8 APRIL 2006, Page 26

Blair is no Thatcherite

From Lord Tebbit

Sir: I am not sure whether in his review of the programme Tory! Tory! Tory! (Arts, 25 March) Simon Hoggart is expressing his own view or that of Edwina Currie, that ‘by 1990, Thatcher had become the greatest obstacle to Thatcherism, which had to be rescued ... by Tony Blair’.

Whoever’s view it is, it is clearly a most outrageous, patently untrue statement. The obstacles to Thatcherism were Heseltine and Howe, not Thatcher. I know of no Blair achievement of any kind which could be described as ‘Thatcherite’. She did not throw money at public services without achieving a commensurate improvement in public services. She did not wander muddle-headed into a war with no idea of how our troops would be extricated from it, nor when. She did not assault the constitution. Her husband did not seek to outshine Prince Philip. She achieved a rebate on our EU contributions, and did not then give it away for nothing.

In short Mr Blair does not have a scrap of Thatcherism in him, nor, thank God, did she have a scrap of Blairism in her.

Tebbit London SW1