Tory! Tory! Tory!, BBC4

by | Mar 8, 2006 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

As an illuminating blue torch on the often dark days from the post-war period up to 1979, it was intriguing, but we are sceptical over the supposed crusading salvation of Tory policies that stopped Britain becoming a fascist state.

What was good about it?

• The irony that Tory pioneer Antony Fisher, who advocated political change in post-war Britain to prevent it falling into the precipice of totalitarianism (or so he claimed), was also the same person who initiated the implementation of battery farming for hens.

• The differing décor between the contributors from parallel series Lefties, where the failed revolutionaries sat in rooms overflowing with extraneous paperwork and carpets soaked with tears for their doomed philosophy. However, in Tory! Tory Tory! each contributor sat quite relaxed in ornate rooms decorated with the sterile, uninspired eye of an estate agent’s show home for a new estate and spoke in an accent that could compel a firing squad to shoot a quite terrified World War One deserter.

• The post-war ads that were infected with the philosophy of the recent conflict so that anything that caused misery were damned as “evil”; there were “evil diseases” and “evil idleness”.

• The stark discrepancy between this era and that were symbolised by a coal pit proudly letting their 14-year-old employee open the mine.

• Policies similar to those followed by Margaret Thatcher may not have been the brainchild of Satan himself. After the war, much of the country (but not “Swinging London”) was still gripped by rationing and the free market ideology helped bring about its end.

• How the modern policy of not seeking full-employment across the country (as it gives too much power to the Trade Unions, and consequently rises inflation), and the abolition of the welfare state were formulated by The Institute of Economic Affairs (a right wing think-tank).

• Until 1964, all prices were set by the government, which stymied capitalism.

• The sight of Tories dancing in celebration at their victory in the 1970 General Election offered conclusive proof that folk over 50 today dance badly not because they’re old but because they are inherently awful dancers.

• The clip of Yes, Minister.

• Economist Peter Jay revealing how he had introduced Margaret Thatcher to many of the policies that would form the bedrock of her premiership, and how he later felt as though he “was the geography teacher who had first shown a map of the world to Genghis Khan”.

What was bad about it?

• Apparently, “London was swinging” in 1964.

• Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech against the continued immigration of (often poor) people into the United Kingdom. In fairness, in a time that is exposed to the rampant sales-driven xenophobia of the Daily Express it seems almost tame. And Richard Littlejohn might denounce Powell as a “lily-livered socialist”.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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