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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > May 2017 > Calling—and not calling—snap elections

Calling—and not calling—snap elections

Extracts from memoirs and diaries, chosen by Ian Irvine

The way we were

James Callaghan became prime minister in 1976, but did not fight an election until 1979
© HARRIS/AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

In late 1973 the miners’ strike was causing severe disruption, challenging the authority of Edward Heath’s Conservative government. Parliament still had 18 months to run. William Waldegrave, Heath’s political secretary, recalled:

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In Prospect’s May issue: Neal Ascherson, Simon Jenkins, John Curtice and Frances Cairncross examine the growing divide between England and Scotland. Ascherson argues that England has become Scotland’s “neurotic neighbour,” while Jenkins says we should learn from history and prepare for Scotland to leave the Union. Cairncross and Curtice debate whether Scotland could afford to break with England and whether a fresh referendum on independence is actually winnable. Also in this issue: Jason Burke questions whether the world will be a safer place after the downfall of Islamic State, Paul Hilder examines how politics got tangled in the web and Michael White reviews a new book charting the history of the Daily Mail
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