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Tema: Storbritannien 1945-1979

Storbritannien 1945-1979
Dave Sewell: 1972 – when tenants struck
Socialist Worker nr. 2356, jun 13 – side 14
Note: Mass workers’ resistance and rent strikes in the 1970s showed how to beat attacks on tenants—despite betrayals by Labour and union leaders.
Martin Upchurch: Protest-movements: Remembering the Bristol bus boycott
Socialist Review nr. 380, maj 13 – side 21
Note: Fifty years ago this month a few committed activists from Bristol's 3,000-strong black community launched a remarkable and ultimately successful campaign.
Keith Flett: A class that made itself
Socialist Review nr. 379, apr 13 – side 16
Note: Socialist historian E P Thompson’s classic book The Making of the English Working Class was first published 50 years ago. Keith Flett takes a look at this seminal work of labour history that placed workers at the centre of making their own history.
Julian Alford: A trade union whodunit
International Socialism Journal nr. 133, jan 12 – side 220
Note: Alan Thornett, Militant Years: Car Worker Struggles in Britain in the 60s and 70s (Resistance Books, 2011), £12
1972 – when building workers shut down the country
Socialist Worker nr. 2274, okt 11 – side 8
Note: In 1972 over 300,000 building workers struck across Britain over pay and contracts.
Simon Basketter: Winter of discontent: How strikers took on the British state – and won
Socialist Worker nr. 2183, jan 10 – side 3
Note: This is the story told in government papers about the ‘Winter of discontent’ in 1978-79, released under the “30-year rule”, explains Simon Basketter.
John Basketter: Documents reveal Labour government was prepared to crush discontent
Socialist Worker nr. 2134, jan 09 – side 12
Note: Thirty years ago James Callaghan’s Labour government was prepared to use troops to break strikes over pay.
Ken Olende: The Notting Hill riot and a carnival of defiance
Socialist Worker nr. 2115, aug 08 – side 13
Note: Resistance to a vicious race riot in west London fifty years ago this week inspired the creation of the Notting Hill Carnival, writes Ken Olende.
Matthew Cookson: Labour in crisis: Nye Bevan’s capitulation and the left’s defeat
Socialist Worker nr. 2104, jun 08 – side 6
Note: In the second part of our series Matthew Cookson looks at the battle in the Labour Party in the 1950s.
Sabby Sagall: Ford machinists’ strike, 1968: An inspiring strike for women’s rights
Socialist Worker nr. 2104, jun 08 – side 6
Note: In 1968 Rose Boland, the leading steward in the Ford machinists’ strike was interviewed for Socialist Worker by Sabby Sagall. Here he recalls the importance of the dispute and we reprint an edited version of the interview.
Which way now for the left?
Socialist Worker nr. 2102, maj 08 – side 8
Note: Gordon Brown has concluded that his trashing in local elections earlier this month means that Labour needs to move further to the right. Socialist Worker spoke to a range of leading figures and activists on the left to gauge their response, and to ask them what needs to be done.
Simon Basketter: Enoch Powell and racism
Socialist Worker nr. 2097, apr 08 – side 13
Note: Simon Basketter looks back at the impact of the infamous 1968 “Rivers of Blood” speech.
Chris Harman: In Perspective: Workers' unity in the face of Enoch Powell's racism
Socialist Review nr. 324, apr 08 – side 13
Note: Socialists watched in despair when dockers and building workers marched in support of Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech. But the tide turned and a few years later dockers were marching for Grunwick strikers.
Lewisham 1977: the day we turned the tide on the Nazi National Front
Socialist Worker nr. 2064, aug 07 
Note: Thirty years ago this week the apparently unstoppable rise of the Nazi National Front (NF) met a serious challenge. On Saturday 13 August 1977 a Nazi march through Lewisham in south London faced a counter demonstration by thousands of anti-fascists. The fascists’ march was stopped.
Simon Basketter: Book Review: David Kynaston: Austerity Britain, 1945-1951
Socialist Review nr. 315, jun 07 – side 28
Note: "Dreariness is everywhere," wrote one schoolteacher in 1948. "Streets are deserted, lighting is dim, people's clothes are shabby and their tables bare." David Kynaston's history of the period from 1945 to 1951 is full of anecdotes recorded in diaries and letters, and from the Mass Observation archive. It is both the book's strength and its weakness. He says he aims to tell "the story of ordinary citizens as well as ministers and mandarins".
John Newsinger: Been here before
International Socialism Journal nr. 111, jun 06 – side 179
Note: A review of Stephen G Rabe: "US Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story" (University of North Carolina Press, 2005), £14.50
Martin Smith: The jubilee: No future in England's dream (punk music)
Socialist Review nr. 264, jun 02 – side 18
Note: Punk was the perfect antidote to the 1977 jubilee, says Martin Smith, because it stuck two fingers up to the establishment.
Dave Renton: Past its peak (N Branson: "History of the Communist Party of Great Britain 1941-1951")
International Socialism Journal nr. 77, dec 97 – side 127
Note: Dave Renton discloses the history of the Communist Party in wartime.
John Saville: Britain, the Marshall Plan and the Cold War
International Socialism Journal nr. 46, mar 90 – side 143
Note: M J Hogan: “The Marshall Plan, America, Britain, and the reconstruction of Western Europe, 1947-1952” + P Weiler: “British Labour and the Cold War” + H Pelling: “Britain and the Marshall Plan”)
John Saville, one of the best known Marxist historians whose most recent book is 1848-the British State and the Chartist Movement, turns his attention to the roots of the Cold War and the Marshall Plan. His timely review article gives us a chance to look back at the origins of a period that now seems to be passing away.
Gareth Jenkins: A winter's tale
Socialist Review nr. 117, feb 89 – side 14
Note: Why did the Tories win the election in May 1979? One common explanation is that the "winter of discontent", which took place ten years ago, was the cause – that militant trade unionism must inevitabley cost Labour elections. Gareth Jenkins argues otherwise
Geoff Ellen: Labour and strikebreaking 1945-51
International Socialism Journal nr. 24, jun 84 – side 45
Dave Beecham: The ruling class offensive
International Socialism Journal nr. 7, dec 79 – side 1
Note: Dave Beecham takes a look behind the enemy’s lines in the class struggle in Britain today.
Chris Harman: Merseyside: The testing ground
Socialist Review nr. 1, apr 78 – side 10
Note: Seven or eight years ago people on the left used to talk about Merseyside as the ‘Petrograd’ of Britain. It was the greatest centre of the militancy that broke through the last Labour government pay policy in 1969-70 and rocked the Tory government in 1972.
Notes of the Month: Three Months on the Streets
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 101, sep 77 – side 3
Note: THE MOOD has begun to change. After three years of Social Contract workers are moving into struggle. The signs are everywhere. Consider Grunwick’s.
The Cuts: Introduction
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 99, jun 77 – side 15
Note: 3 YEARS ago when Qwen Evans and Lucy Dyer, ancillaries at Poplar Hospital, talked their way into the ship repair yards, past the dock gates and into the sweatshops of the Isle of Dogs to try and organise resistance to the closure of their hospital by the people who used it, they didn’t realise they were pioneers.
Wayne Asher: Notes of the Month: Powellism, Racism and the Conservative Party Today
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 87, apr 76 – side 6
Note: Eight years ago, on 20 April, Enoch Powell made his most famous speech on race relations, in which he predicted ‘rivers of blood’ if black immigration were not halted. The speech received amazing publicity, making headlines in most papers of any importance and receiving support from many. Overnight the race issues moved to the centre of the political stage as, to the glee of the ruling class, economic issues took a back seat. It set off a phenomenon as militant London dockers struck in support.
Mike Jones: England: Minearbejderstrejken
Proletar! nr. 8, maj 74 – side 16
Editorial: Incomes Policy
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 36, apr 69 – side 1
Note: ‘Industrial relations are in a bad way and will not be improved unless the trade-union leadership is subjected to heavy pressure.’ (Andrew Schonfield, member of the Donovan Commission, quoted in The Observer, 19th January 1969.)
Ever since the British ruling class began discussing ‘incomes policy’ seriously, it has been clear that legislation restricting the right to strike must follow. The White Paper (humorously entitled In Place of Strife) is therefore no surprise. Its proposals make sense in relation to the government’s general wage-freeze strategy.
Martin Shaw: Survey: LSE: Lockout and After
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 36, apr 69 – side 9
Note: On 24th January the students at the London School of Economics tore down steel gates erected to control sit-ins and occupations, bringing on themselves a three and a half week closure of the School in which police and law courts were used by the LSE authorities against the students. Although the authorities have now been forced to open the college, legal and disciplinary action is still (at the beginning of March) under way against some staff and students. Students are still faced with a long fight against these measures.
Jim Kincaid: Survey: Welfare: Pensions Plans
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 36, apr 69 – side 11
Note: After many promises, the government’s major review of social security which began in 1964 came to eventual fruition in a White Paper on old age pensions which appeared in January 1969. Never was reformism so creeping. The higher pensions proposed will not come fully into effect until 20 years after the inception of the new scheme – i.e. probably not before 1992. No one who is over the age of 42 will get a fully matured earnings related pension. No proposals are made for alleviating the poverty of existing pensioners.
Duncan Hallas: Survey: Teachers
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 36, apr 69 – side 13
Note: When in February, a special conference of the National Union of Teachers voted by 130,000 to 90,000 to accept the employer’s final salaries offer it voted to accept, without protest, a cut in real wages for the majority of its members. The increase offered and accepted was 6 per cent on the basic scale to operate from 1st April 1969 until 31st March 1971. A 9 per cent increase was needed to restore the purchasing power of the basic scale to the level of 1st April 1967!
Dave Purdy: Prospects for British Capitalism
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 36, apr 69 – side 29
Note: The road to socialism is paved with bad predictions. Cautious realism and millenarian optimism tend to succeed each other in the socialist movement in a way which is itself almost predictable, in as much as this political prognostication cycle seems to be inversely related to currently held intuitions about the economic prospects for Western capitalism.
Editorial: The Cuts
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 32, mar 68 – side 1
Note: The paths of Britain’s retreat from classical colonialism and Labour’s retreat from reformism and Social Democracy converged on 16 January when the Government announced its package of measures to make devaluation ‘work.’ The successive measures are all directed at the same aim: to cut back the real income of the majority of the population.
Ian Macdonald: The Notebook: GLC Rents
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 32, mar 68 – side 4
Note: The Greater London Council is Britain’s biggest landlord. There are about 242,000 tenants involved. On 7 December last year, the chairman of the GLC Housing Committee announced the Tories’ new rent scheme.
Martin Barker: The Merseyside Building Workers’ Movement – A Case History
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 32, mar 68 – side 24
Note: For almost its entire history, Merseyside has been dominated by one industry: the docks. Associated with this is a peculiar sensitivity to economic fluctuations, especially when the industry is one that uses casual labour, and is essentially a transport industry. Merseyside has long been prone, therefore, to unemployment well above the national average. There are, at the time of writing, over 4,000 building workers alone on the dole, and because of the seasonal nature of the work, this figure can be much higher in winter.
Nigel Harris: The Decline of Welfare
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 7, dec 61 – side 5
Note: It is not inevitable that in a class-society widespread poverty must exist, but historically in Britain it has seemed almost inevitable.

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