Orgreave – the IPPC and DPP are not fit for purpose

OrgreaveAccountability in Britain has reached a new nadir today. The report that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) refuses to investigate claims of police criminality at the mass picket at Orgreave during the 1984-5 miners’ strike really stinks. They have already found evidence that police officers assaulted miners and then perverted the course of justice, committing perjury in later prosecutions which still failed. Even senior officers of the South Yorkshire police admit the perjury, but did not want it made public – who are they to block the course of justice? The IPCC in their report today try to dump blame on them for being complicit – so why is the IPCC now seeking to withdraw from the case? Continue reading

No truth and justice as decision on Orgreave investigation stays secret

OrgreaveI have written to the chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) requesting an explanation of the continuing delays in determining how they will proceed in the investigation of the events at Orgreave during the miners’ strike, 30 years ago. The miners that were there, their families, campaigners and the local communities are not primarily pushing for compensation for what happened, or even an apology. They simply want the truth.

Last week the Wakefield Express newspaper reported that the IPCC had made a decision as to whether there will be a full investigation into what happened at Orgreave in 1984. However, this decision has been kept secret. Continue reading

30 years of foot-dragging over Orgreave must end

OrgreaveIt is bizarre that the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has now spent 18 months dancing round the maypole trying to decide whether to launch a full inquiry into police corruption surrounding Orgreave in June 1984. With a typical establishment euphemism they are engaged in a ‘scoping inquiry’ (for which read: time-wasting) as to whether police officers fabricated statements – it is clear beyond any doubt that the police did collude in preparing testimony for the court.

After 18 months they have still not even interviewed key witnesses to the alleged corruption. The IPCC has either grievously failed in its duty to take the issue seriously or has been leaned on to spin out its deliberations an absurdly long time in order to frustrate a full public inquiry into police corruption since it has been ruled that this is shelved pending the IPCC conclusions. Continue reading

London remembers Orgreave

Orgreave-London-PhilosophyThirty years ago in June the defining moment of the Miners Strike. Mark Perryman explains why London is due to host an anniversary truth and justice benefit concert.

Orgreave, Yorkshire, 18 June 1984. The mass picket vs the massed police. Four months into the dispute this in many ways was the Miners Strike’s defining moment. The scenes of police brutality were graphic enough, none more so than a mounted police officer with baton raised galloping down a woman. Yet the solidarity, it helped inspire in response particularly at the following Christmas from metropolitan Britain, complete with convoys of trucks, vans and carloads of supporters bringing some cheer to the beleaguered coalfield communities never ignited the political support and industrial action the miners needed to win. Continue reading

Forget the whitewash: was the miners’ strike modern politics in action?

Miners' Strike: Enemy Within T-ShirtPhilosophy Football have produced a T-shirt to raise funds for the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign. MARK PERRYMAN explains why the miners’ strike still matters 30 years on.

Do you remember 1984-85? Digging deep for the miners. Frankie Goes to Hollywood at number one. Everton win the league championship. And a medium-sized T-shirt was ample big enough. For those whose principles have endured the test of time it all seems just like yesterday, and Tony Blair only a bad dream. Continue reading