Files released under the 30 year rule show that Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet discussed a pruning back of the welfare state in 1982. Photo: Getty Images.

When will we able to have a mature conversation about the health service?

28 December 2012 16:53

Nigel Lawson described the NHS as the closest thing to a national religion that this country has. The NHS is certainly like a national religion to the extent that it… Continue reading

Elizabeth Truss, 'a bit of a Thatcherite' Picture: Getty

What would Thatcher do if she was in power now?

1 December 2012 15:41

It is testament to Margaret Thatcher’s remarkable influence on British politics that 33 years after she won her first general election victory she still has such a hold on our… Continue reading


The future’s bright for the right

15 October 2011 15:37

There’s much gnashing of teeth about the future of the right today following Liam Fox’s resignation. I think this is misplaced. Fox was a passionate advocate of a certain strand… Continue reading


In defence of Liam Fox

10 October 2011 10:20

The feeding frenzy over Liam Fox tells us a great deal more about what is wrong with the Conservative Party than it does about Dr. Fox. The Defence Secretary has… Continue reading


From the archives: Nick Clegg and Margaret Thatcher

6 May 2011 18:01

Here’s a game of Spot the Difference for you. Compare Nick Clegg’s comments today — "…there are some very strong memories of what life was like under Thatcherism in the… Continue reading


The Big Society in 1997

26 January 2011 17:02

Titter ye might. The Big Society? In 1997? If the idea was of, erm, limited electoral worth in our last general election, then it was certainly of little use when… Continue reading


Miliband’s compliment to Thatcher

15 January 2011 16:02

Ed Miliband’s speech today contained an interesting compliment to Margaret Thatcher. He said that the challenge for Labour now was to ‘change the common sense of the age’ as the… Continue reading


Cameron the ‘Tea Party Tory’

26 October 2010 13:19

David Cameron’s cuts agenda is winning him some unusual praise from the American hard Right — from the sort of people the British political class considers beyond the pale. For… Continue reading


George Osborne is making the going

22 October 2010 15:39

There are several interesting columns on George Osborne in the papers today. In The Times, Tony Blair’s former speechwriter Phil Collins warns Labour to stop underestimating the Chancellor, who is… Continue reading


What to make of Cameron’s rejection of laissez faire?

6 October 2010 18:52

Pressure brings out the best in David Cameron and right now he’s coasting. He gave, as Pete and Fraser have said, a subdued speech. The content was there but his… Continue reading


War of words

28 June 2010 11:31

Yvette Cooper has condemned IDS’ ‘nasty’ rhetoric this morning and claimed that the government’s proposals are about ideological cuts, not welfare reform. It’s simple, but effective. IDS’ reforms are both… Continue reading


RIP Lord Walker

23 June 2010 17:47

Peter Walker, Baron Walker of Worcester, has died aged 78. He served as a Cabinet Minister in both the Heath and Thatcher governments. He was what might be termed derisively… Continue reading


A new approach to party management

27 May 2010 18:00

The newly-elected 1922 Executive is another demonstration of the strength of the right wing of the Conservative party. Paul Goodman notes that of the seven MPs elected to the executive… Continue reading


The Tory right asserts itself

26 May 2010 18:33

The results of the 1922 elections show that Conservative backbenchers are distinctly right-wing and keen to assert independence. In the race for chairman, Graham Brady — the only man to… Continue reading


The Big Idea Competition

13 April 2010 15:27

Whatever your political leanings, it is hard to deny that the Tories won the Big Idea Competition. The Labour Party offered a series of unconnected (if occasionally innovative) initiatives. But… Continue reading


The Lib Dem Appeal to Left and Right

12 March 2010 23:11

The Liberal Democrats have developed a reputation for being able to face in two directions at the same time. Their Janus-like qualities have stood them in good stead during their… Continue reading


Much to do if Britain is to manufacture its way out of trouble

16 February 2010 15:33

The City had hoped that Britain would export its way out of trouble. Dream on City Boys: Britain’s trade deficit is £7.3bn. It is perverse that the Thatcher government is… Continue reading


What’s needed now is a modern Conservative party with clear, discernible principles

6 February 2010 17:28

I’d like to do a final round of responses to comments to my Keith Joseph lecture. It’s easy for debates about Conservatism to be caricatured as being for or against… Continue reading


Labour Leadership Speculation is Back with a Vengeance

8 September 2009 18:27

Rachel Sylvester’s column today provides more than the usual share of insight and high-level gossip — what more do you want from a political columnist? The following paragraph is devastating… Continue reading


Revive the Enterprise Allowance Scheme

23 July 2009 21:52

Some will see it as final proof that I have made the journey from left to right, but I have to say I don’t see it that way. In tomorrow’s… Continue reading


The FT Turns On Thatcherism

29 April 2009 16:26

 A truly magnificent piece by Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times yetsterday. An extremely nuanced argument, which ends with the following paragraph: "One of Mrs Thatcher’s most famous phrases was:… Continue reading