But if other actors had filled the principal roles in that confrontation, the miners' strike of 1984-85, would the story have had a less dramatic ending? Or again, did one rushed decision ten years previously unexpectedly turn Scargill and Thatcher into such towering figures? Could one small event have such a momentous outcome? The end of the class war, the creation of New Labour, the wrecking of the Conservative Party, a shift of power and the bewilderment of the average voter were among the consequences. It was the most important of the critical junctions that shaped our domestic world in the last forty years of the twentieth century.
In When Arthur Met Maggie, Patrick Hannan measures the elusive influences of character and chance against the juggernaut of historical inevitability. He explores the way in which small decisions, accidents, delays, mistakes and premature deaths played their part in bringing us to our present condition and considers where the next stops might be on the clattering journey through the political landscape.
Patrick Hannan is a writer, broadcaster and journalist. During his career he has been Industrial Editor of The Western Mail and for thirteen years he was the BBC's Welsh Political Correspondent. As a television producer he has made documentaries for BBC2, BBC Wales and HTV. For many years he has been a regular writer and presenter for Radio 4. He has been a newspaper columnist and has contributed to a wide variety of publications as well as being the editor of two books on broadcasting in Wales.