Can that brave new dawn have really been almost thirty years ago? So much hope, followed by so much despair. Simon Heffer is a grumpy old so-and-so and annoys as often as he pleases, but today he reminds me very well of how it felt to be alive - and politically-active - in 1979. I drove old ladies to the polls and they told me that while they were going to keep voting for their local Labour councillors - because they knew them - they were going to give Mrs Thatcher a chance, because "she couldn't do worse"
This was revolutionary stuff deep in the Labour heartlands of the North. And most heartening. Yet here we are. She came, went and changed little. We are at the end of another epic Labour fail and she is an old lady unable to help this time. For which, as I blogged yesterday, she must take some of the blame. Though she was an Education Minister, she never took it seriously enough. State education followed the introduction of mass voting rights and a member of the House of Lords famously supported it with the words "We must educate our masters." Yet Margaret allowed the enemies of freedom and free enterprise to retain control of the educational establishment and to indoctrinate generation after generation with hostility to business and "bourgeois" freedoms. That is why - as Heffer grumpily complains - younger people don't know what she was all about. They see her as a demon, because that is what they were taught.