Thatcherism and British Politics
Margaret Thatcher is the only 20th-century prime minister to have given her name to a style as well as a doctrine. Although the final balance sheet ... Show synopsis Margaret Thatcher is the only 20th-century prime minister to have given her name to a style as well as a doctrine. Although the final balance sheet of the successes and failures of Thatcherism is yet to be tallied, this book places the government of Mrs. Thatcher in the perspective of postwar British politics. Here, Kavanagh describes how a postwar political consensus--covering full employment, welfare, conciliation of the trade unions, a mixed economy with state intervention, and social engineering--was established with the support of dominant groups in the Conservative and Labour parties. He then shows how that settlement broke down in the face of economic problems, changes in policies and personnel in the main parties, and the challenge to the intellectual bases of the consensus mounted by groups on the New Right. The book concludes with an insightful analysis of the government's record, and of prospects for a new consensus. Mrs. Thatcher has cited the breaking of the consensus as one of her primary political objectives, and in this penetrating study she emerges both as the architect of the collapse of consensus and as its product.