Blimey today is the 30th anniversary of the invasion of the Falkland Islands by the Argies – it’s funny how some things never seem to get older in your mind – seems like only yesterday. Also while watching CBBC this morning I found out that the kids news show Newsround started 40 years ago this week. They did a retrospective of life in the 1970’s which I cringed about as it started as these things often leave you with a rather untrue view of life in the 70’s – all afro’s and glittery jumpsuits. It was, however, quite good and pointed out things like 50% of homes didn’t have a telephone. there were only 3 TV channels and a huge number of people still only had black and white tv’s. Sometimes it’s difficult to believe the changes that have occured in my lifetime……
This then continued in the car with a discussion on Start the Week which informed me that I am from a missing generation! Apparently people who were born in the years just before and after me are and have been missing from mainstream politics. There were people who were born before us and lots that have been born since but only 3 people born between 1955 & 1964 have held high office. There were some very interesting ideas put forward to why this was and some of them certainly felt as if they could be true.
The first was the general election of 1992 where everyone assumed that the Tories had no chance whatsoever and that they would be kicked out. As it happened John Major somehow won and gave the Conservatives their 4th successive term in office. I remember it well and I also remember the disbelief with which it was greeted – even down to conspiracy theories about election rigging! The suggestion was that this result and the 5 years that followed disillusioned so many of the people that would have gone into politics that they gave up and found outlet in other areas – notably culture. The discussion went on to say that over the intervening period so much of what was once regarded as alternative crossed over into the mainstream which again I feel is very true – just look at Glastonbury for example! It was interesting though to realise that much of the change in society over the past 20 years has not come from Government but from society itself
What it didn’t go on to discuss however was that five years later when the Tories were so shot that there was no way of them getting elected we ended up with Tories Lite or as they called themselves New Labour.Now that was enough for me to believe that politics was a spent force in this country. The state of mainstream politics has been destroyed over the past 20 years. The parties are now more concerned with image and shy away from anything that might be unpopular – there is no place for ideology any more it’s just what’s your favourite shade of blue. The markets run the country and the politicians just tag along. The Tories haven’t won an election since Major’s 92 win and couldn’t even win last time despite the fact that Labour now look unelectable!
Blimey what a madhouse I went home to! We have 3 French students staying with us for a couple of nights. We’ve also got a Dutch girl who is staying with us for a few weeks that arrived today and on top of that Sarah had invited one of Lissi’s friends who lives near Birmingham but who was visiting her mum in Kent, to stay over as well. It was girly madness!