstream democratic socialist parties, as laid down in Marx's Communist Manifesto, Arthur Scargill resigned the YCL and joined the Labour Party.
Scargill resigned from the Labour Party when it dropped Clause IV from its constitution, the clause committed the party to nationalisation of all the major industries and utilities. He formed his breakaway Socialist Labour Party which went on to get an average of 1% of the popular vote in subsequent elections.
Scargill was and still is a revolutionary Marxist and like the rest of his ilk he is a hypocrite of the very highest order.
What the membership of the NUM didn't know while they were striking work and impoverishing their families was that Arthur was setting himself up with some not very communist sweet deals.
There was to be none of this Marxist nonsense about abolishing private property for our Arthur. He bought his own piece of real estate in Barnsley then negotiated the fuel bills, the security system and even his own tax returns to be paid for out of his members subscriptions for the rest his life.
Scargill also had an all expenses paid apartment available in the *Barbican Centre in London for his use and that of his surviving widow, all paid for by the NUM i.e out of the memberships union dues. Somewhere along the line he also negotiated a 'Papa' Doc Duvalier President for Life deal.
* For information, the Barbican Centre is an up market housing development in London occupied by the operators of the capitalist system such as bankers, stockbrokers and various other 1%'ers that Scargill professes to despise.
Arthur Scargill had nice things to say about Stalin and also claimed that the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin "explained the real world"
Mick McGahey, Scargill's deputy in the NUM, was a life long unrepentant communist who's father was a founder of the Communist Party of Great Britain, when that dissolved itself McGahey joined the Scottish Communist Party.
McGahey was a communist fanatic who supported the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the subsequent repression of the Hungarian people. He is also quoted a s saying that the USSR "is a beacon of hope for humanity."
Looking back at 1974 strike and the downfall of the Heath government, Scargill and McGahey were going for a repeat performance with the Thatcher government that they ideologically opposed and hated with a passion.
The only thing that they needed was an excuse to strike work.
Armed the knowledge that many of Britain's coal mines were over 100 years old and suffered geological problems thus making them uneconomical, Scargill and McGahey committed the NUM to fight any mine closures at all except on the grounds of exhaustion.
As a result of this support for uneconomic mines, the entire coal industrty needed a massive subsidy from the taxpayer and this made the industries that were dependent on coal, like the steel production and electricity generation uncompetitive.
In order to rescue the bankrupt British economy which was sunk by previous Labour Party mismanagement, the Thatcher government proposed to remove the subsidy and close uneconomic mines. Scargill and McGahey had their excuse and a year long strike followed.
Scargill and McGahey refused to hold a national strike ballot, instead by using the 'no mine closure rule' they struck work at a mine that was earmarked for closure.
They went on to abuse the traditional loyalty of the mine working communities by demanding sympathy action at their mines then resorted to bullying, thuggery and violence to browbeat dissident communities into line.
Mrs Thatcher had read Scargill and McGahey like a book, she knew what was coming and had long prepared for their politically motivated strike by stockpiling supplies of coal and by having a fleet of trucks ready for its transportation if necessary.
More controversially she put the police on a war footing to make sure that any mine worker who wished to work would be able to do so without intimidation.
The rest is history, the NUM split with the formation of the Union of Democratic Miners (UDM), the strike collapsed and together with it went the entire coal industry.
Thanks to Arthur Scargill and Mick McGahey membership of the once mighty NUM plummeted from a peak of 450,000 to around 1,700 today. ( that's not a typo it real is only seventeen hundred)
Instead of a managed introduction of new forms of power generation, the political ambitions of Scargill and McGahey resulted in the industry being shutdown within a matter of years destroying entire communities in the process.
Mick McGahey departed for the great communist utopia in the sky in 1999 to spend eternity with his hero Stalin, however the inhabitants of his home town of Cambuslang in socialist Scotland have insulted the murdered victims of Stalin by erecting a memorial in McGahey's honour.
Arthur Scargill still endures with the unshakable belief that the collapse of the coal industry and the most powerful trade union in history was nothing to do with him, it was all Thatchers fault.
It doesn't enter Scargill's thick skull that the duly elected Prime Minister of some 60 million people including the tens of thousands of NUM members who voted for her, had a duty to stand up to the bullying and blackmail of two communists fanatics who continually failed to get elected to parliament under their true banner.
Currently, the NUM is in financial straits and can no longer finance the perks of their 'President for Life'. The burden of this largess, as always, falls on the membership.
The NUM reviewed his contract and were unable to understand how these perks found they way in and if they are appropriate.
The finacial plight of his union doesn't bother Scargill who's priority was always himself and who's political agenda always took precedence over the interests of his members. He took his own union to court in order to continue with his 'entitlements' regardless of their affordability.
The judge found in favour of the NUM so Scargill has to finance his own extravagant bourgeois lifestyle. Maybe he could start selling the Big Issue or sit outside the House of Lords with his dog on a piece of string waiting for his old friend the multi millionaire Marxist Neil Kinnock to pass by and drop a few coins in his battered cup.
This is a final ignominious and humiliating end to a once powerful union baron who abused that power in order to pursue his perverted ideology and a reason for the Iron Lady to indulge in one last laugh to herself.