Margaret Thatcher broke decisively from the ‘consensus’ politics set out in the last chapter. She declared in 1979: ‘I am a conviction politician. The Old Testament prophets did not say, Brothers I want a consensus’ (quoted in Dutton, 1997, p. 110). Over the next 11 years, her government decisively rejected Keynesian economics, the part-nationalisation of the economy, full employment as a policy aim and aspects of the ‘cradle to grave’ welfare state that had been created by the 1945 Labour government. Instead, Thatcher’s government used the power of the state to create a free economy that they believed would set Britain on a path to prosperity. It marked a change in direction that governments have continued along to this day.
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- The Shadow Of The Past II: Thatcher And After
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