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tv   Discussion-- Margaret Thatcher  CSPAN  December 1, 2013 7:00am-7:56am EST

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extend these human rights, just like the world has abolished slavery and torture and piracy and genocide. simply because it's the right thing to do in a postcolonial age. >> native american self-determination, like what kind of level of self-determination to you like fever? out right straight independence or something like lesser model of like relationship with the united states? >> both the self-determination principles of the declaration,
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as well as our own indian self-determination policy, indicate that the self-determination of tribes would take place within the nation and run parallel to the sovereignty of the united states. the declaration places limits on the human rights. it says nothing he ran shell to solve the integrity of a nationstate, or tear apart its territorial integrity. so it contemplates a robust definition of self-determination that is the right of indigenous peoples to control their own destiny through self-government, either indigenous institution to setting policies over the indigenous land and traditional territories and habitats,
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through protecting their right to culture in the broadest sense of the word, but it doesn't extend to secession or those nations that recognize human rights. and that -- i think it's pretty constant. this idea of the inherent tribal sovereignty principles being exercised under the protectorate framework laid out as domestic dependent nations with inherent sovereignty over the land and people. but exercised under the protection of a stronger nation, similar to these international protectorates. okay, well, with that, i want to
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thank each and everyone of you. i hope that the great spirit will be at your side in your study and your endeavors. thank you very much. [applause] >> booktv is on facebook. like us to interact with the booktv guests and viewers. watch videos and get up-to-date information on events. facebook.com/booktv. >> nile gardiner talks about what conservatives today can learn from margaret thatcher's life in time in office next on booktv. this is about an hour. >> thanks very much. thank you very much, everybody, for joining us here at the heritage foundation today. i'd like to kick off with a
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tribute video the margaret thatcher, commemorating her achievements and legacy put together by the heritage foundation team. so we'll start with this short video. >> in the spring of 1979 in the wake of britain's winter of discontent, margaret thatcher spencer the party won a landslide victory. the eye and lady took the helm of a fading britain, the sick man of europe as it did become to be known. she refused to accept that decay was inevitable and the job of the british government was in decline. britain she believed could do better. >> some seem to believe that people have been numbered and a state computer. we believe they should be individuals, but no one, thank heavens, the spy like anyone else however much pretend otherwise, and we believe that atwood has the right to be
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unequal, but to us every human being is equally important. >> while she had no shortage of critics -- >> the prime minister is where i detest everything one of our domestic policies. >> since the honorable gentleman knows that i have the same contempt for his socialist policies as the people of eastern europe spirit she was secure in her faith that a conservative vision was right. >> it's about how much of your money can be spent by the state and how much you should keep to spend on your family. it's a state to spend more, can do so only by bottling your savings or by taxing me more. and its noble thanking someone else will pay. that someone else did you spirit she knew what ronald reagan did,
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that free market and the free people the best defense against tyranny and that peace comes to strength, not a combination. >> mr. speaker, it is not caused by the buildup of weapons. they are caused when an aggressor believes he can achieve his objectives at an acceptable price. >> america now stands at a crossroads, one path leads to deficits, decreasing influence and decline. the other, a renewed american dream we all want. >> mr. chairman, people want to live in peace, real, lasting peace. the peace that comes from independence of the state and being able to run your own life, send your own money and make your own choices. and above all, the piece of a
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country which is properly dependent against any potential adversary. >> as we take stock of our choices, the legacy of britain's iron lady remains a steadfast guide. [applause] >> that's a hard act to follow. just an incredible lady, and i had the honor of working for lady thatcher several years before i moved to the heritage foundation in 2002. and it was a tremendous privilege just to be in her presence. one of the truly greatest figures of our time. and from a young age actually, i was a huge admirer of margaret thatcher. as a student in high school, i campaigned actively actually for lady thatcher.
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and i worked on numerous elections, election campaigns for the british conservative party. as a graduate student at your mic, i had a massive poster of margaret thatcher on my wall. and as you can imagine that was quite unusual in a place like yale. students would come from all over campus just to see it. [laughter] and i still have that poster. it's absolutely fantastic. i think i once took a to lady thatcher herself to see the sign. and it was there for a dream come true when i had a phone call after i completed my doctrine in history, and asking if i'd be interested in coming in for an interview at lady thatcher's private office. and this was over a decade ago now, and margaret thatcher was working on her final book,
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"statecraft," and she needed someone to assist her with that book. so i went in for an interview with lady thatcher's chief of staff and her chief advisor, and the first interview went very well, fortunately. i was invited back for a second interview with "the iron lady" herself. and this was a truly daunting experience but also an exciting expense and it's been 45 minutes being interviewed by margaret thatcher. she used to say that she would decide within 30 seconds whether she likes someone or not. she formed instant opinions about people and what he said almost on the spot whether she trusted somebody. and so going in for this kind of
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job interview, as you can imagine, was quite an extraordinary experience. fortunately, i think she liked me, and i was given the job. as she had actually read very closely a book written by my advisor at yale, paul kennedy. and during the interview when i mentioned paul kennedy she actually said yes, i know that, i know that man, i know that book. and she really got off her chair and she went over to a bookcase in the corner to find the book. she literally went down on her hands and knees looking for this book. and she pulled out, firstly, another book written by a senior figure in the conservative party at the time. i won't name them, but she pulled out the book and she said, i don't like that man. she threw the book across the
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room. she then pulled out paul kennedy spoke and then she showed it to me. she actually marked every page of the book. she used to go through books with the been just like this here, actually, and she would write notes all over. and fortunately she liked this book and i got the job. so i had the good fortune of working in lady thatcher's private office in london, not far from the tory station. and ironically of the german embassy. and, of course, she had very strong opinions about the germans. and usually actually a very small, intimate office actually. there were only three of us on the private staff of lady thatcher's office on the political side. in addition for a couple of secretaries. she had a personal assistant who was featured in the iron lady
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film, in case any of you have seen that, and she had a security team, and also served in his had his office around the corner and he was officially known -- sir dennis. we would refer to her as lady t. she was actually i have to say i'm remarkably humble and kind person. there were no -- she was actually a very down to earth individual despite being one of the most famous figures of our time. but at the same time, you know, she was the marilyn monroe of the political world. and every time should get out of her car, and she had a jaguar shoes to travel and.
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because she was a prominent terrorist target, the doors were extremely thick and heavy, very difficult to open. but every time she used to get out of the car, crowds would gather, heads would turn and you know, she was really like a movie star. one of the most recognizable faces in the world. and the same went for any of her visits to the united states or to europe. everywhere she went she was mobbed by crowds of people who just want to get a glimpse of her or just wanted to shake her hand. even with a tremendous thing, she was always very, very humble and kind all of the time to her staff. she took very good care of all of her staff and also their families as well. she would treat everybody the same really. sometimes she would open the
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front door of her private office, which was very, of course, offices were very, very carefully guarded by police with machine guns. but sometimes it should not on the door and she was down in the lobby, she would actually open the door much to the consternation of the police, and you didn't have a chat with the postman delivering mail. she talked to the postman about 10 minutes or so, and she was that kind of person. she had the tremendous, and you know, common touch as it were. she treated everybody as though they were special. that's one of the reasons i think for her tremendous success. after leaving her private office, and joining heritage, i had the privilege of seeing lady thatcher about twice a year every year up until her passing early this year. i saw her for the final time
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actually in london in december just before she went to the hospital. and the had an hour-long conversation with her over a cup of tea. she loved cup of tea. she loved grump and biscuits actually and one would compete for the chocolate biscuit. she was actually any very, very cheerful mood. she was very calm and collected. it was very clear i think that my last meeting with lady thatcher that, you know, she felt that she had done all that she could possibly do for her country, for the sake of conservatism. and i felt in that final meeting it might be the last time that i would ever see her. and, unfortunately, she passed away in april. i attended the magnificent funeral ceremony for lady thatcher held in saint paul's cathedral. tens of thousands of people, even hundreds of thousands of
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people lined the streets of london cheering her coffin as it passed through the streets. and following the ceremony in saint paul's, which is a beautifully moving ceremony, as her casket was carried out by members of the britain's armed forces, she loved britain's military, there was a huge cheer from the crowd outside. and the cheer echoed all the way through the cathedral. and it was a demonstration i think of a huge affection -- most british people feel for margaret thatcher. of those who oppose her policies i think at least they respected the achievement of the iron lady. and she was somebody who, frankly, saved britain from what many thought at the time was terminal decline. she rescued this great nation.
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she put the great back into britain. and i would just like to talk briefly about the key achievements as prime minister. with very good reason, she recognized alongside sir winston churchill, really as the greatest prime minister of our time. she was of course the first woman prime minister of great britain, the longest continuing sleep serving primers on the 10th century. she won three general elections in a row. she never lost a general election. she implemented a political revolution in britain, known as thatcherism, which was all about small government, all about low taxes. it was about really returning power back to people come back to businesses and away from government. britain in the 1970s was a
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basket case, it was known as a sick man picture. it was in such an appalling state in the 1970s that it once did it would have to go for a long from the imf. and you can imagine humiliation for this great country, a nation that had once held sway over a third of the world's service. and it was broke -- brought literally to its knees by a socialist big government policy in the 1970s. margaret thatcher vowed to reverse those policies. she would not accept the idea of british decline. she said, i don't believe in decline, i won't accept it, i won't tolerate it. declined assembly not what britain is about. but she worked hard really as prime minister to improve the life, not just of the middle-class, the traditional voters for the conservative party, but also the working class as well. she privatized a large number of
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state-owned industries. she enabled millions of britons to buy shares in those formally state-owned industry. her government sold off millions of government own public housing, enabling a whole generation to be able to buy their own home. many of these people became conservative party voters. she was also of course a towering figure on the world stage, together with ronald reagan she confronted the might of the soviet empire. and through the strength of the partnership between reagan and thatcher, this mighty empire collapsed. she also led britain to victory in the falklands war in 1982. of a talking a bit more about that later in my talk. but the falklands war instrumental restoring british pride, reestablish britain as a great warrior nation.
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she had infinite faith in the ability of britain's armed forces. but that victory of course was based upon margaret thatcher is rebuilding of britain's armed forces and increasing defense spending after defense cuts of the 1970s, and as a demonstration that if you want to go to war you have to prepared to fight those wars by investing years ahead in military capability them otherwise you will something not be able to fight and win those wars. what were the qualities that made margaret thatcher a truly great figure? these are the qualities that i think made thatcher a truly great leader, and which are discussed at length in my book with stephen thompson. above all, margaret thatcher was a conviction politician. you always knew where thatcher
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stood on issues. there was no middle ground for margaret thatcher. she wasn't interested in consensusbuilding, which she thought was synonymous with weakness. she wasn't interested in focus groups, the latest political fads. she actually didn't pay that much attention to opinion polls. but she didn't like this sort of modern bad for sort of identity politics. she believed in treating people as individuals, regardless of your social background, your race, your color. she didn't believe in identifying people. by where they came from. she believed in treating everyone as an individual, and i think that was actually a key part of her success. in 1989 in a speech to the conservative women's conference,
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she declared, we are conviction politician. we know what we believe. we hold fast to our belief, and when elected, we put them into practice. those are the words of a hugely successful politician. i think there are words that should be heard by any politician today. she also said in 1989, we never put power before principle. political principles were always a paramount importance the market such. she did not live in compromising on those principles. she also believed in the greenhouse, what she called victorian virtues. she was a firm opponent of the welfare state. she believed in self alliance and thrift. she believed not in handouts but in handouts. -- and ups. she relished in -- even though they're touring area is seen as
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unfashionable. margaret thatcher understood the grassroots, and like reagan, she was not from a metropolitan elite. meaning in their own party looked down on her and sneered after when she was originally running for office. she was also viewed as a radical or someone rocked the boat. a real outsider. the key reason why she got on so well with ronald reagan is the fact that both of them were real outsiders from outside of the political establishment of their own parties. like reagan, she came from a humble background, a groceries daughter. her family lived above the grocery shop. she worked in the shop for many, many years. this gave her a good understanding of how to run a small business. and throughout her political life she campaigned on bread-and-butter issues, issues that ordinary voters really cared about. not artificially manufactured issues.
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she campaigned on the economy, taxes, law and order, immigration, matters that affect their daily lives of ordinary people. she once remarked those who seek to govern must be willing to allow the heart and mind to a wide open to the people. as i mentioned earlier, she appealed not only to the middle-class but also the working class. she was a truly aspirational politician. she believed in giving those who were in a less fortunate situation in society an opportunity to move up the social ladder. she was also an extremely courageous politician. she demonstrated both personal and political courage. she was fearless. she once said that courage is what you shall in the heart of the battle, not at the postmortem. she also remarked virtue is courage. the only thing you've got left sometimes is courage and
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fellowship. the irish republic the army tried to blow thatcher up in 1984. the bomb went off i think at about 2:54 a.m. she actually finished working for the day on his speech to be delivered to the conservative party conference. five people were killed and 34 injured. the bomb narrowly missed her. the police advised her to go back to london. she said no, i'm staying in brighton. i'm going to deliver my speech. she went ahead that same morning, delivered her speech and she said to the terrorists, we will hunt you down. we will defeat you. we will never give in to terrorism. she had extraordinary courage, and she was an absolutely fearless politician. she also stood up to the force of the trade unions who had dominated the british economy in the 1970s. she also took on the might of
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the soviet empire, and in this aspect, she was greatly inspired by the achievements and leadership of winston churchill. churchill was always her idol growing up as a young girl. she would listen to churchill's speeches coming over the radio. she was greatly inspired by everything that winston churchill stood for. and she was determined to follow in the footsteps of winston churchill. and courage, margaret thatcher's courage went hand in hand with the decisiveness as we saw with the falklands war. launched a task force of 100 chips and three submarines and 27,000 military personnel in the space of just two days.
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after argentina had invaded the falkland islands. she made it very clear despite opposition from within her own party, from her own defense chief, that she would not accept british territory being taken by hostile folks. in 74 days this task force had defeated the argentines but the falkland islands are only 300 miles off the coast of argentina. this was an extremely dangerous and difficult operation. had the falklands war been a failure, it would have brought down the government. but she went ahead. she defied her critics and said, i am not going to give in to those who are weak kneed. who don't have the stomach for a fight but i'm going to fight this war and win. she did exactly that. margaret thatcher was also all about loyalty. she was very loyal to her friends, for those who worked with her.
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the thatcher reagan partnership is all about loyalty. to great leaders standing shoulder to shoulder on the world stage. when she first met ronald reagan, formally in the mid 1970s, reagan had originally expected the meeting to be just a few minutes. they actually spoke about two hours, and reagan was hugely impressed with margaret thatcher. thatcher was hugely impressed with ronald reagan. they were kindred spirits but as the relationship built upon, thrust upon 10000% loyalty to -- 10100%. that's why wor worked so successfully but behind the scenes, of course, margaret thatcher was a tremendously hard worker. and all for achievements were
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underscored by a tremendous work ethic, which she gained working in her father's grocery shop as a young girl. she used to sleep famously just five hours a night. she used to read through policy papers in tremendous detail. she would be up later than anyone among her personal staff. she was someone who always take it as they prepare for every speech she gave, and i saw that myself. she would prepare for speeches hours on end in order to ensure that they were fantastic speeches that would stand the test of time. so she demonstrated that to be truly successful leader, you have to prepare and have to work very, very hard. that's not the case for a lot of politicians today, i have to say. for speeches, i think, were some
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of the greatest speeches ever given by a british politician. she was a wonderful communicator, like reagan. she was able to translate extremely complex issues into simple messages, which could be understood by vast numbers of ordinary voters. margaret thatcher, like ronald reagan, always delivered a very clear-cut, often simple message that voters could understand. she wasn't one for political jargon. she was one for straight talking and she believed in always getting her message across clearly and distinctly. and i would refer you to two or three of her greatest speeches, including her 1976 each, the iron lady speech where she spoke of the rights of the soviet empire, why the soviets had to be defeated.
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and throughout her life of margaret thatcher always was driven by a sense of patriotism, a sense that she was walking with the destiny and serving a higher purpose, much like churchill in this respect. patriotism was always at the very heart of margaret thatcher's message. every speech projected tremendous love for country. every word that she either didn't speeches were genuine, based upon a heartfelt love for her country. you wouldn't find margaret thatcher apologizing for a country. she only had the utmost sense of pride in her country, and she was determined to save her great nation from decline. i'd like to put a speech she gave to the general assembly of the church of scotland where she said, there's little hope for
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democracy at the hearts of men and women and democratic society cannot be touched by something greater than themselves. and a margaret thatcher felt that she was put on earth for a reason, a mission. and that was to save britain, defeat communism, to advance the cause of freedom and liberty across the world. and she accomplished that i think. i'd like to conclude this by addressing the question, what can american conservatives learn from margaret thatcher? what must be learned from the iron lady? i think most important thatcher rejected the idea you have to water down your political message, your conservative principles to win elections. she won three general elections in the tremendously hostile environment. with a media that was relentless he hostile towards her. and she won not by accommodation or compromise, but by sticking
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to the core conservative principles. moving to the center ground doesn't necessarily bring you success. i think it was david cameron found in britain at the last general election he didn't win an outright majority, and i think he did win because largely he decided to move to center ground. margaret thatcher always argued that those who want to vote for left wing or liberal parties, they're not going to vote for a conservative party. that is dressed up as a centrist or even left of center organization. i think that's an important message for politicians to heed on both sides of the atlantic. she described the notion of political as the absence of principle and the presence of expedient but there's no such thing as synthesis. together passion for politics, if you have a passion for liberty, you cannot accept the idea of always cutting deals with your political opponent.
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and i think this is also important, the grassroots of the conservative movement. she always made conservative voters feel that they belong to the conservative party. and that again is a critically important message for the conservative britain, for the republicans here in the united states. again, she always elevated the grassroots, the primary importance. and she also offered a relentlessly optimistic vision of britain's future. she was an optimist and she offered, she get the message that was one of aspiration, one of tremendous hope and optimism and britain's future. i think voters really liked that. she wasn't a negative campaigner. she never implored british
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voters to seek revenge at the ballot box. that wasn't her stop the she wasn't in a class warfare. she played in uniting all classes together, regardless of income. i like it was actually with the following words from margaret thatcher delivered at a party congress in 1988. we believe that individuals have the right to liberty, that no state can take away, that government is a servant of the people, not its master. that the role of government is to strengthen our freedom, not deny it, ma but the economic role of government is to establish a climate which enterprise can flourish, not to move in the of the way. i'd like to conclude on that note. thank you very much. [applause] >> i'd now like to actually welcome onto the stage or brief remarks my friend and colleague stephen thompson, and my
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co-author. stephen is a veteran of congressional politics of washington for many decades the keys worked in republican national committee with the joint economic committee and even for the department of labor as well am i dead. stephen was a chick -- as well i might add. stephen gottis ph.d from cambridge, and as an oxford graduate i won't hold that against stephen. i would like to welcome stephen to the stage. [applause] >> thank you for the introduction. you said therefore is a hard act to follow but you're also a hard act to follow. margaret thatcher was the biggest influence in my life. i lived in britain in 1981-1989, and again from 92-93. she had been prime minister two years when arrived in august of
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81. she was leader of the conservative party since 1975. and a as was shown in the video, now described, the 1970s were dreadful in britain. the country was close to bankruptcy. bureaucrats in the international monetary fund essentially ran the country. the entire decade was plagued with what are now called the british disease, the three decades of socialism, they control the means of production, economic policy was guided by the theories of john maynard keynes that you could spend, tax, and run deficits and debt and would be no effect to the economy. but reality set in by the late 70s. the early '80s. a confidential british cabinet doctrine which was circulated in the summer i arrived, this was red by margaret thatcher and
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others wrote, over the past 10 years, prices have risen by 275%. and money incomes by 335%. the real output only by 16%. the british had to borrow, tax, and inflate, that is a borrow and steal really, to get by. when lady thatcher moved into 10 downing street in may of 79, she inherited a disaster. i have a secret revealed. when i first went to britain in 1981, i was still a keynesian. one of the first places i visited in london was actually his old house at 46 gordon square, now part of the university of london. i first learned economics from a
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textbook. i don't know if they use that today. there was a game with which many of my generations became keynesians. we were taught the, could manage the economy and promote economic growth. however, when arrived in britain i soon realized that many of his teachings were disaster when applied to the real world. for example, to control inflation in the 1970s they abdicated and incomes policy and wage and price controls. in other words, the government would tell you what you could make in what you could charge. there was no thought of entering the money supply. the idea was to control economic freedom. so when the government tried to impose wage restraint, control prices, the unions and the socialist would simply take to the streets, shut down the government and economy, engage in wholesale strikes, mob
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violence and insurrection to stop the government from cutting spending and controlling incomes. you didn't find this outcome in the textbook but you did on the british streets. thatchers victory in 1939 signaled that many british people were simply fed up with socialism, wanted a better way of life. she always appeal to british patriotism. britain was a great country, she reminded voters. and the british didn't have to level -- live like this with union leaders and socialist denying them basic necessities of life through strikes and other measures. more important she also played a socialism was a part of the british care. and that millions would reject it at the ballot box if it could be shown an alternative. and she did. by 1990 can thatcher had 60 were other leaders have clearly failed to now talk about tax
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rates were slashed, spinning with butter and control, international debt load to a level not seen since before 1914. thatchers also reduce the state-owned sector of the economy by 60%. this is hardly today in america which is moving in the opposite direction in our country is in turmoil over something like many 17% of the government. britain in the 1970s was close to hyperinflation. the only country in the developed world, 25% inflation rates. she always believed that inflation was an attack not only economic values but moral values because you had -- in order to invest the so thatcher brought down the inflation rate from over 20% in summer of 1986.
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thatcher confronted the unions and brought them under the rule of law. after the coal miners strike in 1984-85, which thatcher successfully ended after protect children the number of strikes dropped dramatically. it should be remembered that a conservative in the actor said in 1976, no government in britain can hope to succeed today without the goodwill of the unions. this view was not shared by lady thatcher who said in an interview in 1979, by god, i'll confront them. and by god, she did. the hard left leader of the mining union, miners union, arthur, never knew what it meant and he never recovered.
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the result was diversity can begin to flourish in the 1980s under thatcher in a way that no one could have predicted in the 1970s. as an american living in britain in 1980s i was enthusiastic about the success of margaret thatcher. after all, my life was improving along with the british while i lived there. it wasn't just a booming economy that led me to become a thatcherite. there were far more fundamental reasons. first, unlike a lot of politicians, margaret thatcher was principled and have core traditions and never waiver. i like this. for those of us who worked in politics this may come as a shock for some politicians will say one thing and do another. for example, if you like your insurance, you can keep it. not margaret thatcher. you could bank on what she said to she rest defeat, ma and believed she was acting in the best interest of britain. the sign of a true patriot.
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more importantly, she delivered on the promises and british voters reported her by three elections in a row. suddenly -- secondly, when i arrived in britain it became apparent there was no alternative to margaret thatcher. she demonstrated me the class of economic principles in the 19th century mocked by the textbook worked with socialism didn't. i also realized that many british politicians at the time were looking for others to do their work for them to reverse decades of socialism. this began with the imf bailout and extended to some in the european community. thatcherism was about british politics and doing the heavy lifting themselves. even worse, her opponents were advocating doing nothing or even more socialism. some surrendering sovereignty to
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you. as an american i found this repugnant. third, i learned from thatcher that the enemy of economic prosperity and freedom in the 1970s and 1980s with socialism. it still is by the way. whether it was in the soviet union or britain. she said in 2000, there was no coincidence that the soviet union was flexing its muscles all over the world at the same time socialism was at its height in britain. she said the same social politicians are often deeply sympathetic to the fans of soviet power abroad. then she wrote, what occurred in britain industry was not therefore just a clash between the parties, it was a struggle between two systems offering two entirely different destinies. for an american was an undergraduate in 1970s and how
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by among others marxists at berkeley at santa barbara, particularly provided by thatcher was liberating. 20,000 poles chewed her in november 1988 declared understood what the iron lady stood for. she wrote in 1992, i set out to destroy socialism because i felt it was at odds with the character of the people there we were the first country in the world to roll back the frontier of socialism. and roll forward the freedom. lastly, actually britain and america were important to the world because of their values. they were united by love of freedom, limited government, the role of all and the history that they can be proud of. as she once said, bridge people don't like being pushed around. as president obama's find with the affordable care act, neither do americans. we cherish freedom.
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i also found in britain that the left and many conservatives that the post-thatcher were fundamentally anti-american. they believed britain could go it alone or be part of a greater europe. and many quite frankly despised american values. lady thatcher didn't get she rejected these attitudes and be saved that america and the special relationship which made me grow up to the vietnam war and wanted a stronger patriot and the believe in british and american greatness. last time i spoke to lady thatcher, i did know her as well as my co-author, with actually in the house cannon office building. she had dedicated a painting of her and while reagan. so i talked to her afterwards briefly, and i like to say i met her a few years earlier in parliament, and i lived in
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britain for almost 12 years and was a student. she turned to me and said in that quizzical way that she had of looking at you, she said, you lived in britain when i was prime minister and you never came to visit me? [laughter] for the younger conservatives in the audience today, your role will be like margaret thatcher to you're going to have to clean up the mess today. the united states is not headed in a good direction and it will fall upon your shoulders to clean up this mess. but you can take heart, somebody did before, it can be done. i advise you to read about her, study for papers, go to the thatcher foundation website, read her speeches. and above all, go visit margaret thatcher. thank you. [applause] >> great. we have a few minutes for some questions. i will take the liberty of
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asking the first one. we know that there's a lot of discontent in uk right now regarding the european union. we know that david cameron has pledged a referendum in 2017 on britain's membership in the european union and what the uk decides is very important to the united states does of our close relationship. we know the administration has been focusing heavily on encouraging britain to stay in the you should american conservatives view this issue? >> that's an excellent question, and a very important question in britain today. it should be an important issue in washington as well. margaret thatcher believed that britain's future should lie outside of the european union. she was convinced of this in her final years, that britain should enjoy the fruits of freedom. and you can't be free when you're shackled to the european union. and i think it's very
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unfortunate that in recent months you see a number of interventions by senior u.s. officials, including by the white house itself, and numerous interventions by the new u.s. ambassador and previous u.s. ambassador to london. basically arguing are basically saying that it's in america's interest that britain remain in the european union. this has actually provoked quite a backlash in the british press. there's a lot of outrage in the uk at what is perceived to be blatant interference actually by the u.s. government in the referendum debate issue in the united kingdom to a very sensitive issue in britain. and it's really i think that fiber significantly on the obama administration. it's also the wrong message to be sending. i'm of the view that it's in
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america's interest for britain to be outside of the european union. a free britain that is able to stand shoulder to shoulder with united states that is not shackled to brussels is in the u.s. national interest. and i do think that the entire message being sent by washington at the moment to britain is completely the wrong message, and it also of course is perceived by many bridge people as interference in internal political debate. so on both scores i think the administration is rather shot itself in the foot. >> if you could raise your hand and identify yourself. the gentleman here in the middle. we will start with you. >> i'm with the heritage foundation's working here i want to ask, now that we have a domestic political problems that you refer to, within the
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republican party, some of us we can certainly did want to modify the gop. it wants to destroy it and maybe replace it. how do you conservatives here are primarily economic and national defense conservatives respond to this without blowing, either blowing the coalition apart or winding up with sort of the problems mr. cameron has now? he's got a coalition government that has a lot of trouble functioning. >> we have what's going on now is conservative renewal. the younger generation is coming in to the republican party. so we are going to have these debates. people are going perhaps savings that they will regret in later years. but they have the same in britain. lady thatcher challenged the
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government from 74 -- 70-74, whose government was characterized by huge u-turns. she said it was the most socialist government in british history. so it was a harsh debate, a tough debate. but she won because she stayed -- stated certain principles, and renewable happened because conservatives right now cannot avoid this. it's their destiny. she said socialism works fine until they run out of other people's money. we run out of other people's money, so we should welcome this debate and not worry too much about the harsh rhetoric. >> the problem is they were arguing about the same thing, economics. here, you've got economic and national defense conservatives who are interested in one set of issues, and get people on the other side you can only seem to think about abortion and birth control. where there is no connection
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between the two sets of issues. it's two different worlds almost. >> it isn't any different when president reagan was in the white house or head of the republican party? they have those debates then, too. we were able to resolve them so i think we will in the future. >> we have time for just one i'm afraid to the gentleman in the back to glasses. >> my question is what would lady thatcher think of -- >> what? >> now, the question is, what would margaret thatcher think of the united kingdom independence party, uk can which is currently polling at around 15%, at 520% in some polls. in other polls down to 10%, but anyway, 10 to 20%. the uk independence party is also expected to do very well in the european elections next summer.
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some projection csis 30% of vote may go to the uk independence party, the party that campaigns for britain to leave the european union but also it has ever some influence upon immigration issues. and it wants a significant tightening of immigration restrictions, including for immigrants coming from parts of eastern europe including romania, bulgaria for example. turning to your question, you know, i think the uk independence party, if margaret thatcher was in power today, the uk independence party would probably be irrelevant. because thatcher would today be saying to the british people, get out of the eu, free yourselves from a huge burden on the british peop

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