Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The lost leader

Michael Portillo had a ninety minute slot on BBC 4 last night reviewing the story of Thatcherism. I can't say that it contained many new insights, and there was some very familiar footage. Perhaps the highlight was seeing Dave Cameron seeking to acknowledge Thatcher's legacy while distancing himself from her. In such circumstances he always looks like the head prefect having a difficult interview with the head about an outbreak of smoking behind the bike sheds.

One of the 'ifs' of recent political history is Portillo's defeat at Enfield which was the most memorable moment of the 1997 election night. If he had survived, he would have probably become leader and his blend of economic liberalism and social tolerance might have served them better than the succession of leaders they had. There is, however, something a little smarmy about him which can be off putting.

1 comment:

Justin Greaves said...

Although arguably it was Portillo's loss of his seat in 1997which caused a re-think on his part and shifted his position from a 'Thatcherite' to a Tory moderniser with a social conscience. In other words, if he hadn't have lost his seat he may have remained very much on the Tory right.