From its formation in 1944, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was one of the most powerful and important players on the British political and industrial stage. Whilst the nation relied upon coal for its electricity production, domestic heating and railway transportation, the miners and their unions would always play a central role in national politics with the ability to cause massive disruption to the nation, should they decide to strike, as they did in 1972 and 1974. However, as the country began to move towards other forms of energy, such as oil and gas, the power of the mineworkers correspondingly decreased, leaving the once mighty union to come to terms with a very different world by the early eighties. The NUM and British Politics makes use of union material and party and government archives as well as oral testimony, much of it highly confidential, to present the first overall account of the evolving nature of the tripartite relationship between the miners, the NUM and the state.
'This carefully researched and clearly written volume makes an important contribution to our understanding both of nationalized industries and of the trade union movement, and represents a complementary alternative to Ashworth's official history of the coal industry as a starting point for scholars and students.' Economic History Review '… a highly readable and informative account of the miners' union - from its birth to its virtual death… a fascinating picture of an important part of the lost world of Britain's industrial politics from the end of the Second World War to the privatisation of the coal industry.' Tribune
Contents: Preface; Creating the new order; Inclusion or integration?; The politics of state capitalism; Conservatives and the NUM; The politics of industrial decline; The miners and Mr Wilson's New Britain; Bibliography; Index.