WITH reference to last Thursday’s National I must wholeheartedly agree with both Owen Thompson (SNP) and Gillian Mackay (Greens) in their condemnation of Johnson’s crass, insensitive, and inaccurate remarks made during his visit to Scotland vis-a-vis coal.

I well remember the appalling social and economic devastation of the Thatcher years, families losing their livelihood at a stroke, with the prospect of nothing else in the way of employment. I saw the havoc caused by this at first hand during my years as a supply teacher, and have nothing but praise for the courage and strength of those families so affected. I do not know how they survived it.

Gillian Mackay is correct to state that the decimation of coal mining had absolutely nothing to do with environmentalism and everything to do with Thatcher’s crusade against trade unions and, it may be added, socialism. She was in the pocket of Ronald Reagan, and undoubtedly his drive to promote the vested interests of the multi-national oil companies. This was more than doctrine or dogma, it was sycophancy and zealotry.

READ MORE: Gerry Hassan: What Scotland must learn from the chimera of 'Thatcherism'

That Thatcher was no environmentalist may be further easily demonstrated when we remember that she even went so far as to refuse to meet with the great Jacques Cousteau, who wished to warn her of the dangers of unregulated maritime pollution and the irreversible damage caused thereby. He had known about this from his exploratory dives to the Great Barrier Reef as early as 1950. But Thatcher and her government turned a deaf ear. It simply did not suit.

May those toxic policies not be repeated. Indeed, I shall try to banish the thought that history tends to repeat itself.

Brian York

WHAT is really galling about Johnson’s ignorant comments about Thatcher’s brutal behaviour towards the miners was her use of the oil reserves to finance the deregulation of the London money markets instead of investing it in the mining areas.

Andrew Slimon
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