Margaret Thatcher had the quality that Napoleon considered essential in a general – she was lucky.
- · She was lucky in her enemies, the Argentinian dictator Galtieri who invaded the Falklands and the miners’ leader, Arthur Scargill, whom she described as “the enemy within”.
- · She was lucky that the Left split after 1979 into rancorous factions.
- · She was lucky to come to power just as North Sea Oil came fully on stream. By the early 1980s, Britain was self-sufficient in oil and, by 1985, the UK was the world’s fifth-largest oil producer
She deserves some credit.
- · She was the first woman PM
- · Some of the union reforms were needed. No one now would argue against the secret ballot
- · Some of the reforms to industry were needed
- · She was open and honest about her policies – compare Cameron who is carrying out a Thatcherite agenda by stealth
She deserves a whole lot of blame.
- · She destroyed communities in Scotland, Wales and the North of England where her memory is still toxic
- · She squandered much of the North Sea Oil money
- · She shamefully supported apartheid South Africa
- · She lauded individualism and declared “there is no such thing as society”, building a nastier more selfish nation
- · She bent the rules for Murdoch, which led to the baleful influence he still holds over our politics and society
- · She dramatically reversed the steady progress there had been over decades towards Britain becoming a more equal society
- · She built up the finance sector and ran down manufacturing. The effects of this imbalance in the economy are still felt today
- · She introduced the regressive and unjust poll tax
- · She introduced neo-liberal economics which led to great prosperity for some, poverty for others and to the economic disaster of 2008.