Happy Days – 1967 Mock Election
A Win For the Liberals
On a sunny day last July, the Rector gave his permission for a mock election, the first for three years, in the constituency of Calton Hill.
The result of the mock election is history: Robin Forrester-Paton won for the Liberals with a substantial majority; Simon Card followed for the Conservatives. Contrary to general expectation, Colin Robertson, the Scottish National Party candidate managed only third place. As everyone expected, Willy Dudgeon, the Labour candidate, was last.
The political implications of the election are not too great, however, as the election was in its final stages more like a public pillory than the due and proper election of one of Her Gracious Majesty’s Members of Parliament.
The election was decided, most properly, on personalities and campaigns. It was in this field that Forrester-Paton had a great advantage: he had a larger and more talented organisation than any of his rivals. The campaigns started with Robertson being hunted down for S.N.P. badges. While his finances stood up to supplying the goods, his life was one long flight from
an attendant mob of importunate gytes.
The spotlight then fell on Card who made his effort in the badgesticker world. The last word in the badge war came from Forrester-Paton who wore a Young Liberals badge. He could not produce many more official party badges, and so his followers went round stealing Young Conservative and S.N.P. badges to be converted in the Liberals’ sweated labour factory. As in most phases, Dudgeon made no attempt to keep up with his more exhibitionist
It was at this point that Forrester-Paton began to gain the upper hand, Robertson, the early favourite, having given away all his badges, had very little in the way of posters or gimmicks to keep the votes he had gained. On the other hand, F.P. was on the up and up. He had timed his effort well and was producing a stream of effective if not intellectually sound, propaganda.
Card, however, was still running quietly and efficiently despite F.P.’s allegations about his intelligence.
When the rather belated election week arrived (a fortnight after the beginning of the campaigns), all the candidates nevertheless, faced the final horrors with some degree of enthusiasm. The speeches in the yards were popular both with the extremists and with the anarchists, who all took great delight in the Aunt Sally stall. This was the best guide to who would win the election, viz.: W. Dudgeon was pelted, and Forrester-Paton emerged almost unscathed, although very little of the speeches was actually heard above the catcalls, organised booing and heckling.
On polling day, it was Simon Card who nearly stole the show by arriving in great style: tail coat, tile hat, and horse-drawn carriage – all this, no doubt to underline one of the Tory policies: Money Talks. The candidates’ final speeches were almost an anticlimax. Mr Dudgeon made an uninspired, hopeful appeal for support for his hero Harold, whom he aped in his Gannex raincoat and unlit pipe. Mr Card made a firm, if not over-meaningful speech. But Mr Forrester-Paton, produced a stirring oration of some literary and political merit. So much so that Mr Robertson’s speech, which followed, even if it had been a good one, was doomed to bathos. As it was, it was disappointingly vague and insipid, and bored the audience to jeers.
When the result was announced, the number of spoiled ballot-papers suggested that the candidates would have been more profitably employed teaching certain members of the constituency to write.
Reprinted from Schola Regia N0. 184
1964 Mock Election
Robin Cook, whose credentials for the Labour Party never seemed to include the several years he spent at the old school by the Calton Hill, perhaps he wanted to forget his sweeping victory in the mock elections of 1964 when his impassioned oratory swept the board for the Scottish National Party. (from Through Rose Tinted Spectacles)