Coffee House

Margaret Thatcher and the missing votes

25 April 2013

There was a startling late entry for the first volume of my biography of Margaret Thatcher. On the day after she died, I received an email from Haden Blatch. Mr Blatch’s father, Bertie, was the chairman of the Finchley Conservative Association when it selected her in 1958. I had asked Haden for information before, but he had not got round to it.

Now he revealed that his father had come home from the Finchley selection meeting and explained that Mrs Thatcher had not really won the vote. Her rival, Thomas Langton, had just pipped her. Blatch senior, however, was very keen on Mrs Thatcher, and thought that Langton, who ‘was born with a silver spoon in his mouth’, would easily get in somewhere else, whereas she, being a woman with young children, would not. ‘I “lost” two of Langton’s votes,’ he told his son, and he announced her victory.


If this is correct, Mrs Thatcher (unknowing) was set on her political career by a fraud. To get this story into the book, I was not allowed any more lines: I had surgically to remove 150 words, and insert 150 new ones.

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes from this week’s magazine. Click here to subscribe to the magazine and receive a FREE copy of the official authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, by Charles Moore, worth £30.

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  • Iain Hill

    A beginning consistent with all that followed?

  • Jimmy R

    Did Local Conservative Associations actually take votes about prospective candidates in 1958, the year Maggie was selected for Finchley? At that time they didn’t even vote for who was to become Party Leader, never mind possible candidates. I would have thought that, in keeping with what generally happened all those years ago, views were listened to, assessments made and then decisions made by the more senior members involved.

  • MalcolmRedfellow

    Hold on! Didn’t anyone know the number of voters? Then, didn’t tally the votes? And then didn’t work out there was dirty work at the crossroads? Fishy!

  • tele_machus

    I see that there are tears over at the UKIP-PORN site and it is preparing to be torn apart by disagreements. I can’t say I will be sad…. Visit while you can.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Relief all round in bedsit land eh?

      Enjoy your DLA while it lasts.

  • John Statham

    I demand an investigation.

    • Makroon

      What happened to Thomas Langton, you mean ?

  • ianpatterson99

    What were the 150 words he dropped?

  • Wilhelm
    • Wilhelm

      Incidentally, in the week of Thatchers death, another race realist died, Lawrence Auster who wrote the essay ” Immigration and multiculturalism, a Path to National Suicide.”

      Here is the eloquent Mr Auster discussing islam. ”What is the reality of islam ? Why do we deny the reality of islam ? And if we stopped denying the reality of islam, what would we do ?

    • HookesLaw

      What is intrinsically bad about the other people then?

      • tele_machus

        Well the other people are not British and their presence in very large numbers cannot but be inimicable to the preservation of the British culture and society. But you know that. Indeed that is the entire intent of mass inmigration. The people are not necessarily bad in themselves but we are using them to eliminate the national identity of Britain, which will become the Northern Region of the EU in due course.

        • Makroon

          You must think that “British culture” is a feeble and frail thing, if you think it can so easily be brought down by a few million immigrants from all over, many of whom admire British culture.

          • tele_machus

            culture is a frail thing. That is why the definition of genocide entirely fits the case of London where the indigenous culture is being replaced. Most nor-European immigrants are not sympathetic to British culture at all. When I speak to those who know what is happening they are surprised at how easy it has been. No-one will speak out. Or if they speak out it is only to complain.

            It is only action taken now that can save British culture and British society. But those of us in the social democratic movement know that there will be no action. Just lots of complaining as the new world order i established here for the common good.

        • tele_machus

          Click on the name to see the truth of this

          • tele_machus

            Reading further down it has to be Maidstone or one of his acolytes

      • Smell the glove

        Oh I dunno you better ask our ancestors you know the ones who killed the next villagers

  • UlyssesReturns

    Which goes to prove that God is an Englishman, a Tory, and works in mysterious ways in order to confound labour. Hats off to Bertie Blatch for doing God’s work in Finchley.

    • Curnonsky

      And, in order to prove that he still has a sense of humor, God arranged for Ed Miliband to be selected.

  • tele_machus

    And the fraud and obfuscation continued

    • Colonel Mustard

      But didn’t fully ripen until 1997 when we got 13 years of it at full strength, blossoming in every government department, council office, quango and fake charity. Let’s face it, telemachus, even you can’t put Common Purpose earlier than 1989, coincidentally about the time that the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin Wall came down.

      Mrs Thatcher would have had no truck with that pernicious gang but the idiots that came after her jumped on the bus with glee and Leveson must be one of their greatest achievements. You couldn’t get a better definition of fraud and obfuscation.

      • tele_machus
        • Colonel Mustard

          Didn’t take long for your mask to slip again. I could begin a blog and write an equally vitriolic torrent of bile about one of your left wing heroes – Stalin or Balls – packing in as much mythology as I could.

          It wouldn’t mean a thing.

          • tele_machus

            I am always heartened when a fellow human being understands genius
            To recognise the charismatic star qualities of Ed and Joe together is rare

            • tele_machus

              And you have me sussed. LOL! Yes, it is easy to knock up a blog that says anything. But Stalin was a man who acheived much. And in the new world it is those who achieve who will gain and keep hold of power. Our rather weedy politicians are place men who stand between the people and the brutal fact of power which cannot yet reveal itself openly. But there is much to emulate in Stalin. And those who hold the real power are well aware of the model he represents.

              • James Strong

                Apart from the terror imposed by his regime, the brutal suppression of opponents and the murders, carried out on an individual and mass scale, Uncle Joe was a great bloke.
                tele-machus, I think you’ve gone too far recently. In the past your comments might have been somewhat reasonable although misguided.
                Lately you’ve been coming up with comments that I don’t think you really believe. If you do believe them I think you should see a doctor.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re blind to the satire, from this particular telemucus clone. It’s quite brilliant.

      • HookesLaw

        Paranoid rubbish.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    So basically, some guy is claiming that his father came home one night 55 years ago, and claimed that he had just cheated in the count of a local election.

    And the cheater’s son didn’t think to remember this long ago cheating until after Thatcher died.

    Have we got that right, then?

    How old was the cheater’s son that long ago night, we’d ask?

    • Ian Walker

      It was the selection committee for the local association, so the only thing that was broken was (possibly) the rules of the party, and even then I suspect that the chairman was probably entitled to exercise his judgement somewhat.
      A big-state, top-down socialist would never understand the concept of allowing the guys further down the tree to make up their own minds. Much better to have all-women lists authorised by the central commitee to trample all over the wishes of anyone local who might not be up to speed on the Grand Plan.

      • tele_machus

        Much as I loath Thatcher, it is necessary to applaud the exercise of political power by the one who held it and was able to use it to have her selected. Talk is cheap. But the exercise of power is everything.

        • Smell the glove

          Missing e

      • Dicky14

        It’s kinda taken for granted that these things are done for the benefit of the Assoc. I used to do all the caucus stuff for ours and it was viewed as almost a little rude if people didn’t know the outcome that the vote should give rise to. As mentioned, it’s the Tory party not some namby pamby run of the mill committee and normal constitutional ‘rules’ are merely guidelines to be dusted off once in a while and then promptly ignored.

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