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GUEST,rarelamb BS: Happy Birthday Mrs Thatcher-13 Oct 1925 (165* d) RE: BS: Happy Birthday Mrs Thatcher 17 Oct 05

"Since I came to Perth four years ago this week, on the morrow of our first great victory together, much has been accomplished. But much remains to be done.
The Task We Faced

The problems that confronted us when we came to office were daunting.

Labour had borrowed and left Britain bowed down by debt.

We were shocked by the winter of discontent. Shop stewards usurped the role of management and sometimes seemed more powerful than the Government itself. Britain's defences were undermined and our police demoralised. Inflation was taking off again. In short, we were a nation which had all too plainly lost its way, and almost abandoned hope of finding it again.

And we found a world poised on the brink of the worst recession since the 1930s.

It was, without a doubt, the bleakest prospect facing any newly elected government in Britain since the War. We could have bought a little time with short-term soft options. But too many previous Governments had done that—you elected us to tackle the real problem. And we've had the courage to do it.

And so we set in hand a programme to cure the nation's sickness and restore its health and reputation.[fo 1]

We had to break the habit of inflation once and for all, before the habit became an addiction.

We had to set about repaying the debts Labour left behind.

We had to restore worthwhile rewards for leadership and enterprise and give them room to breathe again and put out shoots of healthy long-term growth.

We had to restore to management responsibility to manage, and to employees their right to be consulted by the union that claimed to represent them.

We had to uproot the thickets of bureaucracy and controls in Whitehall and the town halls.

We had to rebuild the nation's ability to defend itself in an increasingly dangerous world.

We had to increase the numbers and the authority of the police and let them know that they had a Government which would back them to the hilt in enforcing the law.

We had to give council tenants the opportunity to buy their own homes.

We had to get a fairer balance of benefits and payments in the European Community.

We had to prove to friend and foe that those who looked to us for their defence would find once again that our word is our bond.

These things we have done. What we could not do—for it is not in the power of any Government—was to shift overnight the ingrained habits of half a lifetime.

Had both sides of industry realised that in future they had to take responsibility for their own actions, and that they would not automatically be bailed out regardless of their performance, hundreds of thousands of worthwhile and productive jobs would have survived the recession.[fo 2]

But the convictions that a pay rise every year was each man's birthright, and that jobs had somehow nothing to do with satisfying the customer, died hard. When proof arrived that times had changed, it was often too late.
Labour's Scare Stories

And there is something else that we have done.

We have exploded those scare stories with which our opponents tried so hard to cling to power in the 1979 election.

Let me remind you of a few of them.

They said we would cut pensions. Instead, we've raised them by two-thirds—well ahead of prices.

They said we'd dismantle the National Health Service. Instead, we have nearly doubled spending on the Health Service here in Scotland—and today there are many more doctors, dentists, and nurses—almost 6,000 of them—in your Scottish hospitals and health centres, than when we took office.

They said we'd cripple education. Instead expenditure per child is at an all-time record, and so is the proportion of teachers to pupils; and a higher proportion of our young men and women are going on to full-time further education than ever before.

They said we'd be the dear-food party. Just let's look at the record. When they were in power, food prices more than doubled. What you got for £10 at the beginning cost you £22 at the end. Under this Government, what you could buy for £10 when we took office would cost you £1350 today. Not good enough, but getting better. And in the last year food prices have risen by less than a penny in the £.

And may I remind you that inflation—now at 46%; and going down is at its lowest level for 15 years? That is an achievement of which we can be justly proud, and for which we have every reason to be grateful to Geoffrey Howe.[fo 3]

They said we would starve the Scottish Development Agency of funds and let it die. Instead we have nearly doubled the cash it has had to spend productively in Scotland.

I remind you of these scares because in the next three weeks there will be plenty more.
What They Stand For

There will be plenty more because if there's one thing our opponents don't want to talk about, it is their own policies. So you must see to it that every home in Scotland understands precisely what they stand for:

First, this Labour Party wants us to abandon our own independent nuclear deterrent; a deterrent which has helped to keep the peace for nearly 40 years; a deterrent which has been endorsed by every Labour Leader— Attlee , Gaitskell , Wilson and Callaghan —but not this one.

And they want us to do it without a corresponding reduction from the Soviet Union. As Mr. Andropov put it when asked whether he would agree to one-sided disarmament, "We are not a naive people".

And as if that was not enough, they want to serve notice to quit on every American nuclear base in Britain, many of which have been here for 30 years and which are part of NATO defence. Not exactly the action of a reliable ally. Nor does it recognise the tremendous contribution made by the United States to the defence of free Europe.

This Labour Party would take Britain out of the Common Market—putting at risk 50,000 Scottish jobs and millions of £s of new investment.

This Labour Party has adopted a deliberate policy of inflation in spite of everything we've suffered from rising prices in the last ten years.

This Labour Party would take away the council tenant's right to buy his own home which has transformed the lives of half a million families.

This Labour Party would put Britain back under the dominance of the Trade Unions. They would repeal our legislation which has helped to restore the balance between the unions and the community and given individual rights to union members.[fo 4]

This Labour Party would take over control of how your pension fund invests the money you have entrusted to it for your retirement.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this Labour Party has the most extreme and most damaging programme ever placed before the British electorate. No wonder they usually try to talk of anything but that.
The Other Danger: Liberal S D P

But voting Labour is not the only way of putting Labour in.

When Labour came to power in 1974, they did so on their smallest post-War vote to date. And who put them in? The Liberals and the Nationalists in Scotland. And do you remember what happened in 1976 when the Labour Government was tottering? Who came to the rescue? It was those self-same Liberals with the notorious Lib-Lab Pact who propped up the most illiberal Government of modern times.

Today the Liberals have new allies: the S D P: the very men (and women) who, when members of the Labour Government, destroyed our direct grant and grammar schools, who undermined respect for the family in the name of a misleading permissiveness, and who nationalised still more of our industries. "

"Mr President, when we met in Perth last year it was in the shadow of great events then taking place on the other side of the world. Not for the first time in our history, the courage, skill and sheer professionalism of the armed forces of the Crown, went on to earn for them the admiration of the world. And if today we walk a little taller—and I believe we do—then it is those brave young men who deserve the praise. But they have achieved something even more important: their deeds have made the world a safer place for all of us.

That truth is worthy of a moment's reflection. In recent months we have heard a lot about the protest lines at Holy Loch and Greenham Common—and elsewhere in Western Europe. Now I do not doubt the sincerity and indeed the idealism of many of these people. The real aims of some of them is another matter. But if a hostile Government was tempted to pursue its demands by armed aggression, which example would be more likely to make it pause: the renunciation of the means of national self-defence which the banners call for? Or the swift and sure response of our young men in the South Atlantic just a year ago?

As Lord Home said only a few weeks ago: "I can find nothing in Christian teaching that forbids me to defend myself when faced with an evil aggressor who aims to destroy my religion and all the values which I treasure". "

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