[Re: Privatisations of the 1980s attest to the success of Thatcher’s revolution, yesterday]
This is an excellent analysis of the broad benefits of Margaret Thatcher’s privatisation programme. But what about rail? No one is suggesting BT or Thomas Cook be brought back into state ownership. In fact, it would be impossible for the government to control the travel sector ever again. The number of people who make holiday arrangements without using an agency makes the idea ridiculous. But the railways are different. Commuters don’t see competition, they see corporatist franchises that hike up prices. This article would have done better to explain what lessons we can take from BT or Thomas Cook and apply to the railways.
[Re: Five myths about Margaret Thatcher that must be refuted, yesterday]
Add to these five Thatcher myths a sixth: the death of UK manufacturing. The Office of National Statistics says factory output rose by 7.5 per cent between 1979 and 1990. And Margaret Thatcher’s legacy has extended far beyond her time in office. Britain’s booming car industry is a case in point. It was afflicted by huge industrial unrest and overmanning, productivity was low, and the prestige of British cars had sunk. Now, although British marques have been consigned to history, KPMG forecasts that UK car production will grow at nine per cent a year until 2016 to reach a massive 2.2m vehicles. Car exports are also booming.
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Manufacturing grew by 7.5 per cent between 1979 and 1990; by 4.9 per cent between 1990 and 1997; it then shrank until 2010.
Margaret Thatcher will always be revered across the world for her sense of principle and iron will, even by those who disagreed.
Marks & Spencer still has massive underlying issues in clothing. There is no real sense it has got to grips with them.
Tony Blair has struck out at Ed Miliband. For all his faults, it’s worth remembering Blair is Labour’s most successful politician.