Sunday 15 March 1981
... Sat in with them at No.10 for coffee but no briefing on Cabinet discussion of Budget - usual secrecy paranoia from MT. However, David was there at Cabinet and it went rather well. As soon as Geoffrey had finished outlining a v. deflationary budget (no Rooker-Wise at all - not the right way, in our view, too regressive - 2% off MLR, petrol, drink and tobacco taxes/duties well up) Jim Prior jumped in to attack, v. strong, red in the face, saying it was a disastrous budget etc. But he got no real support - just a little from Ian Gilmour and Peter Walker - so began to look isolated and foolish as other more hard headed people (Fowler, Nott) asked whether he'd prefer higher PSBR, higher MLR and a higher pound?