Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Bulletin published during the General Strike by the STUC entitled 'General Strike Daily Bulletin No.2', May 1926

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The TUCs decision to include print workers in the first strike call and to effectively halt the publication of the printed media in Britain was denounced by some supporters and the government alike as an attack on the 'freedom of the press'. The TUC rejected this accusation believing that there would be no such thing as freedom of the press during the dispute anyway, the TUC believed that if they allowed the right-wing press barons unrestricted access to newspaper print rooms they would not use it to report the strike in an objective manner rather they would pursue a government led agenda that would report negatively on the strike and its effects.

What the TUC wanted to do in bringing the print workers out was to establish a monopoly over strike propaganda, something which they never managed to do. Although newspaper publication was severely effected many proprietors overcame the obstacles and continued to print and publish although their scale, quality, and capacity to report events were severely damaged.

During the first week of the strike in Scotland, the only distribution of general news to those involved in the strike was a STUC photocopied sheet called the Daily Strike Bulletin. The STUC countered the threat of government led propaganda by publishing its own newspaper which in addition to giving general news about the strength of the strike in Scotland also warned trade unionists about the danger of believing any other news sources which reported the strike. The main sources which the STUC warned against were BBC radio, the Glasgow-based Emergency Press and The British Gazette newspaper.