Riots of 1990 and uprisings of 1820 (E327)
It’s hard to believe it is 30 years since the poll tax demonstration which culminated in historic riots across the country and brought down a government. It not only broke the back of this regressive tax where a dustman payed the same tax as a duke, it was also a riot which ended the reign of Margaret Thatcher, ending the flagship legislation of her third term. The tax was first introduced in Scotland, a year before England, and was met with much anger and rebellion; at the forefront of this resistance was Tommy Sheridan, so we invited him onto Sputnik to tell us about this unfair tax and the legacy of the anti-poll tax movement.
Most people have heard of the Peterloo Massacre where dozens of peaceful demonstrators marching for parliamentary reform were killed by the Manchester yeomanry. Far less is known about the Scottish uprising a year later when the people of Scotland were called on to strike and to take up arms in order to regain what they saw as their ancient rights. Weavers, spinners and colliers were united and closely connected to what was going on England and Wales, their common cause being the reform of the Westminster Parliament. Maggie Craig has written about this in her new book ‘One Week In April – The Scottish Radical Rising of 1820’, so we invited her to join Sputnik to tell us more about this little-known event.