Last week Sam Coates and I attended the UK launch of John O’Sullivan’s new book – The President, The Pope and The Prime Minister. Margaret Thatcher was at the reception (as my rather inadequate snap of the great lady and Sam shows). She appeared to be in excellent health and joined guests that included Bruce Anderson, Iain Dale, Alan Duncan, Robin Harris, Allister Heath, Peter Hitchens, Lord Lamont, Fraser Nelson and Peregrine Worsthorne.
I started to read the book over the weekend and will write a full review in due course. But a great truth appears on page four that I had to share:
"Though [the liberal left] sometimes lost the power of government through election defeats, they and their colleagues almost never lost power in the bureaucracy, the courts, the universities, the media, the charitable sector, and the great cultural institutions."
I think that’s still true today and why the work of groups like the New Culture Forum and the Centre for Social Justice are so important. It has been the great mistake and weakness of conservatism that we allowed liberals their long, largely unchallenged march through the institutions. As Norman Lamont might say: Even when we’re in office, we’re hardly in power.