Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 3 May 2009

Thirty years ago today ...

Thirty years ago today ...


... and elected a Conservative Government under the leadership of Britain's first woman Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Thirty years ago tonight I was in a house in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) with about 11 or 12 fellow British citizens (colleagues and their wives) eagerly listening to the BBC World Service on short-wave radio (regular satellite television and the internet were a long way in the future) as the polls closed, after an evening meal of pizzas and ice-cream, washed down with illicitly-brewed beer or siddiquis and coke and as the hours ticked past the first results of the British general election came in. By about 4 or 5 am Jeddah time it was clear that Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives had won and were likely to have a comfortable working majority so we could crack the three or four bottles of black market champagne (Möet & Chandon I recall) we had managed to acquire at considerable expense to celebrate the imminent return to power of a Conservatve government to rescue the country from the mess that the Labour government had left it in. Luckily as British elections take place on a Thursday we had the whole of Friday to recover from our all-nighter

The spineless ideologically-driven idiots at the Guardian may choose to mock that marvellous historic event, but most of the comments to its sour piece of 'journalism as history' belie their cynicism. Here's what David Cameron, the current leader of the Conservative Party has written to Lady Thatcher to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her great victory:

I wanted to write and send my best wishes on this, the 30th anniversary of the great day when you first walked into Downing Street as our prime minister.

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.

The context of David Cameron's letter is of course that the current Labour government has made an even bigger mess of running the country than the last one did.

Within the next year another election will have to be called and we can get rid of Labour and elect a Conservative government with the task of trying to put the country's finances back onto a sensible track. It won't be easy and a new Conservative government's popularity is likely to diminish pretty rapidly as the necessary rebalancing of the economy takes place in the wake of the slash and burn policies that Brown's Labour government is inflicting upon us in its final year of bumbling and spiteful incompetence. We'll all need strong nerves to get us through the next few years.

Although I signed it myself over a week ago, can I suggest that you sign this petition on the 10 Downing Street website if you have not already done so - it calls on the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to resign. At present it has 45,689 signatories - it would be good if it could reach 100,000 by the end of the coming week and at least 1,000,000 by the end of this month!

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