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The government had not yet implemented Nicholas Ridley’s infamous 1977 confidential note on how to defeat the miners.
“If you’re not producing owt, you can’t make money.
But the government was determined to be ready next time.
In her notorious characterisation of the “enemy within”, Thatcher did less than some of Arthur Scargill’s more fastidious critics to distinguish between the NUM president and its members.
On 1 March 1984, the South Yorkshire NCB announced plans to close Cortonwood Colliery, a challenge to the NUM’s policy of opposing all pit closures on any grounds other than geological exhaustion.
With this, and Mac Gregor’s admission five days later that he envisaged closing, on “economic” grounds, about 20 pits over the next year at a cost of 20,000 jobs, strikes in Yorkshire and Scotland spread to 81 of the country’s 163 pits by 12 March.