Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: What Reagan and Thatcher Would Say Today

Alpesh Patel OBE Tuesday 30th August 2022 07:53 EDT

The ghost of Margaret Thatcher has been often resurrected during this leadership campaign. Truss says she would have lowered taxes and Sunak says she would be for not fuelling inflation and not increasing public debt.

Of course she would be for all these things – but timing would be the issue.

She had a great relationship with Ronald Reagan and this is what Reagan said in the speech which set him on the Presidency – it’s one of the greatest speeches and these are edited highlights relevant to today.

For those of you considering doing anything in life – learn to communicate like this. If you can do that, the world is your oyster. Verbal and written communications skills will place the world at your feet.

"I have an uncomfortable feeling that this prosperity isn't something on which we can base our hopes for the future. No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income.
"Today, 37 cents out of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector's share, and yet our government continues to spend 17 million dollars a day more than the government takes in. We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We've raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations of the world. We have 15 billion dollars in gold in our treasury; we don't own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims are 27.3 billion dollars."
That speech was given in 1964. The man to deliver it became President in 1980. And the economy he spoke of in 1964 continued growing relentlessly despite all the economics cited.


By the way, if you’re going to talk economics and keep people rivetted, do it like Reagan. You could argue that 60 years is too soon to judge ever increasing budget and trade deficits or that America is different.


Liz and Rishi are both in Ronald’s camp they would argue. But the former would say that means cutting taxes and the size of the State and the latter would say it means cutting debt. They’re both right.


Moving from economics to politics. Reagan was on the money from the threat from foreign powers. We again as pointed out by Truss and Sunak face China as a number one threat. Reagan’s words apply again.

Alexander Hamilton said, “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.” There’s no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there’s only one guaranteed way you can have peace—and you can have it in the next second—surrender. . . .


You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin—just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it’s a simple answer after all.


Winston Churchill said, “The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we’re spirits—not animals.” And he said, “There’s something going beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”


You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.


We're at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it's been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening.


We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

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