Monday, 15 April 2013

'This House' - Political Play by James Graham

by Hannah Gent

This House
The National Theatre Play 'This House' by James Graham

"1974. The UK faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it’s a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote"

'This House' is set between 1974 and 1979, showing the political climate of the Harold Wilson and James Callaghan governments. The Labour Party started out as a minority government in 1974  and only had the majority by a few votes in the second election of that year. Therefore, every vote counted for the Labour Party as they had to fight to pass legislation. In order to do this they had to win over as many of the ‘odds and sods’ as possible. These 'odds and sods' were the MPs from minority parties such as the liberals. With an extremely slim majority the Labour Party need every other vote possible as the vote can be won or lost by just one.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Life of a Legend: the Iron Lady

"Being powerful is like being a lady: if you have to tell people you are, you aren't." - Margaret Thatcher

There are three types of people in the world: people who are for Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness, LG OM PC FRS; people who are against her; and people who are on the fence regarding their opinion of the Iron Lady. Be that as it may, one thing we can all be sure of is that she was a legend whom the world will remember for many years to come.

"Defeat? I do not recognise the meaning of the word."   

          Thatcher was the longest serving British Prime Minister during the 20th century as well as the first and only female to have held office. A Soviet journalist presented her with the nickname "Iron Lady" because of "her uncompromising policies and leadership style."  In fact, Thatcher's time in office was so ground-breaking that her conviction politics, economic and social policies, and political style became commonly known as "Thatcherism."     

"I love argument. I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me - that's not their job." 

Despite the ongoing world recession in 1981, Thatcher and Chancellor Geoffrey Howe managed to raise taxes and cut government spending, therefore allowing cuts in interest rates. Economic revival began soon after this. In 1982 Thatcher led Britain to military success regarding Argentina's invasion of Falkland Islands. The Iron Lady continued her winning streak in 1983 due to her re-election in the landslide election.