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Crisis? What Crisis?: Re-assessing the British 'winter of discontent' 1978-1979
11 September 2014
14:00 Talks Room
Over thirty years later, the 'winter of discontent' of 1978-1979 still resonates in British politics. On 22 January 1979, 1.5 million workers were on strike. Industrial unrest swept Britain in an arctic winter. Militant shop stewards blocked medical supplies to hospitals; mountains of rubbish remained uncollected; striking road hauliers almost brought the country to a standstill; even the dead were left unburied. Within weeks the Callaghan Government lost the 1979 election and Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister. Professor John Shepherd explores the origins, character and impact of a turbulent period of industrial unrest in British history when diplomatic relations between government and unions broke down.
John Shepherd is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Huddersfield and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is the author of Crisis? What Crisis? The Callaghan Government and the British 'Winter of Discontent' (Manchester University Press, 2013). Currently, he is writing the biography of Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Labour Party Policy Review Co-ordinator.
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This event is part of our themed programme. Diplomacy is at the heart of all human interaction. Whether between international states and colonies, monarchs and their ministers, the major players in the theatres of war, kith and kin, or friends and enemies: diplomacy - or lack of it - will play its part. This programme of events aims to reflect the broad spectrum of interpretations of historical diplomacy and the art of peace-making.
Sponsored by the Friends of The National Archives.
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