I often find myself watching the live coverage of daily proceedings in the House of Commons, on the BBC’s dedicated channel; this is often enjoyable enough and it keeps me suitably clued-up, regarding the newfound ideas from various MPs. However, I often find my viewing/listening spoiled when our leader, David Cameron and the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband feature.

The dismal, constant back and forth – attempted – insults are growing rather tedious for me. Viewing this also worries me; while societies that encourage debate between leaders have always had a degree of name-calling and pathetic fallacies, I believe that, contrary to popular tradition, we should be represented by men (and women, if one happens to break through the traditional all-boys club) of a more suave and sophisticated nature. Those who lay their position on the table and expect a mature response, rather than a particularly infantile one – for which I would blame our Parliament’s inability to produce population-pleasing acts with ubiquitous effects, felt by everyone.

A great example, in my opinion – though, I am in noway a Thatcherite – is the late Margaret Thatcher. She was a towering figure in postwar British and world politics. While her actual time in power was defined by inflation, unemployment, rising interest rates and the economic struggles of any region outside of London and the South, with the penultimate result of her leadership being, recession, her debating prowess was undeniable. Her direct, to-the-point style, sprinkled with panache and elegance was a trademark of both the Iron Lady and of British politics.

That is exactly what Britain needs, now – in her time of need.

We stand, facing a tide of politically apathetic peoples who are falling out of love with politics and the British way, due to the lack of drive, the lack of passion and the lack of skill, shown by our elected governments of recent years. We need a man, or a woman who fears no debate, concedes when their answer is lacking and fights for what he, or she believes in. David Cameron’s wish to modernise the Conservative Party has worked, but, with this, the British backbone has dissipated. There are no great, population-rousing, world-worrying speeches. There are no acts of British chivalry. We lack strength, we bend to the will of others and we appear to be falling in the world, statistically.

We need a Thatcheresque revolutionary thinker. Pre-Thatcher, Britain was a country that, in the words of former U.S. Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, had ‘lost an empire and has not yet found a role’ and it was a country that persistently underperformed, against its European neighbours. Economically, Britain was slipping behind six of the European Economic Communities (ECC), hence our joining, in 1973. However, our financial issues were not solved simply by joining the ECC, rather, they were sorted when Thatcher addressed them, upon her entrance as Prime Minister in 1979. (In the British treasury defeatism was endemic and Thatcher was not happy with that, so interventionism occurred.)

Interventionism, is the term used for a proactive policy which is undertaken by a nation-state, to manipulate an economy or society, a term which is definitely not in contention today. Rather, modernisation and Europeanism are thrown around, the costs of which are contributing greatly towards our financial unease, population segregation, confusion and loss of love for politics.

43.9 – 42.4 – 42.2 – 36.1

Numbers, in politics, occasionally speak more eloquently than any words. My four given numbers point to a central issue in the Conservative Party, after Margaret Thatcher: they show the struggle of the man who is trying to fill her shoes.

The first three numbers are the share of the vote that Thatcher took in the general elections she fought in, as Conservative leader, in 1979, 1983 and 1987. The last, smaller figure is David Cameron’s score in the 2010 election –  the difference forced the Conservatives into the current coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Can Cameron, with his vision of modernisation and Europeanism replicate the successes – and hopefully not the failings – of Lady Thatcher and move away from the infantile verbal hooks, within Parliament?

No. He hasn’t the iron will.

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