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Wales since 1939$
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Martin Johnes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086663

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086663.001.0001

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‘Black Times.’ The Passing of Labour, 1966–85

‘Black Times.’ The Passing of Labour, 1966–85

(p.245) 9 ‘Black Times.’ The Passing of Labour, 1966–85
Wales since 1939

Martin Johnes

Manchester University Press

Chapter nine looks at the fall of Labour's Wales from the late 1960s to the miners’ strike of 1984. Traditional heavy industry collapsed in this period and the manufacturing sector, which had begun to replace it, also moved into severe recession. This had cataclysmic significances for both the working class and the Labour Party. Financial insecurities created first a culture of strikes and then political alienation and indifference. Yet parts of the working class were also drifting to the right, disillusioned with class politics and tempted by the material promises of Thatcher's Britain. This chapter also highlights that, whilst the 1984 miners’ defeat was a watershed in Welsh history, it was not necessarily as significant as many have stated because the decline in the coal industries had begun as far back as the 1950s with many having already found new jobs in manufacturing by then.

Keywords:   Labour, Coal, Miners’ strike, Thatcher, Economy, Industry decline

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