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The conservative case against Thatcher


The late Margaret Thatcher is often held up as a conservative icon. This applies to conservatives across the world and not just in her native United Kingdom.

Thatcher was not very conservative with a small ‘c’ even though she led the capital ‘c’ Conservative Party. What do conservatives the world over cherish? The care deeply about continuity. They are circumspect. As Lord Falkland’s dictum runs: that which it is not necessary to change; it necessary not to change. Conservatives hold family values dear. They tend to be religious. They are patriotic and they believe in capitalism. Margaret Thatcher shared only some of these beliefs.

For a British conservative, Thatcher runs Churchill a close second in terms of adulation. But in recent years Boris Johnson has been canny enough not to invoke her memory. Like Churchill, she is a deeply flawed and problematic figure. A proper conservative will have decided mixed feelings about both.

Conservatives are not reactionaries. They do not set their face like flint against modernisation. However, the conservative prejudice is against change. A conservative will agree to slow and small changes. He likes evolution but not revolution. A conservative will be the guardian of valuable institutions. He favours conventionality and orthodoxy whilst not being intolerant of dissent and those who pursue an alternative lifestyle.

Oakeshott is perhaps the foremost philosopher of British conservatism. Even then he was fairly critical of the Tory Party. Lord Hailsham of Marylebone penned an acclaimed tome on conservatism in the 1950s. He observed, ‘for Conservatives, politics is not the most important thing. The simplest among them prefer foxhunting and the wisest prefer religion.’

The Conservative and Unionist Party was protean. It was this adaptability which kept it supple and able to win and hold office so much. The party was non-ideological and it was not conceited. It was willing to learn from its foes. Tories took to their hearts the dictum of Edward Burke who was never a conservative: a society incapable of reforming itself is incapable of preserving itself. This maxim was expressed more pithily a generation later by the Whig historian Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay: ‘’reform that you may preserve.’’

As we shall see the forces that M Thatcher unleashed were forces of rapid and far-reaching change. She broke continuities and caused disharmonious relations. This is not to say that her record is all bad. But a bad side there certainly is.

Mass unemployment, a threefold increase in crime, an exponential growth in hard drug addiction, cuts to the armed forces, public services close to breaking point and a more polarised society than ever: no one can be proud of such a record. Yet this is what Thatcher wrought during her time as First Lord of the Treasury. As Disraeli wrote, ‘’the castle is unsafe if the cottage is unhappy.’’ Thatcher rejected Tory paternalism. Her creed was freedom of contract theory. It was unbridled capitalism.

Joblessness is a scourge. Think of all the wasted potential. Millions of people were doing nothing and achieving nothing. The devil makes work for idle hands. The jobless millions were tempted by crime out of sheer tedium but also for filthy lucre. They lost their self-belief and some turned to illegal drugs. Far left groups recruited from these disenchanted and frustrated people.

Margaret Hilda Roberts (as she was born) grew up in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The only other famous person to hail from that town was Sir Isaac Newton. Her father was a textbook example of Victorian self-improvement. He left school aged 12 for financial reasons. That was typical at the time. He became a shop assistant. By saving his pennies he managed to open his own corner shop. In the end he owned three such shops. Extreme parsimony was his watchword. In fact, he was miserly: he would not allow his wife and daughters wash in warm water even when he was well off as this would be an outrageous act of self-indulgence. Fiscal prudence not something that his daughter always followed.

Alfred Roberts had been a Liberal. He then stood for the local council as an independent. He became Mayor of Grantham. He associated himself with the Tories though he never joined the party.

The compliment was later returned by the Liberals. In the 1980s the Liberal leader, David Steel, went out of his way to adulate Mrs Thatcher. He said she had accomplished many of the things that Liberals aspired to do. Even in her final debate as Prime Minister a Liberal MP Simon Hughes lauded her heavily.

Like her father, Margaret’s sympathies were first with the Liberal Party. She was a votary of Gladstone. However, either through opportunism or through maturation she came to identify with the Tories.

Margaret notoriously failed to mention her mother, Beatrice, for such was her name, in Who’s Who. Leo Abse later wrote a psychological study of her entitled Margaret daughter of Beatrice. It is odd for someone who espoused family values so stridently to be so contumelious of her mother. Margaret said her mother was ‘rather a Martha’. She also ignored her sister who was bland and monosyllabic.

The Roberts family hosted a Jewish refugee just before the war. This was partly why Margaret was fervently philosemitic the rest of her days.

The grocer’s daughter was blessed with an ability to thrive on but four hours sleep. It was a remarkable advantage that she shared with Napoleon. An additional four hours a night to devote to her studies had a transformative effect. From a Grantham grammar school, she won a place at Oxford University to read chemistry.

The Oxford Union Society – the debating club – was closed to females at the time. That was the main forum for political discussion. However, the Conservative Association was open to female undergraduates. Margaret threw herself into it with her trademark zeal and thoroughness. There being fewer male undergraduates around than usual due to the war she was able to rise higher than she otherwise would have done.

At Oxford she dropped her East Midlands accent. She affected a pukka accent. This contrivance never slipped.

Margaret graduated. She applied for various jobs. At one interview she was rejected. The after-interview report on her was perspicacious: the woman is self-opinionated dangerously headstrong.

Later Margaret secured gainful employment doing the chemistry side of Mr Whippy ice cream. Then she decided to read for the bar. Despite not being a humanities type, she sailed through her exams.

In 1950 Margaret stood for Parliament. She campaigned sedulously but lost in a safe Labour constituency.

Dennis Thatcher had divorced during the war when he discovered his wife had been committing adultery. The oil executive was 10 years older than Margaret. As a divorced man he could not marry in the Church of England. Dennis and Miss Roberts married at Methodist Central Hall, London. This was a time when divorced was frowned upon. But times were changing. It was surprising that Sir Anthony Eden, who divorced, was able to marry Clarissa Churchill (Winston’s niece) without incurring the wrath of the Tory Party at this time.

The Thatchers were blessed with twins: Carol and Mark. Soon she was a working mother. This was disapproved of by many.

In 1959 Mrs Thatcher was selected for the Conservative held constituency of Finchley. It had a significant Jewish minority. Thatcher was always attentive to their concerns.

Through the 1960s Thatcher was a fairly conventional Tory MP. She stuck her neck out a little on opposing the death penalty. She voted to legalise homosexual acts and to permit abortion.

In 1970 she was appointed to the cabinet by Edward Heath. He made her Education Secretary. Very few women had served in the cabinet before. Schooling was thought to be a feminine thing. Therefore, it stood to reason that a woman be put in charge.

In the Edwardian era the government decreed that milk be served every day for free to all children in primary school. By the 1970s this was held to be needless as every family could afford milk. There were also budgetary constraints. Thatcher abolished free school milk.

Some derided her as Maggie Thatcher milk snatcher. It was an act of penny pinching that her father would have heartily approved of. But as Gladstone said one must care for candle ends and cheese pairings.

Thatcher was an ordinary cabinet minister under Heath. She never spoke out about the policies that she subsequently abhorred. Heath caved into a miners’ strike. He had price controls. Heath negotiated with the IRA.

In January 1975 Grocer Heath submitted himself to a leadership contest. He had been at the helm for 10 years. He had led the party to defeat 3 times out of 4. Heath wanted to still the carping in the party. It was back me or sack me. Edward Heath was confident that he would win. That would put paid to the muttering in the ranks.

The standard bearer for the Tory right was Sir Keith Joseph. Thatcher was a huge admirer of his. However, Joseph had got himself into hot water the year before my unguarded remarks about single mothers. Some of his oration has skirted eugenics. He was therefore seen as unsuitable for the post of top Tory. Like so many of the formative influences on Thatcher, Sir Keith was Jewish. Perhaps a little anti-Semitism in the party also counted against him. Thatcher was so enamoured of him that she went so far as to accord him the unbelievable accolade of being ‘the greatest man in England’!

Sir Keith was also unsuitable as a leader because of his diffidence. It seems strange for a politician; but he did not like the limelight. He managed to be eccentric and banal at the same time. He had no emotional intelligence.

Like Sir Keith, Thatcher, was increasingly under the spell of Milton Friedman. Britain’s economic growth was among the most sluggish in Western Europe.

Perhaps it was because Sir Keith was an Old Harrovian, that Thatcher chose to send her only son to Harrow School. Mark Thatcher there acquired the unflattering soubriquet of Thicko Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher emerged as a stalking horse. She was not taken terribly seriously. Some anti-Heathites thought that she might take Heath down in the first ballot thereby allowing heavyweights to contest the second ballot.

Alan Clark remarked how some Conservative MPs voted for Thatcher simply because they did not want her to lose too badly. If she took a drubbing it would seem sexist and look bad for the party. This effort to spare her blushes was overly successful. She thrashed Heath out of sight.

Heath was defenestrated as Conservative leader. Thatcher was the new leader of the Conservative Party and therefore of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition.

One of the other Tory MPs who had won Thatcher over was Enoch Powell. She did not agree with his racial screeds. However, she was impressed by his clarity of vision on the free market. He was advocating and end to nationalised industries long before this was fashionable.

Thatcher faced formidable Labour opponents. Harold Wilson struggled on with a wafer this majority. Despite the poor parliamentary arithmetic, he had many strengths. Wily, understated, unflappable and personable: he came across as a man of the people. Thatcher by contrast was a type A personality. She was a driven woman and seemed to be hectoring.

Wilson was always more popular with the public than Thatcher was despite his government’s fairly bad record. In March 1976 Wilson stunned everyone by retiring at 60. James Callaghan was then elected Labour leader and therefore PM. Sunny Jim, as he was known, had a very sunny personality. He was humble, affable and an effective communicator. He seemed like an ordinary person. He too had consistently higher poll ratings than Thatcher notwithstanding his poor stewardship of the country.

Mrs Thatcher also had to change her voice. It was too high pitched and shrill.

A Soviet military magazine sarcastically dubbed her the iron lady. She then addressed a Tory gala dinner and turned this epithet to her advantage. She contrasted her elegant and feminine coiffeur and couture with the label that Soviets had given her. Her drollery drew ample laughter from the Tory faithful. The soubriquet ‘’the Iron Lady’’ was one that she took to heart.

In the late 1970s there was rising inflation and unemployment. Stagflation hurt much of the Western world.

The Winter of Discontent did for Callaghan’s Labour administration. His personal popularity remained higher than Thatcher’s. Nevertheless, the Tories won a clear victory in May 1979.

When Thatcher first stood on the steps of 10 Downing Street, she quoted St Francis of Assisi: where there is discord may we bring harmony. That is the polar opposite of what she did. You might think that she was marvellous leader but she was certainly a divider and not a uniter.

Thatcher was at first an ordinary Tory PM. She was cautious. However, financial constraints led to defence spending cutbacks. Unemployment continued to rise.

One of the laudable things that Thatcher did was to end exchange controls. Until 1979 wartime legislation remained in place. One could only take a limited amount of money out of the country.

Thatcher rejected Keynesianism. It was also the end of Butskellism. Her outlook was Monetarism. She said that reducing inflation mattered more than reducing unemployment. I have never studied economics. Perhaps she is right. But allowing unemployment to rise wrought grave social harm.

The poster that got Thatcher to 10 Downing Street was a Saatchi and Saatchi one. The slogan was ‘Labour just isn’t working’ with a dole queue snaking out of sight. It was bitterly ironic that joblessness rose even more under Thatcher.

As joblessness rose so did unemployment. It stands to reason. The devil makes work for idle hands. A true conservative would have understood this. She spurned one nation conservatism. Disraeli was the guru of Tory paternalists. His maxim was: the castle is unsafe if the cottage is unhappy. Thatcher felt no sense of noblesse oblige.

The spike in crime was partly due to drug abuse or more accurately the criminalisation of drug abuse. Thatcher herself said: you can’t buck the market. She told her conference they believed in liberty – not licence. A real conservative would have realised that the war on drugs was unnecessary and unwinnable. It was an idealistic, moralistic and wrongheaded piece of social engineering.

Thatcher had bluechips in her cabinet at first. She had to appoint Heathite wets as her grip over the party was not yet firm.

A few years into her premiership hundreds of economists published a letter in the Times saying that Thatcher’s economic policies were harmful. Thatcher ignored the expert advice and carried on. This is ironic as she was a person who lamented that so few politicians had science degrees. Why not go by what those who are in the know tell you to do? She disregarded data when it was ideologically unpalatable.

Thatcher was unsure of herself at first. She was a new PM and inexperienced. The grandees in the party did not accord her much respect. As she wrote there was ‘an ugly streak of contempt’ for her among the patricians. A shopkeeper’s daughter was not going to lord it over a belted earl. As a woman she was not taken seriously by some of her parliamentary colleagues. 95% of Tory MPs were male.

Feminists had high hopes for Maggie. There were 25 cabinet ministers. In her 11 and a half years as PM over 100 people passed through the cabinet. How many women did she appoint? One. Baroness Young.

Because of her insecure position, Thatcher was obliged to appoint Heathite wets to the cabinet. Only half the cabinet were of a mind with her. Even then she did not dare openly express her views in the first term.

There was a miner’s strike in her first term. Thatcher gave in very quickly.

When IRA terrorists decided to commit suicide by starvation in prison, Thatcher would not concede their demands. Why did she owe favours to her deadly enemies? Thatcher demonstrated moral and physical courage. She would not be blackmailed. The IRA and INLA tried hard to murder her. She produced paeans to the glorious security forces.

Morally right though her stand against the hunger strikers was this created presentational difficulties. It was bad for public relations abroad. It also strained relations with the Republic of Ireland. It squeezed constitutional nationalists in Northern Ireland. The IRA wanted all this.

Thatcher never blinked. The IRA prisoners killed themselves through not eating. Having won game, set and match: Thatcher then conceded the demands. It was imbecilic.

The Tories were behind in the polls in 1982. This took quite some doing considered the bloody anarchy that reigned in Labour. Labour was also led by a scruffy far left loon.

A tenth of Labour MPs had decamped in 1981 to form the Social Democratic Party. The Conservatives could well have lost the next election.

Then the Argentines invaded the Falklands. This transformed Thatcher’s fortunes. The successful military campaign made her far more popular.

Despite her firm leadership over the Falklands, Thatcher had been negotiating to hand the islands over to Argentina before 1982. If the Argies had not been so imbecilic as to invade, they might have got the islands anyway without spilling a drop of blood. But as hundreds of Britons had died defending the archipelago, then the UK could not very well give the islands to Argentina. That would mean all these teenage soldiers died for nought.

In May 1983 – with Labour in disarray – Thatcher held an election. She romped home to the second largest Tory victory of the 20th century.

Thatcher after 1983 was a different woman. She was imbued with a stunning level of confidence. She purged the cabinet of superannuated wets. Increasingly she asked if Tory MPs were ‘one of us’ i.e. a dry. The terms Thatcherite and Thatcherism entered common parlance.

Maggie Thatcher was something unconservative: an ideologue. She was actuated by zeal. The woman was possessed of a frightening level of conviction in her own rectitude. She became too narrow-minded.

In the early 1980s Thatcher agreed to hand Hong Kong over to the People’s Republic of China. The New Territories were due to return in 1997. The retrocession of this land was apt. However, Hong Kong Island had been acquired by the United Kingdom in 1839 in perpetuity. The UK was no obliged to return it. Would a real conservative not have insisted on retaining the island and preserving the freedom of the Hong Kongers? She was going to hand over these people to a viciously cruel communist regime.

Thatcher’s kowtowing to Ronald Reagan was infra dig. She did this even after his illegal invasion of Grenada. Elizabeth II was Queen of Grenada. So much for the special relationship really being special! It was special to Britain. Britain was America’s battered wife. The British are stuck in Stockholm syndrome in relation to Washington DC.

The reason that Margaret Thatcher was so enamoured of the USA was because of her perfervid anti-communism. This Cold Warrior kept defence spending high. That was one of the few conservative things she ever did.

As Maggie was a passionate anti-communist that her policy in Cambodia was to back the Khmer Rouge. This deranged agrarian genocidal tyranny was one of the world’s bloodiest regimes. Is that why the sherry sipping spinsters of Buckinghamshire voted Tory? Methinks it is not.

Thatcher endorsed the mujahideen as freedom fighters in Afghanistan. This was extraordinary from an educated woman. These were the most anti-feminist people on earth. Calling them freedom fighters was only possible because they were not wielding a scalpel over her clitoris.

By the mid 1980s Thatcher boasted of an economic boom. This was a half truth at best. The economy was growing nicely in southern England. But for the rest of the United Kingdom the situation was dire. Mrs T did not care on jot or tittle about the economically depressed regions of the realm.

In 1984 the miners’ struck anew. Thatcher played a blinder. She had prepared for this. The government faced down the threat posed by violent anti-democrats. After a year, the strike ended.

In order to win the miners’ strike civil rights were abridge. The police arrested people on suspicion that they might try to obstruct others from going to work. The police did not have reason to believe that someone was actually obstructing another going to work at the time.

In some ways Thatcher was right. Coal mines should not be kept open when they were unprofitable. But she had not provided alternative employment for miners. When a colliery closed then the pit community collapsed. Drugs and crime filled the void. Family breakdown followed. No conservative would want this.

The big bang in the City of London was another Thatcher initiative. In many ways this was good for the economy. It also lead to a saturnalia of avarice and excess.

Thatcher upheld the freedom of the people of Northern Ireland. She defended their right to remain in the United Kingdom. Her valour on this issue is to be applauded. The IRA made strenuous efforts to slay her. She also strove to improve ties with the Republic of Ireland.

In 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down. Thatcher and the Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, tried to improve security cooperation. Moreover, it gave the Irish Government an official role as advocate for the nationalist minority in the North. Much of this was laudable. However, a true conservative would not have signed this. She was giving the Irish Republic some say over a portion of the United Kingdom. She incensed the unionist minority. The people of Northern Ireland were kept in the dark. Unionist politicians were not informed. The SDLP was kept fully brief by Dublin.

Security agreement from the Republic of Ireland never materialised. As Norman Tebbit said, they welshed on that from the beginning. He rued what he had done.

About 10% of Tory MPs voted against the Anglo-Irish Agreement. One of these was a dear friend of hers: Ian Gow. He later laid down his life for his beliefs.

A true conservative would not have enfeebled the United Kingdom. She had let down unionists who supported her so ardently. The UK got nothing in return.

Despite her minarchist rhetoric, Thatcher increased the size of the state. More people were on benefits under her. Despite a promise to roll back the frontiers of the state in some ways regulation increased.

Taxation went up in the mid-1980s. That was a far cry from her vow to slash taxes.

Thatcher increased the % of people who went to university from 10% to 25%. This was hugely wasteful. We are living with the legacy of this overexpansion today. Education has been hugely devalued.

Despite supposedly wanting to get the government off the backs of the people, Thatcher did the opposite. She introduced the national curriculum. Teaching has become ever more regulated. Her Education Secretary was Kenneth Baker. Baker brought in INSEDs for teachers.

Special Advisers (Spads) were created under Thatcher. These political appointees were paid by the taxpayer and their role was aggressively partisan. It all led to the politicisation of a once proudly disinterested institution.

Many of these trends aggravated under Labour. But it must not be forgotten that Thatcher started it all.

Even though public spending increased under Thatcher, essential public services suffered. The NHS was close to breaking point under her.

Thatcher allowed council tenants the right to buy. This was very popular. However, soon there was very little social housing stock. It also led to an upward spiral in house prices. It was very short-sighted and caused social problems to aggravate.

Margaret Thatcher has a reputation as a Eurosceptic. It should not be overlooked that she was an ardent Europhile for decades. She voted for the United Kingdom to join the EEC in 1972 when the decision was made. In the 1975 referendum she famously wore the jumper with the flags of the 12 member states and the slogan: support your local continent. She signed the Single European Act in 1985.

Europhilia was more of a liberal cause than a conservative one. The Liberal Party in the UK had been the first Europhiles. The more liberal Tories were always more Europhile. Perhaps in becoming Eurosceptic, Thatcher was finally being a bit of a traditional Tory.

By the late 1980s Thatcher was beginning to have second thoughts about the European Project. She had approved of integration up to a point. However, it was reaching a stage where integration was going too far. There was talk of European Monetary Union (EMU).

People said the new currency would be called the ECU (European Currency Unit). Thatcher was dead against this.

Despite Thatcher’s opposition to the EMU her Chancellors of the Exchequer had shadowed the Deutschmark (DM). The DM was the most important currency in Europe. The Exchange Rate Mechanism was adhered to. This was preparatory to EMU.

In Parliament Thatcher denounced the extremist Europhile vision: that the European Parliament be the legislature, the European Court of Justice be the judiciary and the European Commission be the executive. She notably thundered, ‘’No, No, No!’’

As Thatcher had grown more Eurosceptic so Labour had become Europhile. As Labour lost parliamentary elections in the UK it perceived it could have socialism introduced via Brussels. Moreover, it won the 1989 European Elections in the UK. The two parties had crossed over. Euroscepticism was to become and increasingly strong factor in Conservatism.

Thatcher delivered her famous address at Brouges, Belgium in 1990. She said ‘’we have not rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain only to see them reimposed at a European level.’’

In 1989 Thatcher brought in the Community Charge. This new tax on people was at a local council level. Students, the unemployed and those on very low wages were exempt. There were only two bands in this. Apart from that it was regressive.

The community charge was introduced in Scotland first. That was because North Britain had its rates up for review first. The community charge was labelled ‘the poll tax.’ The name stuck. It was broadly perceived as deeply inequitable. It taxed people not property. It became very difficult to collect. It often cost more to collect than it raised.

The poll tax became incredibly unpopular. Even dyed in the wool Tories were against. Some magistrates refused to send people to prison for not paying. These magistrates had to stand down. The police in Yorkshire said they did not have the manpower to arrest non-payers. The tax could easily be avoided by deregistering to vote.

There were huge scale protests against the community charge. A monster meeting at Kennington Common, London was held in March 1990. It was redolent of the Chartists. They marched to Trafalgar Square. A riot took place there.

The community charge was rapidly turning into a cataclysm. It was all Thatcher’s fault and all totally avoidable. It was because of her classical liberalism. She was against graduated taxation. The community charge was more of a flat tax.

By the end of her third term Thatcher had surrounded herself with good looking young smooth talkers. These were the sort of men who – had they been her generation – would have ignored her in her youth when she was a serious-minded blue stocking. These men reinforced her delusions. As the Tory whips say; no PM leaves Downing Street entirely sane.

The UK was also in another recession in the late 1980s. Couple with the poll tax with made the Tories slide down in popularity. Could Maggie change tack? By this time, the Iron Lady’s image makers had pitched her to the public as someone who was utterly unbending. A Tory ginger group dedicated to her was called the No Turning Back Group. She had famously told the party conference: you turn if you want to, the lady’s not for turning. She ruled out a volte-face. Therefore, performing an about-face on this issue was unthinkable. Had she done so it would have wrecked her reputation as being unwavering.

Labour pulled ahead in the polls: far ahead in the polls. It looked like the Tories would lose. Every party loses sometimes. But this did not look like it would be an ordinary defeat. Tories got the jitters. They spoke in apocalyptic terms about the upcoming election. The Tories would not be simply beaten but they would be absolutely thrashed.

That is why Sir Anthony Meyer stood against Thatcher for the Tory leadership. This little-known MP for a Welsh constituency acted as a stalking horse. He managed to force a proper leadership contest. Heseltine came in. A first ballot was held between him and Thatcher. Mrs T tried to show her insouciance. Her sang froid extended to her going ahead with a planned visit to Paris. Business as usual was her watchword.

Thatcher was away in Paris of all places when the news came in that she had not been able to rule out a second ballot. At the British Embassy she famously said, ‘’I fight on. I fight on to win.’’

In the second ballot Thatcher won 55% of the votes. She could have stayed on as PM. But she was holed below the waterline. Almost half her own parliamentary party had turned on her. Her position was untenable. Thatcher was convinced by her husband to fall on her sword. As she drove away from Downing Street she was seen crying for the first time in her political career.

One of Thatcher’s most notorious utterances was that ‘’there is no such thing as society.’’ She immediately qualified this statement. She said that there are families and towns. To her invoking society seemed like a way of trying to avoid personal responsibility and to foist one’s problems onto the state. She believed in a small state and a big citizen. The trouble was that in office she often did the opposite of what she preached.

Thatcher was the first UK Prime Minister to create and ism. Blair is the only other one. But were highly divisive and were driven by a sense of mission.

The name of Thatcher remains toxic across swathes of northern England, Scotland and Wales. She is not even liked by unionists in Northern Ireland.

In conclusion, Thatcher was in many respects not a conservative. In some respects she was a classical liberal. She did not preserve things. Upholding social order and cohesion were Hebrew to her. She was about change. Many of these were undesirable and destructive changes. She was fixated with economics. Yet she was not even particularly successful in the economic sphere. In some respects Thatcherism was a failure even in its own terms. A conservative holds other things dearer than money.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.


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