She said of herself that:
The kind of Conservatism which he [Keith Joseph] and I — though coming from very different backgrounds — favoured would be best described as "liberal", in the old-fashioned sense. And I mean the liberalism of Mr Gladstone not of the latter day collectivists.Thatcher also referred to herself as a libertarian, albeit one who thought a state was need to uphold law and order:
The first task of the State is to defend its citizens against attack from within and without. It is in this sense that the libertarian insists that government must be strong.When you look at the politics of the day you get a sense that it was not even that traditionalist conservatism was explicitly rejected, it just wasn't what was being contested. What was being contested was a vision of society being ordered around a constantly expanding welfare state versus a vision of society ordered around freely enterprising individuals and a limited state directed at law and order.
If that's where the debate stays, then we've failed. We've got to open up new debates in which traditionalist values are not kept in the background but become a focal point.