This is the video that tells the story of the Gartcosh March which started on the 3rd January 1986. It highlights the futility of Government from Westminster. It was commissioned to mark the 25th Anniversary of the March. It highlights the obstacles both the Tories and Labour put in our path.

The Steel Men Vs The Iron Lady – Gartcosh to London. from TaceDorris on Vimeo.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.


  1. Absolutely wonderful, Iain! A huge thank you. Still feeling a bit emotional since I’d forgotten Thatcher made herself scarce on your arrival in London. We need people of their calibre to march us towards independence. Sturgeon’s poor mob not fit to lace the boots of these dedicated men.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. That was brilliant Iain. Quite a moving programme despite the memory having dimmed of these events a bit as time goes on.

    My introduction to politics in my early teens was Tory policies, Thatcherism and privatisation. News and documentaries were regular in the house. There was still enough of a free press then to realise that the stated aims of the privatisation agenda were having the opposite effect in Scotland and elsewhere. It didn’t matter how solid the arguments were for retention of these vital sites and industries or how damaging their closure would be. The potential of having a more balanced economy retaining some of our heavy industrial base was lost and is now something we will have to recreate if we are to get our share as people from the exploitation of our natural resources.

    It is surely the case that if we had retained more of our industrial base we would be better off today given the opportunities for industrial activity around transport infrastructure, oil and gas and now renewable energy production.

    At the time a boy from school described what he thought was happening in this way- if Thatcher owned a corner shop in Aberfeldy and found that tablet was the most profitable thing in the shop she would have bombed out every other item in the shop and just sold the tablet. looking back I think that sums up the short shortsightedness of it.

    Once politicians start ignoring the human impact of their policies, driven on by dogmatic belief, we know it is time for them to go.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Great film Iain.

    Closure of steel production was very shortsighted given the subsequent massive global boom in demand for steel especially from the later 1990s onwards. More steel production was needed to support the global boom in shipbuilding, auto, and construction. China has met most of this despite added ore transit cost from Brazil, albeit helped by upsizing of very large ore carriers by the likes of Vale.

    Another issue here is that an inland site is perhaps not ideal for steel production, unless it is directly fed by low cost river/barge transport as in the Rhine plants, when we consider the need to transport very large volumes of raw materials such as iron ore and coal. Somewhere close to Hunterston would have been more optimal for steel production and export, and there could still be an opportunity for this today, preferably using renewable energy sources. In fact, cheap and plentiful renewable energy could be Scotland’s key competitive advantage but only if we have full control over the energy market/cost.

    My own research in the maritime area suggests Scotland requires up to 100 new ferries over the next decade (double the current inadequate number of obsolete boats), so its not as if there is not the demand for steel locally, as well as globally. See:

    Its obvious that Scotland really must be independent in order to develop such major national strategic industrial initiatives and until then we are always going to be at the mercy of British policy makers who have different priorities, as well as what is a mediocre meritocratic elite (including senior civil servants) that is part and parcel of our colonial realty and a cultural division of labour.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. alfbaird, as you may also recall was the closure of the Aluminium smelter at Invergordon which met the criteria in terms of proximity to the deepwater terminal on the Cromarty Firth. Demand for Aluminium products soared in the years following. Scottish Industrial base was again denied influence in International markets. When is the penny ever going to drop with our elected representatives?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If Thatcher had found out that the major profitable item being sold in a shop in Aberfeldy was Tablet….

    She would have bombed out the rest of the stock and insisted it only sold Tablet…

    Yes, and then she would have ensured that the suppliers of the component parts of Tablet, were taxed into non existence, or incentivised to sell elsewhere – thereby bringing the local economy (and all its pesky talk of indy) to their knees.

    And that was 40 years ago. Now we have Indy REf2014, Boris and Brexit. WE ARE SO SCREWED.

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  5. Profoundly depressing to look back and realise we once made steel.

    Even more so when you realise all the other things we used to make such as ships, and locomotive engines.

    For a country, who once led the world in these industries looking back serves brutally to remind us of what we have lost.

    Mind you we found oil aplenty and unlike Norway what did we do with the oil wealth.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. ALMOST as bad as BNOC Britoil

    Cluster bombs dropped on the Scottish Industry to wipe it out totally.


  7. Aye Ian, as you would be aware the added value Gartcosh contributed was in the form of sheet steel. When employed in the road haulage industry in the early seventies I delivered loads of Gartcosh steel in coil and flat sheet to car industry plants and industrial fabricators throughout the UK. The employment opportunities it provided as a driver were not inconsiderable.

    The enemies within, Thatcher and Macgregor in his various guises contrived in creating the circumstances which would render steelmaking and heavy industry in Scotland victim to political whim and how Scotland has paid the price for that.

    Liked by 1 person

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