Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1975 Mar 5 We
Margaret Thatcher

Party Political Broadcast

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Unknown
Source: Thatcher Archive: CCOPR
Editorial comments: Broadcast at 1925 on BBC Radio 4. A note in the Ronnie Millar MSS at Charterhouse records that this was the "1st little speech I ever wrote for her" (10480/33/1). Film of the PPB is also available on this site.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 563
Themes: Conservatism, Conservative Party (organization), Labour Party & socialism

I see the Socialists have been celebrating twelve months in office. I wonder why?.

What exactly is it this Government feels so proud of?

A year that has seen the greatest acceleration of wage and price inflation in modern British history hardly seems a good excuse for dancing in the streets.

Can the cause of their rejoicing be the bigotry of Mr. Benn?

The foolishness of Mr. Foot?—presided over by the wiliness of Mr. Wilson, putting party before country in the name of Labour unity.

Labour united? I hardly think so.

Only last Saturday we were treated to the spectacle of one of the most senior Members of the Government publicly accusing another senior Member of “economic illiteracy” .

And in the same speech Michael Foot informed the nation, “I want to move towards a socialist society as fast as I can” .

Well, Mr. Foot, I don't.

What I want to do is to lead the people of this country away from the quicksands of Socialism. I don't think they want a Socialist society as fast as they can—or even as slow as they can. I don't think they want a Socialist society at all. Certainly a majority has never voted for it—least of all for the particular brand of Marxist socialism peddled so assiduously by Mr. Foot and Mr. Benn and their friends.

To stop the drift towards their kind of Britain and all that it implies will not be easy. It will call for hard, dedicated and united work by all those who do not want this country taken over root and branch by a carefully organised and highly articulate minority of the Socialist Party, itself of course a minority. But if the danger is recognised in time it can be stopeed in its tracks—tracks that are daily becoming more clearly defined. [end p1] Indeed it must be stopped, if we are going to restore the standards on which this nation was greatly built, on which it greatly thrived and from which in recent years it has greatly fallen away.

So I say now to all our people, and particularly those in the Midlands and the North—and to my friends in Scotland who welcomed me so unforgettably the other day—but who may have felt in the past that there was not all that difference between the Parties, that it didn't really matter who was in office, I say to you: come back into the fight. There's all the difference in the world. Join hands with us in the Conservative Party and help us rid the nation of this Socialist albatross.

But wishing won't make it so. It has to be worked for—and that, as the new Leader of the Conservative Party, I pledge myself to do with all my heart and strength.

To those who have been tempted to turn left, let me say this—in words attributed to Abraham Lincoln: You cannot strenthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

It's been said that all that politicians are doing now is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Well, here is one who isn't. Help me to help you.

Good night.