Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Long reads
9 May 2005

I see Thatcher in all her glory

Election: the night Kevin Maguire on the gossip

By Kevin Maguire

Lady Thatcher’s election-night sequins put Blackpool Tower in the shade, the thousands of sparkly beads on the Iron Lady’s black ensemble leaving her looking like a pearly queen on the way to a funeral. The three-times Tory winner won a round of applause as she boarded the good ship Silver Sturgeon to watch Labour score its hat-trick. ITV had filled the Thames cruiser, moored beneath the London Eye, with a flotilla of B-list celebs to fill airtime while waiting for the results to come in. Lady T’s face turned to thunder as it dawned on her that she was rubbing shoulders with such political heavyweights as Nicholas “Sale of the Century” Parsons, Tony “Baldrick” Robinson and the ex-boxer Chris Eubank. How the mighty has fallen.

Labour finance chiefs have done a deal with a recycling company, earning a bounty on every clapped-out portable telephone they hand in. They must have plenty, as the party’s spin-doctors have rendered many mobile phones useless by yelling repeated abuse at off-message hacks. If they had come up with the wheeze in 1994, Alastair Campbell alone could have funded this year’s campaign.

The defeat of the bon vivant Helen Clark in Peterborough followed the deselection of her conjoined twin, Jane Griffiths, in Reading East. This will leave empty a pair of bar stools in the House of Commons Strangers’ Bar. Staff in the refreshments department fear redundancies.

The campaign weapon of mass deception award was snatched on polling day by the Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer in Richmond Park, the south-west London constituency. She had spent the past fortnight fulminating against Tony Blair’s scaremongering that backing Charlie Kennedy could put Michael Howard in No 10. Then she had Lib Dem pink leaflets delivered with the headline: “Why Michael Howard needs you to vote Labour.”

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

Content from our partners
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs
Flooding is a major risk for our homes