Tag Archives: counterfactuals

Opinion: What if ?

In February 1974 Edward Heath called  a snap General Election in response to a second miners’ strike in three years. Heath famously posed the election as a decision on ‘Who Runs Britain’.

Despite opinion polls suggesting he would be returned to office and polling the highest number of votes, the vagaries of our electoral system meant Heath’s Tories not only failed to win a majority of seats, but actually got less than Labour. Historians suggest that the miners’ peaceful pursuit of their pay claim and an independent inquiry finding that there was justification for their dispute, dealt Heath a devastating blow.

The other big story of the election was the surge in the Liberal vote. From just over 11% in 1970, the party increased its share to nearly 20%, but again because of FPTP they only won a few more seats.

We all know what followed.

A weak attempt by Heath to remain in office, followed by a minority Labour government, and then another election which returned Wilson a small majority, the Winter of Discontent, Thatcherism, and all that followed.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Douglas Carswell: Free Liberal – How it might have been (pt. 3)

This is the concluding part of a trilogy of counterfactual pieces previously published on LDV.

For Part 1 and Part 2, including the full results of the by-elections in Clacton and Heywood & Middleton in this continuity, please click the links.

…while some on principles baptized/To strict party platforms ties/
Social clubs in drag disguise/Outsiders they can freely criticize/
Tell nothing except who to idolize….”

-‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’, Bob Dylan

The dual results in in Clacton and Heywood & Middleton on 9th October threw UK Politics into complete disarray.

Posted in Humour | 7 Comments

Carswell: Free Liberal. How it might have been (part 2)

This is the continuation of an article posted previously on Lib Dem Voice. New readers should read the earlier post before this one.

…Do you remember…… changing the mind of pretenders?…

‘September’, Earth, Wind and Fire

As September 2014 began, even the most complacent Westminster journalistic eyes were swiftly turned away from Douglas Carswell’s Liberal insurgency, and towards events North of the border. The Scottish Independence Referendum was approaching within a fortnight, and Salmond and his remarkable growing coalition of voters were coming up fast/ A shock Panelbase poll published on 2nd September put the ‘Yes’ camp ahead by 1 point in the Independence Referendum. The campaign was electrified. For many Westminster politicians, it seemed as though they were waking up suddenly. Waking up, and booking train tickets to Scotland…

Posted in Humour | 38 Comments

Carswell: Free Liberal. How it might have been

The more time I spend with him (Carswell), the more bewildered I am. Why on earth did he join Ukip? Well, he says, he could hardly have moved over to Clegg’s lot. “If the Liberal Democrats hadn’t made 20 years of errors, yes. But they have made it very clear that they’re not liberal and that they’re on the side of the elites, not the people.” If Gladstone was such a hero, why didn’t he stand as an independent one-man Liberal party candidate? He laughs. “Well I toyed with the idea…

Interview with Douglas Carswell, The Guardian, 19th October 2014

28th August 2014

Before a packed room of journalists, all looking around eagerly for suspected impresario Nigel Farage to emerge, Douglas Carswell finally stepped out onto the stage, alone, having called a press conference only hours beforehand. He announced that, after a long struggle with his conscience, he had come to a decision:

“The main parties are not serious about real change. It’s above all the failure to deliver on the promise of political reform that has driven me to be here today. Europe’s the one continent on the globe that is not growing … yet who in Westminster, who among our so-called leaders, is prepared to envisage real change? The call for an independent, reformist, libertarian voice is a demand I feel I can no longer ignore.”

Posted in News | 50 Comments

Thatcher papers show 25 Tory MPs considered joining early SDP

A number of things hit the headlines this morning as the Margaret Thatcher Foundation reveals papers from 1981.

The early morning BBC radio headlines focussed on a meeting between Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch around the time News International acquired:

Margaret Thatcher had a secret meeting with Rupert Murdoch at Chequers weeks before his 1981 purchase of the Times newspapers, newly released files show.

A note by her press secretary Bernard Ingham says the prime minister thanked Mr Murdoch for “keeping her posted”.

But the contentious issue of whether to refer the bid to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission was not raised.

But as …

Posted in LibLink and News | Also tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

Opinion: Perspective – my thoughts on the Liberal Democrat conference

Oblivion; rebellion; split; tension. Words that the media reporting on the recent Lib Dem conference – and gosh weren’t there a lot of cameras, reporters and microphones present? – used both before and during the last few days in Liverpool – and crucially, words that were largely conspicuous by their absence inside the arena. Not a surprise given that large parts of the media, and the pubic too perhaps, is still coping with having a democratic, pluralist party at the heart of government. My word of the week, in contrast is perspective – and here’s why.

Paul Reynolds has written

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Dec - 1:45am
    Sorry, I mean of course 'a Liberal ' in his youth, he wasn't psychic too!
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Dec - 1:41am
    Well, Peter, the absurdity was just not taken account of, it seems. Yet a shrewd friend of mine, a Lib Dem in his youth and...
  • User Avatarfrankie 15th Dec - 11:55pm
    But David I seem to remember you were a fan of Bevan's quote about rats. That was a man who through bitter experience knew what...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 15th Dec - 10:52pm
    @ Martin Typo, not intended
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 15th Dec - 8:35pm
    I wish he was !!
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 15th Dec - 8:26pm
    The cinema site in Tunbridge Wells has been cleared and covered with broken bricks. A new cinema cannot legally be built precisely where the previous...