We shall not be moved

How Liverpool's working class fought redundancies, closures and cuts in the age of Thatcher

By Brian Marren

We shall not be moved


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3296-3
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £21.00
  • Published Date: May 2018
  • BIC Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy, Society & social sciences / Social classes, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Politics, Political economy, Politics & government, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes


The city of Liverpool had frequently been prone to industrial unrest for most of its recent history, but it was the dawn of Thatcher and the sanctioning of neoliberal economic strategies which made Liverpool a nucleus of resistance against the encroaching tide of right-wing politics and sweeping de-industrialisation. This critique explores six case studies which will illustrate how elements of a highly politicised local working-class fought against the rapid rise in forced redundancies and industrial closures. Some of their responses included strikes, factory occupations, the organisation and politicisation of the unemployed, consent to radical left-wing municipal politics, as well as tacit endorsement a period of violent civil unrest. This critique concludes that in the range, intensity and use of innovative tactics deployed during these conflicts, Liverpool was distinctive.


'Overall, Brian Marren has produced a very good book which for many years to come, will certainly contribute to the debate about political activism during the Thatcher years. Furthermore, through the gradual release of government archives and as historians begin to research the 1980s in greater depth, this study will in no doubt, feature in a number of books and articles about Liverpool and the Merseyside region, especially when reflecting how far the city has travelled and progressed over the past few decades.'
Neil Pye, University of Huddersfield, Labour History Review


1. Unravelling of the post-war consensus and the peculiarities of Liverpool
2. Employment and unemployment on Merseyside, 1945-98
3. British Leyland's closure of the Triumph TR7 Plant in Speke: 'The Shape of Things to Come'?
4. The TGWU 6/612 Branch for the Unemployed: Working-Class Politicisation and Mobilisation
5. The Toxteth Riots, 1981: unemployed youth take to the streets
6. The Militant Tendency and the Liverpool City Council's fight to save 'jobs and services', 1983-86
7. Sit-ins and factory occupations: a case study of Cammell Laird Shipyards
8. The Liverpool Dock Strike of 1995-98: the end of the line?


Brian Marren is an Independent Researcher specialising in the social and labour history of Contemporary Britain

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