This is how far A Liberal has gone

by Stephen Tall on April 7, 2008

“It’s a funny old world,” said a former PM. She was right. In my day job – the one that pays my mortgage, and keeps me well away from politics – I am responsible for fundraising for the University of Oxford’s libraries, including the Bodleian. Within which is located the Conservative Party Archive. For which I am now actively seeking money. Oh, the irony.

For the record (and in case my employers are watching) I should stress I have absolutely no philosophical problems with any of this. The Archive is an historical record, and a fascinating one at that. One part of it has made a splash today, with the online release of the Tory Party’s posters – the Daily Mail carried a dozen of the best in a double-page spread here.

But you don’t need to patronise the Mail’s website to enjoy a saunter through political advertising history. You can access the whole archive at the Bodleian’s website here. Which means you can also search the Archive by category, date, description or keyword. I typed in the search term ‘liberal’, which gave me the five posters, below. (Click on image to enlarge).

Interestingly – though I guess unsurprisingly – the Liberal party was deemed not to be worthy of an attack-by-name ad for three decades, between 1929 and 1959. And nothing since 1983 either. But, then, I suppose Tories are all liberal Conservatives now, aren’t they?

1929:
(Posters 1929-10 and 1929-23)

1959:
(Poster 1959-03)

1964:
(Poster 1964-12)

1983:
(Poster 1983-12)