How leaflets used to look: a Tory attack on Labour’s economic policies, 1931

Today’s leaflet in my series on old election leaflets is a centrally produced Conservative Party leaflet from October 1931. Ramsay MacDonald had led a Labour administration under August 1931 when it split over a Budget and economic crisis. MacDonald earned his place in Labour’s hall of infamy by then forming a National Government with Conservatives and Liberals. Only two Labour colleagues joined MacDonald in this government, so the attacks in this leaflet on “Arthur Henderson and other Socialist ex-Ministers” are, nominally at least, directed at Labour rather than MacDonald and co. in the coalition.

Swap references such as the Empire Marketing Board for current ones and the basic arguments being made in the leaflet are remarkably similar to contemporary politics:

For some other historical comparisons between election campaigns then and now see my article Continuity and change in election campaigns: the 1910 and 2010 election campaigns.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • You could write a near-identical leaflet attacking Labour over the economy today.

  • This did a smile to my face; nothing changes.

  • LondonLiberal 4th Jul '12 - 4:10pm

    same s**t, different day…

  • Old Codger Chris 7th Jul '12 - 5:12pm

    @Simon Banks
    Sorry to be picky but most Liberal MPs initially supported the National Government and benefitted from an electoral pact, although many later moved into opposition leaving behind the so-called National Liberals aka Tories. Quite right to say that the effect was much more devastating for Liberals than for Labour.

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