The Big A Debate

In a city where almost every family was touched by the miners strike back in 1984 I am constantly surprised at how little is spoken of it even now some 25 years later.

Alan Gerrard of Theartbay Gallery is hoping that by holding a question Time style debate in the city in 2 weeks time he can get people to discuss the legacy of the miners strike and how it affects the way we live today.

Speaking to Alan about the event he said, ‘Regardless of your political and economic beliefs, The Miners’ Strike of 1984 – 1985 was akin to a British Civil War.

With the charismatic, but stubborn, hard line socialism of Arthur Scargill of The NUM taking on the equally intransigent free market economics of, Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, a battle ensued which was to affect millions of UK citizens, both directly and indirectly.’

He continued, ‘For instance, did the defeat of the miners signal a change in governmental attitudes towards freedom of speech? Has the general level of voter apathy increased since the Miners’ Strike? If we’d have supported our infrastructure more would we be paying the energy prices we do at present? Or did the attitude of blue collar workers and their unions in nationalised industries lie at the heart of the UK economy’s high inflation and inefficiency at the time? Did unions need a reality check? Ultimately, is Britain a better or worse place for The Miners’ Strike? Was Thatcher right? Was Scargill right?’

The Big A “Question Time” Debate is a charity event exploring The Miners’ Strike, its legacy and the issues that have lay open but unapproached for 25 years. A platform to express opinions about this significant period in Britain’s recent past – the effects of which are still felt today. A chance to learn from the benefit of hindsight.

Panellists include: world renowned film director Ken Loach, George Galloway MP, former South Derbyshire MP, Edwina Currie, Mark Fisher MP, Mike Nattrass MEP and David Hencke, Westminster Correspondent for The Guardian.

As this event is to have a “Question Time” theme, members of the audience may like to send in their questions to info@theartbay.co.uk for possible discussion on the night. Like “Question Time” itself, the panellists won’t have any prior knowledge of the questions to be put to them.

There are a number of tickets still available for the event which can be purchased on-line or by calling in at the Artbay Gallery in Fenton.

Pits n Pots are delighted to be supporting The Artbay Gallery for this event and will be reporting from the event on the night.

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