Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Iain Dale's Blog Meme

I've seen this new meme from Iain Dale floating around but am quite impressed by how quickly it was before Scottish Tory Boy tagged me yesterday. Basically it asks where you were when five earth shattering events took place.

Iains were:

Princess Diana's death - 31 August 1997 Like Iain I was in my bed when it happened, but had fallen asleep with the TV on BBC1 in my bedroom. So woke up to see live and continuous news coverage from outside Buckingham Palace only referring to her and her death. I didn't hear a name as soon as I woke up. I thought it was the Queen Mother who had died so ran downstairs to find my father awake eating his breakfast watching the same news. Only to be told by him it was Diana not the Queen mother that had died.

Margaret Thatcher's resignation - 22 November 1990 I actually was in my 10 o'clock lecture at the time that my lecturer started by saying suppose Margaret Thatcher's government, nope can't say that now. He's been having a fine time in saying suppose government policy is this, by the end of this lecture it might be for a while.

Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001 I was at my desk on Queen Street when the bosses came in to tell me about this one. The BBC website was impossible to access at the time. With friends in New York I was desperately trying to find out how they all where though.

England's World Cup Semi Final v Germany in - 4 July 1990 I was in London on the way through to Spain, with friends 3 were English, 1 was German and 2 of us were Northern Irish. Me and the other Northern Irish guy said we were backing the team who deserved to be in the Semis an after the English performance against Cameroon that was the Germans. I can remember leaving immediately after the game to get my bus home and how dead the streets were for that time of night. And those people I did see out and about were in a stupor having also just witnessed the result no doubt.

President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963 I was not born for this one.

As far as earth shattering events go I'd rate Diana's death and the attack on the Twin Towers definitely in my top 5 in my lifetime. So My top 5 needs another 3.

Black Wednesday, Britain's Interest Rates shoot up then withdrawal from the ERM - 16 September 1992. I was writing my dissertation at the time listening to Radio 4 and getting all the updates. The dissertation title was "The Effects of an Expanding EU on Future Monetary Union" so you can imagine my heart was sinking fast as more and more commentators were talking about the possibility of Britain coming out as a result of the crisis worsening during the day. Interest rates went from 10% to 12% then to 15% in the space of one afternoon before the 19:00 announcement that they would be returning to 12% and the pull out. My landlord was on his way home at about 7 o'clock arriving soon after in a panic as his mortgage payments he thought were 50% higher I was able to tell him the reassuring news for him before I mused how to reconstruct a major part of my dissertation.

IRA Bomb Attacks on Portrush - 3 August 1976 I grew up during the troubles in Northern Ireland and this was the first time I actually saw any effects of the IRA bombing campaign in real time. My Grandparents had a static caravan at Carrick Dhu to the west of the Portrush mainland and we heard the explosions and saw the plumes of thick black smoke rise over the skyline in the late summer daylight. The following day we went into town to see how it had impacted on my great-uncle's toy shop in the town centre, his store was intact but the stock was water damaged. On the news that day the final shot of the report was our family heading out towards the West promenade with the over voicing "Tourists lift despondent seeking other things to do." It was my first appearance on TV.

Lib Dems Win Dunfermline and West Fife By Election - 9-10 February 2006 It was the Lib Dems or predecessors first ever by election against Labour in Scotland. I started the day in Crossgates delivering leaflets from before dawn and was dropped off at Inverkeithing station to get into work as I was unable to secure the day off work. I returned as soon as my shift finished to be greeted as first off my carriage by a SNP supporter on the platform asking if I would vote SNP in the election. I replied loudly "No I'll be backing the winner Willie Rennie" and the Nat was unable to engage any of my fellow passengers in conversation. Spent the rest of the evening all over the place, including running in one postal vote, up to 9:50 when I headed off to the campaign HQ. It was also the night of the Lib Dem leadership hustings on QT which we all watched before settling down waiting for news from the count and the result to trickle through. Every time a phone went off eyes turned. But finally we heard what we wanted to hear and the party really kicked off, waiting for Willie and the others to return from the count.

So I have to take five more do I? Though looking through the people most likely to see their tagging here they all seem to be tagged. If you haven't been yet but are reading this go ahead and do it anyway.

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