‘Thanks for the victories’ says Mrs T
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher left the storm in the City far behind for a calm lunch as guest of honour at the Finchley Conservative Ladies' annual luncheon on Friday.
In an after-dinner speech celebrating her latest return to Number 10, Finchley's first lady promised the sails were set firmly to weather the storm.
“Yes, it all happened very suddenly,” Mrs Thatcher explained. “It started in Wall Street because America has been running a large deficit for several years. As a consequence confidence went and the selling started. And it's so powerful no other country could escape the effects.”
Now Britain's famous housekeeper has told America to deal with the deficit. “We have said we'll help to put an international package together to restore the strength,” she added.
Mrs Thatcher promised Britain was economically strong and the City would stand by its unwritten law our word is our bond—to go ahead with the sale of BP.
But the main theme of the speech was of victory in June thanks to her Finchley supporters. “You were absolutely marvellous, especially the Young Conservatives,” she said. “Wherever I was going they went ahead of me with their van, balloons and flags.”
And there was a special word of thanks for out-going agent Andrew Thomson, who chose Friday's celebrations as his own last official engagement.
He was sharing the lime-light with his predecessor Roy Langstone and his successor Michael Love.
“I have a special thank you for two terms as Prime Minister,” said Mrs Thatcher. “Roy saw me in but it was you, Andrew, who kept me there!”
Mr Thomson is returning to his native Scotland. “I always think the Scots are very lucky having England to the south because we appreciate their worth,” she said.
And she already has Mr Thomson lined up to work for the Conservative Party in Scotland. “I recognise there's work to be done but I'm confident he will restore the Tory faith for us. We've got a lot to do, Andrew. I'd like to treble membership,” she ordered. Mr Thomson had a chance too to return the praise. “Mike Love, you are joining a winning team and with a team captain like Margaret Thatcher you have got to go on winning because there is nowhere else to go,” he said.
And the Finchley MP is determined to go on winning. “I don't know that any one of us nine or ten years ago could have confidently predicted we could win three elections in a row,” she said. “But they say things go in threes and I want to have the next three too.” [end p1675]
(2) Finchley Press, 5 November 1987
The reason why we won election—Mrs T
The Prime Minister put the worries of the BP sale and the Stock Market collapse behind her for a couple of hours on Friday to do what she likes best of all—meeting her constituents and supporters.
In the ebullient, confident mood which always marks her visits to Finchley, Mrs Thatcher praised party stalwarts at a luncheon for their “outstanding” contribution to the Conservatives' record third General Election victory, before making a typically fierce defence of her government's policies.
She then made the short journey to the John Grooms Association for the Disabled home in Edgware to pay tribute to those who care for and support the less advantaged of her constituents.
Press reporters Eddie Gershon and Chris Heneghan, and photographer Sue Morgan, accompanied Mrs Thatcher on her travels.
The BP sale, nuclear weapons and the Stock Market crash were among the topics covered by the Prime Minister on Friday afternoon.
Speaking at Finchley Conservatives, annual luncheon at The Firs Winchmore Hill. Mrs Thatcher addressed the central issues of the day, as well as telling the audience why the Conservatives won a third General Election.
She said the three main issues in the election were defence. Finance, and the government's support of private enterprise.
This government knows and cares about the dangers posed by other countries. People now realise that if a country wants to keep its freedom they have to rely on strong and sound defence.
“World leaders look at Britain as a staunch and strong friend.” she said.
Mocking the defence policy of the SDP and Labour during the election she said: “If you don't know where you stand on defence you don't know where you stand on anything.”
The PM said the electorate also approved of the government's financial policies.
“Everyone has to live on a budget, the government has to live within a budget, and our good housekeeping has made our economy sound and strong,” she said.
She also said that it is important to encourage enterprise in all sectors of the economy as the nation's prosperity depended on business.
Mrs Thatcher then spent 15 minutes talking about the three subjects dominating the news at present.
On the BP offer she told the audience that the City's reputation would have been destroyed if the government had called off the sale at the last moment.
“The City's motto is Our word is our bonds and we could not destroy that.” she said.
Talking about the Stock Market crash, the PM said that no country could have escaped the consequences of the massive US deficit.
“Our economy is still strong it's as healthy now as it was three years ago. Of course we have been affected by the crash, but sterling is still strong in world markets.
“The markets are going through a storm but the Ship of State is sound.” she said.
At the end of her speech she thanked party members and supporters for their “outstanding” work in Finchley during the election campaign, and highlighted the contribution of her agent, Andrew Thomson, who formally stepped down on Friday to return to his native Scotland after five years in the “hot-seat” .
“Over the past five years Andrew has been a great help to me and I knew that when he was around I had nothing to worry about because he would be getting things done.”