Thatcher, M., The Downing Street Years, London, Harper Collins, 1993, 831.
Adams, I., Ideology and Politics in Britain Today , Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2001, 96.
Blake, R., The Conservative Party from Peel to Major, London, Heinemann, 1997, 388. Under the Major premiership, Kenneth Clarke was Secretary of State for Education (1990-92), Home Secretary (1992-93), and then Chancellor of the Exchequer (1993-97). He stood for the party leadership in 1997 but was defeated by William Hague.
The Best Future for Britain : The Conservative Manifesto 1992.
Speech delivered at a dinner for the fifteenth anniversary of the Adam Smith Institute, Banqueting House, Whitehall, Tuesday 16th June 1992. Conservative Party Archive (CPA), New Bodleian Library, Oxford, PPB 184.
This is of course reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher’s ambition of “rolling back the frontiers of the state” as well as a reference to the sale of the council houses to their tenants, as initiated by the 1980 Housing Act. Home ownership is one of the key tenets of Conservatism (see Scruton, R., The Meaning of Conservatism, South Bend, Indiana, St Augustine’s Press, 2002, 87). The phrase “home-ownership democracy” can be found in the 1983 manifesto. The expression “property-owning democracy” was first used in 1924 (see Barnes, J., “Ideology and Factions”, in Seldon, A., Ball, S. (ed.), Conservative Century : The Conservative Party since 1900, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994, 326).
PPBs respectively transmitted on 20/01/93 and 4/05/93. See also the paper by party chairman (1981-1983) Cecil Parkinson, “The Conservative Campaign –‘Just Plain Common Sense’”, in Crewe, I., Harrop, M. (eds.), Political Communications : The General Campaign of 1983, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986, 59-64.
PPB transmitted on 30/04/91. This slogan can be heard in other broadcasts shown on 4/05/93, 6/04/94, 4/05/94 and 1/05/96.
See for instance the PPB shown on 19/09/91.
PPB shown on 14/02/97. Interestingly enough, one Labour PEB (15/04/97) featured a bulldog to represent Britain as a country kept on leach by “the same masters [...] for 18 years”.
Excerpts from this broadcast may be seen at : http://observatoire.univ-tln.fr (Excerpt n°1).
Hirschman, A., The Rhetoric of Reaction : Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy , Cambridge, Mass., The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003, 7.
Thatcher, M., “Don’t Undo My Work”, Newsweek, vol. 119, n° 17, 27/04/92, 14-15.
The National Economic Development Council (NEDC, also nicknamed Neddy) was set up in 1962 under Harold Macmillan’s premiership to advice the government on economic policy. It was based on a tripartite collaboration between business, unions and government (after the model of the French Commissariat général au plan). Its main purpose was to boost economic growth. Gilmour, I., Garnett, M., Whatever Happened to the Tories : The Conservatives since 1945, London, Fourth Estate, 1998, 167-168; Jones, B., Dictionary of British Politics, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 283-284; Sergeant, J.-C., La Grande-Bretagne de Margaret Thatcher, 1979-1990, Paris, PUF, 1994, 11-12.
Harel, J., « La Privatisation des chemins de fer britanniques : un gouffre financier », in Leydier, G. (dir.), Les Services publics britanniques, Rennes, PUR, 2004, 215-228.
Quoted in Gilmour, I., Garnett, I, Whatever Happened to the Tories : The Conservatives since 1945, op. cit., 368.
Originally coined to refer to “a return to basics in education” (party conference speech, October 1991), the expression “back to basics” was then given a broader meaning : “It is time [...] to get back to basics, to self-discipline and respect for the law, to consideration for others, to accepting responsibility for yourself and your family and not shuffling off on other people and the State” (party conference speech, October 1993). See http://www.johnmajor.co.uk/speechconf1993.html (consulted in Dec. 2008).
“I want changes to produce across the whole of this country a genuinely classless society so people can rise to whatever level from whatever level they started” (1990). See www.johnmajor.co.uk/quotations.html (consulted in Dec. 2008). See also the article by John Major published in Today on 24/11/90, quoted in Butler, D. and G., Twentieth-Century British Political Facts, 1900-2000, London, Palgrave/Macmillan, 2000, 296.
Interestingly enough, John Major was alternatively a member of the Blue Chips Group and an adherent of the Guy Fawkes Group. Both were founded in 1979 by Conservatives newly elected to Parliament. The former counted Chris Patten among its members and had an intellectual, centrist profile. The latter, formed in reaction, gathered business-minded right-wingers. Barberis, P., et al., Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, London, Pinter, 2000, 45 and 57.
“Guiding Principles for the 1990s”, CPA, PPB 184.
CPA, PPB 146.
This follows the excerpt that was commented upon in the previous section. John Major’s speech therefore strikes a balance between fear (New Labour’s threat and the irrevocability of change) and reassurance (echoed in the campaign slogan “You can only be sure with the Conservatives”). The extract mentioned above can also be seen at http ://observatoire.univ-tln.fr (Excerpt n°2).
Macmillan, H., The Middle Way : A Study of the Problem of Economic and Social Progress in a Free and Democratic Society, London, Macmillan, 1938. See also The Middle Way : Twenty Years After, London, Macmillan, 1958.
Margaret Thatcher referred to the concept of “One Nation” in the Panorama programme aired on 8th June 1987 but the phrase “One-Nation Toryism” was only heard in one PPB shown on 17th January 1979.
Kavanagh, D., Election Campaigning : The New Marketing of Politics, Oxford, Blackwell, 1995, 66.
These images were also used in PPBs, respectively aired on 22/01/92, 5/03/92 and 25/03/92.
Scammell, M., Semetko, H., “Political Advertising on Television : The British Experience”, in Kaid, L., Holtz-Bacha, C. (eds.), Political Advertising in Western Democracies : Parties and Candidates on Television, London, Sage Publications, 1995, 30.
Hired in March 1978 by then-Director of Communications Gordon Reece, the advertising agency worked closely with the Conservatives, leading all their election campaigns until 1988 when Margaret Thatcher, out of distrust in the agency’s planning, put an end to the collaboration. Saatchi was nevertheless hired again in 1991 and was given full responsibility for running the Conservative campaigns (Saatchi & Saatchi until 1994, then M&C Saatchi from 1995 onwards when the founding brothers, Maurice and Charles, were ousted from the company and started their own agency). See, for example, Fallon, I., The Brothers : The Rise & Rise of Saatchi & Saatchi, London, Arrow Books, 1988, 461 p. and Goldman, K., Conflicting Accounts : The Creation and Crash of the Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Empire, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1997, 384 p.
Kavanagh, D., Election Campaigning : The New Marketing of Politics, op. cit., p. 66.
See the opinion polls carried out by the Opinion Research Centre on behalf of the Conservative Party. CPA, CCO 180/26/1/6-12 and CCO 180/26/2/1-18. See also Scammell, M., Designer Politics : How Elections Are Won, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1995, 154 and The Independent on Sunday dated 28/04/91.
On Wednesday 16th September 1992, the government had to react to massive sterling sales on the foreign exchange markets. The Bank of England raised the interest rates up to 15% and started to buy sterling massively but failed to prevent the British currency from losing value. Chancellor Norman Lamont therefore had to take the pound out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), which subsequently led to a 20% devaluation. Jones, B., Dictionary of British Politics, op. cit., 17.
Tony Blair first used the expression in an interview for the BBC radio programme The World this Weekend aired on 12th May 1993. He was then Shadow Home Secretary.
See the chapter entitled “John Major and the Growth of Middle-Class Insecurity”, in Heath, A., Jowell, R., Curtice, J., The Rise of New Labour : Party Policies and Voter Choices, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001, 132-134.
The Conservative PPB shown on 4/05/93 was devoted to this theme with a speech by Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Howard. This may be seen as an answer to the Green Party’s own broadcasts.
Peter Lilley was Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1990-92) and then for Social Security (1992-97).
Adams, I., Ideology and Politics in Britain Today, op. cit., 98.
Portillo, M., Clear Blue Water, London, Conservative Way Forward, 1994. Michael Portillo was Chief Secretary (1992-94), Secretary of State for Employment (1994-95) before moving to Defence (1995-97).
Heffer, S., The Observer, 14/01/96, quoted in Adams, I., Ideology and Politics in Britain Today, op. cit., 98.
Jenkins, J. (ed.), John Major : Prime Minister, London, Bloomsbury, 1990, 7.
Kavanagh, D., Election Campaigning : The New Marketing of Politics, op. cit., 166.
Catterall, P., “‘Imagine if Labour won the election’ : The Conservative Party’s Political Broadcasts”, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, vol. 17, n° 4, London, IAMHIST, October 1997, 456; Butler, D., Kavanagh, D., The British General Election of 1997, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1997, 40.
King, A., “Why Labour Won – At Last”, in King, A., et al., New Labour Triumphs : Britain at the Polls, Chatham, NJ, Chatham House Publishers Inc., 1998, 182.
MORI Poll published in The Economist, 1-7/10/94, 36.
Interview with Jonathan Hill, London, 18th February 2004.
Butler, D., Kavanagh, D., The British General Election of 1992, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1992, 30.
John Major started his “soapbox tour” in Luton on Saturday 28th March 1992. Two days before, in an interview for This Week (ITV), Robin Day had invited him to erect the soapbox that he mentioned in a Party Election Broadcast in which he spoke about his youth in Brixton (18/03/92). Images of the “soapbox tour” can be seen in the PEB shown on 7/04/92. Butler, D., Kavanagh, D., The British General Election of 1992, op. cit., 124; Rosenbaum, M., From Soapbox to Soundbite : Party Political Campaigning in Britain since 1945, London, Macmillan, 1997, 272.
Interview with Jonathan Hill, op. cit. It is relevant to point out that Labour’s Neil Kinnock appeared in massive rallies taking place in stadiums.
Major, J., The Autobiography, London, Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, 290.
Quoted in Foley, M., The Rise of the British Presidency, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1993, 244.
Major, J., The Autobiography, op. cit., 300-301; Butler, D., Kavanagh, D., The British General Election of 1992, op. cit., 102 and 130; Kavanagh, D., Election Campaigning : The New Marketing of Politics, op. cit., 73 and 245.
Butler, D., Kavanagh, D., The British General Election of 1992, op. cit., 175. An extract from this broadcast can be seen at http ://observatoire.univ-tln.fr (Excerpt n°3).
“I have no doubt about the golden prospects for Britain. Of all the nations in the world, I believe none is more respected than ours. Its language has been borrowed, its culture followed, its literature read, and its Parliament copied.”, PEB shown on 7/04/92. See http ://observatoire.univ-tln.fr (Excerpt n°4).
Hall, S., “The Great Moving Right Show” , in Hall, S., The Hard Road to Renewal : Thatcherism and the Crisis of the Left, London, Verso, 1988, 39-56. See also Jessop, B., et al., “Authoritarian Populism, Two Nations, and Thatcherism”, New Left Review, n° 147, 1984, 32-60; Hall, S., “Authoritarian Populism : A Reply to Jessop et al.”, New Left Review, n° 151, 1985, 115-24.
This excerpt can be seen at http ://observatoire.univ-tln.fr (Excerpt n°5).
Cockerell, M., Live from Number 10 : The Inside Story of Prime Ministers and Television, London, Faber & Faber, 1988, 327.
Major, J., The Autobiography, op. cit., 300-301.
Speech at the Blackpool party conference, October 1991. CPA, PPB 146.See also www.johnmajor.co.uk/speechconf1991.html.
PPB shown on 11/12/96.
Major, J., The Autobiography, op. cit., 290.
Interview with Jonathan Hill, op. cit.
57 Conservative PPBs were aired between 17th January 1991 (John Major’s first Ministerial Broadcast) and 29th April 1997 (last broadcast of the general election campaign).
This was a deliberate decision made by the party strategists who wanted to present the government as a team. This was especially true in 1983 when Margaret Thatcher appeared in many programmes, be they devoted to politics and current affairs or be they entertainment shows. Gordon Reece also wanted to increase her “televisual rarity value” and avoid the “wear-out factor”. Cockerell, M., Live from Number 10 : The Inside Story of Prime Ministers and Television, op. cit., 253; Butler, D., Kavanagh, D., The British General Election of 1983, London, Macmillan, 1984, 151.Haut de page