Pit Props marks the end of an era in coal mining in the UK and highlights how the incredible year-long struggle by the miners in defence of jobs and communities still resonates today. One section focuses on the vital creative links between music, politics and protest which grew up during the strike. Another tells the amazing story of the flood of international support -money, food, toys, clothes, toiletries as well as holidays abroad – which sustained the miners and their families during that year of struggle.
The book also deals with unfinished business from the strike. The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign is resolute in its pursuit of a full public inquiry into the role of the police on 18 June 1984, when vicious paramilitary tactics were deployed against miners at Orgreave, South Yorkshire. The former coal field communities, devastated by the relentless pit closure programme which began after the strike, still struggle today.
The book concludes with an analysis of the privatisation of the electricity supply industry and how the failure to pursue a coherent energy policy has led to swathes of the industry being controlled by foreign, often state-owned, companies. The absurd consequences of this, now and in the future, are a matter of urgent public concern.