When Grandpa Was A Boy, Were There Any Dinosaurs?

Without Precedent

1979: After months of strikes, dubbed the “winter of discontent” by British media, the government of James Callaghan faced a parliamentary motion of no confidence on the evening of 28 March.

House of Commons catering staff had “chosen this of all nights to go on strike”, so hungry and thirsty politicians and reporters had to make do without cakes, tea, coffee and alcohol.

Callaghan lost the vote and his government fell.

The political columnist of The Guardian, displaying a sense of history, pointed out that it was the first time in half a century that a government had lost a confidence vote, and possibly “the first time ever that a Government had lost a confidence vote with everyone sober”.

Source: Frank Johnson, Out of Order (1982), pp. 58–62

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