I. Theoretical part. The background of M. Thatcher
The upbringing of M. Thatcher and her attitude to Victorian values
Education and its influence on her successful career
A true political personality
The traits of her character that helped her to be successful in politics
Strong and weak points of Thatcher’s government
II. Practical part. The role of M. Thatcher in politics
1.BBS – History –Historic figures: Margaret Theatcher // http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/thatcher_margaret.shtml
2.Birthday tributes to Thatcher. BBC. 13 October 2005. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
3.Brown welcomes Thatcher at No 10. BBC News. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
4.Campbell, The Iron Lady, pp. 796–798. "Margaret Thatcher 1979–90 Conservative". 10 Downing Street. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
5.House of Commons European Community debate. Margaret Thatcher Foundation. 20 November 1991. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
7.Letter supporting Iain Duncan Smith for the Conservative leadership published in the Daily Telegraph. Margaret Thatcher Foundation. 2001-08-21. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
8.Margaret Thatcher Foundation // http:
9.Maureen Johnson, "Bible-Quoting Thatcher Stirs Furious Debate", The Associated Press (28 May 1988). Margaret Thatcher Foundation. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
10.Nixon, Reagan and Clinton--Learning from Past Mistakes, in Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. LXV, No. 18 (July 1, 1999)
11.Observer Profile of Carol Thatcher 27 November 2005
12.Pinochet death 'saddens' Thatcher. BBC News. 2006-12-11. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
13.Statue of Margaret Thatcher Unveiled. Associated Press. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
14.Stephen Castle, "Thatcher praises 'formidable' Blair", The Independent (28 May 1995).
15.Ted Kennedy, speech at Yale, quoted by David M. Abshire,
16.Thatcher stands by Pinochet. BBC. 26 March 1999. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
17.Thirty Years On, in Thirty Years On, Anniversary Celebrations 1957-1987, Institute of Economic Affairs, London, 1987, pp. 33 ff.
18.What We Can Learn from Margaret Thatcher // http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/what-we-can-learn-from-margaret-thatcher
19.William Lovett (1800-1877), English Chartist leader, Columbia Dictionary of Quotations. Скрыть
Working people were given a further stake in society by the sale of locally subsidized housing, in which many of them lived. They were sold to tenants at knockdown prices, and between 1979 and 1989 owner occupation increased from 55 to 63 percent. Despite the setback of the recession of the early 1990s, the ambition of most of the electorate remained to own their own home.
As Margaret Thatcher drew the wider electorate into her beliefs, it should be remembered that she had originally had to fight all the way within her own party. Unlike an American President, who takes with him his whole machine, Margaret Thatcher was an outsider who inherited a Cabinet and party machine, both of which were consensual in attitude. This applied even more so to the civil service, which for 15 of the previou
Показать всеs 19 years had been under socialist direction.
She used similar tactics to turn round all three to her way of thinking. She bypassed them until she had the members she wanted. She used subcommittees instead of full Cabinet to ensure her policies. She used outside think tanks: the Institute of Economic Affairs, which had given her the early tutelage in monetarism, and the Centre for Policy Studies, founded by her guru, Sir Keith Joseph. Like Heritage in America, they created the intellectual ideas for she and her followers to implement. She brought in outside advisers: academics like Alan Walters and Terry Burns and successful businessmen like Sir John Hoskins (computer magnate), Derek Rayner (M&S), and Sir Robin Ibbs.
The need to cut bureaucracy and public spending was tackled from the outset, and between 1979 and 1987 the number of civil servants was reduced by 22.5 percent (732,000 to 567,000). The truly radical changes were introduced between 1987 to 1990, inspired by Sir Robin Ibbs. Only a small core of advisers was to be retained to run government machinery, and most civil servants would work for new executive agencies, attached to ministries. Precise targets were to be set and held to. Although the reforms were properly effected after Margaret Thatcher had left office, she had changed the culture of the machinery of government.
It was more difficult to bring about cost cutting and reform in local government and the welfare services of health, social security, and education. The welfare needs were seen by the electorate as free and of right. It is difficult to take a bone away from a dog, and the early years of her premiership were taken up by more pressing matters.
Cost-cutting measures were undertaken in all the services, but despite cash limits being imposed, overall spending rose. (For example, in health, from 1980 to 1987 it increased by 60 percent). In education, my voucher scheme was turned down by Cabinet, and only minor changes were introduced.
In local government, cost cutting had perverse repercussions. The spendthrift city authorities controlled by the extreme left were rate-capped and the worst of them all, the Greater London Council, abolished. Unfortunately, it allowed Councillors to blame government for shortfall in services and increased centralized control, which reduced freedom.
Margaret Thatcher's populist instinct had made her more cautious in these areas, but after the election success of 1987, when she saw her monetary policies threatened by runaway costs, she introduced dramatic reform in all these areas. Again they were not properly implemented until she had been forced from office.
The changes that had been undertaken were to prove part of her undoing. The poll tax, which was an individual tax which replaced a property tax, was so unpopular it had to be withdrawn. The health and social security changes frightened the electorate and led to the debacle of 1997. In education, the setting up of grant-maintained schools to bring power and responsibility to individual schools as against the local authority was overturned by the present government.
There is a lesson in all this: Always tackle the controversial or unpopular measures at the beginning of an administration. Margaret Thatcher thought she was doing this after her great election success in 1987. She could not have foreseen she would have been forced out of office in three years. It was not that the ideas were wrong; the think tanks had provided mechanisms to introduce market principles. In these areas, however, only a few politicians had been willing to preach their virtues. Their time is yet to come, the message must still be reiterated.
Few politicians in history have the opportunity or ability to shine in domestic and foreign policy. Margaret did both. She was patriotic and had no compunction in unfurling that flag. Her patriotism was instinctive and struck a chord with the British people. They saw her as a powerful leader who stood up for Britain.
She didn't pretend to be a diplomatist, and actually said of herself, “I know nothing about diplomacy, but I just know and believe I want certain things for Britain.” These were increased respect for Britain as a leading power, limitations on European pretensions, and a close alliance with the U.S.
This latter was the most important and productive, and was cemented by the mutual attraction and meeting of minds of President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher on most issues. It enabled her to fight a war 8,000 miles away in the Falklands. She had the backing of the British people, but she needed American help. It was given, and she never forgot this. Neither did she forget European procrastination and obstructiveness. Later, she was to use her prestige to nudge President Bush into the Gulf War.
Britain remained America's strongest ally. She stood with America against terrorism in the Libyan crisis. Most important, she stood with President Reagan on the Strategic Defense Initiative but ensured that what was good for America did not undermine NATO, nor undermine the nuclear deterrent necessary for the rest of the West. It proved to be the final piece in the jigsaw that saw the end of the Evil Empire and the collapse of Russian Communism. The Iron Lady had played her part, and the chemistry that had worked with Reagan similarly worked with Gorbachev.
The repercussions of the changes that were pursued by the action of these three people were immense. The world was made a different place. As Margaret Thatcher herself said after leaving office, “The US and Britain have together been the greatest alliance in the defence of liberty and justice that the world has ever known.”
Margaret Thatcher’s part in the fall of Russian Communism bridged her American and European policies. She wanted the Eastern European countries free and absorbed into the European Community. This would dilute French and German dominance of Europe and make more likely a community of independent national states. From 1980 to 1988, she visited Eastern Europe as often as she could – Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Russia, and Poland. She was popular and was seen as the champion of the values they wanted – national determination, liberty, and the free market. She raised British prestige and gave the people of Eastern Europe hope.
Her dealings with the European Community were a different matter. There was no meeting of minds with her European partners. The protectionist, bureaucratic structure was contrary to British tradition. The Foreign Office and the majority of her Cabinets were pro-Europe and believed in consensus. Margaret Thatcher didn't, and in British interests managed to have the Common Agricultural Budget reduced and in 1980 handbagged the Commission into agreeing to a rebate for our contributions.
The price she paid was high. The economic recession in the late 1980s persuaded her into the single market. She saw it as beneficial for commerce and the extension of free trade. Her continental partners saw it not only as economic but political: the move to a single European state.
All three parties and the British public have moved their stance on Europe since 1970, when we first joined the Community. The present Conservative position of wanting to keep Sterling and against political integration fits the mood of the majority of the British people. The party should shout this loudly from the rooftops. It is a potential election winner. Europe however, was Margaret Thatcher's nemesis. Perhaps it is fitting she was in Paris when her fate as Prime Minister was sealed.
Margaret Thatcher was a conviction politician and left a remarkable legacy. Beware Mr. Blair: There is no third way. He has benefited from the sound economy he inherited. He also has the precious legacy of an electorate well-versed in monetarism during the 18 years of Conservative government. He has pledged to continue the fiscal policies for two years. They are now up, and the pressure is mounting within factions of his party for him to spend.
Significantly, the crude banners of a pressure group demonstrating outside the Labour Party conference last week read: “Stuff the market, tax the rich.” His continuation of the privatization policy is compromised by government private partnership. His rhetoric to keep the trade unions at arm’s length is already undermined by his actions. Privileges have already been introduced via the back door of the socialist-led European Community laws.
We should all remember that the three most successful Conservative leaders who won three successive elections were Lord Liverpool (early 19th century), Lord Salisbury (late 19th century), and Margaret Thatcher. They were all right-wing. They did not seek the center. When Margaret Thatcher was given the Winston Churchill Award by the U.S., the citation read: “Like Churchill she is known for her courage, conviction, determination and willpower. Like Churchill she thrives on adversity.” They were both loved and hated but left their mark.
II. Practical part. The role of M. Thatcher in politics
1970-1974: Education Minister
Margaret Thatcher had a rough ride as Education Minister. The early 1970s saw student radicalism at its height and British politics at its least civil. Protesters disrupted her speeches, the opposition press vilified her, and education policy itself seemed set immovably in a leftwards course, which she and many Conservatives found uncomfortable. But she mastered the job and was toughened by the experience.
The Heath Government itself took a beating from events during its tenure (1970-74) and disappointed many. Elected on promises of economic revival through taming the trade unions and introducing more free market policies, it executed a series of policy reverses – nicknamed the эU turnsэ – to become one of the most interventionist governments in British history, negotiating with the unions to introduce detailed control of wages, prices, and dividends. Defeated at a General Election in February 1974, the Heath Government left a legacy of inflation and industrial strife.
1975: Elected Conservative Leader
Many Conservatives were ready for a new approach after the Heath Government and when the Party lost a second General Election in October 1974, Margaret Thatcher ran against Heath for the leadership. To general surprise (her own included), in February 1975 she defeated him on the first ballot and won the contest outright on the second, though challenged by half a dozen senior colleagues. She became the first woman ever to lead a Western political party and to serve as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons.
1975-1979: Leader of the Opposition
The Labour Government of 1974-79 was one of the most crisis-prone in British history, leading the country to a state of virtual bankruptcy in 1976 when a collapse in the value of the currency on the foreign exchanges forced the government to negotiate credit from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF imposed tight expenditure controls on the government as a condition of the loan, which, ironically, improved Labour's public standing. By summer 1978, it even looked possible that it might win re-election.
But over the winter of 1978-79, Labour’s luck ran out. Trade union pay demands led to an epidemic of strikes and showed that the government had little influence over its allies in the labour movement. Public opinion swung against Labour and the Conservatives won a Parliamentary majority of 43 at the General Election of May 1979. The following day, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1979-1983: Prime Minister – First Term
The new government pledged to check and reverse Britain's economic decline. In the short-term, painful measures were required. Although direct taxes were cut, to restore incentives, the budget had to be balanced, and so indirect taxes were increased. The economy was already entering a recession, but inflation was rising and interest rates had to be raised to control it. By the end of Margaret Thatcher's first term, unemployment in Britain was more than three million and it began to fall only in 1986. A large section of Britain's inefficient manufacturing industry closed down. No one had predicted how severe the downturn would be.
But vital long-term gains were made. Inflation was checked and the government created the expectation that it would do whatever was necessary to keep it low. The budget of spring 1981, increasing taxes at the lowest point of the recession, offended conventional Keynesian economic thinking, but it made possible a cut in interest rates and demonstrated this newly found determination. Economic recovery started in the same quarter and a long expansion followed.
Political support flowed from this achievement, but the re-election of the government was only made certain by an unpredicted event: the Falklands War. The Argentine Junta's invasion of the islands in April 1982 was met by Margaret Thatcher in the firmest way and with a sure touch. Although she worked with the US administration in pursuing the possibility of a diplomatic solution, a British military Task Force was despatched to retake the islands. When diplomacy failed, military action was quickly successful and the Falklands were back under British control by June 1982.
The electorate was impressed. Few British or European leaders would have fought for the islands. By doing so, Margaret Thatcher laid the foundation for a much more vigorous and independent British foreign policy during the rest of the 1980s.When the General Election came in June 1983, the government was re-elected with its Parliamentary majority more than trebled (144 seats).
1983-1987: Prime Minister – Second Term
The second term opened with almost as many difficulties as the first. The government found itself challenged by the miners’ union, which fought a year-long strike in 1984-85 under militant leadership. The labour movement as a whole put up bitter resistance to the government's trade union reforms, which began with legislation in 1980 and 1982 and continued after the General Election.
The miners’ strike was one of the most violent and long lasting in British history. The outcome was uncertain, but after many turns in the road, the union was defeated. This proved a crucial development, because it ensured that the Thatcher reforms would endure. In the years that followed, the Labour Opposition quietly accepted the popularity and success of the trade union legislation and pledged not to reverse its key components.
In October 1984, when the strike was still underway, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) attempted to murder Margaret Thatcher and many of her cabinet by bombing her hotel in Brighton during the Conservative Party annual conference. Although she survived unhurt, some of her closest colleagues were among the injured and dead and the room next to hers was severely damaged. No twentieth-century British Prime Minister ever came closer to assassination.
British policy in Northern Ireland had been a standing source of conflict for every Prime Minister since 1969, but Margaret Thatcher aroused the IRA’s special hatred for her refusal to meet their political demands, notably during the 1980-81 prison hunger strikes.
Her policy throughout was implacably hostile to terrorism, republican or loyalist, although she matched that stance by negotiating the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 with the Republic of Ireland. The Agreement was an attempt to improve security cooperation between Britain and Ireland and to give some recognition to the political outlook of Catholics in Northern Ireland, an initiative which won warm endorsement from the Reagan administration and the US Congress.
The economy continued to improve during the 1983-87 Parliament and the policy of economic liberalisation was extended. The government began to pursue a policy of selling state assets, which in total had amounted to more than 20 per cent of the economy when the Conservatives came to power in 1979. The British privatisations of the 1980s were the first of their kind and proved influential across the world.
Where possible, sale of state assets took place through offering shares to the public, with generous terms for small investors. The Thatcher Governments presided over a great increase in the number of people saving through the stock market. They also encouraged people to buy their own homes and to make private pension provision, policies which over time have greatly increased the personal wealth of the British population.
The left wing of the Conservative Party had always been uneasy with its chief. In January 1986, enduring divisions between left and right in the Thatcher Cabinet were publicly exposed by the sudden resignation of the Defence Minister, Michael Heseltine, in a dispute over the business troubles of the British helicopter manufacturer, Westland. The fallout from the ‘Westland Affair’ challenged Margaret Thatcher's leadership as never before. She survived the crisis, but its effects were significant. She was subjected to heavy criticism within her own party for the decision to allow US warplanes to fly from British bases to attack targets in Libya (April 1986).There was talk of the government and of its leader being ‘tired’, of having gone on too long.
Her response was characteristic: at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in October 1986, her speech foreshadowed a mass of reforms for a third Thatcher Government.With the economy now very strong, prospects were good for an election and the government was returned with a Parliamentary majority of 101in June 1987.
1987-1990: Prime Minister – Third Term
The legislative platform of the third-term Thatcher Government was among the most ambitious ever put forward by a British administration. There were measures to reform the education system (1988), introducing a national curriculum for the first time. There was a new tax system for local government (1989), the Community Charge, or ‘poll tax’ as it was dubbed by opponents. And there was legislation to separate purchasers and providers within the National Health Service (1990), opening up the service to a measure of competition for the first time and increasing the scope for effective management.
All three measures were deeply controversial. The Community Charge, in particular, became a serious political problem, as local councils took advantage of the introduction of a new system to increase tax rates, blaming the increase on the Thatcher Government. (The system was abandoned by Margaret Thatcher's successor, John Major, in 1991.) By contrast, the education and health reforms proved enduring. Successive governments built on the achievement and in some respects extended their scope. Скрыть
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