Monday, 8 April 2013


Political awakening

He walked into the lecture theatre, picked up a stick of chalk, and wrote on the top right corner of the blackboard, "Thatcher has resigned". I don't remember the name of my lecturer but I vividly remember this moment in my first year at college.

I also remember the Poll Tax riots earlier that year, seeing Trafalgar Square in tatters and wondering what life would be like should I pass my A-levels and move to London to study. I remember the six pence Community Charge bill I received the next year, and how considered not paying to see whether the council would take me to court over such a trivial amount. (In the end I paid in penny pieces, and the clerk didn't even bat an eyelid.)

Preparing for University admission the previous year, I'd selected "why the [flagship Conservative policy] Citizen's Charter is a bad thing" as an interview topic. Years earlier - before I was even a teenager - I wrote to her recommending that the Falkland Islands be given independence in order to resolve the dispute with Argentina.

I will always associate Margaret Thatcher with my political awakening. The more I saw of her the more I understood the Conservative party to be all about personal wealth, and that in turn nudged me onto a pathway of compassion, generosity and love, which continues to define who I strive to be today.

Posted by pab at 13:35 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!