But when I look at our political leadership – or lack of it – now, I am much reminded of the stink of the Heath/Wilson years.

He has a point. Where are the radicals, the classcal liberals?

6 thoughts on “Heffer”

  1. Just a thought…

    Whatever a genius she may have had, Mrs Thatcher didn’t sell her programme particularly well. Her cold, bossy, school-marmish style put too much ammunition in the hands of her enemies. Many people (if not most people) now remember her personality more than her ideas.

    Reagan had warmth and charm but could too easily be portrayed by his enemies as a doddering old fool.

    What liberalism needs is someone with Mrs Thatcher’s ideas (free markets, private property etc) but with the personal charm, salesmanship and credibility of, say. Bill Clinton. Someone who will be liked universally on a personal level, even by those who oppose his or her ideas.

    Who is current British politics could pull it off? No obvious candidates, which means there is an opportunity there for someone…

  2. Mrs Thatcher and “Free Markets” ?

    Utter rubbish.

    The fact is that Mrs Thatcher’s government poured billions of taxpayers’ money into the nationalised coal industry, as well as into British Leyland/Rover Group to keep it going before it was finally privatised in 1988.

    And the Reagan and Bush (Snr) Administrations bailed out the deficits of the Savings and Loan Associations in America to the tune of $124 billions:

    All this stuff about Free Markets is tosh. The only Free Markets are in the middle of the Sahara Desert or the Amazon Jungle.

    Elsewhere, markets are bound by laws on property rights, the regulation of transactions and the law enforcement agencies and sensibly so. The intelligent argument is about changing the laws and regulations at the margin to improve the efficiency of markets. Absent laws and enforcement agencies to protect property rights and condition revert to the Bandit Capitalism of the Yeltsin era in Russia.

  3. Effing & blinding

    DK, I said someone with the personal charm of Bill Clinton, not Gordon Ramsay (lol).

    Bob, I agree with you, Mrs T and Ronnie R had a long way to go to be free marketeers that would satisfy my tastes, but compared to what she had around her at the time, and compared to what we have had since…

    My overall point is that a lot of people associate free markets with cold heartlessness – an obstacle to be overcome.

  4. Sadly, I’m inclined to think that Thomas Hobbes in The Leviathan (1660) was on the right lines:

    “Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

  5. Update:

    This is further credible and compelling reason why we need both monitoring and regulation of financial markets and discretionary interventions by monetary authorities:

    “A hunt has been launched for a stock market trader who may have made £100 million in a ‘modern day bank robbery’ after an attack on the share price of the country’s biggest mortgage lender. Shares in Halifax Bank of Scotland fell by 17 per cent as traders attempted to make a fortune by betting on the bank’s falling stock. Malicious rumours circulated by speculators were blamed for the run, which saw more than £3 billion wiped off the bank’s value.”

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