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 AvatarKatharine Pindar 23rd Jul - 1:11am
    And should the Lib Dems merge, my lads, and should the Lib Dems die, There's 20.000 South-Westerners would know the reason why! Sorry, all this...
  • User AvatarIan Patterson 23rd Jul - 12:09am
    @ James Graham - gets first prize in stating blooming obvious. Banging on about Brexit for last 2 years has got us nowhere, as my...
  • User AvatarJoeB 23rd Jul - 12:02am
    Why not just read the update in the article that spells out what Vince Cable has to say about political realignment rather then speculating about...
  • User AvatarJames Graham 22nd Jul - 10:52pm
    I really do not understand why Vince is off gallivanting looking to help set up a new party. He has a job to do, namely...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 22nd Jul - 10:09pm
    Talking about a new moderate Centre Party, there seems to have been a good surfeit of modexation on LDV recently. Free speech 'n all that...
  • User AvatarTim O'Brien 22nd Jul - 10:05pm
    Thank you Interesting article and I endorse much of it. I wanted to comment but WordPress would not allow me to be so wordy. so...