Thatcherism’s greatest achievement

In 2002, twelve years after Margaret Thatcher left office, she was asked at a dinner what was  her  greatest  achievement.  Thatcher  replied:  “Tony  Blair  and  New  Labour.  We forced our opponents to change their minds.”  (Conor Burns, April 11, 2008)

Thatcher Tony Blair neoliberalismAs Tony Blair himself told: “[Thatcher] was immensely kind and generous to me when I was Prime Minister… Politicly, certain reforms she made, for example in Trade Union Law…, we kept the basic legal framework… We didn’t renationalise many of state industries that she privatized… I always thought my job was to build on some of the things she had done rather than reverse them… Many of the things she said… had a certain creditability… Whenever I wanted to ask her for advice, she would always give it… in a genuine, spirited way… She was very kind.” (BBC News, April 8, 2013)

These excellent books elaborate on this matter:
The Political Economy of New Labour: Labouring under False Pretences? by Colin Hay (Manchester University Press, 1999)
New Labour and Thatcherism: Political Change in Britain, by
Richard Heffernan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000)
New Labour, New Language? by Norman Fairclough (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000)
Transforming Local Governance: From Thatcherism to New Labour, by Gerry Stoker (Palgrave, 2003)
A Brief History of Neoliberalism, by David Harvey (Oxford University Press, 2005)
The Thatcherite Offensive: A Neo-Poulantzasian Analysis, by Alexander Gallas (Haymarket Books, 2017)

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10 Responses to Thatcherism’s greatest achievement

  1. Haha, although New Labour moved closer to Conservative philosophy I don’t buy that they have helped the Conservative party long term. As of today, the party isn’t exactly popular.

    • Tom Roche says:

      @TheSociologicalMail 19 Mar 2018: I don’t buy that [New Labour has] helped the Conservative party long term.”

      Really? As of the May 2021 local elections, where Boris trounced the rebranded-New-Labour led by Keir Starmer (whose ‘bold vision’ now is [‘changing the things that need changing’] ( ), it appears from the US as though the Tories will have ideological hegemony until such time as the Labour left ejects New Labour completely. Of course, that will also require a level of dewokification for which the left PCM seems utterly incapable.

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