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Margaret Thatcher’s legacy PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Boardman   
Friday, 12 April 2013 11:33

It would be difficult to let the passing of Margaret Thatcher go without comment.

Unlike Mark Antony, I wish to neither bury nor praise her and it will be for history (or more correctly the historians) to determine what lives after her and what is interred with her bones.

On Friday 07 September 2012 I wrote a blog “A view from the left” http://blog.pendlelabour.com/component/content/article/2-blog/72-a-view-from-the-left in which I recorded my own views on the impact of Thatcherism on British society.

Today I have read an article in the business daily Handelsblatt http://www.handelsblatt.com/suche/ which intrigued me, because it lays bare the false claims of the coalition government that it was Labour’s failure to regulate the UK Banking and Finance sectors that caused the UK’s present financial crisis.

This is that newspaper’s tribute to Margaret Thatcher:

"The prime minister's most momentous act was perhaps the 'Big Bang' with which she liberalized Britain's strictly regulated financial sector. The move triggered the massive boom of the City of London and made a lasting impact on Britain's economy. Freed from all their chains, traders and bankers gave the entire economy fresh momentum: Between 1993 and 2006, the British economy grew by 2.8 percent on average per year while unemployment fell from nine to four percent."

"But since then, the world has learned the extremely painful lesson that absolute faith in self control and the self-healing power of free markets was a mistake. The Big Bang was followed by the Big Bust. Thatcher's laissez faire dogma was the intellectual basis for the wild growth of the financial sector that ended up leading to a major crisis."

"Now Britain is paying the price for the one-sided faith of its politicians in the service sector. Today Prime Minister David Cameron and his Finance Minister George Osborne are enviously looking at the industrial core of the German economy. The structural change after the financial crisis has hit Britain hard and its economy has been on the brink of recession for many quarters. With his rigorous austerity policy, Osborne is trying to repeat the Thatcherite economic miracle. But this time the people don't regard scaling back the government as liberation. They know that the entire country has to tighten its belt after the excesses of the boom era. The recipes of the Iron Lady have lost their effectiveness once and for all."

I have not presented this argument to ridicule Margaret Thatcher. My intention is to point out that Cameron and Osborne are woefully trapped in an economic ideology that has passed its sell-buy date.


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