The Times Obituary for John Blundell

John Blundell, director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, 1993-2009, was born on October 9, 1952. He died of cancer on July 22, 2014, aged 61

A bouquet of red roses was John Blundell’s first homage to Margaret Thatcher when she was still opposition leader in the 1970s, and he, as national vice-chairman and publicity officer for the Federation of Conservative Students, arranged for its delivery to her door.

He was to write her biography and spend 17 years at the head of the think tank many considered influential during her government, the Institute of Economic Affairs, but by 1993, when he became its director-general, her reign was history and the institute’s prominence shrank. Influence was not regained as the Tories again prepared for power, and Blundell was to step down at the end of 2009, only months before the emergence of the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition.

Blundell preferred to sow his free-market economic ideas indirectly, through like-minded journalists, political friends, and by speech-making with free-market and libertarian economic foundations.

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