Margaret Thatcher in 1980 with a family who benefited from her policy of selling council homes to their tenants (PA Archive)

January 3, 2018   < 1

Yesterday we published the first of six clips from an interview UnHerd conducted with Charles Moore, The Daily Telegraph columnist and official biographer of Margaret Thatcher and Henry Olsen, Editor of our Flyover country theme and who, last year, published a new book on Reagan that attempted to argue that he was not the economic libertarian that some claim he was.

Today, the two biographers talk about how both reached out to poorer Britons and Americans. Thatcher won the support of fabled “Essex man” and there were “Reagan Democrats” in the USA. Every successful conservative leader of modern times has depended on such outreach for their majorities – John Howard had his “battlers” for example and Stephen Harper his “Tim Hortons voters”.

In remarks that are very relevant to today, Charles Moore explains that Mrs Thatcher was as interested in spreading ownership (and, therefore, wealth) as well as income. Sadly, because her government and subsequent governments did not build enough new houses the great rise in home ownership that she engineered with her flagship council homes policy has been completely reversed when measured as a percentage of the British population.

In the third clip of the interview, to be published tomorrow, the two authors will discuss how the modern day disciples of Thatcher and Reagan misremember their heroes.

Buy a copy of Charles Moore’s book(s) via this link and Henry’s “The Working Class Republican” via this one. Other booksellers are available!

Tim Montgomerie was most recently a columnist and comment editor for The Times of London. Before that journalistic turn he was steeped in centre right politics, founding the Conservative Christian Fellowship, then the Centre for Social Justice and, just over ten years ago,