Mike Simons, Executive Producer, shares his thoughts on 30 years since the end of the strike.
Thirty years ago this week I remember crying quietly to myself as I watched Armthorpe march back to work. The whole community came out onto the street and everyone there must have had the same fear about what the future would bring. As a journalist I spent a year with this community and their heartbreak was also mine.
It seemed there was a simple choice – give up – your principles and everything you’d fought for from the beginning of the strike, or fight on, which is what the miners did.
That day I decided that, for the miners, history wouldn’t be written by the victors, and that the miners would have their say. Thirty years on, I feel we have done that with our film Still the Enemy Within.
The film speaks to, and speaks for, every man and woman who was active throughout the 1984-85 strike. It also speaks to, and for, all those who were too young to remember or who weren’t even born, but who rage against the state of Britain today.
I have spoken at dozens of screenings of Still the Enemy Within over the last six months and renewed some cherished friendship and met some wonderful young activists. Each screening has been an emotional roller coaster. There have been some fierce and vital debates in the Q&As. Best of all though, each screening has fuelled the audience’s determination to fight back against the current government.
Thirty years on, our film has helped recapture a part of history that the politicians, the establishment and the media wanted us to forget. It is time to write another chapter.