Cowdrill, Daniel Anthony (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis argues that ‘Thatcherism’ was consistent with the values, prejudices, and interests of the Conservative party. The threat of socialism was pervasive and underpinned by the party’s socio-economic base. The economic status of the middle class, under threat from inflation, pay controls, taxation, organised trade unions, and even comprehensive education, resulted in a strong emphasis on individual freedom. The free market, property, and choice, with their strong norm of methodological individualism, were the Thatcherite alternative. This strengthened those with skills and qualifications but destroyed the collective structures that supported those without. Thatcherite historiography is exercised most by intellectual high politics while the broader Conservative party has been neglected. However Thatcherism was a real political movement, not just the creation of metropolitan intellectuals and politicians. The grass-roots perspective offers a fuller and richer insight into the Thatcher revolution.
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