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Comrades in conflict

Labour, the trade unions and 1969's In Place of Strife

By Peter Dorey

Comrades in conflict

ALSO AVAILABLE IN OTHER FORMATS:

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Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4803-2
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: February 2020
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Labor & Industrial Relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, Humanities / British & Irish history, Economics, finance, business & management / Trade unions, Society & social sciences / Politics & government

Description

On the 50th anniversary of In Place of Strife, this scholarly study makes extensive use of previously unpublished archival and other primary sources to explain why Harold Wilson and Barbara Castle embarked on legislation to regulate the trade unions and curb strikes, and why this aroused such strong opposition, not just from the unions, but within the Cabinet and among backbench Labour MPs. This opposition transcended the orthodox ideological divisions, making temporary allies of traditional adversaries in the Party. Even Wilson's threats either to resign, or call a general election, if his MPs and Ministers failed to support him and Castle, were treated with derision. His colleagues called Wilson's bluff, and forced him to abandon the legislation, in return for a 'solemn and binding' pledge by the trade unions to 'put their own house in order' in tackling strikes.

Contents

List of tables
Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
Introduction
1 Emergence and Identification of the Problem
2 The Donovan Commission and its Report
3 The Initial Political response
4 Cabinet Demurrals and Diminishing Ministerial Support
5 Increasing Antipathy in the Parliamentary Labour Party
6 The Trade Unions' Implacable Hostility
7 A 'Solemn and Binding' Agreement
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

Author

Peter Dorey is Professor of British Politics in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University

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