A relentlessly forward-going force.
Margaret Tathcher was elected in 1979 and stayed in power until 1990. From the beginning her government had to face many difficulties, for example the clash with the irish rebels of Ulster and the invasion of the Falklands by Argentina.
Staunch supporter of the territorial unity of Great Britain she showed strong determination and resolution in dealing with these problems. But her inflexible conduct caused divisions and produced hard feelings. Thatcher stated continuously that she was acting for the sake of democracy and in the name of the will of the majority. Her opponents, on the other hand, accused her of failing to recognize that she was missing on the fact that those countries belonged under many aspects to a separate dimension from the British. Maybe a last stand of a colonial mind?
Capitalism was at the core of her politics inside Great Britain. She believed that only a free economy could bring about a free society. Under her rule Britain economy shifted from manufacture towards the service sector. Mostly Thatcher encouraged investment in the city of London trying to exploit its international reputation. Eventually she was successful. The process however produced many disorders and victims. For instance, the coalminers between 1984 and 1985 went on strike fearing that the new economy would have closed their pit. As a result many were arrested went in prison and brought lifelong wounds.
On the other hand, Thatcher strongly included the working class in her vision of a prosper Britain. Thanks to her social schemes many families had the opportunity to buy, for the first time in generations, a house. They were made able to buy a house for no more than 10.000 pounds and sell it years later for ten 10 times the original price. Many families for the first time could invest in the stock. Many, today, recall that it was not a huge investment but it felt symbolic of a new era of growth.
Many reckon her days at Downing Street as a world divided in good and evil. The ones who backed her up and the ones who loathed her. She made it her way.
She tried to implement her convictions aiming at reaching the wellbeing of Britain, but her conservative nationalism showed a lack of community spirit that caused marginalization and discrimination towards the minorities (i.e. Irish, gay people and the working class). Not a society so free…