Tag Archives: 1983 election

Margaret Thatcher, the 1983 election and the ‘bedroom tax’

margaret-thatcherLike Caron, I spent more than a healthy amount of my Bank Holiday Monday watching BBC Parliament’s re-run of the 1983 general election.

It’s not an election I remember (I was 6). But the symmetry of yesterday’s hyperbolic Guardian (‘The day Britain changed’) front page and the televised reminder of Margaret Thatcher’s first landslide seemed calculated to confirm the left’s view that 1st April 2013 marked the ultimate victory of those on the right who wanted (and still want) to destruct the welfare state.

What Mrs T, Geoffrey Howe …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 29 Comments

The 1983 election: highlights and hindsight

I spent more of my bank holiday than is healthy watching the rerun of the 1983 election on BBC Parliament.

When I lived through it, I was an innocent and idealistic 15 year old. I really believed people would be so outraged that the Alliance had polled 7 million votes, finishing marginally behind Labour but with about a ninth of their seats. As Shirley Williams said, it was “absolute rubbish.” Surely we would have PR within a decade?

Thirty years on, it depresses me that we are no further forward. Westminster remains the last bastion of first past the post, for Scots …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 27 Comments

Opinion: Why are we waiting?

We have played the waiting game before. It didn’t work in the 1980s, and it won’t work now.

In the 1983 Election, the Alliance reached a high water mark with a 26% vote. But there was discord. The Liberals, who won most seats, felt they should take the lead. The SDP, with their heavyweight experience, saw things differently. Problems grew when Owen took over, refused to collaborate properly, and set out to undermine theAlliancefrom within. A stalemate developed, and a waiting game began.

The Alliance announced to a stunned public that two-headed leadership was the new future. Their slogan “Not Left, Not …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 65 Comments
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  • User AvatarDavid Raw 20th Sep - 9:33pm
    @ nvelop I don't know whether you're being provocative or just ill informed. Probably both. Before the NHS was introduced in 1948 the patchwork of...
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    Externally marked exams that are open to anyone are a way in which people from underprivileged or non-traditional backgrounds can compete with people from privileged...
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    @ JoeB, "Ultimately, as a nation, we can only consume what we collectively produce from the application of labour and physical capital to natural resources...
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    David Raw: There was a National Health Service before 1948 when it was nationalised. I have some letters dated 1923 headed "National Health Service". Improvements...
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    An average of the last 10 Polls puts us on 9.7%; take the last 5 only & that becomes 10.7%. 6 Months ago we were...
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    Richard That is so, but the point is, we do compete in the world, and it is more precarious international competitveness, no doubt worth altering...