Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wallace Lawler mentioned in first Red Riding novel

Last month I claimed in House Points:

If you watched Red Riding you will believe that life in the 1970s consisted of policemen beating people up in semi-darkness.
But I decided to give the novels a try yesterday and bought the first of the four, which is 1974.

And I think I am going to like it.

Because on page 16 David Peace writes:

I grabbed the reels, took a seat at a screen, and threaded through the microfilm.

July 1969.

I let the film fly by:

B Specials, Bernadette Devlin, Wallace Lawler, and In Place of Strife.

Wallace Lawler? He may be an obscure figure even for readers of this blog.

Wallace Lawler was the last Liberal MP in Birmingham before John Hemming. He won the Ladywood constituency at a by-election June 1969, but lost it at the general election the following year.

There are some interesting scraps about him on the net. I shall write them up one day.


Edis said...

Ah yes I remember well, the Liberal crowd outside the count chanting 'Tory Lost Deposit!'.

This is the only time I have been present at one of our parliamentary by-election gains...

Simon Titley said...

There is a good page about Wallace Lawler on Wikipedia, at:

It mentions his pioneering role in the development of community politics, for which Lawler is rarely credited.

Jonathan Calder said...

That is why I linked to that Wikepedia page :)

Charles C said...

I see what you are doing - just like you linked to the George Formby video in the post about Nick Clegg cleaning windows!