Thatcher 79-86

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  • Thatcher:1979-86 (stage 1)
    • Monetarism
      • root cause of inflation is govt. spending - in order to control inflation govt had to restrict amount of money in circulation
      • M/T cut govt spending  to reduce Britain's deficit
        • Interest rates kept high in order to deter irresponsible borriowing and keep the pound string
          • SUCCESS: reduced inflation from 19% in 1979 to 5% in 1983
            • Came at the price of job losses - unemployment rose at a disturbing rate every yr after 1980
              • Diid not score economic growth, 1981 = manufactured goods started recession and riots occurred in all big cities
    • Social Unrest
      • April 1981 (Brixton, London) black youths went on rampage - looting properties and burning shops
        • One factor: reaction against M/T tough monetarist policies - no job prospects in inner-city areas/alienation and discrimination of young black people/high unemployment for school leavers
          • 'Wets' put pressure on to take back monetarist policies - M/T NO "the lady's not for turning" at Cons. party conference in 1980
            • Popularity did not increase - low in opinion polls - doubted could win next election - BUT Falklands
    • Falklands War 1982
      • 2 April 1982: General Galtieri ordered the seizure of the F. 4000 troops invaded. Act condemned by all parties - Labour wanted response through UN, M/T convinced it was an entirely British issue to resolve. Ordered retaking of F
      • 8 April: British forces set sail. 1 May air strikes began on F. Naval campaign 2 May
        • Belgrano ship sunk by British submarine - but it was sailing out of 200 mile exclusion zone - "ships can always turn around"
      • British troops landed 21 May. Climax of liberation came on 14 June when Port Stanley liberated. Argentina surrendered.
        • Claimed lives of 255 British and 665 Argentine soldiers. M/T chanted 'rejoice, rejoice' at the news - sense of victory for pop. at large
      • Political benefits
        • Reward was 1983 election - surge in popularity. Lab - dif. position of attacking govt. and supporting soldiers
    • Miners Strike 84-85
      • FOR pit closures
        • unwillingness to put further public money into a failing industry
        • Shouldn't delay the inevitable
      • AGAINST
        • proper investment programme by govt would make coal a long term power source. social consequences would be catastrophic - whole communities dependant
      • NUM never had any real hope even after 'battle of orgreave'. Scargille manner alienated other unions, undemocratically forced people to strike/coal no longer vital furl source
      • Impact of strike
        • scenes in media divided public opinion. 65% supported govt. 35% miners.
        • failure of strike allowed mines to be closed at greater speeds
        • Led to M/T thought that any opponent could be defeated if the govt kept a sense of purpose and determination

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