Just a quick note reflecting that it was a year ago today that Margaret Thatcher died. She did not get everything right but was, in my view, our greatest Prime Minister. At the time I greatly mourned her passing and stood near St Pauls on the day of the funeral to show my respects.
I was reflecting on her achievements yesterday after a chat with an ex Tory voting cabbie. He was a man to rather disproved stereotypes when it comes to cabbies. For instance he thought UKIP’s immigration policies all wrong – he admired those who came her from Europe to do the jobs lazy Brits on welfare simply will not do.
We both admired Thatcher greatly. She was a woman who had taken a proper job outside politics. A woman who showed how the Tory party could be one of meritocracy not simply a part of the establishment and of career politicians. Yes, the contrast is with Call Me Dave Cameron. The Tory party was the first to be led by a Jew, it was the party that expanded the electoral franchise most aggressively, and it was the first to be led by a woman. This was the party that used to believe in assisting poorer working class voters by liberating them economically with lower taxes, the ability to buy their council house, the freedom not to join a Union. I hope and expect that the first major party to have a non-white leader will be the Tories.
The Tories should be the party of opportunity. Thatcher appreciated that and so was able to connect with many outside the traditional conservative tent. Call Me Dave is cut from a rather different cloth.
RIP Lady Thatcher