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Mining for our future

Submitted by on September 22, 2011 – 4:06 pmNo Comment

By Andrew Rhodes
The pictures of the Welsh Pit in which four miners were killed this week appear at odds with the modern world and the flat screen TV I’m watching the news report on. It will draw similar feelings from many people around the country who will find it difficult to understand why David Powell, Charles Brensin, Garry Jenkins and Phillip Hall were toiling in an environment that at a glimpse was decrepit and from another time, and as ultimately proved: a death trap. There will still be some miners today that will set off to work in pits similar to the one at Gleision and the natural reaction for the sake of moving on in an advancing world is to save them from themselves.

David Cameron’s response to the tragedy at the Gleision mine was that it was a “sad, desperately sad situation” and that is exactly what it was and is. Sad that they ended up literally scraping a living. It is desperately sad that when at a time of record youth unemployment, as we send more of our young men abroad to fight for oil, that these Welsh miners weren’t passing on their skills and values to the next generation who could once again be part of their own ‘big society’ and not on the fringes of it. They could have been part of a modern industry like the ones in Australia and Germany producing energy that could be used in clean, modern plants with the right investment, no detriment to our environment and an answer to the energy crisis.

There are approximately 4000 miners now left working for UK.Coal, Britain’s biggest mining company, so why when there are reserves running from Moston to the East coast of Yorkshire aren’t we employing 4000 more? The Americans and Australians aren’t so stupid. In Britain we now burn coal from Germany and pay giros to miners and the young unemployed. Of course we must move forward and not live in the past but is what happened at the nuclear energy plant in Japan really an advancement?

What the Tories and the modern Labour party want of course is another 850,000 people working in call centres. More non-unionised, service industry jobs. Another 4000 miners or train builders would mean another 4000 union members, when what this country has been brainwashed into believing is that we are better off with none. We saw it recently in Derby. The Tories would rather forfeit the jobs of 1500 carriage builders and see rioting on the streets of Derby in another twenty years time than patronise the unionised industries that were once the envy of the world.

Cameron and his set band the words ‘community’ and ‘together’ around like they are reinventing the wheel. These communities are already there, what they need is something for them to build around.

In Moston, where my beloved Football Club will hopefully find a home there was also once a proud mining community. With the work being done on the community centre there it is heartwarming to see Mancunians honouring the men that built Moston and not regarding them as merely a bad and distant memory. That is the best we can do, thanks to today’s modern day leaders.

I’m sure we all send our thoughts to the families of the men named above; with spirit, patience and gentleness.

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