Monday, October 19, 2009

An Inspector Calls

This poster was issued by the Conservatives in the 1929 general election. It may have taken Labour eighty years to make it come true, but it just shows how far sighted Tory election strategists were at the time!

Because remember that Labour has told local councils to come and inspect every inch of your home in future, so that councils can charge you more if you have a nice view, or a nice garden.

As I have written before, if they think they will get over the doorstep of SimmonsDale Towers, they have another thing coming.


Demetrius said...

We are in your patch tomorrow, so we will give you a big wave from the lovely park you look over. The view must be worth thousands.

Ken said...

Already local government is bound by EU diktats and this can only get worse once the Lisbon treaty comes in.

Here is a more modern poster:

The_Apiarist said...

didnt this appear on Political Betting some hours ago? Seems a shame not to credit them Iain!!

tory boys never grow up said...

Lies then lies now. Of course 1929 is quite close to 1924 when the Zinoviev letter, possibly the greatest Tory electoral lie, was disseminated by your good friends at the Daily Mail - but thanks for the warning to be on the look out for further lies.

Iain Dale said...

I have no idea if it appeared on I haven't looked at it today. If I had, I probably wouldn't have bothered posting on it!

That's what happens when someone sends something to several blogs at the same time.

David Boothroyd said...

More bollocks, I'm afraid. The power of officials from the Valuation Office Agency to enter homes was conferred by section 26 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 passed by John Major's government.

badman said...

Mike Smithson says he found the poster when surfing the net. If someone actually sent it to you, chances are they saw it on politicalbetting.

Hat tip in order, I think!

Iain Dale said...

Untrue. It was sent to me yesterday and was not sourced from

Annabel Herriott said...

The point is, It was true in 1929 and in every Labour government since. You have all be warned! Nu lab is really out to get you.

Not a sheep said...

They'll get in or they will prosecute you for some crime or other. Don't mistake the UK for a free democratic country.

Anonymous said...

Come, come now Mr Dale - It wasn't Socialism that gave us the 'Sex Inspectors'...

Anonymous said...

Iain is right - this is from the Daily Mail and some of this also appears on Theo Spark now as well..

Success has many fathers.. but it must have struck a chord..

Johnny Norfolk said...

This is how it is in Europe the state controls and interfears in everything.
Did you know in germany you have to pass an exam before they issue you a fishing licence.

We are rapidly catching up.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that Labour won the 1929 election?

no longer anonymous said...

"You do realize that Labour won the 1929 election?"

Tories got the most votes though.

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here:

BTW, Iain, what are your views re: the apparent effort by someone (a Tory operative perhaps) to alter wiki entry in order to obscure (to put it politely) ties of your EU Parliament group leader to rightwing elements in Poland even more unsavory (if that's possible)than BNP?

Ask this because you are both vigilent against such misdeeds AND have a good record of opposing far right as a Conservative and from a cross-party basis.

pedant said...

is it "another thing coming" or "another think coming"

wv: pedian

Malcolm Redfellow said...

You really are struggling today. Slow blogging day?

Do you really want to draw attention to the 1929 Manifesto? Because, if so, I'm your man:

The policy of any British Government ... must be based on the principle ... that the unity of the British Commonwealth is to be maintained by unfettered co-operation between its partner members, who enjoy an equal freedom under the Crown.

Freedom to immigrate into the UK?

Imperial Preference
'Nuff said.

Colonial development for the vast colonial territories for which the British nation is responsible ... the undeveloped estates of the British Empire to be developed by British capital and British enterprise

Safeguarding ... special industries ... The results of the duties which have been imposed are already apparent. Not only has employment been improved in every one of the safeguarded industries, but coal, steel, engineering, building, transport and other industries have profited by orders received and work created.
Dearie, dearie me. What would the Duchess of Grantham think of all that?

Road development ... the building and improvement of roads upon the greatest scale yet known, although our roads are already the best in the world, and we are spending more upon them than any European nation.
Yeh! That'll go a bomb in Nimbyshire!

Housing and the Problem of the Slums ... New powers will be given to local Authorities in England and Wales, enabling them to undertake the re-conditioning of old houses after acquisition and providing for an enlightened system of careful and sympathetic management. Where improvement schemes of this kind are carried out it will be possible so to control the tenancies as to put an end to the exploitation of sub-tenants who occupy furnished or unfurnished rooms and who are often in no position to protect themselves against undue charges.

Rent Restriction Acts ... the protection afforded to tenants by these Acts will not be removed until the shortage of houses has been overcome sufficiently to warrant such a course.

Let's not overlook the one specific section on women: it's entirely concerned with the welfare of Mothers and children. There's a bit more here under civil administration ... the numbers of women employed have given rise to many difficult problems affecting the Civil Service. We have decided that the time has come when it should be make the subject of a comprehensive enquiry by a Royal Commission. Oh, and a bit more under The household and the family. After the bit about abolishing tea duty and a reduction of ¼d. a lb. in the price of sugar to the consumer we get this: By these reforms, such as the Acts relating to the Adoption of Children, the Guardianship of Infants, Legitimacy and the Age of Marriage, we have sought especially to improve the position of women and children.
Kaiser Wilhelm had all that in just three words: Kinder, Küche, Kirche.

Last but one is Economy ... money is the measure of all that can be done ... The large savings which we have made on armaments are already apparent.

And, so to the bitter end: Peace Abroad. The promotion of peace and disarmament has been the prime object of our foreign policy, and that policy has proved successful over the whole field of foreign affairs. To which we can now add: Manchuria, 1931. Two years later, that nice Mr Hitler came to power ...

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here:

On Topic - Please note that historical record documents that ALL governments, Labour or Conservative; left, right or center - have tendancy over time and under stress, to limit and abuse civil liberties.

That's why it's imperative for advocates, oppositions, journalists, gadflies, victims. etc, etc, citizens of every description to stand up for civil liberties, against threats against them by governments and others.

Anonymous said...

Can you buy copies/reproductions of this anywhere?

I want one.

strapworld said...

A mutual pal says:-

Not a happy precedent – the Conservatives lost over 150 seats and went from having a majority of over 200 in 1924 to being the second largest party in a hung parliament (despite winning a higher share of the vote than Labour).


tapestry said...

what's interesting about it is that both mike smithson and iain dale featured the poster. it must be saying something that they feel to be true.

such as

the government are nasty nosey lying jobsworths who need shoving back in their place

Alan Douglas said...

5 x Ed Balls lookalikes is more than I can stomach ....

Alan Douglas

Duncan Borrowman said...

Iain, you don't really think that Labour will have inspectors watching everything we do, do you?
The Tories were not farsighted in 1929. If they were they would have had 200 CCTV cameras, and ID card, a diagram of a web of interlinked computers etc All with Jack Straw sat at the controls.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

The last couple of posts I see here (Alan Douglas @ 7:08 PM & Duncan Borrowman @ 8:03 PM) don't do irony either.

Let's hear it for that great Tory hero, "Jix", Home Secretary at the time this poster appeared. As Malcolm Kitchen had it in Europe Between the Wars [page 287, if anyone wants to check -- though fact-checking is obviously not a strong-point on this site]:

The representative figure in the cabinet was the preposterous home secretary, Sir William Joynson-Hicks. Armed with DORA, the wartime Defence of the Realm Act, "Jix" set out to save England from saxophones, cocktails, Jews and other undesirable foreign elements, Communists, pornography, nightclubs, homosexuality, kissing in the park and any changes to the Book of Common Prayer that hinted at Popery. He locked away Mrs Kate Meyrick, the nightclub queen, in Holloway prison, whence she returned as a national heroine, marrying two daughters off into the peerage. In an unguarded moment he agreed that the voting age for women should be reduced to 21. It was said, incorrectly, that the "flapper" vote brought Labour back to power in 1929.

The flappers found Baldwin insufferably dull and stood for everything that "Jix" detested. It would have come as a considerable surprise had they known that the prime minister had been expelled from Harrow for writing pornography.

Ah yes: typically Tory. Totally repressive; and led by a hypocrite.

DavidBean said...

I seem to remember this one surfacing about a year ago when the Conservative Party Archive set up shop and started releasing old campaign images. They'd be the ones to go to for reproductions, though I'm not sure what they offer.

Mr Angry said...

Nu Liebore have proven themselves to be the most oppressive and authoritarian government of the post war era and it is for that, and the Iraq war, that they will be remembered, or should that in fact be vilified, by history.

Anonymous said...

You are joking.

New Labour are not socialists.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

come now! as if it made a difference which party!!!!

Duncan Borrowman said...

Errr. Malcolm Redfellow. I was doing irony!
You clearly don't get being ironic about the ironic

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Duncan Borrowman @ 11:23 AM: In which case, mea culpa.

It's just that I've learned to make assumptions of the intelligence generally (but not normally) found in this den of ignorance and iniquity.

Anyone into election posters may like to check on a particularly apt one, from 1931, by Frank Horrabin. It seems to sum up current Tory rhetoric very neatly.

Roger Dodger said...

Thanks for this Iain. Classic.

Anonymous said...

I watched a programme many years ago about rationing coupons in between the war and their abolition. Labour wanted to know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE.I found it quite un-nerving and never thought it would ever be allowed to get like that again.
What is it with these control freaks? Are their lives so boring they have to poke their beaks into our lives.What we drink,smoke and eat!I gave up the first years ago,just gave up the second but Ill be dammed if I'll give up the third!!!!Over my dead body!!!

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Anonymous @ 9:16 PM:

You're being ironic, right?

Because if you're not, you are the most pig-ignorant trougher going. Can you not realise what the position of the UK was in 1945 onwards? We went technically bankrupt in 1941. We survived on lend-lease and US aid. As soon as peace was declared, in September 1945, the aid stopped. The US government came looking for their money.

So, Anonymous @ 9:16 PM, what happened next?

Yes, indeed, Attlee sent John Maynard Keynes (who had been fruitlessly urging the Churchill coalition to arrange something, anything, since early in the year) to Washington.

He brought back the best he could get: a total of a $4.34 billion loan (at 1945 prices!) at 2% interest rate, originally intended to be paid back over 50 years beginning in 1950. Inevitably, there were strings attached: sterling had to be convertible within a year (so inevitable devaluation); third countries' sterling balances had to be set against the debt. Keynes, already a sick man, and arguably not the right man for the job, was dead within months.

After using "breaks", the last payment of £43 million was made in December 2006. By Gordon Brown.

By the way, the other reason for the rationing was that we felt honour-bound to feed the millions of western Europe who would otherwise have died of starvation and plague. At the end of the War in Europe, crops for that season had not been sown; millions of refugees were on the move; vast swathes of Germany and elsewhere were laid flat. So, Anonymous @ 9:16 PM, should we have shoved that refugee horde back to the tender mercies of the Soviets? Should we have allowed the Red Army to occupy up to the Rhine? Should we have let the French and Italian Communist Parties take over? Or should we have done what we could?

Here, in Britain, we had other problems, other demands. German bombs had taken out ¾M homes: there had been no new-build for six years. So, Anonymous @ 9:16 PM, food or shelter?

All that's without being hysterical: if you want that too, seek out Canadian James Bacque's Other Losses, published in 1989. Bacque argued that Eisenhower deliberately reduced the rations allowed to German PoWs, and so caused deaths: over 800,000 and quite likely over a million. Their deaths were knowingly caused by army officers who had sufficient resources to keep the prisoners alive.

Here, in the UK, the health of millions of kids was on school milk, cod liver oil and the dose of malt. Churchill agreed that there was no better investment than putting milk into children. Then take a look at the feet of old folks now going into their late '60s and early '70s. We lived though it; but shoe-rationing got us.

Ever tasted whale-meat? Heard of snoek?

Alternatively, don't let ignorance get in the way of your irony.

Anonymous said...

...Labour didn't take 80 years to create an 'inspected society' governed in minutae by officials. Hayek complains about it in the 40s. Atlee certainly created such a society.

But attacking the fundamental basis of Labour's philosophy is rather too radical for Red Cameron.

Anonymous said...

I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person, but I can't for the life of me work out what Malcolm Redfellow's rant had to do with the post he had aimed it at.

The government was bankrupt... therefore the state needs to decide how much butter is produced, and where it goes to, and how much of it each person eats a week, and how much may be paid for it...? Honestly, what?

There existed a twilight world in which people could credibly argue that state planning increased production and human wealth and happiness generally. But it disappeared a long, long time ago. Now we can only regard these things as misguided attempts at kindness, at best, or evil usurpations of individual rights and liberties at worst.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

If Anonymous @ 1.59 AM is a fairly intelligent person, he might ask where the butter was coming from.

Despite all kinds of efforts to produce food at home - digging up public parks and railway embankments - the UK was producing about a fifth of the food we consumed. In war-time conditions that meant the difference was imported in convoys across U-boat infested oceans. Each ton of imported food was one fewer ton of munitions. That was why Philip Zec's cartoon ("The price of petrol has been increased by one penny" – Official.) of 6th March 1942 came within an ace of getting the Daily Mirror banned. Of course, there was an alternative: rationing by price -- allow the wealthy to buy whatever they wanted, rather than equal shares -- even of misery -- for all. Fortunately Churchill's government saw that nobs publicly troughing might not be good for civilian morale among wartime oiks.

With the outbreak of peace in 1945 there did not suddenly emerge a surplus of supply. Europe was devastated. All those food imports had to be paid for, in foreign exchange Britain no longer had.

Again, the solution might have been rationing-by-price (and to an extent that happened -- hence the "Black Market"). Apply that "conservative" policy generally and one has starvation across Europe (we came damn' close) and at home. Again fortunately, the Conservative Party in wartime coalition and post-War had more sense. Anyway, one of the last times the British government tried that approach on a national scale was during the Irish potato famine.

Rationing did not instantly end when the second Churchill government took office: bread and meat remained on ration until 1954. Petrol was put back on ration in the Suez crisis of 1956; and in 1963 ration books were re-issued. All that under Conservative administrations.

The government was bankrupt... therefore the state needs to decide how much butter is produced, and where it goes to, and how much of it each person eats a week, and how much may be paid for it...? Honestly, what? The last time I met with such invincible ignorance I suggested, gently, reading the odd book. That was felt to be an argumentum ad hominem. So I won't repeat myself.

Paul said...

Could I just mention J.B.Priestley? It's a very fine play.

Anonymous said...

Malcolm Redfellow: Seriously, go and read an economics textbook. Rationing does not alleviate shortages, it makes them permanent.

But yeah, it's really important we wage a class war against 'troughing nobs' (even if they are paying a 99% tax rate) while economic statism (largely pushed by Atlee, for ideological reasons, not Churchill) wastes the bitterly-won fruits of the Atlantic convoys with typical socialist inefficiency.

As to the potato famine: the British government had a policy of preventing the operation of the free market. You may have heard of the Corn Laws? Ireland starved while all around her there was plenty that could be spared... much like 50s Britain compared to the US. Primary sources even compare Britain disfavourably to Germany, which largely eliminated her state controls under Erhard. You can hardly blame the shortages on U-boats by the early 50s, now can you, Mr Atlee (no, and indeed, they threw him out, and Churchill abolished the controls).

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Here we go again: History 101.

OK, Anonymous @ 10: 53PM in the interest of pedagogy, let's try again.

His name was — note this spelling, please: academically it is a bit more convincing than your version — Attlee, a decent, brave, liberal God-fearing man, the last-but-one of the rearguard off the beach at Suvla Bay. Even his political opponents recognised that.

The rest of your points:

[1] Rationing does not alleviate shortages, it makes them permanent. Why, then, was rationing introduced in January 1940, during the "phony war" and before the wartime coalition? And remained until July 1954, which was four years after the accession of the second Churchill administration, and — another of your points — over a year after Churchill was incapacitated by a stroke and ga-ga, when Number 10 was effectively run by Eden, the Cabinet Secretary and Churchill's doctor?

[2] If, during the War of the Atlantic, "troughing nobs" are allowed to buy up whatever they wanted (not needed), how could the armed forces, the civilian workforce and all others be kept in basic nutrition?

[3] How, during the wartime coalition — which always reflected the vast Tory majority in the Commons — could socialist inefficiency and economic statism (there's a revealing term which needs definition: I thought only Trots went in for that kind of terminological vulgarity) waste the bitterly-won fruits of the Atlantic convoys? Are you saying that Churchill ran a wartime socialist government? [Actually, that's a good debating point: but it's also another argument].

[4] I remain totally bewildered by the direct leap from An Gorta Mór to Ludwig Erhart. The Corn Laws had been repealed by the Tories in 1846, on the same day as the Irish Coertion Act. Peel's resignation put Irish relief in the hands of the Whig Trevelyn, whose whole policy was to make "Irish property support Irish poverty". Absentee English-resident rack-renting landlords could shrug their shoulders and evict their Irish peasantry to find the nearest poorhouse and to starve. Trevelyn was of your persuasion: he thought Peel's policy of importing millet was wrong if local merchants couldn't make a profit importing and selling to starving paupers at famine prices. Been to a Celtic (soccer), Munster or Irish (rugby) game in recent years, Anonymous @ 10: 53PM? If so, you'll know Pete St John's song: its temper is not far wrong.

[5] Primary sources even compare Britain disfavourably to Germany, which largely eliminated her state controls under Erhard. Yeah: for the same reason that Japanese industry flourished in the post-war epoch. The formerly-conquered and bombed-to-buggery nations were starting from scratch, with heavy investment and lots of nice new machine tools imported from the US. Germany even had a streamlined trade-union structure devised by that despicable Vic Feather. Britain had to struggle on with clapped out machinery, crappy infrastructure and Victorian craft unions, while paying off war-debts and financing a vast defence budget.

[6} You can hardly blame the shortages on U-boats by the early 50s, now can you, Mr Atlee (no, and indeed, they threw him out, and Churchill abolished the controls). See also point [1] above. No I didn't: even I can count the difference from 1943 to 1954. Who were "they" throwing "Atlee" out? I thought the Labour Party had more popular support — 13.23M to 11.5M votes — though fewer seats in the Commons in 1950.

I've read the odd — even very odd — economics and economic history textbook: sharing a house with three women, five history and one economics degrees, dinner conversation over four decades would otherwise be constrained. I also read more than a few political histories. I don't have to agree with every jot and tittle, but then, unlike some, I'm not totally blinkered.