Before watching, the movie research and write about the following topics on your blog: The Miner strike, Margaret Thatcher and gay rights in the UK during the 1980’s
This week we will be watching the movie PRIDE. The assignment we got before watching it is to write about the following topics: The Miner strike, Margaret Thatcher and gay rights in the UK during the 1980’s.
The Miner Strike:
The UK Miner Strike was an industrial action affecting the British coal industry. The strike, which happened during 1984 and 1985, has been referred to as “the most bitter industrial dispute in British history”.
The strike was caused by job cuts and investments in machines.
Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. She was a conservative, and she was the leader of the Conservative Party from 75 to 90. Thatcher is the only woman who has hold office in the UK.
She was committed to reducing the power of trade unions.
The biggest confrontation between the unions and the Thatcher government was the miner strike of 84/85. The NCB proposed to put 20 000 out of jobs, due to the unprofitability of the mines in which they worked. The NUM, the union of mineworkers, answered by letting 2/3 of the nations miners strike.
Gay rights in the UK in the 1980s
In 1980, the Criminal Justice Act (Scotland) decriminalized homosexual acts between two men over the age of 21; however gay rights in the UK took a plunge during the 80s. During this time, Thatcher had office and she has been described to be “at war” with the LGBT community.
In 1983, Britain reported 17 incidents of AIDS, as a consequence gay men are asked not to donate blood. The AIDS epidemic has been called the “gay plague”.
The 80s were a period in which intensified homophobia took place.
The assignment we got after watching the movie was to write about the movie.
The movie PRIDE features a group of gays and lesbians who supports the miners who are on strike (the strike mentioned above). The conflict here is that not everyone is happy that the group of people who are helping is gays and lesbians. The majority of the miners will not accept the support and donations from the LGSM – the name of the support group (Lesbians and gays support the miners).
What I find interesting is that this movie is based on a true story – a story that happened about 30 years ago! I cannot wrap my head around that people would not accept gays and lesbians at that time – for me that is unthinkable.
Ok, some people do not like gays or lesbians – but the majority thinks that people should be able to decide themselves. This is the situation we have today in the majority of the western world at least. That was not the case 30 years ago. People became angry at you if you were gay or lesbian – people beat people up due to their sexual orientation.
In the movie, I find it astonishing that the LGSM group continues to support the miners even though the miners are not happy with them helping. After some time, the miners became ok with the idea of the LGSM helping, and during a demonstration the miners returned the favor saying they support lesbians and gays.
The strike that lasted about a year created a big spectacle. The winners of the strike is said to have been the government since the miners decided that they would just go back to work. Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, saw this as a major victory for the Conservatives.
I learned that the world has changed a lot in only 30 years. For me it is unimaginable that people would behave the way the miners did in the start against people with different sexual orientation than themselves.
I learned a little about how the government played a part of the role and what side they were on during the strike. One final thing I learned that I did not know before was the UKs involvement in the mining industry – that is something that I find interesting. There were almost 200 000 miners at the time!
Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts about it? Did the miners do the right think in the end?