INSENSITIVE managers of a Yorkshire coal-mining museum angered ex-miners yesterday for refusing to cancel plans to host the local Conservative Association’s annual dinner.
As reported exclusively in the Morning Star earlier this week, Dewsbury Conservative Association in West Yorkshire is to hold its annual dinner at the National Coal Mining Museum of England on March 10 next year, three days after the anniversary of the end of the heroic miners’ strike against pit closures in 1984-5.
The Tory provocation sparked a storm of protest from ex-miners, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC).
NUM general secretary Chris Kitchen wrote to museum director Nick Dodd telling him of the “sense of anger” at the booking.
The museum is on the site of the former Caphouse colliery, near Wakefield.
He wrote: “It is a matter of common knowledge that members of the Conservative Party conspired to close and destroy the coal industry in the UK. In fact, although they denied it at the time, the Margaret Thatcher Foundation gloats and reveals the extent of the deception.
“I think it is wrong for the museum to be used by a political party that is clearly determined to keep rubbing salt into the wounds it created whenever it can.”
But Mr Dodd said in a statement that the dinner will go ahead.
He said that, as a publicly and grant-funded registered charity, the museum “is required by the Charity Commission’s rules to maintain political independence.”
OTJC chair Joe Rollin has warned that the dinner will be picketed.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.