Alex Callinicos Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Alex Callinicos & Mike Simons

The Great Strike


Special double issue of International Socialism 2 : 27/28, 1985.
Transcribed by Marven James Scott.
Marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).


1. The strike begins

2. Towards confrontation

3. The tragedy of Nottinghamshire

4. Orgreave and the battle for steel

5. Solidarity and bureaucracy

6. Communities under siege

7. The unnecessary defeat

8. What went wrong?

This book is very much a result of collective efforts. It draws heavily on the coverage of the miners’ strike in Socialist Worker, some of which we wrote. We are grateful to Peter Clark, Tony Cliff, Chris Harman, Sheila MacGregor, and Peter Marsden for helping to improve a manuscript written at great speed. Also to the staff of Socialist Worker. Above all, this book would have been impossible without the assistance given us by the many miners who spoke to us before, during and after the strike. Unfortunately the National Coal Board’s attempts to victimise militants mean that we cannot acknowledge the help we received from these miners by name. That is why the only miners named in the book are NUM officials. Our thanks to all who talked to us. The book follows the general analysis of the strike developed by the Socialist Workers Party: any errors of fact or of judgement are, however, our own.


Alex Callinicos
Mike Simons

12 March 1985

Alex Callinicos is a member of the Socialist Workers Party. His earlier publications include The revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx and The Revolutionary Road to Socialism, both published in 1983.

Mike Simons reported on the 1984–5 miners’ strike as a journalist for Socialist Worker. He is a member of the Socialist Workers Party and the author of Workers’ power, not nuclear power.

Alex Callinicos Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 2.2.2014