Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady

By John Blundell | Go to book overview

POSTSCRIPT: WHAT REMAINS TO BE DONE
What we may still call the Thatcher agenda includes many institutions yet to be opened up by choice and free market ideas.
The greatest arm of the British state is the National Health Service measured either by its employee rolls or by its budget. Chancellor Nigel Lawson described the NHS as “The nearest the British have to a religion.” Politicians delight in reforming the managerial structures of the NHS but block any consumer choice or any relaxation of the restrictive practices of the clinical professions. It would be more accurate to call it the nationalized death service.
The BBC, Britain’s huge broadcasting public corporation, inhibited all attempts to reform it. The IEA’s distinguished contributor Sir Alan Peacock chaired a committee into its public funding but concluded little could be altered. Technology is dissolving the BBC’s status as satellite, cable and now digital techniques erode its monopolist assumptions.
Some nationalized industries endure. The Royal Mail remains a loss making state corporation but it has forfeited its monopoly of letter traffic. Competition is emerging slowly.
The Forestry Commission, a state timber venture set up in World War I seems untouchable by political reform. It has changed its defenses from a mercantilist hostility to timber product importation. Now it purports to be protecting wild life.

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Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • List of Acronyms ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Protocol xiii
  • Table of Contents xv
  • Preface 1
  • Introduction 11
  • 1- Childhood 17
  • 2- University 25
  • 3- Launching 35
  • 4- Elected 45
  • 5- Opposition I 53
  • 6- Education Secretary 63
  • 7- Reflections 71
  • 8- Leader 77
  • 9- Opposition II 83
  • 10- Power 89
  • 11- Liberating the Economy 93
  • 12- Privatizing the Commanding Heights 99
  • 13- Selling off Public Housing 107
  • 14- Going to War 113
  • 15- Beating the Miners 121
  • 16- Reforming the Unions 127
  • 17- Battling the I.R.a 131
  • 18- Befriending America 137
  • 19- Kicking Down the Wall 141
  • 20- Dealing with Brussels 147
  • 21- Resignation 155
  • 22- Retirement 165
  • 23- Family 173
  • 24- Men 181
  • 25- Her World 191
  • 26- Ten Lessons 197
  • Postscript- What Remains to Be Done 207
  • Appendix I- Table of Margaret Thatcher’s Elections* 209
  • Appendix II- General Election Results from 1945 -2005 210
  • Further Reading 211
  • Index 213
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