Thursday, 20 September 2012

“Nobody is interested in your dreams,” 1970

In his book The Ugly Hangover Of The Awful And Feckless, socialitarian Rupert Sprimm described the 1970s as
“...when the childishly colourful idiocités of the 1960s finally came to a halt. A sobering era of hardship and hard-heartedness was the only possible antidote. Thank Jesu, then, for the Prime Ministry of Ted Heath, a refreshing bastard who acted instantly to bring the country down from its reefer-and-pimple high and robustly back to earth. Witness the first two tracts of legislation that mighty boatgoer piloted squarely through Parliament: the Beatles (Disbandment) Act 1970 and the Self-Indulgence (Emergency Controls) Act 1970.”

Heath’s espousal of austerity may have been popular, but it was very unpopular. Millions were furious that The Beatles were outlawed (legislation eventually repealed by Ken Clarke in 1992) and that bubble-writing was made treasonable.

Two of the Heath government’s rare successes were the three-day week (called “the greatest holiday this country has ever enjoyed” by The Daily Telegraph) and this acclaimed campaign, which rightly encouraged people to shut up about their dreams. Although talking about them was never made illegal, it soon became as socially unacceptable as flashing at schoolgirls or removing one’s glass eye at lunch.

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