tvParty Election Broadcasts

Labour Party Election Broadcasts from 1987

Note: the text is based on Dr Michael Pearce's transcripts of tapes held at the Election Broadcast Archive, University of Leeds.

1st June 1987

'THATCHER'S' VOICE:

No.

MAN'S VOICE:

No

MAN'S VOICE:

No

VOICE:

When it comes to education this is the government that like to say no.

'THATCHER'S' VOICE:

No you can't come in here you're not good enough. No you can't come to this school your parents can't afford it.

VOICE:

No we're not exaggerating. This is what Mrs Thatcher plans for your children's future: privileged schools, selective schools, education you have to pay for. But it doesn't come as a surprise because the Tories have been shutting doors on our children's future for eight years.

'THATCHER'S' VOICE:

No there are no nursery schools for you. No you two, it's not your turn for the book. No, no, no, class cancelled - there's no teacher for physics this term.

VOICE:

Teachers and parents know from bitter experience how little Mrs Thatcher cares about their children's education.

FEMALE PARENT:

parents' fund raising events are having to raise money for essentials quite often rather than the extras which is what it should be all about

VOICE:

The Tories are spending twenty percent less on children's books than when Mrs Thatcher came to power.

FEMALE TEACHER:

you've got people in mobile huts which are meant to be temporary but stay for a long time you've got classrooms with er bad decoration erm insufficient equipment

VOICE:

One in five schools is overcrowded, but then that's a problem that doesn't affect the Conservative education secretary and his colleagues - they send their children to private schools.

FEMALE TEACHER:

I think it's strange that he can see the benefit of small classes in the private sector and yet he isn't prepared to acknowledge that in the state sector

VOICE:

Our schools are short of one thousand physics teachers. Maths and other sciences also face crippling shortages.

MALE PARENT:

one of my children is being taught by a teacher who has no qualifications in the subject and my son is now coming up for examinations in one year's time and I am very concerned that he's not getting the standard of education which I really should expect for my child

VOICE:

And Mrs Thatcher's response to the crisis in the schools? Not a penny more for the books and equipment your children need. No, she says to parents - you'll have to pay.

FEMALE TEACHER/PARENT?:

no I don't think the government cares er at all about the comprehensive system in fact they'd like to destroy it erm because they don't believe in in free education for everybody even in equal education for everybody

VOICE:

Mrs Thatcher has no commitment to the future of ninety three percent of our children in state schools in Britain. Labour believes in them. We will open the door to a high quality education for all our children, whether their parents can afford to pay or not. We will provide nursery education for all our three and four year olds so that they get the best start in life. Labour will create real opportunity, providing the books, the equipment and the teachers that schools need. Labour will open the door to excellence. It will make classes smaller, boost English, maths and science teaching and introduce new educational grants to sixteen year olds. Neil Kinnock knows about state education. His wife is a teacher. His children go to state schools. Neil Kinnock and the Labour party want to make sure that being on the threshold of life means just that - not a dead end but a beginning.

KINNOCK SPEECH:

Today's Tories want to reintroduce the past, while we are determined to help people to equip themselves for the realities of the future. The basic choice in this election: past or future. That process of equipment will take time and it will take money and we'll do it because we know that costly though investment in education is, it is still cheaper - so much cheaper - than ignorance that's why [inaudible].

8th June 1987

THATCHER:

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith and where there is despair, may we bring hope.

WOMAN SINGING:

Then one of us will be a queen and sit on a golden throne
With a crown instead of a hat on her head and diamonds all her own
With a beautiful robe of gold and green I've always understood
I wonder whether she'll wear a feather I rather think she should

CHORUS SINGING:

Oh `tis a glorious thing I mean to be a regular royal queen

MAN SINGING:

She'll drive about in a carriage and pair with a king on her left hand side
And a milk white horse as a matter of course whenever she wants to ride

WOMAN SINGING:

Whenever she condescends to walk be sure she'll sign at that
With a haughty stare and her nose in the air like a well born aristocrat

MAN SINGING:

And noble lords will scrape and bow and double themselves in two
And open their eyes in blank surprise at whatever she likes to do
And everybody will roundly bow she's fair as flowers in May
And say how clever at whatsoever she condescends to say

CHORUS SINGING:

Oh `tis a glorious thing I mean to be a regular royal queen

KINNOCK:

Waste, waste has been the most important feature of the last eight years. The waste of resources which has been huge - all that oil money all the other revenues that have poured in to the government, all of the capital they've allowed to pour out of the country - but most important of all the waste of people, the waste of talent, the failure to discover abilities because the education service has been kept back, the failure to nourish abilities, because of that the waste of youngsters who have no future to look forward to other than cover-up training schemes and the dole.

KINNOCK SPEECH:

I was in a home today in Middlesborough with a family a decent family proud of their kids proud of their home a hard working family when they'd got a chance to do any work there was the grandmother and the grandfather there who'd made their contribution what they had to live on is the old age pension there's a man and wife there a mother and father in their fifties he's been out of work for seven years and at fifty seven years of age has decided he's joined the retired they've got fifty three pounds a week to live on to pay all their bills except the rent and there's a boy there a young man nineteen years of age who's had six months of real solid work since he left school at sixteen

KINNOCK:

Oh I'm ready. I'm ready to lead our country. I'm ready because I know that I've got a team that's ready. I've got people of immense talent, immense ability who will make the commitment, work twenty five hours a day for their country and do it in the most sensitive but the most progressive and determined way.

JOHN SMITH:

Well the first and most important thing we're going to do is to reduce unemployment by one million in the first two years of a Labour government. Now we know it can be done and the only question the Tories are asking is can it be afforded. Of course it can be afforded. We're wasting twenty billion pounds every year in this country on paying people not to work. We want to pay a modest amount to get people back to work.

ROY HATTERSLEY:

I'm going to ask the people, the top five percent, the richest people in our community to help the pensioners, to help the families, to help the unemployed. I think that is the right thing for a decent government to do.

KINNOCK:

I think that when the history of the last eight years is looked at the word that covers it most is fear, not freedom, fear. Fear of going out, fear of being in certain areas, fear of losing a job, fear of speaking out in many ways, and not dramatising it or overstating it it is the case now that around this country of ours there are more people more anxious, more fearful, more inhibited than there were eight years ago. There are long and complex ways for me to say how I feel about my country but stripped down I think it's probably as basic as this: my country is my family and just as I wouldn't allow anybody to lay a finger on my family, so I wouldn't allow anybody to lay a finger on my country.

HEALEY:

Whatever you thought about nuclear weapons twenty years years ago er there are fifty thousand nuclear weapons - that's a million Hiroshimas in the world. If they ever go off it's curtains for the human race north of the equator and everybody agrees about that.

KINNOCK:

How do we gain security from the prospect of such a terrible ruin, that irrecoverable ruin? And the answer must be as president Reagan has said, as Mikail Gorbachev has said, the removal of the weapons. Now I think they've got a lot of courage, a lot of foresight, a lot of audacity to offer that agenda and even more to actively pursue it. It really does take immense strength in order to do that they are [inaudible].

KINNOCK SPEECH:

Individual liberty depends upon collective contribution. The welfare of each of us is the responsibility of all of us. That is what is so fundamentally wrong about Margaret Thatcher's vision of a Britain in which personal security depends entirely upon private affluence. That is what is so narrow and short-sighted about her yearning for a country in which access to essential services depends upon the ability to pay and not upon the need for health.

KINNOCK:

At constituency level, on the streets, in the towns everybody is marching to the same drum-beat, everybody's heart is beating to the same pulse, and that gives an immense feeling of confidence and capability. I think we can do that for the country not just for a party. It's a choice between having a United Kingdom with all that that means in terms of working together, and being a divided kingdom that's being pulled apart. And because people know that they're faced with those choices they want a positive result, they want the United Kingdom, they want the modern welfare state, they want Britain to be a making economy that can sell, compete, and they know that to achieve those things they need a government that is with that [inaudible] and that's a Labour government.

Kinnock biopic

KINNOCK:

I think that the real privilege of being strong is the power that it gives you to help people who are not strong. I think the real privilege of being fit and bright and young strong is the ability that that gives you to give others a helping hand when they're not strong, when they're old or disabled or poor or in need. And it isn't a sentimental attitude, I think it's a way of proving just what your strength amounts to.

SADIE JONES:

When he became a member of parliament his grandfather - Mary's father - said, "That's all very well my boy, but don't forget that MP means a man of principle."

KINNOCK:

My father was very funny about it, when I called him and told him I'd been selected for the seat that I have in South Wales in the place where I was living er in the valley in which I grew up, I said "Westminster next stop dad" and he said, "Oh you don't know, people are funny."

UNCLE:

His father had the physical strength, his mother had the moral strength. In fact she was quite a religious person.

SADIE JONES:

Oh yes.

UNCLE:

Very deeply religious - what they call chapel in South Wales - she absolutely radiated this feeling of warmth and care and respect for others.

KINNOCK:

My mother had a great deal of influence both because she was a strong and intelligent and very loving woman, but also of course because she was a very committed professional. And apart from all the other lessons that she taught me the one thing that came across very directly is that compassion by itself is a wonderful thing but it's never enough; compassion needs to be put into action.

KINNOCK SPEECH:

I think of the youngsters I meet - three, four, five years out of school never had a job and they say to me do you think we'll ever get a job? These are young men and women living in a free country but they don't feel free. I think of the fifty-five year old woman I meet waiting months to go into hospital for an operation her whole existence clouded by pain, she is a citizen of a free country but she doesn't feel free.

KINNOCK:

both of my parents died back in November and December 1971 within a few days of each other. That was a shattering experience but I had this immense good fortune of having Glenys, and Stephen was then nearly two years old and Rachel was born a week after my mother died, and as human beings do you have to pick it up, and get on with it, and I know that my parents' instinct would have been to say, "Give yourself to the next generation, think the best things of us but get on with life `cause life goes on."

I'm married to a woman of high intelligence and great independence and immense warmth, and I wouldn't want to be married to anybody who didn't have those qualities. Because I'm fortunate in being married to a woman of independence and of her own views then people can't understand that that can work in harness, in partnership, in friendship, in deep affection; they assume that one partner has got to dominate the other all the time, which I think is just very immature. I mean I just don't think it makes sense.

BARBARA CASTLE:

My husband and I were always very fond of him when he was this lively young back-bencher. He used to say, "Well there's a a future leader of the Labour party", but quite frankly we thought perhaps he was a bit young to step into it immediately er and of course that was a tremendous liability for him to overcome, people saying he's too young, he's not experienced and so on, he should serve his time in some kind of ministerial office. And he's risen above that, and he's risen above it by his absolute determination er not to waver on the policies and not to allow anybody er to slap him down to down-grade him in any way: and there's real steel at the heart of that young man.

KINNOCK SPEECH:

I'll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions, they're then pickled into a rigid dogma code, and you go through the years sticking to that out-dated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs and you end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council - a Labour council - hiring taxies to scuttle round the city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers. I'll tell you and you listen I'm telling you you can't play politics with people's jobs and with people's [inaudible].

JOHN SMITH:

Er when he tackled the question of militant head-on it was one of the most superb political performances I've ever seen. It was a very gripping occasion and it took real guts er to put the issue as firmly and as squarely before the party as he did then.

DENIS HEALEY:

I think he's very like Gorbachev in the Soviet Union: he's got a nice smile but he's got steel teeth.

JAMES CALLAGHAN:

They say that he's young and inexperienced. Well, that was said of William Pitt, you know, when he became prime minister in the eighteenth century at the age of twenty-five and his reply was "Yes I know I am young and inexperienced but er it is a fault I am remedying every day."

KINNOCK:

I think that because of the way in which people of all ages and every social class feel they can approach me, have a chat to me, whether they agree with me or disagree with me they know they're going to get a straight answer, and that makes it easy for me to be in touch keep in touch.

KINNOCK SPEECH:

Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick? Did they lack talent, those people who could sing and play and write and recite poetry? Those people who could make wonderful beautiful things with their hands? Those people who could dream dreams, see visions. Why didn't they get it? Was it because they were weak? Those people who could wake work eight hours under ground and then come up and play football, weak those women who could survive eleven child-bearings? Were they weak? Does anybody really think that they didn't get what we had because they didn't have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment? Of course not. It was because there was no platform upon which they could stand.

KINNOCK:

Confidence. That's the objective. People strong and free because they know that they'll live in a good environment where should they fall upon difficult times they're not going to fall upon tragic times; if they should encounter difficulty they know that it's not going to lock them out of opportunity for the rest of their lives - that's what we're after.

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Last Modified: 22 Oct 12
© Richard Kimber