RUSHES: Margaret Thatcher delivers Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture
Margaret Thatcher delivers Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture; Part 3 of 11
ENGLAND: London: Trig Lane: Swiss Bank House: SG Warburg:
CMS Baroness (Margaret) Thatcher at podium giving speech (continued from Part 2) SOT
- And in the longer term inflation undermined confidence, pushed up wage costs, promoted inefficiency and aborted new employment / for saying such things, Keith was publicly ridiculed and privately vilified / his colleagues accused him of disloyalty, splitting the Party and so on / those whom Hayek had described as "the socialists of all parties " united to denounce him / for Keith in their eyes was demonstrating the worst possible political seamanship / he was "rocking the boat " / but in fact it was Keith’s compass that was true — and it was the boat that was already adrift and threatened by total shipwreck
- Most of the economic analysis which Keith Joseph offered has since been accepted / but Keith was not only, or even primarily, interested in economics / it was simply that in the 1970s the economics had gone so devastatingly wrong that this was where any new analysis had to focus / indeed, that remained true to a large extent in the 1980s / reversing Britain’s economic decline was such a huge and painful undertaking that, at least until the later years, the economy had to come first
- Keith himself, though, was even more interested in social than in economic issues / he had come into politics not from personal ambition but from an idealistic urge to diminish the misery of poverty / but his one foray at this time into rethinking social policy, in the form of the Edgbaston speech, went badly wrong / in fact, though flawed in some respects, the speech with its emphasis on remoralising society and on strengthening the family, deserves re-reading / it does not though, reveal much about his essential philosophy, which with Keith — as with most professional politicians — remained below the surface / the kind of Conservatism which he and I...