The View from Moscow

Boris Kagarlitsky

Surprising though it may be to the British public, Mrs Thatcher is one of the most popular Western politicians in the Soviet Union, especially among the apparatchiki. It follows that the British Prime Minister is often a central figure in discussions among people on the left of Soviet public opinion. The experience of ten years of Conservative radicalism in Britain is too important historically to be ignored. The reasons usually given, in Moscow and elsewhere, to explain Thatcher’s success – namely, political will, strong ideological motivation, capacity for hard work, skilful utilisation of the ‘Falklands factor’ – will not help us to understand the real significance of the political drama which has been played out in Britain. Will-power, consistency and ideological motivation are certainly necessary for success in politics. But are they sufficient?

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[*] Thatcher by Kenneth Harris. Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £12.95, 13 June 1988, 0 297 79146 X.