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1950 Aug 28 Mo
Margaret Thatcher

Remarks on what makes a good constituency politician ("to mix with kings nor lose the common touch")

Document type:public statement
Document kind:Remarks
Venue:Conservative Club, Picardy Road, Dartford, Kent
Source:Dartford Chronicle, 1 September 1950
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:Evening?
Importance ranking:Minor
Word count:383
Themes:Conservative Party (organisation)

POLITICAL BRAINS TRUST

‘POSERS’ FOR LEADING CONSERVATIVES

Miss Margaret Roberts, M.A., B.Sc., Mr. J. W. Panton and Mr. Gordon Waterman, faced a barrage of questions from Mr. G. W. Phillips (question master) at Belvedere Young Conservative Association's political brains trust, held at the Conservative Club, Pieardy-road, on Monday.

Asked whether, in view of the need for increased production, he thought a six-day working week was necessary, Mr. Panton said he did not like compulsion. If a man could earn sufficient for his needs in five days, it was obvious he would not work more.

The solution he thought, was to create a state of affairs in which workers had to work a 50-hour week in order to earn enough to satisfy their requirements. Miners before the war produced coal as they did because they had to work a certain number of hours to earn the money they needed.

Dangerous thing

"That is a dangerous thing to say, Mr. Panton," said Miss Roberts, who thought his system would tend to increase absenteeism. Rather it would be better to give men an incentive to work harder durin; five days. Otherwise the good worker suffered in the same way as the bad worker.

What makes a successful politician? was another question, and Mr. Waterman thought the best qualifications were sincerity and sympathy, and an ability to listen to the other fellow's point of view.

Miss Roberts agreed but said to be a good mixer was just as important for a constituency politician—" to mix with kings nor lose the common touch."

Mr. Panton suggested that qualifications depended on what party one was representing.

General Strikes Should be Illegal

How would Conservatives deal with Communist-inspired industrial unrest?

Mr. Panton said, "The general strike was over in a week, and no doubt we could deal with a similar situation. The working-man is not a bad chap, but he is easily led astray."

Mr. Waterman thought the purpose of trades unions should be re-defined, and Miss Roberts was of opinion that general strikes should be made illegal.

There were several other questions, and a vote of thanks to the trust was proposed by Mr. Phillips.