Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Finchley businessmen

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Hendon Hall Hotel, Hendon
Source: Finchley Press, 25 September 1986
Journalist: Hilary Lewis, Finchley Press, reporting
Editorial comments: 1215-1445 MT spoke to the Finchley Business Bureau over lunch.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 567
Themes: General Elections, Foreign policy (USA), Media

Mrs Thatcher outlines Tory election goals

Finchley MP, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was introduced as the person who runs “Great Britain Ltd” when she spoke to Finchley business people on Friday.

Mrs Thatcher, lunching with the newly formed Finchley Business Bureau, spoke about her government's policies and why she thought they should and would win the next General Election.

Her main task in the next 18 months, she said, was to make sure her party won at the polls. But she was careful not to let slip any indication of when this might be.

Although already preaching to the converted—the bureau is allied to the Conservative Party—Mrs Thatcher outlined the aspects of Conservative policy she thought would help at the next election.

“Tackling problems that others had claimed were insuperable, such as the unions, inflation and denationalisation. We took these on and won,” she said.

Outlining Tory economic policy, she stressed the importance of individual effort to raise the standard of living.

Recalling President Kennedy 's quote “Ask not what your country can do for you … “Mrs Thatcher said she thought that sometimes now we tend to have an entitlement society rather than an obligational one.

She said the way to improve unemployment was to encourage business. The government could only create a few jobs in the public sector, she said.

She felt that property owning was an important element of an enterprising and responsible society. She told her audience of her pride at handing over the keys of the millionth council house to be sold.

She finished by saying that because the government has concentrated on the creation of wealth, the welfare services were better than they had ever been.

With more people than ever working in the Health Service and despite one million more pensioners than when she came to power, pensioners were keeping abreast of inflation.

Mrs Thatcher also gave some insight into the problems she faced getting “the message across”

Speaking about the Common wealth, she said that, contrary to what some of the media had said, she found she was not alone over sanctions but had “quite a crowd around her” .

She said she knew her support of President Reagan over the Libyan bombing would be “misinterpreted” , but was determined not give way to the bully.

In reply to a question about marketing, she said that despite the money spent on the health service, it was difficult to convince people of how they support it because of other adverse publicity.

She said that a consultant wanting a new piece of equipment or more money for research got a ready reception on television.

“I wonder what in the world they do with all the money they have got sometimes?” she asked.

She also warned of the dangers of being misrepresented. “Some of the newspapers are very good to us, but with the electronic media it is much more difficult to get your point across,” she said.

Several members of the bureau had a chance to ask questions, including Trevor Williams who spoke on behalf of Finchley and Whetstone Chamber of Commerce.

He told the Prime Minister that small businessmen often found they spent so much time filling in various forms, for example concerning tax and national insurance, that it was difficult to run their businesses.

Mrs Thatcher sympathised. She said regulations had been kept to a minimum and would be looked at again.