Tag Archives: first political memories

First political memories: Geoff Reid

While the Suez crisis was unfolding some of us ten year olds in a junior school playground discussed our vague awareness of Government incompetence. It was not my first school. I was born in the tough Scotswood Road area of Newcastle. Crucially I was an only child so my parents, living in a two room flat couldn’t get on the council house waiting list. This led to my father joining a ground-breaking self-build housing scheme, which in due course led to us moving across town.

That may well have contributed to my assumption that alternative solutions to problems were part of …

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Theme of the week – First political memories

I was inspired to write this post by a conversation I had this week. My friend was talking about his earliest political memories in a house where Tony Blair was reviled. He first became aware of politics around the time of the Iraq war. He had never really been properly exposed to the Tories in his formative years and doesn’t have the same antipathy to them as I do.

It made me think about my first political memories and the impact they have on me now. I remember being taken along with my parents when they went to vote in one of the 1974 elections. I was also very aware of what was going on in the White House with the unprecedented resignation of a US President.

The first Government I was aware of was the Labour one of Harold Wilson and then Jim Callaghan. I knew that the economy went to hell in a hand cart at that time. I also remember being really frightened by tv pictures of these massive trade union meetings where everyone voted to go on strike. In a crowd like that, you daren’t not conform to expectations.

At around the same time, Alex Haley’s “Roots” was broadcast. I watched, horrified that human beings could keep other human beings as slaves and treat them with such barbaric cruelty. At around the same time, I also watched the Doctor wrestle with whether to stop the Daleks ever being formed. Alex Wilcock has always said that Doctor Who made him a liberal and I had a similar experience, fascinated by someone who travelled around space and time treating people well, encouraging respect and co-operation.

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