Pasted below are some highlights from a brilliant speech given by Lord Forsyth in Scotland to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's election as Prime Minister. Baroness Thatcher, four hundred Scottish Tories, including Lord Lang, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Annabel Goldie MSP and almost all the Conservative MSPs, several former Scottish MPs and many candidates were present to hear the speech. Pictured with Baroness Thatcher and Lord Forsyth is Jackson Carlaw MSP, Chairman of the Anniversary Dinner.
Margaret Thatcher's historic achievements: "We are here to celebrate a famous victory and to pay tribute to a great Lady who not only saved Britain but together with Ronald Reagan, ended the cold war, tore down the iron curtain, and enabled millions to escape the tyranny of communism."
Margaret Thatcher's work ethic: "My abiding memory of being in Margaret’s Government was of relentless work and pace. David Davis then a new member of Parliament stopped me as I was rushing through the member’s lobby and said, ‘ Slow down, Michael, Rome was not built in a day’. ‘Margaret Thatcher was not the shop steward on that job’ I said hurrying on."
Margaret Thatcher's personal ethics: "When Margaret wanted to redecorate the study in no 10 she paid for it herself. She always paid cash and never signed the bill in the members dining room and many of her colleagues who did so were given stern lectures on the dangers of debt and credit."
Margaret Thatcher's inheritance: "When Cecil Parkinson went to the Soviet Union as the new Trade minister his Communist opposite number told him they were no longer prepared to buy from Britain because of the poor quality of goods and the unreliability of deliveries."
Margaret Thatcher's economic revolution: "Breaking state monopolies, encouraging competition, lowering taxes and returning control of the trade unions to their members unleashed a new age of enterprise and wealth creation. Council House sales meant thousands of families were given the chance to have capital for the first time in their lives and freed from municipal controls that even decided the colour of their front door. Workers in privatised companies were given shares in the business as she set about achieving her vision of a meritocratic property owning democracry."
Margaret Thatcher's victory over Arthur Scargill: "By 1984 we had prepared for the day when Scargill would confront the Government. The miners strike was a disaster for the coal industry and was scarred by violence and intimidation as the leadership sought to defy the laws of the land and the laws of economics. The miners were lions led by donkeys. They deserved better and I shall never forget the courage shown by the working miners. One of them is now our chief whip in the House of Commons , Patrick McLoughlin. I would not advise any rebels to take him on! Ted Heath had asked the question in 1974 Who Governs Britain? And he had lost. But 10 years later the Conservative Government was ready to answer- resoundingly."
Margaret Thatcher's Iron quality during the Falklands War: "Enoch Powell speaking in Parliament which was recalled to sit on a Saturday referred to the Russians calling you an Iron lady. In the next week or two this house, the nation and the Rt Hon Lady herself will learn of what metal she is made’… After Victory was declared Enoch Powell asked the Prime Minister another question in Parliament: "Is the Rt Hon Lady aware that the report has been received from the public analyst on a certain substance recently subjected to analysis and that I have obtained a copy of the report. It shows that the substance under test consisted of ferrous mater of the highest quality and that it is of exceptional tensile strength, is highly resistant to wear and tear and to stress and may be used to advantage for all national purposes."
Margaret Thatcher's relevance to today: "She changed the way people thought about wealth creation, enterprise and the role of the state. Part of her legacy was the destruction of socialism and the creation of New Labour. Today we are back to the 70s in a Britain on the brink of bankruptcy thanks to the meddling excesses of Gordon Brown, the irresponsibility of some bankers and the searing incompetence of the regulators and monetary authorities here and in the United States. Old Labour is back. Margaret’s fixed ropes of sound money, living within our means, controlling public expenditure and smaller Government to release the enterprise of the British people are still in place. We know that we can climb this mountain and we have in David Cameron and Annabel Goldie a formidable summit party. In truth my mountaineering days are over but I am willing to be a Sherpa on this expedition as should everyone who cares about our country. We can succeed in putting Britain back on top of the world. It will take time, hardship, sacrifice and determination. Our inspiration lies in the victory in 1979 and the example of this great lady who saved our country."
A PDF of Lord Forsyth's full speech.