Does anyone have the nous to pick up Thatcher’s baton?

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From: Derek Curson, Elland.

SINCE taking office, Archbishop John Sentamu has impressed and endeared himself to most English people and has proved willing to raise contentious issues which other prelates in the Church have often proved unwilling or unable to do.

It was a relief to read today’s letter from the Archbishop’s communications director taking Sir Bernard Ingham to task for his column (Yorkshire Post, February 20).

Sir Bernard’s overall viewpoint in his article did however match my own thoughts when speaking of the lack of quality of leadership since Margaret Thatcher’s time. There are moments when the history of events gets distorted to favour newly incumbent leaders.

Margaret Thatcher’s period in office has been routinely humbugged by false rumour and innuendo over the years – in much the same way that King Richard III’s history was rewritten by the Tudors after his betrayal by the Stanleys and defeat in battle.

Margaret Thatcher was toppled by betrayal and non-support from a trio of Ministers – Messrs Howe, Heseltine and Clarke. There were others, of course. But these were up-front and lapping up the limelight. Since then, EU drum-bangers, the unions, the women-haters et al have derided her legacy. They fill the air-waves with sneering denigration.

Lady Thatcher’s problem was one of birth. There were those in the then Tory high echelons who would never support her. She represented, indeed, an example of Napoleon’s nation of shopkeepers. Yet she saw off the trades unions, who had caused Jim Callaghan to founder, and expected her to crumble as Edward Heath had done. And yes, she saved the Falkland people from a repulsive invader.

Later, John Major and Mr Heseltine started to close the mines and other key industries where managements were unable to compete globally. Meanwhile, Europe was starting to flex its muscles. It was deciding where the heavy industries would be located, who would fish in our waters, who would grow the food, who would make the laws, and who would control the money.

When John Major was voted out it was more or less done and dusted. Tony Blair and his lady cohorts grabbed their chance to engineer society into their socialist nightmare. They encouraged the influx of otherworld beliefs, customs and social expectations. One of the ladies declared: “England is no longer a Christian country – it is multi-cultural”.

Mr Blair’s New Labour thinkers opened the can-of-worms of spending today what you can borrow tomorrow. There were to be casinos on every street corner. Their adherents started to live on tick – the advertisements are still on TV. The burgeoning Health Service assumed it could treat all-comers. Queues for beds and waiting times went out of control. There was very little to spend on body scanners, but plenty of money for directors’ bonuses, trips and shares in PFI companies.

Meanwhile, the lawyers had a field day. Parliament had become a second-string add-on to the EU behemoth. Their accountant friends ensured that the rich could pay minimal tax while the rest of us pick up the heavy tabs.

Our heating bills are escalating since Mr Blair decided, decades ago, to close our power generating plants without providing practical alternatives. David Cameron is off playing games on the other side of the world and can’t act because he is hog-tied by the Liberals. I suspect his sympathies are with those old-fashioned High Tories.

I very much doubt if Mr Cameron, or any of his ilk, has the backbone or the nous to pick up the baton that Lady Thatcher was forced to relinquish all those years ago.