The whole truth about the recent general strike in Great Britain has not yet been told; and perhaps it never will be told until the memoirs of the chief actors in the struggle are published. But we know enough of it already to be sure that when it comes it will be a strange story, smacking more of the fencing school than of the duelling ground, of comic opera than of tragedy. The second of these metaphors is the more pertinent, for certainly this “great struggle” belonged rather to the stage than to the world of reality.
The miners had an unusually good case. They were being asked to accept, at the point of the sword wages which would have reduced tends of thousands of them down to, or even in some cases below, the level of bare subsistence. And this reduction, as well as an increase of hours, was being demanded by a group of men who are notoriously the most stupid, stubborn and inefficient set of employers in Great Britain. The miners therefore had the sympathy of the greater part of the public and also of the press.