The closure today of the UK's last deep coal mine has received considerable coverage from the BBC today.
I noted down part of BBC reporter Dan Johnson's report for BBC Breakfast that reflected a concern I've written about before here:
Dan Johnson: Kellingley was one of the news 1960s pits offering a bright future:Contemporary news report: The coal from Kellingley will flow like a black river for the rest of this century and beyond.Dan Johnson: But job cuts and closures led to the year-long Miners' Strike. After that came a slow, painful decline.
That's the kind of thing that risks being taken out of context - and that the BBC often takes out of context, repeatedly implying that the blame for the decline of the coal mining industry lay with the Thatcher government of the 1980s and that its death began with the Miners' Strike on 1984-5, whereas the reality is that the death of coal mining in the UK was already beginning as Kellingley was being born:
Some of the graphics I've seen in other BBC reports today have suggested this, to be fair to them - without exactly spelling it out; however, I can't say I was impressed by the main BBC online report on this story this morning which ended with the following:
The problem with that is that it's simply untrue that "privatisation in the 1980s" led to the Miners' Strike.
The coal industry wasn't privatised until the 1990s. It was the Major government not the Thatcher government that privatised the coal industry (in 1994).
That's an error that seems to have gone unnoticed all day (so far).
Or am I missing something?