The predominant discourse was:
'great support from the townspeople and the students ... the strike brought people together .. great feeling of solidarity'.
I pointed out that the strike had indeed been lost and was told that nonethless there was something to celebrate ... people getting together, drone, drone. It seems as if the alleged fondness of the Brits for revelling in defeat has utterly infected the Left. There was no discussion about the lessons to be learnt from the strike (such as, perhaps: expect nowt from the TUC or the Labourists, expect to be subverted by the State's agents, realise that the bosses are aware that they are fighting a class war and respond accordingly) - just the banality that 'workers will fight .. and one day there will be something like this again.'
I was reminded by a comment by the late Raphael Samuel at a conference in Oxford in 1987 about the formation of the New Left 30 years previously. He made the astonishing remark that: I have not been a socialist for decades, in that I have no wish to live in a socialist society, what socialism means to me is community and solidarity
With this attitude it is no wonder that fights like the miners' strike was lost. What fight in recent years was won? The struggle against the Poll Tax - the Left, still enmired in the legacy of the Second International was almost absent. A coincidence or not?
I expect that somewhere the Tories are also celebrating the Miners' Strike - they will be celebrating their class victory, not engaging in flatulent moralising about feeling good and people coming together. Until that attitude is matched with an opposing class awareness, then we can look forward to more of the Dunkirk spirit, and none of the Normandy one.