Saturday, 3 October 2009

Margaret Thatcher - Prophetic?

As David Cameron addresses his party conference, just months prior to a General election, let us recall another Conservative Leader of the Opposition who was in the same position back in 1978.

Extracts from that speech:

"That is the legacy of Labour, and no amount of whistling in the dark by the Prime Minister or the Chancellor can change it. There is only one service they can do the nation now. It is to stand not upon the order of their going, but go. The damage that they have done to Britain is immeasurable. Our ancestors built a land of pride and hope and confidence in the future, a land whose influence grew out of all proportion to her size, whose constitution guaranteed a balance between freedom and order which used to be the British hallmark and became a model for the world. That was the heritage they handed down to us."

"What would they think of Labour Britain today. A country in which people ask: "Why work if you can get by without?"; "Why save if your savings are taxed away, or inflated away or both?"; "Why do a good job when you will probably make out just as well if you do a bad one?"

 "Does what has happened to Britain over the last  four and a half  (12 - Ed) years imply that we have been governed by remarkably foolish people? No, though you may be able to think of one or two who would qualify under that heading. Is it the result of having been governed by unusually wicked people? No. There have been enough good intentions to pave the well-worn path twice over. The root of the matter is this: we have been ruled by men who live by illusions, the illusion that you can spend money you haven't earned without eventually going bankrupt or falling into the hands of your creditors; the illusion that real jobs can be conjured into existence by Government decree like rabbits out of a hat; the illusion that there is some other way of creating work and wealth than by hard work and satisfying your customers; the illusion that you can have freedom and enterprise without believing in free enterprise; the illusion that you can have an effective foreign policy without a strong defence force and a peaceful and orderly society without absolute respect for the law."

The above questions have ended up being asked each time a Labour government has met it's end - why has the country not learned from it's own history?

31 years ago we had a Leader of the Opposition (and an Opposition) - If only we had both now!

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