Note: the text is based on Dr Michael Pearce's transcripts
of tapes held at the Election Broadcast Archive, University of Leeds.
19th May 1987
Man is born free. That is his natural state, his God-given right.
Nowhere is this tradition more deeply held than in Britain. Oft in our
long history we have stood alone facing the mightiest armies of the world
to defend our freedom, sometimes at tremendous sacrifice, never doubting
that this price is worth paying. Freedom has been both our strength and
our battle-cry. If we have a fault it arises out of our respect for freedom.
In war we rally and win. In peace we are less vigilant. Our famous tolerance
has allowed imported ideologies like Marxism and its step-brother socialism
to creep into our [inaudible]. These ideas are foreign to our [inaudible],
for we are a proud nation of individuals. We flourish under freedom. In
the winter of 78-79 - the infamous winter of discontent - socialism had
left our dead unburied, our streets full of rotting rubbish, and our national
pride only a distant memory. On May the third 1979 the British people turned
their back on socialism and failure. We elected a new government and a
Let me give you my vision: a man's right to work as he will,
to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the state as servant and
not as master. These are the British inheritance. They are the essence
of a free economy and on that freedom all our other freedoms depend.
The balance of power was returned from the state to the individual.
Give the people back their economic freedom, allow the spirit of enterprise
to rise again. In 1979 we in Britain were one of the most highly taxed
nations in the industrialised world, and because of this one of the least
productive. Step one was to return to each person the lion's share of his
wages. The basic rate of income tax has been cut to its lowest level for
I'm a worker. Because I kept more of what I earned it paid
me to work harder.
I'm his employer, and because we worked harder the business
I'm the tax man. Because his business did better he paid
more tax so the government could spend more on hospitals and education
and still cut taxes again.
And because I then kept more of what I earned I worked even
And because we worked even harder the business did even better
and we were able to employ more people and do even better still.
And because his business did even better still it paid
even more tax so the government was able to cut taxes again.
It sounds a fine theory - lower rates of tax yet more government
spending, and without the need for high borrowing and rampant inflation.
Did it work ? Look at the facts. Fact one: since 1979 the Conservative
government has cut the basic rate of income tax by just under one-fifth.
Fact two: since 1979 take home pay for an average married worker has risen
by just over one-fifth. Fact three: since 1979 the manufacturing productivity
per worker has gone up by one-third. Fact four: since 1979 company productivity
has risen by over a half. Fact five: since 1979 the government's spending
on health, education, pensions, defence, everything has risen even after
taking inflation into account by nineteen billion pounds.
This improvement in Britain's fortunes is no fluke, no
happy accident. It is the result of deliberate Conservative policy. By
giving people economic freedom we have given the country economic prosperity.
Without the one you cannot have the other. The key is simply this: to give
to the people what is rightly theirs.
The Conservative government has given the people back more than
their taxes. The Conservatives have given the unions back to their members.
Secret ballots and trade union reforms have introduced a breath of democracy
into labour relations. Admittedly it was unpopular with certain union leaders
but the members seemed to like it. Fact: strikes are now at their lowest
levels for fifty years. The Conservatives have given council tenants the
right to buy their own homes, admittedly this wasn't too popular with some
left-wing councils but the tenants seemed to like it. Fact: over one million
council homes have been sold to their tenants. The Conservatives are returning
industry to the people. British Telecom, British Gas, Rolls Royce, British
Airways - over one-third of all former state industries are now owned by
the public. Admittedly some trade union leaders and Labour politicians
don't like it but the public seem to. Fact: since 1979 over five and a
half million more people have become share-holders in British industry.
One and a half million British workers now own shares in the company they
All these measures are extremely unpopular with socialists
because in allowing the individual more freedom the people have become
stronger and a strong people has no desire for the shackles of socialism.
No wonder the number of individual paid up members of the Labour
party has declined by half over the last eight years.
This remarkable recovery of Britain has not been achieved without
effort or sacrifice and in spite of the fact that this government has created
more new jobs than the rest of the European community put together the
level of unemployment is too high. Unemployment has been rising in Spain,
in France, in Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Italy and yes
Japan. Yet for the best part of the last twelve months it has been falling
in Britain. The revival in our economy is creating more and more new jobs.
The task is far from complete. The British people are taking up the challenge
of enterprise and freedom with enthusiasm
Fact: self-employment has risen by three quarters of a million.
Under Labour of course it fell. Fact: over five hundred more new businesses
are being set up every week. Last year new company start-ups reached record
Today Britain is enjoying the kind of success that we used to
associate with other countries, for we grew up believing that success belonged
to Japan, to the United States, to France, to Germany, to almost anybody
Today France's unemployment is rising, ours is falling. Last
year the United States became an international debtor, but Britain is now
an international creditor. Even Japan is finding it harder and harder to
increase its productivity, yet our productivity is rising faster. Germany
has had one of the best growth rates in Europe, but ours is even better.
Our overseas reputation has seldom been higher - it's great to be great
27th May 1987
TORY MAN (!):
You've just seen the new Labour party of Neil Kinnock:
glossy brochures, glossy words, glossy images. It all looks very comfortable
and cosy, doesn't it? But when you look behind all the rosy covers what
do you find?
This is Valerie Vaness, Labour candidate for Nuneaton.
A Labour government has got to take on the people who obstruct
it, arresting them if necessary, arm the workers if necessary.
Pat Wall, Labour candidate for Bradford North.
The working class needs an entirely different kind of state,
a workers' state based upon councils of workers' delegates and a workers'
Bernie Grant, Labour candidate for Haringey talking about the
The police got a bloody good hiding.
Ken Livingstone, Labour candidate for Brent East and former leader
of the GLC.
I'm not in favour of the army, I'm in favour of replacing
it with armed workers' brigades to defend the factories.
Diane Abbot, Labour candidate for Hackney North and Stoke
All white people are racist.
And this is Neil Kinnock.
I am deeply antagonistic to militant. I want them out of
the Labour party. We shall act very toughly.
So what very tough action against the hard left has Neil Kinnock
taken? Well, he endorsed all the people you just heard as official Labour
candidates, and that is by no means all of them.
One hundred and one of the official Labour candidates in the
election have been identified by the alliance as belonging to the hard
left. Amongst them are candidates who have either contributed to militant
tendency's funds or have supported militant's right to be in the Labour
party. Militant tendency's declared aim is to forward the revolutionary
class struggle. Even the Guardian has published a report showing that nearly
sixty percent of the parliamentary Labour party next time could be from
the left of the party. And Ken Livingstone who only came to power in the
GLC by overthrowing the moderate elected Labour leader exactly twenty four
hours after the election said:
The new intake will represent the most radical bunch of
MPs the party has ever had. They will change the whole centre of balance
in the Labour party.
So watch out Mr Kinnock. The truth is that behind all their
new-found gloss the Labour party is more extreme and left-wing, less like
the traditional Labour party than at any time in its history. Would that
really make any difference if they ever got into power? Well don't let
me answer that. You only have to see what happened where the new Labour
party have had a taste of power in local government.
The Inner London Education authority. This Labour controlled
authority has on its suggested reading list for schools "Young, gay and
proud", "The play book for kids about sex", "Black lesbian in white America". Camden. This Labour council decided to sell off its street lamps, library books and parking meters. It's costing their rate payers a small fortune because Camden
has now to pay rent in order to use them. Leeds. People in a Labour controlled
Leeds nursery school decided Biggles books were biased because they advocate
loyalty to the crown. Brighton. Richard Stanton, Labour chairman of Brighton
council's finance committee talking about the Grand Hotel bombing:
A justified political act.
That's the new rosy Labour party in Local government. Now
if you need more proof of the left wing thorns behind the rose look at
the Labour manifesto itself. The hard left policies that lurk beneath the
Law and order. They would relegalise secondary picketing which
led to scenes like this. And they would politicise the police by bringing
them under the control of local politicians. Terrorism. Labour is committed
to repeal the prevention of terrorism act at a time when it's never been
needed more. Nationalisation. Oblivious to the fact that ninety nine percent
of British Gas workers took up the offer of shares in the company they
worked for. They will re-nationalise British Gas and British Telecom and
force more companies into state control. Defence. At a time when Russian
nuclear capacity is at its highest ever they will reverse the policy of
every Labour government since the war who supported Britain's nuclear defence.
They will scrap our Polaris missiles, cancel our Trident missiles, remove
all cruise missiles, and insist the Americans remove all their nuclear
bases from British soil, abandoning the very policy that has given Europe
the longest period of peace in her history.
So this is the new so-called moderate militant free Labour
party. Behind the new glossy covers the red flag is still flying at home
and the white flag abroad. The left is now dominant in the Labour party
in a way it probably never has been. Well you might expect me to say that
but I didn't - it was Peter Hayne, the official Labour candidate for Putney.
So if you're even considering voting Labour I would ask you to consider
first whether you really want people like this to represent you.
Jeremy Corbin, Labour candidate for Islington North:
Defeat of the Tory government will be brought about by a series
of disputes of which parliament is only a part.
Pat Wall, Labour candidate for Bradford North:
A Marxist Labour government would mean the abolition of the monarchy,
the house of lords, the sacking of the generals, the admirals, the air
marshals, the senior civil servants, the police chiefs and in particular
Ken Livingstone Labour candidate for Brent East and former leader
of the GLC:
The rank and file of the Labour party which has been quite cautious
in what it says over the last few months as we approach the election will
be given a renewed vigour and actually more progressive.
Don't let the left run Britain. On June the eleventh vote
2nd June 1987
Ladies and gentlemen. Pray silence for the next act of mystery and
sleight of hand - the Labour economic policy.
But ladies and gentlemen, what I should really like is some
extra money from the audience, thirty five million pounds which I will
miraculously change into an astonishing fall in unemployment
This Labour trick does not work. Last time Labour spent huge
sums of money they succeeded in nearly bankrupting the economy and ended
up by doubling unemployment. Every Labour government since the war has
Ladies and gentlemen. We shall now ask for more money from
the international banks and with a wave of the wand we shall produce better
This Labour trick does not work either. Last time Labour put
Britain into debt by borrowing it ended up having to pay more in interest
on all its debts than it was spending on the entire National Health Service.
Every Labour government there has ever been has increased our overseas
Ladies and gentlemen, for my next trick I will not ask for
any money, I shall produce it out of thin air.
This Labour trick does not work either. The last time they couldn't
tax any higher or borrow any further they printed the money they needed
causing the highest inflation the country had ever seen, and in just four
years cut the value of the pound in everyone's pocket by a half. Every
Labour government there has ever been has increased inflation.
Ladies and gentlemen, for my next trick I shall produce out
of this hat an improved health service.
This Labour conjuring trick does not work either, because Labour
always make a mess of the economy. Last time they ran out of the money
to maintain the health service. Waiting lists went up by two hundred and
fifty thousand, hospital building was cut by a third, nurses' real take
home pay was allowed to fall by twenty percent.
Ladies gentlemen and kiddies, I shall now produce before your
very eyes better schools.
This Labour trick also doesn't work. Under the last Labour government
spending per pupil actually went down.
Ladies and gentlemen, under my cloak I shall take these union
bosses and make industrial unrest completely disappear.
This Labour trick does not work either. Under the last Labour
government more than fifty million days were lost in Britain through
industrial strikes. The Labour government was brought down by its own unions
after a winter of discontent in which strikes left rubbish piled in the
streets, the dead were left unburied and cancer patients turned back from
Ladies and gentlemen, I shall now send my assistant around
to collect your share certificates in British Gas and British Telecom and
we will now produce new efficient nationalised industries.
Everyone knows this trick does not work. Ninety nine percent
of British Gas workers took up the offer of shares in their own company,
yet Labour will take back these shares and return control into the hands
of the bureaucrats, with the result that everyone remembers. Since Labour
invented nationalisation in 1945 the British tax-payer has had to pay out
over forty billion pounds in subsidies, compensation, written-off debts
and so on to support our nationalised industries. That's forty billion
pounds of your money wasted, gone.
We've just seen the economic policy of Labour. Of course
all politicians want to improve life for people, otherwise we know we wouldn't
get re-elected. But if all we had to do was to take more of your money
in tax, borrow billions abroad, print a few billion more and then wave
a magic wand, we'd have done it already. But we didn't, because it's been
tried by Labour not just once but time and time again. It simply does not
Every Labour government there has ever been has run the economy
into an economic crisis.
Governments had failed to tackle the real problems
which had afflicted us. They dodged difficult problems rather than faced
up to them. The question they asked was not will the medicine work but
will it taste all right. When we Conservatives said this is the way, they
said forget it. We were told you can't reform trade union leaders, you
can't reform trade unions, their leaders won't let you. But we did . We
were told you can't abolish price and wage controls - inflation will go
up - but we did and it came down. We were told you can't give council tenants
the right to buy, but we did and the houses sold like hot cakes. They said
you can't de-nationalise, the unions won't wear it - but we did and the
workforce positively snapped up the shares. Step by step we are rolling
back the frontiers of socialism and returning power to the people.
5th June 1987
In the 1930s most of the western world began to disarm believing
this was the way to peace. In 1939 Europe learned the bitter lesson of
what happens when only one side disarms. In the 1940s the Soviets began
to expand, swallowing countries that were too small, too isolated to protect
themselves. But take a look where they stopped - at the NATO borders. The
world has remained a deeply dangerous place, yet while wars have raged
outside, inside western Europe we've enjoyed forty two years of peace for
one reason and one reason alone - in NATO we have the unity, the strength
and the determination to defend ourselves. Even though the Soviet Union
has the most powerful army in the world they won't dare to threaten us
as long as we possess an effective nuclear deterrent. But look what happens
when we relax even slightly. Between 1972 and 1979 we in the West did not
introduce a single new intermediate missile into Europe. The Russians however
deployed four hundred SS20 missiles each with three warheads targeted at
us. In the early 1980s we had no option but to counter-act this threat
. We installed cruise missiles. Did this decision jeopardise peace? Not
at all, it brought the Russians back to the negotiating table. The Russians
are talking to us today no thanks to CND, no thanks to Labour and the Alliance
who voted against cruise, but because of this government's determination
to defend our country.
Everything we do in defence is designed to keep the peace
and make war less likely. We do want to reduce nuclear weapons but we will
only do so if we are sure that the Russians reduce theirs. That is our
approach. Mr Kinnock's approach is quite different.
If Mr Kinnock were to be elected to power in just seven days
from now he would order our Polaris submarines to stop their patrols and
return to be scrapped. He would cancel Trident, he would throw out the
American nuclear bases and remove all our Cruise missiles. Mr Kinnock would
do all this without requiring the Russians to surrender a single nuclear
weapon of theirs. No wonder Denis Healey said the Russians are praying
for a Labour victory.
If Labour took power we would be completely exposed to
nuclear blackmail, not just by Russia but by any other country large or
small who might soon have their own nuclear bomb. How would we reply to
threats like that?
According to Mr Kinnock we would use the resources you've got
to make any occupation untenable, so this is his policy - let them occupy
first then fight afterwards, just like in Afghanistan where people are
being killed every day under the Russian occupation. Despite the lesson
of 1939, despite what has happened since, Labour wants to abandon the defence
strategy that has kept us safe for over forty years. Luckily they are not
the government of this country, because against armed might like this they
will effectively leave us defenceless.
You don't prevent wars when just one side gives away
its weapons. You do prevent wars by being strong enough to bring the other
side to the negotiating table. This is what we have achieved . Working
with our allies we are now in sight of what will be an historic achievement
- the first ever reduction in nuclear arms. We are negotiating this reduction
from strength, but Mr Kinnock would have nothing to negotiate with so he
could achieve nothing but endanger everything. On June the eleventh I urge
you to vote for a Britain kept safe and strong by the Conservatives.
9th June 1987
Blackpool 1981. Mrs Thatcher's conference speech.
Nothing is beyond this nation. Decline is not inevitable.
They say I'm an optimist. Well in this job you get called all sorts of
things - an optimist is one of the nicer ones and I wouldn't deny the label.
Brighton 1982. Mrs Thatcher's speech following the Falklands
This is not going to be a speech about the Falklands campaign
though I would be proud to make one, but I want to say just this because
it is true for all our people: the spirit of the South Atlantic was the
spirit of Britain at her best. The first duty of a British government is
the defence of the realm, and we shall discharge that duty. It's now clear
beyond doubt that given the change the Labour party wants they would dismantle
Britain's defences wholesale, yet do you remember how Aneurin Bevan pleaded
with an earlier Labour party conference not to send a Labour foreign secretary
naked into the conference chamber? Well it's a good thing there isn't going
to be a Labour foreign secretary.
Brighton 1984. Mrs Thatcher speaks just after the Grand Hotel
And the fact that we are gathered here now, shocked but composed
and determined, is a sign not only that this attack has failed but that
all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail.
Government apart, the strengths of a civilised nation depend
upon the natural authority of the family, the school, the church and our
great institutions. Who is to answer the child crying for help? Who is
to protect the elderly couple? Who can win back the youngster hooked on
drugs? The police, social workers, the voluntary organisations, all must
and do respond, but that's not enough. We are the neighbours of that child,
of that elderly couple, of that youngster. Upholding the law can't be left
to the police and the courts alone. We are all involved. We cannot pass
by on the other side. Come with us then towards the next decade. Let us
together set our sights on a Britain where three out of four families own
their home, where owning shares is as common as having a car, where families
have a degree of independence their forefathers could only dream about.
A Britain where there's a resurgence of enterprise, with more people self-employed,
more businesses and therefore more jobs, a Britain where there is a standard
of health care far better than anything we have ever known. Yes we have
set our sights high but these goals are within our reach. Let us ensure
that we bring them within our grasp.
THATCHER TALKING HEAD:
In the past eight years something has changed
in Britain, perhaps the most important change for a generation. Quite simply
it is a change in the spirit. People all over Britain are finding a new
confidence, a new pride. The Conservative government didn't create that
spirit, it's the true spirit of the British people. What we did was to
set it free. We were determined to give people back the incentive to work
and the confidence to save. That's why we had to cut inflation, that's
why we were determined to take power from the trade union bosses and give
it back to union members, and that's why we abolished a whole mass of controls.
And we stopped government trying to run businesses, which is something
politicians have never been much good at , so we privatised them. The managers
managed, the workers shared in the ownership, and the industries turned
from losses into profits. As a result of all this the living standards
in this country are the highest they've ever been. Britain really is a
great country again and this prosperity is spreading steadily through the
Thirty years ago only thirty people in a hundred owned their
own homes. Today it's sixty five in every hundred. It's always been the
dream and the ambition of the Conservative party that what used to be the
luxuries of the few should become the daily experience, indeed the necessities,
of the many. It's happening with homes, it's happening with shares and
it's happening with savings, and the result has been of greater prosperity.
It's not only our standard of living that has increased. It means we've
been able to put greater resources in health and social security. But you
can only do that when you've first created the prosperity.
And all this
has been achieved by government and people together: the government running
things well like any good housekeeper, and the people responding. And that
partnership is even more vital in keeping the law - yes this government
has increased the numbers of police and we will increase them still further.
There are more bobbies on the beat, but crime is not a matter for the police
alone. It never was. Police need support from all of us, indeed the enemies
of the British bobby are the enemies of liberty itself. The police serve
the rule of law impartially, they need our support, they deserve our trust.
And there's only one thing that government can and must do it must secure
the country's defences and in a nuclear age that means we must have a nuclear
deterrent. Winston Churchill who knew so much about the dangers of weakness
and appeasement warned us thirty five years ago. He said be careful above
all things not to let go of the atomic weapon until you are sure and more
than sure that other means of preserving peace are in your hands. For a
government to surrender our nuclear deterrent would be an unprecedented
act of folly that would put the nation in jeopardy.
The nuclear deterrent
has preserved peace in Europe for forty years and I believe peace is at
the heart of what we in Britain ask our government to safeguard. Peace
in industry that enables people to earn a living without fear of intimidation
or being called out on strike against their will and without a ballot;
peace of mind that comes from knowing that this will continue to be a safe
country, a good place for us to live and for our children to grow up in;
peace that comes from being independent and being able to run your own
life and spend your own money in your own way; above all the peace of a
country that is properly defended against any adversary. That's what this
government and this people in partnership have been building for the past
eight years. Yet all of it will vanish unless we preserve the economic
strength, the strong defence, the spirit of enterprise that have made us
prosperous at home and respected throughout the world. It is that which
is at issue on Thursday. Of course we feel passionately about it because
for us it is about the very heart and soul of Britain.