Marching to the Fault Line: The Miners Strike and the Battle for Industrial Britain

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Each item is then priced, photographed and listed on this site by our amazing team of volunteers from across the country. Follow Me On. This was a brilliant move as she knew how unpopular they had been and feared that using them could be perceived as an attack by the government on the working class which could in turn have pushed other trade unions or non-striking miners to join the strike in a united front against the government. University of Sunderland. After the —85 strike and the subsequent closure of most of Britain's coal mines, it became a much smaller union.

Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Marching to the Fault Line by Francis Beckett ,. David Hencke. The Miners' strike was one of the defining moments in modern British history. Leading journalists David Hencke and Francis Beckett had unrivalled access to key government and union players at the heart of the story; they have also uncovered material that the powerful would have liked to remain secret.

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The Miners Strike - 1984

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Editorial Reviews. Review. The full tragic story of the miners' strike in a page-turning read Marching to the Fault Line: The Miners' Strike and the Battle for Industrial Britain - Kindle edition by David Hencke, Francis Beckett. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like . Marching to the Fault Line: The Miners' Strike and the Battle for Industrial Britain eBook: David Hencke, Francis Beckett: biakanuadewatch.ml: Kindle Store.

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Marching to the Fault Line

Sort order. May 01, Nicki rated it really liked it. I thought I would hate this because of all the politics. I found that I really enjoyed the book and I feel the author critised both sides fairly. What is disheartening is the fact whole communities were ripped apart and even today they are still suffering from the aftershocks of Thatcher's government. She may have been a strong woman but a lot of people suffered under her government.

It also didn't help that Labour didn't do anything to help the miners and since the miner's strike they have move I thought I would hate this because of all the politics. It also didn't help that Labour didn't do anything to help the miners and since the miner's strike they have moved away to the right and distanced themselves from the unions. Apr 13, Kahn rated it really liked it. As the old adage goes, the victor gets to write the history - and so it is that history tells us Thatcher smashed the unions and freed Britain, putting us on a path of unparalleled prosperity. She didn't, but hey - she won, she writes the version.

From previously unreleased documents, interviews and first-hand accounts of what happened, Beckett and Hencke have done their best at explaining just what happened - and what the repercu As the old adage goes, the victor gets to write the history - and so it is that history tells us Thatcher smashed the unions and freed Britain, putting us on a path of unparalleled prosperity. It's not a complete account, sadly, as the one man who could explain some of the odder actions of the miners - Arthur Scargill - still refuses to speak to the media, seemingly convinced they will warp his words.

At the conference, Heathfield told delegates in his opening address: "I hope that we are sincere and honest enough to recognise that a ballot should not be used and exercised as a veto to prevent people in other areas defending their jobs. Replying to that debate, I said: "This battle is certainly about more than the miners' union. It is for the right to work. The question has to be asked: what would a national ballot have achieved? By all accounts the vote would have been close, and if it had come out in favour of the strike, most of the miners in Nottinghamshire would probably have carried on working anyway.

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The question of the ballot was one that was used by the Tory government, the Tory press and the union leaders to attack and discredit the strike, but there was little real substance in the argument. Miners leader Arthur Scargill on the picket line at Ollerton early in the strike. The other great question raised in the book was whether or not there was ever a chance of a settlement. Did Scargill toss away the chance of a compromise solution?

There were, as the authors point out, two critical moments when it seemed that the Tory government might lose, when the dockers came out over the unloading of a coal boat with non-registered labour in July , and when NACODS, the union of the pit under-managers voted by 4 to 1 to join the strike in October.

Had either of these disputes been linked to the miners strike and pursued with vigour by the TUC and the unions individually, the government would have been forced to settle.

In the event, both disputes were quickly settled over the heads of the miners with lots of cash. The book deals with this question in some detail, describing the confusion and panic of the NCB and the Government, and the disastrous implication for the government if NACODS had joined the strike. The conclusion? In reality the strike to save the mining industry and jobs was, whether the authors like it or not, a challenge to government, a political strike that could not have been won by the miners alone. It was the moment when the plans of the government collided with the expectations of the masses, of all the people.

It posed the question of power — of who rules Britain. To draw the lessons of this extraordinary strike is vital.

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It was not a one-off dispute to be filed away, forgotten or marvelled at. Mass unemployment is back, as the global economy crashes. What faces us all today is far worse than the recession of the s. The right to a job, as a principle, again takes on a political character and again becomes a challenge to the rule of capitalism itself. Constable and Robinson. A welcome article on the miners' strike and the book by Beckett and Hencke.

I have one criticism - your comment that the book's attack on Scargill is in line with the Communist Party's "accepted wisdom". Sadly, I think that some key members of that party did betray Scargill and the NUM, but the main reason for the miner's defeat was the failure of the Labour movement as a whole and the Labour Party's leaders in particular to support the strike.

But to say that the Communist Party - at least the one represented by The Morning Star - still takes such a reactionary view does not fit the facts as I see them. Andrew Murray, who was reporter and editor on that paper during the strike, published a review of Beckett and Henke's book Morning Star Online March 13th 09 which was at least as scathing of it as yours and defended Scargill to the hilt. It was vitreolic enough to prompt those authors to respond in the same paper.

On picket lines the miners faced harassment and the police, which culminated in the violent Battle of Orgreave. Meanwhile Thatcher's government feared that Britain was on the verge of a civil war. It was a struggle of attrition that neither side could dare lose. Twenty five years after the strike, the debate is still controversial. Marching to the Faultline tells the full story of the strike from confidential cabinet meetings at Downing Street to backroom negotiations, and life on the picket line. The book draws on previously unseen sources from interviews with the major figures, private archives and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act to set the record straight.

Well researched, full of vital insights and written with a sense of pace that does justice to the tragic drama.