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Encyclopedia > Thatcherism
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher

Thatcherism is the system of political thought attributed to the governments of Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher was unusual among late twentieth century British Conservative Prime Ministers in that she was a highly ideological leader — she once slammed a copy of Friedrich Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty down on a table during a Shadow Cabinet meeting, saying, "This is what we believe." Download high resolution version (421x640, 33 KB)Picture of Margeret Thatcher Source: http://memory. ... Download high resolution version (421x640, 33 KB)Picture of Margeret Thatcher Source: http://memory. ... Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC (born October 13, 1925), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in office from 1979 to 1990. ... A prime minister is the most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... Friedrich August von Hayek, CH (May 8, 1899 in Vienna – March 23, 1992 in Freiburg) was an Austrian-born British economist and political philosopher known for his defense of liberal democracy and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought in the mid-20th century. ... The Constitution of Liberty is one of the most important books by Austrian economist and Nobel Prize Friedrich A. Hayek. ... The Shadow Cabinet (also called the Shadow Front Bench) is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition (or the leader of other smaller opposition parties) form an alternative cabinet to the governments, whose...

Contents

Overview

"Thatcherism" is characterized by decreased state intervention via the free market economy, monetarist economic policy, privatisation of state-owned industries, lower direct taxation and higher indirect taxation, opposition to trade unions, and a reduction of the size of the Welfare State. "Thatcherism" may be compared with Reaganomics in the United States, Rogernomics in New Zealand and Economic Rationalism in Australia . She was deeply in favour of individualism over collectivism, with self-help as a mantra. A free market is an idealized market, where all economic decisions and actions by individuals regarding transfer of money, goods, and services are voluntary, and are therefore devoid of coercion and theft (some definitions of coercion are inclusive of theft). Colloquially and loosely, a free market economy is an economy... Monetarism is a set of views concerning the determination of national income and monetary economics. ... Privatization (sometimes privatisation, denationalization, or — especially in India — disinvestment) is the process of transferring property, from public ownership to private ownership. ... The term direct tax has more than one meaning: a colloquial meaning and, in the United States, a constitutional law meaning. ... An indirect tax (such as sales tax, value added tax (VAT), or goods and services tax (GST)) is collected from the person who bears the tax by intermediaries and the proceeds passed on to government. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers... There are three main interpretations of the idea of a welfare state: the provision of welfare services by the state. ... Ronald Reagan, the US president from which Reaganomics derives its name Reaganomics (a blend of Reagan and economics, coined by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey) is a term that has been used to both describe and decry free market advocacy economic policies of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who served from... The term Rogernomics, a portmanteau of Roger and economics, was created by analogy with Reaganomics to describe the economic policies followed by New Zealand Finance Minister Roger Douglas from his appointment in 1984. ... Economic rationalism is an Australian term in discussion of microeconomic policy, applicable to the economic policy of many governments around the world, in particular during the 1980s and 1990s. ...


Thinkers closely associated with Thatcherism include Keith Joseph, Enoch Powell, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. In an interview with Simon Heffer in 1996 Mrs. Thatcher stated that the two greatest influences on her as Conservative leader had been Joseph and Powell, "both of them very great men".[1] Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Baron Joseph, Bt, CH , PC (17 January 1918–10 December 1994) was a British barrister, politician, and Conservative Cabinet Minister under three different Ministries. ... Simon Heffers biography of Enoch Powell, published in 1999 John Enoch Powell, MBE (June 16, 1912 – February 8, 1998) was a British politician, linguist, writer, academic, soldier and poet. ... Friedrich August von Hayek, CH (May 8, 1899 in Vienna – March 23, 1992 in Freiburg) was an Austrian-born British economist and political philosopher known for his defense of liberal democracy and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought in the mid-20th century. ... Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American Nobel Laureate economist and public intellectual. ... Simon James Heffer (born July 18, 1960) is an English journalist and writer. ...


Friedman once said: "the thing that people do not recognise is that Margaret Thatcher is not in terms of belief a Tory. She is a nineteenth-century Liberal."[2] Mrs. Thatcher believed in economic liberalism and stated in 1983 that "We have a duty to make sure that every penny piece we raise in taxation is spent wisely and well. For it is our party which is dedicated to good housekeeping—indeed, I would not mind betting that if Mr. Gladstone were alive today he would apply to join the Conservative Party".[3] In the 1996 Keith Joseph memorial lecture Mrs. Thatcher argued that "The kind of Conservatism which he and I...favoured would be best described as "liberal", in the old-fashioned sense. And I mean the liberalism of Mr. Gladstone, not of the latter day collectivists".[4] For other uses, see Tory (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal Party statesman and Prime Minister (1868–1874, 1880–1885, 1886 and 1892–1894). ...


Nigel Lawson, Mrs. Thatcher's Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989, has defined Thatcherism as: Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby, PC (born March 11, 1932), was a British politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer between June 1983 and October 1989. ... The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister responsible for all economic and financial matters. ...

'Thatcherism' is, I believe, a useful term...No other modern Prime Minister has given his or her name to a particular constellation of policies and values. However it needs to be used with care. The wrong definition is 'whatever Margaret Thatcher herself at any time did or said'. The right definition involves a mixture of free markets, financial discipline, firm control over public expenditure, tax cuts, nationalism, 'Victorian values' (of the Samuel Smiles self-help variety), privatization and a dash of populism.[5] Samuel Smiles (December 23, 1812 – April 16, 1904), was a Scottish author and reformer. ...

Against the trades unions

Reduction in the power of the trades unions was made gradually, unlike the approach of the Heath Government, and the greatest single confrontation with the unions was the NUM strike of 1984 to 1985, in which the union eventually had to concede. While Thatcher's confrontational tactics with the unions were part of a broader economic plan that in the long term ultimately benefited the economic state of the United Kingdom, they destroyed the 'post-war consensus' of British politics. Both Thatcher's approach to industrial relations and the behaviour of the trades unions in the 1970s accelerated the departure from the British tradition of Voluntarism (based on contract law), bringing more and more aspects of labour relations into the sphere of government. This process has been adopted under the New Labour government of Tony Blair. In politics and economics, voluntarism (or voluntaryism) is the idea that human relations should be based on voluntary cooperation and natural law, to the exclusion of any political compulsion. ...


Europe

Towards the end of the 1980s Margaret Thatcher, and so Thatcherism, became increasingly vocal in its opposition to allowing the European Union to supersede British sovereignty. In her famous 1988 Bruges speech, Thatcher declared that "We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at a European level, with a European super­state exercising a new dominance from Brussels."


Thatcherism as a form of government

Another important aspect of Thatcherism is the style of governance. Britain in the 1970s was often referred to as "ungovernable". Mrs Thatcher attempted to redress this by centralising a great deal of power to herself, as the Prime Minister, often bypassing traditional cabinet structures (such as cabinet committees). This personal approach also became identified with a certain toughness at times such as the Falklands War, the IRA bomb at the Conservative conference and the Miner's Strike. Combatants Argentina United Kingdom Commanders President Leopoldo Galtieri Vice-Admiral Juan Lombardo Brigadier-General Ernesto Crespo Brigade-General Mario Menéndez Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse Rear-Admiral John “Sandy” Woodward Major-General Jeremy Moore Casualties 649 killed 1,068 wounded 11,313 taken prisoner 75 fixed... Night View of the Grand Hotel, Brighton, 2006 The Brighton hotel bombing was the bombing by the Provisional IRA of the Grand Hotel in the English resort city of Brighton in the early morning of October 12, 1984. ... The miners strike of 1984-5 was a major piece of industrial action affecting the British coal industry. ...


Sir Charles Powell, the Foreign Affairs Private Secretary to the Prime Minister (1984-91, 96) described her style thus, "I've always thought there was something Leninist about Mrs. Thatcher which came through in the style of government - the absolute determination, the belief that there's a vanguard which is right and if you keep that small, tightly knit team together, they will drive things through... there's no doubt that in the 1980s, No. 10 could beat the bushes of Whitehall pretty violently. They could go out and really confront people, lay down the law, bully a bit".[6] Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism refers to various related political and economic theories elaborated by Bolshevik revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, and by other theorists who claim to be carrying on Lenins work. ... Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney stand in front of the famous main door to Number 10. ... Whitehall, London, looking south towards the Houses of Parliament. ...


Dispute over the use and meaning of the term

The term "Thatcherism" was coined by one of her critics, the sociologist Stuart Hall.[7] However, not all social critics have accepted the term as valid, with the High Tory journalist T. E. Utley believing that "There is no such thing as Thatcherism."[8] Utley contended that the term was a creation of Mrs. Thatcher's enemies who wished to damage her by claiming that she had an inflexible devotion to a certain set of principles and also by some of her friends who, "for cultural and sometimes ethnic reasons " had little sympathy with what he described as the "English political tradition." Thatcher was not an ideologue, Utley further argued, but a pragmatic politician; giving examples of her refusal to radically reform the welfare state and the need to avoid a miners' strike in 1981 at a time when the Government was not ready to handle it. Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... Stuart Hall (born 1932 in Kingston, Jamaica) is a cultural theorist from the United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see Tory (disambiguation). ... Thomas Edwin Peter Utley C.B.E. (1921 - 1988) was a High Tory journalist. ... There are three main interpretations of the idea of a welfare state: the provision of welfare services by the state. ... Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ...


On another hand some claim that Tatcherism was moved actually by pure ideology and that her policies marked a turning point in economic policies which were dictated more by reasons of political power and interests than actually by economic reasons:

Rather than by any specific logic of capitalism, the reversal was brought about by voluntary reductions in social expenditures, higher taxes on low incomes and the lowering of taxes on higher incomes. This is the reason why in Great Britain in the mid 1980s the members of the top decile possessed more than a half of all the wealth (Giddens 1993, 233). To justify this by means of economic »objectivities« would be an ideology. What is at play here are interests and power.[9]


The Conservative historian of Peterhouse College, Maurice Cowling, also questioned the uniqueness of "Thatcherism". Cowling claimed that Mrs. Thatcher used "radical variations on that patriotic conjunction of freedom, authority, inequality, individualism and average decency and respectability, which had been the Conservative Party's theme since at least 1886." Cowling further contended that the "Conservative Party under Mrs. Thatcher has used a radical rhetoric to give intellectual respectability to what the Conservative Party has always wanted."[10] Image needed Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens (born January 18, 1938) is a British sociologist who is renowned for his theory of structuration and his holistic view of modern societies. ... Full name Peterhouse Motto - Named after St Peter Previous names The Scholars of the Bishop of Ely St Peter’s College Established 1284 Sister College(s) Merton College Master The Lord Wilson of Tillyorn Location Trumpington Street Undergraduates 253 Postgraduates 125 Homepage Boatclub The chapel cloisters, through which Old Court... Maurice John Cowling (September 6, 1926 – August 24, 2005) was a British historian and a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge. ...


Social costs

Critics of Thacherism point out that its successes were obtained only at the expense of great social costs to the British population. Industrial production fell sharply during Thatcher's government, causing a significant increase in unemployment - which tripled during her stay in power. When she was finally defeated in 1990, 28% of the children in Great Britain were considered to be bellow the poverty line, a number that kept rising to reach a peak of 30% in 1994 during the conservative government of John Major, who suceeded Thatcher. [11] [12] The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living. ...


While credited with reviving Britain's economy, Mrs. Thatcher also was blamed for spurring a doubling in the poverty rate. Britain's childhood-poverty rate in 1997 was the highest in Europe. [12]


During her government Britain's Gini Coefficient deteriorated substantialy and continuously, going from 0.25 in 1979 to 0.34 in 1990. This sharp deterioration in the quality of income distribution has not yet been corrected by subsequent governments. [13] Graphical representation of the Gini coefficient The Gini coefficient is a measure of inequality of income distribution or inequality of wealth distribution. ...


Thatcher's legacy

The extent to which one can say 'Thatcherism' has a continuing influence on British political and economic life is unclear. In 2001, Peter Mandelson, a Member of Parliament belonging to the British Labour Party closely associated with Tony Blair, famously declared that "we are all Thatcherites now"[14] This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... The Labour Party is an Anti-English political party in the United Kingdom. ...


In reference to contemporary British political culture, it could be said that a "post-Thatcherite consensus" exists, especially in regards to economic policy. In the 1980s, the now defunct Social Democratic Party adhered to a "tough and tender" approach in which Thatcherite reforms were coupled with extra welfare provision. Neil Kinnock, leader of the Labour Party from 1983-1992, initiated Labour's rightward shift across the political spectrum by largely concurring with the economic policies of the Thatcher governments. The New Labour governments of Tony Blair have been described as "neo-Thatcherite" by some, since many of their economic policies mimick those of Thatcher. [15] The Social Democratic Party (SDP) was a political party of the United Kingdom that existed nationwide between 1981 and 1988. ... Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock, PC (born 28 March 1942) is a British politician. ... Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A political spectrum is a way of visualizing different political positions. ... New Labour is an alternative name of the British political Labour Party. ... For other people of the same name, see Tony Blair (disambiguation) Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born May 6, 1953)[1] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Member of Parliament for the constituency...


Most of the major British political parties today accept the anti-trade union legislation, privatisations and general free market approach to government that Thatcher's governments installed. No major political party in the UK, at present, is committed to reversing the Thatcher governments reforms of the economy. Such a convergence of policy is one reason why the British electorate perceive few apparent differences in policy between the major political parties.[citation needed] A trade union or labor union is an organization of individuals associated through employment, or labour. ... Privatization (sometimes privatisation, denationalization, or — especially in India — disinvestment) is the process of transferring property, from public ownership to private ownership. ... Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ... In politics, an electorate is the group of people entitled to vote in an election. ...



On the occasion of the 25th aniversary of Thatcher's inauguration, BBC conducted a survey of opinions which opened with the following comments:

To her supporters, she was a revolutionary figure who transformed Britain's stagnant economy, tamed the unions and re-established the country as a world power.
Together with US presidents Reagan and Bush, she helped bring about the end of the Cold War.
But her 11-year premiership was also marked by social unrest, industrial strife and high unemployment.
Her critics claim British society is still feeling the effect of her divisive economic policies and the culture of greed and selfishness they allegedly promoted. [16]

See also

This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC (born October 13, 1925), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in office from 1979 to 1990. ... Ths article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is the second largest political party in the United Kingdom in terms of sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), the largest in terms of public membership, and the oldest political party in the United Kingdom. ... Euroscepticism (a portmanteau of European and scepticism) has become a general term for opposition to the process of European integration. ... There are three main interpretations of the idea of a welfare state: the provision of welfare services by the state. ... The Right Honourable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. ... The Labour Party is an Anti-English political party in the United Kingdom. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... For the school of international relations, see Neoliberalism (international relations). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Simon Heffer, Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell (Phoenix, 1999), p. 958.
  2. ^ The Observer, 29 September 1982
  3. ^ Speech to Conservative Party Conference (14 October 1983)
  4. ^ Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture (11 January 1996)
  5. ^ Nigel Lawson, The View From No. 11: Memoirs of a Tory Radical (London: Bantam, 1992), p. 64.
  6. ^ Peter Hennessy, The Prime Minister: The Office and its Holders since 1945 (Penguin, 2001), p. 397.
  7. ^ James Procter, Stuart Hall (Routledge, 2004), p. 98.
  8. ^ T. E. Utley, 'Monstrous invention', The Spectator, 9 August 1986.
  9. ^ Drago, Sreco and Leskosek, Vesna. Social Inequality and Social Capital; Ljubljana: Institute for Contemporary and Political Studies, 2003, p. 37
  10. ^ Maurice Cowling, Mill and Liberalism: Second Edition (Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. xxvii-xxviii.
  11. ^ NELSON, Emily and WHALEN, Jeanne. Modelo britânico reduz a pobreza infantil. The Wall Street Journal Americas, in O Estado de S. Paulo, Economia, p. B6, 1/1/2007.
  12. ^ a b NELSON, Emily and WHALEN, Jeanne. With U.S. Methods, Britain Posts Gains In Fighting Poverty, The Wall Street Journal Online, December 22, 2006 , p. 1
  13. ^ Shephard, Andrew. Income Inequality under the Labour Government, Briefing Note No. 33, Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2003, p. 4
  14. ^ Mandelson: we are all Thatcherites now. The Guardian (2002-06-10). Retrieved on 2006-09-15.
  15. ^ New Labour Neo-Thatcherite. New Statesman (2005-06-06). Retrieved on 2007-04-01.
  16. ^ Evaluating Thatcher's legacy, BBC News, Tuesday, 4 May, 2004, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK

Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Cover of the Nov 12, 2005 issue of The Spectator magazine. ... The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is an international daily newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company in New York City, New York, USA, with Asian and European editions, and a worldwide daily circulation of more than 2 million as of 2006, with 931,000 paying online subscribers. ... The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Bibliography

  • Anthony Giddens, Sociology (5th Edition, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006 - ISBN 074563379X )
  • Andrew Gamble, The Free Economy and the Strong State: The Politics of Thatcherism (Palgrave Macmillan, 1994).
  • Sir Ian Gilmour, Dancing with Dogma: Thatcherite Britain in the Eighties (Simon & Schuster, 1992).
  • Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques (1983), The Politics of Thatcherism (London: Lawrence and Wishart).
  • Bob Jessop et al (1988), Thatcherism: A Tale of Two Nations (Cambridge: Polity).
  • Dennis Kavanagh, Thatcherism and British Politics: The End of Consensus? (Oxford University Press, 1990).
  • Shirley Robin Letwin, The Anatomy of Thatcherism (Flamingo, 1992).
  • Kenneth Minogue and Michael Biddiss, Thatcherism: Personality and Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 1987).
  • Robert Skidelsky (ed.), Thatcherism (Blackwell, 1989).
  • Peter Hennessy, 'The Prime Minister: The Job and Its Holders Since 1945' (Penguin Books, 2000)

  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Thatcherism (487 words)
Thatcherism is the system of political thought attributed to the governments of Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.
Thatcherism is the name given to the laissez-faire policy of Margaret Thatcher (1925-), British prime minister from 1979 to 1990.
And Mrs Thatcher was curiously wrong-footed by the collapse of communism and the emergence of democracies in eastern Europe.
Thatcherism (257 words)
Political outlook comprising a belief in the efficacy of market forces, the need for strong central government, and a conviction that self-help is preferable to reliance on the state, combined with a strong element of nationalism.
The ideology is associated with the former UK premier Margaret Thatcher, but stems from an individualist view found in Britain's 19th-century Liberal and 20th-century Conservative parties, and is no longer confined to Britain.
Elements of Thatcherism, particularly the emphasis on controlling public expenditure and promoting opportunities for personal achievement, have been incorporated into the policy approach of the ‘New Labour’; government of Tony Blair, from 1997.
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