Class War on Labour leader Neil Kinnock and his hostile reception from striking miners in 1984.
Every time Neil Kinnock's name was mentioned at the miners rally at Aberaven it was greeted with a chorus of boos and hisses. "Ramsey McKinnock"1 posters were prominent as were cries of "scab" and "Judas" whenever the Labour leader was referred to. When Norman Willis chimed in with his pathetic TUC compromises, he was greeted with shouts of "off, off, off" and the famous noose2 was dangled in front of him (though not close enough in our opinion). At long last there are signs that a large number of miners are thoroughly sickened with the behaviour of the TUC and Labour Party scabs -- and may be able to make the first real break of a significant section of the British working class from its 'own' supposed party.
It has been sickening in the past to watch striking miners at rallys applaud Labour Party speakers who only the day before have appeared on T.V. condemning the same men for 'violence'. Now that they are beginning to get their come-uppance, it is of vital importance to keep this process going. Judas Kinnock and the rest of his scumbag Labour cronies (Kauffman-uugh: -don't he make you want to throw-up) must be hounded and shouted down wherever they try to speak. Kinnock says that violence is alien to the British working class movement- the fucking ignorant tosser, what about the Luddites, the Chartists the Captain swing riots, Tonypandy, etc. It's alien to him because it might fuck up his chances of becoming the next Prime Minister, who would act like all the other Labour P.M.'s and attack the working class in the interests of the bosses.
The only difference with Kinnock is that he's moved so far to the right before even getting into power! The rest, Wilson, Foot, etc., usually have the decency to wait till the doors of No. 10 close behind them. At Stoke-on-Trent Kinnock tried to prove what a fearless, gusty, valleys boy fighter he was- by addressing an audience of hand-picked middle-class Labour Party members who were guaranteed to cheer his defence of middle class horror against working class nastiness and violence. Of 1700 tickets distributed at the rally 1500 went to L.P. members and only 200 to NUM members- yet this was passed off as though Kinnock was bravely addressing an audience of hostile miners. Many miners walked out in disgust rather than listen to more of his scab apologetics, others loudly snored through it, and others screamed scab and Judas at him backed up by a hard core of 30 anarchists from Stoke, Sheffield, Bradford, and London who managed to 'obtain' some tickets outside (i.e. grabbed them out of some L.P. jerk’s hand) Biggest applause of the night came when the chairman asked If people wanted to leave owing to a bomb scare - "Not if it's under Kinnocks seat" shouted someone!
So, now is our chance to keep sticking the boot in the Labour Party. But what alternative do we offer people like us? Unlike the leftie groups with their party programmes and “correct" analysis we don't see ourselves as separate from the rest of the working class, as its leadership as the leftie groups see themselves. The working class is quite capable of getting rid of the bosses, and the miners of running their strike without the benefit of advice from the would be little-Lenin's. The mass picketing, the communal kitchens, the women’s support groups, the Hit-Squads is our alternative to the Labour Party and the lefties- a working class struggle in the hands of the working class.
We have argued in the last two issues of Class War that the best support we can give to the miners is to open up a second front by rioting in the inner cities. This is still the case. There is no prospect of any other organised section of the working class taking industrial action in solidarity with the miners- so the sooner we get out on to the streets with our bricks and bottles the sooner they'll have to withdraw police from the mining areas.
In the pit villages in Yorkshire it’s not just miners who are attacking scabs, erecting barricades, attacking police stations. Large numbers of unemployed youths and kids as young as 10 are joining in. This is the unity that needed to win. On many nights the rioting spreads to the right around South Yorkshire with people rampaging from one spot to the next. It is getting to nearer to the outskirts of large towns like Sheffield and Pontefract- once it reaches to centres the police will be fucked. The sooner we can help this to happen and then to spread riot style to the other major cities the sooner both us, and the miners, will win. In his report as commissioner of the Met. police, Kenneth Newman stated that keeping public order was the No. 1 priority of the Met. Police. He listed 52 potential riot situations which have been nipped in in the bud in London alone this year. Every area of London had its own I.R.U. permanently patrolling in vans to deal quickly with such situations. The authorities know that they'd be well fucked if inner-city rioting breaks out at the same time as the miners strike. We know that too- so let’s see the old year go out with a bang.
- 1A reference to former Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald, who refused to support the 1926 General Strike.
- 2On 13 November 1984, a hangman's noose was slowly lowered from the rafters of a meeting hall until it rested close to the head of TUC general secretary Norman Willis. Willis was in the process of denouncing miners for picket line violence.