Tag Archives: Margaret Thatcher
August 16, 2014Posted by on
In A Tribute in Words and Pictures (a collection of reviews by those closely associated with Margaret Thatcher) its editor, Iain Dale, has included an amusing anecdote by John Whittingdale about Margaret Thatcher and Monty Python. As Whittingdale recounts, in 1990, the Conservative Party Conference speech was particularly important and the hardest part of the speech to write were the jokes, especially for someone who was not a natural joke teller. The people brought in to write this part of Margaret Thatcher’s speech frequently needed to persuade her that what they had written was funny. Read more of this post
July 18, 2014Posted by on
A NEW EXAMINATION OF MORALS AND THE LAW by T. E. Utley
Of all the ills that human hearts endure,
How small that part which laws may cause or cure.
Those lines, widely and falsely attributed to Samuel Johnson and in fact written by Oliver Goldsmith, used to represent one of the most important ingredients in Tory thinking. Today, most Tories would feel inclined to qualify them. Laws may be capable of doing little good, but we have learnt that they are powerful engines of evil, of consequences which their authors never intended or foresaw but which press hardly and deeply into the lives of ordinary people. Read more of this post
January 2, 2013Posted by on
‘I shall never cease to admire her courage and determination. – But at the end of it, she was a great and noble failure, who forgot or ignored half of what she really needed to do, and so lived to see almost all her successes negated. And until conservatives in Britain and America are ready to recognize that, they too will fail, over and over again’.
Abridged here from a commentary with the title Anatomy of Thatcherism that first appeared in 2009 at the Project Syndicate and written by Robert Skidelsky, he would seem to support Hitchens’ view of Margaret Thatcher. Clearly a Keynesian, Skidelsky sees Thatcherism as the outcome of Thatcher/Reagan economics.
‘The Thatcher revolution inspired policies to free markets from government interference. Many people attribute the global crisis to these very ideas, the Anglo-American model of capitalism is deemed to have failed. The following hindsights are judgement on which elements of the Thatcher revolution should be preserved, and which should be amended as a result of global economic downturn’. Read more of this post
December 12, 2012Posted by on
In the introduction to her autobiography The Downing Street Years – abridged here – Margaret Thatcher indicts Socialism for its failure to be efficacious. Writing that successive post war Labour Governments began a sustained attempt of a centralizing, managerial, bureaucratic, interventionist style of government. Read more of this post
July 14, 2012Posted by on
The history of Britain in the last thirty years, under both Conservative and Labour governments, has been dominated by one figure – Margaret Thatcher. Her election marked a decisive break with the past and her premiership transformed not just her country, but the nature of democratic leadership. When Thatcher came to power in 1979, she inherited the Britain of the three-day week, the Winter of Discontent, and the Sick Man of Europe. Read more of this post
July 7, 2012Posted by on
I would hesitate to describe myself as pragmatic during my time spent in the Civil Service. In its archaic use (pragmatic – active in an officious or meddlesome way) it fits too well with my perception of the Civil Service. I would often describe myself to my colleagues as a ‘Socialist Thatcherite’. My early childhood during WWII made me ‘a socialist sympathiser’ and in this I would admit to a philosophy of pragmatism. While ‘Socialist Thatcherite’ fits well into the category of an oxymoron, my colleagues, who for the most part were Tory supporters (in varying degrees) could well be described as ‘Thatcherite Socialists’. They were quite happy for the reforms advocated by Thatcher to be implemented elsewhere, but not in the Civil Service sector served by them. Public money was perceived as being a horn of plenty but they soon found out that Thatcher was no Abundantia. She in turn was to find out that the Civil Service was conservative only with a small ‘c’. Read more of this post