“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.”
So too with labour movements: there are turning points, crises, decisive moments whose outcomes shape the future. The victory of the Thatcher Tories in 1979 was one such turning point. But it was the turning point it proved to be only because of the response of the labour movement and its leaders to the assaults that followed.