How the SNP put the Conservatives into power
Two parties brought the Labour government of Jim Callaghan to its knees – the Liberals and the Scottish Nationalists. Both might have ended up wondering if they’d done the right thing. The SNP was furious at Callaghan for not pushing through Scottish… View Post
Peter Tatchell, Michael Foot and Margaret Thatcher
Peter Tatchell – the prolific human rights campaigner – first came to national prominence as the Labour candidate in a by-election held in Bermondsey, south London, in 1983. If ever an episode in politics revealed the prejudices and bigotries of the age,… View Post
Observing the 80s - Sussex Uni looks back at AIDS,...
Sussex University is compiling an online archive of news and ephemera from the 1980s called ‘Observing the 80s’ – a joint project between the Mass Observation Project, the British Library Oral History Collections and the University of Sussex Library.… View Post
Video of Thatcher's hearse going past
As I stood in the Strand, central London, she drifted past… [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YqaeRCrdR0&w=604&h=370] View Post
London reacts to Maggie in 1979
London and the south east had a swing to the Tories in 1979 that was 50% higher than the rest of the country. The GLC was already in Tory hands under the leadership of Horace Cutler. He was looking forward to a close working relationship with Thatcher… View Post
Pete Wylie on Margaret Thatcher - in music
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcXi-VYy_Yw&w=604&h=370] View Post
Elvis Costello on Margaret Thatcher - interview in...
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Znn5a-88tY&w=604&h=370] View Post
Malcolm X and Maggie Thatcher - a tenuous link
But not that tenuous! In 1964, the Tories fought one of the most odious elections in British political history. The seat of Smethwick was held by Labour’s Patrick Gordon Walker – tipped to be foreign minister in a Harold Wilson Labour government. Local… View Post
Jim Callaghan heckled during his 1979 election...
A rather forgotten incident here when Pat Arrowsmith – veteran CND campaigner – heckled a beleaguered Jim Callaghan who had held on to his Cardiff seat in the 1979 general election but just lost the country to Thatcher and the Tories. She was shouting at… View Post
Don't upset the mourners!
Thatcher’s funeral will pass by my office on Wednesday and already the steel railings are going up along the Strand towards Aldwych where outside St Clement Dane’s church, her coffin will be transferred on to a gun carriage. Ahead of all this, the police… View Post
How Thatcher wanted to arm the police in 1981
In April, 1981, Brixton exploded into a fury of rioting, which then abated. But this would prove to be a lull in the storm. Because when the summer came, city after city across Britain went up in flames. The two most violent disturbances were again in… View Post
Thatcher Death Lie number five: Maggie was a...
Who do you think made these very pro-European statements: Britain does not dream of some cosy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community. Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community. The European Community is a practical means by… View Post
Glenda Jackson sticks the boot into Margaret... →
An amazing speech by veteran actor Glenda Jackson against Margaret Thatcher
Glenda Jackson lays into Margaret Thatcher
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDtClJYJBj8&w=604&h=370] View Post
General Pinochet has tea with Margaret Thatcher
Watch the video and let your jaw drop as Thatcher tells Pinochet that he brought democracy to Chile!!! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbUeX-tCZRs&w=604&h=370] View Post
Thatcher Death Lie number four: All opponents of...
There is an argument developing among journalists who have known nothing but the Thatcherite consensus that: There was no alternative but to embrace the free market path Free markets equaled individual empowerment Those who opposed Thatcher were Luddites… View Post
Thatcher Death Lie number three: She destroyed the...
In no serious analysis by a balanced mind that is expert on Soviet affairs would it be asserted that Margaret Thatcher brought down the Soviet Union. And yet, journalists love a good story. So on the night of Thatcher’s death, we were treated to images… View Post
Thatcher Death Lie number two: Trades Unions were...
Having once worked for the thoroughly unionised BBC, I was disheartened to spend last night listening to BBC correspondents intoning over footage of picket lines that trades unionists were “rigid” opponents of Thatcher and they basically needed… View Post
Thatcher Death Lie number one: She was a feminist
I could scream when I read this. Of all the silliest revisionist arguments that I’ve had to endure about the Iron Lady, there’s the hardy perennial from certain journalists that Thatcher was a feminist – a woman who advanced the cause of women’s… View Post
Postcards from the Thatcher years →
During the Maggie Thatcher years - political opponents produced very satirical artwork against her and the Tories. Here’s some examples at my blog.
The 1981 riots - when Britain revolted against... →
Two years after Thatcher came to power - youth unemployment had doubled. When the riots came, they hit cities across Britain. If you think the 2011 riots were violent, it was nothing compared to what happened in 1981.
Pop faces during the Margaret Thatcher years →
What pop music were we listening to under Thatcher - to block out the misery?
Thatcher portrayed as an alien monster →
Worth remembering today what people thought of Margaret Thatcher at the time!
Reaction to Thatcher's death
I’m afraid I can’t join many on the left – especially Labour parliamentarians – demanding that we all shed tears for the death of Margaret Thatcher. It would required erasing my memory banks completely to achieve that level of hypocrisy. I was at… View Post
Thatcher has died
The Press Association statement: Margaret Thatcher was the woman who, virtually single-handed and in the space of one tumultuous decade, transformed a nation. In the view of her many admirers, she thrust a strike-infested half-pace Britain back among the… View Post
John O'Farrell takes a pasting for comments made...
…some Conservatives had far worse to say. For those of us who attended National Union of Students conferences in the early 80s, who could forget some of the choice stuff that the Federation of Conservative Students used to come out with? I remember one… View Post
Greenham Common womens protest
It was a new form of protest and a high profile feminist statement – as well as an act of defiance against the siting of Cruise missiles on British soil at a time of heightened anxiety about the threat of nuclear war. The Greenham Common womens peace camp… View Post
Maggie Thatcher, the Tories and race relations
So what did Maggie think about race issues in the 70s and 80s. One of her key advisers, Alfred Sherman, had views on ethnic minority issues that would be regarded as slightly beyond the pale in our more inclusive times. One such was that immigration had… View Post
"I'm never quite sure what you mean by consensus...
Here’s an interesting series of clips of Thatcher throughout the 1970s from her time as education minister under prime minister Ted Heath, then opposition leader facing Labour PM Jim Callaghan through to her taking power in 1979. As education minister,… View Post
New evidence on the De Lorean scandal
The Troubles in Northern Ireland – years of terrorist attacks by Irish Republicans and Loyalists – left the province economically knackered. There was a huge reliance on state funded jobs, compared to the rest of the UK, and high levels of unemployment.… View Post
Thatcher portrayed as an alien monster
Just in case you were wondering how half the country viewed the Iron Lady – here’s a good example of the tough satire of the period! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhdHO5_HSQQ&w=604&h=370] View Post
1979 - a lethal year for Irish Republicans
Being half-Irish could be difficult in the 1970s as Irish Republicans launched bloody and audacious attacks on the UK mainland. One night, the waterworks at the top of my road were bombed by the IRA and as a 12 year old kid lying in bed, I knew… View Post
Who was more popular - Thatcher or Blair?
Most of us who were involved in left wing politics in the late 1970s/early 1980s remember the crushing Tory majorities and a real sense of gloom that descended as the decade went on. There was a growing sense that Labour faced a mountain to climb and some… View Post
The political end of Jeremy Thorpe - 1979
Jeremy Thorpe was the leader of the Liberal Party from 1967 to 1976. He stepped down after an extraordinary scandal that gripped Britain at the time over allegations he had a gay relationship with a man called Norman Scott – and was then involved in a… View Post
TV confrontation about the sinking of the Belgrano
The sinking of the Belgrano during the Falklands War was arguably the most controversial event during that conflict and one that haunted Thatcher for years. The Belgrano itself was an ancient bit of kit, launched in the 1930s, used by the US in WWII and… View Post
Ken Livingstone versus Sir Horace Cutler
Ken had become leader of the Greater London Council and faced off to the former Tory leader of the GLC (it had been Conservative between 1977 and 1981) Sir Horace Cutler on TV. Cutler was in favour of abolishing the GLC while he was still leader while… View Post