In a 1990 lecture at The Heritage Foundation, Thatcher summarized her conservative political philosophy. She said that liberalism's approach to government and society was "fed by a mixture of high-brow dogma and low-brow self-indulgence." Ronald Reagan, she said, shared her philosophy, which is why he, too, cut taxes and began removing regulations that restricted free enterprise and risk-taking. America's economy, which had been stagnant, responded with the biggest post-war boom in history.
Such lessons have been forgotten, or deliberately suppressed, in Britain and America. The failure of strong conservative leadership has allowed Blair and his Labour Party to resurrect big government.
Thatcher spoke of self-restraint. The Blair government - which has also presided over same-sex "marriage" and child adoption by nearly any adult in any living arrangement - fears the words "no," "enough" and "no further."
Commenting on growing government, a Dec. 30 editorial in The Daily Telegraph said, "By bloating the state in this way, Labour has created a caste of people with a vested interest in pursuing certain policies. It doesn't much matter how we vote, nationally or locally, as long as decisions are in the hands of strategy coordinators and policy directors."
Britain has retreated from the days of Margaret Thatcher, who said, "A man's right to work as he will, to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the state as servant and not as master. These are the British inheritance. They are the essence of a free country." The alternative is a less-free country, which is what Britain is again becoming.
Perhaps this is due to what was summed up by another "Thatcherism": "Many of our troubles are due to the fact that our people turn to politicians for everything."
In his New Year's address, Tony Blair strongly suggested he does not intend to discourage them.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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