28 Nov 2013 at 12:25
Good old Bozza!!!! What a man of belief, principle and er, um, um, ambition.
There could not have been a dry gusset at the Centre for Policy Studies when our hero delivered the The Annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture. Might you, they could never spell.
Oh, if only she could be leading us now. If only that pinko slick PR man without a thought in his Old Etonian head, Cameron, would just sit down with some sensible people like John Redwood and Bill Cash, touch hands and ask for advice beyond the grave. ‘What would she have done?’ He sighs? But even better, why not have the next best thing, Hair Flick, heir to Thatcher? Bozza!!!!!!!
I took the trouble of reading dear old Boris’s speech this morning. And it was a Monet or a Matisse in its crafting. Beautifully put together but very blurred and fuzzy.
I don’t want to take away anything that Thatcher achieved in the first three years of government or even beyond. Democratising the unions, rescuing the economy and healing Britain from being the sick man of Europe are just a few of her great achievements. But there are an awful lot of myths about her legacy.
Firstly, she never slashed public expenditure in the way that the Coalition has had to. It increased in real terms every year with two exceptions, Transport and defence which were cut. Precious little was done radically to improve rigour and discipline in our schools. I remember the then Secretary of State, Keith Joseph moaning to me that his civil servants wouldn’t let him reform. And there was no radical changes to the way our benefits system was paid out to to work shy. We were tinkerers not radicals.
Let us not forget either that when she left office in 1990 inflation stood at 9.7% and interest rates nudging 14%.
The most unfortunate part of his speech was when he boasted that she had unleashed the ‘animal spirit of Essex’. And we are still picking up the pieces. Not surprisingly the Guardian headline this morning was, ‘greed is good, Boris invokes the Thatcher spirit’.
No Boris, we don’t want any more Gekkos polluting our boardrooms, their greed took the western world to hell in a hand cart.
These sort of speeches are loved by the worshippers at the Blue Flame of St Margaret, but go down like a rat sandwich with the electorate who are paying the price for other people’s selfishness and greed. Interestingly, the speech came out the same day as a YOUGOV poll indicating that 45% of the electorate don’t believe that the Conservative Party has modernised.
But for Number 10 this is more than an irritation, just when Cameron has gained the moral high ground on immigration. It is a gift for an enfeebled Miliband. And sensible Tory backbenchers who have just begun to understand the meaning of self control will despair. Particularly the ones with marginal seats.
Cometh the hour Cometh the white van man.