Most responses to the question aScottish governmentConsultation support for the pardoning miners convicted of offenses during the 1984-85 strike.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents supported pardoning them for breaching the peace, and 86% for breaching bail convictions.
In protest of plans to close down pits in the UK, miners went on strike. According to official papers, their leader was not present.Arthur ScargillHe was correct when he said thatNational Coal BoardThe goal was to close 70 mines, resulting in a loss of 70,000 job opportunities.
Prime Minister at the timeMargaret ThatcherThe striking miners were called “the enemy within”. Cabinet papers show discussions about how to “stiffen chief constables’ resolve” and press courts to speed up cases so that striking miners could be punished.
One respondent stated that breach of the peace was the default charge to bring miners before the court. I was found guilty for shouting “scab” at a miner.
Another stated that “Many miners were randomly selected from picketlines and charged with breaching the peace, when in reality they had not done anything wrong.”
Last OctoberJohn Scott QC’sIndependent review of the effect of police on striker communities suggested that the Scottish government introduce legislation to pardon people convicted in relation to strike-related matters, provided it establishes suitable criteria. Then, the Justice Secretary.Humza YousafAccepted the recommendations.
Lothian – FormerLabourMSPNeil FindlayCampaigner for a Pardon said that there was overwhelming support for a full pardon of all those wrongly convicted during the strike.
“I look forward to the Scottish parliament passing the necessary legislation at the earliest possible opportunity.”