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Thatcher's choice agenda

10 October 1975

Margaret Thatcher, then Leader of the Opposition, gave a speech to the Conservative party conference in October 1975 in which she attacked the Labour government's record in power, suggesting that no country could flourish where nationalisation and state control dominated its economic and social life.

A major theme of Thatcher's speech was choice, freedom and control. She emphasised her belief that a person became a responsible citizen by making decisions and not having them made on their behalf:

'And another denial of choice is being applied to health. The private sector helps to keep some of our best doctors here, and so available part time to the National Health Service. It also helps to bring in more money for the general health of the nation. But under Labour, private medicine is being squeezed out, and the result will be to add to the burden on the National Health Service without adding one penny to its income.'


Margaret Thatcher speech.
Conservative party conference at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool: 10 October 1975.
Margaret Thatcher Foundation; 2019.