It is appropriate that the Guardian had a quote from Dennis Skinner before the last shift at Kellingley colliery (Last bow for King Coal, killed by cheaper, greener options, 18 December), although I feel sure that he would leave the last word to the miners. The march on Saturday was an attempt at lasting community solidarity, which Skinner knows all about, having served the pit villages of Bolsover through the same upheaval of closures and moving to new pits to the ultimate closure of an industry and a very different and challenging world.
We import cheap and cleaner coal rather than invest in clean coal technology and support for our own industry in thrall to the market. George Osborne has removed the subsidy for carbon capture and storage, while the government supports fracking beneath national parks and we seek investment from China to build a nuclear power station while they plan hundreds of coal-fired stations at home. Did our prime minister negotiate for less restrictive competition laws in Europe in order to subsidise our industries?
Lower your heads a moment and think of the coalminers – and steelworkers, who face the same market forces which will never be reformed while we have a Tory government.
• There were several articles in Friday’s Guardian on the demise of the UK mining industry with the closure of Kellingley colliery, but little reference to the human cost of coalmining. There have been tens of thousands of deaths within the mines and as many from the diseases of working underground. This large forgotten army died working for the wealth of this country and left behind them weeping wives and children. It is fitting that we should remember them as industrial heroes. Lest we forget.