Talk:Winter of Discontent

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This is the current revision of Talk:Winter of Discontent as edited by Fox (Talk | contribs) at 10:28, 1 February 2008. This URL is a permanent link to this version of this page.

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I'd query the statement that the 'working classes' rebelled against the government through the strikes of 78/79. Not because they may not have been sick of the Callaghan government, but because they were sick also of the disruption brought by the seemingly endless strikes in the 1970s. Mrs Thatcher came to power in 1979 with a very high proportion of the working class vote - probably the biggest since the Labour Party became a major electoral force in the 1940s (though I haven't checked this). It was surely that step - abandoning Labour and voting Tory - that was their rebellion. MatthewHopkins 10:18, 1 February 2008 (EST)

I agree that was a major step, and as someone put it in one of the references, "It was the most decisive defeat for a Labour Government at the hands of the class struggle ever, and it marked the beginning of the new epoch - the Thatcherite counter-revolution, a decisive change of strategy for British capital." But I would still view the strikes as a "rebellion" against both the Labour Government and the larger Trade Union movement: they saw the TUC "in bed" with Wilson and Labour and they in turn cosied up with the CBI. Remember, the Ford strike and most of the subsequent strikes were wildcat strikes, organized at branch level by shop stewards against the will of the larger unions to which they belonged. The unions only supported them in the end when they realized there was a very real chance that they themselves would lose control of the workers. After all, a lot of those behemoth unions were at heart a tool for integrating workers into the, perceived, structures of exploitation. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 10:28, 1 February 2008 (EST)