Crisis? What Crisis?: The Callaghan Government and the British 'Winter of Discontent'

Overview

Over thirty years later, the 'winter of discontent' of 1978–1979 still resonates in British politics. On 22 January 1979, one and a half million workers were on strike. Industrial unrest swept Britain in an Arctic winter. Militant shop stewards blocked medical supplies to hospitals; mountains of rubbish remained uncollected; striking road hauliers threatened to bring the country to a standstill; even the dead were left unburied. Within weeks, the beleaguered Callaghan Labour Government fell from power. In the ...

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Overview

Over thirty years later, the 'winter of discontent' of 1978–1979 still resonates in British politics. On 22 January 1979, one and a half million workers were on strike. Industrial unrest swept Britain in an Arctic winter. Militant shop stewards blocked medical supplies to hospitals; mountains of rubbish remained uncollected; striking road hauliers threatened to bring the country to a standstill; even the dead were left unburied. Within weeks, the beleaguered Callaghan Labour Government fell from power. In the 1979 general election, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, beginning eighteen years of unbroken Conservative rule.

Based on a wide range of newly available historical sources and key interviews, this full-length account breaks new ground, analysing the origins, character and impact of a turbulent period of industrial unrest. This important study will appeal to all those interested in contemporary history and British politics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719082474
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 10/22/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Shepherd is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Huddersfield, UK.

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Table of Contents

1. Winters of Discontent
2. Government, unions and the collapse of the Social Contract
3. The Ford strike, 1978
4. The oil tanker drivers' dispute and the road hauliers' strike
5. Public sector strikes
6. Media coverage
7. The Conservative Party and the 'winter of discontent'
8. Political aftermath
9. Winter of Discontent: a view from abroad
Chronology
Bibliography
Index

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