Publication - Consultation analysis

Miners' strike 1984/85 pardon consultation: analysis of responses

Published: 17 Aug 2021

Findings from the analysis of the responses received to the consultation, which ran from 12 March 2021 to 4 June 2021.

Miners' strike 1984/85 pardon consultation: analysis of responses
Annex 2: Campaign responses

Annex 2: Campaign responses

The text for the 59 standard campaign responses was as follows:

Q1 Do you agree that miners convicted of breach of the peace that is related to the strike should be pardoned?

Yes – the miners’ strike was a time where policing was politicized and directed by the then Conservative Government who saw this as an opportunity to take revenge on the National Union of Mineworkers for their success in previous industrial disputes. They believed that if they defeated the well-organised and powerful miners’ union they could follow this with an all-out attack on the entire trade union movement. Scottish miners were disproportionately impacted – many were arrested and then sacked for offences that today would see them diverted from criminal prosecution. They would not have carried a prosecution against their name for the rest of their lives.

Q2 Do you agree that miners convicted of breach of bail that related to the strike should be pardoned?

Yes – Given the heightened atmosphere, political direction of the police by the state and hostility shown towards pickets many were being arrested for very minor offences. Breach of bail was used as a convenient reason to target union activists nullifying their ability to coordinate picketing.

Q3 Are there any other offences which miners were convicted for and which related to the strike that you think should be included in the qualifying criteria?

No – All those who were arrested should be considered for a pardon.

Q4 Do you think that miners who were convicted of a single offence related to the strike should be pardoned?

Yes – All those who were arrested should be considered for a pardon.

Q5 Do you think that miners who were convicted of multiple offences related to the strike should be pardoned?

Yes – Some were victims of repeated and unfair Police attention because of their trade union activity or leadership role in the NUM. This was a tactic to diminish the union’s ability to organise and sustain the strike. They should all be considered for pardon.

Q6 Do you agree that miners who had been convicted of an offence before the strike began in March 1984, should be pardoned for offences committed during the strike?

Yes – Previous convictions for example, a road traffic offence or failure to pay a TV licence, bear no relation to convictions during the strike. Miners who were convicted during the strike should be pardoned.

Q7 Do you agree that miners who were convicted of an offence after the strike ended in March 1985, and which did not relate to conduct during the strike, should be pardoned for a conviction related to the strike?

Yes – Post-strike convictions for example, a road traffic offence or failure to pay a TV licence bear no relation to convictions during the strike. Miners who were convicted during the strike should be pardoned.

Q8 In considering your responses to Question 6 and Question 7, do you think that the severity of the offending is relevant?

The overwhelming number of convictions in Scotland were for minor offences that today would not attract a criminal record and those involved would be directed to undertake other activities to avoid prosecution. There are very few, if any cases that would be described as severe.

Q9 Do you agree that miners whose conviction relating to the strike that resulted in a non-custodial sentence (such as a fine or a community service order). should be pardoned?

Yes – The overwhelming number of convictions in Scotland were for minor offences that today would not attract a criminal record and those involved would be directed to undertake other activities to avoid prosecution. All should be pardoned.

Q10 Do you think that miners whose conviction relating to the strike that resulted in imprisonment should be pardoned?

Yes – The strike was a dispute politically driven by the Government of the day. Papers released under the 30-year rule show this. Miners who were imprisoned were collateral damage in the Government's war against the NUM. Those who were imprisoned were jailed because they were miners. They would not be in that position had they not been involved in the strike. They should be pardoned.

Q11 Thinking about the fact that some miners were dismissed by the National Coal Board, as a result of a conviction relating to the strike, and others were not, which of the following statements most closely matches your view (please select one option only)?

All those were convicted during the strike should be pardoned.

Q12 Are there any other criteria that should be added to those mentioned previously?

No.

Q13 Do you have any further comments that you would like to make concerning the criteria? If so, please use the box below.

Legislation should be introduced early in the new session of the Scottish Parliament to enable pardons to take place. It should be introduced as early as possible in the new term.

Q14 If you have any comments on the partial Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA), please tell us, using the box below.

No comments.


Contact

Email: minersstrikepardon@gov.scot