Re: Coal and the EU reply to Janos' pointAugust 16 2010 at 11:47 PM
Response to Coal and the EU reply to Janos' point
" Going from memory the argument was that the rationalisation in European Community (beginning with the European Coal and Steel Community) required France and Britain to drastically cut-back on coal production to off-set the role played by their substantial nuclear energy industries (which originally were established to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons). And that's certainly what has happened. The last French coal mine closed in 2004 and British mining is on its last legs."
Interesting -- I must look this up. Its certainly true that the French ran down their industry (and also provided a more generous treatment of its miners); but the same is true also of Holland, Belgium and Germany. While the Germany industry was long subsidised by the Kohlepfennig; its a shadow of its former self.
Of course, there's a moral case against coal that is won in Victorian-style conditions (such as Poland and Russia in many fields). But the largest coal miners that UK mine's would face competition from would be Australia and the USA. There the cost is an environmental one (it is open cast) not social.
One might argue that even if McGahey had been at the helm instead of Scargill the result would have been the same. That is possible, but I suspect not.