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Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley » 09 Jun 2017, 06:42


You may have got the impression over the years that my politics are slightly to the left of centre. Quite right but I have never tried to campaign in my articles and that's why this is timed to appear the day after the Presidential Election. If you get the idea that I am reconciled to being disappointed with the result you are right again. I just thought I'd remind you of some history which might ring a bell in the next five years.
I am old and I can remember a time when, by and large, election promises were kept. This seems to be a terribly old-fashioned concept these days. We hear a lot about 'intentions', 'aspirations' and 'visions' but very few of these ever become reality. 'Spin' or in other words being economical with the truth is the order of the day. How many times does a politician give a straight factual answer when questioned on something specific? The reason for this obfuscation is that it can be dangerous to a politician's career to be perfectly honest, 'wriggle room' has to be created ready for the day when some unkind commentator reminds them of what they said. Good forward planning in politician's terms but bad for the voters because they can never be quite sure what they are buying into. It always reminds me of negotiating with a dodgy second-hand car dealer, you have to be very wary because you might be being sold a pup!
I can remember the 1945 election when the country was ready for a change after WW2. The country bought the Labour Party's promise of great change and gave them a landslide victory when almost everyone expected the great war leader Winston Churchill to walk in with a Conservative victory. We were assured that given the fact that the country was bankrupt the Labour promises couldn't possibly be kept but against all the odds they introduced free health care, a massive building programme of high quality housing and reformed what we then called the Welfare State.
I was very young but even so I realised how good this was and saw the country start the long process of dragging us out of the hole we were in. The massive burden of worry was lifted off people's backs and the consequence was a boost to morale which, under whatever party followed, led us into a wonderful, if roller-coaster period of increasing prosperity and vibrant technological change. On the 20th of July 1957 Harold Macmillan told us that we "...had never had it so good!" In 1929 when he lost his seat at Stockton on Tees he was described as 'the Socialist Captain Macmillan' and until he was re-elected in 1931 wrote a book called 'The Middle Way' which when published in 1938 was seen as overtly social democratic in tone.
Unfortunately we don't have a Macmillan who had his ideas formed in the trenches of the Great War. I wonder what we are going to get now......


Clement Attlee, Prime Minister 1945-1951
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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