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The Winter of DiscontentMyth, Memory, and History$
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Tara Martin López

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380291

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380291.001.0001

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The Winter of Discontent: Causes and Context

The Winter of Discontent: Causes and Context

(p.26) 2 The Winter of Discontent: Causes and Context
The Winter of Discontent

Tara Martin López

Liverpool University Press

The chapter uncovers the major economic, political, social, and cultural causes of the Winter of Discontent. The author addresses key global and national shifts in the late 1960s and 1970s that precipitated the events of late 1978 and 1979. The chapter discusses how these broader pressures occurred at a time when the British workforce and trade union movement were changing, with women, black, and Asian workers playing a more important and assertive role that would prefigure centrally into the conflicts of the Winter of Discontent. Furthermore, grassroots movements, inspired by politics like that of Socialist feminists, on the Left clashed with the Croslandite politics on the Right of the Labour Party. Furthermore, the chapter details how Margaret Thatcher successfully began to lead a reconfiguration of Conservative Party politics in the 1970s that was poised to exploit these political fractures between the Labour Party and the British trade union movement on the eve of the Winter of Discontent in 1978.

Keywords:   Winter of Discontent, Socialist feminists, Women workers, Black workers, Asian workers, Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Party

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