Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1997 Apr 9 We
Margaret Thatcher

Remarks campaigning during 1997 General Election (Christchurch & Aldershot)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Christchurch & Aldershot
Source: Thatcher Archive
Editorial comments: Exact time and location uncertain.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 837
Themes: Conservatism, General Elections, European Union (general), Economic, monetary & political union, European Union Single Market, Labour Party & socialism


(1) Christchurch


I am for Britain. And I think we are giving too much to Europe. Our fish. 80 per cent of the fish bearing waters are ours, we only get 30 per cent of the fish. They export more goods to us than we do to them. We give them £10 billion year. I am on agriculture. … so we are not getting a good deal at the moment and that is why we have got to fight for a better one and insist on having one.

Europe is very important. Within seven weeks of the election decisions will be taken in Europe at the Conference at Amsterdam between the heads of all governments which will decide our destiny. And it is important that everyone knows that and the Prime Minister has given a lead to say we are for a Europe of nation states. Now a nation state to me means that you keep or recover your own Parliamentary sovereignty, you keep or recover your own legal sovereignty and you keep charge of your own financial affairs and currency.


Should John Major rule out a single currency?


I have said what I am going to say about that, I hope you listened.

(2) Aldershot Town Football Club

Norman Rees, ITN (?)

Lady Thatcher, on the basis of what you have learned today on your first day of campaigning, is John Major going to be able to score the winning goal on May 1st?


I have been in two Tory constituencies and the feeling is terrific and I think now the campaign has started and Parliament has been dissolved so we are in the campaign proper, which we haven't been before, I think you will find we whall come up in the opinion polls.

Norman Rees

Can I ask whether you will be campaigning on behalf of Neil Hamilton?


I don't think I am going to Neil's constituency. I am booked strongly elsewhere.

Norman Rees

Do you support him?

[end p1]


I hope he wins most earnestly. I think he has put up a bonnie fight and people like a bonnie fighter.

US journalist

Back in the States people are thinking about Tony Blair as the new Margaret Thatcher. What do you think about that?


Well I think they have got the sex wrong for a start.

And I think they have got the willpower wrong.

I think they have got the reasoning wrong.

I think they have got the strength wrong.

And he is trying to take over my policy in part, its a kind a conversion of convenience. I had to make the revolution happen by changing everything I found when I took over.

I changed it because I had a conviction about politics, about liberty, the rule of law. And we founded all our policies on conviction.

We didn't believe in having an over-powerful state, so we cut taxation.

We didn't believe in having too many regulations – it hindered industries. So we cut the regulations.

We didn't believe that the trade unions should dominate industry, bring it to a full .. stop, secondary picketing, a closed shop and all that so we stopped it. Mr Blair is bringing back new trade union law. Its in his manifesto. It will give new power to the trade unions that I got rid of and I believe the situation reintroduced on trade unions was what most decent honourable trade unionists liked, they could get on with their work and still belong to a trade union.

The most serious thing about that manifesto, or two things, one that they are changing trade union law and remember the Grunwick strikes, they were about recognition, that is what we shall have again if he gets in.

And the other thing is he would go far more into Europe than we would and this is critical at the moment. There is a big international conference in Amsterdam an inter-governmental conference on Europe which will set the course for the destiny of this country in the future.

[end p2]

He wants to take the whole of the Social Chapter in. That again would mean far more regulation dictated from Brussels. Our Parliament couldn't do anything about it because it is by majority rule.

And I think every candidate in this election should be asked a question. Every candidate of all parties should be asked a question. Are you trying to get elected to our Parliament to hand over the powers of that Parliament to a non-elected Brussels. The Single European Act was for a single market, it was an economic community but Maastricht turned it into a European Union. The Single European Act was to have a single economic market for our people.


Mr Major signed the Maastricht agreement


Well, I voted against the Maastricht Treaty.

Will you please now, if you are able to, concentrate on the big issues. Why are you not doing so?


Did you have sleaze better under control when you were in power?