Dissident Congress website

Could the Tories have won the 1997 general election?

By Riaz Sobrany

Cast your mind back to the first day of spring of 1997. Britain is governed by a tired exhausted Conservative government with an uncolourful leader at its helm. They have lost their majority in Parliament. They are patently not the same party as the Tories who were running Britain during the Thatcher decade just a mere 10 years ago. Their track record over the past 5 years in office is tarnished with plenty of sleaze and corruption. They can no longer play the trump card of low taxes because they have raised all manner of taxes after accusing Labour of dropping a tax bomb in 1992. Their image is staid and dull. One commentator came out with "The Tories are cricket and warm beer whereas Labour are rollerblades and alcopops". Worst of all, the Tories have no vision for the future.

On the opposition benches in Parliament is a bright and snappy Labour Party bursting with energy. A reformed and revived party called New Labour which has jettisoned Clause 4 and its image of northern industrial workers wearing flat caps. They have a young and dynamic leader with a shiny eyes and a beaming smile who has come out of nowhere. Worst of all, they have won the hearts and minds of Middle England, Essex Man, and Worcester Woman.

The Tories are doomed. NuLab will win hands down with a big majority. Or will they?

In the run-up to the general election, the Tories mounted a weak and inept campaign. Their central plank of New Labour - New Danger failed to make any impact with the electorate. Just exactly what was that new danger? Nobody, not even the Tories themselves seemed to know. Therefore, it just came across as an empty soundbite. I personally think that New Labour - Same Old Danger would have been much more effective.

On the 9th of April 1997, the Tories aired an election broadcast featuring a group of 10 lower-class people who had all voted Labour. The same people then spoke one year later, and two years later about the Labour government with bitterness and regret.

This broadcast could only be described as negative and pessimistic. It may have even worsened the Tory's election results, but it could have been the tool that won the election for them.

Let's look at the message given by the 10 lower-class people. All they spoke about was the economy, unemployment, and taxes. Clearly the wrong message. What should they have spoken up about? Something that always increases under a Labour government - immigration. The people could then have proceeded to race relations, political correctness, multiculturalism, asylum seekers, and how the government spends billions of pounds on ethnic minorities whilst telling the white British to stuff it. An even more dramatic election broadcast would have included a clip of Enoch Powell giving his Rivers of Blood Speech where he states that "the black man will have the whip hand over the white man".

Immigration wasn't an issue in the spring of 1997, but an election broadcast like this would have sent a shockwave through the nation. It would have exposed Labour's real motivation concealed behind a facade of spin and glitz. The Tories may have been a dull party tainted by sleaze and corruption under John Major. However, Middle England and Tory voting working class people would not stand for a government that swamped the country with around 250,000 immigrants and asylum seekers every year, whilst imposing the most anti-British and pro-ethnic race relations policy in history.

On the 2nd of May, we could have woken up to newspaper headlines saying things along the lines of "Bad luck Blair - we know your game", "Can Labour ever win a general election?", or "Tories to take Britain into the new millennium".

There is a question that needs answering. Did the Tories miss a trick, or are they really just as multicultural and pro-immigration as Labour are?