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 AvatarMatthew Huntbach 30th May - 9:10pm
    David Even if the Tories turn out to be utter monsters without the lib dems winning these seats back will be harder than simply saying...
  • User AvatarDavid Cooper 30th May - 9:09pm
    @David Howarth "states should just be able to decide for themselves whether to intervene" Isn't that what happens anyway? Its a wicked world. In the...
  • User AvatarSammy O'Neill 30th May - 9:00pm
    @JohnTilley I do not think you, or indeed anyone else is in a position to describe the comments of other people as "not valid". All...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 30th May - 8:50pm
    David The point was that if that’s your message “vote for us because we’re not x” No, that's not my message. I strongly supported the...
  • User AvatarDavid Howarth 30th May - 8:45pm
    So you think that states should just be able to decide for themselves whether to intervene to prevent human rights abuses in other states without...
  • User AvatarJennie 30th May - 8:38pm
    "The voyeurs until they realised what it meant" *dies laughing* OMG so adorable
Sat 30th May 2015
Sun 31st May 2015
Mon 1st Jun 2015
Tue 2nd Jun 2015
Wed 3rd Jun 2015
Thu 4th Jun 2015
Fri 5th Jun 2015
Sat 6th Jun 2015
Mon 8th Jun 2015
19:30
Tue 9th Jun 2015
Wed 10th Jun 2015
Thu 11th Jun 2015
Fri 12th Jun 2015
Sat 13th Jun 2015
Wed 17th Jun 2015
Thu 18th Jun 2015
Sat 20th Jun 2015
Sun 21st Jun 2015
Thu 25th Jun 2015
Fri 26th Jun 2015
Sat 27th Jun 2015