Great essay, but I disagreed with this bit:
Everything goes wrong, and everybody hates you.
I loved every minute of Thatcher’s rule, I felt safe and well-governed by a steely and principled leader intellectually equal to the challenges of the 1980s, I was heartbroken when she went and I have never had 10% as much confidence in any PM since.
I am, like you, an unreformed worshiper of Lady Thatcher*, primarily because she was an articulate, Oxford trained Chemist, and you can’t get any better than that.
However “what a complete shower”* many of her male colleagues were. Howe, Hesselshite, Major, Miguel Portillo, and even the verbose Alan Clark (who turns out to have been a Draft Dodger! ) to name but a few.
Fortunately I believe that Boris is venal enough to realise that if he is to win he has to become a Tory. First, deliver ‘smack in the mouth’* to Princess Nut Nut and remind of her place. Second, bin all this Green rubbish. We only produce a mere 0.8% of emissions so are irrelevant. Third, role back most, if not all of the ‘Blair’ Hate Crime legislation. Fourth, reintroduce the Navigation Acts, and close the Channel to unwanted immigrants, and finally get a haircut!
(* I always enjoy how those on the left cannot even speak her name and refer to her as “that woman”.)
(**Terry Thomas R.I.P.)
(*** Metaphorically speaking.)
Well, you can always fantasise….
In your (and my) dreams SL… unfortunately.
You are a true believer! Margaret Thatcher was h never popular in the country at large. Political, class snobbery and – yes – sexism all played their part in this. She was, however, rightly respected, which perhaps counts for a lot more.
Maybe the srticle should have said “eventually everything goes wrong and everybody hates you.” Even the most ardent Thatcher admirer must recognise that the poll tax was a disaster.
It was the best thing she did.
Safe and well governed? Ask those who worked in manufacturing and heavy industry. MT never really put alternatives in place to her dismantling of communities.
“So are there no lessons at all for Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss — or for Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt, Tom Tugendhat and the host of other putative dark horses?”
Liz Truss is well…ok, but lacks the will and intelligence of Margaret Thatcher. People forget how bright that particular industrial chemist was, how well she could explain Conservative philosophy. No one has done it as well since, unfortunately.
Jeremy Hunt is every smoothly arrogant middle manager. A fit David Brent in a better suit. No spine and no thank you.
Penny Mordaunt believes men in dresses are women. She’s no Conservative, despite the Hyacinth Bucket physique.
Tom Tugendhat was cruel to Roger Scruton along with Johnny Mercer. He’s a cancel culture merchant and no Conservative.
Rishi Sunak is a beaky, characterless nonentity.
Sajid Javid sold himself as an Atlas Shrugged sort of Conservative, but is a poor speaker. I don’t trust him.
Priti Patel has failed to control her department and failed on immigration. She seems utterly hopeless and not leadership material.
And of course Boris deserved to get in for Brexit, but since then is clearly a believer in a big state, high taxes, high immigration and is no Conservative. And of course, he raised up all the rest of the useless idiots.
When I think of MT or Tebbit or Keith Joseph or Powell or half a dozen others, I despair. The lack of quality in the current cabinet is just depressing. I wouldn’t mind them being so lightweight if they understood or cared about Conservativism.
Thatcher wasn’t conservative, as she didn’t conserve anything. She was a liberal through and through, which I mean in the classical sense of the word as opposed to those that call themselves liberals these days
She conserved the UK constitutional settlement, in sharp contrast to the ill thought out devolution measures introduced by the Blair government. She conserved the UK’s economic and diplomatic standing in the world, after their precipitous relative declines in the previous three decades. She conserved the UK’s independence within the European Community by securing the rebate without which membership might have become politically unsustainable a lot earlier. She conserved British democracy in the face of challenge from the IRA, and the hard left. She kept her party united and in power for two decades, saving the country from the disaster of a Foot – Benn government.
Oh how I miss the Bless-ed Margaret.
so Dan, who…
the only conservative values I’ve seen are through Steve Baker, David Frost, and … that’s it I think. no wonder we are where we are. Boris remains.
Daniel, now Lord Hannan?
Spot on, thank you.
Truss was one of the authors of the book “Brittania Unchained”. She believes the indigenous British are lazy and should be replaced by more desperate and industrious people from the developing world. She’s a typical neo-lib who just sees this country as an economic zone.
the lazy ones are lazy for sure
I admire Margaret Thatcher, but she was not arguably a true Conservative at all. She much more resembled an old fashioned Whig, with her political programme overwhelmingly consisting of economic liberalism. She was suspicious of the classic Tory institutions and of course was brought up a Methodist and not in the Church of England. She was also, like those Whigs, sometimes rather cold hearted at the consequences of her free market policies. A mass of newly redundant coal miners and steel workers were not suddenly likely to be able to get other work.
They only had what work they did have because they leeched subsidies off others. It was a great day when they were finally sacked.
You never know what anybody will like until they become PM.
Both Liz Truss and Sajid Javid are poor interviewers but both have ministerial experience of several depts with a radical right history prior to becoming a minister.
Boris Johnson has limited executive skills and married to a High Tax Big Govt Utopian Green Agenda..Both Javid or Truss have the scope to be much better PMs than Boris although how that plays in the polls is unpredictable as neither will have much public appeal but the same is true of the dull Starmer.Wonder if Angela Rayner will regret not trying to be Labour Leader last summer
Good article. Seems to me that Thatcher was the last UK PM of the ‘wartime’ generation. They were brought up in a country without a welfare state, no ‘blessed’ NHS. Many battled their way up out of poverty, experienced tough schooling & had respect for those in authority. In many ways a tougher world.
Remember that MT was hated in office, particularly in Scotland, Wales and the northern industrial regions where so many jobs went. Of course also by the left.
She was the finest PM we have had since Churchill, the reset of industrial relations, deregulation of city of London, bringing end to cold war and Soviet Union, right to buy revolution and other achievements on her watch.
No one if that calibre appears to be in Tory party today
Rubiayt, Omar Khayyam,
We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;
But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.
The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Here or There as strikes the Player goes;
And He that toss’d you down into the Field,
He knows about it all–He knows–HE knows!
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop’d we live and die,
Lift not your hands to It for help–for It
As impotently moves as you or I.”
Is that the Sir Richard Francis Burton, KCMG,FRGS, translation, may I ask? Or perhaps your own?
Anthony Crosland was a dreadful character. Years ahead of his time in his damaging bullsh*t.
Interesting piece, thank you.
Splendidly prescient piece! How right you were (thus far) Mr Sandbrook.
By the way the ‘busty’ brunette with David Davies is the now backbench MP Fay Jones.
Groan, Sandbrook posts the first article of zillions that we’ll get in the next few weeks about Johnson’s replacement. Even the beeb has given it a rest in the last week or so – maybe this is your application to work there?
Geez Dominic, couldn’t you find something more interesting than this to write about? I’ll have to go back to reading books until this pointless, inane king killing process is over.
Sadly the polyester clad Kent masons who are the politburo of the ” ToyliTory party” will never support the superior beings Rishi and Kwasi…