The Crisis of the Conservative Party and the Birth of Thatcherism

History Taster Lecture

Speaker: Dr Edmund Neill, Lecturer in Modern History
Date: Tuesday 9 February 2021, 4:30-5:30pm

In May 1979, the Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher won an emphatic election victory after a wave of trade union strikes paralysed the country during the previous winter. In retrospect, it is often assumed that the Conservatives’ electoral success and the free-market policies that Margaret Thatcher’s government enacted in the 1980s were inevitable.

But in the mid-1970s it all looked very different. The Conservative Party, demoralized after losing four elections out of five, worried that the electorate was becoming increasingly ‘proletarianized’ and that its new leader was too middle-class and drearily earnest to win.

This talk examines how the Conservative Party and conservative intellectuals responded – highlighting the development of policies that were enacted in the 1980s, but also those that were floated but not pursued.

This taster will also include an introductory overview of studying at NCH, and there will be ample time for Q&A with Faculty and Student Ambassadors.



Here’s what previous participants have said about our History Taster Lectures:

“The taster lecture was insightful, fascinating, and relevant, and shows how education can thrive in all conditions, if you put the effort in, as NCH has done!”

“Dr Paranque was so enthusiastic, and her talk was really interesting. I appreciated that she, as well as the NCH team, took time to answer questions on the talk and then NCH London itself. It was a well-rounded, informative and engaging session.”

“Incredibly informative online lectures which help give an understanding as to how the subject will be taught at university. Thoroughly pleased!”

“I really enjoyed the History taster lecture and learned so much! It was a very thoughtful and informative event that made me feel much more comfortable with my future study options.”

“The taster was enthralling and Dr Paranque’s enthusiasm and passion for the subject shone throughout. I would be happy to study this course at NCH!”

“I really loved the detail and passion that was in the lecture. I really enjoyed the session! It was informative, analytical, and current … a really great opportunity. Many thanks to everyone who made this possible!”

“The staff were all so lovely and put me at ease immediately. The lecture itself was very engaging and motivated me to continue research for my EPQ. I also liked the range of staff and students as it allowed for more in-depth answers with the Q&A.”