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Margaret Thatcher
Conference on Liberty 2014


To celebrate the 40th anniversary of our foundation by Sir Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher, the Centre for Policy Studies held a major international Conference - the Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty - on Wednesday 18 June 2014.

A world class line-up of speakers participated, including former Prime Minister John Howard of Australia as well as leading academics such as Professors Niall Ferguson, Richard Epstein, Deepak Lal, Deirdre McCloskey and Luigi Zingales. Other speakers include Charles Moore (the official biographer of Lady Thatcher), Lord Saatchi, Michael Gove, Roger Scruton, General Petraeus, Radek Sikorski, and Dr Art Laffer. Britain's only living Nobel Prize winner for Literature, V S Naipaul, opened the Conference. 

The event was livestreamed and Google+ broadcast special Google Hangout events globally.

Our media partners The Daily Telegraph reported live from the conference. Read the live blog here and an archive of articles by and about the speakers here.

Daily Telegraph on #Liberty2014:

"Neither Mrs Thatcher nor Sir Keith saw liberty as an abstract concept, but one that was rooted in the freedom of ownership and the moral superiority of the market economy over its collectivist alternative. Socialists feared the advance of these ideas because it lessened their ability to control and guide the populace to do what the state thought was best for them. And this battle is by no means over: under Ed Miliband, the Labour Party is showing distinct signs of nostalgia for the socialist certitudes of the Seventies. Today’s conference is a timely reminder of why they were wrong then – and are wrong now." Telegraph View: Thatcher and the champions of liberty

"Western governments aren’t doing enough to defend and promote Western values. That’s the message that John Howard, the former prime minister of Australia, brings to London ahead of Wednesday’s international Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty" John Howard: Margaret Thatcher was my 'guiding light'

"In a speech a dinner to mark the end of the 2014 Margaret Thatcher conference on Liberty, he said: “The Thatcher revolution was not just something that happened to Britain, but part of an international uprising against the failed ideas of the post-war decades." Christopher Hope: We must follow Thatcher the optimist, says George Osborne

Christopher Hope: We will use the courage of Margaret Thatcher to defeat militant Islamism, says George Osborne"

'Has the West gone soft?” That is the question I and others were asked to address yesterday at the Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty, hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies – and given recent events in Iraq, it is a question that is more urgent than ever.Lord Powell: The West will pay for losing its backbone

"This promises to be a landmark event, with a roster of speakers that includes Michael Gove, V.S. Naipaul, John Howard, Niall Ferguson and Fraser Nelson, as well as the Telegraph's Benedict Brogan, Charles Moore and Daniel Hannan." Toby Young: The Thatcher conference on Liberty promises to be a landmark conservative event

"So there is a backlog of serious Tory re-thinking to be done and some uncertainty as to whether the current crop of Tories is either energetic or creative enough for the task.

As the program of this conference demonstrates, however, the current CPS is both of those things. It had better be. Sir Keith was an amiable lunch companion. Disappointed enthusiasm might make him a troublesome ghost
." John O’Sullivan: Today's Tories have forgotten the need for hard thinking

"Thatcherite Conservatives should "hold fast to the faith" and “continue the crusade for liberty”, Nancy Reagan has said. The widow of former American president Ronald Reagan warned that the “the eventual triumph of freedom would not come without sacrifice and diligence”. Christopher Hope: Keep the faith, Nancy Reagan tells Thatcherites

"What magnificent, brilliant specimens were on display! John O’Sullivan, the Lady’s former senior advisor; Lord Powell, her foreign affairs guru; John Howard, the Australian prime minster who admired her from affair; Roger Scruton, sometimes called her philosopher. And, of course, Lord Saatchi, the PR genius, who helped make Lady Thatcher the world leader she was. Yes, this historian was like a pig in the primordial mud." Timothy Stanley: Meeting the Thatcherite big beasts

"Mrs Thatcher believed economic liberty was at the heart of human worth. But it and political freedom are everywhere under threat" Charles Moore: Thatcher's unfinished business

To see the full list of media from the conference, click here