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Samizdata quote of the day

“As we mourn the passing of a remarkable Prime Minister, we should reflect on the lessons we can learn from Lady Thatcher. She showed courage, conviction, determination and placed great faith in the wisdom of ordinary men and women. We should celebrate her legacy, but also consider how to emulate her today.”

– Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs. That think tank has played a legendary role in developing some of the ideas that influenced Margaret Thatcher, whose funeral was held today. RIP, Maggie.

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    We should not emulate Margaret Thatcher’s MISTAKES – and the lady would not want us to.

    We can not “reform” the European Union – it will take any “reform” and use it to further its own (collectivist) agenda. It really is “in or out”.

    Nor can we hope that economic growth over time will deal with the Welfare State – it will not.

    FUNDEMENTAL reform is needed.

    Nor was we allow the liars (such as the writers of the magazine I so often attack) convince us that opposing credit bubble finance and bailoutism is “opposing having banks”.

    Or that standing for good principles will “marginalise [the party we lead] for a generation”.

    For the record Margaret Thatcher won three general elections – and the Conservative Party won the 1992 election even after backstabbing the lady only thanks to her forgiveness and support.

    It was (Economist magazine people, with your so called tribute to Margaret Thatcher, please note) only after John Major BETRAYED the legacy of Mrs T. (on the European Union, on government spending – on everything) that the Conservative party was “marginalised”.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    My 8 year old daughter was asking me about the coverage of the funeral on the news, so I had to do my best to come up with a summary of Thatcher for a child.

    “She was the prime minister of this country when daddy was a little boy, and she got old and died. And now they are burying her. A lot of people hated her.”

    “Why?” my daughter asked

    “Because she thought that there were lots of things governments shouldn’t be doing. She said that if you wanted those things you should take care of it yourself. And the people that wanted the government to give them those things hated her for taking them away.”

    “Oh” my daughter said. I think she understood.

  • Sam Duncan

    I was 8 when she was elected, JV. I didn’t really understand what it meant, except that we had our first woman PM and the country – even to my young eyes – was clearly up the creek. By the next election, I understood completely. Good luck with your daughter. Even if she grows up to have different ideas to yourself, it sounds like you’re doing a good job.

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so.

  • AndrewWS

    I was an undergraduate when she was first elected (the first election I ever voted in, and not for the Tories) and I, at that age, didn’t realise what she was about. But I did by the time I was a worker, and I then knew she was right.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    Paul, at least Major didn’t make the Major mistake of bringing Britain into the Euro! Imagine World-market London being regulated by Euro-whim! Even worse than you have now!

  • RAB

    Major couldn’t have taken the UK into the Euro Nick brackets etc, because it didn’t exist till after he’d lost office in 1997. Yes I know the dog ate your homework, happens to me all the time.

    I was 27 when she came to power in 1979, and had already lived through the daily power cuts, the three day weeks, inflation at 30%, wage demands at 40% in completely unproductive industries that had been unproductive since the 40’s like Coal. The winter of discontent had the dead unburied and the mountains of garbage uncollected. The UK was the sick man of Europe and the laughing stock of the world…

    Would some rose tinted spectacled leftie bastard care to tell me what the country would have looked like had Maggie not turned up in the nick of time, just like the 7th Cavalry?

  • Regional

    There are few politicians of the quality of Saint Margaret.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    Wasn’t there a Monetary union even before the Euro, and didn’t Britain get expelled from it?

  • Paul Marks

    You are thinking of the exchange rate rigging backed by Nigel Lawson and Lord Howe.

    They demanded that Margaret Thatcher sign up for the exchange rate rigging (sorry “fixed” exchange rates) – and then Howe back stabbed the lady anyway.

    After vast expense the U.K. left the system.

    Who benefitted from all this?

    George Soros – he made a fortune from currency speculation at the time.

    Never “fix” exchange rates.

  • Mr Ed

    Paul, I do not think that the exchange rates were ‘fixed’ so much as interest rates were tinkered with to increase ‘demand’ for the £, by offering higher nominal rates than the DM. The indirect consequence of this was that the £ was to ‘float’ within a band of ‘acceptable’ values, with some bizarre notion of the convergence of the UK and (West) German economies (later Germany). This was the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

    When the whole nonsense was unsustainable, the government’s first reaction was to jack up base interest rates from 10% to 12% and then a fleeting 15%, much to the consternation of anyone with a mortgage facing a huge hike in interest costs.

    The speculators saw this coming in the way that lions look at a watering hole in the dry season, more or less a one-way bet.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – the E.R.M. was as you describe, that is what “fixing exchange rates” means in practice.

    Never try and manipulate the exchange rate.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “jack up base interest rates from 10% to 12% and then a fleeting 15%…”

    I remember that afternoon, because I did have a mortgage then.

    At 10% we could survive.

    When it went to 12% I thought “this is going to be seriously tough”.

    When it went to 15% I just thought “we’re fucked”.

    What a relief it was when later in that very same day the whole absurd farrago was abandoned and interest rates went down to (iirc) 8%.

    And from then on, of course, the UK’s economy began to motor.