Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Remarks on Orgreave picketing ("attempt to substitute the rule of the mob for the rule of law")

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Banbury Cattle Market, Banbury, Oxfordshire
Source: Thatcher Archive: transcript
Editorial comments:

MT toured Banbury Cattle Market 1100-1225, in support of Henry Plumb's reelection for the Cotswold division of the European Parliament. The Banbury Guardian (31 May) records that she received a hostile reception from some of the dairy farmers, angry at the introduction of milk quotas. Many called out that "they would not be voting Tory again", to which MT replied: "It is sad, but you will have to vote for alternatives which are far less attractive". Speaking with a handheld microphone in the auction ring she said that she met few dissatisfied farmers. "They all did a marvellous job and the government wanted to get the best deal for them. She recognised that farmers were having a painful time until the uncertainty was ended - and it would be". ( The Oxford Mail , 31 May 1984, has the further comment: "We have got problems with surpluses, but I think we will be able to overcome them".) Her comments on the miners' strike (notable for their vehement delivery) foll

Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 173
Themes: Strikes & other union action, Law & order, 1984-85 coal strike

You saw the scenes that went on in television last night. I must tell you that what we have got is an attempt to substitute the rule of the mob for the rule of law, and it must not succeed. It must not succeed.

There are those who are using violence and intimidation to impose their will on others who do not want it. They are failing because of two things.

First, because of the magnificent police force well trained for carrying out their duties bravely and impartially (loud cheers).

And secondly, because the overwhelming majority of people in this country are honourable, decent and law abiding and want the law to be upheld and will not be intimidated, and I pay tribute to the courage of those who have gone into work through these picket lines, to the courage of those at Ravenscraig and Scunthorpe for not going to be intimidated out of their jobs and out of their future. Ladies and Gentlemen we need the support of everyone in this battle which goes to the very heart of our society. The rule of law must prevail over the rule of the mob.