Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – and an 80s womens group


Aaaah – student union politics in the early 80s. I was Deputy President of Liverpool University student union (Guild of Undergraduates to be exact, the official name) and things were very polarised politically. Thatcherite Tories versus Militant Tendency and some other groups in between. At the university, radically minded feminists were in the Womens Group tackling still very prevalent sexism among blokes at college – particularly in the medical and veterinary faculties.

So – there was bound to be a bust up when the Liverpool University Veterinary Society decided to put on a ‘comedy’ revue in the student union using the OMD album cover but changing the title to Obstetrical Manoeuvres in the Uterus. I arrived at the student union to find a queue of angry women outside my office and needless to say, the vets were forced to climb down.

Here an advert for an OMD tour around that time…

Charles and Diana – fairy tale wedding or nightmare?


Charles and DianaThe marriage of Charles and Diana ended up an unhappy affair. But in 1981, the media proclaimed it as the royal fairy tale of the century. However, there were some dissenting voices.

Spare Rib, the Feminist magazine, produced lapel sized badges with “Don’t Do It!” printed on them.  They cost 30p and came in white on a lilac background. This followed on from the highly popular “Stuff the Jubilee” badges in 1977.

The ‘Not the Nine O’Clock News’ team of Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones and Pamela Stephenson (and Chris Langham, talented comedian but convicted of downloading indecent porn on the internet in 2007) produced a souvenir called…. Not The Royal Wedding.   I have a copy but for legal reasons, I’m not going to reproduce that lest the BBC knock at my door.

Their piece of humour included an appeal for a spoof charity called HAR – Help the Aged Royals.  With an image of the Queen Mother, it said:  “Lizzie is eighty one years old and a widow….Although the Social Security provide her with a home help two afternoons a week, her butlers, maids, footmen, chefs, gardners and secretariat all have to be paid out of her meagre £286,000 a year pension.”