Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Could Strikes Spell the End for Labour? around the Corner, Political Editor WILLIAM GREEN Examines Whether Growing Industrial Unrest Will Sway Voters

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Could Strikes Spell the End for Labour? around the Corner, Political Editor WILLIAM GREEN Examines Whether Growing Industrial Unrest Will Sway Voters

Article excerpt

Byline: WILLIAM GREEN

FLabour's Spring of Discontent? Ask the Tories and the answer is a definite yes. Trade unions are going on strike. Government is running short of cash and ideas. Meltdown is coming.

Chuck in the fact that the unions - including Unite which is leading the British Airways strike are Labour's biggest paymasters and could David Cameron's team be forgiven for thinking the is being served up on a plate? In one of those ironies of history, rail workers set to walk out in the first national strike of its kind for more than a decade on April 6. That's the day that Gordon Brown is widely expected to call the General Election for May 6. But will this latest bout of industrial unrest really make any difference? What will voters think about as they put pen paper to cross their cross on the ballot papers? The Winter of Discontent of 1978-79 smashed pieces the credibility of the Callaghan government and is credited with pushing Margaret Thatcher into No 10.

Wage restraints imposed by ministers led to explosion of industrial unrest with rubbish left rot on the streets as dustmen went on strike. Even gravediggers refused to bury the dead.

our discontent."

But opinion is divided at the moment as whether current events will have such a changing impact.

could be more useful after the General Election.

That's when spending cuts really kick in, with public sector workers facing pay freezes and cuts.

Such difficult measures might spark a furious response, not least in the North East where around one in three of the workforce is employed by state.

Politics expert Lawrence Black, a senior history lecturer at Durham University, said it was "difficult" to say what the impact of current strike action would be on the election.

"One effect, which might parallel the Winter Discontent, is that New Labour has tended to rely working-class voters voting Labour. "There is a danger they don't impress middle-class voters with their handling of the economy working-class voters either, particularly trade The main political impact is that it damaging to Labour's core vote. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.