Winter of Discontent – 1978-79 Britain

In the winter of 1978-79 in Britain, strikes crippled the entire country, stopping food deliveries, medical services, and even proper burial of the dead. The recently elected prime minister Margaret Thatcher stated, “We’ve seen picketing that threatens to bring the country to its knees—emptying our shops, endangering our farms, closing our factories, taking our jobs. Picketing was meant to be about ‘peaceful persuasion’ at the scene of the dispute. The result of recent legislation and practice is that today almost any determined group can strangle the country.. What we do not have are the right conditions, the incentive for success. It is this incentive we must and can create. But to do so we must first stop tearing ourselves apart.. We have to learn again to be one nation, or one day we shall be no nation. If we have learnt that lesson from these first dark days of 1979, then we have learnt something of value.”


The Myth of the 20th Century – Episode 144 – Winter of Discontent – 1978-79 Britain

— References —

– The Commanding Heights, Yergin (2002)
– Team America: World Police, Parker (2004)
– The Thick of It, Iannucci (2005)
– In the Loop, Iannucci (2009)
– Like the Roman – Enoch Powell – 50 Years of Blood, Myth of the 20th Century (2018) –
– Combination Acts, United Kingdom [1799-1800] –
– Trade Union Act 1871 –


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Earl Shetland says:

    Great episode. I like that you guys are a bit more relaxed in the beginnings now – and the aughts were indeed a horrible decade.

    I think there was a missed opportunity to close it all out with “Do They Owe Us a Living” by Crass, though.


  2. DadRock says:

    Semi-related: an episode on hardcore punk from the late 70s to now, how it was de-fanged as a reactionary threat by boomer(CIA?) publications like Maximum Rock N’ Roll.

    Liked by 1 person

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