Are we all Thatcherites now?

The Prime Minister’s claim on radio recently that we are all Thatcherites now is in one sense true, though of course unlikely to go down well with his opponents. I think what he meant was that over 13 years of Labour governments with large majorities they accepted the Thatcher settlement on ballots before strikes, on lower Income Tax rates, and private ownership of the leading energy, transport and industrial utilities. The country did not return to nationalised steel,elecriticity, gas and phones. The state owned banks were not properly nationalised.Top Income Tax stayed at 40% for almost the whole time, and standard rate income tax continued downwards as under the Conservatives.

Many have now written that yesterday marked the passing of an era. I do not see it that way. Margaret Thatcher’s hold and direction of power effectively ended the day her colleagues forced her into the Exchange Rate Mechansim against her better instincts and the advice of her (all too few)friends in government.I felt that her era ended on that day. Sometime later her Conservative opponents got her out of office, confirming the end of her era. In other words, the Thatcher era has been over for around a quarter of a century. We are well into the legacy. Indeed, the last government lived off the achievement of the Conservative years in curbing debts and deficits, and getting inflation down. We have the luxury to keep the best bits – wider ownership, the ending of the Cold War, the lower tax rates – whilst shedding the bad bits like the ERM and the unsuccesful bits like the Poll Tax.

Today it is a common pursuit for commentators and some in politics to ask What would Margaret do now, faced with today’s problems. All the time she was alive I thought this was a cruel question,not one I ever wished to attempt to answer. It was cruel because in her later years she was not in command of all the facts and the arguments in the way she was in her prime. She did not wish to answer that question most of the time for good political reasons, and was not in an informed position to do so. Anyone seeking to suggest her answer ran the risk of presuming too much. Putting words into the mouth of someone who could often not correct a false interpretation or answer back was I thought a most uncharitable thing to do.

Now she has died the twin constraints of good taste and the danger of the lady contradicting the speculator have been removed. I would nonetheless urge people to refrain from doing so. A few of her genuine political friends wish to be the custodians of the flame, distilling the essence of pure Thatcherism into an ever more exclusing brand. That is to misunderstand the lady at her best, where she recruited many non believers as well as believers to her colours, and showed great flexibility in how to use her power. Some of her political enemies will wish to ascribe to the worst features of modern policy as they see them the brand of Thatcherism, as a kind of evil spirit as they see it which they wish to warn us about years after the end of the era. That too is far from helpful, and may rebound against them as the public wearies of the continued attacks on a dead Prime Minister who cannot answer back.

Margaret Thatcher’s thought and actions changed substantially in many important areas over time. They can no longer change. Anyone who suggests he knows her mind on today’s problems has to make it up.

I am a realist. I understand others will continue to argue over her period in office, and some will seek to enlist her for their cause. In a later post I will examine what we do know of her views on current politics, from the words she said and wrote before she died.

57 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    April 19, 2013

    You say “I am a realist” so I assume you are planning for Ed Milliband/Unison and the tories out of office for some considerable time thanks to Cameron? Government by the state sector unions no doubt. I you are a realist why are you not planning to leave?

    I am not a Thatcherite, but clearly she was far, far better than most PMs. But this does not set the bar very high. She and her government made some very big mistakes. On education/grammar schools, on the renewable religion/fake green nonsense, on the EU and the single European act, on the ERM (thanks to Major, Howe, Lawson and others), on failing to cut the state sector, on failing to lower taxes from 60% quickly enough, on failing to deter/prevent the attack on the Falklands, on over regulation of almost everything and much, much more.

    It is a very low threshold indeed to be a good PM relative to the other before you.

    At least she did not take us into pointless & damaging wars, on blatant lies and ones that we are not even winning I suppose.

    1. APL
      April 20, 2013

      lifelogic: “At least she did not take us into pointless & damaging wars ”

      Yes; The Falklands, Kuwait were actually wars of principle. We had alliances with both and in both instances were replying to aggression. If any, these were justified wars.

      And her administration had a decade in power and refused to reverse the Labour comprehensive policy – at a point when much of the damage was still to be done and could have been reversed.

      But I guess, even then her cabinet was awash with ‘wets’. It must have been very tiring to have to confront the socialists outside the Tory party and deal with the wet rot in the Tory party too.

      A lesser person would have given up.

      1. lifelogic
        April 20, 2013

        Indeed.

  2. Alte Fritz
    April 19, 2013

    It is a fair point to say, for example, that there is no mainstream support for nationalisation . The left has turned their ambitions for social and economic control for aggressive regulation which is really a form of nationalisation. This blog often points to cases of a lack f regulation being blamed for problems arising from other failings.

    So, if the Lady were in her prime, I think that she would tackle the tide of aggressive and excessive regulation and look for regulatory and other mechanisms which would curb or avoid market abuses and abuses of power.

  3. Electro-Kevin
    April 19, 2013

    I feel that her rule was truncated. That she had better things left to do.

    Clearly some of the privatisations have since taken wrong turns and liberties have been taken in the name of ‘free marketeering’. The outsourcing of jobs, and insourcing of labour, could not possibly work without taxpayer subsidy – all at the ultimate expense of the taxpayer regardless of ‘cheapness’ of goods and services – debt levels prove it. We compensated for extra taxation, inflation, pay constraint etc with credit cards.

    I fully understood the need to curb the heavy manufacturing and mining unions (as did many of the miners at the time) but liberties have been taken of our people since.

    1. Electro-Kevin
      April 19, 2013

      In response to some questions that might arise:

      “Pay is already relatively high compared to the rest of the world”

      It could be higher were it not for downward effect of imported labour/outsourced work. And it would still be cheaper for our country.

      “Our people are not up to it in work ethic, nor education.”

      No. Because the message to them has been “Study media or nail polishing or some such – waste a bit of time, take a gap year.” and after that “Stay at home – the benefits of taking a job are pretty marginal.” the clear message to vast swathes of our own people has been “Don’t try.”

      Had we not been able to resort to foreign labour we would have been forced to buck our own ideas up.

      So now we have (one group of ed) people languishing at home while (another group of people ed) people serve them their chips and curry and scrub office and hotel floors at 5am. How very colonial it has all become.

      If we think that we have progressed and that servitude has been irradicated from Britain since the Victorian era then we are very much mistaken.

      1. Electro-Kevin
        April 20, 2013

        The edited bits, Mr Redwood.

        I compare a group of lazy (overweight) people against a hard working (underweight) people and in no way disparaged the latter.

        I understand the need for you to edit but isn’t it rather indicative of how far the curtailment freedom of speech has come in our country ?

        As an aside – the three whistle blowers arrested for reporting (correctly) their Chief Constable’s expenses abuses.

        What is happening ? Where are we going ?

        Reply : There are dangers in wild generalisations about the appearance and approach of different groups of people, and they can cause offence.

        1. bigneil
          April 27, 2013

          l can really relate to auto judjing as i have always been very big in frame for my age – -but nobody saw – or wanted to know – about a mensa result of 154 – -about the same level as carol vorderman – -but she (looks better on tv-ed)

          my point is that at work – i was just ignored for any promotion and spent 40 years in the same job – -i have now had to retire through injury but it had got to the point where every person above me – had started after me. there were never any complaints about my work output – -but i saw people who (behaved very badly-ed) – without the recipients knowledge – -all these people “got on” – -but none were my size.

  4. Ben Kelly
    April 19, 2013

    We are all Thatcherites now in the way we are all Blairites and Brownites. We are paying ever higher taxes to support socialised losses of the wealthy, ever higher in work benefits to subsidise business, rising benefits to maintain benfit claimants’ better standard of living than our own, booming immigration levels to provide cheap but taxpayer subsidised labour.

    Suceeding governments these days rarely change the direction of travel; prefering to tinker round the edges without upsetting their paymasters. Your coalition has followed the same path. Working pays but only for others’ support.

  5. Andyvan
    April 19, 2013

    The Prime Minister’s claim on radio recently that we are all Thatcherites now is ludicrous. There is no party that even suggests following policies that would be recognised as Thatcherite. Cameron would have been regarded as a “wet” at best in Maggie’s cabinet or more likely he’d have been a member of his true party, the Lib Dems. If we did have a real Thatcherite in charge I doubt that their policies would be tough enough anyway. The rot has got into the country to a greater degree and people recognise it far less than they did then. The whole public sector needs massive reform- mostly to reduce or eliminate it. We need to pull out of the EU completely. Our legal system is completely ruined by EU contamination, our foreign policy too. The country has gigantic debts that leave it on the brink of collapse should some economic shock come from the Eurozone or elsewhere (a very likely possibility). It will take more than sorting unions and a few reductions in spending to sort us out now. Is there a single politician that could muster the courage and the votes for that kind of revolution? I doubt it.

    1. uanime5
      April 20, 2013

      The whole public sector needs massive reform- mostly to reduce or eliminate it.

      What exactly are you calling for? No police, judges, teachers, doctors, or social workers? You can’t simply remove large parts of the private sector without causing major problems.

      Our legal system is completely ruined by EU contamination, our foreign policy too.

      Since when has giving people rights been considered a bad thing?

      The country has gigantic debts that leave it on the brink of collapse should some economic shock come from the Eurozone or elsewhere (a very likely possibility).

      Given that the UK didn’t collapse in the 1950’s when the debt to GDP ratio was nearly 250% it’s unlikely to collapse when this ratio is 60%.

      http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_chart.html

  6. JimF
    April 19, 2013

    Margaret Thatcher won her first election on the back of promising lower inflation, which she eventually delivered. TV viewers at the time will remember vividly the pictures of her in the supermarket, picking up cans of beans where the prices on labels were being updated by the week.
    We now have a government which wishes to generate inflation.

    Margaret Thatcher raised interest rates to squeeze out inflation. Cash was king at 15%+ interest rates and $2.40 to the ÂŁ.
    Cash is now anything but king, and interest rates are as good as zero.

    Margaret Thatcher promised a home-owning democracy. We now have experience of too many people getting into debt on the back of owning their own homes.

    The wheel has turned 180 degrees since Margaret Thatcher came to power, so the situation is entirely different. Nevertheless I think her prirorities would be 3 things:

    1 remove the UK from the EU on the back of a referendum she would win
    2 pump money through the banks into business, probably reduce Corporation Tax and taxes on earning quite dramatically to do so, also remove much employment legislation
    3 dramatically reduce welfare dependency, which would be seen as a scar of the Blair Brown years, instead of something which had to be managed carefully in case we offended anyone

    1. uanime5
      April 20, 2013

      1 remove the UK from the EU on the back of a referendum she would win

      Given the results of the 1975 referendum it should not be assumed that the UK would vote to leave the EU.

      2 pump money through the banks into business, probably reduce Corporation Tax and taxes on earning quite dramatically to do so, also remove much employment legislation

      Osborne is already pumping money into banks and reducing corporation tax but this hasn’t helped. Though taxes on earnings have been reduced for the poor (raised personal allowance) and the wealthy (upper tax cut) there’s been little benefit for those in the middle due to the lowering of the 40% tax rate.

      Also cutting employment regulations will just make people less likely to work. Giving people less rights and worse working conditions doesn’t encourage people to work.

      3 dramatically reduce welfare dependency, which would be seen as a scar of the Blair Brown years

      Actually welfare dependence was a problem during the Thatcher years because of all the people who became unemployed when the UK lost most of its industries. This was lessened during the Blair and Brown years because unemployment fell.

      Also as long as pensions, housing benefits, and tax credits remain some of the largest parts of welfare don’t expect welfare spending to fall any time soon.

      1. Edward2
        April 20, 2013

        Uni
        We were very optimistic about the Common Market as it was called back in 1975 but now several name changes later we have seen the results and we would probably vote differently as many polls have shown.

  7. Cheshire girl
    April 19, 2013

    I don’t really feel qualified to comment on all that she did because I was living abroad when she became Prime Minister. However it irks me when politicians try to make us believe they are like her. In my opinion. No one has ever measured up to her in terms of her courage. So many of them Are looking behind them to see how it will play in terms of votes lost or gained.
    As far as I’m concerned Margaret Thatcher set the gold standard. Would that we were all Thatcherites now!

    1. Hope
      April 19, 2013

      I note Howe is still trying to justify his personal failings in the papers by claiming she lost support of the cabinet by her misjudgements on Europe and the poll tax. No he is wrong, she was correct on Europe and nothing he says will ameliorate his disloyalty and all that it says about his character and poor judgement and those who were also disloyal to her and put the interests of Europe before their country and PM who gave them their position in office. Any misjudgements/failings highlighted by him can be found when he looks in the mirror.

    2. Bazman
      April 19, 2013

      No opinion as she lived abroad and did not have to live with her policies, but set the Gold standard. Gold standard for what begs the question. Presttbury or Manchester girl? Have a guess.

  8. Robert K
    April 19, 2013

    Perfectly put.
    I do not consider myself “Thatcherite” but that does not stop me applauding large swathes of her achievements. I also believe that without her 1979 election victory this country would have slid over some sort of abyss.
    The Thatcher government of 1979 faced down the unions at home and the Soviet Union abroad and explained the virtue of free market economics over mercantalism and state ownership. In 2010 we needed an equally radical leader who could explain how the disaster of Blair/Brown was down to a return to the big state and corporatism. Inevitably, the Tory message of “sharing the proceeds of growth” and its urge to find a centre ground where they could garner the most votes failed to gain traction with the electorate. The results in government were predictable and depressing.
    Discussing what Margaret Thatcher would do now is pointless. More relevant is how to promote a radical agenda focused on liberty, justice and humanity in which the state’s role can progressively be diminished.

    1. uanime5
      April 20, 2013

      The Thatcher government of 1979 faced down the unions at home and the Soviet Union abroad and explained the virtue of free market economics over mercantalism and state ownership.

      Firstly despite all the bluster the Soviet Union was never much threat to the UK, so it didn’t need to be “faced down”.

      Secondly mercantilism stop being used in the 18th century. I suspect you keep using this term because you don’t know what it means.

      Thirdly the state ownership of Royal Mail, the NHS, and education shows that state ownership has its own virtues.

      In 2010 we needed an equally radical leader who could explain how the disaster of Blair/Brown was down to a return to the big state and corporatism.

      So the UK needed someone who would lie about the causes of the financial crisis? Remember this crisis was caused by the banks’ reckless lending, not the Government or the unions.

      More relevant is how to promote a radical agenda focused on liberty, justice and humanity in which the state’s role can progressively be diminished.

      Personally I’d rather have the state ensure there’s liberty, justice, and humanity in the UK; rather than have to rely on the mercy of private enterprises for these things.

      1. Edward2
        April 20, 2013

        Uni
        The Soviets were never much threat…!
        Plainly you are much younger than me. I grew up under the permanent threat of Soviet agression with their stated policy of world domination, held back by ony NATO theUSA and our having nuclear weapons.

      2. Richard1
        April 20, 2013

        A few errors in here which need correcting:-
        1. The soviet union was a massive and continuous threat, why else would they have massed million-strong armies in Europe and maintained 10,000 nuclear weapons? Read Lenin or listen to ex-soviet insiders such as Oleg gordeovsky to understand the soviet threat. It was real at the time;
        2. State ownership of the royal mail, the NHS and education should be measured against those countries which have allowed private ownership in those sectors and show superior results as a consequence.
        3. The banks certainly deserve blame for the financial crisis,but absolving the government makes no sense. The government was responsible for over-spending, for regulation which ignored leverage in the banking sector, for subsidizing banks such that the effect of the leverage was not felt, and in collision with the bank of england for running too loose monetary policy (which found its way into bad loans in the banks)

  9. oldtimer
    April 19, 2013

    The notion that we are all Thatcherites now is surely not new. It is, I recall, an idea that has been expressed before in commentaries on the past twenty years of UK political development and history. In that sense it is a statement of an obvious and widely accepted sentiment.

    It seems to me that you will be able to describe what her destination would be, even if the direction of travel of the ship of state would, at time, reflect the need to tack or run before the wind, to avoid the known hazards of the political weather. It was ever thus I believe.

  10. frank salmon
    April 19, 2013

    Cameron is wrong. We are all corporatists now. Thatcher was the last of the libertarians. Blair, Brown and Cameron are all corporatists. That is why she deserved a state funeral and why they won’t get one. It was a pity the evening coverage on the BBC was so meager, and that on the same evening they broadcast a complimentary half hour program on her on BBC Parliament – channel 81 on my tv…

  11. Denis Cooper
    April 19, 2013

    The answer is: “No, we are not all Thatcherites now”.

    It must be, because here is one of us who is no more a Thatcherite than a Scargillite.

    But apart from many other things I do remember trying to carry out long analytical runs and each time hoping that the ruddy electricity wouldn’t go off before the important results had come out; we couldn’t have carried on like that, with trade union barons trying to control the government of the country, and she did put a stop to that.

    Next Wednesday the TUC General Council will discuss whether to call a general strike, but how would that be legal without each of the unions holding a ballot?

  12. Anthem
    April 19, 2013

    When someone has principles, it is far less difficult to have a decent guess as to how they will respond to certain issues.

    However, (and what I am about to say is going to appear totally contradictory) I don’t believe she would have wanted anyone to ask themselves “What would Maggie have done in this situation?” If people, especially politicians, still have to ask themselves this question then I feel sure that she would have felt that she had failed to get her message across adequately.

    Unfortunately, if David Cameron is the brightest young thing to have grown within the Conservative Party in the last forty-four years (i.e. through MT’s time in office and beyond) then it does indeed appear that she either failed to get her message across or it has been forgotten/deliberately abandoned somewhere down the line.

    When observing the likes of Cameron it is far easier to pinpoint things things MT wouldn’t have done.

  13. John Eustace
    April 19, 2013

    An excellent explanation of why we should always reason and find solutions for ourselves rather than blindly accepting or trying to predict the views of those no longer with us.
    It is the values and ethics that need to live on and be emulated, not the specific arguments or judgements that were made at a particular point in history.

  14. Glenn Vaughan
    April 19, 2013

    John

    There is no shortage of people who still ask what would Winston Churchill think/do about particular problems (especially concerning Europe) never mind what would Margaret Thatcher think/do about the same issues.

  15. Peter Davies
    April 19, 2013

    Her changing opinions were evidenced on her stance on the EEC then EU. In the mid 70s she was all for the common market (campaigned with Heath) but this changed when it morphed into the politicized single market.

    This surprises me given given the extremely high calibre person she was. I would have expected her to know the stated intentions of the EEC in the small print was to eventually turn several countries into one. I have no doubt on reflection she would have regretted the European project and done her part to take/keep us out on hindsight.

    The other part that surprises me is how such a strong character allowed herself to be put in the situation of signing up to the SEA thanks in no doubt of certain EU wets in her cabinet at the time.

    Plus theres the ERM, though I thought that was Major.

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 19, 2013

      Well, apart from her chemistry degree she later qualified as a barrister, so she should have been used to studying fine print.

      I suspect there were many supposedly “pragmatic” Tories who preferred to believe that the treaty didn’t really mean what it said, and the ECJ didn’t really mean what it said, and somehow we could have the perceived practical advantages of being in the EEC without the constitutional issues ever really mattering.

      And I suppose that might possibly have worked, if we had kept the national veto for all EU laws; then it would have been for Parliament to keep ministers under control and ensure that they always used the veto when necessary, rather than the present situation of Parliament itself being put under control through majority votes in a system of transnational institutions.

    2. Chris
      April 19, 2013

      Excellent articles on her turn round on the EU (and global warming) by Richard North:
      http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83806
      http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83817

      1. sjb
        April 20, 2013

        According to Hansard, her last recorded contribution was in July 1999 about General Pinochet.[1] If she had changed her mind about climate change then it seems rather odd not to have said so in the House of Lords.

        Carol Thatcher suggests her mother’s (illness-ed) may have started in 1998.[2] Statecraft was published in 2002.

        [1] http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/people/mrs-margaret-thatcher/
        [2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/2614020/Margaret-Thatchers-mental-decline-revealed-by-her-daughter.html

        Reply She did change her mind on climate change, as her book made clear as did conversations with her at the time.

        1. sjb
          April 21, 2013

          She suffered from cognitive impairment because of the nature of her illness. (quibbles with moderation removed -ed)
          Statecraft appears to have been assembled by others. Many of the references are to right-wing think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation.[1]

          Don’t you find it odd that her online archive has no record of her supposed u-turn on climate change?[2]

          [1] http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Heritage_Foundation
          [2] Google search terms: “climate change” site:www.margaretthatcher.org
          (This brought up links to her speeches in 1989-90 about the threat posed by climate change but no recantation)

          Reply: I can assure you that the book she published had her full authority behind it.

          1. sjb
            April 21, 2013

            But when did she authorise the final proofs of Statecraft and was this after the date her lasting power of attorney was registered?

            Reply She was quite capable of signing off the book prior to publication in 2002.

  16. Gary
    April 19, 2013

    Thatcher made a fatal mistake. She was guided by the economics of Hayek and he was a so-called Austrian School economist, who in fact was not.

    Hayek stood for free markets in every respect except in the most important, the central control of central banks and hence banking. That allowed monetarism to run amok, allowing those who printed the money unlimited funds to effectively buy up all the state privatisation, either up front, or eventually , indirectly. A leveraged buyout of the entire country, transferring the equity to the financiers and leaving us with a debtberg. The housing pyramid was the crucial means of the transfer.

    All subsequent govts have essentially followed this line. And now we sit with a catastrophic debt crisis that may eventually put us back to 1976. Structurally, monetarism has hollowed out this country and left us worse off than we were in the 70’s. At least then we had industries, albeit hobbled and politicized, now they are completely gone.

    Some victory. We should have sorted out the unions but recapitalized and kept the industries. History, after the misty eyes have cleared, will record this as a disaster.

  17. Demetrius
    April 19, 2013

    Since 1990 not only have I changed my mind about a few things, some of the assumptions and ideas from then and before have had radical reappraisal in many areas with many forms of change, chaotic situations and the results of more extensive research and discovery. Any “ism” or such from before then is as of dust in the wind in many areas of the economy or finance.

  18. Pleb
    April 19, 2013

    She destroyed council housing. It has never recovered.

    1. Bazman
      April 19, 2013

      That was the idea. Tories in council houses. Wot a laugh. I probably would not have such a good house for the money though thanks the Thatchers policies. The councils did a good job around here in Cambridgeshire it seems.

    2. APL
      April 19, 2013

      pleb: “She destroyed council housing”

      If that were correct, then good. Since it isn’t … blah!

  19. Mike Wilson
    April 19, 2013

    I think your comments on Labour continuing to lower tax are completely wrong.

    For a number of years after Brown entered office, the personal tax allowance was either frozen or moved up well below inflation. Likewise the threshold at which you pay higher rate tax.

    National Insurance rates – for both employer and employee were regularly hiked up.

    Fuel duties rose remorselessly.

    Council tax doubled.

    A whole raft of stealth taxes were introduced – everything from local authority car park charges, the charge for a passport, airport taxes, cost of a driving licence, taxes on insurance policies – virtually anything the state did for you – the prices were hiked massively under Gordon Brown.

    And, of course, the BBC’s annual legalised theft was massively increased.

    By 2007 I was paying, proportionately, a lot more to the state.

  20. forthurst
    April 19, 2013

    “The Prime Minister’s claim on radio recently that we are all Thatcherites now”

    A vacuous soundbite from a vacuous man. Were it remotely true, there would have been no political space for UKIP. No, the poisonous enemies of Thatcherism have entirely engulfed the Tory party and are driving Margaret Thatcher’s party and her country to destruction.

    “Margaret Thatcher’s thought and actions changed substantially in many important areas over time.”

    Obviuosly she lacked the Cultural Marxist cookbook to enable her to ensure that all her actions weakened us. Conversely, a schooling in the scientific method ensures that beliefs are tempered by increased comprehension.

  21. margaret brandreth-j
    April 19, 2013

    We are certainly not all Thatcherite’s , however I understand the argument for living in a too competitive performance related environment without the State decency and civility.
    We have losses of jobs and ‘dirty’ fighting everywhere, our economic woes are tirelessly grating and ruining our social cohesion and much more which it hurts bitterly to elucidate.
    I always thought that MT was just a figurehead and spokeswomen for those who ‘dared not’ around her. We still hear the echoes ” don’t laugh” as women try to be true to their ideals, the cascading ridicule from the money makers plays again and again year after year. We still are frustrated by the one way conversations which takes no heed of the reply in defence of or reasoned by and the 3- ad infinitum whips ready to enforce their rhetoric, the other side not being heard or falsely argued on the other end of a telephone .By this I mean that there is an idea or argument which is spoken by one with others witnessing was is spoken by that one in the same room , but the other side of the call is to one who is alone and without witnesses. The one with witnesses puts forward comments which appear to be arguing a point , but really are totally opposite or out of context to what the unwitnessed person is saying , giving the appearance that the few are hearing the correct answer, but the argument is fabricated as it only comes from the one side which is witnessed.
    All darn con artists.

  22. Mark B
    April 19, 2013

    Mr. redwood MP wrote:

    ” Putting words into the mouth of someone who could often not correct a false interpretation or answer back was I thought a most uncharitable thing to do.”

    Indeed.

    I do not know who you may have has in mind, but I thought this was in very bad taste even before your post.

    Under the headline: Ex-Tory ministers: Maggie would have wanted carbon market reform.

    http://www.euractiv.com/uk-europe/ex-tory-ministers-maggie-wanted-news-519122

    Perhaps they should have read Lady Thatcher’s book ‘Statecraft’. I am reliably informed by a blogger of note, Dr. R.E. North (EUReferendum), that she recanted any notion of Global Warming.

    But perhaps they had other, more pressing concerns on their minds, which may have been of a more personal interest.

    Who knows ?

    1. margaret brandreth-j
      April 19, 2013

      Visually analogising this could be called out of synch lip synching. Believe me this is the most hurtful type of lie around, especially when they steal your words for their advantage and your downfall.

  23. Christopher Ekstrom
    April 19, 2013

    The current PM, when asked the rather simple question of his Governments involvement in Lady Thatchers funeral, his stumbling answer was a virtual disavowal & helpfully pointed out “she was the first female PM”. THAT’S the Cast Iron davey boy main-chancer we all know! Thatchers Nemesis in his Trojan Horse operation & destroy from the inside tactics.

  24. uanime5
    April 19, 2013

    lower Income Tax rates

    They also accepted the Thatcherite idea of more indirect taxation.

    Indeed, the last government lived off the achievement of the Conservative years in curbing debts and deficits, and getting inflation down.

    The Labour Government also reduced the national debt as a percentage of GDP from 42% to about 35%. Though the current coalition is increasing the debt.

    1. Edward2
      April 20, 2013

      Do you just make up your statistics Uni?
      I read you assertion that “the Labour Government reduced the national debt as a percentage of GDP from 42% to about 35% with initial suspicion because it just seemed wrong.
      Ive looked at a number of economic and Government websites and all of them say you are wrong
      May 1997 Blair became PM 48.2% to end of Brown’s Labour administration in May 2010 whenn the figure was 67.8%

      1. Richard1
        April 21, 2013

        Well exposed.

    2. Bazman
      April 22, 2013

      Indirect taxation hitting the lowest earners of course, but that is what the end game is. To force the ones using the services to pay.

  25. alan jutson
    April 19, 2013

    A big mistake for a person to put labels on people.

    A big mistake to try and make yourself popular by trying to tie/link yourself to anothers policies.

    A big mistake to not be honest, and up front with people at the outset.

    A big mistake to not understand how human nature works.

    A big mistake to try and be popular above all else, when in a position of power.

    Todays leaders, and some politicians, still have much to learn.

  26. Robert Taggart
    April 19, 2013

    If we are not all Thatcherites now – we should be – says this scrounger !

  27. Max Dunbar
    April 19, 2013

    “Are we all Thatcherites now?”
    Not in Scotland where we are told what to think about Thatcher it would appear.
    She was and still is admired by many Scots but these tend to be older people who have not been brainwashed by the Labour Hate Machine for the past 20 years and who saw the need for a leader of her calibre at the time. Support for Thatcher here is guarded, and the climate of leftist opprobrium is oppressive and all pervasive.
    The Tory Party in Scotland has been bullied and jeered to the sidelines unfortunately.

    1. uanime5
      April 20, 2013

      The Conservatives are unpopular in Scotland because their policies now offer little benefit for those in Scotland. This is the failing of the Conservatives; not the fault of Labour, the Lib Dems, or the SNP.

      1. Edward2
        April 20, 2013

        The SNP and Labour will remain popular in Scotland until the OPM runs out

        (OPM=other peoples money)

    2. Bazman
      April 22, 2013

      Unfortunate for the Tories and their supporters in Scotland The Scottish peole have a natural sense of social justice making the Sottish Tory a very rare bird.

  28. Paul
    April 20, 2013

    Of course we are not all Thatcherites now. As usual, our useless PM is wrong. The timing made this statement even worse. UKIP is the party of Thatcherites. As Nigel Farage said, if Thatcher had remained in power there would probably have been no need for UKIP, certainly not in 1993 anyway. Since Thatcher, the Conservatives have become a laughing stock. JR continues to put career before principles, repeating his outdated reasons for remaining loyal to the college kids who now run the show.

    Reply: I put being true to what I promised my electors before foolish gestures which wouod mean even less Eurosceptic representation in the Commons. UKIP lost the last election in Wokingham heavily.

    1. Old seen it all man
      April 20, 2013

      Beware JR – Wokingham is a very safe Conservative seat, lots of your peers would love your place here, lots of big houses and money, but
      UKIP support in Wokingham is growing.

  29. Willy Wombat
    April 20, 2013

    One of the functions of the Tory party is to plan the future of the country and basically keep the show on the road. Sometimes this requires a huge effort of will. The Labour party has other priorities, such as maximising its vote. It’s difficult for the Tory party clearly to explain its reasoning since its leftwing detractors will always seek to characterise it as promoting the interests of the privileged few. Lady Thatcher had both the necessary willpower and the ability to communicate purpose without appearing to defend privilege. She managed to connect the national project to the psychology of the ordinary person. In this sense she will always be a lodestar to politicians.

    It’s also clear that either a politician has got her gift or he/she hasn’t: they can’t acquire it, especially by listening to focus groups – the utter antithesis of her approach.

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