Paul Whetton wrote this as a delegate to Labour Party conference in September 1984
Mrs Thatcher is tough, nasty, brutal, spiteful, single-minded and very hostile to the labour movement — but a good, tough, committed fighter for her own cause and capable of being an inspiring leader for her own side. Mrs Thatcher knows how to lead.
There is no double-talk from Thatcher about the miners’ strike. She is out to beat us down and crush the NUM. She leaves her supporters in no doubt about that.
When Thatcher denounced “violence” she doesn't feel obliged to be “impartial” and denounce the police as well as the pickets who stand up to them. She denounces us — she praises, lauds and defends the army of police thugs she sends to beat us down. She knows that a bitter class war is being fought — and she knows which side she is on.
The contrast between Thatcher’s conduct during the miners’ strike and yours, Neil Kinnock, is a devastating one.
You have rightly blamed the Tories for the strike. But your backing for the NUM has been vague and equivocal at best. You have added your voice to the vile chorus of Tory orchestrated propaganda against the picketing miners who are, in fact, victims of police thuggery. You denounce us for defending ourselves against the police and for trying to stop the police herding scabs to break our strike.
Whatever your intentions you thereby help Thatcher and [Coal Board boss] MacGregor in their war to beat us down. You boost the Tory propaganda campaign which is designed to stop other workers giving the miners the solidarity action that would make such a difference to our strike.
Thatcher is a Tory pig, but I find it impossible to compare Thatcher’s performance on her side with yours on ours, without feeling a deep disappointment in you.
One reason why Thatcher knows how to lead is that she does know which side she is on.