Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thatcherism never existed

Wholesale post from the Nameless Tory.

OK, what is an “-ism” (or ideology)? In general it is defined as a reasonably coherent body of ideas propounded by a philosopher. Thatcher was not a philosopher, and would probably beat you to death with her handbag if you suggested that she was. The ideas that fall under Thatcherism actually come from a variety of different sources, including Hayek and supply side economists. The only reason why she believed in them is because the status quo, the post-war consensus, had failed and she was looking for other ideas. Had the consensus worked, she would have stuck with that. There was no particular commitment to the ideas and she did not have a coherent view of society. The policies she implemented were those that she thought were right for that period in time.

Also, the only person to really try and tie the Thatcherite ideals together was Sir Keith Joseph. So even if you do believe Thatcherism exists, it should be Josephism rather than Thatcherism. (As the BBC points out until he made the “our human stock is threatened speech” Joseph was the favourite to replace Heath as leader.)


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