1992 and all that

_56628427_labour_party_poster_-_it's_time_for_labour_1992_electionThe spring of 2012 has so far seen the British media dominated by the anniversaries of two shocking historic events: the invasion of the Falklands (30 years ago) and the sinking of the Titanic (a century ago).

In the Labour blogosphere, a third disastrous event worthy of commemoration and reminiscence has emerged: the General Election of 1992, whose 20th anniversary fell on April 9th (midway between the Falklands anniversary on April 2nd, and the Titanic’s on April 15th).

Incredibly, the mainstream media has considered the Falklands and the Titanic anniversaries to be more newsworthy…. But the 1992 election did really matter (quite apart from being the first election that me and my contemporaries voted in). It saw the largest popular vote ever cast for a political party in Britain (the 14 million votes garnered by John Major’s Conservatives). It was the first general election in which all three party leaders were not of the generation that had served in World War Two. And above all, it was the General Election whose result drove the Labour Party to the brink of despair – and led to the modernisation of the mid-1990s that, rightly or wrongly, helped to propel the party to victory in 1997.

I have put my own memories of it on the Progress website at http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2012/04/04/the-worst-loss-of-all/. Let me know what you think.

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