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 Post subject: Re: Anomaly in the tour show (Tall Boy)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:29 pm 
Billy

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:54 pm
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If memory serves, there had been considerable miners' actions in various pits some time before the strike vote was announced. There had also been strikes in the early 1970s. Close-knit mining communities would have identified scabs and strikers long before the strike was finally voted upon. Scargill's decision to strike was not universally popular among miners or miners' leaders, nor was his decision to not hold a national ballot of the NUM, but to use Flying Pickets instead. It is analogous to the onset of the War of Independence: from the moment the first shot was heard 'round the world, the loyalists had been separate from the rebels for some time.

I have no problem accepting that strikers and scabs were separately defined the moment the community heard that the strike was 'official'. Note that another scab was named Summers - Alison Summers is a Ballet Girl. (Gormley, another scab, is, I assume, named after a former leader of the NUM during the 1970 strikes.)


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 Post subject: Re: Anomaly in the tour show (Tall Boy)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Billy
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Good points, LiamM and kport. I think also, because in a staged production the story needs to move faster, we see the scab enter the scene in a hurry to retrieve his son, and get him out of the hall. He's not there celebrating the dawn of the strike with his friends. He's an outcast. The show portrayed him as such very well.

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 Post subject: Re: Anomaly in the tour show (Tall Boy)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:35 pm 
Ballet Girl
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For the sake of argument the Scab coud be a member of the electricians union, EETPU who were against the strike from day one, and broke picket lines in most cases. Or he could be a convenor of the union for those men who had had promotion above the "rank and file", called The National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers (NACODS) who weren't striking at first.

There were NO National Union of Mineworkers scabs in Easington at all for the first 7-8 months. It was all out together!

NACODS later gave their support by refusing to cross picket lines "on safety grounds" but carried on getting paid for the first 6months. They never committed fully to the strike and settled their pay claim with the National Coal Board in November 84, contributing to the failiure of the strike. (Debbies Dad may have been a deputy in NACODS or a non-miner, its not clear in the play. He is a non-miner in the film/book).

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 Post subject: Re: Anomaly in the tour show (Tall Boy)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:11 pm 
Billy

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:54 pm
Posts: 6792
Borrobil wrote:
For the sake of argument the Scab coud be a member of the electricians union, EETPU who were against the strike from day one, and broke picket lines in most cases. Or he could be a convenor of the union for those men who had had promotion above the "rank and file", called The National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers (NACODS) who weren't striking at first.

There were NO National Union of Mineworkers scabs in Easington at all for the first 7-8 months. It was all out together!

NACODS later gave their support by refusing to cross picket lines "on safety grounds" but carried on getting paid for the first 6months. They never committed fully to the strike and settled their pay claim with the National Coal Board in November 84, contributing to the failiure of the strike. (Debbies Dad may have been a deputy in NACODS or a non-miner, its not clear in the play. He is a non-miner in the film/book).


Three points:

-Lee Hall could be exercising a bit of historical license to tell the tale to an audience
-at some point, the village was called Everington (the film?). Once again, some license has been taken with actual facts.
-I always formed the impression that Debbie's dad was in some sort of management (white collar) - a bank, local government or even the Co-op. Probably a Mason, member of the bowls club, a grammar school boy - in other words, living a life entirely removed from those of the miners. Today he would be a firm supporter of Brexit, UKIP, pink gins and CAMRA, and a member of the local PROBUS group. The give-away is his snide comment to his wife: 'A friend of yours'.


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 Post subject: Re: Anomaly in the tour show (Tall Boy)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:54 pm 
Ballet Girl
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Actually I agree the general idea is that Mr Wilkinson is a generic manager for almost all of the audience. However I think Lee Hall is clever enough to weave in a second alternative line of plot at the same time, without disturbing the simplicity for those who do not know the history. My "evidence" is this.

In real life Wilkinson was the infamous name of the First Scab to return to work causing the violent scenes before angry dance. Could Lee Hall have used the name accidentally? Obviously Debbies dad does not represent the real life Wilkinson in any real way, but just using his name implies he is an antihero.

- Debbie says her Dad is a Deputy manager. (ok that could mean anything). She also says he has been made redundant. Whilst NACODS men were not officially as "made redundant", they were ALL laid off, unpaid about mid-way through the strike, which amounts to the same thing to me. (until that month most NACODS men were paid, some did safety/maintennance work etc agreed with the NUM, eg so the pits didn't flood or collapse. It is pretty certain that government pressure caused McGregor to intervene and lock them out without pay)

- It explains why Jackie would not accept money for Billy's audition or help from Mrs Wilkinson, but was happy to accept it from other miners who had far less. The NACODS men had settled their dispute by this time (which damaged the strike) so the Wilkinson's would not be in favour.

- It makes Tony's prejudice against Mrs W more understandable, considering we have no reason to think he has ever met her before.(in Billy dance on the table scene)

- It explains why Billy did not go to tell Mrs Wilkinson "he got in" until his Dad told him to, as that would have meant seeing someone who they saw as a strike breaker.

Actually, I don't really mind if it's meant to be read that way or not, it still works for me, and that's what matters.

PS. if you want a really off-the-wall alternative interpretation. The Coal board offered a big return to work "Christmas bonus" to get miners to break the strike. The bonus was payable, without conditions, to every one who went back, and Scargill is on record saying that strikers could go back for a day, to get the bonus, then go back on strike (I don't think he expected it to actually work though). Perhaps the Scab is just bringing Jackie's bonus for strike breaking, and not a donation to Billy??

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