A classic liberal
In many ways Mr Seldon was a quintessential Thatcherite, if never a Conservative. He was born in the East End of London, to Russian-Jewish immigrants, but lost both parents in the 'flu epidemic of 1918, when he was three. Adopted by a cobbler, learning to repair shoes himself, he became a natural and lifelong believer in self-help. He won a state scholarship to the London School of Economics, where he was inspired to his life's work by Hayek, who was one of his tutors.
Rather than a Tory, Mr Seldon was essentially a classic liberal. Much of his early life was devoted to trying to revive the Gladstonian roots of the Liberal Party, even as it succumbed to the influence of Keynes and others. He always regretted that it was the Conservative Party that took up the IEA's agenda, not the Liberal Party, where his free-market ideas really belonged. This marked him out from most Thatcherites, who, much as they adored economic freedom, often had a Tory dislike of individual liberty in other spheres.
Keywords: Classic Liberal