The Daily Telegraph Editorial - 12th October 2005
Right to the End
After Margaret Thatcher's victory in 1979, Arthur Seldon, who
died yesterday, declared: "Labour as we have known it will not
rule again." He made two other predictions: that the Soviet Union
would not survive the 20th century, and that China would turn to
capitalism. He lived long enough to be proved right on all three.
Seldon's insistence (often in articles for The Daily Telegraph)
that small government should be promoted without reference to what
was "politically possible" helped to make Thatcherism happen. It
is now difficult to recall that, when he and Ralph Harris set up
the Institute for Economic Affairs, the overwhelming consensus
in all parties was that the man in Whitehall always knew best,
and that prosperity could be achieved only by governments. That
such days seem impossibly remote is a tribute to him and his work.