We must learn from Thatcher’s legacy

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Ask either of my parents, or any of my grandparents for that matter, who is the greatest Prime Minister the country has ever had?

They will categorically answer without a doubt that person is Margaret Thatcher.

Ask their neighbours and they could easily say that she is the worst. Needless to say she remains a Marmite politician even in death.

Over the coming weeks the public will not be able to escape coverage of Thatcher’s death and there will need to be a heated debate over her merits and flaws before she will truly be left to rest in peace.

However, I believe what’s most important is that the Conservative Party continue to learn from Thatcher’s legacy.

The left will undoubtedly argue that she was a scourge of the working classes, who abandoned the entire country to the mercy of the free market, whilst venomously attacking the industries she wanted rid of.

One thing is for certain, those who are on the left will not possibly be able to comprehend how anyone could have liked her, let alone supported her or believed in her greatness.

Those of us on the right of the spectrum, however, already accept that she wasn’t favoured by everyone and that she polarised opinion in a way that would make the current government look rather populist.

We know that to be steadfast in one’s principles and to be unnerving in our devotion to a cause will gain you as many enemies as it will friends.

We could also batter out 10 achievements for anyone one of her apparent failures which the leftists put forward. Rightly so, we must do this to protect her legacy.

And yet, the Conservatives must do more than that.

They must learn from that legacy and come together to embrace it as a united party, forgetting the divisions which may have arisen in recent times.

They will always be a democratic party of wide-ranging opinion, but they must not forget the reason they are in power.

The country needs a Thatcherite approach to the economic mess we inherited from Labour.

Austerity may be a bitter medicine to swallow but it’s what the country needs and the party must be uncompromising in their delivery of it.

But what’s more they must deliver the economic growth that the country so desperately needs.

They need to combine austerity with growth measures, which in turn give people a greater stake in society.

The Help to Buy scheme is a very solid step in the right direction but the country needs more of these policies to counteract the bitterness of austerity.

Should they ever begin to waiver in this task or become disheartened by it, they must always stop and ask themselves: what would Maggie do?

Alexander Dale, Park Grange Road, Sheffield S2