Issue date
12 Mar 2001

In the years following the General Strike, the Tory Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act dealt both wings of the labour Movement a stinging left and right. Apart from making general strikes illegal, this law required the Civil Service unions to dissociate themselves completely from both the TUC and the Labour Party. And it enforced a contracting-in system (instead of the contracting-out system) for contributing to political funds.

For good measure, the Conservative Government also took a swipe at the unemployed, who were henceforth to be deprived of benefit if they were deemed not to be 'genuinely seeking work.' A neatly-timed Tory move; because the deflation ordained by orthodox economics and similar Acts of God had ensured that now there was practically no work to seek.

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