Letter: Traditional Tory values

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The Independent Online
Sir: Teresa Gorman doesn't believe this Government can deliver "traditional Conservative values" (5 July). This type of phrase usually ends with "of the sort that Margaret Thatcher stood for". May I correct an important historical error.

The postwar "traditional" Conservative Party of Macmillan and Heath took a one-national, generally pro-European stance. The party under Mrs Thatcher changed all that radically. Her views represented not "traditional Conservative values" but a distinct creed, that of "Thatcherism". Indeed, those that held "traditional" views were disparagingly termed "wets".

Conservative members of Parliament have had the sense to return John Major to his position as a champion of "traditional Conservative values". If Mrs Gorman disagrees, then sadly perhaps she is, and always has been, in the wrong party. Or perhaps in the right party, but at the wrong time.

Yours sincerely,

Christoph Lees

London, SW13

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