There is another modern British history - an alternative tradition in our government, politics and economics. It is a history kept rather quiet, a tradition largely hidden from view - suspiciously well hidden, some would say. Thatcher seemed to hit Britain like a thunderbolt from the blue, but her ideas, her policies, her strategies and her vision had all been forged long before she ever arrived at Downing Street. They were first contrived by the anti-Keynesian economist, Friedrich Hayek, the man whose writings inspired Thatcher in all she did. He and his followers began, after World War II, the difficult and uphill task of countering the rise of socialistic collectivism. They were the economic liberals. Among their shock troops, their vanguard of revolutionaries, were Milton Friedman, Alan Walters, Keith Joseph, Ralph Harris, Alfred Sherman, John Biffen and Geoffrey Howe. Theirs was a long, gruelling fight, but in the mid-1970s, they found their ideal secret weapon. Within five years that weapon was running the country, and the rest is history, retold here in a new way. Richard Cockett is the author of "Twilight of Truth: Chamberlain, Appeasement and the Manipulation of the Press", and "David Astor and the 'Observer'".
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