Above is the original British Gazette, No.s 1 to 8. Published by HMSO. LARGER IMAGE
The British Gazette was a short-lived British newspaper published by the Government during the General Strike of 1926. The strike lasted ten days, from 3rd to 13th May 1926. It was called by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in an unsuccessful attempt to force the government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening conditions for the coal miners. One of the first groups of workers called out by the Trades Union Congress when the general strike began on 3rd May were the printers, and consequently most newspapers appeared only in very brief and truncated form. The Government therefore decided to replace them with an official publication which was printed on the presses of The Morning Post, a right-wing but traditionalist paper which later merged with The Daily Telegraph. Winston Churchill, then Chancellor of the Exchequer but formerly a journalist, took the initiative and guided the British Gazette’s editorial line.
The British Gazette first appeared on the morning of 5th May. It was highly patriotic and condemnatory of the strikers, becoming a very effective means of propaganda for the government. The TUC produced its own paper, the British Worker (subtitled Official Strike News Edition) to attempt to counter it. The British Gazette easily outsold its rival, with circulation rising from more than 200,000 copies for the first issue to more than 2,000,000. The British Gazette ran to only eight editions before the strike collapsed. Churchill enjoyed his time on the British Gazette but did not take it entirely seriously. On Wednesday 7th July 1926, at the end of a debate in Parliament on whether to grant the money to pay for the British Gazette, Churchill responded to Labour MP A. A. Purcell’s speculation about what would happen in future general strikes with the words “Make your minds perfectly clear that if ever you let loose upon us again a general strike, we will loose upon you – another British Gazette.”
The history of the British Gazette however goes back much further. Into the reign of King George III in fact.
In 1779, a certain Mrs E Johnson published the British Gazette and Sunday Monitor. This was in fact the first Sunday newspaper. Publishing on a Sunday in 1779 however was illegal. It is not known how Mrs Johnson managed to avoid prosecution. What we do know is that two products were allowed to be sold on a Sunday: milk and mackerel. Since Mrs Johnson’s newspaper was being printed in London. Records show that the newspaper had a news-stand price of three and a half pence. It is difficult to see how she could have got away with this. However, the price of three and a half pence gives us a clue: Three and a half old pence equates today as 1.46 new pence today. This in 1779 was NOT a trivial amount of money. It was a lot! This clearly gives us a clue as to how Mrs Johnson managed to get away with it. It is possible that the three and a half pence was a subscription paid on a day other than a Sunday. The subscription would be for a number of newspapers to be delivered on a Sunday. The legal loophole may well have been that the consideration (payment) for the goods (that were neither milk or mackerel) was made on a day when such was allowed and the goods delivered on a Sunday.
What is also clearly was that Mrs Johnson was a very enterprising lady who had clearly done her market research. You see, at the time there were seventeen other newspapers published in London every week. Seven were distributed every weekday morning. Eight were distributed thrice weekly. One was distributed twice weekly and another was distributed as a weekly. Mrs Johnson therefore wanted to have a unique selling point – distributed on a Sunday!
Clearly Mrs Johnson was aware that since Sunday was the day of rest her customers would have more time to read a newspaper!
The publication had all the usual features of the time including news about Foreign Affairs. However much information was gleaned from sources such as servants at the great London houses. Although dismissed as gossip, rumour and speculation, these sources were able to supply Mrs Johnson with news: For instance, it was not necessary for a servant to overhear or attempt to eavesdrop upon a private meeting of their employer. The great and the good would have their meetings in private, but the footmen would open and close the doors and were therefore in a position to inform Mrs Johnson as to who was meeting who, where and when and for how long.
Mrs Johnson’s market was London’s early middle class; those who could read and could afford to spend three and a half pence (a month[possible] for 4/a quarter[probable] for 12/a year for 52[doubtful]) issues.
The British Gazette and Sunday Monitor ceased publication in 1829.
The decision to revive the British Gazette was taken in the light of two serious developments:
The first has been the progress of the “human induced/anthropogenic global warming”. This started as a hypothesis put forward by a few. It has now developed a momentum of its own, so much so that a large portion of the world’s literate population regard it as the settled scientific consensus – which it is not. This alone would not be so serious were it not for the very serious consequences “human induced/anthropogenic global warming” is going to have on us. As always, it is the poor in the third world who will suffer most from this folly.
The second has been the steady transformation of this formerly independent sovereign state that was the United Kingdom of Great Britain into a vassal suzerain state of the European Union. This process soon to be made complete by the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
The British Gazette’s owner is Peter Henry Rogers, a U.K. individual operating as “The British Gazette”. Mr. Rogers is a political activist who was the founder of the “Drive The Flag” campaign to have the Union Flag allowed on British car number plates and was a member of the British Weights and Measures Association until July 2013. Mr Rogers is a member of UKIP.
Please note however that the British Gazette is an INDEPENDENT BLOG and is NOT a UKIP BLOG. The views expressed in this publication are those of the Editor and guest contributors and cannot and should not be taken as representing UKIP.
NB: The British Gazette’s Non Commercial Policy.
It will be noted that the British Gazette website is refreshingly free of commercial advertising. We choose to forego this income because such advertising gets in the way of what the website is about – communication of news and views. Furthermore it can cause the page to load more slowly.
This is because the British Gazette is NOT a business. It is a leisure activity carried out by it’s owner. No goods or services are provided by the owner. The owner carries out no business activities whatsoever. The owner’s income is derived solely from private dividend income that is completely unrelated to the blog. The owner does not invite and will not accept donations to assist in running the blog.
Although the British Gazette itself is not on Facebook, it’s Editor has a Facebook page that can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/peter.rogers.568
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Such Facebook users should be aware however that the non commercial policy is extended to the Editor’s Facebook page. It appears that some Facebook users appear to be using their pages for commercial purposes and some of these users have “Tagged” images and links to offers for goods and services. When these are discovered, not only is the particular “tag” deleted, the Facebook user is “un-friended.”