In 1979, following a period of sharp class struggle, the Conservative Party came to power under Margaret Thatcher. This marked a fundamental change in British politics and the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party was run by a narrow circle of unelected Tory grandees, all aristocrats. The bourgeois provided the money and the conservative middle class the foot soldiers. For a long time this arrangement worked very well. But by the 1960s, the bourgeois and especially the petty-bourgeois were becoming restive.
Disaster struck when they decided to elect the leader. The election of Margaret Thatcher, a shopkeeper’s daughter, as Party Leader marked a sudden shift. In her person were united all the prejudices, ignorance, lunacy and fanaticism of the Conservative middle class rank and file. The Conservative Party rank and file consists of stockbrokers, lawyers, shopkeepers, estate agents and similar riffraff. They are of limited intelligence, mostly fanatical chauvinists, racists, anti-European, pro-hanging and flogging, and extremely right wing.
As long as there was no democracy in the Conservative Party, everything was fine. The aristocratic Party grandees selected the leaders from their own ranks, keeping the middle class rabble at arm’s length. Harold Macmillan was probably the last of the old-fashioned Tory grandees. Ted regarded him as an intelligent representative of the ruling class. Macmillan did not conceal his dislike of Thatcher and her policies. He described her policies of privatisation as “selling the family silver”, which was not a bad way of putting it. But the age of the Tory grandees had past. The hour of the parvenus had struck.