Thursday, June 22, 2006

Your Earliest Political Memory?

In his interview on this blog earlier this week Adam Rickitt said his earliest political memory was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Dizzy is worried that it was his too. Croydonian, who's a similar age to your humble servant, says his earliest political memory was Watergate. I was born on 1962. My first political memory was the power cuts and the three day week in 1974. I would like to say that my first political memory was Mrs T abolishing school milk - which I always hated - and that set me on the hallowed path to Thatcherism. But I can't. Because it wasn't. What is your earliest political memory?


Anonymous said...

Election day 1997 was my first political memory (I was 9 at the time), I remember being taken to the polling station with my mother and being told that "that nice man Mr Blair" was going to be the next Prime Minister. I was unhappy with this as I thought John Major "seemed like a nice guy", and so I became a Conservative...

Chris Palmer said...

The Conservative party losing the 1997 General election.

Through the swirling mists of time I vaguely recall watching the coverage on television - with John Major making some form of resignation speech - while, to cheering crowds, Tony Blair, our supposed saviour was welcomed in Downing Street.

How opinions have changed.

Richard Bailey said...

(Born 1971) The Falklands War and the Miners Strikes.

My seminal political moment however, was Kosovo in 1999 and the priviledge of seeing Blair's grandstanding in the refugee camps in Macedonia. I have despised him ever since and it made me very political indeed.

Yak40 said...

Had to really dig up the past, I think it was the Suez crisis and the Hungarian uprising in 1956. I was 10.

Antony said...

Born 1979 - I remember our music teacher, a rabid Tory from Rochdale (!), wheeling a TV into our lesson to watch Margaret Thatcher leave Downing Street in 1990.

Ross said...

I can just about remember the 1987 election although I would only have been 8 at the time.
Lebanon was in the news a lot back then with the kidnappings that were occuring. The death of Rudolf Hess also springs to mind.

Anonymous said...

Margaret Thatcher leaving office is probably my earliest memory of anything, nevermind political memory. I was only just 4 years old. How I knew what was going on, I really don't know.

The Major years were a bit of blur (not only for me, I reckon), and before I knew it it's the 1997 G.E. and I was leaving primary school aged 11.

Anonymous said...

Circa mid 80's I recall my parents campaigning and running the election room for a current cabinet member. (sadly the continuing presence of Blair stops me voting for her).

I also have feint earlier memories of my dad receiving visits from our local Tory MEP.

Like Richard I also have strong memories of the Falklands - some of my dad's former colleagues served there and it was a big moment in our lives.

Despite the Labour slant of our home the Falklands was a moment where we were encouraged to feel proud that our little island race had rediscovered it's backbone.

Unlike Blair's escapades in Iraq the Falklands was an honourable conflict and a moment which cemented the return of Britain's pride in her own resolve.

And of course the Iranian Embassy siege which my dad virtually forced us to sit up and watch unfold. The scenes of the SAS smashing through the windows thrilled me and are a truely iconic moment in recent history.

Anonymous said...

Mrs T doing PMQs in 1986. It also happened to be my 4th birthday.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I've just found a copy of that day's PMQ's on the excellent Margaret Thatcher Foundation website:

House of Commons PQs

Mikey said...

For me, it was Labour Home Secretary Merlin Rees addressing the nation on BBC1, calling a state of emergency (or something similar) when the firemen (these were the days before "firefighters") went on strike - about 1977.

Coupled with the Winter of Discontent a year or so later, it struck me as a dreadful way for a government to run a country.

Anonymous said...

You all seem absurdly young: enjoy it while ye may. Mine is hearing it announced over the tannoy at the Boy's Own Exhibition in January 1957 that Eden had resigned.

Anonymous said...

Real first memory was seeing BBC TV News covering Parliament with a shot of the Chamber and Callaghan's pic on the right and Thatcher on the left. I still think of politics back to front.
I recall seeing a TV show the night before (night of?) the no-confidence vote against Callaghan, in which the closing lines were "If xxx turns up and votes, the govt will lose".
Then a few weeks later, a car going past our house (I was 6) with a loudhailer saying "Keep Maggie Out Of Number Ten". My mother said "Ah, must be Labour", to which I replied "But it might be Liberal?"
Weird. No history of political interest in my family. Why did I find that interesting and not worms, or cars, or treehouses?

Ross said...

Cassilis, I think the incident you referred to was where they killed a taxi driver who was carrying a working miner.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

It was the 1987 election - I remember being most impressed by David Owen on the television. I remember going along with my father when he voted and then going straight to the local Conservative victory party (this was in the days when Surrey Conservatives didn't wait for the count!).

After that quite a few events on the periphery but I think the first one I really followed was the downfall of Thatcher. I remember my letter by my father (who held some post in the local association) in the Daily Telegraph supporting Heseltine's challenge; going into a mid morning class to be told the PM had thrown in the towel and later running an opinion poll of my class at school on the morning of the second ballot. I was the only one who wanted Heseltine! (I've never been terribly good at backing the eventual winner in Conservative leadership elections.)

Anonymous said...

The destruction of the Mostar Bridge is the earliest I remember. Kosovo would be the first political happening that I actually felt very strongly about. It made me rather anti-Tory.

Anonymous said...

This thread has made me realise that blogging is a young man's game. My earliest political memory was the 'appointment' of Sir Alec Douglas-Home as PM in Oct '63.

I was eight years old at the time and I along with my clasmates had to record the histroic event in our work books.

Unfortunately for me I smudged my entry and received a goodly thrashing with the 'yard ruler.' This punishment was enthusiastically delivered by a tomato faced Poor Clare and my porcine squeals of pain were a source of much amusement for my mates.

Little bastards!

Andrew said...

cassilis, your memory is almost right - the miner was travelling in a taxi, it was the taxi driver that the murdering bastards killed.

dizzy said...

my mother used to tell me that I hated the winter discontent because of the black outs. It's funny really, I've been thinking about it more and I really can't see anything more important in my life politically than the ripping down of the Berlin Wall (even though I do remember earlier things). That event set me on a so many cool journey's East too, into Czechoslavkia, Hungary, Ukraine, and Russia, those countries make me go all misty eyed for some reason, so much rich culutre yet so much opporession.

Ken said...

First memory: Alec Douglas Home leaving Downing Street after losing the 1964 election.

Best early memory: Sitting in Tommy Duck's, a pub in Manchester at age 17 during the three day week. Getting paid for five days and thinking life was grand.

Serf said...

My first political memory was discussing the upcoming 1979 election with my school friend. We both wanted the Conservatives to win. As my parents are fairly unpolitical I have no idea why I thought as I did. I was 8 years old.

I have been a Conservative ever since.

Anonymous said...

The Nixon/Kennedy presidential campaign. Kennedy (very much the Cameron of his day) campaigning on the corner of themain street in my hometown. Kennedy, young, glowing and the housewives' favourite was a curious brick colour - I later found out this curious colouring was the result of Addison's Disease which he had and no one knew. Even then I realised that people went for style and not substance. Mind you I was NEVER a Nixon fan.

The second was the Cuban Missile crisis. I remember sitting in the courtyard of the apartment complex in which we lived, with my friends wondering whether we would wake up dead!

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Now I was born in 1975. Miners strike sticks in the memory - but sometime I cant be sure if its what I saw on TV after the event. I lived in America for three years and actually remember some aspects of Presidential politics- the Gary Hart sex scandal - and Walter Mondale.

Anonymous said...

Children (including Iain & Mikey]

My worry is that Mrs Thatcher's "improvement" [Nu-Labour sense] of the Free School Milk system [by abolishing it] is not my first political memory

... und ich habe das spell-checker noch nicht gefunden

I remain your obedient servant etc

G Eagle

Anonymous said...

Alec Douglas Home on TV News 1964.............obviously though little older than you I was more precocious

Anonymous said...

I feel so old when I read the comments of your other correspondents!

Hungary & Suez in 1956 (I was 7). Supporting that nice avuncular Mr Macmillan in the 1959 General Election (although I passed up the chance to see him at Peckham Rye to go to Saturday morning pictures).

HowRidiculous said...

My earliest political memory is the Conservatives' 1983 election victory. It has been downhill all the way since!

Anonymous said...

John Kennedy being shot. I remember the headmaster telling us about it at assembly the next morning. Although I was only seven years old, the sense of shock & dismay came through very clearly,

Louise said...

A couple of early memories which coloured my political beliefs although politics was always about in our house.

Our neighbours collecting money for the striking miners and my not understanding why my dad who earned next to nothing should have to give money to people who chose not to work. The Brighton bombing and thinking how brave and strong Margaret Thatcher was for giving her speech on the Friday morning.

Paul Burgin said...

Born 1975.
Shortly before my family moved to Oxfordshire in June 1979, I have this blurred memory of seeing the 5:40 news after Ivor the Engine and seeing piled rubbish in an area. I have an uncomfortable feeling with hindsight that I was seeing a news item about the Winter of Discontent.
First definite memory, newswise, would have been Prince Charles's first marriage. I definetly remember the Falklands, and my earliest political memory (aside from finding out at the age of seven that Parliament was where people shouted at each other and behaved in an immature way) was the 1983 general election. I remember telling my paternal gran (who was a member of the Conservative Party), that I wanted Margaret Thatcher to win because Michael Foot looked like a horrible old man.
Thankfully however, by the time of the 1987 general election I was a bit more aware and wanted the Tories out (because they caused unemployment)and wanted the SDP/Liberal alliance to win (because they seemed reasonable and hadn't had a chance since the First World War).
I got it right by 1992, or should I say left ;)

Paul Linford said...

I remember my mum and grandma watching the Budget and moaning about everything "going up" but can't recall which year it was, although it was probably some time in the late 60s. My earliest concrete political memory was the 1970 General Election. Mum and dad were getting very excited because the Conservatives were winning, but I felt sorry for the Liberals because they only had six seats!

Anonymous said...

Mrs Thatcher becoming the first female PM. I remember the way she restored Britain's reputation on the world stage, like at home she was not always liked but she was respected. We all remember the famous relationship she had with Ronald Reagan, but I don't remember her ever been likened to a poodle or a junior partner in that relationship!

Anonymous said...

In about 1978 my parents told me the Prime Minister was a nice man called Jim Callaghan, and there was this nasty woman called Mrs Thatcher who was trying to get rid of him.

Anonymous said...

Born 1961.Earliest political memory is also one of my earliest memories of any type.Churchills funeral in 1965,the only time I ever saw my father cry.
Later on I do remember the riots in N.I. in 1969,Heaths suprise win in 1970,and the miners strikes and power cuts in 1972 and'74.

Croydonian said...

Feel like Methuselah yet, Iain? I do.....

Anonymous said...

Born 1965. I was vaguely conscious of the Vietnam and Yom Kippur Wars (which accounts for my dislike of the Panorama theme tune - it's associations with scary pictures of bombs etc I guess. Which is kind of wierd because I like explosions and guns and stuff nowadays).

I do remember the power cuts and 3 day week of the mid-70's and knew it had something to do with those people on the telly. Scargill's interruption of my weekly dose of Dr Who probably set me on the path of right wing loonery, albeit sub-consciously. I've never rated Heath and Wilson much either probably for the same reasons.

My first really conscious political memory is from the late 70's with the fuel driver's strike (I couldn't go to school - which amazingly pissed me off, though I can't remember why) and the Winter of Discontent which showed me that the socialists were a complete bunch of numpties and that stopping them was the most important thing in the world.

From then on I became a child of the Thatcher era.


Anonymous said...

The Cuba crisis. I remember how quiet and frightened my parents were, and little huddles of neighbours standing around in the street, talking in funeral-parlour whispers. I was off school on the day the crisis broke, and my mother rushed upstairs with tears streaming down her face, shouting: "They've turned back!"

Mike Wood said...

Miners strike and the Brighton bombing

Anonymous said...

I remember going to the polling booth with my mum when I was 5 in 1979 and the party held by her at home with the other mums when Lady T won. But my clearest first memory is 1983, when I was 9, and the introduction of compulsory wearing of seat belts. I was wholly against such compulsion and I guess that was the beginning of the stirrings of libertarianism in me!

Anonymous said...

One other memory from the early seventies. It was during the time when it seemed (to a seven/eight year old anyway) that there was an election every few months.

I remember asking my mother who she was going to vote for and her saying she thought she'd vote Liberal this time because none of the others seemed to be any good.

Poor old lib/dems always the last choice of the desperate.



Unknown said...

I remember being driven through Lewisham by a friend of my mum, who was looking after me at the time. We drove past the fire station, where the firemen were picketing, and she shouted “Get back to work you lazy c**ts”.

It was the fist time I had heard anyone swear like that! She then explained why she was so angry with the firemen, bin collectors, etc, etc and that everything would be better once the Conservatives were in. I assume it was 78-79.

When we won the 79 election I genuinely felt that we had been saved.

Anonymous said...

Do the starvation rations in '47/'48 count? Or The Festival of Britain in '51?
If not, it'll be sweets coming off the ration.

Martin Curtis said...

Mine was the fireman's strike in 1977. My father was responsible for issuing the Green Goddesses out of the depot they were stored in. I remember thinking how wrong it was for people to strike over a lack of money and send what were even lower paid and worse equipped servicemen into a position of peril. I still believe it was immorral.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you've got a young audience Iain.
I go back to 1950. A fat old bloke sweeps by at speed in an open limosine near our council estate in Essex. As he flicked cigar ash into the slipstream, there were howls of execration from the roadside. I particularly remember: "Fucking warmonger!"

Anonymous said...

Harold Wilson winning the General Election in 1964. My mother, always a true-blue Conservative (despite her working-class origins) was stricken to the core by this defeat and I(at eight years of age) picked up on her "it's the end of the world as we know it" mood. Anyway, by the next Election in 1966, I was hooked - although the full flowering of my interest was not until 1970 when (hurrah!) the Conservatives were re-elected. Result: unconfined joy in the swans egg household & I've never looked back since!

Anonymous said...

Sometime between 1981-82, I was in a classroom in Rome and I was hearing two kids raised by Communists slagging off America. Although I'm half-Brit/half-Italian, I had grown up in New York until the age of ten and thus identified very strongly with the US. Their incessant (and in retrospect parroted) criticism of the US reduced me to furious tears.
My life-long hatred for Communism likewise started that day.
My first British political memory comes from 1985, when my family moved back, briefly to Lodnon. I remember seeing on the news the reports from the Tory and Labour party conferences, I remember the triumphant feeling in the Tories' conference, the acrimonious arguments in the Labour conference. Well, that and Spitting Image...

Anonymous said...

Watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, live.
Absolutely incredible.

Political? Course it was.


Mr Eugenides said...

Iran hostage crisis. I was 5 or 6.

Then the Falklands War. It may well be my father's rather robust explanation of what was happening that made me a lifelong Conservative.

Anonymous said...

Suez and the Hungarian uprising in 1956. (I was born in 1949.)

Anonymous said...

Some very interesing points raised by a first political memory.

My overall impression is that one single event sent people on a chosen political path.

MI5, it seems has a lot to answer for here.

They were very busy within the Labour party and bent on undermining it. They thought that Communists were infiltrating the party and determined to take power.
Winter of discontent was a political set up.Revenge for Heath by Thatcher was also deliberate.
Falklands was a st up.

You foolish foolish people. So easily led.You believe that the rich people love you.They don't, they are just using you for their own ends.
Why immigration, why asylum? Think about it.
PS. the bit about Kosovo was unfair.Blair and Britain ending ethnic cleansing of muslims was a credit to us all.

Anonymous said...

Mock election at school in Spring 1974. Harold Elletson, subsequently MP for Blackpool North, was on the Tory ticket, but I campaigned for the Liberals, on the basis that I lived in Devon, where Liberalism was (pre Thorpe/Scott fiasco) a proud tradition, and my parents had been saying quite loudly for some months or years that Ted Heath was utterly hopeless.

Thirty two years later, I am an unapologetic right-wing Conservative, and Harold Elletson, no longer in Parliament, a soft-left LibDem (but still an amusing and good man). Perhaps he can re-join this wishy washy Tory party now that it is clear that it will not say boo to a goose.

Anonymous said...

Oh you guys are so young!!!!!

My uncle joyously announcing that the Tories had taken a whupping in the Orpington by election(1962 I'll have you know).

1964 General Election won by Labour, and me (aged 11) wondering to myself if I should support the Tories now as they were the underdog. Thankfully the moment passed

Curly said...

I was born in 1956 and remember watching Kennedy's assassination on tv and wondering why my parents were so worried, something about the Russkies and missiles, I remember Alec Douglas Home taking over from MacMillan then losing the election to that bloke from Yorkshire, Wilson.
It was during my time in Grammar school, three day week, power cuts, miners and railworkers on strike etc. that one of my teachers reminded me of why we were all housed in terraced slums with outside toilets and no running hot water.
"It's because (Major) Dennis Healey promised us all a land fit for heroes in 1945" he said, and Tyneside has slumbered and slaved under Labour domination since, "here we are in the early 1970s and they are starting to think about laying the foundation stones in South Shields - it's time I started to teach you all about the benefits of Conservatism."

He went on to fight two general elections, and I was only too pleased to help him out. Joined the YCs met Maggie and the rest they is.......
I became the youngest opposition Councillor in South Tyneside at the age of 23.

Richard Bailey said...

Gary Elsby 11.43am. (Sorry, Iain. Hope you will humour my reply.)

My point precisely, Gary. That is what you were supposed to think as you sat in your armchair watching the news and it worked a treat. The reality on the ground where I was in the refugee camps and facing the Serbian Army was very different.

We were set up by some bloody clever Albanians. TB knew that is was a fix but it suited him very well. We did not prevent ethnic cleansing. The Kosovans scarpered at the first sight of trouble burning their houses behind them. Within days of restoring them to their land, we were protecting the Serbs from them and have been ever since.

That is why it was my seminal moment. I saw what so few people ever see - the truth. And it really pissed me off, especially since I was one of the people who had to do the dirty work and face the guns.

Only a handful of lives were lost in that operation, but each one of them was the result of a politician's vanity.

Richard Bailey said...

Spitting Image deserves a mention!

You've got another Bog Book here, Iain!

Anonymous said...

Your post explains a lot of things Gary Elsby.Your poor misguided fool.

Gregor said...

I remember the release of Terry Waite, is that political? I suppose it is considering what he was doing, I was only 9 at the time though so it was a bit fuzzy. My cleatest memory I would say was the 97 election when I was 15, wondering about all these Blair Babes the Sun was bashing on about as I prepared the papers for my round.

Anonymous said...

If you read your own press Malcolm and not mine or my word (which carries more weight than you think),then I believe you will come to a different conclusion.

MI5 undermined Wilson.
MI5 led the miners.
MI5 infiltrated the EC of scargill
MI6 set up the Falklands war

Why do you consider it patriotic for the state(?) to usurp the people?
Why do you support a party that instigated crimes against society of which we cut off a King's head?
The Conservative party are aparty of traitors.Accept it.
Huskie hugging, this aint but please do tell in your memoirs, how asylum seekers merdered their way across Britain and hospitals melted down and Prescott lost a secretary-all in one day.
Tha day being slightly prior to a local election.
Twigged yet?

Anonymous said...

Richard. A conspiracy theory? Not bad coming from the other side.

Personally I'll stick with Ashdown/Owen version and relegate my own view of adolation for a man and Country that did good by Muslims.
Suicide bombers, please note!


Blognor Regis said...

I think I vaguely recall my mum dropping by the village hall as we walked home from Primary School on election day in 1979. I definately remember the end of the Iranian Embassy seige a few weeks later.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Iain,

Gary's forgotten to take his medication again.


Anonymous said...

My earliest vaguely political memory was the 1979 election when I was four and a half. The Conservatives posted a leaflet through our door, and I remember asking my dad what it was for.

My first definitely political memory was the Falklands war. I remember the fevered excitement of the time, and the anti-Argie songs we continually swapped in the playground of my school.

Anonymous said...

Utter bollocks Gary.You know it I know it.If the Labour party had any evidence of your assertions they would have used them.
As I've said before,you have the same attitiude to truth as your mate Alistair Campbell.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say this but Gary Elsby is more or less correct and I am VERY right of centre.

The winter of discontent was in all probability orchestrated by MI5. Callaghan had a 2% lead in the polls in October '78 and he was widely expected to go to the country then. It was a surprise to most commentators that he decided to soldier on with his prices and income policies till the following May. What a gift to the spooks!

Many of the strikes were unofficial and against the wishes of the union leaderships and TUC. MI5 and Special Branch officers had infiltrated much of the trade union movement and the far left and acted as agent provocateurs.

Much of the mainstream left stupidly supported these actions thinking that it would result in the election of a truly socialist (ie communist) Labour government. Like Scargill later they were clueless about strategy.

Re. The Falklands Elsby forgets that the spooks tried it on in 1976/7 when the Argies landed some 'scientists' there but Ol' Jim dispatched the hunter killer subs with their nuclear warheads pdq.

Elsby has his knickers on the wrong way round about Falklands II. It was an MI6 plot designed to get Thatcher out of office. He forgets that Thatcher was no more loved by the establishment (which saw her as a polarising figure and destabilising influence) than she was by the unions.

The Falklands was part of the CIA's 'Operation Condor' a covert strategy (that began with the overthrow of Aleend's regime in Chile in 1973) to put and keep Junta's in power in Latin America to keep out Soviet and Cuban influence

Sometimes guys to make the world a better place you have to fight dirty and I mean REAL dirty.

Anonymous said...

Make them to who?
The Sun? Dave? A Tory?

If it were proved, would it end the Conservative Party as the spokesman of the rich?

Why wasn't Albert Speer hung?


Croydonian said...

'Hanged' even, Gary.

It was because he was an architect and latterly in charge of production, rather than being in the same league as the likes of Heydrich, Himmler or Goebbels. His 20 year imprisonment was for the use of slave labour for the German war effort.

Or are you mixing him up with Rudolf Hess?

Anonymous said...

This is a great thread, really nice to talk about early thoughts and how they influenced us and developed later on.

Me. Born 1988. First memory was being very confused by the 'Tax Bomb' poster at 1992 election, but having it explained when I asked that Labour would raise taxes. My parents never vote, but worked as self employed developers so were fairly conservative. We were following an ice cream van at the time [more tax = less money = less ice cream].

Next was rail privatisation. As a railway enthusiast I was very interested but undecided. Parents both against privatising rail. I decided it was a good thing as it would create choice and thus competition which would make them try harder so as to earn more money - as well as a more varried range of colour schemes. Not impressed as we had Connex take over, but railways have improved now for sure - parents agree I was right.

Anonymous said...

IN SA about 1951 Dr D F Malan and National Party elected govern and the return to the dark ages. In UK about 1978 Brian Walden interviewing Scargill for World at One. King Arthur said that he would nationalise M+S. I scratched my head.

Unknown said...

Leaflettin in the 1983 General Election - which is really sad considering I was 7 years old at the time... hindsight, I should have called Childline

Anonymous said...

No I haven't mixed him up. Hess was pre-death camp and therefore quite innocent of major war crime. His Scottish escapade could make him a man on a peace mission.Which of course is bollocks.

Albert Speer was Hitlers No.2 and was in charge of armaments production. He kept the war going beyond jan 1944 using slave Labour from the death camps.

Everyone under him were hanged.
So how come the man at the top was jailed and allowed to write lie after lie that removed him from all scenes of crime. Why did they allow it.
You Tories should start to delve into the truth and expose the obvious lies.
Your party is as guilty as hell.
Hess and Speer are not a coincidence. You Tories have lots more to answer for. You tried to sell this Country out.
Only Winston stood in your way and he won.


Croydonian said...

Gary, the Nuremberg trials were conducted on Attlee's watch, or had you not noticed?

Anonymous said...

My point is really quite simple and appears lost to you die hards.
The Tories funded Hitlers rising Nazi party and are mostly responsible for what happened next.

Your lot tried to stop it by collaborating.
Hess, Speer and hundreds of Nazi's colluded with the Tories to accept a Nazi Britain.

You have MI5 and MI6 to give you a hand and Labour have no-one.

The Falkland islands was a definite Tory plot defining Britain against allcomers.
The Tories deliberately weakened our protection in full knowledge of impending invasion.

I'm thinking of writing a book..
'The Tories are treacherous,treasonous bastards'

Available from all good books shops.


Croydonian said...

Shall we have a whip round to buy Gary a tinfoil hat?

Anonymous said...

I was born in 1983. My earliest political memories are the fall of the Berlin Wall, the start of the first Gulf War, and Mrs. Thatcher's teary exit from Downing Street.

I recall the day after the first ballot - the front page of The Sun had pictures of Thatcher and Hezza's faces surrounded by blue rosette motifs, with the first round results on them. Although we lived in Northern Ireland, and never had the chance to vote Tory, I remember, even then feeling profoundly sad that Mrs. Thatcher was going.

How sad......