They don’t advertise political party membership like this any more

This is from an early recruitment leaflet for the SDP issued in 1981 which had a rather dated way of describing the cost of joining a political party:

SDP recruitment leaflet 1981

(The SDP was a new political party formed mainly as a breakaway from the Labour Party, although it also attracted one Conservative MP. It formed an electoral alliance with the Liberal Party for the 1983 and 1987 general elections. The two parties then merged to form the Liberal Democrats.)


2 responses to “They don’t advertise political party membership like this any more”

  1. It does seem dated now, especially the reference to being the same price as 200 cigarettes!

    But the thinking was that a bit more explanation was needed because the SDP was more than just another political party but run the same way as before. It was the first one you joined nationally rather than though a multitude of local branches, affiliated organisations or trade unions. It was the first you could join by credit card, the first with national OMOV ballots. So a lot of the process stuff was new too.

  2. The price comparison is interesting, as it shows that recommended cost of joining the SDP then (200 cigarettes = £9) is pretty similar to the recommended cost of joining the Lib Dems now (200 cigarettes = £75).
    That’s inflation for you!

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