The Downfall of Margaret Thatcher

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  • The Downfall of Margaret Thatcher
    • By-Election Defeats
      • 18th Oct 1990
        • lost Eastbourne seat to Lib Dems with a win of 20%
          • Thatcher called Lib Dems 'a dead parrot' 6 days before
      • 22nd March 1990
        • Cons lost Mid-Staffordshire by-election where they had previously enjoyed a 19,000 majority
      • 8th Nov 1990
        • by-election defeats in Bradford North and Bootle
    • Poll Tax
      • aimed to make local councils more accountable
        • March 1990 anti-poll tax demonstration in Trafalgar Sq. 20,000+ people attended
          • turned into a riot and nearly 500 were injured and 300+ were arrested. lack of control by police
        • Thatcherites believed if everyone contributed it would be fairer and would force more effective & responsible spending
      • ministers found it hard to justify why a poor pensioner should pay the same as a millionaire
      • first introduced in Scotland 1989 & was extremely unpopular
        • Cons. opinion in Scotland damaged
        • despire this, it was introduced in England & Wales 1990
        • anti-poll tax unions set up across the country
    • Resignation of Colleagues
      • Nigel Lawson Oct 1989; chancellor wanted to join ERM - T wouldn't
      • Michael Heseltine Jan 1986; trade m,inister
      • Geoffrey Howe 1st Nov 1990
        • made a stinging attack in parl. & seemed to be calling someone to challenge her for the leadership
    • Europe
      • got a rebate of £580m
      • good relationship with France - channel tunnel
      • divisions between wets & dries
      • Single European Act 1986
        • signed by Thjatcher - remove barriers for trade & movement of people
      • she had contrasting visions to others in Europe & her cabinet
        • lead to resignations
    • Thatcher Herself
      • named the 'iron Lady'
      • stubborn and wouldn't budge on poll tax
      • polarised her cabinet eg wets & dries
      • polarised British public opinion
    • Extra-Parliamentary Opposition
      • PGs
        • CND 1958 sparked new lease of life
        • Greenham Women
          • April 1983 70,000 protesters formed 14 mile long human chain over cruise missiles
          • Sept 1981 women set up camp where missiles based - focal point for feminism
        • environmentalism due to industrial accidents eg India gas leak 1984 - Greenpeace grew
          • CFCs
      • Church
        • Report in 1985 'Faith in the City' called on govt to do more to help deprived communities
        • Bishops eg Darld Jenkins in Durham were outspoken in criticism of Thatcherite policies & their impact on society
      • Education & Arts
        • 'Red Wage'  - Billy Bragg, Paul Weller, Madness who campaigned against Thatcher in the 1980s
        • Cherchill, Hare & Ayckbourn wrote plays that satirised Thatcherism because she cut arts spending
        • Oxford uni voted against giving her an honorary degree because of spending cuts in HE

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