Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Gordon Brown's abstemious schooldays.

Taken from a newspaper mini-biography :-
... Gordon concluded his piece with a typically opinionated flourish: "Let us hope that this plan will be a success and that the sale of drink and cigarettes to the younger and older generation will fall when these [commercials] against drink and cigarettes are shown."
It sounds rather like a political campaign, or a submission to an inquiry that eventually resulted in the banning of tobacco commercials.

Actually though, it wasn't.

The clue is in the title.

Mrs Rigby is quoting from an article entitled "The Making of Gordon Brown", carried in the in Daily Telegraph dated 9th June 2007. It's a lengthy piece well worth revisiting, and was written by Andrew Pierce and Richard Alleyne " ... who hear[d] the recollections of family and friends - many speaking for the first time - about the extraordinary talents and moral purpose of the young Gordon ..." who was, on 27th June 2007, to take over the role of Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

So when did he use speak out against the evils of both tobacco and alcohol?
In April 1962, aged 11, he wrote an article about a church campaign in favour of television commercials against the twin demons of alcohol and tobacco.
Makes you think, doesn't it.

At age 11 in 1962 most boys were still in short trousers, they played  cowboys and Indians,or perhaps reinvented WW2 whilst mimicking Biggles.

According to the more senior Rigbys, in 1962 televisions were still uncommon in working people's homes -  they had to make do with their old radiogram for quite a while longer and when they got one viewing was stricly limited, regulated by the number of shillings needed to feed the electricity meter under the stairs.

Oh, and in case you're interested, the first UK commercial was shown at 8.12 pm on Sept 22 1955, it was for toothpaste.
The commercial owed its prime placing to chance. The Gibbs advertisement had come first in a lottery drawn with 23 other advertisements, including those for Guinness, Surf, National Benzole, Brown & Polson Custard and Summer County Margarine.


Witterings From Witney said...

Ah the 50's Mrs. R. When we were free, free to do what we liked in the main, when we had politicians with honour and morals, like dear Enoch, when I could go up to London on my own to watch cricket all day, when I could have punched Brown on the nose without getting a criminal record (wish I'd had the opportunity!)

Mrs Rigby said...

Those were the days.

Ah, I'll have to be careful, otherwise I'll sound like Mary Hopkin