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Now is the Winter of our Discontent


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Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds, that lour'd upon our house,
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Walking around the garden, I noticed a lot of pine cones which, to people that count tree rings, mean a cold winter to follow. I cast my mind back to the end of 1978 and events that heralded the career of the greatest British politician of our generation and the end of the worst.  So many parallels to current events and a cold winter could have a similar seismic effect.


In 1978, a mild autumn turned cold on the morning of 25 November when temperatures recorded at Heathrow Airport dropped from 14 °C to 0 °C overnight, with some snowflakes. Throughout most of the following month, the cold lingered, only for temperatures to rise well above 10 °C around Christmas. On 30 December, the temperature dropped again, along with rain that soon turned to snow; the next day 1978 ended with Heathrow recording a high of only −3 °C (27 °F) amid steady snowfall.
The effects were more severe outside of London. Ilfracombe and other towns in North Devon could only be reached by helicopter as many roads could not be adequately cleared. The Royal Automobile Club blamed local councils, who in turn pointed to unresolved issues with their unions and staff shortages; even around London local authorities were only able to clear main roads. Two Scottish trains near Stirling were stuck in the snow, leaving 300 passengers stranded; rail transport difficulties were exacerbated elsewhere in the country by a strike. Tanker drivers had also gone on strike in some areas from 18 December, causing some homeowners to have difficulties keeping their homes heated and limiting petrol supplies. Only three League football matches could take place over the New Year's holiday, and all rugby contests were cancelled. Three men drowned after falling through the ice on the Hampstead Heath pond in London.


Early in the New Year an unofficial strike of lorry drivers began. With petrol distribution held up, petrol stations closed across the country. The strikers also picketed the main ports. The strikes were made official on 11 January by the TGWU and 12 January by the United Road Transport Union. With 80 per cent of the nation's goods transported by road, roads still not completely cleared from the earlier storm, essential supplies were put in danger as striking drivers picketed those firms that continued to work. While the oil tanker drivers were working, the main refineries were also targeted and the tanker drivers let the strikers know where they were going, allowing for flying pickets to turn them back at their destination. More than a million UK workers were laid off temporarily during the disputes.


Bitter winter weather returned after a week of milder temperatures on 22 January. Freezing rain began falling across England at noon; by midnight temperatures dropped further and it turned to snow, which continued falling into the next day. Once again roads were impassable in the south; in the north and at higher elevations areas that had not yet recovered from the storm three weeks prior were newly afflicted.


A month earlier the public sector unions had set that day as the biggest individual day of strike action since the General Strike of 1926 and many workers stayed out indefinitely afterwards. With many in the private sector having achieved substantial rises, the public sector unions became increasingly concerned to keep pace in terms of pay. The government had already announced a slight weakening of the policy on 16 January, which gave the unions cause for hope that they might win and use free collective bargaining. Train drivers belonging to ASLEF and the National Union of Railwaymen had already begun a series of 24-hour strikes, and the Royal College of Nursing conference on 18 January decided to ask that the pay of nurses be increased to the same level in real terms as 1974, which would mean a 25 per cent average rise. The public sector unions labelled the date the "Day of Action", in which they held a 24-hour strike and marched to demand a £60 per week minimum wage. It would later be recalled as "Misery Monday" by the media.


The strikes appeared to have a profound effect on voting intention. According to Gallup, Labour had a lead of 5 percentage points over the Conservatives in November 1978, which turned to a Conservative lead of 7.5 percentage points in January 1979, and of 20 percentage points in February. On 1 March, referendums on devolution to Scotland and Wales were held. That in Wales went strongly against devolution; that in Scotland produced a small majority in favour which did not reach the threshold set by Parliament of 40 per cent of that electorate. The government's decision not to press ahead with devolution immediately led the Scottish National Party to withdraw support from the government and on 28 March in a motion of no confidence the government lost by one vote, precipitating a general election, which Margaret Thatcher won.


In 2008, a Times piece raised the spectre of the Winter of Discontent in warning Labour, then in government with Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, not to allow the TUC to set the party's agenda again. Five years later, at the first Margaret Thatcher Annual Lecture given after her death, Boris Johnson lamented that British youth were getting an overwhelmingly negative impression of the late prime minister from "Russell Brand and the BBC" that those old enough to remember what came before her election did not.

"In 1979 Red Robbo paralyzed what was left of our car industry and the country went into an ecstasy of uselessness called the winter of discontent: women were forced to give birth by candle-light, Prime Minister's Questions was lit by paraffin lamp and Blue Peter was all about how to put newspaper in blankets for extra insulation."

We will not be in a climate crisis this winter, we will be in an energy crisis. It will be caused, not by striking workers, but by a failing energy policy. 
 

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42 minutes ago, Guided Missile said:

Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds, that lour'd upon our house,
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Walking around the garden, I noticed a lot of pine cones which, to people that count tree rings, mean a cold winter to follow. I cast my mind back to the end of 1978 and events that heralded the career of the greatest British politician of our generation and the end of the worst.  So many parallels to current events and a cold winter could have a similar seismic effect.


In 1978, a mild autumn turned cold on the morning of 25 November when temperatures recorded at Heathrow Airport dropped from 14 °C to 0 °C overnight, with some snowflakes. Throughout most of the following month, the cold lingered, only for temperatures to rise well above 10 °C around Christmas. On 30 December, the temperature dropped again, along with rain that soon turned to snow; the next day 1978 ended with Heathrow recording a high of only −3 °C (27 °F) amid steady snowfall.
The effects were more severe outside of London. Ilfracombe and other towns in North Devon could only be reached by helicopter as many roads could not be adequately cleared. The Royal Automobile Club blamed local councils, who in turn pointed to unresolved issues with their unions and staff shortages; even around London local authorities were only able to clear main roads. Two Scottish trains near Stirling were stuck in the snow, leaving 300 passengers stranded; rail transport difficulties were exacerbated elsewhere in the country by a strike. Tanker drivers had also gone on strike in some areas from 18 December, causing some homeowners to have difficulties keeping their homes heated and limiting petrol supplies. Only three League football matches could take place over the New Year's holiday, and all rugby contests were cancelled. Three men drowned after falling through the ice on the Hampstead Heath pond in London.


Early in the New Year an unofficial strike of lorry drivers began. With petrol distribution held up, petrol stations closed across the country. The strikers also picketed the main ports. The strikes were made official on 11 January by the TGWU and 12 January by the United Road Transport Union. With 80 per cent of the nation's goods transported by road, roads still not completely cleared from the earlier storm, essential supplies were put in danger as striking drivers picketed those firms that continued to work. While the oil tanker drivers were working, the main refineries were also targeted and the tanker drivers let the strikers know where they were going, allowing for flying pickets to turn them back at their destination. More than a million UK workers were laid off temporarily during the disputes.


Bitter winter weather returned after a week of milder temperatures on 22 January. Freezing rain began falling across England at noon; by midnight temperatures dropped further and it turned to snow, which continued falling into the next day. Once again roads were impassable in the south; in the north and at higher elevations areas that had not yet recovered from the storm three weeks prior were newly afflicted.


A month earlier the public sector unions had set that day as the biggest individual day of strike action since the General Strike of 1926 and many workers stayed out indefinitely afterwards. With many in the private sector having achieved substantial rises, the public sector unions became increasingly concerned to keep pace in terms of pay. The government had already announced a slight weakening of the policy on 16 January, which gave the unions cause for hope that they might win and use free collective bargaining. Train drivers belonging to ASLEF and the National Union of Railwaymen had already begun a series of 24-hour strikes, and the Royal College of Nursing conference on 18 January decided to ask that the pay of nurses be increased to the same level in real terms as 1974, which would mean a 25 per cent average rise. The public sector unions labelled the date the "Day of Action", in which they held a 24-hour strike and marched to demand a £60 per week minimum wage. It would later be recalled as "Misery Monday" by the media.


The strikes appeared to have a profound effect on voting intention. According to Gallup, Labour had a lead of 5 percentage points over the Conservatives in November 1978, which turned to a Conservative lead of 7.5 percentage points in January 1979, and of 20 percentage points in February. On 1 March, referendums on devolution to Scotland and Wales were held. That in Wales went strongly against devolution; that in Scotland produced a small majority in favour which did not reach the threshold set by Parliament of 40 per cent of that electorate. The government's decision not to press ahead with devolution immediately led the Scottish National Party to withdraw support from the government and on 28 March in a motion of no confidence the government lost by one vote, precipitating a general election, which Margaret Thatcher won.


In 2008, a Times piece raised the spectre of the Winter of Discontent in warning Labour, then in government with Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, not to allow the TUC to set the party's agenda again. Five years later, at the first Margaret Thatcher Annual Lecture given after her death, Boris Johnson lamented that British youth were getting an overwhelmingly negative impression of the late prime minister from "Russell Brand and the BBC" that those old enough to remember what came before her election did not.

"In 1979 Red Robbo paralyzed what was left of our car industry and the country went into an ecstasy of uselessness called the winter of discontent: women were forced to give birth by candle-light, Prime Minister's Questions was lit by paraffin lamp and Blue Peter was all about how to put newspaper in blankets for extra insulation."

We will not be in a climate crisis this winter, we will be in an energy crisis. It will be caused, not by striking workers, but by a failing energy policy. 
 

Ffs man get some self respect. Plagiarising wiki and trying to disguise the fact by changing the order a little is beyond sad.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_Discontent

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On 12/10/2021 at 12:47, Fan The Flames said:

At least the winters are a bit warmer nowadays.

Quite.  I think our generation have timed the global catastrophe just about right. 

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20 hours ago, spyinthesky said:

I remember that the start of 1979 was quite cold and there was snow on the ground when we went up to Wembley to play Nottm Forest in the League Cup Final. (Football related post!!!)

My old man was there and put a few quid on David Peach for the first goal at 16/1. Good price for the club’s penalty taker and a very nice bonus by 1979 financial standards. Lost a good game 3-2 to the European Champions but he still enjoyed the day. 

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I did my final school placement in a small secondary school north of Worcester in Jan 1979. It snowed the night before I started. Not southern snow but real snow. Most kids were bussed in from the sticks and couldn't get there as there was a farking great hill called Ankerdine in the way. Any it was much colder then, didn't take a PE class outside until March

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