Of course, we now know (and many of us suspected back then anyway) that they were using their 'heavy mob' tactics to coerce the then Labour government into giving in to their every demand. Indeed, they were problem trying to scare them with that very thought of losing office, both personally (for MPs and especially ministers) and governance of Britain.
History shows that it didn't work and that Jim Callaghan's Labour government was chucked out.
Today, the Unions are more cautious, not wishing to slay their (somewhat tarnished) golden egg. Therefore they have held back on their strikes and other disruptive behaviour until after the General Election. To some extent it worked, as it reduced the tendency of the voting public to switch to the Conservatives - hence our coalition government today.
However the Union bosses (who, though crafty, aren't generally blessed with a great deal of intelligence) still don't understand how things work in the reality outside of their Communist-inspired doctrines, and are making a similar mistake today.
Mark "Crash Bang" Wallace has it broadly sussed out, though I don't think he takes it far enough. He rightly says that Bob Crow's Union (that has the London Underground's staff out on strike again today) is helping the Conservatives - in particular Chancellor George Osborne - by discrediting strikes in general in the eyes of the public. It's yet another 'own goal' by the stupid Commies!
Back in the 'eighties there was a certain degree of sympathy and support for the miners, though that faded when some truths came out about Scargill and other matters, as well as for other reasons caused by striking in general around that time. I was in my early twenties at the time, and was almost taken in myself, at least for a short while. I was certainly wavering regarding which side I thought was right.
That isn't likely to happen this time; and the only support for the strikes, the students'
The rest of us know better, and many of us have lived through it before. The same methods will no longer work, and they are fooling themselves if they believe otherwise. Stale, outdated negative methods will rightly be perceived for what they are, and they have nothing whatsoever to do with fairness or anything else with even the slightest of noble intentions.
It's all part of a destructive agenda, and this time we're wise to it!