What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

April 07, 2008

This is how far A Liberal has gone

“It’s a funny old world,” said a former PM. She was right. In my day job – the one that pays my mortgage, and keeps me well away from politics – I am responsible for fundraising for the University of Oxford’s libraries, including the Bodleian. Within which is located the Conservative Party Archive. For which I am now actively seeking money. Oh, the irony.

For the record (and in case my employers are watching) I should stress I have absolutely no philosophical problems with any of this. The Archive is an historical record, and a fascinating one at that. One part of it has made a splash today, with the online release of the Tory Party’s posters – the Daily Mail carried a dozen of the best in a double-page spread here.

But you don’t need to patronise the Mail’s website to enjoy a saunter through political advertising history. You can access the whole archive at the Bodleian’s website here. Which means you can also search the Archive by category, date, description or keyword. I typed in the search term ‘liberal’, which gave me the five posters, below. (Click on image to enlarge).

Interestingly - though I guess unsurprisingly - the Liberal party was deemed not to be worthy of an attack-by-name ad for three decades, between 1929 and 1959. And nothing since 1983 either. But, then, I suppose Tories are all liberal Conservatives now, aren't they?

(Posters 1929-10 and 1929-23)

(Poster 1959-03)

(Poster 1964-12)

(Poster 1983-12)


Alix said...

Wow. Political campaigns used, like, real words back then. Formed into sentences. Crazy shit.

Praguetory said...

Interesting that in a subsequent post you mention that Tories voting Tory allowed Labour to get in in Oxford.

Mind you, I was deeply unimpressed with Labour's campaign against Jock.

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