Over 50,000 people marched at the 122nd Durham Miners’ Gala last Saturday.
Most of the speeches were marked by anger and frustration against New Labour’s unconditional support and continuance of the anti-trade union laws.
There was a sense of betrayal among trade union and Labour Party members throughout the country, with John McDonnell MP, recognising that the Iraq war and the privatisation of public services had been central in New Labour’s embarrassing crushing defeat in the recent council elections.
Dave Hopper, general secretary of Durham NUM, described the Iraq war as “a bloodbath killing tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children with little sign of a resolution”.
He finished by saying that hopefully by next year we will be rid of Tony Blair. This got the biggest cheer of the afternoon.