Selfish! MP lashes out at union militants
Militants within the TUC came under fire from Mrs Margaret Thatcher at the annual meeting of Finchley and Friern Barnet Conservatives at St. Mary's Hall, Hendon, on Monday.
Mrs Thatcher, the constituency's MP and the Education Minister, declared: “There are some militants within the TUC who pay only lip service to their aims, and who are only in it for what they can get for themselves.”
Her speech was centred around the prices and incomes policy, on which there was a vote in the Commons that night.
“We must all stand firm against inflation,” she said, “If we don't beat inflation now we will have a next-to-impossible task in the future.
“The Government's present policy is for the benefit of everyone. We intend to continue on our present path. Everyone must be made to know this.
“We all want stable prices, and we all want a rise in the standard of living. But, if we are to do this, pay rises must be kept for the people who have earned them, not just rises for the sake of more money for no good reason.
“So, to give justified rises and maintain an increase in living standards, we must also increase production,” Mrs Thatcher added.
She also said that the lowerpaid workers and the pensioners must be specially looked after.
Mrs Thatcher claimed that everyone was agreed that the aims of the pay policy were good and necessary.
“The measures that the Government are putting before the Commons go a long way towards helping everyone,” she said, “The last time there was a vote on the matter in the Commons, the Government had particularly large majorities, but the Press chose to report only the dissensions from the Opposition.
“Labour did not fight the issue as strongly as they could because they had to devote a lot of time to fighting the recent by-elections in their own safe seat.”
Mrs Thatcher said that although the Conservatives could have done better in the elections. Labour did very badly indeed.
“We have now reached a phase where the prices and incomes policy has given us the rate of expansion we need,” she added.
If we are to get a rise in the standard of living, we must get an expansion in production. The present rate is about five per cent, and this must be maintained.
MAKE IT WORK
Unemployment is falling and the investment in new equipment is rising. And now we are not in debt to any foreign country.
“We are poised to win a great victory in the inflation battle as long as we stand firm now,” she said.
Mrs Thatcher explained that the next phase of the policy would mean that special cases would get pay rises.
“But for the time, we must make sure that there is a clear period without any rises if the policy is to work,”
Mrs Thatcher had special congratulations for Councillor Jimmy Sapsted, who had completed 44 years as a member of the Finchley and Friern Barnet association.
“This great record by the chairman is a tremendous example of loyalty and devotion,” Mrs Thatcher said.
She also said she would pass a message from the association to Mr Heath, “I will tell Edward Heaththe Prime Minister, that you are behind him all the way on his present drive to beat inflation.” she told the members, who gave the speech a standing ovation.
The occasion was the 50th annual meeting of the association.
Councillor Sapsted said: “It has been 50 years of hard slog in the constituency. But the hopes of the founders have been fulfilled.
“We have sold our premises in Ballards Lane, but only after the officers gave the matter a great deal of consideration. It was the right decision to make, and by selling we have acquired much-needed funds for the constituency and the party for years to come,” Councillor Sapsted added.
He said that during the year Mrs Thatcher had done a great deal of work in Finchley.
“She had been a great credit and help to us,” he said.
Councillor Sapsted had a special plea for the members to help in the campaign during the forthcoming GLC elections.
“If we all do our bit, then we will win,” he said.
Councillor Sapsted said that the branch Young Conservatives had done a lot, but he hoped that their numbers would increase in the near future.
He also said that Barnet councillors had worked hard.
“Unfortunately they do not always get favourable reaction from the local Press, but they still keep on doing a hard job well,” he said.