Britain: The Splits

Taking a beating at Blackpool

Even before the 3,000 delegates arrived at Blackpool's Winter Gardens, the annual Labor Party conference in the Irish Sea resort was shaping up as a struggle between militant leftists and the party's centrists. On one side, determined to win more support for Britain's unpopular 30-week coal miners' strike, was Arthur Scargill, 46, the Marxist president of the National Union of Mine workers. On the other, with an eye on Labor's sagging ratings in the polls, was Party Leader Neil Kinnock, 42.

The outcome was not long in doubt:...

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