In April 2013, a famous political woman, Margaret Thatcher, passed away. She was the 71st Prime Minister of Great Britain, the first and last while the woman in this position. Her rule was very ambiguous, which is why many people met the news of her death with joy. Conservative measures of the politician were not to the liking of many, and even the Soviet regime mercilessly criticized it.
Today, more than 20 years have passed since her departure from the post of head of state, which is why the rule of an extraordinary woman begins to envelop myths. Itself Thatcher after her death begins almost to be canonized. It is worth considering the main myths about her activities in an important state post. Some argue that Thatcher saved the country, and others – that killed. So where is the truth?
Mrs. Thatcher was the best prime minister in British history.
There are many worthy candidates for this post, so it’s pointless to choose one. For example, the equally great Churchilli described Clement Attlee as an extremely modest man. Even after retiring from his post, the politician could walk around London completely unrecognized. But he did a lot to create a social state and the National Health Service. Is this small compared to the Thatcher reforms? And she herself did not consider herself so outstanding as a politician.
Thatcher destroyed the UK manufacturing base.
In fact, many manufacturing enterprises disappeared in the early years of the prime minister’s rule, and unemployment rose to 12%. However, the foundation for this was laid even before it came to power. The English economy was exhausted by industrial wars, the satisfaction of unnecessary demand, was covered by inflation, and as a result became uncompetitive. Mechanical engineering and shipbuilding kept afloat only at the expense of state subsidies. By the end of the reign, Thatcher succeeded in restoring engineering through foreign investment and making it competitive. As a result, the volume of industrial production during the years of the premiership of the “Iron Lady” has grown, although the share in GDP has decreased. True, the figure is still higher than, for example, in France.
Thatcher cut public spending.
The volume has never fallen below 39% of GDP. Thatcher never cut spending on health and social needs. In real terms, social expenses increased by 80%, while for new Laborers it was only 50%. There were more people living on the disability allowance. Thatcher stopped inflation.
Although this was the main task of her economic policy, the premiere failed to do so. Thatcher described inflation as a judge and jury of her economic measures. In the legacy of the woman got a high inflation of 10.3%, it was temporarily reduced, but this caused a recession. By the time of the withdrawal, inflation had increased again, amounting to 9.7%. Attempts to control prices through administrative measures and binding to the German brand failed. Only shock therapy after the departure from the case Thatcher stopped inflation.
Thatcher destroyed the country’s coal industry.
Layoffs in this industry started before her, and even after Thatcher’s rule, more mines were closed than with her. We should talk about the general trend, so personally the prime minister has nothing to do with it.
Thatcher made the economy of the country more thrifty.
This statement is at least debatable. It’s good that she at least paved the course for economy. However, some of its reforms have significantly undermined the private sector in favor of developing the pension system. As a result, some businessmen were much more interested in the money of pension funds than in the development of production. Even the introduction of personal pensions caused a scandal.
Margaret Thatcher was a beacon of freedom and a fighter against dictators.
The myth is at least dissipated by the support of General Pinochet, who is known for his numerous violations of human rights.
Thanks to Thatcher, Great Britain once again became a great economic power.
The IMF maintains a table of major economies. Nominal GDP of England in 1979 as the sixth, and remained by 1990. Was overtaken by the Soviet Union, but England bypassed but Italy.
Thatcher cut taxes.
During her rule, taxes rose from 33.7 to 34.6%. It was a forced measure to prevent a budget deficit due to unemployment and the associated illness of the economy. Although Thatcher reduced taxes for the rich, she introduced regressive indirect taxes, such as a VAT increase in 1979.
During the premiership, production fell, and the service sector rose sharply.
The share of production in GDP has actually declined from 24% to 21% over the years, but the same trend has been observed in other developed countries – the US, Germany, Japan and France.
Thatcher balanced the budget.
In the 1980s, the country’s budget had a persistent deficit, and when Thatcher retired, he began to grow. And it would be even worse if the country did not sell off its assets and did not receive revenues from oil sources in the North Sea.
Thatcher taught the English to work again.
During the economic downturn of Hou, unemployment rose to three million, but in 1990 there were still about 2 million unemployed people in the country.
The prime minister stood at the foundations of the European Union.
In 1986, Thatcher signed the Single European Act, which stipulated not only the interaction of European countries, but also the special place of London. The government did not submit the treaty to a general referendum (as in Denmark or Ireland) without asking the people’s opinion. She herself preferred to establish relations with the US, seeing how Europe is moving in the wrong direction in its view.