On Balance a Necessary Prime Minister
I said I thought she would be remembered as a prime minister who saved the British economy but at too great a social cost. It wasn’t necessary to push unemployment that high – and so much of it hidden on sickness benefit – to end excessive trade union power.
Indeed, the breaking of trade union power may well have gone too far: part of the problem with today’s labour market is that low-paid work is so insecure, with zero-hours contracts and so on, that it makes it harder for people to get off benefits.
But she laid the foundations for decades of economic growth from which the vast majority of the country eventually benefited, and moved several unresponsive public industries into the private sector (do you remember telephone sockets and being able to buy your own answering machine? – although I do remember saying that I had no problem with nationalised British Gas with its morning or afternoon engineer appointments).
And she did the right thing on the Falklands, although that started as a bipartisan venture, it was just that the Labour Party lost its nerve after the first 24 hours.history, margaret thatcher
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