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Scottish Coal Miners in the Twentieth Century$
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Jim Phillips

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474452311

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474452311.001.0001

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Campaigning for Jobs and Communities in the 1980s

Campaigning for Jobs and Communities in the 1980s

(p.229) Chapter 7 Campaigning for Jobs and Communities in the 1980s
Scottish Coal Miners in the Twentieth Century

Jim Phillips

Edinburgh University Press

The 1984-85 miners’ strike in defence of collieries, jobs and communities was an unsuccessful attempt to reverse the change in economic direction driven in the UK by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative governments. The government was committed to removing workforce voice from the industry. Its struggle against the miners was a war against the working class more generally. Mining communities were grievously affected in economic terms by the strike and its aftermath, but in the longer run emerged with renewed solidarity. Gender relations, evolving from the 1960s as employment opportunities for women increased, changed in further progressive ways. This strengthened the longer-term cohesion of mining communities. The strike had a more general and lasting political impact in Scotland. The narrative of a distinct Scottish national commitment to social justice, attacked by a UK government without democratic mandate, drew decisive moral force from the anti-Thatcherite resistance of men and women in the coalfields. This renewed the campaign for a Scottish Parliament, which came to successful fruition in 1999.

Keywords:   Mining communities, Miners’ strike, Gender relations, Scottish Parliament, Thatcherism

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