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In 1926 the bourgeoisie had to abandon their hopes borne out of the coalowners' victory in 1919. The General Strike taught the bourgeoisie that the working class could run society perfectly well without them! The ruling class were unanimous in saying that the General Strike was unconstitutional and that the working class was acting without any authority from law or order. Similarly, the TUC had withdrawn its members from the vital public services. This made the situation one where if society were to continue to tick over, i.e. if production, distribution and exchange were to continue, it would be because (1) the working class organised these essential public services for society; or (2) because the bourgeoisie organised them. There was no longer any agreed agency running them for the benefit of society (The first line which the TUC withdrew included transport of all kinds, newspapers and dockers). 

The bourgeoisie had begun to prepare for the General Strike in 1925 (when the fact that it would occur was obvious to both classes and the Government) by organising itself into voluntary groups to maintain these essential services and thus stability and order (The Organisation for the Maintenance of Supplies, OMS, was begun as a result of a letter to The Times from a retired Brigadier). The Government, realising that it could not prevent such organisation by the bourgeoisie (it had no power to do so) did the next best thing by attempting to informally influence and thus control it. The OMS formally offered its services to the Government which the Government formally accepted. The bourgeoisie used their trump card - their knowledge of what had to be done and how things should be organised - to divide Britain into regions, and the Government created a chain of command in those regions extending downwards to ensure that civilised life and production could continue.

In the event, the much vaunted OMS (called by the CPGB 'fascist'!) and the Government organisation were forced into redundancy by the working class. Not only did the working class prove capable of administering and organising the essential services that permit life to be civilised - they refused to let the bourgeoisie strikebreak (see Emile Burns: Trades Councils in Action). 

The TUC, unlike the Government, had not been prepared to anticipate what its rank and file would do in a General Strike. The Trades Councils provided the central organisation in each town and village and took decisions about how the Strike should be run. The working class (not the General Council) decided that the bourgeoisie would not be allowed to scab, and by the end of the 10 days, the forces of law and order and the bourgeoisie had come to terms with the Trade Councils: food convoys sent by the bourgeoisie got permission to embark and thus were able to enter their destination by showing a trade union permit. There was no Red Terror because the working class were concerned only to show that there could be a General Strike without a breakdown of society.

While it is true that Churchill entered into the spirit of the General Strike as a most enthusiastic member of the bourgeoisie, it is also true that the Government and civil servants were well aware of the need to subdue him and he was given menial tasks to perform well out of the way. It is also true that when the bourgeoisie's mood had changed to conciliation in Summer 1926, Baldwin put Churchill in charge of the negotiations with the MFGB while Baldwin went on holiday. Churchill again got carried away with the spirit of the moment and succeeded in agreeing a settlement with the MFGB which he confidently and airily promised them would be enforced over and above the coalowners' opposition by Parliamentary coercion if necessary. Baldwin came back just in time and the MFGB pulled back; otherwise history might very probably [have - PB] been treated to Winston Churchill changing parties once again to the Labour Party, or at least leading a revolt of Tory young Turks like Macmillan (see Thomas Jones, Whitehall Diaries, Vol.2).    

During the General Strike, the Government did the only thing possible if there was to be a continuation of the "British Constitution" - it waited. It did not use the troops, it did not use the OMS to impose an order and regulation on society's [sic. behalf?- PB] at the Government's behest; it did not insist on its prerogative to administer when the working class withdrew its consent. It did not try to establish a state machine; it prevented those members of the bourgeoisie who had the inclination from doing so by keeping them firmly under Government control. 

The Government let the working class get on with the business of running society while continuing to remind the class that there would have to be a return to normality sometime: stability and order in the old way would have to be reasserted sooner or later ... in the absence of the working class's will to change them. The point at issue was not whether there would be physical violence from the working class or not, it was rather whether the working class could administer society. Therefore the troops' function was to prove that "the forces of law and order" were necessary for society to keep on ticking over (thus the military use of the troops was not in question).

The working class won the point at issue. "Peaceful picketing" amounted to active sabotage of the troops and OMS's efforts to run trains, trams and food distribution. The de facto arrangements which the "forces of law and order" had to conclude with the Trades Councils showed that the troops had been sent into battle ... and lost.