Conservative Party Conference
Address in Brighton, October 10, 1980
At our party conference last year I said that the task in which the government were engaged--to change the national attitude of mind--was the most challenging to face any British Administration since the war. Challenge is exhilarating. This week we Conservatives have been taking stock, discussing the achievements, the setbacks, and the work that lies ahead as we enter our second parliamentary year. Our debates have been stimulating and our debates have been constructive. This week has demonstrated that we are a party united in purpose, strategy, and resolve. And we actually like one another.
When I am asked for a detailed forecast of what will happen in the coming months or years, I remember Sam Goldwyn's advice: "Never prophesy, especially about the future." (Interruption from the floor.) Never mind, it is wet outside. I expect that they wanted to come in. You cannot blame them; it is always better where the Tories are. And you--and perhaps they--will be looking to me this afternoon for an indication of how the government sees the task before us and why we are tackling it the way we are. Before I begin, let me get one thing out of the way.
This week at Brighton we have heard a good deal about last week at Blackpool. I will have a little more to say about that strange assembly later, but for the moment I want to say just this. Because of what happened at that conference, there has been, behind all our deliberations this week, a heightened awareness that now, more than ever, our Conservative government must succeed. We just must, because now there is even more at stake than some realized.