Tag Archives: bill rodgers

“It was a tough battle” – Shirley Williams on the birth of the SDP

Shirley Williams tells the story of the 1981 Gang of Four breakaway, which eventually led to the formation of the Liberal Democrats, in the first issue of AD LIB magazine, out next week.

“…we said, if we haven’t got anywhere else to go, we’ll create one.”

Those nascent views crystallised after the party’s 1981 Wembley conference which committed it to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the EEC and NATO. Within hours Williams, Owen and Rodgers were drawing up the plans which would lead to the creation of the SDP.

“The three of us met – not Roy, at that point –

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

YouTube ‘cos we want to: an SDP special

If the SDP had lived on*, 2009 would have marked its 18th** 28th birthday – which spurious segue is all the excuse we need to dust off three video clips tracing its rise and fall.

Let’s begin at the beginning, with the explosion of the ‘Gang of Four’ – Roy, David, Shirley and Bill – onto the scene, here holding their first press conference in March 1981:

For a year or more it really did seem as if the SDP might truly break the mould of British politics. But the party was shattered by the results of the June 1983 general election, winning only six seats. Here’s the start of the BBC’s election night results programme.

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJames Spackman 1st Jul - 8:43am
    Follow the link to join https://libdems.secure.force.com/LiberalDemocrats/NewMemberRegistration
  • User AvatarJames Spackman 1st Jul - 8:42am
    Take control! Get involved!
  • User AvatarPeter Davies 1st Jul - 8:19am
    If you want to fight across Great Britain, you cannot rely on local parties however well supported. We need a parallel network of campaigning teams...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 1st Jul - 8:11am
    In answer to J Dunn the question was clear about remain - I interpret it as do nothing as a result of the referendum. The...
  • User AvatarMichael Beckett 1st Jul - 7:42am
    Is 650 seats the correct expanded target? Our Sister party 'Alliance' (The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland) usually contest the 18 Northern Ireland Westminster seats,...
  • User AvatarGlenn 1st Jul - 4:25am
    Sorry I meant the Lisbon Treaty of signed in 2007 which only entered into force in 2009. Interesting that it came in so close to...