Sir Keith Joseph was the most articulate and powerful of the postwar exponents of the market economy at a time when it was distinctly unfashionable. He it was who provided the ideological dynamic for what came to be called Thatcherism. Indeed, Margaret Thatcher dedicated a volume of her autobiography to him, and declared that her reforms could never have been achieved without him. But he has also been an important influence on Tony Blair's New Labour. We still inhabit a world largely created by Keith Joseph, and we will probably continue to do so for a long time to come.
This is a part of the lecture series, Making the Weather: Six politicians who shaped our age. Winston Churchill wrote of Joseph Chamberlain, Colonial Secretary at the beginning of the 20th century, that, even though he never became Prime Minister, he 'made the weather', meaning that he played a crucial role in shaping the political agenda of his day. These lectures discuss six postwar politicians, none of whom became Prime Minister, but who, like Joseph Chamberlain, also made the weather and so helped to shape the age in which we live.