In 1975 Margaret Thatcher defeated Edward Heath for the Leadership of the Conservative Party. Both have a firm claim to be the Prime Minister with the humblest origin. Both resigned after failing to defeat a challenge to their leadership on the first ballot. In the words of Malcolm Rifkind, both were ‘strong-willed, stubborn and convinced of their own rectitude’ (Thatcher’s most famous quality but also one that Tony Blair cited in his 2005 eulogy for Ted Heath). But these similarities are as tittle tattle compared to the fact that as prime minister both faced the same governing challenge, the same kernel of the same problem: how to govern a country that some said had become ungovernable. This is where their fortunes diverge sharply. How did the figure of Margaret Thatcher so completely come to overshadow that of her predecessor as Conservative Leader? That is the subject of this podcast by Dr Tom Lubbock and Gillian Peele.
Listen to the podcast here or download it on iTunes.
A fascinating interview! Gillian Peele articulates her views in a clear, coherent and thought-provoking manner. She was my D.Phil supervisor at Oxford. It was a pleasure listening to her analysis and to the excellent questions posed by Tom Lubbock.