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General Strike - Diary 5th May

5th May 1926

 

The second full day of the strike, and popular opinion and resolve was beginning to strengthen in opposition to the actions of the strikers. The Unions, and even the Government, had underestimated the reaction of the general public to the disruption and calls of the thousands of strikers around the country. A hidden agenda was perceived by the general public, who were beginning to see the real potential for a repeat of the recent Bolshevik Revolution. Was the abolition of the monarchy and overthrow of the government the real goal of the strikers? Attitudes were beginning to harden against the strikers and their perceived goals.

Propoganda against the strikers was also now in full swing. The British Gazette, edited by Churchill, reported his comments,


I do not agree that the TUC have as much right as the Government to publish their side of the case and to exhort their followers to continue action. It is a very much more difficult task to feed the nation than it is to wreck it.
The British Gazette, 5th May 1926

The British Worker, the Unions' strike paper, countered with the comment,


"We are not making war on the people. We are anxious that the ordinary members of the public shall not be penalized for the unpatriotic conduct of the mine owners and the government.
The British Worker, 5th May 1926

Members of the General Public were now encouraged to sign up as Special Constables in the Police, train to become tram and train workers, and contribute to the maintenance of order and general services.

Both sides stand firm.
For twenty-four hours Great Britain has been in the grip of the stupendous general strike without a sign of weakening among the strikers, or among the employers, backed by the Government, bent on breaking the resistance of the millions of striking workers.
T.R. Ybarra, New York Times, 5th May 1926