Thatcher and the Miners Strike

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Qua008
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Was the miners strike a success for Thatcher ?

She called them "the enemy within" and the 1984-85 miners' strike was the most divisive confrontation of Margaret Thatcher's 11 years in power. In a strike that lasted for a year it pitched striking miners against the police, family members and communities against each other and even saw Britain's security services and foreign governments.

The strikes resulted in Mrs Thatcher's status as an unrivalled hate figure for British trade unionists and left-wingers.During the strikes people lost their lives: six pickets, four teenagers looking for coal and a taxi driver taking a non-striking miner to work.More than 11,000 arrests were made and more than 8,000 people were charged, mostly for breach of the peace. But one must argue that despite this public unrest the strike did end in a humiliating way for the strikers and was a success for the conservatives and Thatcher.

Maggie said she had seen the strike coming since 1974, when the miners had brought down Edward Heath's Conservative government. Therefore in order to combat this she made plans. She had avoided a miners' strike in 1981 by backing down because coal stocks were low. But after her crushing defeat of Michael Foot's Labour Party in the 1983 general election, she knew a strike was inevitable. The strike was over plans by the National Coal Board to close dozens of uneconomic pits and stem financial losses running into billions. But Thatcher had implemented he plans to combat the miners.

However Thatcher had seen this and recently appointed Ian MacGregor as the board's chairman, after he earned a reputation as an industrial hard man by transforming the fortunes of British Steel and halving the workforce in two years.Anticipating a strike, Mr MacGregor with Mrs Thatchers orders fromEnergy Secretaries Nigel Lawson and then Peter Walker built up…...

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