James Forsyth

Cameron to Thatcher, I hope to be your heir

Cameron to Thatcher, I hope to be your heir
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The meaning of the heir to Blair quote has been grossly distorted, but this letter that Cameron has sent to Thatcher on the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of her becoming Prime Minister does strike me as important:

“I still find it awe-inspiring to think of the state of the nation you inherited and the immense achievements of your governments. Getting the country to live within its means, bringing the trade unions within the law, rolling back the tide of state ownership, standing steadfast with our allies in the cold war ... but above all giving the British people back their pride and self-belief. The whole country owes you a huge debt.

It is with huge trepidation that I attempt, 30 years on, to get rid of an exhausted Labour government and start the process of mending the national finances and tackling some deep and entrenched problems that we face. If we are elected as the next government, I know that it will be extremely difficult work - but in your life and your work you have given all of us an example of real courage to follow” When Cameron became leader there was a possibility that if he reached Downing Street he could just have been Macmillan with trainers. But the situation he will inherit has taken that option off the table. Cameron will now have to be a consequential Prime Minister. We, for the sake of the country, should hope that he does as much good as Thatcher did. However, we should not fall into the trap of imagining that in 2009 Thatcher would have acted exactly as she did in 1979.

Hat Tip: Toby Helm 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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