Role of leadership
An essential lesson to draw from the miners' strike is the vital role of leadership. The miners' leaders stood head and shoulders above the majority of British trade union leaders at this time. Arthur Scargill in particular demonstrated an unbending will to struggle in the face of the most appalling personal abuse and character assassination. In this sense the leaders of the union were a source of inspiration for the miners in the areas. At the same time these leaders were inspired by the courage and determination of the rank and file miners, of their wives and their communities. Unfortunately courage alone is not enough to win such titanic battles. It must be accompanied by correct tactics and strategy. Mistakes in these vital areas were made even by the best NUM leaders.