Thursday, 7 May 2015

Corrie A-Z: P is for Politics


As it's election day here in the UK, I thought I'd re-post this blog about political life and links in Weatherfield.

Although Corrie has often avoided real politics in its script, mainly because it wouldn’t be current due to episodes being filmed weeks ahead of broadcast, it has had included politics in some of its storylines and we often get a glimpse of the political stance of certain characters.

Many characters have involved themselves in local politics. We mentioned Alf Roberts previously, and he is the most prominent local politician. A long serving councillor and twice-elected mayor, Alf was given an OBE by the Queen in 1995 for his services to the community. Alf was an independent councillor and during his 1991 election campaign, his posters wrongly called him ‘The People’s Fiend’ instead of friend. He was a mayor in 1973 and 1994. His first mayoress was Annie Walker, although she was only given the post after Maggie Clegg refused. When he was chosen in 1994, wife Audrey was his mayoress. But when she abused the mayoral privileges, Alf sacked her and offered the post to Rita Sullivan. When Audrey heard this she threatened to spread rumours that Alf and Rita were lovers. Alf then opted for Betty Turpin, despite Bet Gilroy hoping she’d be chosen. The council showed their appreciation of Alf’s contribution when they chose him to be responsible for the millennium celebrations in 1997 and he was nicknamed ‘Mr Millennium’. In 1998, Alf resigned from the council so he could concentrate on the millennium preparations. But in 1999 he passed away before the arrival of the millennium.

As well as Alf, other characters have involved themselves in political life. Between 1966 and 1978, Len Fairclough was a councillor and beat Annie Walker to the post in 1966. Alf and Len were best mates and their friendship was tested when they both contested for the role of mayor in 1973. Alf won and offered Len the role of deputy mayor. Len’s time as councillor ended when he was forced to resign after he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Despite not having won the 1966 election, Annie Walker was in her element as Alf’s mayoress and indulged in the privileges of the job.

In the 1987 election, Alf was challenged by Deirdre Barlow, after she was urged by hubby Ken to stand so to split the vote. But to Ken’s amazement, Deirdre beat Alf. Suddenly, the Barlows became a high-powered couple – him a newspaper editor and she a councillor. Ken and Deirdre split up after his affair with Wendy Crozier (who also worked at the council and leaked stories to Ken) in 1990 and in 1991 Deirdre lost her seat to Alf, who’d been encouraged by Alec Gilroy to stand again. Ken had supported Deirdre in the 1991 election and clashed with Alf when he put a ‘Vote Deirdre’ in the corner shop flat where he lived after being thrown out by Deirdre. As well as being a councillor, Deirdre worked at the council in administration for over ten years from the late 1990s.

When Alf resigned from the council in 1998, thus began a battle of who was going to fill the empty seat. His wife Audrey stood against eco-warrior Spider Nugent and won the seat. During her time as councillor she was elected mayor in 2000 and got the chance to meet HRH Prince Charles, the Prince Charles and enjoyed gloating about it. In 2001, due to best friend Alma’s illness, Audrey backed out of being re-elected and let Curly Watts win the vote. Curly remained at the council until he left Weatherfield for Newcastle in 2003.

Politics has also entered other characters’ storylines in different ways. The future of Coronation Street was in the balance in 1974 and many of the residents opposed the council’s decision to demolish the place. And many were disgruntled when they heard that Alf and Len knew about it and didn’t say anything. Timid Emily Bishop threw a brick through Len’s window in protest. The street was eventually saved. Then a few decades later, the council thought of renaming the street ‘Alf Roberts Wynd’ in honour of Alf, but yet again the residents opposed. In 2004, the council planned to erect a fountain in memory of Alf, but Emily, Betty, Rita, Norris and Blanche held a protest against it, much to Audrey’s chagrin.

As for political stances, the most prominent has to be Ken Barlow who is a staunch Liberal who reads ‘The Guardian’. Ironically, William Roache, who plays him, is a staunch Tory! During the 1970s you often saw Ken, Ernest Bishop and Annie Walker discussing the politics of the day with references being given to Jim Callaghan, Harold Wilson, Denis Healey and Margaret Thatcher. And Mrs Thatcher, Tony Blair and Ed Miliband have visited the Corrie set over the years.

Can you think of any other political links? Do you think Corrie should have a political storyline – a threat to close the hospital maybe? Or maybe a character becomes a councillor?
And what about the political stances of certain characters? Who do you think supports the Tories, Labour or the Liberals? Leave your comments!

You can follow us on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog and Facebook: CoronationStreetBlog

Creative Commons Licence
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I certainly think elections should feature in some way. Arguments at the pub over which candidate is better suited, the younger residents might express apathy about voting and the oldsters might remind them of the price their generation paid for that privilege. Various characters could be introduced during the election who come canvassing on the street. There was a time when hot-button issues used to be discussed as pub chatter instead who slept with whom and who killed whom we hear nowadays. Weatherfield is insulated from terrorism, the whole EU debate, refugees, outsourcing, and other issues the rest of the nation deals with. The recent controversy about Chris Fountain could have been written in instead of shunning it. Misogynist lyrics is an issue in the real world. Why not use CF as an excuse to explore why it is damaging.

Anonymous said...

Introducing party politics would be a terrible idea and cause people to switch off in droves. On the other hand, local politics could be very entertaining. Being on Weatherfield Council would certainly suit Sally and give her something to do rather than get into bed with unsuitable men.

It would be fun to see Carla refuse to support Sally and try to thwart her campaign, because she thinks if they elect Sally her bossiness would know no bounds.

Billy Niblick said...

Norris Cole - Tory.
Emily Bishop - Labour.
Rita - Labour.
Stella - Lib Dem
Karl - Murderers' Party/Tory
Deirdre - Labour
Fiz - Labour
Tyrone - Labour
Leanne - Labour
Nick - Lib Dem
David Platt - UKIP
Kylie - voting? what's voting?
Steve - Monster Raving Looney
Michelle - Tory
Carla - Lib Dem
Peter - Tory
Roy - Labour (of course)
Hayley Labour (ditto)
Tracy Barlow - Murderers' Party/Tory
Ken Barlow - Tory
Lloyd Mullaney - Labour
Sally - Tory
Owen - Tory
Anna - Lib Dem
Sophie - Green
Jenna - Green


Okay, I realise the Murderer's Party doesn't actually exist, but what the hey.

Anonymous said...

Ken Barlow - Tory!

Shome mishtake shurly.

Agree with most of the rest though.

Martin Leay said...

Bill Roache is a Tory in real life but the character of Ken Barlow has been portrayed as a Guardian-reading Labour supporter :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)

Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!

adam barlow aidan connor alan halsall alex bain alexander bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards alma baldwin amy barlow amy kelly andrea beckett andy whyment anna windass antony cotton audrey roberts awards baby Oliver barbara knox barlows battleaxes becky mcdonald behind the scenes ben price ben tagoe bet gilroy bet lynch beth tinker bethany platt betty driver betty turpin betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard beverley callard bill roache billy mayhew billy the vicar blanche hunt brian packham brooke vincent bruno langley can i visit the coronation street set Canada canadian coronation street fans carla connor Cath Tyldesley catherine tyldesley cathy matthews celebrities on coronation street characters joining coronation street characters leaving coronation street cherylee houston chesney brown chris gascoyne chris harper claire king classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition connor mcintyre conversation street coronation street coronation street art coronation street babies Coronation Street Blog - the book coronation street cartoons coronation street fan events coronation street fan of the week coronation street fans coronation street funerals coronation street history coronation street in canada coronation street look-a-like coronation street map coronation street men coronation street merchandise coronation street news coronation street preview coronation street spoilers coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig tinker damon alexis-rochefort damon rochefort daniel brocklebank daran little david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush debbie webster deirdre barlow deirdre hunt denise osbourne derek griffiths dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw Elle Mulvaney ellie leach ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples erica stewart exclusive interview exercise dvds famous people who have been in corrie fat brenda favourite females favourite males faye windass feckless fellas in coronation street filming locations filming mistakes fiz brown fiz stape florizel street flying ducks gail rodwell gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street gay men in soaps gay women in soaps granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week helen flanagan helen worth hilda ogden hilda ogden's curlers Hope Stape hot pot how to contact coronation street inside soap inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack p shepherd Jack P. Shepherd jane danson jean alexander jennie mcalpine jigsaw jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street joe duttine johnny connor jonathan harvey julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh kabin kate fitzgerald kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn ken barlow kev webster kevin webster kieran roberts kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley liam bairstow lily platt lisa george liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney Lucy Fallon luke britton maggie jones malcolm hebden manchester tart marc baylis maria connor mark llewellin martin sterling mary taylor matriachs maxine's bench michael le vell michelle connor mikey north mikey north miley windass minnie caldwell mothers on the cobbles music in the rovers nathan curtis new set new zealand newton and ridley nick tilsley nick's bistro nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.6 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother nuttalls brewery odd side of the street official coronation street website oldham coliseum oliver battersby on location opening titles original cast our blog is the best blog in the world outside broadcast paper boys paper girls pat phelan pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow peter gunn pets on coronation street pictures of the coronation street set pigeons pillars of the community platt family plot holes props qasim akhtar quay street returning characters rita fairclough rita littlewood rita sullivan rita tanner road to coronation street rob donovan rob mallard romanian holiday rosamund street rosie webster rovers bosses rovers fire rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return fire rovers return landlady roy and hayley roy cropper roy's rolls roys rolls ryan thomas sair khan sally webster sally and tim sally dynevor sally dyvenor Sally Metcalfe sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia ghadie samia longchambon sarah platt Sarah-Louise Platt schmeichel sean tully shayne ward shelley king simon barlow simon crowther simon gregson sinead tinker six episodes per week sophie webster special effects speculation spin-off spoilers state of the street steve mcdonald storyline speculation storylines streetcars sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls susan barlow susan oudot sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin terry duckworth the corrie years the kabin the Nazirs the newspaper boy the road to coronation street through the years tim metcalfe tina o'bren tina o'brien Tina O’Brien tiricia hopkins todd grimshaw tony warren Tony Warren inspiration tours of coronation street toyah battersby tracy barlow trafford set tram crash tricia hopkins tyrone dobbs underworld underworld sign unofficial book unofficial merchandise unseen characters viaduct street victoria court fire vip bloggers walking tours watch coronation street online weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield council weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield haulage Weatherfield high Weatherfield Open Days weatherfield style weatherfield wayfarer websters' autos wedding wedding dress weddings weekly awards weekly update where have you seen william roache William Roache Interview window cleaners writers for soaps Yasmeen nazir zeedan nazir