Chris Tame on Thatcherism
In his obituary for The Independent, Sean Gabb describes the jaundiced eye Chris took toward the Thatcher revolution:
He settled in London at a time of great and continuing political excitement. High inflation, rising unemployment, unsustainable levels of taxation and state control, had raised doubts over the legitimacy of the mixed-economy/ welfare-state settlement of the 1940s and of the political and social order that presided over it. Allied with trade-union bosses, a generation of radicalised students was plotting to replace the old order with some socialist utopia. They were resisted by various conservative and free market policy institutes, all more or less funded by big business....
Chris Tame saw through the optimism of the late 1970s and early Thatcher years. Where others saw a rolling back of the state, he saw in privatisation only a more rational - and thus a more efficient - type of statist control. "These new markets are never free," he once said, "and they are always dominated by the ruling class." He believed that the second half of the 20th century had seen a collapse of the moral and social and intellectual foundations of English liberty, and that there was no short-term strategy for its restoration. British libertarianism was not in the same position as socialism in 1945. It was in the same position as socialism in 1845.
Therefore, it was necessary to work a step at a time towards some future intellectual hegemony.