I have to declare a personal interest in relation to Orgreave. I was living (at least during the week) and working in South Yorkshire, in a mining area just outside Doncaster, during the miner's strike. I saw some cruel and spiteful acts against miners and their families, the worst of human nature that takes advantage of human adversity but also warmth, courage, humour and friendship from people who had next to nothing. It was a pointless, unwinnable strike provoked by Scargill for all the wrong reasons, yet as a monument to the fight by a fatally injured industry against the dying of the light it was a magnificent act of human solidarity. Of that struggle, Orgreave was perhaps the most memorable of the conflicts between police and miners.
The IPCC has now formally declined to pursue a number of charges against the police. The South Yorkshire Police are named, but as we know it was the hard boys from the Met, Maggie's Met, that were the least restrained in their violence. They didn't have to live in the county after, or raise kids amongst the children of workless ex-miners. The IPCC doesn't say the charges are untrue - just that too much time has now passed to ensure justice. Funny how that argument is used when the State, or criminal members of the political class, face legal action yet doesn't apply to show biz figures or supposed 'war criminals'. Except Blair. My own view of the possible charges against the police?
That police used excessive force at Orgreave
The use of batons and charges by police cavalry as captured on film was clearly excessive, other policing probably not.
Police statements were manipulated
Of course they were. Plods sit down together in the canteen with their notebooks and decide a version of events between them - you'd need to interview them individually immediately after an incident to get something that wasn't 'manipulated'
Officers gave false evidence in court to justify both use of force and to support charges of unlawful assembly and riot
Probably true in many cases though probably not universal. The question of 'riot' is a key point; the 2011 England riots really were riots, but Orgreave, where events were always under police control, was not.
The fact that police evidence at the time was officially disbelieved and almost all the charges were thrown out by the courts is, though, probably judgement enough.