17 Facts About Thatcherism


Thatcherism is a form of British conservative ideology named after Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher.

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Thatcherism represents a systematic, decisive rejection and reversal of the post-war consensus, whereby the major political parties largely agreed on the central themes of Keynesianism, the welfare state, nationalised industry and close regulation of the British economy.

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Ideologically, Thatcherism has been described by Nigel Lawson, Thatcher's Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989, as a political platform emphasising free markets with restrained government spending and tax cuts, coupled with British nationalism both at home and abroad.

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Thinkers closely associated with Thatcherism include Keith Joseph, Enoch Powell, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

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Thatcherism is associated with libertarianism within the Conservative Party, albeit one of libertarian ends achieved by using strong and sometimes authoritarian leadership.

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Stuart McAnulla states that Thatcherism is actually liberal conservatism, a combination of liberal economics and a strong state.

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Thatcherism is associated with the economic theory of monetarism, notably put forward by Friedrich Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty which Thatcher had banged on a table while saying "this is what we believe".

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Thatcherism did not propose dramatic new panaceas such as Milton Friedman's negative income tax.

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Thatcherism sought to minimise the importance of welfare for the middle classes, and reinvigorate Victorian bourgeois virtues.

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Thatcherism was family centred, unlike the extreme individualism of most neoliberal models.

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Thatcherism's said "Christianity is about spiritual redemption, not social reform" and she quoted St Paul by saying "If a man will not work he shall not eat".

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Utley argued that a free and competitive economy, rather than being an innovation of Thatcherism, was one "more or less permanent ingredient in modern Conservative philosophy":.

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Such leftist critics as Anthony Giddens claim that Thatcherism was purely an ideology and argue that her policies marked a change which was dictated more by political interests than economic reasons:.

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Extent to which one can say Thatcherism has a continuing influence on British political and economic life is unclear.

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Thatcherism described Thatcher's efforts as "ideological, sometimes unnecessarily so" while stating that "much of what she wanted to do in the 1980s was inevitable, a consequence not of ideology but of social and economic change".

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The tone of Thatcherism was establishment bashing, with intellectuals a prime target, and that tone remains sharp today.

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Thatcherism's wanted to reverse Britain's decline by fostering entrepreneurship – but immigrants have often played an important role as entrepreneurial leaders in Britain.

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