Newly released cabinet papers from 1984
reveal mineworkers' union leader Arthur Scargill may have been right to claim there was a "secret hit-list" of more than 70 pits marked for closure.
The government and National Coal Board said at the time they wanted to close 20. But the documents reveal a plan to shut 75 mines over three years.
A key adviser to then-PM Margaret Thatcher denies any cover-up claims.
The miners' strike began in March 1984 and did not end until the next year. [more inside]
posted by marienbad
on Jan 3, 2014 -
Netflix House of Cards
series starring Kevin Spacey was a remake of a very popular British political thriller of the same name that aired during the 90's. The show begins
by tracking the dark political machinations and skullduggery of an urbane Chief Whip of the Conservative Party, who is conspiring to become Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher's resignation. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 11, 2013 -
How We Happened to Sell Off Our Electricity
is James Meek's dissection of the systematic re-privatisation of the UK power industry.
Are you an enemy of liberal principles if you question the fact that, when local electrical engineers dig up the roads in London, they’re working for East Asia’s richest man, the Hong Kong-based Li Ka-shing? In north-east England, they work for Warren Buffett; in Birmingham, Cardiff and Plymouth, the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company; in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool, Iberdrola; in Manchester, a consortium of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and a J.P. Morgan investment fund.
posted by scruss
on Jan 10, 2013 -
GBH was a seven-part British television drama written by Alan Bleasdale [previously1] [previously2] shown in the summer of 1991 on Channel 4. The protagonists were Michael Murray (played by Robert Lindsay), the Militant Labour leader of a city council in the North of England and Jim Nelson (played by Michael Palin), the headmaster of a school for disturbed children. The series was controversial partly because Murray appeared to be based on Derek Hatton, former Deputy Leader of Liverpool City Council - in an interview in the G.B.H. DVD Bleasdale recounts an accidental meeting with Hatton before the series, who indicates that he has caught wind of Bleasdale's intentions but does not mind as long as the actor playing him is "handsome". [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu
on Aug 29, 2010 -
Norman Strike is blogging the 1984-85 U.K. miners' strike.
From his account of the "Battle of Orgreave" (June 18, 1984)
: There was the coke works in the distance, squatting on the land and belching out smoke from Yorkshire coal. A black line of police spread across the yellow field in front, with horses to the rear and sides. . . . I began sprinting up the field, trying to avoid the slower lads. I made it to safety but was horrified at what I saw as I looked back down the field. Dogs were biting lads whilst others were being truncheoned by pigs and either led away or dragged away! It was a disgusting sight and one I never thought I’d see in this country. I’ll never forget it but worse was to follow.
posted by chinston
on Nov 5, 2009 -
New Documents from the Soviet Archives
reveal that as the Warsaw Pact was falling apart, Margaret Thatcher called Gorbachev to inform him that:
The reunification of Germany is not in the interests of Britain and Western Europe. It might look different from public pronouncements, in official communiqué at Nato meetings, but it is not worth paying ones attention to it. We do not want a united Germany. This would have led to a change to post-war borders and we can not allow that because such development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security.
In the same way, a destabilisation of Eastern Europe and breakdown of the Warsaw Pact are also not in our interests.
This backs up assertions from former German Chancellor Kohl's new memoir
that Thatcher put up obstacles to German Re-unification, fearing the rise of a Fourth Reich.
posted by empath
on Sep 10, 2009 -
The Mayfair Set [Google Video].
A BBC Documentary series on how City of London bankers systematically dismantled British industry from the 1960s-90s and removed the power of the state to protect people from the greed of the market
A thought provoking documentary from Adam Curtis
whose other documentaries The Power of Nightmares and The Century of the Self have been previously
discussed and well received on Mefi.
It is almost four hours long but well worth the effort.
posted by ClanvidHorse
on Dec 2, 2006 -
Flashback: Margaret Thatcher writes about Ronald Reagan.
President Reagan saw instinctively that pessimism itself was the disease and that the cure for pessimism is optimism. He set about restoring faith in the prospects of the American dream — a dream of boundless opportunity built on enterprise, individual effort, and personal generosity. He infused his own belief in America's economic future in the American people. That was farsighted. It carried America through the difficult early days of the 1981-82 recession, because people are prepared to put up with sacrifices if they know that those sacrifices are the foundations of future prosperity.
posted by David Dark
on Jun 7, 2004 -
Man Beheads (statue of) Margaret Thatcher. His "sense of 'satirical humour' left him no choice but to carry out the attack" on the £150,000 Maggie as 'artistic expression and [his] right to interact with this broken world.' Jury fails to convict
and a retrial is scheduled. Perhaps there is a creative solution
to replacing the head?
posted by Shane
on Dec 18, 2002 -
Another Prime Minister kisses ass.
Maggie tells us to git 'em, because "it is best that the United States, as the only global military superpower, deploy its energies militarily rather than on social work." (NYT)
posted by swift
on Feb 12, 2002 -