I understand that our local Ashton MP Angela Rayner has joined Andy Burnham in the saddle of his next hobby horse in ‘demanding’ a public inquiry into the South Yorkshire police's involvement in events that took place at Orgreave during the Miners Strike in 1984.

Could it be significant that having ‘nailed her colours to the mast’ in support of Andy Burnham in his quest to become Manchester’s next Mayor, she found it politically prudent to sign a letter to the Home Secretary, in which she alleges similarities in the policing procedures and the legal handling of the Hillsborough tragedy and events at Orgreave.
However, I do find it odd, seeing as she would only have been 4years old at the time!
Yes, she may well have read about it, but she never experienced life when the nation’s electricity had to be switched off on a rota basis between 07.00am and midnight every day.
She never faced the long power cuts; that some days lasted from six to nine hours, whilst still attempting to carry out work under gas camping lights.
Why weren’t Labour MPs demanding ‘public enquiries’ then, when the shortage of electricity was forcing factories and businesses to close or when 1.2 million workers had to be laid off for weeks on end?
Even Imperial Chemical Industries, (ICI) then one of the country's leading industries, gave a week's notice to all its 60,000 weekly-paid staff.
In politics, they say timing is everything, so maybe it’s not so strange that these Labour MPs weren’t calling for a public enquiry into the strikes that lead to this unfortunate incident, during the 13years of the Blair/Brown government era!
Maybe Andy Burnham, who seems to have appointed himself as some sort of Shadow Minister for Historical Tragic Grievances, might be better thought of had he demanded an inquiry into the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ during his term as the PPS to the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett; but of course he wasn’t in the frame back in 2004, to become Manchester’s Mayor and didn’t crave the publicity needed to get him elected.
It’s also strange that this politically timed call for a ‘public enquiry’ by Labour MPs appears to just be pointed at the shortcomings of the Police service. No one seems to be want to highlight the roll that the ‘flying pickets’ took in this brutal riot.
Yes, there was obvious misconduct carried out by the police at the time, but let’s not forget that it was ‘striking miners’ who actually killed one of their own.
The new government Home Secretary, Amber Rudd was technically right that no-one died at Orgreave, unlike in South Wales where a local taxi driver David Wilkie was killed when a concrete block was dropped from an overhead bridge on his car while taking a ‘scab’ to work. The striking miners responsible ended up serving just four years in jail after their murder sentence reduced to manslaughter on appeal. – Perhaps Angela and Andy should also call for an enquiry into why two murderers were released after serving such a short term.

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