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Title: Preparation to "provoke a battle" : New Right Conservatism, the trade unions and the Conservative Party, 1974-1984
Author: Hawkins, James David
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 3010
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This research makes an original contribution to the literature on the relationship between the Conservative Party and trade union movement between 1974 and 1984. Through primary source material I analyse how an emergent New Right within the Conservative Party planned, prepared and enacted industrial conflict with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1984. This conflict was a result of ideological change in the Conservative Party, which saw internal cabinet opposition marginalised through a challenge to One Nation "wets" within the Cabinet. I argue that the government's industrial policy counters statecraft interpretations of the Conservative Party at this time. This is demonstrated in the following key areas: the radicalism of the party's industrial policy; the planning and preparation for industrial conflict; the creation of a recently unclassified "Hit List" of UK pit closures, one that was denied to full Cabinet scrutiny in 1984; and the use of direct government interference with the policing of "The Battle of Orgreave" and its aftermath. These actions fit the remit of The Ridley Report of 1977, a template for ideologically driven reform of which the desire to 'fragment' nationalised industries was a precondition for denationalisation. I argue that a group within the Conservative Party pushed through these changes to construct a new relationship between labour, industry and government.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral