I am struck by the sense that we know all this about Thatcher anyway. So, this week, we knew that the Thatcher government hid the scale of proposed coal closures and rejected plans to reduce Scottish pubic expenditure in a highly public and drastic way. Yet, what we are learning, but by bit, is that the Thatcher government is not living up to its majoritarian, top-down, government-knows-best, there is no alternative, lady’s not for turning image. Instead, we are seeing more examples in which the Thatcher government feared the consequences of its actions and was not prepared to simply pick fights with weaker opponents. It recognised the limits to its powers and sought to adapt. This is just as relevant now as it was back then. The UK has this image in which power is centralised in the hands of a few powerful people, responsible for responsible government. The reality is much more complicated.
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