As with 1993 for Kinnock this Election Is Boris Johnson’s to Lose, Just as May totally screwed up 2017, Johnson quite possibly did a Kinnock with this Moment on question Time. Analysis to Follow over the next few days.
This article needs to be updated.November 2019)(
Central government spending in the United Kingdom, also called public expenditure, is the responsibility of the UK government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. In the budget for financial year 2016–17 , proposed total government spending was £772 billion.
Spending per head is significantly higher in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland than it is in England.
Scotland has historically collected more tax per person than has the rest of the UK, although following a decline in the oil price in 2014, Scotland produced slightly less revenue than England per capita in 2014–15. As of 2014 and the release of the GERS report, Scotland had a higher deficit relative to the UK deficit as a whole and received an increased net subsidy from UK government borrowing, this deficit was attributed to declining oil revenues as the price of crude oil has fallen. This condition is predicted to only get worse should oil revenues fall further.
|Department||2016–17 Expenditure (£bn)|
|Public order and safety||34|
|Personal social services||30|
|Housing and environment||34|
|Industry, agriculture and employment||24|
|Total Government spending||772|
Revenue details break down revenues by type and by level of government. You can also drill down to view more detail by clicking the [+] control on each line.
No Pie Chart
|[+] Income and Capital Taxes||268.3||0.0||0.0||268.3|
|[+] National Insurance||143.4||0.0||0.0||143.4|
|[+] Indirect Taxes||309.0||0.0||36.3||345.3|
Fees and Charges
|[+] Business and Other Revenue||41.6||0.0||11.8||53.4|
|[+] Total Direct Revenue: Start chart||764.7||0.0||46.7||811.4|
|[+] Net Public Debt||0.0||0.0||0.0||1,838.2|
|expand / collapse Click for Chart ->|
|Key:||Switch to spending|
The longest suicide note in history
“The longest suicide note in history” is an epithet originally used by United Kingdom Labour MP Gerald Kaufman to describe his party’s 1983 general election manifesto, which emphasised socialist policies in a more profound manner than previous such documents—and which Kaufman felt would ensure that the Labour Party (then in opposition) would fail to win the election.
The New Hope for Britain was a 39-page booklet which called for unilateral nuclear disarmament; higher personal taxation for the rich; withdrawal from the European Economic Community; abolition of the House of Lords; and the re-nationalisation of recently privatised industries like British Telecom, British Aerospace, and the British Shipbuilders Corporation. The manifesto was based on an earlier and much longer policy paper with a similar title, Labour’s Plan: the New Hope for Britain.
The epithet referred not only to the orientation of the policies, but also to their marketing. Labour leader Michael Foot decided as a statement on internal democracy that the manifesto would consist of all resolutions arrived at in its party conference.
The document’s more left-wing policy proposals, along with the popularity gained by Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher over the successful outcome of the Falklands War and the division of the opposition vote between the left-wing Labour Party and the centrist Social Democratic Party – Liberal Alliance, composed of breakaway Labour MPs on the right wing of the party, contributed to a victory with a substantial majority in Parliament for the right-wing Conservative Party Government. The defeat, Labour’s worst result since 1918, led to a turning point in the history of the party, which thereafter gradually moved to the centre under the leadership of Neil Kinnock and then under the leadership of Tony Blair in the 1990s rebranded itself as “New Labour” and Third Way. Blair led Labour back to government in a landslide victory at the 1997 general election, fourteen years and two general election defeats later.
To regain an overall majority, Labour needed to make at least 65 gains.
SDP–Liberal Alliance targets
The election saw a landslide victory for the Conservatives, achieving their best results since 1935. Although there was a slight drop in their share of the vote, they made significant gains at the expense of Labour. The night was a disaster for the Labour Party; their share of the vote fell by over 9%, which meant they were only 700,000 votes ahead of the newly-formed third party, the SDP–Liberal Alliance. The massive increase of support for the Alliance at the expense of Labour meant that, in many seats,[which?] the collapse in the Labour vote allowed the Conservatives to gain. Despite winning over 25% of the national vote, the Alliance got fewer than 4% of seats, 186 fewer than Labour. The most significant Labour loss of the night was Tony Benn, who was defeated in the revived Bristol East seat. SDP President Shirley Williams, then a prominent leader in the Social Democratic Party, lost her Crosby seat which she had won in a by-election in 1981. Bill Rodgers, another leading figure in the Alliance (like Williams, one of the “Gang of Four“) also failed to win his old seat that he previously held as a Labour MP.
In Scotland, both Labour and the Tories sustained modest losses to the Alliance. Labour remained by far the largest party, with 41 seats to 21 for the Scottish Conservatives. The Scottish Conservatives have been unable to match their 1983 Westminster seat total since, although they did record a slightly larger share of the Scottish vote in 2017.
Manifestos 1983 
- The Challenge of Our Times, 1983 Conservative Party manifesto
- The New Hope for Britain, 1983 Labour Party manifesto
- Working Together for Britain, 1983 SDP–Liberal Alliance manifesto
1992 United Kingdom general election
Colours denote the winning party, as shown in the main table of results
The 1992 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 9 April 1992, to elect 651 members to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The election resulted in the fourth consecutive victory for the Conservative Party since 1979 and the last time that the Conservatives would win a majority at a general election until 2015. This election result took many by surprise, as opinion polling leading up to the election day had shown the Labour Party, under leader Neil Kinnock, consistently, if narrowly, ahead.
John Major had won the leadership election in November 1990 following the resignation of Margaret Thatcher. During his term leading up to the 1992 election he oversaw the British involvement in the Gulf War, introduced legislation to replace the unpopular Community Charge with Council Tax, and signed the Maastricht Treaty. The economy was facing a recession around the time of Major’s appointment, along with most of the other industrialised nations. Because it confounded the opinion polls, the 1992 election was one of the most dramatic elections in the UK since the end of the Second World War.
The BBC’s live television broadcast of the election results was presented by David Dimbleby and Peter Snow, with the then BBC Political Editor, John Cole. On ITV, the ITN-produced coverage was presented by Jon Snow, Alastair Stewart, and Julia Somerville, with Sir Robin Day performing the same interviewing role for ITV as he had done for the BBC on many previous election nights. Sky News presented full coverage of a general election night for the first time. Their coverage was presented by David Frost, Michael Wilson, Selina Scott, Adam Boulton and political scientist Michael Thrasher, with former BBC political journalist Donald MacCormick presenting analysis of the Scottish vote.
The Conservative Party received what remains the largest number of votes in a general election in British history, breaking the previous record set by Labour in 1951. Former Conservative Leader and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Former Labour Party Leader Michael Foot, John Maples, Francis Maude, Rosie Barnes and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams left Parliament as a result of this election, though Maples, Maude, and Adams returned at the next election.
An event in preparation for eighteen months, the rally was held at the Sheffield Arena, an indoor sports venue in Sheffield, England. It was attended by 10,000 Labour Party members, including the entire shadow cabinet, and is reported to have cost some £100,000 to stage. It was the idea of strategist Philip Gould, who was involved in the subsequent successful election campaign of Bill Clinton later that year. The party leader, Neil Kinnock, was flown into the city by helicopter.
The rally was modelled partly on American presidential campaign conventions, with sound and light performances on the stage and celebrity endorsements played on a large video screen. At one point in the proceedings, Kinnock and the shadow cabinet paraded to the stage from the back of the venue, passing through an increasingly enthusiastic audience, with the shadow cabinet being introduced with titles such as “The next Home Secretary” and “The next Prime Minister”; Labour had been in opposition for 13 years and had already lost three consecutive general elections to the Conservatives.
This culminated in an emotional and animated Kinnock taking the podium and shouting three times “We’re all right!”, which has often been re-broadcast since as an example of overconfident campaigning. Kinnock followed this by proclaiming “We’d better get some talking done here, serious talking.”
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results
The 1979 United Kingdom general election was held on 3 May 1979 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher, ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan with a parliamentary majority of 43 seats. The election was the first of four consecutive election victories for the Conservative Party, and Thatcher became the United Kingdom’s and Europe’s first elected female head of government.
The previous parliamentary term had begun in October 1974, when Harold Wilson led Labour to a majority of three seats, but within eighteen months he had resigned as Prime Minister to be succeeded by James Callaghan, and within a year the government’s narrow parliamentary majority had gone. Callaghan had made agreements with the Liberals, the Ulster Unionists, as well as the Scottish and Welsh nationalists in order to remain in power. However, on 28 March 1979 following the defeat of the Scottish devolution referendum, Thatcher tabled a motion of no confidence in Callaghan’s Labour government, which was passed by just one vote (311 to 310), triggering a general election five months before the end of the government’s term.
The Labour campaign was hampered by the series of industrial disputes and strikes during the winter of 1978–79, known as the Winter of Discontent, and the party focused its campaign on support for the National Health Service and full employment. After intense media speculation, Callaghan had announced early in the autumn of 1978 that a general election would not take place that year having received private polling data which suggested a parliamentary majority was unlikely.
The Conservative campaign employed the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and pledged to control inflation as well as curbing the power of the trade unions. The Liberal Party was damaged by allegations that its former leader Jeremy Thorpe had been involved in a homosexual affair, and had conspired to murder his former lover. The Liberals were now being led by David Steel, meaning that all three major parties entered the election with a new leader.
The election saw a 5.2% swing from Labour to the Conservatives, the largest swing since the 1945 election, which Clement Attlee won for Labour. Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, and Callaghan was replaced as Labour leader by Michael Foot in 1980. Results for the election were broadcast live on the BBC, and presented by David Dimbleby and Robin Day, with Robert McKenzie on the “Swingometer”, and further analysis provided by David Butler. It was the first general election to feature Rick Wakeman‘s song “Arthur” on the BBC’s coverage.
Manifestos 1979 
- Conservative manifesto, 1979, 1979 Conservative Party manifesto
- The Labour Way is the Better Way, 1979 Labour Party manifesto
- The Real Fight is for Britain, 1979 Liberal Party manifesto
This was the first election since 1959 to feature three new leaders for the main political parties. The three main parties all advocated cutting income tax. Labour and the Conservatives did not specify the exact thresholds of income tax they would implement but the Liberals did, claiming they would have income tax starting at 20% with a top rate of 50%.
Without explicitly mentioning Thatcher’s sex, Callaghan was (as Christian Caryl later wrote) “a master at sardonically implying that whatever the leader of the opposition said was made even sillier by the fact that it was said by a woman”. Thatcher used the tactics that had defeated her other male opponents: constantly studying, sleeping only a few hours a night, and exploiting her femininity to appear as someone who understood housewives’ household budgets.
The Labour campaign reiterated their support for the National Health Service and full employment and focused on the damage they believed the Conservatives would do to the country. In an early campaign broadcast, Callaghan asked: “The question you will have to consider is whether we risk tearing everything up by the roots.” Towards the end of Labour’s campaign Callaghan claimed a Conservative government “would sit back and just allow firms to go bankrupt and jobs to be lost in the middle of a world recession” and that the Conservatives were “too big a gamble to take”.
The Labour Party manifesto The Labour way is the better way, was issued on 6 April. Callaghan presented four priorities:
- “We must keep a curb on inflation and prices”;
- “we will carry forward the task of putting into practice the new framework to improve industrial relations that we have hammered out with the TUC”;
- “we give [sic] a high priority to working for a return to full employment”;
- “we are deeply concerned to enlarge people’s freedom”; and “we will use Britain’s influence to strengthen world peace and defeat world poverty”.
The Conservatives campaigned on economic issues, pledging to control inflation and to reduce the increasing power of the trade unions who supported mass strikes. They also employed the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi who had created the “Labour Isn’t Working” poster.
The Conservative campaign was focused on gaining support from traditional Labour voters who had never voted Conservative before, first-time voters, and people who had voted Liberal in 1974. Thatcher’s advisers, Gordon Reece and Timothy Bell, co-ordinated their presentation with the editor of The Sun, Larry Lamb. The Sun printed a series of articles by disillusioned former Labour ministers (Reginald Prentice, Richard Marsh, Lord George-Brown, Alfred Robens and Lord Chalfont) detailing why they had switched their support to Thatcher. She explicitly asked Labour voters for their support when she launched her campaign in Cardiff, claiming that Labour was now extreme. Choosing to start her campaign in the strongly Labour-supporting city was part of Thatcher’s strategy of appealing to C2 skilled laborers that both parties had previously seen as certain Labour voters; she thought that many would support her promises to reduce unions’ power and enact the right to buy their homes. An analysis of the election result showed that the Conservatives gained an 11% swing among the skilled working-class (the C2s) and a 9% swing amongst the unskilled working class (the DEs).
Thatcher’s stance on immigration in the late 1970s was perceived as part of a rising racist public discourse, As Leader of the Opposition, Thatcher believed that the National Front was winning over large numbers of Conservative voters with warnings against floods of immigrants. Her strategy was to undermine the Front narrative by acknowledging that many of their voters had serious concerns in need of addressing. In January 1978, Thatcher criticised Labour immigration policy with the goal of attracting voters away from the Front and to the Conservatives. Her rhetoric was followed by an increase in Conservative support at the expense of the Front. Critics on the left reacted in accusing her of pandering to racism. Sociologists Mark Mitchell and Dave Russell responded that Thatcher had been badly misinterpreted, arguing that race was never an important focus of Thatcherism. Throughout her premiership, both major parties took similar positions on immigration policy, having in 1981 passed the British Nationality Act with bipartisan support. There were no policies passed or proposed by her government aimed at restricting immigration, and the subject of race was never highlighted by Thatcher in any of her major speeches as Prime Minister.
- “to restore the health of our economic and social life, by controlling inflation and striking a fair balance between the rights and duties of the trade union movement”;
- “to restore incentives so that hard work pays, success is rewarded and genuine new jobs are created in an expanding economy”;
- “to uphold Parliament and the rule of law”;
- “to support family life, by helping people to become home-owners, raising the standards of their children’s education and concentrating welfare services on the effective support of the old, the sick, the disabled and those who are in real need”; and
- “to strengthen Britain’s defences and work with our allies to protect our interests in an increasingly threatening world”.
All 659 seats to the House of Commons
Colours denote the winning party, as shown in the main table of results.
* Indicates boundary change – so this is a nominal figure†Notional 1992 results on new boundaries.^ Figure does not include the speaker
|Prime Minister before election
|Appointed Prime Minister
The 1997 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 1 May 1997, five years after the previous general election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the Labour Party ended its eighteen-year spell in opposition and won the general election with a landslide victory, winning 418 seats, a landslide majority of 179 seats, the most seats the party has ever held to date, and the highest proportion of seats held by any party in the post-war period. For the first time since 1931, the outgoing government lost more than half its parliamentary seats in an election, and over 100 sitting Conservative MPs lost their seats.
The election saw an average 10.0% swing from Conservative to Labour on a national turnout of 71%, and would be the last national vote where turnout exceeded 70% until the 2016 EU referendum, held nineteen years later. As a result Blair became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a position he held for 10 years until his resignation on 27 June 2007.
Loss of parliamentary majority
Following the 1992 general election, the Conservatives held government with 336 of the 651 House of Commons seats. Through a series of defections and by-election defeats, the Conservative government gradually lost its absolute majority in the House of Commons. By 1997, the Conservatives held only 324 House of Commons seats (and had not won a by-election since 1989).
- 1993 Judith Chaplin (Newbury) died, by-election won by Liberal Democrats.
- 1993 Robert Adley (Christchurch) died, by-election won by Liberal Democrats.
- 1994 Stephen Milligan (Eastleigh) died, by-election won by Liberal Democrats.
- 1994 John Blackburn (Dudley West) died, by-election won by Labour.
- 1995 Sir Nicholas Fairbairn (Perth and Kinross) died, by-election won by Scottish National Party.
- 1995 Geoffrey Dickens (Littleborough and Saddleworth) died, by-election won by Liberal Democrats.
- 1995 Alan Howarth (Stratford-on-Avon) defected from Conservative to Labour.
- 1995 Emma Nicholson (Devon West and Torridge) defected from Conservatives to Liberal Democrats.
- 1996 Sir David Lightbown (South East Staffordshire) died, by-election won by Labour.
- 1996 Peter Thurnham (Bolton North East) defected from Conservatives to Liberal Democrats.
- 1996 Barry Porter (Wirral South) died, by-election won by Labour.
- 1997 George Gardiner (Reigate) defected from Conservatives to Referendum Party.
- 1997 Iain Mills (Meriden) died, no by-election held due to imminent general election
The Conservative Party began low in the polls, and had experienced great difficulties over the previous five years, with polling often putting it some 40 points adrift of Labour. Major hoped that a long campaign would expose Labour’s “hollowness” and the Conservative campaign emphasised stability, as did its manifesto title ‘You can only be sure with the Conservatives’. However, the campaign was beset by deep-set problems, such as the rise of James Goldsmith‘s Referendum Party which advocated a referendum on continued membership of the European Union. The party threatened to take away many right-leaning voters from the Conservatives. Furthermore, about 200 candidates broke with official Conservative policy to oppose British membership of the single European currency. Major fought back, saying: “Whether you agree with me or disagree with me; like me or loathe me, don’t bind my hands when I am negotiating on behalf of the British nation.” The moment is remembered as one of the defining, and most surreal, moments of the election.
Meanwhile, there was also division amongst the Conservative cabinet, with Chancellor Kenneth Clarke describing the views of Home Secretary Michael Howard on Europe as “paranoid and xenophobic nonsense”. The Conservatives also struggled to come up with a definitive theme to attack Labour, with some strategists arguing for an approach which castigated Labour for “stealing Tory clothes” (copying their positions), with others making the case for a more confrontational approach, stating that “New Labour” was just a façade for “old Labour”.
The New Labour, New Danger poster, which depicted Tony Blair with demon eyes, was an example of the latter strategy. Major veered between the two approaches, which left Conservative Central Office staff frustrated. As Andrew Cooper explained: “We repeatedly tried and failed to get him to understand that you couldn’t say that they were dangerous and copying you at the same time.” In any case, the campaign failed to gain much traction, and the Conservatives went down to a landslide defeat at the polls.
Labour ran a slick campaign, which emphasised the splits within the Conservative government, and argued that the country needed a more centrist administration. Labour ran a centrist campaign that was good at picking up dissatisfied Tory voters, particularly moderate and suburban ones. Tony Blair, highly popular, was very much the centrepiece of the campaign, and proved a highly effective campaigner.
The Labour campaign was reminiscent of those of Bill Clinton for the US Presidency, focusing on centrist themes, as well as adopting policies more commonly associated with the right, such as cracking down on crime and fiscal responsibility. The influence of political “spin” came into great effect for Labour at this point, as media centric figures such as Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson provided a clear cut campaign, and establishing a relatively new political brand “New Labour” with enviable success.
Liberal Democrat campaign
The Liberal Democrats had suffered a disappointing performance in 1992, but they were very much strengthened in 1997 due to potential tactical voting between Labour and Lib Dem supporters in Tory marginal constituencies, particularly in the south – particularly given their share of the vote decreased while their number of seats nearly doubled. The Lib Dems promised to increase education funding paid for by a 1p increase in income tax.
The Referendum Party, which sought a referendum on the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union, came fourth in terms of votes with 800,000 votes mainly from former Conservative voters, but won no seats in parliament. The six parties with the next highest votes stood only in either Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales; in order, they were the Scottish National Party, the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Féin, and the Democratic Unionist Party.
In the previously safe seat of Tatton, where incumbent Conservative MP Neil Hamilton was facing charges of having taken cash for questions, the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties decided not to field candidates in order that an independent candidate, Martin Bell, would have a better chance of winning the seat, which he did with a comfortable margin.
The result declared for the constituency of Winchester showed a margin of victory of just two votes for the Liberal Democrats. The defeated Conservative candidate mounted a successful legal challenge to the result on the grounds that errors by election officials (failures to stamp certain votes) had changed the result; the court ruled the result invalid and ordered a by-election on 20 November which was won by the Liberal Democrats with a much larger majority, causing much recrimination in the Conservative Party about the decision to challenge the original result in the first place.
This election marked the start of Labour government for the next 13 years, until the formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in 2010.
Conservative ministers who lost their seats
Boundary changes at this election abolished several ministers’ seats. The seats instead contested by those affected by the changes were largely close to their old seats. Michael Bates, for example, had previously represented Langbaurgh in the North East, the wards from which were mostly placed in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland (which Bates contested and lost), while some wards were placed in neighbouring Redcar.
- Tony Newton (Braintree) – Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
- Michael Portillo (Enfield Southgate) – Secretary of State for Defence
- Malcolm Rifkind (Edinburgh Pentlands) – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
- Ian Lang (Galloway and Upper Nithsdale) – Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
- Michael Forsyth (Stirling) – Secretary of State for Scotland
- William Waldegrave (Bristol West) – Chief Secretary to the Treasury
- Roger Freeman (Kettering) – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
- Sir Derek Spencer (Brighton Pavilion) – Solicitor General for England and Wales
- Michael Morris (Northampton South) – Chairman of Ways and Means
- James Douglas-Hamilton (Edinburgh West) – Minister of State at the Scottish Office
- Alistair Burt (Bury North) – Minister of State at Department of Social Security
- Phillip Oppenheim (Amber Valley) – Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
- Michael Bates (Langbaurgh, contested Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) – Paymaster-General
- Raymond Robertson (Aberdeen South) – Minister for Education, Housing, Fisheries and Sport
- Greg Knight (Derby North) – Minister of State for Industry at the Department of Trade and Industry
- John Bowis OBE (Battersea) – Health Minister
- Iain Sproat (Harwich) – Trade Minister
- Robin Squire (Hornchurch) – Education Minister
- Andrew Mitchell (Gedling) – Social Security Minister
- The Hon. Tom Sackville (Bolton West) – Home Office Minister
- Sir Nicholas Bonsor, 4th Baronet (Upminster) – Foreign Office Minister
- Timothy Kirkhope (Leeds North East) – Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
- Gwilym Jones (Cardiff North) – Under Secretary of State in the Welsh Office
- George Kynoch (Kincardine and Deeside, contested West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) – Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
- Roger Evans (Monmouth) – Social Security Minister
- David Evennett (Erith and Crayford, contested Bexleyheath and Crayford) – Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills
- Lady Olga Maitland (Sutton and Cheam) – Parliamentary Private Secretary to The Rt. Hon. Sir John Wheeler
- Simon Coombs (Swindon, contested Swindon South)) – Parliamentary Private Secretary to The Rt. Hon. Ian Lang
- Timothy Wood (Stevenage) – Comptroller of the Household
- Gyles Brandreth (City of Chester) – Whip
- Angela Knight (Erewash) – Economic secretary to the treasury
- Anthony Coombs (Wyre Forest) – Whip
- Jacqui Lait (Hastings and Rye) – Whip
Other Conservative MPs who lost their seats
- Dame Angela Rumbold (Mitcham and Morden) – Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party
- Sir Graham Bright (Luton South) – Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party
- Sir Marcus Fox (Shipley) – Chairman of the 1922 committee
- Neil Hamilton (Tatton) – Chairman of the Monday Club
- Norman Lamont (Kingston-upon-Thames, contested Harrogate and Knaresborough) – former Chancellor of the Exchequer
- David Hunt (Wirral West) – former Secretary of State for Wales
- Edwina Currie (South Derbyshire) – former Health Minister
- Richard Tracey (Surbiton, contested Kingston and Surbiton) – former Sports Minister
- Sebastian Coe (Falmouth and Camborne) – Olympic gold medallist
- David Mellor (Putney) – former Secretary of State for National Heritage
- John Cope (Northavon) – former Paymaster General
- Sir Robert Atkins (South Ribble) – former Minister for Sport
- Sir Jeremy Hanley (Richmond and Barnes, contested Richmond Park) – former Chairman of the Conservative Party
- Derek Conway (Shrewsbury and Atcham) – former Vice Chamberlain of HM Household
- Jonathan Aitken (South Thanet) – former Chief secretary to the treasury
- Sir Rhodes Boyson (Brent North)
- Sir Jim Lester (Broxtowe)
- Sir Ivan Lawrence (Burton)
- Sir Donald Thompson (Calder Valley)
- Sir Malcolm Thornton (Crosby)
- Sir Roger Moate (Faversham, contested Sittingbourne and Sheppey)
- Sir John Michael Gorst (Hendon North, contested Hendon)
- Sir Andrew Bowden (Brighton Kemptown)
- Dame Peggy Fenner DBE (Medway)
- Sir Mark Lennox-Boyd (Morecambe and Lunesdale)
- Sir Michael Neubert (Romford)
- Sir James Hill (Southampton Test)
- Sir Dudley Smith (Warwick and Leamington)
- Sir Peter Fry (Wellingborough)
- Nicholas Budgen (Wolverhampton South West)
- Phil Gallie (Ayr)
- Elizabeth Peacock (Batley and Spen)
- Andrew Hargreaves (Birmingham Hall Green)
- Harold Elletson (Blackpool North, contested Blackpool North and Fleetwood)
- Jonathan Evans (Brecon and Radnorshire)
- Nirj Deva (Brentford and Isleworth)
- Michael Brown (Brigg and Cleethorpes, contested Cleethorpes)
- Michael Stern (Bristol North West)
- David Sumberg (Bury South)
- Nigel Forman (Carshalton and Wallington)
- Robert Spink (Castle Point)
- Den Dover (Chorley)
- Rod Richards (Clwyd North West, contested Clwyd West)
- Graham Riddick (Colne Valley)
- William Powell (Corby)
- David Congdon (Croydon North East, contested Croydon Central)
- Bob Dunn (Dartford)
- David Shaw (Dover)
- Harry Greenway (Ealing North)
- Dr Ian Twinn (Edmonton)
- Spencer Batiste (Elmet)
- Matthew Carrington (Fulham, contested Hammersmith and Fulham)
- James Couchman (Gillingham)
- Douglas French (Gloucester)
- Paul Marland (West Gloucestershire, contested Forest of Dean)
- Jacques Arnold (Gravesham)
- Michael Carttiss (Great Yarmouth)
- Warren Hawksley (Halesowen and Stourbridge, contested Stourbridge)
- Jerry Hayes (Harlow)
- Hugh Dykes (Harrow East)
- Robert Gurth Hughes (Harrow West)
- John Leslie Marshall (Hendon South, contested Finchley and Golders Green)
- Sir Colin Shepherd (Hereford)
- Robert Jones (Hertfordshire West, contested Hemel Hempstead)
- Charles Hendry (High Peak)
- Vivian Bendall (Ilford North)
- Gary Waller (Keighley)
- Keith Mans (Wyre, contested Lancaster & Wyre)
- Dr Keith Hampson (Leeds North West)
- Tim Rathbone (Lewes)
- Barry Legg (Milton Keynes South West)
- Antony Marlow (Northampton North)
- Peter Butler (North East Milton Keynes)
- Richard Alexander (Newark)
- Henry Bellingham (North West Norfolk)
- Peter Griffiths (Portsmouth North)
- David Martin (Portsmouth South)
- Jim Pawsey (Rugby and Kenilworth)
- John Sykes (Scarborough, contested Scarborough and Whitby)
- Irvine Patnick (Sheffield Hallam)
- John Arthur Watts (Slough, contested Reading East)
- Mark Robinson (Somerton and Frome)
- Matthew Banks (Southport)
- Tim Devlin (Stockton South)
- Roger Knapman (Stroud)
- David Nicholson (Taunton)
- Bill Walker (North Tayside)
- Rupert Allason (Torbay)
- Toby Jessel (Twickenham)
- Walter Sweeney (Vale of Glamorgan)
- David Porter (Waveney)
- David Evans (Welwyn Hatfield)
- Charles Goodson-Wickes (Wimbledon)
- Gerry Malone (Winchester)
Liberal Democrats who lost their seats
- Chris Davies (Littleborough and Saddleworth, constested Oldham East and Saddleworth)
- Liz Lynne (Rochdale)
- Diana Maddock (Christchurch)
Social and Democratic Labour Party MP who lost his seat
Democratic Unionist MP who lost his seat
Referendum Party MP who lost his seat
George Gardiner (politician)
Sir George Arthur Gardiner (3 March 1935 – 16 November 2002) was a British Conservative Party politician and journalist. Two months before the 1997 general election he defected to the Referendum Party, becoming the only MP it ever had. The party dissolved later that year.
- Sir George Gardiner (Reigate)
After William Hague became Conservative party leader in June 1997, Gardiner rejoined the Conservatives. Two years later, in 1999, he published his autobiography covering mainly his years in politics, named A Bastard’s Tale, a reference to Major’s remark six years earlier to Michael Brunson, but it touched upon his life before becoming an MP.
Gardiner revealed that he cried himself to sleep on the night of Thatcher’s resignation and described John Major as ‘a walking disaster’ and a ‘Walter Mitty‘ with no beliefs. In his autobiography later that year, Major claimed that Gardiner was ‘so convoluted he could have featured in a book of knots’. Of Gardiner’s deselection in 1997, Major wrote that “the Conservative Party was able to bear his departure with fortitude”.
In July 1982, Gardiner underwent a heart by-pass operation. Gardiner died at St George’s Nursing Home, Westminster, on 16 November 2002 of polycystic kidney disease and chronic renal failure and was buried nine days later, in Brompton Cemetery, London.
Gardiner married twice. His first marriage was in Bristol in 1961 to Juliet D Wells with whom he had two sons and a daughter. This marriage broke up just before the 1979 general election. His second marriage was in London on 19 September 1980 to (Daphne) Helen Hackett. There were no children from his second marriage.
The decisions of both Corbyn and Farage to forego the chance to leverage SPA victim support strike me as two of the greatest blunders in the modern history of British politics. Waspi/Backto60 is worth an average of 5,800 votes in every UK constituency. Corbyn I suspect had ideological motives (his focus on the pro-Labour discontented whether worthy or not has been quite extraordinary) whereas I can only think in relation to Our Nigel that he just doesn’t GAF about the issue, seeing at as a distraction. It is a truly bizarre case history and worthy of a book. Just not from me.
The British Ruling Class has made the fatal error of putting down too many just causes at once. The victims should now join together and teach the Establishment a life-lesson.
The decision by yet another Kangaroo Court yesterday to dismiss the case brought by the 2020 Pension rights pressure group may seem to some like a small event on an ever more complex global caravan on the road to Hell.
And yet….has a small, wind-borne straw imperceptibly landed on the lead camel, and broken its back?
WASPI ALERT: as long as ethical knuckle-draggers with birdbrain logic can tweet rubbish about the SPA scandal, retired British women will suffer injustice. June 26, 2017rogerglewisEdit“WASPI ALERT: as long as ethical knuckle-draggers with birdbrain logic can tweet rubbish about the SPA scandal, retired British women will suffer injustice.” rogerglewisJune 26, 2017 at 3:53 amYour comment is awaiting …Continue readingThe WASPI Women, The Magic Money Tree, Universal Basic Income.
COMPENSATION FOR WINDRUSH VICTIMS: why many will see this decision as racist, and Waspis will be livid. Date: April 24, 2018Author: John Ward0 Comments I realise that the content of this post is going to offend a lot of people, and if not, then at least be found unnecessarily divisive at a difficult time. But it isn’t the job …Continue reading
Voltaire’s Bastards, The Doubter’s Companion and The Unconscious Civilization
Saul’s non-fiction began with the trilogy comprising the bestseller Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (1992), the polemic philosophical dictionary The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense (1994), and the book that grew out of his 1995 Massey Lectures, The Unconscious Civilization (1995). The last won the 1996 Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction Literature.
These books deal with themes such as the dictatorship of reason unbalanced by other human qualities, how it can be used for any ends especially in a directionless state that rewards the pursuit of power for power’s sake. He argues that this leads to deformations of thought such as ideology promoted as truth; the rational but anti-democratic structures of corporatism, by which he means the worship of small groups; and the use of language and expertise to mask a practical understanding of the harm caused by this, and what else our society might do. He argues that the rise of individualism with no regard for the role of society has not created greater individual autonomy and self-determination, as was once hoped, but isolation and alienation. He calls for a pursuit of a more humanist ideal in which reason is balanced with other human mental capacities such as common sense, ethics, intuition, creativity, and memory, for the sake of the common good, and he discusses the importance of unfettered language and practical democracy. These attributes are elaborated upon in his 2001 book On Equilibrium.
John Majors Bastards.
The maxim referred to is Johnson’s comment about J. Edgar Hoover: Johnson had once sought a way to remove Hoover from his post as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but upon realising that the problems involved in such a plan were insurmountable, he accepted Hoover’s presence philosophically, reasoning that it would be “better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in”.
On becoming Prime Minister, Major had promised to keep Britain “at the very heart of Europe”, and claimed to have won “game, set and match for Britain” – by negotiating the Social Chapter and Single Currency opt-outs from the Maastricht Treaty, and by ensuring that there was no overt mention of a “Federal” Europe and that foreign and defence policy were kept as matters of inter-governmental co-operation, in separate “pillars” from the supranational European Union. By 2010 some of these concessions, although not Britain’s non-membership of the Single Currency, had been overtaken by subsequent events.
Even these moves towards greater European integration met with vehement opposition from the Eurosceptic wing of Major’s party and his Cabinet, as the Government attempted to ratify the Maastricht Treaty in the first half of 1993. Although Labour supported the treaty, they tactically opposed certain provisions of the Treaty to exploit divisions in the Government. This opposition included passing an amendment that required a vote on the Social Chapter aspects of the Treaty before it could be ratified. On 22 July 1993, several Conservative MPs, known as the Maastricht Rebels, voted against the Treaty, and the Government was defeated. Major called another vote on the following day, which he declared as a vote of confidence. He won the vote but the damage had been done to his authority in Parliament.
Later that day, Major gave an interview to ITN‘s Michael Brunson. During an unguarded moment when Major thought that the microphones had been switched off, Brunson asked why he did not sack the ministers who were conspiring against him. He replied: “Just think it through from my perspective. You are the Prime Minister, with a majority of 18 … where do you think most of the poison is coming from? From the dispossessed and the never-possessed. Do we want three more of the bastards out there? What’s Lyndon B. Johnson‘s maxim?” Major later said that he had picked the number three from the air and that he was referring to “former ministers who had left the government and begun to create havoc with their anti-European activities”, but many journalists suggested that the three were Peter Lilley, Michael Portillo and Michael Howard, three of the more prominent “Eurosceptics” within his Cabinet. Throughout the rest of Major’s time as Prime Minister the exact identity of the three was blurred, with John Redwood‘s name frequently appearing in a list along with two of the others. The tape of this conversation was leaked to the Daily Mirror and widely reported, embarrassing Major.
By April 1993, a mere 12 months after his general election triumph, John Major’s popularity as Prime Minister had slumped. As well as his party’s dismal showings in the opinion polls, Major’s own personal ratings in opinion polls were similarly low. He was now being reviled on an almost daily basis by newspapers whose support the Conservatives had once appeared to have taken for granted. Critics from all corners were also criticising his ‘consensus’ approach to politics, which contrasted sharply to the confrontational approach of Margaret Thatcher – while others were keen to point out that Major’s conciliatory approach to the job was something that many observers had been hoping for when Thatcher left office in 1990. Comparisons were being drawn up with an earlier Conservative prime minister, Anthony Eden – who had risen through the ranks as a highly respected government minister before becoming prime minister, only to be seen as a disappointment after he did take over.
Arguments continued over Europe. Early in 1994 Major vetoed the Belgian politician Jean-Luc Dehaene to succeed Jacques Delors as President of the European Commission for being excessively federalist, only to find that he had to accept a Luxembourg politician of similar views, Jacques Santer, instead. Around this time Major – who in an unfortunate phrase denounced the Labour Leader John Smith as “Monsieur Oui, the poodle of Brussels” – tried to demand an increase in the Qualified Majority needed for voting in the newly enlarged European Union (i.e. making it easier for Britain, in alliance with other countries, to block federalist measures). After Major had to back down on this issue Tony Marlow called openly in the House of Commons for his resignation. In 1996 European governments banned British beef over claims that it was infected with mad cow disease – the British government withheld co-operation with the EU over the issue, but did not succeed in getting the ban lifted, only a timetable of lifting it. The conflict has been named the Beef war. By April 2013, vCJD – the human form of the disease had killed 280 people (176 of them in Britain).
For the rest of Major’s premiership the main argument was over whether Britain would join the planned European Single Currency. Some leading Conservatives, including Chancellor Ken Clarke, favoured joining and insisted that Britain retain a completely free choice, whilst increasing numbers of others expressed their reluctance to join. By this time billionaire Sir James Goldsmith had set up his own Referendum Party, siphoning off some Conservative support, and at the 1997 General Election many Conservative candidates were openly expressing reluctance to join.
PETER OBORNE: I admire him, but with these rancid attacks on Brexit, John Major has stooped lower than any former PM
Though it may be a cliche to say revenge is a dish best served cold, no modern politician has taken this maxim to heart more closely than John Major.
For more than 20 years, he has brooded obsessively on the insults heaped upon him by opponents within his own party when he was Tory prime minister in succession to Margaret Thatcher in the Nineties.
In fact, Major is known to blame the disloyalty of the Conservative Right-wing, and in particular Eurosceptics opposed to his support for the 1992 Maastricht Treaty — which created the modern EU — for wrecking his entire premiership.