Allotments, Miner Strikes and Social Justice

I am struggling to see how the UK governments can maintain any stance on social justice. Teresa May has recently stated that it was “utterly outrageous” that Fifa had banned the wearing of poppies by English players as it represented a political statement. However, almost in the same breath the Conservative party says no to statutory inquiry or independent review of 1984 police clashes with miners.

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has rejected the possibility of an inquiry into the “Battle of Orgreave”, the brutal clashes between police and miners during the 1984 miners’ strike.

The long-awaited decision will be regarded as a bitter blow to former miners and campaigners who hoped an inquiry would establish clear links between the misconduct by the South Yorkshire police during the Hillsborough disaster and their behaviour five years earlier at Orgreave.

But Rudd ruled out any kind of inquiry, saying very few lessons for the policing system of today could be learned from any review of events 30 years ago.

I find it incredible that this government cannot understand that the enquiry is not about learning lessons. It is about injustice somthing Barbara Jackson sums up very well.

Barbara Jackson, secretary of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, said the announcement had come as a “complete shock and a great disappointment” and the decision meant there would be “no transparency, no accountability, no truth and no justice”.

She said: “It’s a complete and utter shock to us that we are getting nothing after campaigning for four years. So it’s OK that you get beaten up and seriously injured, but so long as you don’t die the police don’t have to be held accountable,” she said in reference to Rudd’s rejection of the inquiry on the grounds that Orgreave had involved no deaths or wrongful convictions.

The shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, said: “It is a grave injustice that there will be no statutory inquiry into the battle of Orgreave.”

The government demands justice for the poppy campaign and yet cannot give justice to the miners.

So why the title? I have been following a campaign by the Save Farm Terrace group as they fight to keep the allotments they have built up over the years – in fact since 1986.

We are group of Watford residents who have come together as a community to save our cherished allotment site. We are from a variety of different backgrounds and nationalities with some of us having maintained a plot on the site for over 40 years. We are devastated that the local authority wishes to concrete over this community land which has served the people of Watford since 1896.
We campaigned to save our allotments using social media and took the British Government and Watford Borough Council to a judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice, Westminster.
We Won our case!
However Watford Borogh Council wont give up and they have put in a third submission to build houses and a car park on our beloved site.

These 3 case – The fight to save an allotment, the fight for justice for the miners and Fifa’s stance towards poppies all display the same theme – social justice. The government both local and national no longer represent those unable to defend themselves which is why we have a growth in campaign groups and action taken by these groups to seek justice. I understand Fifa’s stance. Fifa represents 211 nations many of which could see the poppy as offensive. We’re not just talking about world wars but what about those Iraqis who have lost homes, livelihoods and family? Civilians that died in that war number over 150,000. For Teresa May this is a chance to appear to seek justice. It is easy for her to stand up and shout and holler about Fifa and look like she is standing up for justice. Indeed her performance was quite sickly but she does look good doesn’t she! For Teresa May to call Fifa’s attitude outrageous in one statement and in another rule out any enquiry for justice from the miners is what I would call, “Utterly Outrageous”.

Those fighting for their allotments demonstrate how justice is being overlooked for many reasons – almost always financially related. We need to understand that without justice this country will have no cred and will be unable to criticise countries like Russia.

Laws demand a clear yes/no approach. You either did this or you didn’t. If you did do something wrong then the law will prosecute. Justice is not about legality….

synonyms: fairness, justness, fair play, fair-mindedness, equity, equitableness, even-handedness, egalitarianism, impartiality, impartialness, lack of bias, objectivity, neutrality, disinterestedness, lack of prejudice, open-mindedness, non-partisanship;

Without justice the future of this country looks bleak. Teresa May may well stand up for poppies but she needs to stand up for more. Watford City Council need to be just… looking out for the communities they manage.

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