Thatchers Governments- Society

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  • Thatcher Governments- Society
    • Houses
      • Poll Tax
        • Aim- to make local councils more accountable to their electors by ensuring that everyone contributed
          • Before, local taxation was based on property and so was paid by homeowners so Thatcherites thought equal contribution is fairer
            • How can you justify a poor pensioner paying same tax as millionaire?
              • Anti-Poll Tax Unions set up urging people not to pay. Up to 30%, non-payers
                • March 1990, Trafaglar Square anti-poll tax demonstration
                  • 200,000 attendants, nearly 5000 people injured, over 300 arrests made
            • Introduced into Scotland first, but damaged conservatives reputation
            • Highlighted distant and failure to connect with people towards Thatcher
      • Aim- Britain into a property owning democracy
        • 1980 Housing Act- gave council tenants the right to buy their council house
          • By 1988, approximately 2 million new homeowners taken advantage of this scheme
          • Very popular with the public
          • Only really available in better-off areas
          • No new council housing built- profit made was used to pay off debt
    • Social Groups
      • The Church
        • "Faith in the City"- calling for government to do more to help deprived communities
          • OPPOSITION
      • Charities = Shelter campaigning against increasing homelessness problem
        • Age Concern Charity = Campaigning against pensioner poverty
      • Education and Arts
        • Oxford Uni voted against giving Thatcher an honorary degree because of public spending cuts to higher education
    • Environment
      • 1984 Bhopal gas leak in India.
        • Killed between 3000 and 8000 people
          • Gave a growing understanding of effects of pollution
            • Environmental Pressure groups- Greenpeace and Friends of Earth grew in strength
      • 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident in Russia
        • Explosion and fire. Released radioactive particles into atmosphere
          • Gave a growing understanding of effects of pollution
            • Environmental Pressure groups- Greenpeace and Friends of Earth grew in strength
    • Miners
      • 1984- Government was confident. Coal was built up at power stations. The flow of North sea oil = less likely for energy crisis
        • NCB announced to close 20 pits
          • Arthur Scargill - secret plan to close 70 pits
            • MacGregor rejected this. 2014 cabinet papers released confirmed this
            • Didnt' gain support for national strike. He had bitterness with UDM
            • Potential loss of jobs. A lack of honesty. Miners striking
              • the defeat of the NUM
                • The Police
                  • Critics claimed police reforms were used to defeat miners
                    • New equipment, more experience of riot control
                      • Battle of Orgreave
                • Arthur Scargill
                  • No support from Labour party leadership
                  • Miners didn't deserve him
                    • 1979, coal industry employed 200,000 people. By 1990, 60,000 people
                    • Ability for unions to intimdate government was gone for good

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