13/01/2014 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


Dan Johnson investigates the financial affairs of the former NUM leader Arthur Scargill from the time of the miners' strike to the present day.

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It is 30 years since the miners' strike started here in Yorkshire `


an industrial dispute which caused deep divisions and helped define Mrs


Thatcher's Britain. Whatever the rights and wrongs, no`one can deny


the hardship faced by the miners and their families and the devastating


social impact of pit closures in the years that followed. But there's


another legacy of the strike which still causes real bitterness. It's


about money and the man who used to lead the miners, Arthur Scargill.


Tonight, Inside Out investigates questions about money and the miners


and asks why over the past 30 years ?700,000 has been paid to the


National union of miners to a separate organisation of which


Arthur Scargill is president. Loyalty to every minor and every


minor'swife in this country. 30 years ago, Arthur Scargill could


claim to be the most powerful trade union boss in Britain. He was always


controversial. To his critics, he was an enemy within. To many of his


supporters, he could do no wrong. Jim Kelly was a young miner at the


Yorkshire Main pit at Edlington, near Doncaster. He followed Arthur


Scargill without question. During the strike there was nothing better


than him. We'd have followed him to the end of the world and, in effect,


we probably did. Do you want a president who is ready to sit down


in a backfield `` in a back room doing secret deals? Don't vote for


me. But here at NUM headquarters in Barnsley, 30 years after the strike,


there's a deep rift between Arthur Scargill and the man who is in


charge of his old union. I think Arthur's lasting legacy is in two


halves. If you take what he did during the strike, just before and


just after then he had a very positive impact on the union.


Unfortunately, anybody that's looking at Arthur now on recent


events would see him in a very different light.


Relations between Arthur Scargill and the NUM have hit rock bottom.


There's been a series of legal disputes. In 2012, he got an out of


court settlement from the NUM over expenses due to him, including a car


allowance. A year ago, he lost the right to stay in his London flat for


life at the expense of his old union. There is no question that the


union could afford and can afford the payments of that entitlement to


which I was entitled and am entitled and I find it rather perverse that a


judgement of this kind can be given in today's terms. I would say it's


time now to walk away, Mr Scargill. You've been found out. The NUM is


not your personal bank account and never will be again.


It was a very bitter court case. We've got two of the documents. Both


produced in evidence, both likely to do little for Mr Scargill's


reputation. One document dates from 1993. It's an application by Mr


Scargill to buy his rented Barbican flat from the landlord, the


Corporation of London, at a discounted price.


This is where Mr Scargill lives, in a very expensive part of Central


London. It's hardly a typical council estate. Flats here sell for


nearly ?1 million. And Mr Scargill, perhaps Mrs Thatcher's most bitter


enemy, was trying to use highly controversial right`to`buy


legislation introduced by the Conservatives so tenants could buy


their own council homes. It is so hypocritical it is unreal. It was


Thatcher's legislation that actually gave council tenants the right to


buy their houses. But the application was refused because it


wasn't his primary residence. He doesn't mention in his application


that the flat was paid for by the NUM. And, it was established in the


Barbican court case, that from 1991 until 2008 the NUM's National


Executive Committee didn't know it was paying for the flat. I think if


it had been made public before then I think there'd have been a huge


outcry. People would be actually astounded by knowing that.


Mr Scargill told us the proposal, if accepted, would have been put to the


NUM's National Executive and the flat would subsequently have been


transferred to the ownership of the NUM. He says it would have saved the


union a substantial amount of money and provided the union with an


asset. It was a bitter court case and nothing caused more bad feeling


than this letter, apparently written by one of Arthur Scargill's oldest


friends and colleagues. If we honestly believe that our demands


are justifiable. Macro. In December 2001, Frank Cave, the


vice`president of the NUM, was dying of cancer. Mr Cave's illness


coincided with Arthur Scargill's imminent retirement from the union


presidency. I visited Frank on quite a few occasions over those three


months. He was in a bad way. I've seen him over the years and he's


that was his worst period. At that was written, parent by Mr Cave,


setting light his entitlement. Arthur Scargill insisted in court


that he had played no part in writing or drafting this letter.


I've seen Frank more than most, I would suggest, and, as far as I was


concerned, Frank wouldn't have been writing letters. An earlier draft of


the letter which Sean, with a change in Arthur Scargill'sown handwriting.


The issue was whether or not the letter came from Mr Scargill and Mr


Justice Underhill found that it did. Arthur Scargill had known Frank Cave


for nearly 40 years. He delivered the oration at his funeral. I don't


want to actually say on camera what I actually think about the deed that


he did. I hope with my answers that you can actually pick up what I


actually think. I don't think very highly of the man at all for doing


what he did. I think Justice Underhill put it quite well in his


summing up, that when you've got somebody who has convinced himself


as to how things are, it is a lot easier then to create the documents


to justify that you're right and I think that's, basically, what


happened. Arthur had a vision of what the union was, what his rights


were, and then created the evidence to back up what he believed to be


reality. Mr Scargill told us he stands by his evidence. He rejects


Mr Kelly's allegation. He said the Judge had inexplicably disregarded


other evidence in the case, indicating Mr Cave had been alert,


aware and orientated right up to the time of his death In his judgment,


Mr Justice Underhill said it was very unlikely Mr Cave had written


the letter. There'd been a lack of transparency in Mr Scargill's


dealings and he had been prepared to be economical with the truth. The


judge said, I believe he suffers to a high degree from the common


tendency to reconstruct his recollection in a manner favourable


to himself. I think the common pattern has been that there's always


been that nobody seemed to know what was happening but, documentary`wise,


everything, all the documents seemed to be there for you to find, when


you actually started to look at them in context and what was happening in


the organisation at the time, it didn't seem plausible that that


would have happened that way. To Arthur Scargill's critics, this


lack of transparency is a familiar story. To understand the full nature


of the fall`out between Mr Scargill and his old union, you have got to


go back 30 years, when the miners were on strike.


It was a fight to the finish between two bitter enemies: the NUM and Mrs


Thatcher's government. Early in the strike, after a court case,


accountants were called in to identify the union's assets.


Eventually, a receiver was appointed to control the NUM's finances. The


union effectively, very soon after the beginning of the strike, had no


funds, no income coming in. Its members were on strike and yet there


were expenses to be met. The NUM needed money to survive and it got


millions of pounds in donations from supporters and well`wishers, much of


it in cash. There are no receipts, often foreign currency, and it just


went into St James' House, went into the headquarters, on the basis, I


think he'd said, oh, well, you don't need a receipt you know what we're


going to use it for anyway. Understandably, the NUM wanted to


keep money away from its accountants. There was a need for


secrecy. One French`based journalist remembers helping trade unionists


bring secret donations of cash into the UK. I am absolutely confident


that when I handed over the money, in an alleyway outside a pub in


Folkestone or Dover, that that money was going in cash to the NUM.


The miners visit to Libya, now there is a row back home. In October 1984,


there was public outrage when it was revealed that Roger Windsor, the


NUM's chief executive, had gone to Libya to meet Colonel Gaddaffi, less


than a year after a policewoman had been shot dead outside the Libyan


Embassy in London. I went in and embraced and kissed Colonel Gadaffi


and gave him the story that Mr Scargill and I had agreed beforehand


about the plight of the union, the plight of the members and what the


Thatcher government was doing to the NUM and provided him with details of


a bank account, a bank in 1990, there was a front page news


story. It claimed Arthur Scargill paid off his mortgage with money


from Libya. The main source was Roger Windsor, who was paid ?85,000


by the Daily Mirror. It was claimed that, using Libyan money, Mr


Scargill paid off a ?25,000 mortgage on his house. Roger Windsor had


repaid a ?29,500 home loan and Peter Heathfield, the NUM's general


secretary, had paid off a ?17,000 home loan.


It was a shocking story, and very personally damaging to Arthur


Scargill, although he decided not to sue for libel. Instead, the union


appointed a barrister, Gavin Lightman, to make a report on the


NUM's finances. Most people regarded Mr Lightman as sympathetic towards


the miners. He'd given the NUM legal advice in the past.


Were you pleased when an enquiry was set up? Years. But you wouldn't


cooperate with it? I was advised not to participate in it. Like


co`operated... I didn't physically attend any meetings, because I was


advised not to. Four months later, Mr Lightman


produced his report, saying Mr Windsor's ?29,500 loan had been paid


from donations and a ?13,000 bill for Mr Heathfield's home


improvements had been paid from donations. But the central


allegation against Mr Scargill ` that he'd paid off his mortgage with


money from Libya ` was completely untrue. The editor of the Daily


Mirror later said the story was wrong, and apologised to Mr


Scargill. Are you going to be president of the next national


executive meeting, when this is discussed? Probably in the year


2001. So Arthur Scargill hadn't paid off his mortgage. But Mr Lightman


found that during the strike, in late 1984, money from cash donations


had been used to pay ?6,800 of Mr Scargill's household bills. Mr


Scargill told Mister Lightman he paid the money back in cash a few


days later. In the past 30 years, his memory appears to have changed.


He has now told us the ?6,800 bill was for council and water rates and


electricity. But in October 1984, he said in a letter to the NUM's


finance officer that more than ?6,000 of this bill was for


improvements to his home. Quite frankly, when you look at some of


the issues about home loans and repairing homes and things like


that, that the meat is just a no`no. `` that the me. This is the Lightman


Report. The NUM took court action to prevent its public distribution. So


its full contents have never been widely known. But it was far from a


total victory for Mr Scargill. Even today, it raises many questions.


Mr Scargill has always disputed nearly all Lightman's findings, but


it was only due to the Lightman Report that the NUM's executive


committee discovered 17 secret accounts had been set up across


Europe to take donations. There was money sloshing around in bank


accounts with individuals' names on them, most of them who were close to


Arthur, and it was just unhealthy. How have those questions not been


answered, then, for 20 years or more? I think basically the


questions haven't been answered for 20 years or more because there's


been a feeling within the union that any attack on the union would


reflect badly on what happened in the strike. Because it's in relation


to the strike, it's something people didn't want to re`open. It was a


case of the strike was right, which it was, and everything that were


done in the name of the strike must have been done for the right


reasons. The NUM's two senior officials, its president Arthur


Scargill and Peter Heathfield, face charges after the report into the


union's funds... It had been a tough time for Arthur


Scargill but he had survived. He told us the misapprehension of funds


had been denied by the Inland Revenue and the watchdog


investigation failed at the Lightman report was ruled inadmissible as


evidence. I thought you heard as I did that the prosecution offered no


evidence. That is a vindication of our position. They offered no


evidence against the three defendants, the Case against all of


us was dismissed, with costs. He also told us that a special NUM


conference in 1990 expressed total confidence in Mr Scargill and Mr


Heathfield and ratified all of their financial dealings. It was in Paris


that Arthur Scargill, after defeat in the miners' strike, turned more


of his attention after 1985. The International miners Organisation,


later renamed the ie M O, was created here, and claimed to


represent 6 million miners. The IEMO came up in the early '80s, maybe


before. It was an idea of both the NUM and the French miners to set up


a new organisation which would bring together East, West, Africa, Latin


America, Asia. The IEMO General secretary is a French trade


unionist, Alain Simon. Someone said to me in a visit to South Africa, he


said to me, Arthur Scargill is a hero of the working class. He is one


of Mr Scargill's oldest colleagues and closest friends. They both


played a leading role in founding this new, French `based


international organisation. Mr Scargill has been president since


1985, but, for more than 20 years, his close links with the IEMO have


caused controversy. The NUM was challenged again today over money


donated by Soviet miners during the miners strike.


After the Lightman Report, the IEMO was big news. Large sums of money,


donated during the strike, appeared to have come under its control.


As far as Alain Simon was concerned, the Soviet money was given to the


IEMO and not to the NUM. In the spotlight was a well`documented


donation of ?1 million from Soviet miners. This was shown to have been


given not for the NUM, but for miners around the world.


Mr Simon had refused to co`operate with Lightman. Indeed, Mr Lightman


described the secrecy surrounding the finances of the IMO as


"practically impenetrable." These were troubled times for Mr Scargill


and his union. The National union of Mineworkers and the IMO have agreed


a formula which they hope will end the dispute over ?1 million. These


are troubled times for Arthur Scargill and his union. The NUM, of


which he was president, was in dispute with the IEMO, of which he


was president as well. Finally, a deal was struck and the IEMO paid


the NUM ?742,000. Mr Scargill says no money intended as donations for


the NUM members was paid into stayed in the IMO accounts after the


strike. He describes the ?742,000 as a donation from the IMO to the NUM,


in return for which, the NUM agreed to make no new claims against the


IMO. There's so little publicly available information. If it was a


trade union, the IMO would have to comply with French laws requiring


unions to publish accounts ` something it hasn't done since 1993.


TRANSLATION: Probably, they didn't do, because they are not a trade


union. The IEMO is an international organisation which brings together


trade unions. They certainly ought to publish accounts, but they're not


obliged to. I suspect most of it is probably still sitting somewhere,


being given off in bits and bobs. To be honest, I don't think offered to


any of it personally. That is not really the way he does business.


In response to our questions about publishing the IEMO accounts, Mr


Scargill said the IEMO had always presented its accounts in accordance


with the instruction of its Congress. `` Arthur took any of


We asked him what that means. So far, he hasn't got back to us.


A freelance journalist specialising in industrial stories, Jeff Apter


spent three years in the 1980s working for the IEMO. I travelled


quite extensively, to various meetings. Health and safety... There


was one in Australia, one in the Philippines ` but that was on the


way to go to Australia. There was another one in Namibia, and one or


two in Europe. It was not staying in posh hotels, and we were hosted by


the unions there and I did reports. You cover trade union matters. When


did you last write a story about the IEMO? Er... I don't think I've ever


written a story about the IMO since the strike, since the end of the


strike. When did you last read a story about the IMO? I can't


remember. Is there any evidence in the last 20 years that this


organisation has done anything productive? Well, you should ask


somebody who is working for it or who is affiliated to it.


For Chris Kitchen, this is more than history. Mr Scargill's supporters


are certain all money was accounted for. But, 30 years on, Mr Kitchen's


still concerned about the financial relationship between the NUM and the


IEMO. So there is still a feeling that the IMO may have some money as


far back as the strike that was destined the British miners? There


is a feeling but looking back now, almost 30 years, it is difficult to


try and trace funds you never had any trace of in the first place.


Setting aside any money donated during the miners' strike, Mr


Kitchen has established that, in the 30 years since then, the NUM paid


the IEMO an additional ?712,000. More than ?464,000 of that is in


subscriptions paid by the NUM between 1985 and 2010.


Mr Scargill told us that the IEMO had in fact been entitled to more.


The NUM should have paid ?520,000 in subscriptions, but had stopped


paying in 2010, in breach of an NUM Conference decision. The trouble


happened when I was asked to justify paying that amount of money, and I


asked for the accounts from the IEMO and was refused them. Where do you


think that ?20,000 a year has been going, what it has been spent on? I


have no idea, that is why I wanted to see the accounts. It is


difficult, you cannot justify expenditure if you don't know what


it has been put to. One payment that's raised questions


is ?145,000 paid to the IEMO in 2002, shortly before Mr Scargill's


retirement. This was paid by the NUM without the union's National


Executive Committee being consulted. In the case about his London flat,


Mr Scargill said this money was the equivalent of what he could have


expected as a severance payment. What come out in the court case was


that Arthur's belief that he were entitled to severance redundancy


payments from the union upon retirement. They were discretionary


and not agreed, he hadn't asked for them.


Mr Scargill told us this wasn't a redundancy or severance payment to


him. It was money which would have been payable to him if he'd accepted


a lump sum, which he hadn't. He said the grant was from an NUM trust fund


and did not need to be referred to the union's National Executive


Committee. The explanation that was given that was this was money that


Arthur was entitled to receive the didn't want to receive. And


therefore the donation of the same amount of money were made to the


IEMO. Are you content with that? Do you think there was something more?


Without seeing the accounts of the IEMO, you can draw different


assumptions as to what happened to that money.


Meanwhile, things haven't gone smoothly for Roger Windsor. He was


accused of being an MI5 spy inside the NUM ` a claim he denied. And,


after he moved to France, he was sued for the recovery of a ?29,500


NUM loan which had been supposedly paid off with Libyan money during


the miners' strike. A French court decided Mr Windsor had forged


documents relating to his home loan. The successful legal action against


him came not by the NUM, but the IEMO. Mr Scargill continued to


pursue that action until eventually he obtained a court order in France


for the compulsory sale of our family home and half of the proceeds


of that sale went to the IEMO. The IEMO have now got their money


whether I like it or not. Chris Kitchen got a shock when he


discovered the extent to which the NUM had been funding the IEMO's


legal action against Roger Windsor in France. When I looked into it,


they had actually been wrongly categorised under Gavin Lightman


enquiry costs, which wasn't true. So I had them reinstated in the


accounts under Roger Windsor, the costs which obviously start the


questions about, "What is the Roger Windsor case? Why are we funding it?


What's it all about?" The case highlights the continuing close


links between Mr Scargill and the IEMO.


The case highlights the continuing close links between Mr Scargill and


the IEMO. Correspondence recently from the IEMO has emanated from the


Barbican flat. Do you think that's inappropriate? I personally think


that's inappropriate. We have spent two months trying to


get a response from Alain Simon or the IEMO, we have had none. So I


have come to see if we can get some answers here.


Their office is inside the headquarters of the CGT, the French


equivalent of the TUC. That was interesting. I was taken up


to the sixth floor, to the offices of the IEMO, and I met Alain


Simon's secretary, who attends it is actually his wife. She said that


apart from the pair of them, there is only one other person who works


for the organisation, writing its journal. I ask that there was any


other star and she said, no, we have got no money. She wouldn't ask ``


answer any questions answered we needed to put further questions to


Arthur Scargill. From Paris, the IEMO has now sent


the NUM the ?29,500 it received for Mr Windsor's loan. Mr Scargill says


the NUM agreed in 1990 to pay costs for the IEMO's legal action against


Roger Windsor. He said Mr Windsor had still not paid the IEMO his


total debt, and the NUM would be reimbursed when he had.


The NUM says it's about to launch legal action against Arthur Scargill


and Alain Simon over the legal bill, which the NUM says is more than


?100,000. But Mr Scargill says that doesn't take into account money owed


by the NUM to the IEMO. Mr Scargill's supporters say he's a


man of complete integrity. To some, he's still a hero. But to his


critics, he's left a bitter and troubled legacy. If a Mineworkers


sells his job, he is selling the job that belongs to his son and his


daughter, and he has got no right to sell that. Here we are in Edlington.


This was actually the first colliery to be closed after the strike and we


were huge supporters of Arthur at that time. And when you think


there's lumps of cash lying about in bank accounts in a foreign city,


it's not right. You should vote for me, because Margaret Thatcher and


the Tories hate me and want to see me defeated. I've always said about


the miners' strike and the aftermath of it all, looking at it now,


Margaret Thatcher and Arthur Scargill deserved one another. These


communities deserved neither of them. If you want a leader that is


prepared to stand and fight in full view and on principle, then I am the


person that will continue to represent the best interests of


miners. How much has all this disappointed you? Has it shattered


your illusions of the man he was, the man you thought he was?


Unfortunately it has, the perception I had of Arthur the great trade


unionist, socialist, just is nothing like the reality as to the man that


I know now and that I've been at loggerheads with for most of my term


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Dan Johnson investigates the financial affairs of the former miners' leader Arthur Scargill from the time of the miners' strike right up to the present day.

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