tvParty Election Broadcasts

Conservative Party Election Broadcasts from 1970

Note: The text is a transcript of the original broadcast, made from recordings belonging to Martin Rosenbaum. The sections of spontaneous speech have been lightly punctuated for ease of reading. [] indicates uncertainty about what was actually said.

In 1968 Geoffrey Tucker became the Conservative party's director of publicity. He wanted to improve the quality and increase the impact of PPBs by employing a team of television and advertising specialists. For the 1970 campaign, the team modeled the studio used in the broadcasts on the recently established News at Ten. "The aim was to fit into the television environment and borrow the authority of the programme. It was reinforced by using Geoffrey Johnson Smith and Christopher Chataway, MPs who were both well-known former television reporters, as the two anchormen. The presenting duo read pieces of party propaganda as if they were news items, and briskly introduced film sequences, vox pops and talks straight to camera from senior party figures."

(See Martin Rosenbaum's From Soapbox to Soundbite 1997: 55-58)

2nd June 1970

WOMAN:

I wouldn't vote for either party. I've got to the stage where I couldn't care less - like them.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

Good evening and welcome to the first edition of A Better Tomorrow. Tonight we are going to try and analyse just what this election is all about, just what is going through people's minds as they prepare to vote, and later you will be hearing from the leader of the Conservative Party - Edward Heath. But first Chris Chataway.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

The record of this Labour government is already well documented. If you believe people should be taken at their word Mr Wilson and his colleagues have certainly given us plenty of words to take them at. Let's look at a few of them. From the last election year 1966 we were told: You know Labour government works. And we have Mr Callaghan saying : "I do not foresee the need for severe increases in taxation" even though they increased taxation by three thousand million a year. And then unemployment. This is what Mr Wilson said "We see no reason why unemployment should rise at all apart from seasonal increases."

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

It must be a bad season. My figures show there has never been so many unemployed for so long since the 1930s. In 1966 Mr Wilson again : "As to the idea of freezing of wage claims, salary claims, I think this would be monstrously unfair. I do not think you can ever legislate for wage increases and no party is setting out to do that."

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

Are you sure that was 1966? I thought I heard something similar from Mr Wilson only the other day.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH

Well - yes, he did; but don't forget, 1966 was election year too and election years do seem to bring out the familiar phrases. What about this bit about living standards from the 1966 Labour Party manifesto ? "For the next five years living standards for the individual and for the whole community will rise by twenty five percent."

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

And the actual figure was just over one percent a year but of course next time will be better as no doubt, it will be for housing.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

"We have embarked on a massive expansion of the housing programme" - Mr Wilson again - "reaching by 1970 no less than five hundred thousand new dwellings. This is not a lightly given promise, it is a pledge".

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

In the event, it was only three hundred and sixty seven thousand dwellings. I can't remember what the new pledge is; but most people do remember that so few of those 1966 promises were kept and in a few moments we will be hearing what some of them have to say about it and after that, Mr Heath - we'll be back with you in a moment.

VOICE OVER:

Mr Wilson's promise. Devaluation doesn't mean of course that the pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or in the bank has best devalued.

The fact. Under Labour the value of the pound has fallen from twenty shillings to fifteen shillings and seven pence. Since Mr Wilson came to power this is what he has done to your pound. Going at the same rate 1971 would be like this - fourteen and three, 1972 - thirteen and a penny, 1973 - twelve shillings, 1974 - eleven shillings, 1975 - ten shillings. The ten bob pound. Only your vote can stop him.

Mr Wilson's promise. Over the period of Parliament I believe we can do it. Certainly without any general increase in taxation.

The fact. Labour have piled on extra taxes to the staggering total of three thousand million a year.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

Welcome back. They say that the proof of any pudding is in the eating - well, let us see how people have enjoyed the taste of the last few Labour years. Then we'll end the programme with Mr Heath. But first - how do you feel?

WOMAN:

I think - I dread to think what it'll be like this time next year.

MAN:

There is a terrible tight knot round about everything at the present day.

WOMAN:

[inaudible] any normal working man is allowed to work hard - well there is no point in it - because they don't leave anything to save these days.

MAN:

We have been laid off for two weeks and the government's done nothing about it. They have not done enough for the north-east. We've got the highest unemployment rate in this country.

MAN:

The present Labour government has done really speaking, absolutely nothing for me personally. And I do not think it will ever do anything for me or the people really unless it is really forced to do something.

WOMAN:

Well, I think it is very hard for people like us who are old age pensioners that have saved for the whole of our lives until this times to find that our money and our capital is gradually going down the whole of the time as the cost of living goes up.

WOMAN:

We have nothing. We have to sell everything we've got and we have to live on that.

WOMAN:

The only thing we are long longing for is not to live too old before we use up the capital we've got. But we are going to at the rate of the prices now.

WOMAN:

These politicians - they get in with their promises and they promise this and they promise that - and what do they do?

WOMAN:

Some of them say one thing and then the other says another and when the election is over everything is different from what they said before.

WOMAN:

No - I haven't got a lot of faith in either of the parties.

MAN:

I don't think much of either of them.

WOMAN:

I wouldn't vote for either party. I've got to the stage that I couldn't care less - like them.

EDWARD HEATH:

What you have just been listening to is the mood of this country today. It is disturbed and disturbing but it is not surprising. I can understand why people feel as they do. It would be very hard not to. People feel they have been let down. It is as simple as that. A lot of promises were made. A lot of promises have been broken. Promises about taxation, about jobs, about prices, about homes. Promises, promises, promises. It sounds like the title of a hit show but the only people who are being hit are ourselves. And I am very much afraid we haven't heard the end of the promises. There'll be new ones and they'll sound good. Promises always do. The only trouble is, promises that don't get kept make people cynical. "Oh yes" they'll says "politicians - they'll promise you anything. It is part of the game. Anyhow, they are all as bad as each other. It doesn't matter who you vote for these days, they are all the same." Now, if you feel that way, and a lot of people do, then somehow, somewhere the people you elected to run this country have let you down because there is a difference. We are not all the same. And it does matter because soon you'll be asked to vote and the decision you take will help to decide not just the issues today but the kind of Britain you want to live in tomorrow. If you ask me : why should I vote Conservative? I ought to be able to tell you very simply - because on June the eighteenth you have an equally simple decision to take.

So what is the single most important quality that the Conservative Party stands for ? What is the one essential thing you'll be voting for? Freedom - it is as simple as that. We think your life is your own and you should be free to arrange it as you think fit. You should have the freedom to live in your own house and the government should make it possible for you to do so. You should have the freedom to be better off if you work harder and the government should see to it that you have the incentive of keeping more of the money that you earn. You should have the freedom to spend your money or to save it. You should have the freedom to have more real say in the way the country - your country - is run. In short, you should have the freedom to be an individual and no one individual should have to be like any other. That's what I believe in. That is what every Conservative believes in - the freedom to choose. That is the alternative to a kind of government that just can't keep its fingers out of any pie. In the days ahead you will hear a lot about policies for this and policies for that. There'll be a great deal of jargon and a lot of statistics, I suppose it is inevitable with an election.

But what concerns me more than all the facts and figures are the people of this country. I do not like to see them standing still. I want them to have better opportunities, more opportunities than they have had in the past. Particularly the young people, facing the world of tomorrow. They should have all the opportunity we can give them. Opportunity to achieve things for themselves. And particularly the older people, the people who are alone who can't look after themselves. They should have the help they so much deserve. I believe the people of this country deserve a better life; and that is the only reason that I am in politics, because I believe just that. And if I have one other ambition today it is perhaps to do something to restore the faith people ought to have in the men and women they elect to lead them. I said earlier you'd hear a lot of promises in the next few days. The Labour Party makes you an offer - carry on with Labour, the last five years all over again. I'll promise you one thing, and I will stand by that promise. I promise you that I will do everything in my power to make sure that for all the people in this country tomorrow will be better than today.

?th June 1970

VOICE OVER:

Last night Mr Heath spoke in Birmingham, one of his themes was care and compassion. And that's the theme of tonight's edition of A Better Tomorrow.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

We're hearing a lot about care in this election. Mr Wilson calls it compassion, and you'd think he'd invented the word. But just how much does Mr Wilson's caring count?

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

The fact is that today after five years of Labour government the poor are getting poorer, things are actually getting worse. Two million families are living in sub-standard conditions, yet this year fewer homes are being built than when Labour took over.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

As for people on pension, well Labour meant well. When they came to office, they put pensions up by four shillings in the pound.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

The only trouble was that in the next five years prices rose faster than pensions. In January this year the Child Poverty Action Group reported that "In many ways, the plight of poor families is now worse than when the government took office." And the chairman of that was a Labour party adviser.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

Now Mr Wilson is fond of saying how much he has spent on the social services. But he includes some strange things in what he calls spending.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

For instance, he counts the record fifty million pounds he's given to the unemployed. But then he's helped create a record amount of unemployment. Over five hundred thousand are out of work at this moment.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

Whichever way you look at it, far from improving, things are actually getting worse. And the people who suffer most and who suffer first are the old people. The people on a pension. Robin Balneald (?) is the Conservative spokesman on social services.

ROBIN BALNEALD [?]:

You know when I talk to old people the thing which they tell me they fear most is that as they get older they won't be able to make ends meet. They feel that life will kill them faster than disease. What is needed is the development of care services - home helps, meals on wheels, good neighbourhood schemes, voluntary service. You know there're one and a half million people living entirely alone and there're two and a half million people, elderly people, suffering from malnutrition. And what astonishes me is that Labour has allowed this calamitous collapse of the housing programme when there're one and a half million old people who are living in houses which lack two of the three basic amenities - that's a bath, a kitchen, a lavatory. This hidden Britain of the old and the poor - they're usually people who are too proud to complain. They can't fight back. A Conservative government will concentrate housing resources to help the deprived, and we'll concentrate social resources to help those in need, and we'll restore the economy because the first victims - those in the front line of rising prices - are the old and the unfortunate and the weak. What angers me is the arrogance of a claim of the Labour party to have a monopoly of compassion. They debase the word compassion by making it an issue of party politics. Well I care and Ted cares. Indeed I believe we all entered politics because we cared for the people of this country.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

The poor get poorer, and that is the price of Labour compassion. We'll be back in a minute.

OLD WOMAN:

If I [inaudible] granted a wish well that would be good health, if I had good health I wouldn't be lonely.

OLD WOMAN 2:

You get very lonely not having anyone to talk to, you know it gets very monotonous being on your own all the time.

OLD MAN:

I don't like to be dependent on anybody.

OLD WOMAN:

I mean I don't expect other people to bury me.

VOICE OVER:

Misery is the cost of living in Labour's compassionate society. It's quite a price to pay.

Since Mr Wilson came to power this is what he has done to your pound. Going at the same rate 1971 would be like this - fourteen shillings and three; 1972 - thirteen and a penny; 1973 - twelve shillings; 1974 - eleven shillings; 1975 - ten shillings. The ten bob pound - only your vote can stop him.

VOICES:

What about the cost of living? What about unemployment? What about the old folk? What about income tax? What about strikes?

VOICE OVER:

This is the deafening silence of Mr Wilson. Why is it that a man who is so good at asking questions is so bad at answering them?

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

In a moment we'll be hearing from Mr Maudling, the deputy leader of the Conservative party. But first a few words from people who've been on the receiving end of Labour's care and compassion.

OLD WOMAN 1:

Well I've got erm a little electric fire in the hall, and it costs me twenty eight shillings a week, if I can keep it on, yes, for warmth. And what I have to do I have to go to bed early with a hot-water bottle and save, save the [inaudible].

OLD MAN 1:

Well what he's done to the old age pensioners, it's criminal because even in in the last budget he said prices wouldn't ... will be stabilise, yet right after the budget we get a rise in bread, coal, gas and electricity.

OLD WOMAN 2:

We're ... we're very much er constricted, very much indeed.

OLD WOMAN 3:

You have to go from shop to shop looking for something cheaper all the time.

OLD WOMAN 4:

We're struggling - you know it's a struggle to live.

OLD WOMAN 5:

Well I don't think that the Labour government has really done much for us - really at my age we've seen quite a bit haven't we? - a few governments, and really I think this is the worst batch of all.

OLD WOMAN 6:

And of course I think this is such such a bad thing because this problem is like the er starving - if you wait long enough it's gone because they've died off.

OLD WOMAN 7:

It's very unfair, the government's forgotten about people like us, really they have

REGINALD MAUDLING:

And is it really surprising if they do feel forgotten? So many of their hopes were raised and so many have been bitterly disappointed. Well what is the reason? Quite simply it's happened because for the last five years the Labour government have made a mess of running this country. It's not a question of who cares about these problems - of course all parties care, that's why we're in politics to try and serve our fellow man - but it's not enough just to care about people's worries and their sorrows. You must be able to help them in practice. For compassion is of little value without competence.

I don't accuse Mr Wilson of being heartless, but under him the poor have grown relatively poorer. It's not by his wish I'm sure, but so many children are still living in families below the poverty line. I'm sure he and his colleagues wanted to help, but the simple fact is that Labour has let them down. But how are we to put things right? First of course more money must be found. And this can be done only if our national income rises faster than it has done in recent years. We must get back to the kind of growth we enjoyed before Labour took charge. And then so much could be done to help. And this means a return to Conservative policies and Conservative government. And then we really must put first things first.

We must see to it that the help we can make available goes to those whose need is greatest - and this is what we intend to do: we'll concentrate on clearing the slums, we will work with all our hearts at the real problems of the old and the lonely, the problems that need not only money but care as well. The needs of the chronic sick and the disabled. The just claims of the public service pensioners, pensions for those over eighty who have no pensions at all, the problems of children living in families so near the poverty line. These are the tasks on which we intend to concentrate, and this is the real job a government must do. It's a job profoundly worth doing. It's a purpose worthy of all our efforts. But it can be accomplished only by a party that can combine competence with its compassion.

8th June 1970

VOICE OVER:

Do you recognise this? It is a frozen wage packet. Mr Wilson put it on the market in 1966. Vote Labour on June the eighteenth and you'll get it again: in the family size.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

To freeze or not to freeze - that is the question, the question Mr Wilson seems determined not to answer. Just what he is keeping from us and what he is keeping under the carpet is the topic of tonight's edition of A Better Tomorrow.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

Mr Wilson talks about how Britain is strong, like a doctor who has examined the patient and found, to his surprise that he is still breathing. But perhaps "doctor" is not Mr Wilson's favourite word just now.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

I doubt whether he'd prefer bank manager, though since it was an ex-bank manager Lord Cromer, a former Governor of the Bank of England, who publicly put Mr Wilson in the red when he said, "I think there is no question that any government that comes into power after this next election is going to find a very much more difficult financial situation than the new government found in 1964".

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

But Lord Cromer's opinion, it appears isn't good enough. Well then Mr Wilson saw five hundred thousand who said "I agree entirely with Lord Cromer but if you are fighting an election it isn't really a popular thing to go along telling people grim home truths the whole time".

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

In fact, it was Lord Kearton, the Chairman of Courtaulds and a well known Labour supporter. And who said that the country was living through a period of extreme economic peril? A well known Conservative?

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

Mr Richard Crossman, a Labour Minister. It was his excuse for not giving the doctors their pay award. He later denied he had said it, or withdrew it if he had said it.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

It would appear we are not strong enough to give the doctors a tonic but Mr Crossman wasn't the only one to get his lines wrong. Mr Callaghan, and Mr Woodrow Wyatt, both gave broad hints that a new Labour government would mean a new wage freeze to which Mr Wilson said:

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

Nothing. It doesn't quite add up. Isn't it at least possible that the newspaper men have threatened to strike before the election because they know they have got a fat chance of getting an increase after the election?

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

Rubbish, Mr Wilson replied. Just look at our balance of payments. Well, let's look at them. We hear a lot about five hundred million pounds surplus; what we don't hear so much about is the one billion six hundred million pounds we now awe to foreign bankers. Alien bankers according to Mr Wilson. That is one hundred pounds a family.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

The simple fact of the matter is that any Chancellor of the Exchequer can create a surplus if he is prepared to devalue, stop us spending, tax us viciously and deliberately keep a fair number of people permanently out of work. And that is precisely what has happened. Remember the 1966 election. Before the election Labour told us that the balance of payments was fine and it was sunshine all the way.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

After the election taxes were increased and wages were frozen. That is life under Labour. Four years freeze: four months sunshine. Now right now you may have a few bob in your pocket but ask your wife what is happening to prices in the High Street. Or do what we did and ask someone in the high street who is affected first - the family grocer. We asked him what had happened to prices in the last week.

GROCER:

Prices? There is margarine; there's coffee - there's your sausages - ice-cream of course, this affects the children; your soup; your pickles; a whole range of cakes; and your tea; and also tea bags. So it makes up quite a considerable list of these basic items alone. Some of them of course you shouldn't support them. Many of them - it is not a case of going up a penny just here and there but it is a big jump and it does happen and some of these items like margarine are up for the second time in a short period.

CHATAWAY:

The other day Mr Heath spoke of the first frost before the freeze: It could well be a long cold winter.

We'll be back in a moment.

VOICE OVER:

Since Mr Wilson came to power this is what he has done to your pound. Going at the same rate 1971 would be like this - fourteen shillings and three; 1972 - thirteen and a penny; 1973 - twelve shillings; 1974 - eleven shillings; 1975 - ten shillings. The ten bob pound - only your vote can stop it.

Well - are you going to freeze wages or not? Why don't you pay doctors ? What are you going to do about Wedgewood Benn? That about the economic ...? Are we skint or aren't we?

But from Mr Wilson, all we hear is the deafening sound of silence. He didn't answer last week's questions; will he answer this week's questions?

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

Welcome back. In a moment we'll hear from Mr Iain Macleod; but first let's see how that long suffering patient, the British public feels.

WOMAN:

We just get don't get time to work overtime. The government are taking it all back in income tax.

WOMAN:

They promised that the family allowance would help working class people. But as fast as the family allowance went up so prices and taxation went up double.

WOMAN:

I can't manage on my husband's money; I have had to go out myself, you know, at night.

MAN:

How can you spread out costs when you've got SET to consider? It is very very difficult.

MAN:

SET is one of the biggest bugbears that one has to bear, I think.

MAN:

My pay over the last twelve years has doubled, but my standard of living has gone down by half.

WOMAN:

Oh - you take a pound note, it's gone; five pound, you take a five pound note and that's gone. It's terrible. Terrible.

MAN:

Bloody disgraceful.

WOMAN:

Terrible.

WOMAN:

Shocking.

WOMAN:

It is disgraceful. Everything has gone up: toothpaste, baby clothes, baby food - just everything you go for.

WOMAN:

We've got a good country to live in here haven't we ? If this government wasn't in. That's my idea of them.

IAIN MACLEOD:

Wilson says the Conservatives cannot do better. We couldn't do worse! Of course Wilson said that before and he was wrong before: In 1951 we promised to build three hundred thousand houses a year - an enormous increase on the Socialist performance. What did Mr Wilson say in his 1951 election address? "The Tory housing target is an electoral trick, a cruel deception on those who are waiting for a house. They know they cannot achieve it." But we did. We did. We made a pledge and we kept it. Wilson made a housing pledge; he broke it and there is the difference between us.

What is the situation now? The pound in October 1964 was worth twenty shillings. It was worth fifteen shillings eight pence in April of this year. Fifteen shillings seven pence today. And it would be worth ten shillings - a ten bob pound - if they won the election. We will halt that decline. How? We will have less government, fewer Ministers, fewer Ministries and cost reduction plans for every department. We shall abolish SET. We shall check state prices, control government spending, boost savings, and expand output. So we will stabilise prices and bring down taxes.

We will also reform and above all simplify taxation. All this can be done. After all we did it before. Look. Income tax - standard rate down by one shilling nine pence, up six pence. Purchase tax top rate one hundred percent when we came in down to twenty five percent and up again under the socialists to fifty five percent.

And what is the total result ? Look - look and remember. Under us tax rates dawn by two billion pounds. Under them tax rates up by three billion pounds. And what is our theme? In one word - choice. I believe in the people - not in Ministers: I believe in giving the people the freedom to spend more of their own money in their own way. I believe in the nation which earns and saves and owns and cares. I believe in choice resting in the family and with the individual and not in Whitehall: choose use on the eighteenth and you will have both freedom and choice.

Good night.


Conservative 11.6.70

WOMAN:

Politicians, well, they don't understand a WOMAN's point of view.

WOMAN:

They never think about, well, a normal housewife's budget etc. They don't seem to understand, well, rents and things like that. I know my husband I expect will vote Labour again. All he seems to worry about is if he can get his next rise, but I definitely wouldn't vote for Labour again.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

You've got a mind of your own and a vote of your own. Don't waste it. And there seems to be every possibility that for the first time a general election will be decided not just by the party faithfuls, but by a hidden majority who traditionally have voted by habit but now seen determined to vote by conviction - the British housewife. Now just why this is likely to happen is the subject of tonight's edition of A Better Tomorrow.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

If anyone else had been treated like the British housewife has been treated during the last six years hard labour, someone would have started a society for the prevention of it.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

If anyone else got a slice of the cake, she was left with the crumbs. When prices rocketed, she was expected to cope with a housekeeping budget that seemed permanently frozen. Iain Macleod will return to this later.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

Basically, the housewife feels she has been taken for granted. She feels that her opinion is taken for granted and her vote is taken for granted and if, by any chance, she watched Mr Wilson a few minutes ago, it's unlikely she found anything to reassure her. From the way prices are going, she knows there's a problem.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

She's got a pound note that's worth fifteen and seven. Where she could have bought a few little luxuries, she now has to settle for the basics and as for putting anything by for that holiday, well she can forget it.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY:

In this country to-day, there are fifteen million of her and next Thursday, June the eighteenth, she's going to hand out a few surprises of her own, if this story is typical.

SYLVIA:

Well for people like myself, it's got very tough for us, we can afford our rent and maybe our shopping but that's about all. After that, we're stuck for our pleasure and money for entertainment because everything just goes on the high cost of living all the time. It really has got tough, especially for young people starting off. I mean they've got nothing, nothing to look forward to at all really except trying to make their money stretch to the cost of living.

VOICE OVER :

Name: Sylvia. Age: twenty-two. Occupation: working housewife with one child. Date: June the ninth 1970.

SYLYIA:

I get very depressed you know, thinking I go to work all the week and I come home and I clean the house and I still haven't got any money and still always broke. By the end of the week I've got nothing and I'm just waiting for next pay-day again, and it's not because I squander, because I haven't got the money to squander. It just goes on everything, you know there's always something crops up and everything being so dear, you just need every penny you can, and I've got one child now and I'm having to work as it is and all my money seems to go just on food, rent and you know a few extras and then it's gone. I don't seem to be able to save for a house. We've got a car but you know that's about all we will have I think.

Yes, I have got a washing machine, but you know just a small one. It doesn't spin or do anything else. It just washes and then the clothes have to be taken out of it and put in the sink, you know. Well I would like one of the automatic ones, you know that does everything.

My husband's a driver. He drives, delivers, you know, deliveries to shops and things. He doesn't earn a great deal to start with and most of it is taken out in tax. He's hardly got enough to keep the family going, after all the deductions have been made. Well I don't see that things could get much worse and the cost of household goods has risen tremendously in the last few years. It just seems never ending. It's gone up and up and up and up and up. Every single time you go to buy something it's a few pennies dearer, a fear shillings dearer. You just don't know where you are when you work out how much something's going to cost because when you go to buy it it's so much more. Everything you go to buy, washing powder, washing-up liquid, everything's risen tremendously. I used to go into the shops and get my weekend shopping and there's a matter of about two pound difference now to what I used to pay on various articles I have to buy. When I get my bill it used to be about two pound cheaper than it is now and clothes are very expensive now. You have to really shop around to got you know anything, any bargain at all, everything's really expensive. His clothes are nearly as dear as mine in his little size.

A working person has always voted Labour but I think a lot of people have changed their mind now and won't vote Labour again. I mean the promises that everything was going to be better but nothing seems to have got better. The wages have risen a little bit but the cost of living has taken over that and so we've got, we haven't got anywhere at all you know really. With all the strikes and things going on you can't say that they've managed the country at all well, otherwise it would be peaceful over here and it's not. It's forever strikes and things going on. I think things would be a lot better under the Conservatives, Conservative government. They can't make the government in the country any worse, so they have to make it better, see how it goes, and they promised to put down the taxes didn't they, and lower the cost of living for us. For our own sakes we must believe this and give them a trial I think.

Well I think my husband will vote Labour because he's always voted Labour and generations before him have voted Labour and he's not easily persuaded, you know, to vote anything else. I think he will keep up his tradition of voting Labour, but I certainly won't. I shall vote Conservative and I think he'll come over to my way of thinking sooner or later. We haven't had them in for five years and I think it's about time we gave then a try.

IAIN MACLEOD:

She's right you know and she's talking to you, in particular to the housewives of Britain. Can you afford the ten-bob pound? Because that's what'll happen if the Socialists win. And can you afford a frozen wage packet, because that's what'll happen if the Socialists win? Socialism means rising prices and high taxation, always has done, always will do. They don't even trust you to spend your own money. But the Tories will reduce taxation. I promise you that. There will be no compulsory wage freeze. I promise you that. And we will attack at the very root the rising prices of socialism, I promise you that. More freedom. More choice. And lower taxation. That's the Tory way, the better way. So, vote Conservative on June the eighteenth.

You know you can't afford not to. You can't afford the ten bob pound. You can't afford the rising prices of socialism. They've let you down. Throw 'em out. They just don't care.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH

Finally, what does a better tomorrow mean to Sylvia?

SYLVIA:

At the moment, it's just hope. That's all it is at the moment and it's hoping there will be such a thing as a better tomorrow. And I think that if we have a change of government, my hopes may be gratified.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH:

How you vote is your business and only your business. It doesn't take a moment or cost you anything but, with the wrong decision, you could have quite a price to pay.

15th June 1970

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY (VOICE OVER):

Cold, aloof, distant. These were the kind of words the press were always ready to trot out about Ted Heath. But as the election got into its stride they began to use them less. Heath was a man come to life and clearly enjoying himself. Even enjoying the ever-present camera, the back-slapping, the hand-shaking. The public had never seen the private man in quite this way before and they liked what they saw. Someone said, "He's a man you can trust."

He's won that trust the long way, and the hard way. Few politicians have travelled more widely, or prepared more thoroughly for leadership.

His interest in politics started early, when he was a scholarship boy at Oxford. He's very much the product of his age - a self-made man with no inherited money or special position, but a great deal of ambition for his country.

When the election was called he'd bean waiting for six years. A girl taking a census at Glasgow Airport asked him has occupation. "Temporarily unemployed," he answered. His ultimate destination: 10 Downing Street.

The campaign hasn't always been to his taste. His opponents have evaded every issue. But he's refused to be distracted, he feels people have a right to choose on the basis of the facts and he's been determined to air them. If his views seem familiar it's because he's held them consistently and they're founded in commonsense. Certainly his experience as Cabinet Minister and European negotiator has stood him in good stead. As a colleague remarked: "Ted will make the best equipped Prime Minister this country's had."

EDWARD HEATH:

And when our institutions and principles are challenged, particularly by the younger generation today, then we must either show that those principles are sound and those institutions sufficient, or we must be prepared to change and adapt them to modern needs.

CHRISTOPHER CHATAWAY (VOICE OVER):

A man who feels passion may distrust it, perhaps this is why the public Heath has rarely managed to convey the convictions he so easily expresses in private. He doesn't believe that a leader need necessarily be an entertainer as well. But, as the months have gone by audiences have seen more of the private man - the real man. They saw it in January when his boat 'Morning Cloud' won the Sydney to Hobart, one of the world's four toughest races. "I see no point in competing," he said, "unless you're determined to win."

And winning was something he was used to. To be the first elected leader of the Conservative Party was no small achievement and he soon gathered round him a team which combined youth and experience, and would look ahead.

But to a man trained to look ahead the election campaign has often been frustrating. The sun was shining and the opposition was pretending that winter would never come. Heath felt differently, he could see the same signs of economic trouble that he had predicted so accurately in 1966.

But the opinion polls seemed to show that people were prepared to close their eyes and hope it would go away. Heath confided to a colleague: "I don't want to be the one to say I told you so again." And then, as the days shortened, his message began to get through. Or perhaps it's the quality of the man that's begun to get through. People have begun to realise that this isn't just another politician talking, and he's felt the change, too. Hardened newspapermen have been heard to remark that this is a new Ted Heath. It's not a new Ted Heath, it's the one who's been there all the time.

Perhaps he's not an easy man to know - but when they know him people feel he's a man worth knowing - a man to trust.

GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH (VOICE OVER):

A Man to Trust - the Leader of the Conservative Party, EDWARD HEATH.

EDWARD HEATH:

It's funny how the odd phrase sticks in your mind long after the more important things are forgotten. I well remember being driven down to the boat for the start of the Sydney-Hobart Race. There was a bright blue sky, with the sun beating down over that glorious harbour and I said to the young Australian driver: "What confidence there is here. What's it all about?" And without batting an eyelid he said: "well, you see, everyone here knows that tomorrow will be better than today." Those were his very words. "Tomorrow will be better than today."

Nobody in this country would say that - not these days. And yet, why not? Why should anybody have to think of leaving this country which we love to be able to look forward to a better tomorrow? What's happened to us? You and I live in this country for one simple reason - we happen to think that it's still the greatest country in the world, and yet slowly but surely that world is passing us by. And I don't like it. We may be a small island but we're not small people. We shouldn't think of ourselves like that and we shouldn't encourage other people to do so either. What I find hard to take is the way that for the last six years the government of this country has done just that. They've let us be treated as second rate. They even plan for us to stay second rate, because that's what Labour policies mean. Do you think we should settle for second rate? Do you think we should settle for losing? Do you think we should settle for standing still, while everyone else goes past? I think you should enter a race to win.

There's something very sad about Labour's view of life. They seem to think it's natural for life to be hard. They think there's merit in having to tighten our belts all the time. They even seem to think there's something wrong with people being better off. But they're the people who are wrong. If you do more, why shouldn't you be better off? What's wrong with this country being prosperous?

Prosperity is a kind of freedom in its own way. It's freedom to live in your own house; it's freedom to have some of the things you want around you, to bring up your children and give them some of the things you never had yourself. It's freedom to do what you want to do in your own way, without prosperity you can't have choice. And a country that has lost the power to choose can't choose the kind of country it wants to be. Now I don't intend to stand by and see that happen, because I am very clear about what kind of country this is. It's a great country and anyone who doubts it does so at their peril. It's a free country, where a man has always been able to walk in safety and speak his mind in peace. And what matters most - it's one country for all of us to share. And I will never see it any other way. I believe a man has the right to be proud, and free and to seek happiness in his own way. I believe it is the duty of government to give him that security, that choice, and I have devoted my life to that belief.

But a country is no more and no less than its people and they have a duty, too. The late President Kennedy expressed this in words that I could never equal. "Ask not what your country can do for you," he said, "but what you can do for your country." Well one thing you can do and must do is to choose the kind of country you want us to be: what kind of country and what kind of people to run that country. You can settle for the way things are today, but you can aim for what you'd like to see tomorrow. Now is the time to take a long cool think. It's worth remembering that you're not voting for today but for the kind of life you want for this country for the next five years. It's for you to choose. Do you want the worry of the last five years all over again? Or do you want a better tomorrow? Because that's what I believe in. That's what I stand for. That's what I will work for with all my strength and with all my heart. I give you my word, and I will keep my word.

VOICE OVER:

How you vote is your business, and only your business. It doesn't take a moment, or cost you anything, but with the wrong decision you could have quite a price to pay.

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Last Modified: 22 Oct 12
© Richard Kimber