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Quote of the Day

There is only one direction in which the Conservative Party can proceed if it is to find itself. It must stand for all the things for which Conservatism, in its best times, has stood — for the family and the individual; against the state and against bureaucracy; against monopolies and against cartels; for people and against collectives. It must resist the temptation to expect the state to behave as a nanny, and strive for recognition for citizens. All these things may, at this moment, seem difficult. But the party either espouses them or relapses into being a pale copy of the milder sections of the Labour Party.

Patrick Cosgrave, in The Spectator, January 1975.

It was true then, and it’s true now. Perhaps the saddest part of Lady Thatcher’s passing is wondering today whether her administration even happened.


  1. John Galt says:

    If we have any faith in the libertarian ideals we espouse, we know that the tides of politics ebb-and-flow, but the fundamental truths which worked for Wilkins Micawber are as true today as when Charles Dickins first wrote them back in 1850.

    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

    Lady Thatcher understood this, which is why she always railed against the eternal growth and demands of the state. She restored the national balance sheet and reminded us of the consequences of electing socialists.

    RIP Lady Thatcher, you’ve earned your rest.

  2. Mr Ed says:

    She lacked the Leninist urge to destroy her enemies, albeit by ‘destruction’ I refer, in her case, to declining to fund them. When Sky came, she could have removed the TV licence, she could have removed State funding for student unions. She started off with a huge tax hike, letting Geoffrey Howe raise VAT, she ended up admiring Gorbachev, not Yeltsin. She could have done more, easily, but a few moments comparing what she did with a thought experiment of Heath returning in 1979, perhaps then Foot in 1983, should show what difference she made. By 1983, the UK had started to become a civil society again, after the insanity of the 1970s.

    One can see a small sliver of the population celebrate her death, an inadvertant tribute from the death-cult that is socialism.

  3. Sam Duncan says:

    “One can see a small sliver of the population celebrate her death, an inadvertant tribute from the death-cult that is socialism.”

    Indeed, Mr Ed. 300 people in George Square, 0.5% of the city’s population (even less if you include its suburbs), most of whom look like they weren’t even alive when she was in power.

    But even among the decent, if backhanded, tributes from the Left – I’ve just watched Mandelson again puffing his pathetic protegé as her heir – let’s not forget it’s 23 years since she was deposed, and much of her legacy really does no longer exist. This trillion-pound national debt we’re saddled with simply wasn’t there in 1990. The government wasn’t gamely trying to “reduce the deficit” by fractions of a percentage point; it was running a surplus. The idea, repeated endlessly throughout the 1980s and ’90s, that all the NHS needed was more “investment“ has been comprehensively demolished by Brown’s splurge: spending has doubled in real terms, and it’s still as shite and crisis-ridden as ever. It’s simply ludicrous to blame her for the mess this country’s in after two decades of Blajeron fudge.

    So why are these morons celebrating? She hasn’t had any power since December 1990. They got their wish then. Nobody put the bunting out for Victory in 1967. By then, indeed, Britain was unrecognizable as the country which emerged, staggering, from war. Her government changed it utterly again, in half that time, from the creaking demoralized cripple it had become by 1979. And this Britain, today, is absolutely not the one of her making. As I say, it looks as if many of the idiots celebrating an old woman’s death never lived in that Britain at all. This is the Britain of “consensus”, communitarianism, the Third Way, welfarism, renationalization, too-big-to-fail, devolution, and a 48% tax burden. Thatcherism? Where?

  4. Lynne says:

    We had a brief respite under Maggie only to have the nation’s face thrust even deeper into the socialist shit out of malicious revenge. Let them dance their pathetic Wanker’s Waltz and Twat’s Tango because what goes around tends to come around eventually. This behaviour utterly reveals to anyyone with a common shred of decency what a degenerate and infantile bunch of bastards these Marxist cretins are. Do we really want such vile creatures pulling the decision making strings via control of Labour funding vested union interest should Milipede become PM?

    Unfortunately, the political jellyfish that is Cameron isn’t any kind of Conservative I recognise. Maggie got knifed in the back so that her enemies within could plant ink on the Maastricht Treaty with unhealthy haste and take a giant leap down the road to EU federalism. Cameron has done nothing, will do nothing, to reverse this treasonous act. All I’ve seen him do is embrace it and wibble on about “renegotiation” in the hope that there will be enough sheeple out there to believe three impossible things can be pulled out of his liar’s conjuror’s hat before the next GE breakfast.

  5. Hugo Tillinghast says:

    As Lynne implies, the Thatcher administration was a brief hiatus in the march towards a socialist Britain. Admittedly, her economic and financial policies were broadly successful and she managed to curb the excesses of union power. Moreover, she managed to arm-twist the EEC into a rebate (basically re-rebated by Blair) and she made Britain feel good about itself in global terms.

    However, even Thatcher couldn’t do everything and 20 years after her fall the ratchet to the left (which marked the post-war Conservative administrations until 1979) is securely back in place despite the efforts of Michael Gove and IDS. She hardly touched the scandal which is state education and left untouched the educational establishment. Indeed, she left the academic and civil service dross as a whole in situ. She was fooled (I think I’m correct there) into signing up to the Single European Act, a part of the ratchet dealing with matters European which the rebate didn’t reverse.

    Even so – as Mr Ed notes – you can see by those who have crawled out from under their stones to anathematise her (in the streets of Glasgow and Brixton and on the BBC) how serious an opponent she was to the biens pensants of all parties; particlularly her own.

  6. Paul Marks says:

    The post is good – as our the comments.

    I wish Mrs T. had not accepted the outgoing Labour government’s spending pledges (on government sector pay and so on) in 1979 – the lady was pushed to accept by the Cabinet wishe to avoid a return to the Winter of Discontent. But it made the recession worse than it needed to be (which Keynesians will not understand).

    The delay in removing some of the advantages the state had given unions (a delay that was due to James Prior) was fatal – it led to the doubleing of UNEMPLOYMENT. As the world slump was not matched by falling wages.

    However, from about 1983 things improved.

    A grip was gained on government spending so AS A PERCENTAGE OF THE ECONOMY it started to fall.

    And there was some limited (but real) labour market reform.

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