Monthly Archives: May 2017

Election: 2017 vs 1983

Since Labour’s 2017 manifesto was “leaked” and later published it’s been popular in the media and among opponents of Jeremy Corbyn to make comparisons with the party’s 1983 election campaign, when their manifesto was called by some the “longest suicide note in history”.
Although most comparisons are intended to argue that Jeremy Corbyn is too “radical” lead Labour to an election win it’s interesting to compare the two in more detail.
Margaret Thatcher sought to capitalise on her party’s rise in popularity following the Falklands war by calling a “snap” election. The election was called on 9th May and took place just a month later on 9th June. In a similar way Theresa May wanted to capitalise on her party’s popularity following the EU referendum.
In 1983 the Conservatives won with a large majority of 144 seats.
Unlike in 1983 when opinion polls just before the election had the Conservatives at around 47% and Labour on 25% the most recent 2017 poll has the Conservatives on 43% and Labour on 38%. Also in 1983 Labour’s poll rating had been steadily decreasing from around 30% since the election was called, however in 2017 it has been steadily increasing from 25% since the election was called.

Who is Heath Robinson anyway?

Quite a few times in my life I’ve heard someone describe something as “a bit Health Robinson” usually in reference to something that is held together with string and/or gaffa tape and in some cases could be described as a contraption. I’d never really given any thought to who Heath Robinson was and what he had to do with these improvised constructions. I just accepted it as a turn of phrase and assumed its meaning from context. I never gave it any thought, that is until today when I discovered this colouring book containing a collection of his drawings in a charity shop.

Heath Robinson was a cartoonist who was most active from the 1900s to the 1920s, becoming famous for a large number of drawings of unnecessarily complicated devices for achieving simple tasks. He also illustrated several children’s books.

I didn’t know he was an artist. I guess I’d always assumed he was some sort of inventor, and in a way he was, although his inventions only ever existed on paper.

I’m pleased that none of the pictures in my new book have been coloured in. Partly because this is their original form (the majority of Robinson’s works were black and white line drawings) and partly because it means I can photocopy some of the pages and get my colouring pencils out!

One of my favourite ones in this book, mainly because it reminded me of some friends (you know who you are) is this one:

PS if this post has given you the urge to do some colouring in, you can get hold of the book here.