Winter of Discontent

28 results back to index


pages: 780 words: 168,782

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, financial deregulation, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet Archive, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, Yom Kippur War

I don’t think other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.” It was a remark that made him appear fatally disconnected. The next day’s edition of the tabloid the Sun ran a damning headline: “Crisis? What Crisis?” Callaghan never actually said those words. But the accusation stuck—precisely because his optimism appeared at such odds with the images that dominated the evening news. For nonunionized Britons, the “Winter of Discontent,” as the months of strikes were soon dubbed, was more than just another episode in a long history of industrial unrest. It was not just that sidewalks were vanishing under piles of garbage or that coffins were going unburied. Strikers and the police clashed in pitched battles that evoked nightmarish visions of anarchy. The promise of the late-nineteenth-century labor movement—the brotherhood of man and the rights of the oppressed—had devolved into a kind of storm-trooper anomie.

Callaghan was a practiced debater in the Commons, and a certain condescension came through whenever the two of them sparred. Where he was genial, she was earnest. Where he was smooth, she was grating, sometimes even a bit shrill. What could you expect, really, from a woman? At one point, when Thatcher chastised him for his “avuncular condescension,” Callaghan replied that he found it hard to imagine her as his niece.3 The Winter of Discontent took its toll. As the early months of 1979 gave way to spring, it no longer looked as if Callaghan could count on an economic upturn to counter the prevailing gloom. But his advisers took some consolation from the polls. They showed that Thatcher’s personal approval ratings still lagged behind Callaghan’s. By the time the election came, they reasoned, Sunny Jim could rely on the power of his charm to best the joyless Milk Snatcher.

From now on the party’s leaders would interpret his Word according to their own convenience. 11 The Blood of the Martyrs For most countries, 1979 dawned in a fog of uncertainty. News of the party plenum in December 1978 gave many Chinese an inkling that positive changes were on the way, but no one knew for sure how far-reaching the reforms would be or how quickly they would come. Britons, for the moment, remained mired in the frustrations of the Winter of Discontent; an end to the strikes was not in sight. The simmering rebellion in Afghanistan posed little in the way of a systemic challenge to the government. The election of John Paul II suggested the possibility of a shift in Vatican policy toward the East bloc, but the Communist authorities in Warsaw had yet to issue a response to the new pope’s request for permission to visit his homeland. In Iran there was no ambiguity.


pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

'I recall in the 60s, 70s and 80s, strikers-- and most of the strikers then were working class=-were treated pretty badly in the media, always in a very hostile way,' recalls Mirror jour- nalist Kevin Maguire. Aggressive picketers and 'unions holding the country to ransom' were mainstays of newspaper copy. At the heart of the Tory strategy was their clever manipulation of a series of strikes by largely low-paid public sector workers in 1978 and 1979--or, as it became known, the Winter of Discontent. Even today, over thirty years later, the Winter of Discontent remains a kind of right-wing folk story used to bash unions whenever there is even a murmur of industrial unrest. Scenes of uncollected rubbish rotting in the streets and the dead going unburied are recounted in almost apocalyptic tones. Yet the strikes were almost completely avoidable. James Callaghan'S Labour government had imposed years of effective pay cuts on public sector workers in order to keep down inflation.

Low-paid workers like refuse collectors went on strike in the winter of 1978-9 because their living standards were in free fall, and they were being made to pay for an inflationary crisis that they had had no part in creating. Tony Benn was a minister in the Labour Cabinet during the Winter of Discontent. 'It was a conflict, an economic conflict bejween working people on the one hand and their employers on the other, and the government supported the employers, in effect,' he recalls. 'And it led to a great deal of disillusionment.' There is no doubting that the Winter of Discontent fuelled popular frustration with unions. Right-wing tabloids went into overdrive, making it look like Britain was descending into chaos. Members of the public faced inconvenience because of cancelled services. The increasingly impoverished workers who had been forced to strike did not get a hearing.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

Some groups of employees, such as the Longbridge car-workers or the Fleet Street printers, had a reputation for downing tools on the smallest provocation, but most went on strike rather less often or never at all. Of all the disputes that broke out during the ‘winter of discontent’ of 1978–9, the one that caused the most comment and has stuck in the collective memory was called by the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE), which represented low-paid council employees. It was shocking in a way that a strike by better paid Ford car-workers was not, because it had never happened before and because the people most affected by refuse collectors and dinner ladies stopping work were, inevitably, vulnerable members of the public. There were instances of gravediggers also going on strike for a few days, with the result that corpses stayed longer than intended in the mortuaries. Those unburied bodies became a stock image of the ‘winter of discontent’, as if they had been left lying in the street. A greater number of people were affected by the uncollected refuse, which made back alleys behind shops unpleasant.

They were a weak foreign policy, poor industrial management and, particularly, the power of the British trade unions. When French or German workers went on strike it got them nowhere, he claimed, whereas ‘nearly always in Britain in recent years a strike has led to a very favourable settlement for the employees’. A few months before Nicko wrote his valedictory, Britain had been through the now infamous ‘winter of discontent’, which began in autumn 1978 and lasted until the following February, when there was a rash of strikes that did severe damage to the reputation of the Labour government. This period acquired an almost mythical status throughout the 1980s, as Conservatives referred to it again and again as a dreadful warning of what might happen if the Labour Party, funded by the trade unions, was to return to power.

Healey had cut government expenditure by 1 per cent of GDP per year for five years, a feat no other chancellor came near to repeating. This austerity tore apart an already fractious Labour Party. Worst hit by the cuts were public employees, particularly low-paid council employees, most of whom were members of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE), a fast expanding, well-organized union whose leaders were driven leftwards by the crisis. It was this which set off the winter of discontent, which Labour sought to defuse by appointing the Clegg Commission to report on public sector wages. It came out with an eye-wateringly generous proposal: council workers’ wages were to be increased by 25 per cent in one year, without any requirement that there should be efficiency savings. This would knock a huge hole in Healey’s efforts to reduce public spending, but Mrs Thatcher and her team were mindful that there was an election looming and that public employees had votes, so they promised to implement Clegg’s recommendations in full.


pages: 357 words: 99,684

Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions by Paul Mason

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

back-to-the-land, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, capital controls, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, informal economy, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Occupy movement, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rising living standards, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, union organizing, We are the 99%, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, young professional

It became clear the rioters across Britain had organized through social media; above all the Blackberry instant messaging service. Though occasionally led by organized crime, and often by the disorganized petty criminals who form the youth gang fraternity, the overwhelming social characteristic of those arrested was poverty. The events, whose precise significance is still being disputed by criminolo-gists and social theorists, formed a coda to the British winter of discontent. Because—from Millbank to the summer riots—the scale of British discontent looks small beside the Arab Spring, it’s been possible to ignore its significance. But it was significant, both sociologically and politically. Not only did it demonstrate the almost total disconnect between official politics and large sections of young people; it was also the moment that protest methods once known to a committed few were adopted by the uncommitted mass.

On this basis he offers the following dire news to those—like Malcolm Gladwell during the Arab Spring, and more recently the British writer Mark Fisher—who want the movement to break with autonomy and horizontalism: Networked social movements, as all social movements in history, bear the mark of their society. They could not exist without the internet. But their significance is much deeper. They are suited for their role as agents of change in the network society, in sharp contrast with the obsolete political institutions inherited from a historically superseded social structure.22 If this is correct, we can expect horizontalism to survive its first winter of discontent, and to resist absorption into the trade unions or the liberal and social-democratic parties. But having exhausted tent camps and general assemblies with their dearth of demands—having begun the move into ‘everyday life’—what happens next? Where next? The movements that took to the streets in 2011–12 are at a turning point. They have created a strong counter-culture, which resonates among much wider masses of people than actually turn up to erect tents in squares, defend abortion clinics, attend picket lines.

P. 127 cellphones 75–76, 133–34 Central Security (Egypt) 9, 11, 17 Challenge of Slums, The (UN) 198–99 Charles, Prince 51–52 Chávez, Hugo 33 China 38, 78, 108, 112, 121, 125; consumption 109; foreign currency reserves 107; monetary policy 123 Chomsky, N. 28–29 Chris (student demonstrator) 48 Cinco, Mena 196–98, 206, 206–9 Citigroup 67 civil disobedience 56 class struggles 131 Clegg, Nick 44 Climate Camp movement 1, 55 Clinton, Hillary 26 collaborative production 139–41 Coming Insurrection, The 189–91 commodity price inflation 120–22, 195 communes 189, 190 Communiqué from an Absent Future 38–39 Communist Manifesto, The (Marx and Engels) 174, 188–89 communists 80 computer gamers 136 Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition 44 consumption, and self-esteem 80–81 control 148 co-operatives 84 corruption, threat of 177–78, 205 creative destruction 106 credit crisis 106, 109 credit default swaps 99, 107 Critical Legal Thinking website 54 cross-border links 69–70 Cruz, Gloria 204 cultural stereotypes 27 culture: mass 29–30; popular 65, 176; transnational 69; working-class 72; youth 70 culture wars 178–84 currency manipulation 121–22 currency war 122–24 cyber-repression 78 Czechoslovakia 173 Darkness at Noon (Koestler) 128–29 Davies, Nick 148 Davos 17, 111 Dawkins, Richard 75, 150 Day X, 24 November 2010, London 41–42, 46–48 Debord, Guy 42, 46–17, 51 debt, toxic 110–11 default theory 111 deflationary slump 123 Deleuze, Gilles 46, 85 Delius, Frederick 127, 132, 152, 176 democratic counter-revolution 177, 188 demographics of revolt 66, 66–73; Athens, December 2008 uprising 73; students 66–71; the urban poor 70–72 Deptford 57 Detrick, Terry 154, 155–56, 156 devaluation 91, 122–23 @digitalmaverick 1–2 discontent, three tribes 68–69 disillusionment 68–69 disinformation, counteracting 146 disposable income 67 Dodd–Frank Act (USA) 167 @dougald 1 Dubstep Rebellion 48–52; blog 52; the Book Bloc 50–51; casualties 51; Fleet Street photographers 51; graffiti 51; marchers 49; police–student confrontation 50–51 durable authoritarianism 27, 30, 191 Durkheim, Emile 103–4 Dworkin, Ronald 46 eBay 74 e-commerce 81 economic crisis 3; revolutions, 1848 173 economic stagnation 191–92 economic theory 111 Economist, the 25 egoism 132 Egypt: bread prices 11; democratic counter-revolution 177; economic growth 119; economic indicators 119–20; elections, November 2011 177; Gini Index 119; inflation 120–21; opposition movement 10; organized workforce 72; police corruption 11; privatizations 17–18; unemployment 119–120; urban poor 71; working class 19–20 Egyptian revolution, the: the Army and 178; balance sheet 5; bread prices 11; casualties 17; chants 191, 211; counter-revolution 18; Day of Rage, 28 May 15–17; and Facebook 6, 10, 11, 12, 14; freedom 5; immolations 11, 71; Internet switched off 14; medical professions 20–22; military coup 17–19; numbers involved 13; outbreak, 25 January 10–14, 83; police violence 15; questions facing 23–24; Twitter blocked 14; Twitter feeds 13, 14; ultras 16–17; working class 20; on YouTube 11, 14, 15–16; zabbaleen riots 6–10 email 10 emancipated life 143–44 Engels, Friedrich 174, 188–89, 190 @eponymousthing 184 equity withdrawal 114 Estero de San Miguel, Manila 196–99, 205–6, 206–9 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The (film) 29 Eurobonds 113 Eurocrisis, the 111–13 European Central Bank 92, 98, 104, 112 European Financial Stability Facility 92, 104 European Financial Stabilization Facility 113 European monetary union 112, 113 European Union: response to Greek debt crisis 91–92, 96, 98–99, 104; sovereign debt crisis 104 Europe, revolutions, 1848 172 Eurozone 104; debt crisis 91–92, 99, 111–13 Execution of Maximilian (Manet) 53 exploitation 85 Facebook 74; Arab world growth of 135; and the Egyptian revolution 6, 10, 11, 12, 14; establishing connections with 75; ‘We are all Khaled Said’ page 11; and the Iranian revolution 34; and London trade-union demonstration, March 2011 57–58; Middle East usage 135; reciprocity 77; user numbers 135 Farewell to the Working Class (Gorz) 79–80 fatalism 30, 31 feedback loops 187 Feldstein–Horioka paradox 107 Feldstein, Martin 107 Fennimore and Gerda (Delius) 127, 132 First World War 128 Fisher, Mark 30 Flaubert, Gustave 171, 192 Flickr 10, 75 Food Price Index 121 Fordist era 28 Foucault, Michel 46, 84–85 fragmentation 80–81, 82 fragmented power 17 ‘Fragment on Machines’ (Marx) 143–44 France 173; Languedoc, 1848 174, 187; socialism 188; see also Paris freedom 27, 124; of expression 127; individual 127–30; Marx on 141–42; suppression of 131–33 Freeman, Richard 108 free-market economics 92, 188 Friedman, Milton 111 Fukuyama, Francis 30 G20 Summit, 2009 48, 122 Gaddafi, Muammar 25, 31 Gapan City, Philippines 193–96 Gates, Bill 23, 110 gay rights 132 Gaza 37; Israeli invasion of 33 Gaza City 31 Gaza Flotilla, May 2010 55 general intellect, the 144, 145–47 General Motors 39 Germany 113, 191; revolution of 1848 172; wages 108, 112 @Ghonim 13 Giddens, Anthony 31 Gide, André 127 Giffords, Gabrielle 182 Gini Index 119 Gladwell, Malcolm 81–82, 83 global capital flows 107–8 global financial crisis 31, 39, 66–67, 85, 110–11, 115, 191 globalization 69,72, 105, 108, 109, 122, 124, 149, 191 Golkar, Saeid 78 Googlebombs 78 Gorz, André 79–80, 143 graduate with no future, the 66–73, 96–97; disposable income 67; as international sub-class 69; life-arc 67; numbers 70; revolutionary role 72–73; and the urban poor 70–71 Grapes of Wrath, The (Steinbeck) 153, 155, 159, 163, 164 Great Britain: anti-road movement 56; benefit system 113–14; changing forms of protest 54–57; collapse of Labour 113–15; devaluation 123; Education Maintenance Allowance 47; end of winter of discontent 61–62; equity withdrawal 114; European elections, 2009 115; general election, 2010 43; the graduate with no future 96–97; Millbank riot 42–44; non-UK born workers 115; police failures 61; public spending cuts 54–55; radical tactics 54–57; spontaneous horizontalists 44–46; Strategic Security and Defence Review 124; student population 70; UK Uncut actions 54–55; university fees 44, 47, 50, 54; youth 41–42, 44, 53–54; youth unemployment 66 Great Depression, lessons of 123–25 Great Doubling 108 Great Unrest, 1914 175–76 Greece 37, 188; anomic breakdown 103–4; austerity programme 92–93, 102; bailouts 92, 96, 98, 113; cabinet reshuffle 96, 97–98; debt crisis 90, 91–92, 98–99, 112; GDP 91; general election, 2009 91; general strike 99; the left 100; media ownership 87; Medium Term Fiscal Strategy 91; model of capitalism 102; MP resignations 89; Papandreou government falls 96; political legitimacy lost 104; the salariat 101; tax evasion 97; tax revenues 92; tax system 91; see also Athens Greek Communist Party (KKE) 88, 90 Grigoropoulos, Alexandras 32 grime (music) 52 Grossman, Vasily 129 @GSquare86 69 Guindi, Ezzat 9 hackers 35 el-Hamalawy, Hossam, @3arabawy 10, 22, 71 Hardy, Simon 69 Hayek, Friedrich 111, 209 Henderson, Maurice 161–62 Hennawy, Abd El Rahman, @Hennawy89 12–13 Here Comes Everybody (Shirky) 138 Herman, Edward S. 28–29 hidemyass.com 14 hierarchy: erosion of 80–81; informal 83; predictability of 77 higher education market 67 Hill, Joe 176 historical materialism 131 Hogge, Becky 140 homelessness 159–63 Hoon, Geoff 114 Horioka, Charles 107 horizontalism 45, 55, 56, 62, 100 Huffington Post blog 184 human rights 143 Hungary 172 Ian’s Pizza, Madison, Wisconsin 184 Ibrahim, Gigi, @GSquare86 69 ideology 29, 149 immolations 11, 32, 71 impotence, zeitgeist of 29–30 impoverishment 209 Inception (film) 29 India 120–21 Indiana 116–17, 125 indignados, the 88, 100–1, 104 individual: freedom of 127–30; power of the 65, 79; rise of the 127–30 Indorama group 22 industrialization 192 Indymedia 74 inequality 209 inflation 109, 120–21 info-capitalism 148, 211 info-hierarchies 147–52 info-revolution, the 146, 149–50 informal hierarchies 83 information capitalism 145 information management 147 information networks 77 information tools 75 Inkster, Nigel 65 institutional loyalty 68 interest rates 67 International Labour Organization 19–20, 120 International Monetary Fund 92 Internet consciousness 136–38 Internet, the: access in slums 207; Arab world growth 135; and behaviour changes 131; and the Iranian revolution 35; out of reach for some 152; power of 29; shutdowns 14, 78; and the spread of ideas 150–51 investment, and savings 107 Invisible Committee, the 189–91 Iran 25; causes of failure of revolution 36–37; election, 2009 33–34; and the Internet 35; and the Middle East balance of power 178; rooftop poems 36; Twitter Revolution 33–37, 78, 178; on YouTube 34, 35 Iraq 25, 55 Ireland 92, 111, 112, 188 Islam 30, 37 Israel 26, 33, 179–80 Italy 104 Jakarta 33 James, C.


pages: 460 words: 108,654

Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, index card, indoor plumbing, life extension, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rosa Parks, walking around money, Winter of Discontent

And a battle had erupted over battery-powered garments that permitted telephone sex. He shut off the TV and picked up one of the books he’d brought along. It was Michael Corbett’s Winter of Discontent, which had urged the introduction of lie detectors to presidential debates and IQ tests for candidates. There was no attempt to set a minimum standard, but Corbett’s plan would require that results be placed on the record. Candidates, of course, could decline, but only at their peril. However, no one really knew what the effect might be. Recent studies had shown that a majority of voters would be put off by a candidate with a high IQ. Winter of Discontent was essentially a manual on how to make government more responsive. And more rational. He liked some of the suggestions, but they all required an electorate that paid attention.


pages: 168 words: 35,753

Ye Olde Britain: Best Historical Experiences by Lonely Planet Publications

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Isaac Newton, Winter of Discontent

Successful songs like ‘Please, Please Me’ ensure the Beatles become household names in Britain, then America – then the world. 1971 Britain adopts the ‘decimal’ currency (one pound equals 100 pence) and drops the ancient system of one pound equals 20 shillings or 240 pennies, the centuries-old bane of school maths lessons. 1970s Much of the decade is characterised by inflation, inept governments (on the left and right), trade-union disputes, strikes, shortages and blackouts, culminating in the 1978–79 ‘Winter of Discontent’. 1972 In Uganda, East Africa, the dictator Idi Amin expels all people of Asian origin. Many have British passports and migrate to Britain, settling predominantly in London and the cities of the Midlands. 1979 A Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher wins the national election, a major milestone of Britain’s 20th-century history, ushering in a decade of dramatic political and social change. 1982 Britain is victorious in a war against Argentina over the invasion of the Falkland Islands, leading to a rise in patriotic sentiment. 1990 Thatcher ousted as leader, and the Conservative party enters a period of decline but remains in power thanks to inept Labour opposition. 1997 The general election sees Tony Blair lead ‘New’ Labour to victory in the polls, with a record-breaking parliamentary majority, ending nearly 20 years of Tory rule. 1999 The first National Assembly is elected for Wales, with the members sitting in a new building in Cardiff; Rhodri Morgan becomes First Minister. 1999–2004 Scottish Parliament is convened for the first time on 12 May 1999.


pages: 1,744 words: 458,385

The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Clive Stafford Smith, collective bargaining, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, North Sea oil, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Winter of Discontent

The Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE) had ‘no subversives at executive or full time national official level’.70 The Winter of Discontent was followed by a private ‘acknowledgement by the Communist Party that it has in recent years lost much of its industrial influence at the shop-floor level and that it needs to revitalise its organisation of workplace branches’. The leading casualty of the Winter of Discontent was James Callaghan. ‘The belief that he enjoyed a unique relationship with the unions, and was a supremely effective agent of industrial partnership, collapsed.’71 Because the Security Service collected intelligence only on the comparatively minor ‘subversive’ influences, its reports did not cover most of the industrial disruption which led Labour to defeat at the polls and were of only secondary importance to the ministers responsible for dealing with the Winter of Discontent. The Security Service’s 1972 definition of subversive activities as ‘those which threaten the safety or well being of the State and are intended to undermine or overthrow Parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means’ had been accepted both by the Heath government and by its Labour successors during the 1970s.

Ramelson himself has frequently expressed doubts about his political judgement.’66 The CPGB leadership was reported to be worried that the ‘wages struggle’ against the 5 per cent ceiling on pay rises was insufficiently political (in other words, not adequately focused on attacking the Callaghan government) and that, while the Party maintained ‘continued strength of influence at senior levels among trade union officials’, it was losing ground to the Trotskyists on the shop floor.67 It was also dismayed at the end of 1978 by the extent of Trotskyist influence on the national executive committee of the Civil and Public Service Association (CPSA).68 As the industrial disruption of the Winter of Discontent proceeded, the CPGB mood brightened. A Box 500 report on 29 January described the Party as ‘increasingly enthusiastic about the effects of the public services dispute which it believes could be a significant factor in bringing about opportunities for its political advance’.69 Box 500 reports made clear, however, that the Winter of Discontent was not the result of either a Communist or a Trotskyist masterplan: Trotskyist groups are finding difficulty in keeping pace with events and in some places are being told by Party officials to concentrate their attention entirely on selling their newspapers.

The budget crises of the Callaghan years and the cuts in government spending necessary to secure an IMF loan made it difficult to argue for extra funds in a field which aroused so little enthusiasm in Whitehall. The fact that not a single EKP was successfully attacked probably owed less to improved protective security than to PIRA’s failure to identify their continued vulnerability. 6 The Callaghan Government and Subversion Though the Callaghan government ended in, and is nowadays chiefly remembered for, the strikes of its final ‘Winter of Discontent’, it began with a period of unprecedented industrial peace. Its first year saw the lowest number of industrial disputes so far recorded in the twentieth century. Callaghan was (and still remains) the only trade union official to become post-war Labour leader. As prime minister, ‘He was no intellectual, he appeared avuncular to the point of maddening complacency, and behind the scenes he was a fixer and a bit of a bully; to the average trade union official he was almost as good as one of their own.’1 In the summer of 1976 the TUC was persuaded – reluctantly – to extend what had been a virtual wage-freeze policy by agreeing to a limit of 5 per cent for wage increases over the next twelve months.


pages: 525 words: 153,356

The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, manufacturing employment, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, rising living standards, strikebreaker, The Spirit Level, unemployed young men, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, young professional

Their victory was not a surprise – opinion polls had been predicting a comfortable majority for the Tories, the press speculating that this was due to voters’ fatigue with austerity. Rearmament was taking a financial toll on the economy, in a country still reliant on importing 60 per cent of its foods at high prices. Writing in the Guardian five weeks before the election, the journalist Alastair Cooke prophesied that a Conservative victory would be brought about by voters’ fears of a ‘winter of discontent’ characterized by fuel shortages, continued rationing and inflation.51 In fact, polls showed that the shortage of housing was the most important reason why some working-class voters had switched to the Conservatives; the Tories promised to build far more houses in a far quicker time than Bevan had managed. Many voters considered rationing and price controls reasonable prices to pay for full employment and welfare, and in the event Winston Churchill was returned to Downing Street with a slim majority of just seventeen seats, which the BBC judged a ‘disappointment’ for his party.52 But the Conservatives’ victory was not the result of widespread popular disillusion with austerity.

Interview with Philip Gilbert, OT 740, Seven Roads Community Oral History Project, OHC. 48. Interview with Alan Watkins by Hilary Young (2007). 49. Interview with Mr N2L, Elizabeth Roberts Archive. 50. Confidential Summary Report on the General Election of 1950, November 1950, General Election Departmental Records, CCO 500/24/1, Conservative Party Archive, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, p. 41. 51. ‘Tory Victory in a Winter of Discontent’, Manchester Guardian (22 September 1951), p. 6. 52. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday​/hi/dates/stories/​october/26/newsid_ 3687000/​3687425.stm. 53. K.O. Morgan, The People’s Peace (Oxford, 1990), p. 81. 54. MOA: FR 3073 ‘Middle Class – Why?’ (December 1948), p. 27. 55. MOA: FR 2461B ‘Who are the Fuel Wasters?’ (February 1947), p. 3. 56. Field, Blood, Sweat and Toil, p. 378. See also ibid., pp. 23–4. 57.


pages: 219 words: 61,334

Brit-Myth: Who Do the British Think They Are? by Chris Rojek

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

British Empire, business climate, colonial rule, deindustrialization, demand response, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Isaac Newton, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, post-industrial society, Red Clydeside, Stephen Hawking, the market place, urban planning, Winter of Discontent

The Wilson, Heath and Callaghan governments of the 1960s and ’70s, went some way to attenuating this by insisting that Britain’s national interests lay in the direction of partnership with Europe and promoting diversity rather than protecting class privilege. Under James Callaghan’s term of office, in the late 1970s, the ignominious application to the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance to bail the nation out of economic disaster and the wave of strikes in the public sector in the so-called ‘winter of discontent’, seemed to signify the need for a redefinition of the nation which acknowledged that Britain was no longer a genuine world power. Unfortunately, the Thatcher and Major governments failed to grasp the nettle by designing a new model of the nation that could get to grips with the realities of globalization, multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity. Instead, they pulled out an ouija board and tried to invoke the spirit of Churchill in the years of World War Two to revive national notions of individualism, bulldog endeavour, purpose and unity.


pages: 177 words: 50,167

The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, Winter of Discontent

With heightened competition within a global free market, deficits could lead to more demand for imports and to a growing trade deficit, which threatened a country’s currency. These pitfalls of the old approach became apparent first in Great Britain and France. The European version of neoliberalism arose out of the experience that these two countries faced. In the winter of 1978–79, attempts by Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan to limit wage increases led to a wave of strikes, creating what was called the “winter of discontent.” Callaghan’s failure to halt Britain’s combination of inflation and unemployment led to his defeat in 1979 by Tory Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher had broken with her own party’s commitment to Keynesianism. She resorted to what came to be called a neoliberal strategy. She focused on increasing the “supply side”—corporate rates of profit—rather than the demand side. By curtailing the money supply, she raised interest rates, which created a deep recession, that in turn reduced the pressure on wages and prices and the demand for imports, forced obsolete firms out of business, and helped bolster profit rates in the firms that survived.


pages: 223 words: 10,010

The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality Is Essential for Recovery by Stewart Lansley

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

banking crisis, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, call centre, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population

A few months after Heath lost the election in 1974, Lord Chalfont, a former Labour Defence Minister wrote of ‘the massive power and often ruthless action of the great industrial trades unions’. Headlined ‘Could Britain be heading for a military takeover’, the article went onto warn that ‘Large industrial concerns are beginning to talk in terms of a co-ordinated defence against industrial action or wholesale nationalisation’.57 With Britain scarred by a series of high profile and highly damaging strikes— especially during the ‘winter of discontent’ in 1979, Mrs Thatcher made trade-union reform one of her top priorities. From 1979, employment rights were removed, strikes made much more difficult and wages councils abolished. In 1984, the year long, set piece battle with the National Union of Miners—badly led by the most combative of all the union bosses, Arthur Scargill—led to an historic and devastating defeat for the miners. The organised labour movement in Britain never really recovered from the strike—the third miner’s dispute in 12 years.


pages: 318 words: 85,824

A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, debt deflation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, labour market flexibility, land tenure, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, new economy, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Chicago School, transaction costs, union organizing, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

It chose the former path, and draconian budgetary cutbacks in welfare state expenditures were implemented.29 The Labour government went against the material interests of its traditional supporters. But it still had no solution to the crises of accumulation and stagflation. It sought, unsuccessfully, to mask the difficulties by appealing to corporatist ideals, in which everyone was supposed to sacrifice something for the benefit of the polity. Its supporters were in open revolt, and public sector workers initiated a series of crippling strikes in the ‘winter of discontent’ of 1978. ‘Hospital workers went out, and medical care had to be severely rationed. Striking gravediggers refused to bury the dead. The truck drivers were on strike too. Only shop stewards had the right to let trucks bearing “essential supplies” cross picket lines. British Rail put out a terse notice “There are no trains today” … striking unions seemed about to bring the whole nation to a halt.’30 The mainstream press was in full cry against greedy and disruptive unions, and public support fell away.


pages: 391 words: 102,301

Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety by Gideon Rachman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sinatra Doctrine, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

It was increasingly argued that the country was being “held to ransom” by the unions, who seemed able to cut off the electricity and leave the dead unburied while they pursued their disputes. As a child in London in the 1970s, I found it rather exciting to grow up in a world of power cuts and urban riots. But adults of voting age found the atmosphere of perpetual national crisis much less acceptable. Thatcher’s victory in the election of May 1979 was secured by the misery of the “winter of discontent” of 1978–79, a series of crippling strikes that fed Britain’s feeling of national malaise. In the run-up to the vote on May 4, 1979, both Thatcher and the prime minister she would replace, James Callaghan, sensed that epochal change was in the making. “There are times, perhaps once every thirty years, when there is a sea change in politics,” Callaghan remarked. “It then doesn’t matter what you say or do.”2 Callaghan’s musings were remarkably prescient.


pages: 487 words: 132,252

The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography by Stephen Fry

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Alistair Cooke, back-to-the-land, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Isaac Newton, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South China Sea, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Winter of Discontent

But the appetites that drive us and our susceptibility, resistance, acceptance and denial of substances define and reveal us at least as much as abstract expressions of belief or bald recitations of action and achievement. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe other people have greater control over their appetites and less interest in them. I seem to have been driven by greedy need and needy greed all my life. College to Colleague Cambridge The Winter of Discontent, they called it. Strikes by lorry drivers, car workers, nurses, ambulance drivers, railwaymen, refuse collectors and gravediggers. I don’t suppose I had ever been happier. After all the storm-tossed derangement of my teenage years – love, shame, theft, scandal, expulsion, attempted suicide, fraud, arrest, imprisonment and sentencing – I finally seemed to have found something close to equilibrium and fulfilment.


pages: 655 words: 151,111

London: The Autobiography by Jon E. Lewis

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, John Snow's cholera map, side project, strikebreaker, Winter of Discontent

Afterwards a good deal of sarcasm was expended on this choice, but the rest of the quotation is often forgotten. St Francis prayed for more than peace; the prayer goes on: ‘Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope’. The forces of error, doubt and despair were so firmly entrenched in British society, as the ‘winter of discontent’ had just powerfully illustrated, that overcoming them would not be possible without some measure of discord. The election of a Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher had profound implications for London. The Greater London Council (GLC, the successor to the LCC) was headed by Ken Livingstone, a populist Labour politician bent on pursuing affirmative-action programmes for ‘minorities’ and a subsidized ‘Fares Fair’ transport policy that slashed Tube and bus fares.


pages: 511 words: 148,310

Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide by Joshua S. Goldstein

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, failed state, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of writing, invisible hand, land reform, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Steven Pinker, Tobin tax, unemployed young men, Winter of Discontent, Y2K

Melander, Erick, Frida Möller, and Magnus Öberg. “Managing Intrastate Low-Intensity Armed Conflict 1993–2004: A New Dataset.” International Interactions 35, 2009: 58–85. Melander, Erik, Magnus Öberg, and Jonathan Hall. “Are ‘New Wars’ More Atrocious? Battle Severity, Civilians Killed, and Forced Migration before and after the End of the Cold War.” European Journal of International Relations 15 (3), 2009: 505–36. Meyer, David S. A Winter of Discontent: The Nuclear Freeze and American Politics. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1990. Midlarsky, Manus I. The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Mill, John Stuart. Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. Vol. 2. From the 5th London Edition. New York: Appleton, 1902 [1848]. Mingst, Karen A. and Margaret P.


pages: 504 words: 143,303

Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Bringing down inflation shifted the balance of power back from debtors to creditors, and flows of money from debtors in both the industrialised and developing countries increased. The 1970s versus now To read the tabloid newspapers, or listen to neoliberal politicians, one might think the 1970s in Britain were a time of unrelenting misery, when the country was run by ‘union barons’, paralysed by strikes and power cuts (‘the winter of discontent’), with rubbish piling up on the streets and bodies piling up in morgues (because grave-diggers were on strike), while inflation was rampant. Thank goodness things are not like that any more. Well, I was there, and bearing in mind that there were 3,652 days in the 1970s, and that the power cuts and other disruptions lasted only a small number of days, and then only in some parts of the country, this is somewhat misleading.


pages: 414 words: 119,116

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor

(As the grim joke has it: I want to die in my sleep like my dad; not screaming in terror like his passengers.) Yet, read certain sections of the press, and favourite hate objects are trade unions and ‘health and safety gone mad’. It is certainly true that in Britain in the 1970s, had the trade unions hired public relations people with the explicit instruction to ensure a bad press, they could hardly have trumped what actually happened. In Britain, we have only to remember the so-called ‘winter of discontent’ of 1978–9, when one trade union after another struck to the great discomfort of the public, to think that we do not want a return to unbridled power of trade union bosses. But that does not mean that we should revel in unbridled power of corporation bosses. It is entirely possible, and desirable, to run profitable companies that do not pursue profit at the expense of the physical and mental health of employees.


pages: 480 words: 138,041

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry by Gary Greenberg

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, back-to-the-land, David Brooks, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, late capitalism, Louis Pasteur, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, phenotype, placebo effect, random walk, statistical model, theory of mind, Winter of Discontent

Not that he denied this, but he was sure it should not be said so publicly, and it was making him wonder if he’d made a mistake by being so candid with me. “I often ask myself why I am so good to you when I know you will stab psychiatry in the back,” he had written earlier. He answered his own question. “It is the Prince Myshkin in me.” But, as was often the case when Frances called himself an idiot, it seemed his real barb was directed elsewhere. Frances’s winter of discontent was lasting into spring. “The man is an absolute fool and an incorrigible tool,” he wrote of one DSM-5 activist. The psychologists’ petition was “dying as the feckless humanists fiddle.” Paula Caplan had started her own petition, calling for a boycott of the DSM and for congressional hearings into the harmful effects of psychiatric diagnosis. Infighting among the groups opposing the APA was growing.


pages: 388 words: 125,472

The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

‘When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas lying around’ and ‘the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable’. Crucially, this ideological struggle reflected something that was playing out in British society at the time. As inflation soared and trade unions attempted to win pay settlements that reflected the cost of living, a wave of strikes shook the country, culminating in the 1978–79 Winter of Discontent, a battery of industrial action that shut down essential services in parts of the country. But although it won some battles, the entire trade-union movement was on the brink of calamitous defeat. Britain was becoming ever more receptive to the ideas of the Mont Pèlerin outriders. Among the new wave of think tanks set up in crisis-hit Britain was the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), founded in 1974 by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph – the son of a wealthy construction magnate and long-standing Conservative minister – to promote their insurgent right-wing views.


pages: 692 words: 127,032

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor

Managing the Unmanageable: Apollo, Space Age Management and American Social Problems. Space Policy 2008;24(3):158–165. http://si-pddr.si.edu/jspui/bitstream/10088/8213/1/Launius_2008_Managing_the_unmanageable.pdf. 19. Laursen, L. @ApolloPlus40—A Colossal Perversion. In the Field, Nature.com, July 7, 2009. http://blogs.nature.com/inthefield/2009/07/apolloplus40_a_colossal_perver.html. [blog] 20. Heppenheimer, T. A. Winter of Discontent. The Space Shuttle Decision. NASA History Series SP-4221. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1999. http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4221/ch4.htm. 21. Newport, F. Landing a Man on the Moon: The Public’s View. Gallup News Service, July 20, 1999. www.gallup.com/poll/3712/landing-man-moon-publics-view.aspx. 22. Pion, G., & Lipsey, M. Public Attitudes Toward Science and Technology: What Have the Surveys Told Us?


pages: 369 words: 120,636

Commuter City: How the Railways Shaped London by David Wragg

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Beeching cuts, British Empire, financial independence, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Louis Blériot, North Sea oil, railway mania, South Sea Bubble, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Winter of Discontent, yield management

Yet, on the Southern Region the often very short turn round times, especially during the morning and evening peak periods, meant that the promised seat reservations could not always be provided, especially at the busiest periods when this service was most appreciated and sought after by the traveller. Progressively, the brand was removed from these services, including even the Waterloo-Southampton-Bournemouth-Weymouth service, which over its entire length was considerably longer than London to Birmingham or Bristol. The period since the end of the Second World War had been marked by a consensus in British politics. This ended at the 1979 general election, when, spurred by a ‘winter of discontent’ that had seen the worst industrial unrest experienced in the UK since the year of the General Strike, the voters returned a Conservative administration under a new leader, Margaret Thatcher, determined to reverse the tide, with lower taxation, deregulation and denationalisation, although this latter policy was to be given the title of ‘privatisation’, probably justified by the fact that not only was the state to discard its own business interests, but so too were local authorities.


pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

agricultural Revolution, double helix, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

So in this discussion the dispute kept on seesawing between the idea that Mercury was the legitimate, or in any case agreed-upon, broker in the matter, and furthermore could make things difficult—and besides had things to offer Saturn—and the idea that the Mercurials were interlopers who had succeeded in imposing a protection racket on the new little settlements inside it, and so should be finessed out of the deal in this their winter of discontent. Ultimately the council came to a conclusion Wahram had foreseen hours before: as Wahram himself was so sympathetic to the Mercurials, he was to return there and see what the situation was, talk to the lion cubs and find out who the next Lion would be, and then also go visit the Vulcanoids and see what they had to say for themselves—see what they thought of the arrangement Mercury had proposed to Saturn.


pages: 506 words: 167,034

Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, dark matter, Donald Trump, Donner party, feminist movement, financial independence, invisible hand, Magellanic Cloud, placebo effect, Potemkin village, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, space pen, Stephen Hawking, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent

Hauck also revealed he had been told six months prior to the press release that he would command the return-to-flight mission but had been sworn to secrecy by Abbey. I wondered how many times during those six months other hopeful commanders had been in Rick’s company wondering aloud who would command STS-26, and Rick had pretended to wonder with them. Deep secrecy. It was Abbey’s style and it was killing astronaut morale. My winter of discontent continued. As we had anticipated, the lightweight SRB program was canceled and, along with it, all Vandenberg AFB shuttle operations were terminated. I would never see polar orbit. Challenger’s wreckage—all of it—was sealed in a pair of abandoned Cape Canaveral missile silos. It was another head-shaking moment for me. Pieces of the wreckage should have been retained for permanent display in key NASA locations as reminders of the cost of leadership and team failure.


pages: 768 words: 291,079

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Berlin Wall, British Empire, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, full employment, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, wage slave, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

Location of Noonan’s place of burial in Liverpool. Bloody Sunday shootings. Fred Ball’s One of the Damned: The Life and Times of Robert Tressell, Author of ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’. USA defeated in Vietnam. President Nixon resigns. Labour government elected under Harold Wilson and (1976–9) Jim Callaghan. Ceremony to mark Noonan’s grave with a memorial tomb- stone. Murder of Steve Biko. Chronology li 1978– Winter of Discontent. Margaret Thatcher becomes prime minister. Television play, Give Us This Day: The Life and Times of Robert Tressell, directed by Phil Mulloy, broadcast. Falklands War. Alan Bleasdale, The Boys from the Blackstuff. Stephen Lowe’s stage adaptation of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Famine in Ethiopia. Gorbachev calls for glasnost and perestroika. Anglo-Irish Agreement. Berlin Wall falls; collapse of Communist Eastern Europe begins.


pages: 1,280 words: 384,105

The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New SF by Gardner Dozois

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Columbine, congestion charging, dark matter, Doomsday Book, double helix, Extropian, gravity well, Mason jar, offshore financial centre, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent, Y2K

I had to admit, the smell that drifted in wasn’t good. Olivia crumpled her face up in real dismay. “That’s horrid, mum. What is it?” “Someone hasn’t tied up their bin bags properly.” The pile in the corner of De Beauvoir Square was getting ridiculously big. As more bags were flung on top, so the ones at the bottom split open. The SkyNews and News24 programs always showed them with comparison footage of the ’79 Winter of Discontent. “When are they going to clear it?” Steve asked. “Once a fortnight.” Though I’d heard on the quiet that nearly 10 percent of the army had already deserted, and that was before they had to provide civic utility assistance squads along with fire service cover, prison guard duties, engineering support to power stations, and invading Iraq. We’d be lucky if the pile was cleared every month.

Great Britain by David Else, Fionn Davenport

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Beeching cuts, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Attenborough, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, global village, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Mahatma Gandhi, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, place-making, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent

Successful songs like ‘Please, Please Me’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ ensure that pop band The Beatles becomes a household name in Britain, then America – then the world. 1970s Many immigrants of Asian origin arrive and settle in Britain, after being evicted by dictator Idi Amin from Uganda in East Africa – where they’d lived for generations since British colonial times. 1971 Britain adopts ‘decimal’ currency (1 pound equals 100 pence) and drops the ancient system of 1 pound equals 20 shillings or 240 pennies, the centuries-old bane of school maths lessons. 1978–79 The ‘Winter of Discontent’, the final nail in the coffin of a decade, is characterised by inflation, inept governments (on the left and right), trade union disputes, power blackouts, strikes and shortages. 1979 The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher, wins the general election, a major milestone in Britain’s 20th-century history, ushering in a decade of dramatic political and social change. 1982 Britain is victorious in its war against Argentina over the invasion of the Falkland Islands, boosting patriotism and leading to a bout of public flag-waving not seen since WWII, or probably since Agincourt. 1990 Mrs Thatcher is ousted as leader, and the Conservative Party enters a period of decline, thanks partly to the introduction of the hugely unpopular ‘poll tax’, but remains in power thanks to weak Labour opposition. 1997 After many years of Conservative government, the Labour party (now branded ‘New Labour’) under the leadership of Tony Blair wins the general election with a record-breaking parliamentary majority.

England by David Else

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, David Attenborough, David Brooks, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Mahatma Gandhi, new economy, New Urbanism, out of africa, place-making, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, unbiased observer, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent

Successful songs like ‘Please, Please Me’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ ensure The Beatles become household names in Britain, then America – then the world. 1971 Britain adopts the ‘decimal’ currency (1 pound equals 100 pence) and drops the ancient system of one pound equals 20 shillings or 240 pennies, the centuries-old bane of school maths lessons. 1970s Much of the decade is characterised by inflation, inept governments (on the left and right), trade union disputes, strikes, shortages and blackouts, culminating in the 1978/79 ‘Winter of Discontent’. 1979 A Conservative government lead by Margaret Thatcher wins the national election, a major milestone of Britain’s 20th-century history, ushering in a decade of dramatic political and social change. 1982 Britain is victorious in war against Argentina over the invasion of the Falkland Islands, boosting patriotism and leading to a bout of flag-waving not seen since WWII. 1990 Mrs Thatcher ousted as leader and the Conservative party enters a period of decline, thanks partly to the introduction of unpopular ‘poll tax’, but remains in power thanks to inept Labour opposition. 1997 The general election sees Tony Blair lead ‘New’ Labour to victory in the polls, with a record-breaking parliamentary majority, ending more than 20 years of Tory rule. 2003 Britain joins the US-led invasion of Iraq, initially with considerable support from the public and the opposition.