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Miners Pensio Fight for Justice & Fair Play - Wales

My name is Gareth Hughes, I am a member of a small group of activists promoting an online petition hosted by Our present aim is to raise awareness of an online petition. We are appalled at the lack of awareness regarding what governments past and present have done to coal workers of all trades. Let me explain where it all started. John Major's government privatised the Mining Industry, the government also guaranteed the Coal workers pension schemes. But nothing is straight forward. John Major's government of the 1990s also dipped into the surpluses. The government in waiting was Tony Blair's 'New Labour'  the shadow government castigated John Major for the theft of miners pensions. But in 2003 Blair's Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown robbed the miners pension schemes of £4billion. 2003 was the same year that Blair took the UK to war with Iraq. It has been reported that when Blair was asked where the money was coming from he replied 'I'll find it,' the mind now starts to boggle at the man's arrogance. Ever since, the government's have been helping themselves to staggering amounts of Coal Workers money (pension money). Around £9billion to date; it's  a staggering amount of pensioners money. Please feel free to debate this discussion page. One more thing before the head of steam subsides; please watch this Youtube video interview where George Galloway interviews Peter Stefanovic an eminent UK Lawyer of more than 20 years standing.

thank you and please share across all platforms. The pension signing page is also in a discussion page.

I just cannot understand why no one would ignore a plea to discuss the topic of Miners being robbed of pension money! Someone somewhere must be reading the Miners Pension page; Fight for Justice and FairPlay; or maybe previous governments have dumbed down the nation's ability to respond in more than one legible sentence. Come on! Defend our mining communities, speak up, make your voice heard! Shout it from the rooftops. 

Look out for more rants, maybe you could Rant for Wales! If so have a go here!

Still no takers/talkers in response to my Aberdare online challenge. I am appalled and mystified that so many people living and earning a living in the Welsh valleys have no notion at what is going on. Is it a lethargy on a grand scale? Or maybe I should be throwing challenges to the Trade Unions who's prime duty is to serve their membership by informing them of what is happening. Remember; lethargy begins at home, but our request that the people sign our petition is proof that mining communities have been torn apart, our trade unionists and politicians have allowed it!

when we as a group traveled the valleys at our own expense, asking the people of the communities of Merthyr Tydfil. Tonypandy , Aberdare, Ebbw Vale, Pontypridd , Blackwood, Tredegar , as well as asking at clubs and pubs, did they know about the Miners Fight  for Justice & FairPlay ? 90% of the people had no idea, but on the other hand were appalled at what was happening! Which prompted them to sign our paper petition. More than 6 thousand people responded. The paper petition is now halted by us in South Wales, there were only 3 ex miners out in all weathers including my self gathering signatures. The winter is almost upon us. Not a place for us old ones in the snow and icy cold rain. So if you haven't signed our petition please go to the face book page --UK Miners Pension Fight for Justice and FairPlay - Wales

thank you

Here is a direct link to the Welsh arm of the Miners Pension Fight page which I omitted to post on my last endeavour, thank you.

 An Essay on The Loss of Our Communities 


A Coal Miner’s Eye on Everyday Shopping



Many years ago well before my time, we had in many coal mining communities what was called Truck-shop systems of buying food and equipment. The Truck shop system worked on the premise that if you were employed by a mining company you should spend your hard earned pennies in their company shop or the Truck-shop as it was called. The mining companies paid their workers in tokens, these so called tokens can be seen in many coal mining museums around the UK. This system was unfair as the company shop’s prices were over inflated and caused great hardship among hard pressed coal miners. Imagine a collier having to replace a worn-out shovel, he couldn’t shop for the fairest price as he was paid in tokens this was the same for the family shopping. 
We’ve all heard of the Corner Shop; every street in a coal mining community had its own shop sometimes more than one. Some streets had their own Public Houses and was the hive of the community offering friendship and community gossip as well as hosting celebrations. The truck-shop system was eventually outlawed and replaced by the previously mentioned Corner Shops. 
As time went by and small companies expanded putting Corner Shops out of business due to bulk buying of their products. One by one our Corner Shops were closing as people were being enticed by the larger stores often placed in the centre of townships. As for public Houses, they were closing down at a phenomenal rate, resulting in the decline of community adhesion. Why was this happening? There are many theories. My take of this is that cheap Social Housing declined during the Thatcher administration. Many householders’ were for the first time in their family’s history having to pay a Mortgage or a millstone around their necks as some people have called it. This millstone weighed heavy on the family purse strings, women for the first time since the Second World War found themselves having to go to work. The many stresses of having to juggle work and family life were and still is overbearing. So where are we now? Our communities replaced by ASDA, TESCO and other Super Stores. Our Public Houses systematically shut down as it became cheaper for people to sit in their own armchairs and drink from cans of strong larger and flagons of cheap cider. Some say they stopped going to pubs because of the banning of smoking, but Pubs were closing long before any bans. These giants of community destruction need to put some of their influences back into the community, they cannot be allowed to stand back and let it happen they too have responsibilities. They have refused to allow Coal Mining Pensioners like myself to stand outside of their Superstores and ask the people of our communities to sign the petition (UK Miners Pension Scheme for Justice and Fairplay.) They helped close down our communities and they are doing their best to divide us.
Look what’s happening now!

Received today from Ken Sullivan via Campaigns by You  -  Thank you for signing the petition "Mineworker Pension Fight"

The more people who get behind this issue, the more likely it is that decision makers will pay attention. Every name added to the petition takes it one step closer to succeeding.

Can you help spread the word about the campaign by sharing it with your friends and family? Click the buttons below to share the petition on Facebook and Twitter:

I'm sorry your pleas have found little support on this site, but I am not surprised.  The Discussion Forum has for a long time been dominated by one person's input which for the most part has been so opinionated it has become a real turnoff for regular readers like myself. I try, where possible to contribute, but I rarely comment on things other than history/family trees etc. It's such a pity that Aberdare Online appears to lack an editorial group!

Hi all, we have been talking to friends and of course they ask about 'how's the petition going?'
Then they talk about anecdotal stories about how their mothers and grand mothers suffered because of how their 'miners pension' threw them into the poverty trap! They couldn't claim any benefits because of the miners pension put them over the limit of claiming extra money! My mother said about this many times, saying 'it's  not fair, the pension is a pittance and it would be better if I didn't have it!'
Maybe this is why present day retired miners are reluctant to fight for an increase in pensions. Maybe it would be better fighting to get our leisure centres, libraries, playing fields, and such ring fenced with our pension money. Just an idea from other people having a say! What do you people out there think of the situation. Increase miners pensions from the billions taken out of Pension Schemes, or instead use any more money won from the government to ring fence  former mining communities' libraries, Leisure centres, playing fields, museums, and maybe courtesy buses to certain mining social events and such. There's a Rally taking place September 27th Derby Square Liverpool. We the Small group of retired miners have been trying to get funds to hire a coach to the Liverpool venue, tried the NUM; no luck there! Maybe if everyone reading this blog would send an email to the NUM office in Pontypridd asking for funds to hire a coach for the day? Maybe the NUM is broke! Maybe if you brows the web for Certification officer you could see how many miners are paying into the Union! Just an idea. Thanks for your time and maybe we'll be on Telly Rallying in Liverpool.

What an utter disappointment, myself and Ken Sullivan made our trip to Liverpool on the 27th September. There were three other Welsh people supporting;  also, but were not known to us! The Rally in Derby Square Liverpool was advertised here and elsewhere, but the total turnout was no more than 150 supporters. We must all ask the question! Who benefits at the end of day should we or whoever outlives the UK Miners Pension Scheme for Justice and FairPlay?

The lethargy is astounding, considering the number of former coal workers and those at present working at coal distribution depots and opencast mines and not forgetting the odd small collieries dotted in the hillsides of Wales and elsewhere. There are people in our group suffering disabilities and manage to help out as best they can especially Harry Parfitt who is 82 years old with mobility problems. 

What must we do to raise awareness of what governments have done to miners and their communities! 

Here is an account of how we were misled by a labour government headed by that once charming Tony Blair-Blair persuaded miners that he was doing great justices in paying out money in compensation. Read this Guardian account of what actually happened!