The young David Davis and his plan to crush the dockers

The Socialist Equality Party, whose candidate Chris Talbot is standing in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, report the following:

Fred, a former merchant sea man, who had also read the SEP manifesto and agreed with it, brought a press cutting from the local Hull Daily Mail, November 18, 1988, to the SEP stall. The article, sub-headed, “We could crush strike”, reported Davis’s paper, “Clear the Decks,” written for the right-wing Centre for Policy Studies, in which he outlined a plan to provoke, and then break, a strike amongst dockworkers.

Davis, now championed by senior figures on the British left, including Tony Benn, explained in 1988 how a dock strike could be triggered just after Christmas, when workers had least money. A final date could be put for the dismissal of strikers to increase pressure on them. Davis’s intention was to break up the National Dock Labour Scheme, which at the time provided a regulated framework of working conditions for thousands of dockworkers in most British ports.

Margo, an unemployed woman, described Davis as a “well-known back-stabber, who was not even loyal to his own party. If he is not loyal to his own party, who is he going to be loyal to? He just wants to be leader of the Tories.”

“I figure, go for the candidate who is against 42 days, who is not David Davis.”


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