Niall Ferguson: Conservative politicians 'repeating the mistakes of the past'

Recent Conservative governments have unwittingly repeated the mistakes that condemned Britain to an era of inflation and stagnation, warns leading historian Niall Ferguson.

Prof Ferguson will reflect this evening on the lessons for Britain from the 1970s, as he delivers the 2023 Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies.

The lecture, which launches the CPS’ 50th anniversary programme, will argue that the recent deterioration of the UK’s monetary and fiscal position cannot simply be blamed on the unexpected costs of Brexit or Covid. It is the result of successive Conservative governments focusing on political machination rather than adhering to the principles set out by Sir Keith Joseph half a century ago.

And, just as happened in the 1970s, the country’s economic condition will likely deteriorate further if Labour wins the next election. Only a revival of the small-government, free-market approach championed by the CPS can set the UK back on the path to prosperity.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.



  • Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard, where he served for 12 years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. Prof Ferguson also sits on the Board of the Centre for Policy Studies.
  • Places are available by invitation at tonight’s lecture and drinks reception, taking place at the Institute of Directors. If you would like to attend, please contact Emma Revell on 07931 698246 and [email protected] or Josh Coupland on 07912 485655 and [email protected].
  • The Centre for Policy Studies is one of the oldest and most influential think tanks in Westminster. With a focus on taxation, economic growth, business, welfare, education, housing and green growth, its goal is to develop policies that widen enterprise, ownership and opportunity. The CPS will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024 with a programme of events and publications.

Date Added: Wednesday 29th November 2023