Was there ever a more poignant example of the saying “Falling between a rock and a hard place” – than the tragic situation which is now unfolding at Kellingley Colliery?
The only thing on offer is a managed closure; only slightly better than a sudden shutdown probably as early as next week, with possibly no wages, holiday or redundancy pay.
With a skilled efficient workforce, a modern pit with almost unlimited coal reserves and customers such as Eggborough, Drax and Ferrybridge Power Stations all virtually within clear sight of the pit head gear, it remains unviable because the world market price of coal makes it too expensive to extract!
Sadly, that is the way of things in this country today, with so many other commodities imported from areas of cheaper production, eg textiles, clothing, commercial vehicles, printed material, electrical goods etc – with those former British industries and many thousands of jobs lost forever.
However the fate of the miners was really set by the last Labour Government as they did nothing to help preserve either the mining industry or miners’ jobs: they closed the almost new Selby Coalfield down and a lot more pits as well?
The long-term interests of the coal industry have been sacrificed by the dash for gas fired power stations, an obsession with ‘green’ energy and billions in subsidies which have been squandered on renewables such as solar panels and windmills that don’t work when it isn’t windy and have to be shut down.
As for the crie de coeur of the NUM about re-nationalisation, the Labour Party deliberately abandoned that principle over 15 years ago by removing Clause 4. from the party’s rule book.
Any complaints today should be directed at the last Labour administration, which several of today’s Yorkshire MP’s played a big part in, not the present Coalition Energy Minister:
DS Boyes, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds Avenue, Leeds
Failures of migrant policy
YOUR SHOCK report that the net flow of immigration into the UK under Labour was ‘underestimated’ by nearly half a million, is just the tip of the iceberg, proving beyond doubt that reckless Labour increased the population by four million in just one decade.
In 1997, New Labour abandoned its traditional core vote for ‘Middle England’ and the deliberate policy of mass immigration to ‘rub the noses of the Tories in it’ according to Peter Mandelson.
While Labour’s social engineering has provided many employers with cheap labour, especially the service sector, to the delight of the restaurant chattering-class - cheap labour has undercut the low paid (and this is the point) all in Labour’s traditional heartlands. Ukip is now moving in.
Labour’s attempt to mask their contempt for the so-called ‘beer and cigs’ class –recall Gordon Browns nasty ‘bigot’ sneer at the Rochdale pensioner challenging immigration – by this childish, cheap Tory ‘toffs’ bashing, is the height of hypocrisy.
Most of Labour’s front bench is awash with elitism and privilege. Labour public schoolboys versus Tory ‘toffs’.
Labour remain brass necked beyond belief in berating the Tories over controlling immigration, conveniently ignoring their own guilt in creating this mess.
Elitist Miliband should stop silly name calling, and concentrate on the rise and rise of Ukip in Labour’s fiefdoms, than in the Tory shires, that’s for sure.
Brian Johnston, Burmantofts, Leeds.
CAN ANYONE tell me why children are having to act as interpreters for their parents who cannot speak English (YEP, April 15)?
Why are the taxpayers having to fork out £127,000 for six months for interpretation and translation? This is madness. These parents obviously are not working as they cannot communicate in English – so who is supporting them?
Us, I suppose. This Government needs to get a grip. I doubt if they will be elected again. What a shambles.
J Townend, Headingley, Leeds
Old Etonians look to Canada
CAN I please respond to Malcolm Nicholson’s letter entitled “Well Educated” (YEP, April 14).
I wonder if his doctor or dentist is the son or daughter of a miner – many are!
The group who bought our businesses (in takeovers) said the first thing we will do is get rid of the sons and their idiot worthless degrees!
Why Malcolm, if the many are so excellent,