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Friday, April 16, 2010

Throw Maggie From the Train

One Nation, One Davy:

In his interview, Mr Cameron deliberately distances himself from some of Baroness Thatcher’s harder-line approaches in a move which is likely to dismay many on the Tory Right.

He says some of the "very important things" that happened in the Eighties, such as "the arguments over deploying cruise missiles and facing down the Soviets, over trade union reform" were divisive.

He adds: "Should we try today, in 2010 and into the future, in doing difficult things like cutting the deficit – should we try and take the whole country with us? Yes."

My recollection of the 1980s seems to be a little better than that of the Conservative leader. Mrs Thatcher never woke up some fine morning and decided to pick a fight with the miners, the trade unions or the wets within her own party. The divisiveness of the era was not due to the Prime Minister of the day's personal preferences, but due to the nature of the problems facing the country. After decades of drifting from one crisis to another, culminating in the shame of Britain approaching the IMF for assistance, any sort of corrective action was bound to be controversial and "divisive." What true leaders do is look past the unpopularity of the moment to wider and longer-term objectives. James Callaghan struggled mightily to avoid being divisive. He was still hated and still lost the 1979 election. Perhaps someone needs to send Davy a link to the below video. The Iron Lady explains very clearly the "divisiveness" she supposedly inspired.

Posted by Richard Anderson on April 16, 2010 | Permalink

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