Margaret Thatcher speaks at a youth rally to reveal the truth behind those who oppose the conservative party's means of solving national issues. She appeals to the youth to stand by her and the ideals of conservatism in order to push the country out of inflation and unemployment.
(Cecil Parkinson) Mr. Chairman, fellow Young Conservatives. [laughter and cheers] What a super start to this marvellous rally, and may I thank the superstars for their splendid contribution, which means such a lot personally to me, and such a lot to the cause which we are all here to support this afternoon. [applause]
This really is a remarkable and invigorating start to the last week of the Election campaign.
And I believe that this Youth Rally shows the world what we in the Conservative Party already know - Britain's young people want another Tory Government. [cheers and lengthy applause; klaxons]
That's marvellous, but there is quite a lot to come yet and I don't want you to have sore throats before the end. That's the sort of reception we want at the end. You've already demonstrated that there's an excitement and an enthusiasm which is the envy of all other parties.
And this great hall, filled to capacity with young people who want to live your own lives, in the way you choose, with a style which is on your own within the law. [sic] Young people want to stay free. [cheers and applause]
Could Labour have managed a rally like this? ["No"]
Well, in the old days perhaps. But not now. For they are the party of yesterday. And tomorrow is ours. [cheers and applause]
We are all here to state our faith in Britain's future and our determination to keep her strong and free.
And this rally isn't going to duck the issues. There'll be no fudging, and no manifesto-changing here.
We are here to talk about the programme of the next Government. We are here to make sure that it is a Conservative Government. [cheers and applause]
So let me start with the most difficult issue of our time, because we Conservatives don't duck the difficult issues. We face them determined to overcome them.
And the most difficult issue is the growing unemployment with which our world is faced.
Over 26 million out of work in the oeCD countries alone.
Behind those unemployment figures lie the individual tragedies and the dashing of family hopes which make us determined to fight to rid our nation of this evil. [applause]
Twenty three and a half million jobs - that's what we have in Britain.
Twenty six and a half million jobs - that's what we would need to eliminate unemployment.
It's been, it's been hard work, you know, safeguarding those twenty three and a half million jobs in these last four years. Hard work in the teeth of a world recession that was not Britain's fault. But hard work, too, because of past failures of past governments to deal with the root causes of Britain's problems. [applause] They preferred to take the easy way.
Let's just have a quick look at some of those failures which are causing us so much trouble now.
- The failure in the past to keep our prices down. You remember when inflation reached 27 per cent in November 1975? No, you wouldn't, but some of us do. [laughter] But it was ... it's appalling when you think of it. Twenty seven per cent in one year, in 1975. That cost Britain thousands of jobs - jobs taken by countries where goods where cheaper than ours.
- The failure to push up efficiency. We just didn't keep up with our competitors. So they got the orders and we lost the jobs. Overmanning which was started years ago, to try to keep jobs finished up, pathetically, by losing us whole companies and whole industries and thousands of jobs.
- The failure to build new businesses and to use new and latest technology. You know how many companies put it in, but they weren't allowed to use it to great advantage because some of the trade unions insisted that the manning levels were still those that belonged to the old machinery. We taxed people too much [applause] and discouraged enterprise. So many of our able people went abroad, those who could create wealth, those who could create new industries, those who could design well, those who could build the new technology. So other countries scooped the pool and too many of our people were made redundant.
Mr. Chairman, those days of failure are over. [applause] At last Britain is taking the measures which have started us on the road to success.
Success first in keeping costs down, because government can help in that way. And inflation at four per cent makes us among the best in the industrialised world, and the best for fifteen years in this country. [applause]
Success too in getting productivity up. Britain is showing that we can produce as efficiently as anyone else in the world. [applause]
And there's success in new enterprise - 20,000 more new companies were born than we lost in the last two years - and great success in new technologies. Because the way in which we are moving into the new science-based industries gives this country a new opportunity and a new phase of development. We've always been best at research, we've always been most inventive, but until now we haven't been able to translate that research and inventiveness into profits and industrial success and jobs. And that's what we're going to do under Conservative Government. [applause]
The age of the microchip has dawned in Britain, and we're determined to see that the sun rises here too. And with the help of those behind us [looks at guests on platform behind her] we'll get it to high noon as well. [hear, hear and applause]
You don't remember High Noon? We remember it don't we (Monty Modlyn) Monty? The most marvellously successful film of all time. One of the most successful films.
But the new electronics industries are producing the new jobs as they train and take on new people.
Now that is a successful start on our strategy for jobs. Just let me go through it. The Conservative strategy for jobs.
- Cutting industry's costs.
- Pushing productivity up.
- Reaching out to welcome the new technology and the new business.
- A new training programme for young people - the best that's ever been produced in this country.
- And reforming trade union law - to give trade union members more rights and more say in the decisions of their leaders. [applause]
There is no magic cure to genuine jobs. [sic] If there had been both we and other governments would have gone there before now.
But ours is a true cure, and it is born of supreme effort to produce the best in Britain and to excel (whether in the services, in the sciences, or in the arts) - to excel in everything we do. That's the kind of Britain I want to see. [applause]
And what about the alternative government - the Labour Party? [laughter]
Well, we know the main thrust of their proposals. It is a matter of spending what you haven't earned, and that would lead to the inevitable financial crisis as we have to be bailed out by other countries.
And Labour's legacy from the last Labour Government, the legacy to the young people of today was an overseas debt of $22 billion. And so far even though we have been in a deep world recession, Britain under a Tory government has paid off $10 billion of that debt. [applause]
Under Conservatives we pay our debts and we honour our obligations.
But it's worse than that. Because Labour would put people out of work if their manifesto policies were ever put into practice when they came into power.
Over two million jobs depend upon our exports to the rest of the European Community, as the whole of our industry has geared up to our membership of that community and to sell our exports to them. Two million jobs at risk. And Labour would leave that Common Market within the first Parliament with no second thoughts of a referendum.
Moreover, many jobs that we are getting here now would never come here, because overseas companies invest here because we are a member of the Common Market - and if we were to pull out in future they'd invest in the Common Market and leave us with the unemployment and the Common Market with the jobs. So that's two million jobs at risk.
Then I don't know whether you looked at their defence policy? No, I'm not talking about the nuclear aspect, though I'll have a word about that later. [laughter] I'm talking about some of the smaller print. Because there's a little bit of it which says "and we are going to reduce our expenditure on defence to the average proportion spent by European countries". That would mean reducing expenditure on defence by
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