In 1968, Thatcher called on the Tories to accept that "no great party can survive except on the basis of firm beliefs about what it wanted to do". Those beliefs had to be based on a "Conservative vision" distinguished by "the insight that the state only underpins the conditions for a prosperous and fulfilling life. It does not generate them."
By 1976, when the Labour government went cap in hand to the International Monetary Fund, it was clear to Labour stalwart Tony Crosland that "the party is over". With the Keynesian model collapsing, Thatcher's 1979 election victory opened a period of fundamental change. In the 1980 budget, fiscal fine tuning was replaced by a medium-term financial strategy: a world first. Tax cuts, privatisation, financial deregulation and industrial relations reform followed. Each step was savaged by Keynesian economists, but received the accolade of widespread international imitation, most often by relatively young finance ministers (such as Paul Keating) in left-leaning governments.
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