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Rather annoyed

Eddie Mair | 08:58 UK time, Tuesday, 8 May 2007

that I couldn't give a running commentary on Election 97 which was running from 0900 on BBC Parliament. "Were you still up for Portillo" would probably have meant around midday in the repeat? I forget when it happened. I spent that election night at Tory headquarters. It was a long and increasingly lonely night, as only the bare essential party workers hung around. William Hague did a good turn though in a succession of interviews I watched him do around - oh I dunno, 3am - but the thing about being in a place like that is you are strangely disconnected from the excitement of Election Night. Mr Major arrived very late in the night - I think the sun had risen...was it around 6? He gave a good speech from half way up to stairs, as down with me what seemed like 5,000 party workers had come from nowhere to say what everyone knew would be goodbye. Being from the BBC, I got several digs in the ribs - literally - from party workers who blamed the Corporation or perhaps me personally for the turn of events. In fact, now I think about it, having taped the Election Night show yesterday, I might watch it later to see if that moment makes it on.

Now, to emerge from the time warp and on with today.


  1. At 09:22 AM on 08 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    It's funny how these memories return, isn't it Eddie?

    While listening to The Reunion on Sunday (did you catch it? Wasn't it great?) took me back to the night of the Brighton Bomb. I was living on the Brighton seafront at the time in Brunswick Square (okay, Hove Actually). My boyfriend's ex wife worked for IRN and was staying in the Metropole. We didn't hear the bomb blast but did hear the telephone ring just after 3 a.m. with his ex on the phone anxious to reassure us that 'she was alright'. Emerging from our confusion to hear what had just happened in our own backyard (and, incidentally, less than half a mile from where we were sleeping) we then had a very odd night, listening to the emergency vehicles, the radio, watching TV. I'll never forget seeing Norman Tebbitt's rescue from the rubble, and Keith Joseph looking so forlorn and confused.

    Funny how these things come back to you, isn't it Eddie?

  2. At 09:45 AM on 08 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    And speaking of Norman Tebbit, I've found the following link which others might like to read. It's the most candid interview by Mr. Tebbit that I've yet read.


  3. At 10:14 AM on 08 May 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I remember being on the tube on the 17th of December, '83. I was on my way up to watch the Royal Institue lectures at the time. On the way up, the train suddenly stopped, then went through the next station (Knightsbridge) without stopping. It was only when we got off at Green Park that we found out there'd been a bombing at Harrods. It was all rather scary for a 16-year old (yes, you can work out how old I am if you want!). On a day like today, with Devolution happening, and the DUP entering government with Sinn Fein, I think it's amazing how far both sides have come, and to applaud those involved for their patience and determination to reach a permanent settlement. Of course, things could always change, but I hope for all those living in Northern Ireland that this progress is built on, and that they can live in peace...


  4. At 10:35 AM on 08 May 2007, Fifi wrote:

    A few years ago, a lovely and vivacious lady in the village who had no business getting cancer was dying from the disease.

    That was already a tragedy.

    Her American husband's family could not attend her funeral in our little church because all air traffic in the States had been grounded.


    On a happier note, years before, I remember climbing the stairs of a certain advertising agency in Newcastle, to use the loo. On the same floor was the MD's office. She was a pit-bull of a woman; very scary indeed and not someone to say 'no' to.

    From that room, as I plodded upwards, there emanated what I can only describe as an inchoate howl of rage.

    Maggie had just been voted out.

    Happy days......


  5. At 10:40 AM on 08 May 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Big Sis -
    Yes, I heard it and thought it was very very good programme. Haven't listened to much of the Reunion (generally being at work when its on!) but if thats its usual standard I can see why it won the Sony.

    It sticks in my mind as one of the earliest 'political' stories I can remember; the pictures of Norman Tebbitt particularly stick as does the admiration for the fact that the conference went on (one of the only times when I actually have some kinder feelings towards Mrs Thatcher).

  6. At 10:49 AM on 08 May 2007, Peej wrote:

    I'll be interested in how you deal with the return of devolution to NI. I think umpteen years of false dawns means that in many ways its a lower key event here than in the rest of the UK. Certainly the DUP / Sinn Fein dynamic is remarkable, indeed almost beyond belief. But the system they're working within is bizarre. No opposition, each ministry a little fiefdom which can pursue its own independant course to a large extent. Picture that in a Westminster setting - the tories looking after the health service, the Lib Dems at the MOD, and Labour holding the Treasury purse strings! Now substitute the reformed demagogs / terrorists that will hold the majority of offices here ! Never mind - its a day for optimism, but there are challenges ahead.

  7. At 11:30 AM on 08 May 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Peej (5), I'm still reeling from the sound on Radio Four this morning of Ian Paisley apparently GIGGLING.

    Welcome to the blog by the way. Haven't seen you here before!


  8. At 03:20 PM on 08 May 2007, apprentice wrote:

    There's a legend in Scotland that the Glasgow to Edinburgh train actually left the rails and flew between the two cities that day, such was the unbounded joy.

    All changed now of course........

    I note on the Guardian's website that Gordon Brown intends to forgo Checkers to put pink water between him and Tony.

    I think this is a rather sad and tired idea, full of gesture politics. Clear water would be an exit strategy on Iraq, restoring the occupational pensions to the people he has caused harm to and putting up the basic tax thresholds to truly take people out of poverty, rather than means testing them within an inch of their lives.

  9. At 06:03 PM on 08 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Aye, challenges aplenty, but in an environment which may encourage compromise and co-operation in the long run. Let us be hopeful.

    I heard GWB tell the Queen, " "War (sorry, "Our work") is the surest path to peace."

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