Speech at adoption meeting
|Document type:||public statement|
|Venue:||Conservative Hall, 267 Ballards Lane, Finchley|
|Source:||(1) Finchley Press, 5 June 1970 (2) Finchley Times, 5 June 1970|
|Editorial comments:||Exact time uncertain.|
|Themes:||Conservatism, Economy (general discussions), Monetary policy, Education, General Elections, Labour Party and Socialism, Religion/Morality, Social security and welfare|
Wilson is running for cover
Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, Shadow Secretary for Education, accused Mr. Harold Wilson of "running for cover as he did in 1964 and 1966."
She was speaking to party members at the Conservative Hall, Ballards Lane, North Finchley, on Thursday after her re-adoption as Conservative candidate for Finchley and Friern Barnet.
"Harold Wilson is running for cover just as he did in the 1966 election which gave him a large majority. Bur four months afterwards he increased tax. He said that the country had been blown off course due to the seamen's strike, which was a totally different story from what he was telling prior to the election." Mrs. Thatcher stated.
In her speech she accused Mr. Wilson of being a "liar" when she spoke of "Labour's broken promises."
"It sounded very good what the Labour Government would do in the last General Election, but now we find that the cost of living has risen as never before. Wages have gone up but so too have prices and after paying higher contributions the working man is no better off than he was four years ago," Mrs. Thatcher said.
The Tories' manifesto was to strengthen "Law and order, individual and stronger morals, that's the kind of Britain the Conservatives would like to see."
Mrs. Thatcher continued: "We have also stated that we want to teach young people to lead responsible lives. We thought it was about time we put that in. Education must mean more than taking "A" "O" levels."
About the new voters she pointed out that the Conservatives would offer the young a "challenge" if they are prepared to work. She said that she thought many people in the young managerial status were "rather bewitched" by the Labour promises.[fo 1]
(2) Finchley Times, 5 June 1970
Wooing the voters
Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, who has been Conservative MP, has been out canvassing in Finchley with her election team.
On Wednesday and Thursday Mrs. Thatcher was away speaking in marginal constituencies in different parts of the country.
As the only woman member of Mr. Heath's shadow cabinet she is a drawing card wherever she speaks. One of the many important dates she kept in Finchley last week was her adoption meeting at the Conservative headquarters in Ballards Lane.
"This association pledges whole-hearted support to ensure her return to Parliament," was the unanimously passed resolution at the meeting.
After her introduction by Councillor J. Sapsted, Mrs. Thatcher spoke on Labour's broken promises over taxation, housing and mortgages. She compared this with the sincerity of the Conservative Party manifesto. "A better tomorrow."
There were no cheap promises or gimmicks in that, she said, but the genuine offer of a new style of government.
Among the human matters which would be dealt with when the Conservatives were returned to power she mentioned: people over the age of 80 who do not get a State pension; and widows under 50 suffering hardship without a widow's pension.
Mrs. Thatcher, who is Shadow Minister for Education, was questioned about standards in the teaching profession. She said she was extremely worried at the poor results some teachers' training colleges were producing.
Mrs. Thatcher referred to the Conservative's five-joint plan for education which itself would benefit by an improvement in the quality of the teaching profession, she said.
The Labour Government put 70 per cent more resources into education than the Tories did said Mr. Michael Freeman, Finchley Labour candidate, on Monday.
The Labour Government opened 13 schools every week and created twice as many new school places and twice as many new teachers as the Tories did.
Mr. Freeman asked: "And what do the Tories propose? To increase the number of direct grant schools—private schools more selective even than grammar schools because they offer not only privilege for children fortunate enough to be able to pass exams, but also privilege for children with wealthy parents.
"Mrs. Thatcher's Tory Education Policy was therefore a non-policy. It only contained one proposal—to increase the number of direct grant schools."
Mr. Freeman said that to educate people well and to provide good teaching was everybody's aim.
"Of course, there must be more and better nurseries, primary and secondary schools and higher education facilities all the time. The constant cry is more and better. But who is most likely to provide more and better?"
The Labour party insisted that compulsory education should be comprehensive. It was in the interests of both society and the individual. Creating independent schools created social divisions. Abolishing the first went a long way towards abolishing the second.
"The Conservative party is unconsciously enamoured of apartheid. For what is their system but one of separate development for a privileged few and second-class status for the masses. This classic definition of a social system misshapes their thinking on pensions and health, too: private schemes for those who can afford them.
"And what sort of citizenship would the Tory part offer our immigrant friends already here, when their thoughts are stained by Powellite racial hatred?"
The Liberals have been out this week canvassing in the shopping areas.
Their first printed message of the election campaign, an introductory leaflet, has gone into 15,000 homes in the area.
It is in the form of a letter sent by Mr. Graham Mitchell, Finchley Liberal candidate.
Mr. Mitchell writes: "When I was adopted as the prospective Liberal candidate two years ago. I determined to involve myself in Finchley's problems. This I have done.
For instance, I have campaigned for a re-assessment of the housing redevelopment plans for Cromwell Road, Friern Barnet.
The proposed Civic Centre at Finchley Church End included no social amenities. As you know, these are sadly lacking here, and I have repeatedly urged the inclusion of a community centre.
My weekly advice centre involves me in individual problems.
It is important that an M.P. should communicate with the people who elected him or her. That is why I believe in holding a twice yearly meeting to report back to you on events in Parliament.
Mr. Mitchell writes that once in Parliament he would be particularly concerned with industrial relations and tax reform. Both issues were extremely important.
"I should also like to introduce a Bill of Rights. This would ensure that our fundamental freedoms are not wittled away, and that people are not put at a disadvantage in dealing with ‘authority’."
In his High Street meetings Mr. Mitchell says he has come across two recurring points of view.
One is the annoyance felt by people who will be away on holiday on polling day and so will not be able to record a vote. The other is a worry about entering the Common Market.
He reports a good response to Liberal canvassing. "We were the first in the streets and people have been glad to see us," he said.
Mr. Graham Mitchell attacked MPs who are "completely out of touch with their constituencies" at his inaugral speech after his adoption on Monday.
Many politicians in the monopoly parties feel that politics is their right only," said Mr. Mitchell. "They are remote people … .
"People are treated by them as mere percentages of an opinion poll," he said. "Then once every five years or so, suddenly you matter, ‘and’ for three weeks the giant party machines desperately sell you a mixture of soap-opera with a slanging tug-of-war."
"Thus, too many MPs are completely out of touch with their constituencies," he added.
"Liberal MPs have shown that this need not happen. They keep in touch with their constituents."