The Battle of Orgreave

Amber Rudd, the new Home Secretary, announce today that there would be no inquiry into the events at the ‘Battle of Orgreave’.

The Battle of Orgreave was “the most violent day of the year-long miners’ strike. Thousands of pickets met huge lines of police – who were brought in from all around the country – outside the Orgreave coke works near Rotherham. There was violence from both sides…police horses were sent to charge the crowd up the field and officers followed to make arrests. Many miners and police officers were injured.” (

This is a really useful example for pressure groups in the UK. The Orgreave Truth and Justice campaigned have campaigned for such an inquiry as they wish to show that the miners were not at fault on this day. The recent inquiry into Hillsborough has given them hope that such an inquiry can both be achieved and be successful. This set back then shows the lack of power pressure groups can have in influencing the government. This was especially evident in the anger displayed by campaigners outside of Parliament after the decision was announced.

It is also useful when looking at the role and importance of Parliament and the opposition in checking the government. The initial announcement in the Commons was met by jeering from opposition MPs, at least in a very basic way trying to hold the government to account. High profile Labour MPs such as Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham have given their support to the campaign, calling the government decision wrong. This is a good example of the opposition trying to hold government to account, and in this case using the media to do it.