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Lead!

This dogmatic worship is completely un-Conservative.

Maggie wasn't a Cameron Will of the Wisp Pink Panther, but we live in hopes - as did the captain of the Titanic.

"Westminster is not nearly as powerful as it was in 1979."

What would Maggie do? Sign the biggest transfer of powers to the EU under the SIngle European Act........

@David@0918

Part of the point of this post was to suggest that there are big limits to what Cameron can learn from Mrs T!

Interesting list particularly the point about the frenzied media. Cameron won't get the time that Mrs T did to put things right.

Sheesh this is embarassing. Imagine if Labour spent all their time harking back to what Attlee would have done in this situation. Renewal only comes after critique and unfortunately what little attempt Cameron has made has been shouted down by the fawning Thatcher luvvies.

"Part of the point of this post was to suggest that there are big limits to what Cameron can learn from Mrs T!"

May be on the technicalities, but surely the lesson from Mrs Thatcher is that she had identified the problem, had a plan to deal with the problem, and had the will , purpose and determination to carry out the plan.

Can we say this of Cameron?

As for the 'problems' you cite, well if Cameron gets elected he will have the power to change them, the question is does he have to 'will'?

If the Civil Service is politicised, de-politicise it.

If too much of our sovereignty has been handed over to Brussels, get it back!

If Politicians are seen a bunch of self serving lying scum bags, well honouring your word would be a start in changing the perception people have of MP's.

You see its not so hard.


Civil Service: the politicisation of the civil service has been disgraceful and a relative who used to work in the much derided 'Department of curtains and soft furnishings' was appalled at the lack of motivation, overmanning and huge inefficiency of the department.

I believe David Cameron did promise to bring in a new civil service Act to ensure that the service returned to serving the government of the day to carry out the business of government rather more competently than has been the case for some years.

The problems facing Cameron are indeed huge but, so too, are the opportunities to work in the best long-term interests of the nation. I suggest that if his government's actions are transparently fair and honest, rooted more in common sense than political dogma, he could even surprise his critics on the left, who have written him off simply because he is a tory.

Policy issues aside, one of the key things I feel politicians should learn from Margaret Thatcher is sheer resolution, determination and strength under fire - and my word she was under fire, from the Trades Unions, the Communists, Sinn Fein-IRA, the Argentines, the Arabists, the Foreign Office, the Wets within her own party, the EU, the BBC, the academic establishment, the legal establishment etc., etc. And when I say under fire, I do mean that - she lost some of her closest friends and colleagues to terrorist bombs, one of which, of course, was aimed at her.

Her qualities have been woefully lacking amongst our political leaders since then. It is this steely determination that David Cameron will need, as much as any attachment to Thatcherite policies themselves - not all of which, inevitably, are still relevant today, though most certainly are. I think he may well turn out to have those qualities, but only time will tell.

One thing Cameron could learn from Maggie is not to put off until tomorrow what can and should be done today. The Howe budget of 80 should have ben the budget of 79. get as much pain out of the way at the beginning when at least there is some fair wind.

Apart from that I think it comes down to a clear set of priorities (which Maggie had) and a determination to get them achieved - which Maggie had. Different challenges but same approach needed in my view. I have no doubt that Cameron is up to the challenge - a far bigger question in my mind is will he have moe suppot form his MP's than Maggie did - some were briefing against her from the beginning.Last time with Maggie it was the "wets" - this time it will be the anti euro obssesives" who will cause the trouble.

One thing we can be sure of: Labour activists won't be asking What Would Brown Do? ever

A great many people, now, have an opinion about Mrs. Thatcher and her actions and beliefs when in power; a VERY great many LESS have real knowledge of her beliefs and policies, when in power.

Most of what people know about Mrs. Thatcher is either courtesy of the BBC (and we all know THEIR bias!), or courtesy of the Unions - who also had/have a very single-minded axe to grind.

The general reaction to 'Mrs. Thatcher' out on the street, is negative - especially in men!

I think this is important when trying to link David Cameron to Mrs Thatcher, however ones does it - just because of that negative 'idea' of so many people!

It seems to me that David Cameron wants to be seen as his own person, and judged - eventually - for what he has and hasn't done, HIMSELF.

I think the business of 'being a leader' and a successful leader, is very different now to what it was in Mrs. T's day. The internet plays - and will play, a large part in this change. If, as a leader you can demonstrate that you can 'manage' the internet, then that is a great asset to start off with. That is what President Obama is using, time will tell how successful he is. Mr. Brown, unfortunately - for him - is old-fashioned, and not really media-savvy. David Cameron on the other hand is younger, and seems to be aware of the importance of the media.

But, I think that 'managing' the camera is a bit like bull-fighting, you might think that you look great, and know how to give a good impression, but the camera/bull has other ideas entirely!

One thing that I personally hope that a new Conservative government will do, is to give up the idea that the public believe, or are even prepared to believe NOW, that statistics actually convince that a job - letalone a GOOD job has been done, or anything has ACTUALLY been achieved. This Government has gone beserk on tick-boxing (box-ticking), and used the results mendaciously - see Ms. Smith, and now nobody believes anything!

I think a Conservative Cabinet will have to be much more 'hands on', be out there, much more. Mr. Balls seems to have got that message, only it is all too late!!

By the way Tory Diary is still the only section that I can access the Comment box!

The very first thing that an incoming Conservative administration must do is to govern for the benefit of Britain and the British people. British interests must be paramount.

Considering the shambles that this country has now descended to, this will require statemanship of the highest order instead of incessant political knock about.

High on the agenda must be the recovery of sovereignty that has been given away to the EUSSR, the de-politicisation of the civil service, the abolition of as many quangoes as possible and the abolition of regional assemblies.

This worshipping of Thatcher as a God by many Conservatives is what drives people away from the party.
She is dead and gone. Move forward. Do we hear anyone saying 'What would Blair do'? No.

I agree John with your assessment.
'British interests must be paramount.'

As much as i fear a right wing Government i have some hope that Conservatives will lead from centre right not from far right

Margaret Thatcher is not dead Merry. Be careful what you write.

You know what i mean.
She is not politically active nor important in the HOC in today's world.
Do we hero worship every Prime Minister? How about we celebrate Blair's anniversary as well? [God forbid]

Quite obviously she is alive and healthy. I did not mean it literally.

"As much as i fear a right wing Government"

Get used to the idea.

"Do we hero worship every Prime Minister?"

No, only the popular ones. Why shouldn't we worship britains first female prime minister. She is after all by far the most popular post-war PM.

OFF TOPIC PROPAGANDA OVERWRITTEN.

'Get used to the idea.'

Cockiness will be deadly.
Still a year left.
But yeah, i'm over it

'No, only the popular ones.'

Good lord, popular?
When did this happen?

OFF TOPIC PROPAGANDA OVERWRITTEN.

John is right @ 12.03 - 'The very first thing that a Conservative administration must do is to govern for the benefit of Britain and the British people.'

And governing by statistics, or rather being governed by statistics - which is what the present government do, is NOT in the interests of the British people - NOT the way the present government do it!

"Good lord, popular?
When did this happen?"

1979, when she won her fist landslide election. It has continued to atleast last year, when she was voted Britains greatest post-war prime minister by the viewers of the daily politics, and then again tis year when an opinion poll showed that she was number one choice to have as PM.

Haven't the left relised that shouting the loudest doesn't mean that everybody agrees?

@Patsy
>>The general reaction to 'Mrs. Thatcher' out on the street, is negative - especially in men!<<

I don't know what men you've been speaking to Patsy, but I've rarely met another man (rabid Labour supporters excluded) who didn't speak in hushed tones about the Iron Lady.

Your comments don't gel with my own experience at all.

"Last time with Maggie it was the "wets" - this time it will be the anti euro obssesives" who will cause the trouble."

Peter Buss @ 11:06 you are 100% right!

'Margaret Thatcher is not dead Merry. Be careful what you write.'

Maybe it was wishful thinking from Merry


*Champagne still on ice.

Also with Maggie, remember the Falklands War. Without it, it could have been a one-term administration. I agree with Patsy Sergeant that there is still a very strong residual anti-Thatcher sentiment that will be very unforgiving at any Tory mistakes.
Maggie fought her war very well and united people around her with her forthrightness and determination, even despite being criticised for sending the wrong message to Argentina by withdrawing HMS Endurance,
So Cameron will have to identify something, some initiative that will buy forgiveness for the pain that is going to be felt.

"Your comments don't gel with my own experience at all."

I know several people who will never vote Tory because of her. They aren't by any means Labourites (and indeed, they all appear to have a similar feeling towards Scargill), and could, as floating voters, have felt comfortable voting for the party of, say Macmillan.

Steve Tierney @ 13.43 - 'I don't know what men you've been speaking to Patsy, but I've rarely met another man.... who didn't speak in hushed tones about the Iron Lady.'

Steve I am delighted that there are some men out there who appreciate what Mrs. Thatcher achieved. I must have met some also, but what sticks in my mind is the men who, if the subject comes up, seem more inclined to do the male groan thing. So maybe the difference is whether it is a male/male chat, or a male/female chat!

The one thing that Margaret Thatcher would do is provide strong and determined leadership from the front and inspiration to the people - things I'm afraid David Cameron seems incapable of doing.

'Maybe it was wishful thinking from Merry'

Nah. I am not so heartless. Me disagreeing with someones politics does not mean i wish they were six feet under.

Not my fault people are touchy and take things literally.

'Haven't the left relised that shouting the loudest doesn't mean that everybody agrees?'

Every person i know dislike her. I have never ran across anyone [outside of rabid conservatives] who think she deserves such attention.

Cameron is weak when compared to Thatcher, he should not be trying to emulate her - too much has changed and he is too different. Instad, he needs to return to traditional tory values - tough on crime, supporing grammar schools, etc - and become more aggressive when questioning Brown.

"Every person i know dislike her. I have never ran across anyone [outside of rabid conservatives] who think she deserves such attention."

Tony Benn does, I'm not sure he could be described as a rabid conservative.

Like i said, opinion polls and the ballot box would seem to suggest that she was/is popular.

"I know several people who will never vote Tory because of her."

gained millions lost several.....I think we made the right choice.

"could, as floating voters, have felt comfortable voting for the party of, say Macmillan."

Ah yes supermac! The man who destroyed our relationship with france, lost us the votes of anybody who wasn't a christian fundamentalist, appointed members of his own family with no experience to powerful posts within government, first in/first out of suez, the great architect of Boom and Bust, and the man who ensured Mrs Thatchers eventual victory.

If it weren't for Macmillan, Mrs Thatcher would never have been needed and the pain would never have been felt.

The old addage here in the North is that she destroyed communities and lives over what happened with the miners strike and for her role in the collapse of industry. This and the long term consequences they blame on her.

This is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome for sure.

I find it quite amazing that no criticism of Thatcher can be brooked by some. My point, of course, was to note that there are those that dislike her, to an extent they can't forgive the party that elected her as leader, but would by no means be called lefties.

Thatcher did things right, and things wrong. Just like, for example, Macmillan.

Macmillan of course being a true Conservative, just like Thatcher, and just like Cameron.

Ad@17.42 - it wasn't Thatcher who destroyed the miners - it was Scargill. Thatcher stopped the miners and the wider Trade Union movement from destroying the country.
Thomas@17.22 - I agree with you about Mamillan, he was a poseur and virtually a socialist in all but name.

@JS Allthough i don't believe she was perfect that was not some rant by me just an explanation of the feeling still held up here.

'Like i said, opinion polls and the ballot box would seem to suggest that she was/is popular.'

Oh absolutely i agree.
She USED to be popular.
She is not anymore.

I found it slightly amusing that people actually seriously thought she deserved a state funeral.

When she leads UK through a world war can she get one. Churchill has placed the bar high.

"I found it slightly amusing that people actually seriously thought she deserved a state funeral."

She is a 3 term Prime Minister who prosecuted a successful (and unlike Blair fully legal) war against Argentina.

She was also never defeated in an election.

People look back at times of strong leadership. As a result of Brown even staunch Labour supporters appreciate her now.

Mainly because the parliamentary party took fright. She would have been defeated in 92.

Probably would have been better for the party if she had; could have avoided all this ridiculous deification.

"As a result of Brown even staunch Labour supporters appreciate her now."

I'd be more than happy to see some proof of that.

"I find it quite amazing that no criticism of Thatcher can be brooked by some."

Mrs Thatcher was no saint. She could be crass, she could be partisan, she could be one sided, she could be hard headed and unwilling to listen to other points of view.

But that doesn't change the fact that what she did was necessary.

It was necessary precisely because of people like Macmillan. Macmillan only cared about himself and his chances of reelection. He was a moralising, spineless man who made no qualms about sacrificing the future of this country to keep himself in power.

Cameron gets alot of flack from some people. Arguably he deserves it, but Cameron is no Macmillan.

"Mainly because the parliamentary party took fright. She would have been defeated in 92."

Despite what my recent comments would suggest, I'm not thatcher's biggest fan, but I seriously doubt it. It's true that she was trailing in the polls, but I'm sure that even if she had stayed and kept the poll tax then she would still not have lost to Kinnock.

"Probably would have been better for the party if she had; could have avoided all this ridiculous deification."

Undoubtably, we would not have had Macmillan MK 2.

""As a result of Brown even staunch Labour supporters appreciate her now."

I'd be more than happy to see some proof of that."

'She's a conviction politician' Gordon Brown

'We're all Thatcherites now' Peter Mendelson

I don't have the exact quote but Tony benn said that she was the greatest priume minister we have ever had in terms of effectiveness. he went on to say that he ofcourse didn't agree with her but that he still had enormous respect for her.

"Oh absolutely i agree.
She USED to be popular.
She is not anymore."

Then explain why she is the number 1 choice for PM,

She is prefered over cameron, brown, blair, miliband etc and has been voted, several times, by a very large margin, Britain's best post war PM.

"'She's a conviction politician' Gordon Brown"

So, as a result of Gordon Brown, Gordon Brown now appreciates Thatcher?

"'We're all Thatcherites now' Peter Mendelson"

I'll take anything he says with a pinch of salt, and he said that before Brown became PM, so that doesn't back up your point.

And supporters, not politicians.

And you seem to be under the impression that I'm arguing that she wasn't a good PM, or that her policies were wrong. I'm not. I'm saying some were right, and some were wrong. I just hate this deification. It's not Conservative.

The fact is that a lot of people dislike her, and they can't all be dismissed as "lefties".

The idea that Macmillan was a socialist is just insane.

'She is prefered over cameron, brown, blair, miliband etc and has been voted, several times, by a very large margin, Britain's best post war PM.'

Who else is left that is slightly rememberable post war?
Blair? Major? ... Brown?

'She is a 3 term Prime Minister who prosecuted a successful (and unlike Blair fully legal) war against Argentina.'

A pointless war to become popular. How lovely.

If Thatcher gets a state funeral that sets a precedent as far as i'm concerned. Let's give it to every 3 term PM then. Blair next ofc.

Either way state funerals are for the best. It's insulting to put Thatcher to the same level as Churchill or Darwin

Churchill, yes, he deserved his State Funeral for his leadership in WW2, but surely they did not give Charles Darwin a State Funeral, did they?

She had lost popularity by 1983. She got in by the skin of her teeth then. Or did she?

Cameron doesn't need to be Thatcher, but she was a politician for her time and Cameron needs to be likewise.

Maggie had a vision or at least a clear purpose and Cameron desperately needs one (it is painfully obvious by its absence). For me that has to be social justice but it may be my own definition. For me it means rebuilding trust in parliament and public service. Honest, transparent government that puts the people first. Democracy - get it back from Brussels, give it to England and again, people before party, before parliament. Reform the civil service and quangos.

Yes the economy is important and it has to be about building new production for the 21st century to balance finance, to balance North and South, to get people off welfare. But no government can do this on its own. Unless you fix the social justice framework then you won't carry the people with you as the hard work will restore the status quo and serve the few over the many. Do it right and you shape politics for the next century, get it wrong and it will be a relatively short and painful reign.

Everything else you just have to do the best you can with resources available. Social justice will provide the compass. Serve the people and the country first, last and foremost and you can't go far wrong.

"Who else is left that is slightly rememberable post war?
Blair? Major? ... Brown?"

Rememberable? I seem to be talking to an idiot.

"'She is a 3 term Prime Minister who prosecuted a successful (and unlike Blair fully legal) war against Argentina.'

A pointless war to become popular. How lovely."

A pointless war? Perhaps if somebody invaded your town, forced you from your home into a concentration camp to await deportation, then maybe you wouldn't think it were quite so pointless.

"If Thatcher gets a state funeral that sets a precedent as far as i'm concerned. Let's give it to every 3 term PM then. Blair next ofc."

Even if Blair had had a sex change, he would still not have been the first female prime minister.

"Either way state funerals are for the best. It's insulting to put Thatcher to the same level as Churchill or Darwin"

Wasn't margaret Thatcher the only woman to be offered an earldom ever? Surely if she was held in such high regard after she left office she couldn't possibly be held in less regard now?

There is a convention that most 'great' prime ministers are offered state funerals, gladstoine, disreali etc

You may nopt think she was a better PM than churchill, but you can't deny she was better than palmerston.

""'She's a conviction politician' Gordon Brown"

So, as a result of Gordon Brown, Gordon Brown now appreciates Thatcher?"

Loom up the word 'appreciate'. It doesn't equate with 'agree'.

""'We're all Thatcherites now' Peter Mendelson"

I'll take anything he says with a pinch of salt, and he said that before Brown became PM, so that doesn't back up your point."

Why doesn't it? The man who is the de facto deputy PM said that he was a thatcherite.

"And supporters, not politicians."

Oh yes, silly me! We can't talk about politicians when discussing politics can we!

"And you seem to be under the impression that I'm arguing that she wasn't a good PM, or that her policies were wrong."

I am under no such impression, I am merely pointing out to you that Mrs Thatcher was and still is popular. She may be devisive, but she has many more fans than detractors.

Why can't you accept this?


"The fact is that a lot of people dislike her, and they can't all be dismissed as "lefties"."

I'm afraid that they can be dismissed as lefties. As opinion polls showing support for continue to be published 30 nyears after she walked into downing street.

"The idea that Macmillan was a socialist is just insane."

I never said he was a socialist, I said he was a spineless nepotistic sycophant, socialists generally don't fight wars against evil single mothers to shore up their core vote like Macmillan did.

Macmillan is tied with Eden and churchill (second term) for the title of Britain's worst post war PM.

'I am under no such impression, I am merely pointing out to you that Mrs Thatcher was and still is popular. She may be devisive, but she has many more fans than detractors.'

I never denied she does not have a fan base. It is just held within the circles of the rich [those she benefitted] and those who are conservative. The majority of this country do not want a PM to get a state funeral purely because she was the first female.
When/If we get a ethnic minority as a PM - Can we give them a state funeral too?

'Churchill, yes, he deserved his State Funeral for his leadership in WW2, but surely they did not give Charles Darwin a State Funeral, did they?'

Absolutely Churchil deserved it. He deserves a statue on top of Parliament as far as i'm concerned. His leadership helped UK at it's worst moment.

There has only been a handful of state funerals.
Those who have had it has included our greatest scientists and those who have contributed to the world - Darwin and Newton ofc.
Churchill
Duke of Wellington - led through waterloo battle, Lord Nelson after his death at trafalgar.

Are you all HONESTLY telling me she deserves the same honor that has been [rightly] placed upon the best of the best which do include Darwin and Newton?
We will cheapen the event. If Thatcher has it, i'm sure we can all agree Blair deserves one too.

"When/If we get a ethnic minority as a PM - Can we give them a state funeral too?"

If they turn out to be a PM of sufficient stature, which Maggie (love her or hate her as you choose) undoubtedly was, then why on earth not?

I agree 100% with your comment about Churchill but I believe that Margaret Thatcher deserves her place among "The Best of the Best" too.

And that is where we must agree to disagree Sally.

Thatcher does not deserve the same honor given to Darwin, Churchill and Newton.
I'm sorry but her impact is very little compared to the other non royals it was given to and we can agree on that too.
She is not and never will be the best of the best.
Someone who does deserve it is NHS founder but we did not even give it to him did we?

When Margaret Thatcher arrived in Number Ten, no-one outside her circle (and not even all of them) had the remotest idea that the country had elected an Iron Lady. She looked like a nice enough middle class lady whose incoming government of largely unknown men in suits could not fail to improve the lives of the electors, compared with the bitter years of Labour’s disastrous (and absolutely typical) incompetence.

We knew that she and they were Conservatives and that was a good enough start. For non-Conservatives, it was good enough that they were ‘not bloody Labour’.

Mrs Thatcher was given a mandate to clear up the mess by a country in turmoil and mired in despondency. She had no more than her principles and an outline, albeit a clearly delineated one, of what she intended to do about it all. Until her team opened all the books in all the ministries and she gauged the strengths *in office* of her Cabinet, she knew neither the details nor the magnitude of what lay ahead of her and, as always, everything changed over time anyway.

Margaret Thatcher grew into the job of Prime Minister. Her strengths and weaknesses only became clear over several Parliaments. Only gradually, as she dealt with Events, did she become the giant who achieved great things.

We have no idea what Mr Cameron may become *in office*, or what he may achieve or fail to achieve. We do not even have a clear idea of the magnitude of the problems he will face in a year (or so) from now.

All we know is that he cannot be worse than Labour, just as with Mrs Thatcher. He may turn out to be another giant or he may not. Let’s get him elected anyway. He is a Conservative. That’s a good enough start.

[OT - webmaster: HTML not being accepted... get a pop-up saying 'cannot accept your data', in all browsers.]

A State funeral for Maggie, one day?

If asked, she would probably give a wry smile and sigh...
"I'd rather go private". :)

I read and agreed with Patsy Sergeants clear and perceptive analysis at 11.47
It is interesting to see how perceptions differ though, particularly those concerning Mrs Thatcher before and immediately after the 1979 election.
As I recall, her approach to that election was to keep her detailed policies under wraps and to campaign only on general principles....which is what David Cameron is doing. It is correct to say that her immediate colleagues in the Shadow Cabinet were greater in their political experience than are their counterparts today. It was for that reason that Mrs Thatcher was by no means secure in the saddle of leadership in the first three years of her term as Prime Minister. However she had worked with them closely to formulate the policies on which the government was to operate in those early years so there was little disagreement to deflect her administration from its purpose; to rescue the country from the severe economic plight in which we found ourselves. To that extent, Cameron will probably be better placed than was Mrs Thatcher, at least to start with.
The tipping point was the Falklands War. After that it was clear that her position was unassailable and it was from then that the course of politics became different, particualrly as the `wets` began to lose ground.
We hear nowadays of Mrs Thatcher`s iron will and steely determination to apply harsh and divisive policies from the moment she crossed the threshold of No 10 Downing Street. My memory is rather different and I believe that once Cameron is ensconced there, he will have more leeway than she did in setting the political course for his first administration. The economic problems he will face will surely be greater than those faced by the Iron lady; but the remainder will be much the same. Those who now grind on about what they perceive as his `lack of leadership` will doubtless soon be complaining about the measures that he is taking to redress that impression once in office.

I have now read Prodicus @ 1430 and think he has hit the nail firmly on the head

'She is prefered over cameron, brown, blair, miliband etc and has been voted, several times, by a very large margin, Britain's best post war PM.'

Who else is left that is slightly rememberable post war?
Blair? Major? ... Brown?

'She is a 3 term Prime Minister who prosecuted a successful (and unlike Blair fully legal) war against Argentina.'

A pointless war to become popular. How lovely.

If Thatcher gets a state funeral that sets a precedent as far as i'm concerned. Let's give it to every 3 term PM then. Blair next ofc.

Either way state funerals are for the best. It's insulting to put Thatcher to the same level as Churchill or Darwin

sajoo
Sightline Payments

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