Thursday, 3 May 2012

Thatcherite business sense

On this day in 1979, Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain's first female prime minister as the Tories routed the Labour Party in parliamentary elections. Her steely resolve and unflinching opposition to socialism earned her the nickname "Iron Lady" and like Marmite she was (and is) a figure whom people either love or hate. She also had a knack for churning out some wonderful quotes such as this one (which embodied her desire for small government):

“We should not expect the state to appear in the guise of an extravagant good fairy at every christening, a loquacious companion at every stage of life’s journey, and the unknown mourner at every funeral.”

In other words, governments have no business getting into every realm of society trying to play the caring nanny over her citizens. In addition to being biblical (and therefore right) such an approach would be a faithful reflection of quintessential conservatism, that governments should steer clear of those of those areas where business would do a better job (e.g.  healthcare provision and education). Thus to borrow a line from the musical Annie get your gun, businesses should declare to Cameron and his cronies that “Anything you can do, I can do better,” and then be allowed to do it.

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