Tuesday November 21, 2017
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PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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BBC Environment correspondent Roger Harrabin and the Thatcher coal lie

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- Tom Winnifrith

The BBC was forced to grovel when Lord Lawson's disstening views on the global warming scam went unchallenged on air. For many, such as Pravda's own green guru, Roger Harrabin this is a "settled science" and thus those who dare to point out things like the fact that the world is getting colder, antarctic ice is at record levels and that the computer models have all been wrong, deserve to be no platformed. On the other hand Harrabin himself is allowed to tell blatant lies which expose his innate bias and go unchallenged.

Thus yesterday Roger the liar spent all day in TV and Radio studios commenting on the global warming beanfeast organised by the UN in Bonn this week. Thousands of pen pushers and green hacks from around the world have jetted in to attend. Top of the agenda is the drive to eliminate coal where Britain is leading the way - we will have no coal fired power stations by 2025.

Of course that means screwing taxpayers to fund vast subsidies for "green energy" and consumers with higher prices. Those prices make heavy industry in the UK's own rust belt uncompetitive so causing working class unemployment. But who cares about that when we have to tackle global warming even though all the computer models are now shown to be wrong and the world is getting colder.

Harrabin was keen to point out that the UK should not be smug about its dash away from coal. He reminded listeners to Radio 4 just before 6 that this had only happened in the UK and not Germany and the US because "Margaret Thatcher had smashed the miners and Merkel and Trump have not had anyone to do their dirty work."

It is hard to know where to start with this invective but how about with the facts. Who wanted the Miners to strike? Between 1979 and 1984 Arthur Scargill and th4e National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) executive tried to organise a national strike nine times but their members would not back them. Finally in 1984 they got their way as two thirds of miners walked out over plans to close 20 or the 180 UK pits.

In 1984 the UK produced c 105 tonnes of coal but the cheapest pits were doing so at a cost of c£24 a tonne. The most expensive pits were doing so at c£120 a tonne and were producing little coal and making huge losses. The miners in those pits earned salaries that were way over national averages and the taxpayer picked up the tab for the losses. Remember that in 1976 Britain had been forced to go cap in hand to the IMF for a bailout so could not afford such profligacy.

In the end the miners strike collapsed and Thatcher "smashed" the industry according to Harrabin and the left. Except that she did not. By 1988 two thirds of miners had indeed lost their jobs but UK coal output was still 100 million tonnes. Margaret Thatcher saved the nation's finances but did not in any way destroy Britain's coal industry.

Those are the facts. Will the BBC or Harrabin apologise and correct themselves? Of course not. They live in a post fact era. Fake news is the name of the game especially when it comes to attacking evil Tories and there are few as evil as Britain's greatest ever Prime Minister.

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