Thursday, May 19, 2016

John Creasey, creator of George Gideon, was a Liberal candidate

John Gregson as Commander George Gideon

Writing about the Gideon's Way police series from the 1960s the other day, I suggested that John Gregson played the hero as "a world-weary liberal".

I may have been on to something because, as an article by Ian Millsted from the Journal of Liberal History once revealed, the author of the books the series was based on was himself a liberal - and a Liberal

John Creasey, who wrote the books, once said:
I have been a political animal all my life. At twelve I was organising and speaking at street corners for the Liberal Party.
Creasey fought Bournemouth West for the party in 1950, finishing third with 17 per cent of the vote. This was a very respectable vote for a Liberal candidate in this era, though the party had come second in the seat in 1945.

In the second half ot the 1960s, though he was often seen in Liberal circles, Creasey fought a number of parliamentary by-elections to promote the All-Party Alliance, He had set this up himself in 1966.

Millsted says:
Its principal aim was to see elected a government of the best people from all parties in order to sort out the problems of the day.
In the last of these by-elections, Oldham West in 1968, he beat the Liberal candidate into fourth place.

The aim of the All-Party Alliance may sound naive, but Jeremy Thorpe was to call for something similar in the general elections of 1974.

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