Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Barnet Anglo-Asian Conservative Society

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Woodhouse College, Finchley
Source: (1) Finchley Times, 26 November 1981 (2) Conservative News, January 1982
Editorial comments: Between 2000 and 2215.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 754
Themes: Defence (arms control), Economic policy - theory and process, Foreign policy (USA), Law & order, Local government finance, Race, immigration, nationality
(1) Finchley Times, 26 November 1981:

Asian spirit praised by PM

Asians in Britain who set up their own businesses and run them successfully show exactly the spirit of enterprise the country needs, the Prime Minister said in Finchley on Friday.

To stay in business they had to please the customer. Many were doing this and thus creating jobs for many people, she added.

Mrs. Thatcher was speaking to a packed hall of Asian and non-Asian Conservatives at Woodhouse School, North Finchley.

It was the fourth annual meeting of the Barnet branch of the Anglo-Asian Conservative Society, formed in 1977, and Mrs. Thatcher attends every year. She shook hands and chatted to people around the hall, before delivering her speech.

She said she had heard grumbles-about rising rates demanded by Labour-controlled local authorities.

“These grumbles are quite justified,” she said. “What is happening in the GLC will eventually be a boon for the Conservative Party.

“The more money that is taken away from businesses in rates, the less they've got to take on young people in their jobs and to plough back into their businesses.”

She made a plea for the police to be supported. She said that after the inner city troubles in Southall, Brixton and Toxteth, Conservatives in those districts had said to her the police must be supported.

“There can be no peaceful life for anybody unless law and order is upheld.”

She maintained Britain was through the worst of its recession—while the rest of Europe was just now heading for the worst of theirs.

“But it does require that we stick to our policies,” she said.

These policies did not rest on any “great economic theory” but on principles of ordinary life—not to live beyond our means.

“No one in a private family could go and print money in the kitchen,” she said.

She welcomed the American President's call for an end to nuclear missiles in Europe.

She hoped President Reagan 's “great initiative” would lead to arms reduction, while maintaining the balance of armaments “so we still have the means of protecting our way of life.”

Conservative MPs John Gorst and Sydney Chapman were at the meeting—along with GLC members Peter Black and Neville Beale and Barnet councillors.

Council leader Leslie Pym addressed the audience, as the branch's president, followed by Mr. Jay Gohel, co-president.

The branch's chairman, Mr. Kanti Patel, said the association demonstrated the Asian community's “firm and positive support for the Conservative Party.”

“We as Asian members must be more politically, socially and economically involved in the day to day affairs of this country and we must find a platform for our views by getting elected,” he said.

He said that criticism of the Conservative Party, claiming it supported right wing extremist policies on racial questions was unfounded.

“These unjust criticisms are only used by our opponents who wish to capitalise on racial problems. I am sure that the Prime Minister condemns any extremist views to the right or left.”

He added: “We are here to stay and be an integral part of British society. And there should be no question of voluntary or compulsory repatriation.”

(2) Conservative News, January 1982

Spirit of Enterprise

Mrs. Thatcher was given an enthusiastic reception when she spoke at a social function for more than 300 members of the Barnet branch of the Anglo Asian Conservative Society.

And the Prime Minister took the opportunity to reassure her audience about her own view of racial equality.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that we are all here tonight as fellow citizens of the United Kingdom,” she said.

“That means that each and every one of us, by virtue of being citizens of this country have equal rights, equal responsibility and equal opportunities, without regard to one's origins or class or background or race or creed. Citizenship embraces us all.”

She also underlined the contribution of the minority communities to the economy: “I know that a tremendous number of you have been very active not only in setting up your own businesses but, in doing so, creating employment for others.

“That is exactly the spirit of enterprise we need in our country and we need more of it,” added the Prime Minister.