“Gordon Brown Coal Mining” (interesting search engine string…)

David Davis

I can’t think what to say about this one really, but it’s quite funny in a sad way. We’ll put on some suitable music to go cola  mining by, later.

(Sorry, I meant coal mining.)


  1. Dave:

    “A sea of coal surrounded by an ocean of fish.” — Traditional description of Britain.

    Now, no coal and next to no fish.




    • Plenty of coal, Tony! Still. About 200 years’ supply.

      As to fish, ask Red Ted “the traitor” Heath, what he did with (our) fish, on his agreement to be humiliated into signing Rome!

  2. Well, my viewpoint of it is who wants to do coal mining anyway? I know many people lost their jobs and communities were ruined when the pits closed, but it probably would have become unrealistic to carry it on at some point anyway. Look now at the emergence of China, a country which produces so much coal that at times it’s gate value in the UK is lower than coal mined here. The people who work in coal mines in China benefit much more from that employment than we do, because there is, or was little else to do in their economy. But the way in which the pits were closed was bound to cause resentment. Or, was it a much-needed short sharp shock? I don’t know.

    • I just thought it was amusing, as we have category on the blog called “Practical Coal Mining”. This is named after a real book which I own and refer to for fun and instruction sometimes, published in 1920, which I got in Ilfracombe in 1979 for £1.50 at a tat-shop, while on holiday with Chris Tame and his Missus.

  3. Steven:

    Thatcher could have simply _given_ the coal mines to the miners, pit by pit. Miners would have been free of Arthur Scargill’s NUM (they would no longer have any use for it) AND the useless, corrupt Coal Board management.

    We would then have lots of private-sector coal mines, many of which could diversify by generating electricity competitively onsite, and selling it to the National Grid (as can be done now). Sure beats dependence on Saudi Arabia, doesn’t it?

    Instead, Thatcher spent six billion pounds to create a police state to smash the miners and sell them off. She imported a foreign “Capitalist” to manage this — McGregor.

    The result? No coal mines (exactly as Scargill predicted).

    Thatcher did not like Co-ops. She ranted when young about a new Co-op “taking our business away” from her folks’ grocey shop. As if she was _entitled_ to no competition and the customers’ business.



  4. I’m going to start looking out for some secondhand books, it should save a lot of money and let me get my hands on them in the process. I think that Amazon is quite good for them. I’ve got a penchant though, of always wanting the books I buy to be hardback, I may have mentioned it before. Of course, I tend to read softback library books and most of the books I buy new are softback, but when I’ve taken a liking to a book and want to have it in my collection permanently, I want it to be hardback. I think buying secondhand is the only real way to acheive that, because I’ve looked around online but there’s no booksellers that specialise in new hardbacks only. Hey, maybe I’ve spotted a gap in the market!

  5. I agree with what you’re saying there Tony, there does seem to be a tendancy in the Conservatives of the past to try to sabotage any co-operation between people such as your example. It’s attitudes of the then-ruling class that gave the New Labour movement the mandate, support and validation for much of what has happened since.

    In this case, Thatcher, from my gut reckoning, behaved like a Tory on a mission to stamp on ‘their’ faces, instead of behaving like a British Prime Minister and looking after the interests of all citizens.

    And yes, I like the co-operative idea. If I’m ever fortunate enough to own a company, I think I’ll try to institute such a system. Taking ethical satisfaction from that would be much more valuable to me than Being Bill Gates!

  6. Steven:

    The folks at Mondragon have written a book titled “We Build The Road As We Travel.” I think it’s available in English, as is:


    The Hierarchical State has a neat game going: you’re offered a chice between “Capitalism” (Money employs Labour) or “Socialism” (the State employs Labour). A distinction without a difference, really.

    I prefer people working with other people in a “horizontal” free market (not a rigged vertical “playing-field.”)

    It’s a tragedy that the failure of Classical Liberalism to adapt led to the Marxists taking over “the Left” instead of the Co-operative Movement doing so.

    We can reverse that disastrous blunder, but not with elitist nonsense like “The only purpose of management is to further enrich the owners” (the incantation of “Crony-Capitalism” emanating from people who should know better). Better to let machines do the donkey-work, with people doing what they enjoy and are good at. “Right Livelihood.”



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