Monday, February 06, 2012

Sixty years ago

Sixty years ago Elizabeth II came to her thrones. It was a very different age. The internet, mobile phones, digital television and so much more that we take for granted hadn't been invented.

Since this is a mainly political blog, here's a quick rundown of the political facts from the time. In 1952 Winston Churchill was in power, whilst the opposition leaders were Clement Attlee (Labour) and Clement Davies (Liberal). Davies was the newest, having been in post since the end of the Second World War, whilst Churchill had been leader since 1940 and Attlee since 1935 and within five years all three had left their leaderships. The Liberals were at their lowest point in their history, having got just 2.5% and six MPs in the election the previous October. Labour lost power at that election and was starting what would turn out to be quite a turbulent thirteen years in opposition. The Conservatives were in office, although Churchill's government contained a strong "personalist" element with a number of the non-party war time ministers returning to the Cabinet, making for quite a "GOATy" government and it was not until 1955 that a fully conventional party ministry was in power under Anthony Eden.

And around the Commonwealth who were the other Prime Ministers at the time? They were:
Such names are a reminder of just how long the Queen has reigned. But the shortness of the list, and the name "Ceylon", are also a reminder of just how much of the Commonwealth has gained independence since then. The world is a very different place today; the Commonwealth especially so.

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