75 Years Of Politics In The Home



1940 - 1945 Winston Churchill Elected Churchill was an amazing leader, in particular for his great ability to inspire the nation at a time of great difficulty and personal sacrifice. He had strategic insight and had relentless passion for the cause. Through war, the Blitz and rationing he was able to keep the home fire burning, giving people the faith and determination to endure.

1940 - 1945 Wartime London and Home Decor During wartime London home decor and design was at the very bottom of peoples list of priorities. However people cherished what little time they did have within the home, making the most of every opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. Family and homelife was more important than ever, as the war made people realise what was really important.



1945 - 1951 Clement Attlee Elected Attlee united post-war Britain, putting into place national insurance, the national health service, welfare, and strategies to maintain full employment. His policies would be relevant right up unto 1979, so he can be said to have shaped the country for years to come.

1945 - 1951 Homelife Celebrated With Loved Ones At this time the UK starts to feel more secure, with the idea of home and homelife being celebrated. Strategies were also put in place to recover the economy, enabling people to become less frugal with money. This helped people to usher in a new age of home decor with new modern conveniences of the 1950's.



1951 - 1955 Sir Winston Churchill Elected Churchill stresses the importance of traditional values and the importance of housing. Yet to some extent the nation wants to move on from post-war Britain and embrace the future. Unfortunately this means Churchill isn't as relevant as he once was, and is mostly just seen as a War Prime Minister.

1951 - 1955 The Rock & Roll Home Looking to the future and closing the door on the post-war era sees people embracing new ideas, such as rock and roll and modern home decorating ideas. People are ready for the social revolution of the 1960's and are in the process of adapting to the future.



1957 - 1963 Harold Macmillan Elected Macmillan crafted a new age of affluence and a consumer revolution, despite economic troubles and losing world-power status. He is well known for saying ""You'll never have it so good"", describing the state of the country and the economy.

1957 - 1963 Swinging Sixties Home Decor People have a perceived affluence and become more indulgent in their spending - this can be seen to feed the indulgences and creativity of the swinging sixties, and associated home decor. Hence trends become more creative and bolder, distancing itself from the traditional designs (and values) of the 1940s and 1950s.



1964 - 1970 Harold Wilson Elected Wilson promised the nation a ""new Britain"" and a second industrial revolution. However things didn't quite turn out like that. The economy suffered and the pound was heavily devalued. All of this had an impact on everyday people and their confidence in spending.

1964 - 1970 Tough Decisions For The Late Sixties The problems with the economy may have dampened the fun and excitement of the swinging sixties, instead leaving people with the need to budget and make more frugal choices in the home. As such the excitement and boldness of the swinging sixties didn't cross over into the 1970s.



1970 - 1974 Edward Heath Elected Heath took Britain into Europe (via a precursor to the European union), yet suffered recurrent economic crises and industrial relations issues, especially over fuel prices. This didn't bode well for the economy, making public spending less of a priority, which affected the retail industry and buying habits.

1970 - 1974 The European Home Entering Europe exposed Britain to more continental design trends, however we couldn't embrace this due to a period of economic instability. This was reflected in the home - where people had to cutback on luxury items and indulgences. The swinging sixties were definitely over.



1976 - 1979 James Callaghan Elected Callaghan suffered from non-stop confrontation from strike action, and during the ""winter of Discontent"" food and fuel was undelivered and rubbish went uncollected. This undoubtedly affected consumer spending and the nations faith in the economy.

1976 - 1979 Strikes Causes Power Cuts For The Home Home decor was the last thing on peoples mind during this period, with many people striking and not having access to retail opportunities or the luxuries of the previous decade. Blackouts were also commonplace due to strike action, making home decor even less important, as quality interiors couldn't be seen at night anyway.



1979 - 1990 Margaret Thatcher Elected Thatcher as Britain's first female leader oversaw extensive industrial activity and economic chaos. However, she helped to create an enterprise culture, seeing many entrepreneurs prosper during the extravagance of the 1980s.

1979 - 1990 The Flamboyant 1980s Home The 1980s saw a return to consumerism and a period of opulence in the home, people coveted city-life, apartment living and the ""Greed is good"" mantra. Being the first female prime minister also inspired many other women to enter the workplace. For some this affected homelife, moving the nation away from the outdated view of women being in the home. As such, homelife was forever changed.



1990 - 1997 John Major Elected During a recession, John Major oversaw the Black Wednesday incident where the fall of the pound sterling is said to have cost the government (and taxpayers) over £3.5 billion. Ultimately this affected faith in the government as well as in the economy as well.

1990 - 1997 Reigning Back 80s Trends The economic instability caused by the Major administration hindered the country's growth and put an end to the indulgences and opulence of the late 1980s. In the home, styles were reigned back considerably compared to the garish and bold designs of the 1980s.



1997 - 2007 Tony Blair Elected Blair revitalised Labour, under the guise of ""New Labour"" - reinvigorating conservative policies for a new generation and distancing the party from outdated and unpopular left wing policies. He promoted entrepreneurship and improved working conditions by introducing a national minimum wage. He also introduced constitutional reforms in favour of same sex marriage and established close ties with the US.

1997 - 2007 The Property Boom Blair embraced more of a modern Britain, this was reflected in more contemporary design styles. Increased economic stability also enabled people to invest in the housing market, sparking a property boom and TV shows such as Property Ladder and Grand Designs. Stronger ties with the US were also reflected by US design imports and media inspiration.



2007 - 2010 Gordon Brown Elected Brown implemented measures to keeps banks afloat during the economic crisis in 2008, but this increased the national debt significantly. Ultimately these actions led to a recession and a decline in retail spending across all sectors. This was felt on the high street as well with online spending habits.

2007 - 2010 A DIY and Thrifting Revival The global recession along with the rise of online home decor communities, led to a rise in DIY, thrifting and upcycling as a means to live the life people want on the budget they can afford. It was during this time that Etsy became popular and the online upcycling community became prominent, transforming disused items into accessories for the home.



2010 - 2015 David Cameron Elected Cameron formed the first coalition since World War 2. He also oversaw the Scottish referendum and ultimately the no vote, which in the near future may change the relationship between each member state of the United Kingdom. He also implemented a programme of austerity that has helped the country to recover and overcome the effects of the 2008 recession.

2010 - 2015 Home Spending Increases In the home, Camerons actions have allowed us to embrace our Scottish cousins and to benefit from more financial freedom due to the UK's economic recovery. This has enabled many people to be more comfortable and well off, and spend more money on items within the home.



7th May 2015 May 2015 General Election The next general election is to be held on 7th May. You may think that politics and the results of a general election have minimal impact on your daily lives but the truth is the policies of our leaders have a surprising effect on our everyday lives. This timeline goes to show how the effect of the country and political landscape has had a tremendous effect on the public, and in particular our lifestyle, habits and how happy we feel within our own home. So make your vote count. Consider your vote and decide how each party will affect yours and your family's life.

7th May 2015 David Cameron Mr Cameron wants to ensure that more families have access to a secure pay packet each month. His party also stresses the importance of education for school leavers and the priority of making apprenticeships available to them. He intends to continue his work to restore the economy (a plan that was implemented in 2010) and build upon the success of his strategy. In particular he has highlighted that the deficit has been reduced by more than a third and that 1.75 million new jobs have been created (source:conservatives.com).



7th May 2015 Ed Miliband Mr Miliband stresses that we are currently going through a cost-of-living crisis and that the national deficit has not been reduced enough, something that he wants to rectify. He wants to stop borrowing and fund new policies sensibly, rather than increasing the national debt. For people that can't afford to live on a minimum wage his government will increase the minimum wage to £8. He also wants to clamp down on tax avoidance and increase taxes for millionaires. The labour party also wants to introduce a post-18 apprenticeship scheme to provide vocational opportunities within the workplace (source:labour.org.uk).



7th May 2015 Nick Clegg Mr Clegg wants to build a stronger economy, by making tough decisions to restore the economy and have people regain their confidence in it. He wants to create new job opportunities and apprenticeships, helping key sectors such as manufacturing to develop a new hi-tech economy. The Liberal Democrats want to offer tax cuts to everyday people, whilst ensuring that the top earners pay their fair share. Tax avoidance is also a major concern and he wants to generate additional income by clamping down on those not paying tax. Mr Clegg also wants to tackle the cost of living increase, by offering tax cuts, free school meals and increasing pensions (source: libdems.org.uk).



7th May 2015 Your Vote Matters You should now have a clearer understanding of the day to day effects that politicians have on your life. It may be hard to believe but they shape our country for good or bad. From strikes in the 1970s to a recession in 2008, each and every decision they make will have some effect on our lives. Your vote really does matter, so make it count.

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