“It was Europe that toppled her”. That’s the conventional wisdom, repeated endlessly in recent days, on the subject of how Margaret Thatcher lost her grip on power.
It’s perfectly true, of course, as the record shows, that back in November 1990, many of the then Prime Minister’s own MPs voted to oust her from No.10, embarrassed as they were by her high-handed treatment of Britain’s “European partners”. For them, Michael Heseltine’s “consensual” approach seemed wiser and less troublesome. To tolerate and indulge Brussels’ vision of “ever greater union”, as numerous Tory bien pensants insisted, was to be somehow less chauvinistic.