Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1974 May 17 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

Radio Interview for London Broadcasting Corporation ("we shall finish up being the more radical party")

Document type: speeches
Document kind: Radio Interview
Venue: House of Commons
Source: IRN Archive: OUP transcript
Journalist: George Gale for LBC
Editorial comments: 1500. LBC broadcast the interview on its Feedback show on 27 May 1974 (1930-2100). Unfortunately only a fraction of this ninety minute interview was retained for the IRN archive.
Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 450
Themes: Conservatism, Conservative Party (organization), Economy (general discussions), Labour Party & socialism
tape begins in mid-conversation?

MT

… I don't think there is a natural governing party. Democracy is comparatively new. I mean— “one person, one vote” is a post-war phenomenon. Even in this country, one person one vote is 1950, wasn't it? And so I don't think there is going to be any question of a natural governing party. I do hope that we shall return to being the party which I believe can get the economy right, because I don't believe the present government will. I believe it will go completely against the natural instincts of the British people, to manage individually a fair proportion of their own affairs.

George Gale for LBC

Well, I think in a way you've made a considerable confession there, and an intelligent one, in no longer claiming that the Conservative Party is the natural governing party. You would presumably—obviously—dispute that the Labour Party has become, in a way, the natural governing party. And perhaps let me say this: do you think it is possible—even though you would dispute that—that the Tory Party itself may become the radical party, the party of change?

MT

Oh, very much so. Very much so. Because any period of socialism brings you to a rigidly controlled system, which is … makes it very difficult to respond to change. At that period you get a backlash, because we are not naturally a people who submit to control for a very long time. And I think we shall finish up being the more radical party, but radical to secure that the people themselves have an influence which they do not necessarily have merely by having a say in a government, or a say in what happens in a nationalized industry, etc.

George Gale

Now here you again are saying things which are almost Powellite, but I know you would …

MT

Well, no. Mr Powell might sometimes agree with some of the things that I say.

George Gale

Well, he probably would. And you no doubt sometimes agree with some of the things he says. [end p1]

MT

But to me some of them are so fundamental that they are far older even than Mr Powell.

George Gale

Well when we talked about him earlier on you missed the reference.

MT

I did, completely missed it. I'm sorry, but what he did to us in the last election when rejecting us and asking people to vote Labour was so fundamental that I had no longer associated him the future of the Conservative Party in power …

Tape ends in mid-sentence.