As a lesson in how capitalism works, the strike was invaluable. It showed that the state was not neutral and could easily expand its powers to criminalise labour activity. It laid bare the bias of the media and the strategic impotence of the Labour party leadership, which needed the miners to win to remain viable but felt it could not support them and remain credible.
As a lesson in how socialism might work it was edifying. Women kept these communities functioning, and supporters and donations flooded in from across the country and the world. I still recall the conversations of Nottingham miners as they adjusted their worldviews - or at least their language - to the arrival of lesbian and gay, black and feminist support groups. At times I thought the sheer determination to win would carry us through.