Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume Two: Everything She Wants

''The modern Conservative Party is never happier than when Labour has a unilateral disarmer as its leader. In 1986 Margaret Thatcher arrived at her party’s annual conference in Bournemouth with a spring in her step, despite having endured months of bruising political infighting in the aftermath of the Westland affair. She promptly fell over a manhole cover and sprained her ankle but even this did little to dampen her spirits. The reason for her good mood was that over the previous two weeks both the Liberal and Labour Party conferences had voted in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament. In the case of the Liberals this merely confirmed Thatcher’s view that they were not to be taken seriously, particularly as the vote set the members at odds with the leadership of the Alliance and represented a direct rebuke of David Owen’s much more hawkish SDP. Labour was different. ‘The Labour Party will never die’ was one of Thatcher’s mantras. What Labour did mattered because it was the only alternative party of government..''

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