Thursday, May 29, 2008

REMINDER: BBC Parliament Relives 1983 Election Night

If you're a Labour supporter, look away now. This morning at 9am BBC Parliament starts transmitting more than 11 hours of coverage of the 1983 election night.

David Dimbleby hosted the programme with results analysis by Peter Snow and Tony King, commentary from the BBC's Political Editor, John Cole, and interviews by Robin Day.

Live coverage of declarations and reaction to the results comes from across the country, including reports from Nicholas Witchell in Margaret Thatcher's Finchley constituency, Brian Hanrahan in Michael Foot's constituency of Blaenau Gwent, Kate Adie in David Owen's Plymouth Devonport constituency, Michael Cole with David Steel in Ettrick Bridge, Valerie Singleton in Torbay, Selina Scott in Guildford and Esther Rantzen with the crowds gathered at Downing Street.

In addition, Washington correspondent Martin Bell reports on the reaction to the UK election in the US, and the view from Moscow comes from Soviet press agency spokesman Gennady Gerasimov.

46 comments:

The Iron Duke said...

Did Phoney Tony really have a 'tache (furry lip)in 1983?
Or has someone been doodling on his picture?

Dean said...

If you're a Labour supporter, look away now.

It would be terrible for them to have to see 1983 replayed.

- A leader with no presentation skills heading towards a stunning defeat

- Members of the top team already fighting about who would replace him

- Traditional strongholds falling in great numbers as the aspirational C2s endorse the Tories

- Top names and future leaders falling by the wayside as the carnage unravels

- The prospect of over a decade in opposition

- Bickering about whether the defeat is due to being insufficiently Left Wing

As a distraction I suggest they look at the newspapers . . .

DOH!

simon said...

F'k me- i'm waiting for 1987 to show up! I was only 14 at the time & remember watching to make sure the 'welsh windbag' did not get in!

Anonymous said...

Yes, a terrible night for the Labour Party. They only won 11 seats more than the Tories in 2005. And how bad is that?

BrianSJ said...

Who put 'the harvest' there? Wonderful. Thank you.

verity said...

How could anyone ever have voted for cheap, sleazy-guy Tony Blair? Perhaps because there weren't any used-car or time-share smarmy salesmen running.

Can you say Uriah Heep?

Vox Populli said...

As Mrs T said a year earlier "Rejoice at that News !". The "peaceniks" in Foot's Labour Party were really on a hiding to nothing from the very start of the campaign.

Perhaps some of the present Labour Party who are suggesting the problem lies in not being sufficiently left wing enough for their 'core vote' may like to watch and learn. It's not just the 'core vote' you need to retain - you also need to attract the mass of "aspirational" floating voters in the middle. Foot didn't and paid the price.

However, knowing the "left" -they won't pay a bit of notice as they cannot conceive of the pssibility of being wrong and will pay a similar price cum 2010

ChrisD said...

Anyone know when the BBC Parliament channel will show the 1992 GE coverage again. I missed it last time it was shown.

Auntie Flo' said...

I will be intersted to see how BBC present this. There's something fishy about this.

Are they perhaps trying to bore/ frighten the average viewer out of voting for the Conservatives again?

Auntie Flo' said...

The Iron Duke said...
Did Phoney Tony really have a 'tache (furry lip)in 1983?


No, I think it's just smudged lippy.

Jonathan said...

Us leftwingers, since we seem to have been grouped as one enjoyed watching the 1997 election programme when it was rebroadcast some months ago.

Oh, and for those waiting for 1987 (Simon), you've missed it - it was on last October.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Labour will have no more than 150 MP's next time round

Croydonian said...

I may well watch this. Should I seek help?

David Boothroyd said...

BBC Parliament has shown the 1983 election before. I think the only one that exists and hasn't been repeated is 1959.

The best part of the 1983 election is where Labour gains Crewe and Nantwich, which had been Conservative with a majority of 3,634 on notional 1979 results.

simon said...

Christ, i watched the 1992 election and by eck- it was DULL- except for the basildon result! The first few hours there was NO real indication as to who HAD won- just a lot of dull waffle from those at BBC towers!

Daniel Earwicker said...

Brilliant, I've been waiting ages for BBC Parliament to show this one. This is the kind of thing people should have themed parties about, instead of the Eurovision. I'm going to download the manifestos to get good and ready for it.

Windsor Tripehound said...

Dean said

... Bickering about whether the defeat is due to being insufficiently Left Wing


As I recall, that was the line taken by the late Eric Heffer MP.

Now we have Simon Heffer writing that David Cameron is insufficiently right wing (1st May and 22nd May seeming to have passed him by). Must be something in the name that clouds political judgment.

Anonymous said...

Watch out for the moment when David Owen is caught on camera smirking as Shirley Williams loses in Crosby.
Tony Benn going down to Jonathan Sayeed in Bristol East is the "were you still up for Portillo" moment for those of us on the right.

Max said...

Thanks, it's in my diary Iain.

I'm trying to build the definitive list of all the government's failures in the last 10 years - all suggestions welcome - start at the blog and click on the link to "The Error Log" website for "the list".

See you there,

Max

Paul Burgin said...

I forgot about Gerasimov. Amazing how people from the past linger in the subconscious.
As for any possible future comparisons with 1983, these things tend to go in swings and roundabouts. I am sure that one day we shall see a repeat performance of 1997 ;)

Scipio said...

I wish they would show the by-election at Dunny-on-the-Wold again!

Privateer said...

I didn't realise that Dr Frank-N-Furter was Labour's candidate for Sedgefield back then...

stuart said...

Thanks for the heads up, Iain. I occasionally stumble across these repeats (if that's the right word) when flicking through the channels, and LOVE watching them. It's nice to know in advance that one of them is going to be on.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know why the hell they couldn't have shown it today. I may see if I can get the day off to watch it. It is terribly unfair on us political geeks who have to work. Also can't the BBC be persuaded to release them in full on DVD?

Paul Burgin said...

Scipio, a great classic and one of my favourite episodes of Blackadder and one the BBC had the genius to show just before polls closed in 1997. They should show that before every election night ;)

john terry is a mard arse said...

Who do you think will win?
Anyone running a book?

Anonymous said...

I remember it well. The prospect of more Thatcher was just too much, so I left the country and didn't come back until after 1997.

Looks like it's time to start packing again. With the prospect of a Tory Chancellor, Zimbabwe looks attractive!

Yak40 said...

With the prospect of a Tory Chancellor, Zimbabwe looks attractive!


Just how could a Tory Chancellor be any worse that Pru Brown ?

The problem to me is that I've yet to hear DC say anything about dismantling Brown's client rebate state and firing the excess administrators, rolling back tax rates, putting the dross to work, halting unlimited unskilled immigration, getting serious about tackling crime etc, all the things that can lead to real prosperity, rather than numbers on a fudged spreadsheet.

PSJ said...

I am being reminded of how pointless the first two hours of election programmes are. Lots of annoying speculation and politicians refusing to answer questions.

They should start these programmes at midnight or 12.30 rather than when the polls close.

Seeing Margaret again brought a warm glow though. And I've just heard Dimbleby saying that the pound had gone up on news of a landslide Tory victory. Those were the days...

Stephen said...

Imagine if these were issued on DVDs with commentaries…

2005 – Blair, Howard and Kennedy picking over old wounds
2001 – Blair, Hague and Kennedy trying to be witty
1997 – Blair, Major and Ashdown trying to avoid picking over old wounds.
1992 – Major, Kinnock, Ashdown
1987 – Thatcher (well, maybe not. What about Geoffrey Howe instead?), Kinnock and Steel reliving old times.
1983 – Howe, Michael Foot (or Roy Hattersley?) and Steel.
1979 – Howe, Healey/Owen and Steel
The 1974 elections – Healey, Robert Carr (how’s his health) and some senior Liberal from the time – if any are left. I doubt Thorpe could do it.
1970 – Carrington/Carr, Healey and a Lib
Even back to ’66, ’64 and ’59, Healey was highly involved all the way through! Someone should sit these old buggers down in front of a TV screen for however many hours it takes and watch them dissect nights that were turning points in their careers/for our country….

stuart said...

Is anyone 'live'blogging it?

archroy said...

Moment of extreme cognitive dissonance when I switched on just to see a caption flash up: "Dunwoody Gains Crewe and Nantwich".

Leo Bloome said...

Gordon brown still it at i see!.. the media wont admit that this communist government rae getting tax-payers money because they are barely huamn... The only soluiton is to bring back Mary Whitehouse... Im voting BNP in the next election its the sensible choice!!!

Dave H said...

Has anyone at the BBC dared to explain what was behind this? Public demand? Reopening the debate on unilateral disarmament?

The Spitting Image election specials would be far more welcome & informative.

Charlie said...

very amused by Edward du Cann's interview with Robin Day-not much spin there!

Mrs Thatcher's count in Finchley is a hoot...

with the benefit of hindsight, about 85 per cent of what the politicians (off all the parties) say is nonsense (something we should bare n mind when we listen to contemporary politicians).

Islington Neil said...

Just caught a bit of the coverage... somewhat unfortunately Esther Rantzen interviewing a guy in, erm, a top hat, white tie and tails amongst a jubilant crowd outside Downing Street...

Penfold said...

Why?
This is the Beeb shovelling out propaganda at taxpayers expense.
It's a piece of blatant NuLab electioneering prior to Henley.

andrewha said...

The following comment probably makes me unredeemably a Political Geek but... I'm actally finding watching the 83 results very exciting. This was my first big involvement in a general election. I ran a ward for the Liberals in the Leeds West constituency, aged 15. The result has just popped up on David Dimbleby's screen (I'm watching slightly time delayed) and I surprised myself by punching the air in triumph and dancing around the living room.

dozzy said...

I watched it. Pure nostalgia. The brown studio set, and interviews conducted in front of brown curtains. David Dimbleby much better than he is now. Peter Snow without a swingometer. Robin Day failing to say anything of interest. Minimal graphics of the crudest kind. Pym saying that a Conservative landslide was a bad thing. Callaghan saying that politicians should not offer popular policies, because the job of politicians is to lead. The Liberals and SDP being treated as if they are of huge interest. The uselessness of Shirley Williams. Roy Jenkins's terror and lack of the popular touch, and inability to address an audience. All those men in blue jackets and cloth ties, with hair combed up and over their bald heads. Ken Livingstone, with a moustache, shocking the interviewer by threatening direct action to bring down the newly elected government. Benn losing his seat. Pictures of drab municipal halls filled with Dave Sparts. Constant booing of the Conservatives. Conservative women in cheap looking flowery dresses. Cecil Parkinson, ubiquitous and oily. All the Labour people swearing that they would be back in 1987. Michael Foot dithering. David Owen smirking. Norman Tebbit sneering. Fantastic!

Daniel Earwicker said...

Penfold, how can this be effective propaganda when it is probably only being watched by us - a few dozen politics nerds who've already made our minds up? And probably no more than two or three people who have a vote in Henley will be watching.

As Dangermouse would say, Penfold: shush.

Anonymous said...

Ah the nostalgia!

I thought it was interesting tht the first 3 seats to declare were Torbay, Guildord and Cheltenham, all 3 of which had been safe Tory seats but now have LD MP's. 83 was when the Alliance was able to bring those seats, and others withn range and laid the foundation for subsequent LD success there. Hopefully all 3 are due o come home in the next 2 years!

Did anyone see that David Owen beat Ann Widdicombe in eveonport? I was struck by Owen's victory speech in which he stressed the importance of securing the SDP's identity. I can see now why he was so against the merger.

Lastly did anyone catch the Putney result? David Mellor beat Peter Hain!

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

anonymong at 1.02

Labour won 11 seats more than the Tories in '05 with 5% less of the vote. Proud of that, are you?

Daniel Earwicker said...

Scargill's comb-over was a triumph of socialist hair engineering, was it not?

Nicholas Mapstone said...

I missed this - and it looks as though it won't be appearing on iplayer.

I saw the 1979 one a year or so ago - it was gripping. Best of all was the Post Worker union man - the one with the handle bar moustache (Tom Jackson?) saying 'Well Thatcher has got in but it won't be as bad as everyone is saying - she'll have to speak to the unions". Little did he know! The retrospectoscope is a marvellous instrument.

Anonymous said...

Saw the 1979 General Election when shown in May 2009.

It was only on for 2 hours on the BBC IPlayer on the most interesting part, 'The Morning After'. --- Not the 9 hours it should have been on there.

HAS ANYONE RECORDED THE 15 HOURS OF THE GENERAL ELECION 1979 SO I CAN BUY IT OFF THEM OR SEE IT ON THE YOUTUBE?

They'll probably show the 1983 again and the 1979 like for 6 hours in 2008 but not the @Morning After'parts. - - - - You cant record off the BBC IPlayer either.

The great 79s one is the most interesting. Anyone recorded the 1959,1964+1974 elections so I can buy that off them too!!!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone got the web address of Kelvin McKenzie's blog?