I had forgotten just how bad 1983 was for us until I started watching BBC Parliament’s repeat of election night a few minutes ago. Unlike every other election night, where there’s speculation about which seats held by the government party might fall to the opposition, the programme has started with guesstimates about how many Labour seats will fall to the Conservatives.
I wasn’t a member of the Labour Party at the time and watched the live results in the home of a Tory friend. He was satisfied rather than jubilant; considering I hadn’t supported Labour, I was strangely and vaguely depressed as I made my way home in the early hours of the morning.
(Now Neil Kinnock is on, his voice hoarse from the campaign, dodging questions about whether or not he’s the next leader of the Labour Party. And now Torbay has become the first seat to declare – Sir Frederick Bennet (Con) has been re-elected with a reduced majority. Labour loses deposit. Oh dear…)
A mistake that TV dramas invariably make when depicting election night is having the candidates on the stage unaware of the result until the returning officer reads out the figures. In fact all the candidates are told in advance so that they can demand a recount if necessary. So when you’re already standing up there, there’s no surprises left in store.
But what on earth is Michael Foot wearing on his lapel? The Labour leader wearing a rosette with yellow and green? I disapprove.