If only he had backed the strikers.
We agreed deal with Thatcher government - Scargill
But today the leftwing former miner, still honorary president of the NUM, has for the first time written his own account of the strike he led against the Thatcher government in an exclusive article for the Guardian. In it Scargill rejects claims that he refused to hold a national ballot, defends his decision to concentrate mass picketing on the Orgreave coking plant in Yorkshire where the strike's most violent confrontation took place in June 1984, and accuses his critics, including Kinnock, of criticising his tactics to "cover up their own guilt" over failing to give the miners the support that would have "changed the political direction of the nation".
The 1984-5 strike, called in an attempt to halt pit closures and the rundown of the industry at a time when there were more than 180,000 miners working in 170 collieries, was the most important industrial dispute in Britain since the General Strike of 1926. The dispute centred around often violent picket line confrontations between politice and miners. It was called off in March 1985 without a settlement and by 1994, only 8,000 miners were left at 16 collieries.
Responding to the claim the strike was anti-democratic because the NUM was trying to bring down an elected government, Scargill writes that the government "declared war on the miners" and compared their strike with an earlier miners' national strike which paved the way for the Heath government's defeat in a general election in 1974.