1992 And All That

One of my most depressing political memories is of the 1992 British general election.

John Major’s Conservative government of the time had run out of steam. They didn’t seem to have any positive ideas left, Thatcher’s programme of reform having run past its course. The sitting government was enormously unpopular, and it was apparent – obvious to everyone – that Neil Kinnock’s Labour party would win control of parliament.

And yet the Labour party lost.

I remember I had been out at the pub that night. It was a Thursday: Britain votes on Thursdays, and I had a regular pub crew I met on Thursdays too, and I came home after closing time and turned on the telly to see how things were going.

The news was bad. Labour was losing. The polls had been wrong.

I slept very poorly that night, nightmares of a Tory win which were confirmed when I woke up.

On this night when I was feeling nervous but fundamentally secure as I was leaving the day job, I find myself remembering how 1992 felt.

I didn’t want to have this feeling again.

I am feeling very frightened right now. This doesn’t feel like the world I want to live in. Maybe things will seem better in the morning.

Maybe.

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