The following story is told by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his book Lessons In Leadership:
When Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, she knew she was going to have to confront the miners’ union in a long a bitter struggle. In 1981 they went on to strike for a pay rise. Mrs. Thatcher immediately made enquiries about the size of coal stocks. She wanted to know how long the country could survive without new supplies of coal. As soon as she discovered that stocks were low, she in effect conceded victory to the miners. She then, very quietly, arranged for coal to be stockpiled. The result was that when the miners went on strike again in 1983, she resisted their demands. There was a prolonged strike, and this time it was the miners who conceded defeat. A battle she could not win in 1981 she was able to win in 1983.