Friday, 17 September 2010

The Domino Theory

I caught the tail end of Alan Davies Teenage Revolution on Channel 4 last night.  This section concentrated upon the 1984 miners strike.  He talked of attending various fundraising events as well as some criminal damage to a local Tory office before discussing the strike with Lord Tebbit of Chingford.

As a young teenager the Miners Strike was something I had sympathy for.  My father had been a trade unionist and it ultimately led to him being targeted by the management for redundancy. Living in a working class neighbourhood the fear of job loss in the 1980's was tangible (as was high unemployment) so people doing what they could to save their jobs was fully understandable.  Also northern working class culture of bands and banners was something at an basic level made identification easy - they looked like the community I came from.

There was also an interesting fourth aspect - the domino theory.  The Ulster Loyalist belief was that the 'establishment'/Tories had set out to destroy the power of two groups in the 1970's - the miners and the Unionist community in Northern Ireland.  They had failed but they would be back.  So the success and failure of the miners would have political consequences for us - 'If they lose, we're next'.  The Miners Strike ended in defeat in March 1985. The Anglo-Irish Agreement was imposed in November 1985 and like the miners, Unionists failed to defeat it.

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