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Keith Joseph at 100

    We must have substantial cuts in tax and public spending and bold incentives and encouragements to the wealth creators, without whose renewed efforts we shall all grow poorer

    17 January 2018 would have been the 100th birthday of Keith Joseph. Founder of the Centre for Policy Studies, close friend and supporter of Margaret Thatcher, Housing Minister, Secretary of State for Education, and an architect of the concept of a 'social market economy', Joseph has claim to be the most influential Conservative thinker of the last century.

    Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, has a piece in The Times celebrating Joseph's role not only in the rise of Thatcher and Thatcherism, but as someone who re-defined the political language and argued for compassion to be as much of a Conservative value as fiscal responsibility.

    Sir Oliver Letwin, who knew Joseph personally, wrote in his most recent book, "Hearts and Minds", about the radical compassion of Keith Joseph and his comments are re-published by CapX to mark today's anniversary.

    Keith Joseph wanted to change public opinion, and through that influence politicians. In two years he spoke at over 150 universities and polytechnics, delivering a message of social compassion, fiscal responsibility, and limited government. Many of his speeches were published by the Centre for Policy Studies, including 'Monetarism is not Enough''The Conditions for Fuller Employment', and 'Stranded on the Middle Ground', a collection of several speeches.

    Joseph also authored a number of reports for the Centre for Policy Studies. He particularly focused on the role of the family in society, publishing 'Rewards of Parenthood' calling for a re-examination of the fiscal disadvantages of mothers staying home to raise children and 'The Importance of Parenting' which argues raising children deserved greater priority for the sake of all our futures.

    Keith Joseph passed away in December 1994, aged 76. In 1996, the Centre for Policy Studies institiuted the Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture, with the inaugral lecture delivered by Baroness Thatcher. Subsequent speakers have included former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, 1922 Committee Chairman Graham Brady MP, Michael Gove MP, and Fraser Nelson.


    Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher founded the Centre for Policy Studies to "question the unquestioned, think the unthinkable". To support us in continuing this work, as well as receiving copies of all our published reports and invitations to CPS lunches, book launches, and conferences, you can become a CPS associate member.