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Thatcher: En Vogue?

Thatcher: En Vogue?

My friend sent me this link yesterday, and I could hardly believe the headline: Margaret Thatcher has become a hip youth icon.

Harry Mount was at a party:

held at Maggie’s, the Thatcher-themed nightclub on the Fulham Road, in west London.

It will come as no surprise to Dan [Hannan]’s readers that he is keen on the Lady, as indeed am I; as were most of his guests. But what was staggering that, later on in the evening, the nightclub opened its doors to people who weren’t Dan’s guests. And in poured a tide of young, attractive and fashionable clubbers. When I left, at around 11.30, there was a long queue building up on Fulham Road to pay a £15 cover charge to get in.

Admittedly, this was the heart of Sloaneland. The clientele was mostly public school and well-off, and they clearly had a retro taste for 80s music. But, still, it was extraordinary that they should go to a nightclub devoted not just to a Tory leader, but to the Tory leader who was so reviled by the young for so long.


1. Why didn’t I go here when I was in London?!

2. Do you think conservative politicos will ever be as popular as their lefty counterparts among the youth? I doubt it since the other side paints a glossier, more attractive narrative that appeals particularly to those with little invested in, say, the economy.




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Ron Paul has a large following among the youth.

Conservatives need to start pushing the fact that they stand for Individual Liberty. Lefties, all of them, are for massive government.

Here’s the line I use most frequently:
Every expansion of government power is a reduction in our civil liberties.

Freedom and Civil Rights are issues that appeal to everyone, including the young. Point out, at every opportunity, that the Dems are the party of Big Brother.

Kathleen McCaffrey | September 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Tom, He doesn’t. It’s all relative.

Conservatives in this country would do well to recognize that, anywhere else in the world, they’d be considered Liberals, because they believe in individual freedom and responsibility.

In the US, the Progressives are all the old-line repressives,

BannedbytheGuardian | September 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Valerie – You have it right. In australia the conservative guys are called The Liberal Party.

i think the Maggie thing is a late 70s- mid 80s revival fashion . Young kids must wonder at the very good music that emanatied from Thatcher Britain . The fashion is like a walk on the wild side of Oxford. I am not sure if it is more than that.

I had/have some British friends who are semi titled & who actually knew some of her people eg Willie Whitelaw. One friend’s family was mini aristocracy from Lockerbie & whose father by way of military /gentry tradition became the supervisor for the bombings.

In the context of Libya – it is not yesterday. Maybe the Brits look at what sh’t they have in Parliament today & long for Margaret Thatcher’s absolute directness & unflinching conviction.

But Youth is for exploring & questioning. we all get older.

BannedbytheGuardian | September 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Errh -make that supervisor for the aftermath of he bombed plane. -not the bombing.

Also -as we get older we seek to conserve the best experiences & or lessons learnt i youth . However it could be said we are now in a perpetual state of adultescance.

Not sure if Britain even HAS hipsters, but is this a perhaps a hipster irony/retro thing?

The trouble with being anti-establishment and then becoming the establishment is that rebellious teens and twenty-somethings will rebel. Against the anti-establishment cum establishment.

The irony of what the leftists have built and how what they have built will destroy them is intellectually fascinating.

First, a disclaimer. I’m over 40. So automatically anything I write on youth is wrong 😉

That being said … I think as “Conservatives”, we won’t win, no. But if we fight the battle differently, I think some major progress can be made.

First, its a cultural battle.

Read Breitbart and some of his followers on this topic. But politics follows culture as a maxim has some truth, and culture is a battle that we cannot fight just with a law. If you feel that a law to protect traditional marriage is right (leaving aside constitutionality etc etc. this is a hypothetical) – then it needs to be won in the hearts and minds of people first through cultural forums first. Otherwise the law will fail, even if passed (only to be repealed after)

Second, its rebellion and freedom.

As a rebellion against liberals who now represent “conservatism” in the sense that are seeking to conserve – preserve and expand – the role of big government, I think rebellion is more attractive. Who wants their salt levels regulated? Vegan preaching at them? Endless guilty parental government lectures? Liberty and freedom is cool.

So, hearts and minds isn’t going to be won on certain conservative topics or conservative values as labeled, but on a yearning for liberty, freedom things that do resonate.

Why can’t I drink raw milk? Why is the Amish farmer in jail? These resonate not only with conservatives, but with independents and many Democrats too …

We also have to acknowledge that we have lost many battles in many educational fronts / universities and in many traditional media outlets.

Where are the shows and music and media outlets that make it cool and subversive to dislike liberals? Its not too hard, but someone has got to do it. And want to do it. And do it well – at least “Jon Stewart” well … funny first, message second, not blindingly obviously biased, but daring enough to have an “underground” feel.

Thus I think …

(1) all of us as a group have to be willing to work to build the new media, new university, new models – and not yield ground so easily. This is a lot of hard work.

(2) technology and Internet is central to this … and is one of the next “command heights” of the economy, as Lenin called them, that Liberals have already figured out that they need to control to keep us under control, so to speak.

We have been winning in technology so far, but I do not like the storm clouds on the horizon. Mobile application environments like Apple iPad today are somewhat closed systems that create chokepoints that can be influenced more easily, Net Neutrality is open for abuse, and many other concerns, taxation clouds are on the horizon, etc. And angry liberal hordes will be mounting their assault on all levels in the years to come in this area.

On the flip side, the Internet and Mobile holds the keys to breaking the stranglehold on education and media that liberals have. More Murdochs – driven by profit motive alone, if nothing else – need to arise to fill the gap not just in news but other content.

“We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control”

Could have been written by a conservative today, no?

(3) Take some legislative chances

FDR was popular partly because of this … … I’ve read many versions of FDR and the prohibition repeal … but I think when it comes to marijuana, we should think about this too (as well as taking it away from the Democrats). I know its not agreed upon at all … but I do believe that (a) its over criminalization is an issue and a cost, (b) the war of drugs is not working and is in fact destroying many of our Central American neighbors, (c) like Radley Balko’s work on the militarization of policing, and (d) provides some tax revenues that we can use to reduce deficit since we likely won’t get all the way to where we want to on cuts and (passable) entitlement reform alone.

Not saying we should do it … but heck we are half pregnant with medical marijuana right now. (let the critics begin). There are other examples – but let’s think about them …

(4) Stop subsidizing the enemy

I took my son to see Car 2. Boy, was I pissed. I felt like I sat through a 2-hour Ethanol ad. (And it was a really bad movie, too … I just couldn’t fathom how bad). Regardless, I am pissed that I helped write a check, however small, to the idiots behind that enterprise. As Prof Jacobson wrote 2+ years ago, we have to starve their enterprises, their means of sustenance.

(5) Finally, a reminiscence. (run while you still can)

I remember how much conservatism was frowned upon back on campus in Princeton in the late ’80s when I was there by the administration and many professors (Princeton is too conservative, not diverse, etc. etc. was a constant message) …

… I didn’t pay much attention, and it didn’t bother me too much – because I mostly wanted to party, and I pretty much thought what I thought regardless of what others said (still do, didn’t learn much). I dislike labels, but I was probably an economic conservative, moderate socially, and otherwise libertarian-leaning. But I remember the battles of politically correct speech, and minority studies, and how there were too many conservative white males on campus and so on …

… and I had forgotten until 2009 how they tried to make you feel on Campus 20 years ago.

There were many who tried their hardest to make sure we were never made to feel good about being anything other than a progressive. Ever.

What are we doing to make that possible for today’s youth?

My young son’s absolutely love Sarah Palin. Even though she is seen as a Christian Conservative they feel she is every bit the libertarian. Her honest themes of freedom and smaller government resonate with them. My oldest will vote for the first time next November. He hopes to vote for her.