What Margaret Thatcher would have wanted
We must make sure Thatcherism never dies. That, above all else, is what Lady Thatcher would have wanted
In the days and weeks that lie ahead, perhaps forever more, British political discourse will be shaped by the impact of Margaret Thatcher. More than ever, her defenders must be ready to fight against her critics on the left, to stand up for those fundamental values of freedom and individualism that she held dear.
The greatest tribute we can give our greatest leader is to complete the Thatcherite project.
I may be a staunch critic of this government, but there is consolation that Margaret Thatcher would be proud of much of the work it is doing.
In education, Michael Gove’s reforms are steeped in the paramount Thatcherite principle of freedom.
In welfare reform, Iain Duncan Smith’s commendable determination to make work pay and fix Britain’s broken benefits system has its roots in the revolutionary work done by Thatcher herself.
This government’s extension of the right to buy scheme is a welcome resurrection of one of Thatcher’s policies that helped aspirational, hard-working people most: giving them the ability to own property and with it a stake in society.
Last week the Prime Minister reaffirmed his commitment to Britain’s nuclear deterrent, facing down the unilateralists as Thatcher did so vitally during the Cold War.
But much more can be done. Supporters of Thatcherism must fight for the ideas that are not being heard by this government.
On Europe, though David Cameron promises reform in our time, a tougher line is needed to stand up for British interests. That means arguing for Britain to leave the European Union.
While Francis Maude’s reforms to taxpayer-funded trade unions are welcome, more can be done to defeat the archaic unions that rally against both the public good and interests of their own members.
Most crucially, our debt-ridden state must be rolled back with far greater zeal. The case for supply-side reforms must be made with ever stronger passion; reducing the size of the state, cutting tax and empowering the individual are principles and policies in danger of being forgotten.
It is by fighting ever more for these principles that we can best remember Margaret Thatcher. We must make sure her ideology never dies. That, above all else, is what she would have wanted.
Alex Wickham is The Commentator's UK Political Editor and a reporter at the Guido Fawkes website. He is a contributor to their column in The Sun newspaper. He tweets at @WikiGuido
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