13 Apr 2013

Heseltine: another Tory leader could have delivered ‘Thatcherism’

He’s kept his famous head of hair below the parapet since Margaret Thatcher‘s death, but before she died I checked on what Michael Heseltine’s views were now of the woman he served and then tried to topple.

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Lord Heseltine wasn’t spotted at the House of Lords tributes on Wednesday. His only public statements this week have been limited to a tweet on Monday describing Margaret Thatcher as a “colossus” and a brief statement later in the week confirming that both he and his wife intend to attend the funeral on Wednesday next week.

You can see what he had to say in the film above. You get the strong impression he believes the heroine status accorded to Margaret Thatcher was a myth fuelled by her allies in the right-wing press and the reforms that became known as “Thatcherism” could actually have been done by another senior Tory at the time and were mostly commonly agreed policies amongst Conservatives by the late 1970s.

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9 reader comments

  1. Rob's Uncle says:

    The film is not there.

    1. Anna Doble says:

      It should be working now. C4N web team

  2. Colin Finch says:

    Swine, one and all. ‘Lower than vermin’.

  3. Ray Turner says:

    No, Heseltines wrong. Maggie injected a venom to the Conservative policies of the time that was unique to her…

  4. Philip says:

    I have to agree with Heseltne on that. Though he had plenty of faults, at least he was a Conservative who understood that there were a lot of disadvantaged people (not least as a result of his Government’s policies) & believed that something needed to be done about, while Thatcher believed that “the market” would sort it out – and when it patently wasn’t, either had no Plan B or couldn’t understand why it wasn’t.
    (On the other hand, despite the continued description of him by the right wing press as “Red Ed”, I can’t help feeling that on some things Ed Milliband is probaby to trhe right of Heseltine.)

  5. Robert Taggart says:

    Hezza – indeed, but, was he not ‘someone who had to buy their own furniture’ ?!

  6. paul says:

    So called thatcherism has been around ever since there has been greedy rich scum.

  7. Philip Edwards says:


    This is the same Heseltine who at a tory conference waved his fist in the air and shouted at poll tax protestors, “Won’t pay, can’t vote!” Thus, so much for democracy.

    This is the same Heseltine nicknamed “Plant a Tree Minister” when he turned up in Liverpool after the riots in Bristol, Brixton, Moss Side, Toxteth and right across the country.

    This is the same Heseltine you wouldn’t trust to hold a door open.

    But he’s got this one right. Thatcher no Thatcher the tories would have set out to destroy society whoever they had as their fuhrer, Heseltine included.

    The millions of wrecked lives we have are a direct result. And no amount of Heseltine self promotion or self pity can or will change it. His hypocrisy and Tebbit’s Little Englander poisoned class hatred is the tory norm. They will never change and nobody should expect them to.

  8. doubledoubt says:

    When one thinks of the high qualities some Tories possessed – one wants to cry – the wrong person was prime minister –
    Heseltine is the most dynamic of them and understood that cities and industry had to be rebuilt -Thatcher did not –
    imagine if the profits from the North Sea oil had been put into modernizinig industry (and industrialists!) the UK could have been like Germany now –
    I visited one of the pathetic sheds that were given to skilled craftsmen when their companies closed – no help – no businessmen there to show the way forward – she killed the skilled working class – many of the miners were skilled machinists – why did they have to be just without any job-
    Education has to be rethought – if we are going to work until our seventies there will have to be reeducation – upskilling more than once – people are right to be angry at her – some union leaders who were old trots however didnot have conversation

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