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1983 General Election

1983 General Election



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Political Parties

Total Votes

%

MPs

13,012,316

42.4

397

4,210,115

13.7

17

8,456,934

27.6

209

Social Democratic Party

3,570,834

11.7

6

11,606

0.0

0

Plaid Cymru

125,309

0.4

2

Scottish National Party

331,975

1.1

2

National Front

27,065

0.1

0


‘Without the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher would have lost the 1983 General Election.’ Assess the validity of this view.

Before writing your answer, you should think about the what the question is getting at in this case, how Thatcher, despite trailing in the opinion polls for most of her premiership, managed to win an electoral landslide in 1983. Doing this will ensure that the answer remains focussed. Further, outlining the general, unusual, circumstances under which Thatcher won the 1983 election in the introduction will illustrate a contextual understanding of question.The first paragraph of the essay should outline the argument put forward in the proposition, expanding upon the way in which the Falklands war was politically harnessed by Thatcher. She tapped into a climate of national patriotism, portraying herself as defending and embodying the British nation, while Michael Foot’s Labour tried to toe a more difficult, ambiguous line that involved both supporting the war as well as remaining critical of the manner in which it was being conducted. The clarity of Thatcher’s message, combined with the Conservative’s traditional association with militarism and patriotism, contributed to the 1983 result.However, the second paragraph should look challenge the proposition by offering an alternative interpretation of the 1983 election result. One angle could focus on the multi-faceted weakness of the opposition. The SDP split further divided the anti-Thatcher vote under the conditions of First Past the Past, this ensured that the Conservative’s, despite suffering a -1.5% swing to the SDP-Liberal alliance, succeeded in increasing their majority by 58. This paragraph could also criticise Labour’s 1983 campaign Michael Foot was widely seen to be a poor leader while Labour’s left-wing manifesto was famously branded as ‘the longest suicide-note in history’.Moreover, the third paragraph could explore the idea that, contrary to the proposition, Thatcherism was, in fact, becoming genuinely popular as an ideology. By 1983 the economy was impressively recovering inflation was down, growth topped 3%. Thatcherite monetarism was widely credited for this improvement. Further, while unemployment remained at over three million, it was disproportionally focussed in former industrial areas – areas of the North and South Wales – while the economic recovery occurred in cities and the South. As a result, the economics of Thatcherism, although undoubtedly polarising, did appeal to many middle-class areas where voters enjoyed more disposable income.The conclusion should aim to evaluate the proposition in relation to the alternative historical interpretations of the 1983 election. Evidently, contrary to what is implied in the question, the Falklands war alone cannot explain the 1983 election result. The weaknesses of the opposition also enabled Thatcher to win a landslide while the increasingly polarised voting patterns of the electorate indicate that Thatcherite economics, at least for some, held a strong ideological appeal.


WI: the 1983 General Election Didnt produce a majority.

This comes from a TL I've got an idea for but don't have the knowledge of the period to do justice. I was looking for a PoD that brings Proportional representation into Britain and shakes up the system.

One example of this would of course be the Alliance Wins TL.

My idea is. Through either no falklands or falklands not going as well as OTL or other reasons the 1983 GE leads to no one party producing a majority. Possibly with the Alliance doing far better than OTL, maybe even coming second.

What are the chances of an Alliance-Tory or Alliance-Labour coallition government? What are the chances then of the Alliance forcing through proportional representation?

Abe Lincoln

Well with PoD after the creation of alliance there's absolutely no chance of getting proportional representation by 1983. Neither the Labour Party nor the Tories were invested in the idea at any point post-war as both depended on constituency structures. This is especially true with the 'mass' Labour Party, whereas you'd be hard pressed to ever find a time when Tories would support this no matter what, especially because of the nature of the Home Counties which are shoe in Tory seats.

My argument is the last time this is feasible is in the inter-war period when you have a strong Liberal and Labour Party. Perhaps during MacDonald's term you'd have enough of an interested in both to produce proportional representation to avoid splitting the anti-Tory vote but I really can't envision a conventional PoD after WWII producing proportional representation.

That said, I don't think the time line is a bad idea, nor the idea absolutely unfeasible. My suggestion could be to have the Labour Left take up the cause of proportional representation, perhaps via Michael Foot who was deeply influenced by radical liberal thought. Then maybe Callaghan agrees to instate it sometime during the early part of his administration when Labour is looking far from certain for reelection and he needs to appease the left. This could potentially get you around the problem and produce proportional representation, although full proportional representation is still a long shot. Rather, in my estimation, your greatest hope is Alternative Vote or maybe 5 seat constituencies awarded proportionally.

Alternative Vote would have a massive impact in 1983 and far from preventing a Thatcher majority, its likely to result a Labour majority. It's important to remember that the vast majority (58%) of Brits voted against Maggie in '83. By avoiding the split in the Labour vote, a great number of traditional working-class seats lost as a result of the SPD could be avoided. The question then becomes where the Liberal Party casts its second vote. Though, this may be less of a problem then we imagine as Labour is very weak in the districts where the Liberal Party tends to be strong (i.e. Southwest England and portions of the highlands in Scotland). In the end I think a Labour majority or a Labour-SPD coalition is your most likely result in '83 under alternative vote.

Bolt451

Well with PoD after the creation of alliance there's absolutely no chance of getting proportional representation by 1983. Neither the Labour Party nor the Tories were invested in the idea at any point post-war as both depended on constituency structures. This is especially true with the 'mass' Labour Party, whereas you'd be hard pressed to ever find a time when Tories would support this no matter what, especially because of the nature of the Home Counties which are shoe in Tory seats.

My argument is the last time this is feasible is in the inter-war period when you have a strong Liberal and Labour Party. Perhaps during MacDonald's term you'd have enough of an interested in both to produce proportional representation to avoid splitting the anti-Tory vote but I really can't envision a conventional PoD after WWII producing proportional representation.

That said, I don't think the time line is a bad idea, nor the idea absolutely unfeasible. My suggestion could be to have the Labour Left take up the cause of proportional representation, perhaps via Michael Foot who was deeply influenced by radical liberal thought. Then maybe Callaghan agrees to instate it sometime during the early part of his administration when Labour is looking far from certain for reelection and he needs to appease the left. This could potentially get you around the problem and produce proportional representation, although full proportional representation is still a long shot. Rather, in my estimation, your greatest hope is Alternative Vote or maybe 5 seat constituencies awarded proportionally.

Alternative Vote would have a massive impact in 1983 and far from preventing a Thatcher majority, its likely to result a Labour majority. It's important to remember that the vast majority (58%) of Brits voted against Maggie in '83. By avoiding the split in the Labour vote, a great number of traditional working-class seats lost as a result of the SPD could be avoided. The question then becomes where the Liberal Party casts its second vote. Though, this may be less of a problem then we imagine as Labour is very weak in the districts where the Liberal Party tends to be strong (i.e. Southwest England and portions of the highlands in Scotland). In the end I think a Labour majority or a Labour-SPD coalition is your most likely result in '83 under alternative vote.

I meant Proportional representation as a result of the 1983 election (which would still be fptp)


General Election 1983 - Introduction

The General Election of 1983 is famous today because of it being an electoral low-point for the Labour Party and the event that sowed the seeds of the New Labour reforms over a decade later. It was also the election that secured the position of Margaret Thatcher, giving her a much larger majority than she had enjoyed for her first term from 1979.

The 1983 election was in a very different political era with some unfamiliar personnel, so some historical notes will be required here and there. The key figures are the party leaders: Margaret Thatcher (Conservative) and Michael Foot (Labour) as well as the so-called Gang of Four who had established a new party, the SDP, which also had a major impact on the election and its results.

The General Election 1983 - Results

As can be seen from the results, this was a landslide victory for the Conservative Party which gained a large majority, at the expense of the Labour Party.

Another important factor was the role of a new party, the SDP although, as can be seen, their impressive vote share did not translate into many seats in parliament. (Link to electoral systems: think about how can Labour get nearly 200 more seats than the SDP with only 2% more of the vote?)


The History Of General Elections In Jamaica – Part 3

Jamaicans are gearing up to head to the polls for the island’s 17th general parliamentary election on February 25. Each week, we will be taking a look back at the previous elections that have helped shape the Jamaica we know today. Here is part three of our ‘recap’:

December 15, 1983 – The 10th general elections is perhaps the most controversial in Jamaica’s history, as it was boycotted by the opposition People’s National Party (PNP). Consequently, the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) was returned to power with all 60 seats. The voter turnout for this election was a mere 28.94 per cent.

Following a landslide JLP victory in 1980, new Prime Minister Edward Seaga sought to assure the nation that no future elections would be held without an updated voters’ list. Opposition Leader Michael Manley and hisspokesman on finance, Seymour Mullings, in separate statements, warned that the PNP would not go to another poll if the voter register did not facilitate fair elections.

In 1983, Seaga, also the Minister of Finance, announced that Jamaica had passed the International Monetary Fund’s September quarterly test, but it was subsequently revealed that the country had indeed failed. The PNP called on Seaga to resign as Minister of Finance. His response was to call a snap election, claiming he did so on the basis that the opposition had called into question the integrity of his administration. In the elections, 54 JLP candidates were returned unopposed and six others won seats contested by independents and minor parties.

February 9, 1989 – The results of the 11th general elections would not have come as a surprise to anyone, following the events of the 1983 polls. The PNP romped to victory with 45 seats and 75 per cent of the votes, to the JLP’s 15 seats and 25 per cent of the votes. Voter turnout was 77.59 per cent.

This election marked the emergence of one Portia Simpson, who got her first portfolio – the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Sports.

At the end of March 1992, Prime Minister Michael Manley retired from active political life due to illness, and leadership of the PNP was won by PJ Patterson.

March 30, 1993 – The PNP retained power in the 12th general election, with 86.7 per cent of the votes and 52 seats, compared to the JLP’s 13.3 per cent and eight seats. The Independents and the Republican Party had some votes, but failed to win any seats. Total voter turnout was 669,164 persons, representing 66.74% of the electorate.

December 18, 1997 – The PNP won 50 seats with 83.3 per cent of the votes, while the JLP won 10 seats with 16.7 per cent of the votes. The National Democrat Movement (NDM), which had been formed in 1995, contested elections for the first time and secured 36,707 votes but no seats. The voter turnout fell slightly to 65.22 per cent.

This election was the first in Jamaica to have a team of international election monitors present – a 58-member delegation from the Carter Center, a US-based nongovernmental, not-for-profit organisation founded by President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn. The delegation, led by President Carter himself, came to monitor the polls for freedom and fairness. The full report can be read here.


Campaign

After the no confidence vote against Horák the ČSSD experienced a sudden rise in support and sympathy, obviously a result of the way the government had been ousted. This support manifested itself spectacularly in the beginning of the campaign, when the ČSSD surprisingly polled around 30%. These polls shocked the Republican leadership as well as the ČSL and SĽS temporarily, and for a while it even looked as if the ČSSD had a chance to maintain their mandate to govern.

The federal election of 1980 is widely recognized as lacking in divisive and decisive substantive issues. The same cannot be said for the 1983 election campaign which revolved around the issues of the state of the economy, the 'public philosophy' of the system (in the sense of cutting back on some of the exigencies of the welfare state, emphasizing more individual responsibilities and stressing a sense of moral and political renewal), the environment and nuclear power. The Czechoslovak economy was still affected by the many crises of the 1970s, and the economic issue overrode all others in importance, and on all dimensions of that issue the Republicans was way ahead of the ČSSD in competence ratings. The impact of this assessment was further strengthened by a willingness of large parts of the population to accept austerity measures provided they would help to reduce the number of unemployed and help the sluggish economy to regain momentum.

Horák and the ČSSD argued that Klaus' proposed "austerity policies" was similar to that of Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, threatening that it would lead to "American conditions". The campaign of the Republicans, on the other hand, revolved around its leader Václav Klaus. The party used the slogan "You have the future in your hands" (Czech: Budoucnost máte ve svých rukou, Slovak: Budúcnosť máte vo svojich rukách). The whole campaign cost over 120 million CSK, a massive amount compared to previous election campaigns. Their election manifesto "Freedom and Prosperity" (Czech: Svoboda a prosperita, Slovak: Sloboda a prosperita) advocated partial or full privatizations of government-owned companies, freer reins for business, cutting expenditures as well as taxes, combat unemployment, reduce public deficits and start paying off foreign debt, to reduce government restrictions and regulations, improve the flexibility and performance of the labor market, and a reduction in the balance of payments deficit that had grown sharply during the crisis of the 1970s. Klaus attracted many voters due to his passion and charisma. During the campaign he was known for his calm and bureaucratic style, his understated gray suits, and for using a rhetorical style was characterized by a use of language and carefully articulated viewpoints that supporters considered intelligent and confident and opponents considered cold or even sarcastic and arrogant. Among the most memorable moments in the campaign were the heated debates between Klaus and Horák.

The ČSSD campaign was hampered by a series of industrial disputes, economic issues and government fatigue. Their election manifesto "Working for social justice and peace" (Czech: Práce pro sociální spravedlnost a mír, Slovak: Pracujeme pre sociálnu spravodlivosť a mier) emphasized issues like economic recovery, economic democracy and full employment. Additionally, the ČSSD encountered difficulties because of the emergence of the Greens. Led by the charismatic environmental activist Milan Horáček, the Greens were able to mobilize a whole array of voters frustrated by mainstream politics which were ignoring environmental issues, as well as the dangers of nuclear power. They campaigned on ecological and environmental wisdom, opposition to nuclear energy, nonviolence and direct democracy. They were also opposed to restrictions on immigration and reproductive rights and placing a higher priority on working for LGBT rights.

The Christian Democratic ČSL/SĽS endorsed Klaus as their candidate for prime minister and campaigned against abortion. However, the opinion polls during the campaign were no good omens for the ČSL/SĽS, with some polls predicting they would lose half its seats. Part of this was the result of Horák and the ČSSD campaigning heavily against the so-called "lidovci treason" (lidovci being the nickname of the ČSL/SĽS). The decision to leave and supporting Klaus' no-confidence vote against the Horák government had repelled centrist and left-leaning voters.

The Liberal Democratic Party also endorsed Klaus, and campaigned on a platform that attacked many aspects of the Czechoslovak welfare state. They advocated for the privatization of medical care, education and government-owned enterprises, as well as steep cuts in income tax.

The Free Democrats, now led by the charismatic Miroslav Sládek, struck a chord with those who felt disenfranchised by both the Social Democrats and the Republicans. The SD attacked many aspects of the Czechoslovak welfare state, and campaigned for steep cuts in income tax, halting immigration, support for the death penalty. Their campain also used resentment and fear of the Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia in 1945, and positioned the party as the only protector of the nation.

The dialogue between the two leading prime ministerial candidates, Horák and Klaus, dominated the election campaign, marking a stronger personalization of politics. In the opinion of the voters, there were three important contentious issues the election in 1983: The abortion case, taxes and the economy, and social issues with emphasis on health care and elderly care. Compared to 1980, it was significant increase in interest in foreign and defense policy.

Electoral debates

The Czechoslovak federal broadcaster ČST organised four main debates during the election. ČST also broadcast a series of smaller debates with spokespeople from the ten biggest parties on various issues, including national security, healthcare, foreign policy and infrastructure, among others.


A huge political upset came when Ukip gained its first MP in the form of the Tory defector Douglas Carswell. Having switched parties, Carswell promised voters in the Clacton constituency he had held since 2010 that he would trigger a byelection to ensure his mandate remained upheld. He won with 59.7% of the vote, a higher percentage than he got in the previous general election as a Tory, and far outstripping the new Conservative candidate, Giles Watling, who got 24.6%. Some months later a second Tory MP, Mark Reckless, defected to Ukip and also achieved a big swing when he fought a byelection, taking the party to 42.1% in Rochester and Strood, a seat in which it had not stood in 2010.

There was a surprise victory for the Scottish National party in Hamilton after the Labour MP Tom Fraser quit the House of Commons for a new job. Having been a safe Labour seat, Hamilton elected the first candidate the SNP had stood there, Winnie Ewing. In a three-horse race she took 46% of the vote to Labour’s 41.5%, with the Tories trailing on 12.5%. Although the seat returned to Labour at the general election three years later, Ewing’s win marked the starting point of the SNP’s unbroken run of representation in the Commons.


Culture

Sports

The traditional American sports - American football, Baseball, Basketball and, in the northern states, Ice hockey, along with tennis and golf - retained their interest and popularity among the public. Today, various semi-professional leagues have been established across the restored USA.

The most prominent sports organization in the post-Doomsday USA thus far is the United States Baseball League. The USBL played its first full season in 2013.

Holidays

The USA continues to celebrate the same traditional American holidays that existed before Doomsday. There is, however, one notable addition: Doomsday itself is marked as a solemn day of remembrance both here and in many other countries.

A man in Dakota raises a banner on the 30 year anniversary of Doomsday in 2013 to commemorate those who were lost.


Historical Events in 1983

    Gary Trudeau takes a 20-month break from writing "Doonesbury" In a 35-27 win over the Houston Oilers, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson completes 20 consecutive passes and finishes the season winning his second consecutive passing title with an NFL record 70.55% completion percentage Several African National Congress (ANC) members detained in Swaziland decide to leave the country voluntarily for Mozambique. Dallas running back Tony Dorsett sets NFL record with 99-yard rush in the Cowboys' 31-27 defeat at Minnesota Vikings US Football League holds its 1st player draft Australia regain the Ashes with a 2-1 series win v England

Event of Interest

Jan 7 President Reagan ends US arms embargo against Guatemala

Event of Interest

Jan 9 British PM Margaret Thatcher visits Falkland Islands

    NY Supreme Court issues a preliminary injunction barring NY Yankees from playing season-opening series against Tigers in Denver

Event of Interest

Jan 11 Billy Martin named NY Yankee manager for 3rd time

Event of Interest

Jan 11 LA Kings' center Marcel Dionne picks up his 24th NHL career hat-trick and adds 3 assists for 6 points in a 9-7 win at Washington Kings' first road win after 8 straight losses

    Edmonton’s Pat Hughes sets NHL record for the fastest 2 shorthanded goals by one player at just 25 seconds apart in a 7-5 win at St. Louis first player to break a Wayne Gretzky record Brooks Robinson and Juan Marichal elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame NCAA creates football Kickoff Classic to begin in August Quebec Nordiques play 230th NHL game without being shut out

Event of Interest

Jan 13 AMA urges ban on boxing, cites Muhammad Ali's deteriorating condition

    Dutch political party DS'70 disbands Javed Miandad & Mudassar Nazar make 451 stand v India Thom Syles keeps a life saver intact in his mouth for over 7 hours 10th American Music Awards: John Cougar & Rick Springfield, Olivia Newton-John

Event of Interest

Jan 17 Alabama Governor George Wallace, becomes governor for a record 4th time

Event of Interest

Jan 18 IOC restores Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals (Pentathlon & Decathlon victories) 70 years after they were taken from him for being paid $25 in semi-pro baseball

    Dick Motta becomes the 5th NBA coach to record 600 wins as his Dallas Mavericks defeat the Golden State Warriors, 112-102 in Oakland

Event of Interest

Jan 19 Klaus Barbie, SS chief in Lyon in Nazi-occupied France, arrested in Bolivia

Murder of Interest

Jan 20 American gangster Roy DeMeo is found murdered in his car trunk after disappearing a few days earlier

    Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Anthony E Hecht President Reagan certifies El Salvador human-rights abuses have decreased making country eligible for US military aid First supertitles for a live opera performance: "Elektra" at Canadian Opera Company, English titles by Sonya Friedman 2nd flight readiness firing of Challenger's main engines 22 seconds Houston is 1st NBA team to be held scoreless in an overtime Portland Trail Blazers out score them 17-0 & win 113-96 NFC Championship, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.: Washington Redskins beat Dallas Cowboys, 31-17

Event of Interest

Jan 23 "A-Team" with Mr T premieres on NBC

Event of Interest

Jan 23 Tennis great Björn Borg announces retirement at 26 (5 x Wimbledon, 6 x French Open)

    Cerebral Palsy telethon raises $14.7 million In NBA, Portland scores all 17 pts in overtime to beat Houston 113-96 Russian radioactive satellite falls into Indian Ocean Schone skates ladies world record 5 km (7:40.97) "Mud Bowl", Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 14-0 in the AFC Championship Game on a wet, muddy field, which negated the Jets significant speed and skill advantage AFC Championship, Miami Orange Bowl: Miami Dolphins beat New York Jets, 14-0

Event of Interest

Jan 23 Ivan Lendl scores a 6–4, 6-4, 6–2 win over American John McEnroe to claim back-to-back ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis titles at Madison Square Garden, NYC

    China's supreme court commutes Chiang Ch'ing's death sentence to life Infrared telescope satellite launched into polar orbit Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie arrested in Bolivia Dutch British infrared satellite IRAS launched from California Seikan Tunnel, the world's longest tunnel with an underwater segment (53.90 km in total) opens connecting Honshu-Hokkaido. The Channel Tunnel remains the longest underwater tunnel.

Golden Globes

Jan 29 40th Golden Globes: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Ben Kingsley & Meryl Streep win

    Hilbert van Thumb becomes European skating champ Super Bowl XVII, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA: Washington Redskins beat Miami Dolphins, 27-17 MVP: John Riggins, Washington, RB In an effort to reduce driving deaths, a new law in UK requires drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seatbelts USSR performs underground nuclear test Chicago Archbishop Joseph L Bernardin is among 18 new cardinals invested

Appointment of Interest

Feb 2 Pope John Paul II names 18 new cardinals

    CBS' premiere of fact based WW2 drama "The Scarlet and the Black", based on the life of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty US female Figure Skating championship won by Rosalynn Sumners Jose Happart becomes mayor of Voeren Belgium

Event of Interest

Feb 4 US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton

    Former Nazi Gestapo official Klaus Barbie brought to trial NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: NFC beats AFC, 20-19 MVPs: Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers, QB John Jefferson, Green Bay Packers, WR Trial of former Gestapo commandant Klaus Barbie begins in France for war crimes during World War II 1st female secretary of transportation sworn-in (Elizabeth Dole) "José Cuervo" single released by Shelly West (Billboard Song of the Year 1983)

NHL All-Star Game

Feb 8 35th NHL All-Star Game, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale: Campbell Conference beats Wales Conference, 9-3 MVP: Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers, C

Event of Interest

Feb 8 Baseball orders Mickey Mantle to sever ties with Claridge Casino

Music Recording

Feb 11 "Weird Al" Yankovic records "Ricky" & "Buckingham Blues" debut LP

Music Single

Feb 11 Single "Total Eclipse of the Heart" sung by Bonnie Tyler and composed by Jim Steinman is released

    Bernstein, Levinson & Link's musical "Merlin" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 199 performances Opener Steve Smith with 117 and Geoff Lawson 3-11 guide Australia to 149 run win over New Zealand in cricket's World Series Cup 2nd Final in Melbourne win series, 2-0

NBA All-Star Game

Feb 13 33rd NBA All-Star Game, The Forum, Inglewood, CA: East beats West, 132-123 MVP: Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers, F

    The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim the lives of 75 people in one of Australia's worst ever fires Bob Bourne fails on 8th Islander penalty shot Netherlands adopts constitution US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site Indiana Pacers lose, 121-94 in Milwaukee begin a 28 NBA game losing streak on the road Right wing Lanny McDonald becomes the first player in NHL franchise Calgary Flames' history to score 50 goals in a season in a 5-1 loss to Buffalo Sabres 33rd Berlin International Film Festival: "Ascendancy" and "The Beehive" win the Golden Bear (tie)

Event of Interest

Feb 19 Fernando Valenzuela wins his salary arbitration of $1 million

    Vladimir Salnikov (USSR) sets 400 m free style swimming record Japan launches Tenma satellite to study x-rays (450/570 km) Roland Liboton becomes world champ cross-country cycling 25th Daytona 500: 3rd win in the event for Cale Yarborough first time an in-car camera goes into victory lane before a national CBS Sports audience Donald Davis runs 1 mile backwards in 6 m 7.1 s NBA San Diego Clippers begin a 29 game road losing streak Harold Washington wins Chicago's Democratic mayoral primary Hindus kill 3000 Muslims in Assam, India Vladimir Salnikov (USSR) sets 1500m free style swimming record 25th Grammy Awards: Roxanna, Toto IV, Men at Work wins USFL New Jersey Generals sign Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker to a then massive 3 year, $5 million deal The Spanish Socialist government of Felipe González and Miguel Boyer nationalizes Rumasa, a holding of José María Ruiz Mateos The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri Dow Jones closes above 1100 mark for 1st time USSR performs underground nuclear test A special commission of the U.S. Congress releases a report that condemns the practice of Japanese internment during World War II.

#1 in the Charts

Feb 26 Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album goes #1 and stays #1 for 37 weeks

    Shortwave pirate Radio USA (Wellsville, NY) begins transmission Eamonn Coghlan of Ireland set indoor mile record of 3:49.78

Event of Interest

Feb 28 Final TV episode of "M*A*S*H", a 2-hour special directed by series star Alan Alda titled "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", airs (CBS) record 125 million watch in the US

    Alpine skier Tamara McKinney becomes the first American woman to top the overall World Cup standings with 225 points Tornado tears through Los Angeles, injuring 33 people Compact Disc recordings developed by Phillips & Sony introduced USSR performs underground nuclear test Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw is admitted to hospital for surgery to repair his throwing arm under the alias 'Tom Brady' U.S. Public Health Service's publishes its guidelines for blood donors and AIDS

Election of Interest

Mar 5 Australian Labor leader Bob Hawke defeats sitting Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in a general election

    NSW beat Western Australia by 54 runs to win Sheffield Shield "On Your Toes" opens at Virginia Theater NYC for 505 performances

Election of Interest

Mar 6 Helmut Kohl's CDU/CSU wins West German parliament elections

    In New Bedford, Massachusetts, woman charges she was gang-raped atop a pool table US Football League begins its 1st season TNN (The Nashville Network) begins on Cable TV House Foreign Affairs Com endorses nuclear weapons freeze with USSR IBM releases PC DOS version 2.0 President Reagan 1st known use of term "Evil Empire" (about the USSR) in speech in Florida Caryl Churchill's "Fen" premieres in London Zimbabwe opposition leader Joshua Nkomo flees to Botswana Walter Alston, Los Angeles Dodgers manager is elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Event of Interest

Mar 11 Ice Dance Championship at Helsinki, Finland won by Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean (Great Britain)

    Ice Pairs Championship at Helsinki won by Valova & Vasiliev (Soviet Union) Ladies' Figure Skating Championship in Helsinki won by Rosalynn Sumners (USA) Men's Figure Skating Championship in Helsinki won by Scott Hamilton (USA)

Film and TV Awards

Mar 11 9th People's Choice Awards: Burt Reynolds, Jane Fonda & Katharine Hepburn win (Motion Picture) and Tom Selleck, Linda Evans & Loretta Swit win (TV)

    Don Ritchie runs world record 50 mile (4:51:49) 4th Big East Men's Basketball Tournament: St. John's beats Boston College, 85-77 Peter Stone's musical "Woman of the Year" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 770 performances 1st USFL overtime game-Birmingham Stallions beat Oakld Invaders 20-14 30th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: NC State beats Virginia, 81-78 24th SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Georgia beats Alabama, 86-71 OPEC cut oil prices for 1st time in 23 years Karnataka beat Bombay on 1st innings to win cricket Ranji Trophy Smallest crowd at Cleveland Coliseum (Cavs vs Nets-1,814)

Event of Interest

Mar 17 70th hat trick in Islander history-Mike Bossy

    France (16-9 v Wales) and Ireland (25-15 v England) win final round matches to finish level and share the Five Nations Rugby Championship no tie-break procedure exists before 1993

Event of Interest

Mar 20 In a clash of tennis legends, Martina Navratilova outclasses Chris Evert Lloyd 6-2, 6-0 to win her first of 5 straight WTA Tour Championships at Madison Square Garden, NYC

    Only known typo on Time Magazine cover (control=contol), all recalled Chaim Herzog elected Israeli president US President Ronald Reagan introduces Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") Christa Rothenburger skates world record 500 m ladies (39.69 sec)

Boxing Title Fight

Mar 27 Larry Holmes beats Lucien Rodriguez in 12 for heavyweight boxing title

Event of Interest

Mar 27 Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs" premieres in NYC

    PGA Tournament Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass: Hal Sutton comes from 4 strokes back with a final round 69 to win a rain-affected Monday finish by 1 stroke ahead of Bob Eastwood Ray Cooney's "Run for your Wives" premieres in London USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) begins trading in crude oil future Popayán Earthquake (5.5 Mw Depth) in Colombia kills 267 people, injuring some 7,500 Marsha Norman's "'night, Mother" premieres in NYC

Event of Interest

Mar 31 "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life," is released in the US

    Anti-nuclear demonstrators link arms in 14-mile human chain in England Iraq increases missile attacks on Iran New York Islanders right wing Mike Bossy scores in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins to become the first player in NHL history to score 60 goals in 3 consecutive seasons 2nd NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: USC beats Louisiana Tech, 69-67 Trojans' forward Cheryl Miller tournament MOP

Golf Major

Apr 3 Nabisco Dinah Shore Women's Golf, Mission Hills CC: In strong winds, Amy Alcott wins by 2 strokes ahead of Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel first year tournament regarded as a major title

    45th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: North Carolina State beats Houston, 54-52 Wolfpack win with buzzer-beating dunk by Lorenzo Charles off a desperation 30 foot shot from Dereck Whittenburg 6th space shuttle mission, Challenger 1 launched France throws out 47 Soviet diplomats

Event of Interest

Apr 5 NY Met Tom Seaver's sets record 14th NL Opening Day assignment

    Oldest human skeleton, aged 80,000 years, discovered in Egypt STS-6 specialist Story Musgrave & Don Peterson 1st STS spacewalk WIBC Championship Tournament in Las Vegas, attracts 75,480 women bowlers for 83-day event

Statue of Liberty

Apr 8 In front of a live audience of 20 tourists, David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty disappear

    6th Space Shuttle Mission-Challenger 1 returns to Earth 137th Grand National: Ben de Haan wins aboard 13/1 bet Corbiere Jenny Pittman first female GN winning trainer

Event of Interest

Apr 10 Baltimore's Eddie Murray hits his 1,000 career hit

    Hennie Kuiper (Neth) wins Paris-Roubaix cycle race Jordan king Hussein ceases negotiations with PLO 3rd Golden Raspberry Awards: "Inchon!" wins

US Masters Golf

Apr 11 47th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Seve Ballesteros of Spain wins his 2nd Masters and 3rd major title, 4 strokes ahead of Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite Monday finish because of torrential rain

    55th Academy Awards: "Gandhi", Ben Kingsley & Meryl Streep win NASA launches RCA-F In the first 'supergrass' trial in Northern Ireland, fourteen Ulster Volunteer Force members are jailed for a total of two hundred years Harold Washington elected Chicago's 1st black mayor USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site Undefeated middleweight boxer Tony Ayala gets 35 years on sex assault NY Islanders tie own record with 2 shorthanded playoff goals (vs NY Rangers) US President Reagan signs $165 billion Social Security rescue Tokyo Disneyland opens

Baseball Record

Apr 16 Steve Garvey sets NL record by playing in 1,118 consecutive games


Conclusion

Tony Blair's successor as prime minister, Gordon Brown © Some of the major social changes over the past 50 years include the loss of empire and of world power status, a weaker sense of collective British identity (devolution as both cause and consequence), an increase in immigration, first from the newer Commonwealth countries and now from new EU states, and the growth of multiculturalism and changes in the balance of the population ( the decline of manual work, the increase in the number of women in the workforce and rising numbers of the elderly)

Despite rising living standards and greater opportunity for many, society has become more 'broken'.

There has been a shift from the 'old' politics of parties and elections as reflected in falling membership and turnout. This may be a consequence of the decline in ideological divisions between the main parties, but there is still public interest in political issues. Prominent recent examples have been the mass demonstrations against the Iraq war and in defence of the countryside.

Society has also become more individualistic, as seen in the passion for home ownership and in Blair’s emphasis on choice in the public services. Britain's one-size-fits-all, post-1945 pubic services are seen to be less responsive to consumers. There remains a north-south (more accurately, London and the south east versus the rest) divide in terms of economic wealth and opportunity.

London has gained greatly from the globalising economy, while the north remains heavily dependent on public spending for jobs and economic activity.

And despite rising living standards and greater opportunity for many, society has become more 'broken' and an 'underclass' has emerged. Indicators of these trends are divorce, which has increased twentyfold, the prison population, which has increased sevenfold, and the fact that Britain has more births outside marriage and teenage mothers than any other European country.


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