enemy within

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A description of the National Union of Mineworkers in particular, and militant trade unionism in general, coined by the UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, during the miners' strike of 1984–5. Thatcher referred to the need to defeat the ‘enemy within’ and so bracketed the miners with the ‘enemy without’, General Galtieri and the Argentinian military forces, which had been defeated in the Falklands War. The description was indicative of the depth of antipathy amongst the Conservative Party towards trade unionism in the 1980s and expressed a belief that unions lacked legitimate purpose. [See Winter of Discontent.]

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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