The historian Niall Ferguson has recently picked up one of the more dishonest intellectual batons around - the claim that Margaret Thatcher would have 'seen off' radical Islam.
Speaking at the Centre for Policy Studies inaugral Margaret Thatcher Liberty Conference, Ferguson as good as sank the project before it began, by making the bizarre claim that Mrs Thatcher would have 'whole heartedly' have fought radical Islam.
In fact, Mrs Thatcher empowered radical Islam. Most disastrously via our support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan (who of course a few years later begat the Taliban, providing the sanctuary to Al Qaeda which enabled 9/11) and secondly via her cosy relationship with the Islamising military dictator of Pakistan, General Zia. One wonders what Zia would have made of the liberty conference?
And that is without even mentioning her deep relationship with the primary state sponsors of Sunni terrorism, Saudi Arabia, or that the first person to propose an Islamic school in Britain was ...........Margaret Thatcher.
It is fashionable, and indeed correct, to flay Tony Blair for the encouragment his foreign policy gave to Islamist actors. But let us not forget that Britain has been getting it very wrong on Islamism for a very long time. And that despite the myopia of her supporters, Mrs Thatcher was up to her neck in those blunders.