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The Tory Party exists to protect the nation and to solve the problems of the day. In a crisis, the two tasks can merge, most notably in 1979. Then, there were related threats to the British economy, to the rule of law and to the West's ability to sustain the Cold War. Margaret Thatcher saw off all three and won enduring greatness.

But there is a problem with politics in a fallen world. In Chris Patten's words, "as soon as you take a trick in diamonds, you find that hearts are now trumps". Old difficulties give way to new. As long as the Soviet Union cast such a long shadow, the menace of Islamic terrorism was obscured. While Margaret Thatcher was mending a broken economy, not enough attention was paid to a broken society.

For the past 30 years, governments have been uneasily aware of two huge - also related - problems: the underclass and the public services. Since 1945, there has been vast expenditure on the welfare state. Too often, the result has been an "ill-fare state" condemning its clients to hereditary poverty, unemployment, demoralisation and crime. Culturally and economically, London is a city of unsurpassed opulence. Despite that, there has been a social regression to a Dickensian underclass.

The welfare state is not the sole instance of government wastefulness. In recent decades, politicians of both parties have tried to ensure that the public services serve the public: that a pound spent by the state should deliver the same value for money as a pound spent by the taxpayer who earned it. There has been little success.

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November 30th, 2011
7:11 PM
The Conservatives as well as other parties prefer for the public to have limited political knowledge, they write their manifestos which in theory sound wonderful. They all seem to benefit the people that need it most, the lower classes. So the lower classes vote for them and by doctrine of a mandate, the Tories once in power are able to create the mess that Thatcher when she was in office from 1979 - 1990. In reality, the Tories are still what they always were and what they always will be, a Government that wants an elitist structure in society. Of course no country can be entirely equal as every citizen is different. If you gave every person £100, every person would spend it differently. But why should one who is born into poverty have to stay in it, we are all human and should all have an equal chance of becoming successful. But, the Tory government have taken away this chance of liberty for the lower class citizens by increasing university fees. So intelligent children whom could easily get As at GCSE and A level and enroll in a course at university will now be in dept for all their life. So well done the people who have voted for the Conservatives. Congratulations. You have just brought in another Thatcher. I look forward to having riots on my doorstep again. (P.S David Cameron, a way of solving our financial deficit is perhaps by reducing your £142,500 salary!!)

April 13th, 2010
10:04 AM
Congratulations. Half the lower-paid in this country are thinking of voting for David Cameron. I must admit that I find his policies enticing. If only Margaret hadn't creamed off so much for her family and friends. Saudi arms commissions are but a start. And how do you manage to declare that the bankers and big business are behind you and still keep the loyalty of the masses. Must be mass-hypnotism. Am economically Conservative , definitely not a Labour voter, but care too much for fellow-humans to vote for cynical marketing and greed. Did it in 1979, then realised how self-interested you lot were.

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