UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher instituted a policy in the 1980s where mines that were considered unprofitable were shut down. On March 12, 1984, the National Union of Mineworkers leader, Arthur Scargill, called for a nationwide strike against Thatcher's economic policies. The resulting walkout ran for nearly 12 months and at its height, the strike involved 142,000 mineworkers, making it the biggest in the UK since the 1926 General Strike.
Paul Weller penned this lament for the South Yorkshire miners. He told Mojo: "It was just what was going on really. These people who'd been working down the pits and keeping the country going... all of a sudden being f--king hit around the head by the Met Police. I just thought it was outrageous, F--king outrageous.
And at the same time, there were pictures coming back from Johannesburg, the riots and the f--king treatment of people there. I name a few places in that song - South Yorkshire, Johannesburg, Chile."