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Were the Unions too powerful before Thatcher? Watch

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    The unions were far too powerful before Thatcher. To put it simply they believed that government was their to serve their members and after a string of disasters and capitulations in 1978/1979 the unions went for a winter strike before an election and inadvertently signed their own death warrant as the Tories saw an opportunity and struck Labour down with a VoNC. For the next few years there was a kind of resentment with not much happening before in 1984 Scargill took the miners out without a ballot and in doing so put the unions in the hangman's noose as Thatcher declared open warfare and launched an overwhelming assault on the unions.

    I've made it sound dramatic but the unions at the time deserved everything they got, we elect the politicians to rule us and not the unions.
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    (Original post by sammynorton90)
    I've heard he's on 150k a year, dunno how true it is.

    Union top guys are on good money. Why do you think they were so annoyed with the reduction in union membership? It reduced jobs for the boys.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Well, do you think the country today would put up with any other industry insiders turning up at No.10 for beer and sandwiches and telling the elected leaders how they would allow them to run the country?

    Would you scream bloody murder in the same way you do when there is the slightest hint of any sort of rich person having the slightest link with DC?

    If you keep track of the media it looks like the unions will try to sabotage this fledgling recovery in a sinister blackmail attempt of a general strike.
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    I think it's almost universally accepted that they were...
    The country was continuously brought to a halt due to strikes. Strikes vs strikes!

    The only people who may disagree are those who blindly refuse to accept that any good was done under the Thatcher government.
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    I'd rather millions of people were powerful than a handful of zillionaires (Barclay brothers, Philip Green etc)

    Unemployment was less than 6% when Thatcher came to power, and was higher when she left office.
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    (Original post by Fusion)
    I'd rather millions of people were powerful than a handful of zillionaires (Barclay brothers, Philip Green etc)

    Unemployment was less than 6% when Thatcher came to power, and was higher when she left office.
    And how many were employed in jobs that were essentially welfare under a different label? There was a reason a lot of people lost their jobs through privitisation. All of the national industries were bloated beyond belief and that's how Labour had artificially kept the unemployment figures low. By hiring 4 men to do the job of 1 at the expense of the tax payer.
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    And how many were employed in jobs that were essentially welfare under a different label? There was a reason a lot of people lost their jobs through privitisation. All of the national industries were bloated beyond belief and that's how Labour had artificially kept the unemployment figures low. By hiring 4 men to do the job of 1 at the expense of the tax payer.

    And let's also not forget the fact that you weren't allowed to do many jobs unless you were a member of the union.
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    Yes defiantly. The unelected unions were holding the country to ransom as they were demanding unrealistic wage rises, particularly considering that much of their industry was held up by unsustainable subsidies.

    While she should have found sustainable re-employment for all of those made redundant following the closure of the pits and factories, and also ensure the new jobs were across a spread of industries not just in the service industry but in new manufacturing and engineering (like Germany and look how it has faired significantly better in the recession).

    I think today's politicians should be very wary of trying to emulate Mrs. Thatcher, but on this issue her tough stance may have seemed radical at the time (considering previous governments had tried to reach a settlement), but history vindicates her choice to crush the unions.

    And I think Bob Crowe and his jumped mates at the RMT could do with a bit of this treatment (he is on £145,000 a year and lives in a council house which he pays £150 a week for).
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    (Original post by Fusion)
    I'd rather millions of people were powerful than a handful of zillionaires (Barclay brothers, Philip Green etc)

    Unemployment was less than 6% when Thatcher came to power, and was higher when she left office.
    And unions are supposed to disperse power?
    Most union members had no say in how they were run. In fact they still don't; votes are rarely given to ordinary members...
    Yeah, democratic :rolleyes:

    I'm not sure what unemployment has to do with anything in this context...
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    The unions were far too powerful before Thatcher. To put it simply they believed that government was their to serve their members and after a string of disasters and capitulations in 1978/1979 the unions went for a winter strike before an election and inadvertently signed their own death warrant as the Tories saw an opportunity and struck Labour down with a VoNC. For the next few years there was a kind of resentment with not much happening before in 1984 Scargill took the miners out without a ballot and in doing so put the unions in the hangman's noose as Thatcher declared open warfare and launched an overwhelming assault on the unions.

    I've made it sound dramatic but the unions at the time deserved everything they got, we elect the politicians to rule us and not the unions.
    unfortunately she bashed the union members in order to beat the union leaders, it's not correct to think all union members in the 70s and 80s were hardened communists, a lot of them were really getting fed up with being on strike all the time tbh. (union leaders get paid during strikes, union members don't)
    There was a lot of entryism from the hard left in the unions and the labour party in that period, which no one ever seems to mention here.
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    Yeh, trade unions are a good idea only if their purpose is what they are now, bar the RMT.

    Trade unions who pretty much ran the workforce have history of ruining economies, see Pre-Thatcher, and Weimar Germany
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    'There's no such thing as society'
    Does much more need to be said?
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    (Original post by TBFL)
    'There's no such thing as society'
    Does much more need to be said?
    isnt that the quote that was taken out of context that left wingers abused?
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    (Original post by Jordan-James)
    isnt that the quote that was taken out of context that left wingers abused?

    That'll be the misquoted one.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Well, they were elected, and as a member, if you didn't vote for the 'right person' you were ostracised.

    I believe it was Thatcher who brought in the secret ballot for the trades unions...
    if the person was talking about the undemocratic EU they were spot on
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    Yes the Unions were too powerful, but now things have swung too far in the other direction.

    Ironically due to the EU (a socialist organisation) employees don't have a leg to stand on anymore. It's relatively easy to demand higher wages and better working conditions when you can restrict the supply of labour because employers have nobody else to turn to in the event of a strike, but when you have an open door immigration policy to 500 million Europeans (many of whom live in extreme poverty) workers can be replaced at a drop of a hat. This acts as a brake on pay increases.

    But the modern 'vibrant' left have no time for something as mundane as the British working class anymore, they're too busy quaffing cappachinos and freting over the state of Africa.
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    (Original post by sammynorton90)
    I've heard he's on 150k a year, dunno how true it is.
    The cracked bit is that he's still living in a subsidised council house.
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    (Original post by TBFL)
    'There's no such thing as society'
    Does much more need to be said?
    Yes. The entire paragraph which surrounded the words, really, if you want to avoid taking a quote (which was rephrased by the author of the article) out of context.
    Spoiler:
    Show

    I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government's job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and[fo 29] there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation and it is, I think, one of the tragedies in which many of the benefits we give, which were meant to reassure people that if they were sick or ill there was a safety net and there was help, that many of the benefits which were meant to help people who were unfortunate—“It is all right. We joined together and we have these insurance schemes to look after it”. That was the objective, but somehow there are some people who have been manipulating the system and so some of those help and benefits that were meant to say to people: “All right, if you cannot get a job, you shall have a basic standard of living!” but when people come and say: “But what is the point of working? I can get as much on the dole!” You say: “Look” It is not from the dole. It is your neighbour who is supplying it and if you can earn your own living then really you have a duty to do it and you will feel very much better!”


    What the quote means in context is that there is no notional entity called 'society' which pays the benefits bill. Real people pay that bill, and anyone who takes benefits takes them not from society, but from real people. The analogous phrase of Thatcher's was 'There is no such thing as government money, there is only taxpayer's money.'
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    (Original post by Jordan-James)
    Yep and Bob Crowes still too powerful today.
    How is he too powerful? TfL is perfectly welcome to make all the train drivers redundant if they want.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    Ironically due to the EU (a socialist organisation)
    It's a socialist organisation? That must be why free trade and privatisation of state industries is written into its very DNA :^_^:

    It's relatively easy to demand higher wages and better working conditions when you can restrict the supply of labour because employers have nobody else to turn to in the event of a strike, but when you have an open door immigration policy to 500 million Europeans (many of whom live in extreme poverty) workers can be replaced at a drop of a hat. This acts as a brake on pay increases.
    Except that only workers at the very bottom of the labour market can be replaced at the drop of a hat. Of course, you're always going to scapegoat immigrants, rather than admit complicity in the ongoing attack on unions.

    Just like foxholes and atheists, everyone becomes pro-union when they receive a redundancy notice.
 
 
 
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