The Thatcher Revolution - Politics (Complete notes AQA - 9th of 16)

These notes are for the 'Making of Modern Britain' course on AQA and as such follow the spec, although would be useful for all modern britian courses. They contain hystoriography, detail and explanations. 

The notes are devided into the sections of the spec, therefore there are 16 documents (as there are 4 areas (politics, economics, society, and foriegn policy) and there are 4 periods (Post war, Wilson + heath, Thatcher, and Blair)). 

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The
`Thatcher
Revolution',
1975-1990
­
Politics
The
Labour
governments
under
Wilson
and
Callaghan
and
the
reasons
for
the
Conservative
election
victory
of
1979;
the
role
of
key
personalities:
Thatcher
and
her
ministers;
internal
divisions
in
the
Labour
Party
and
the
formation
of
the
SDP;
the
reasons
for
the
fall
of
Thatcher
in
1990
Harold
Wilson
1974-76
Political
strategy
and
position
- Called
an
election
to
get
majority
in
October.
o Gained
319
seats
(very
small
majority
of
3)
! Had
even
less
of
the
popular
vote
than
last
time.
o Tories
had
277
- The
party
had
moved
left.
- Cabinet
of
Left
and
Right
o Benn
Industry
o Foot
Employment
o Callaghan
Foreign
office
o Jenkins
Home
office
o Healy
Chancellor
Why
had
the
party
moved
left
- Hostility
to
EEC
membership.
- Increasing
Marxist
elements
were
joining
at
the
grass-roots
of
the
party
o Particularly
in
inner
cities
where
Labour
policies
were
failing.
o 1973
`proscribed
list'
of
banned
organisation
members
as
been
abolished.
o 1975
National
Executive
failed
to
take
action
when
a
report
showed
that
Militant
(Trotskyite
group)
had
infiltrated
the
party.
o 1976
Andy
Bevan
(Militant
member)
became
National
Youth
Officer.
- Wilson
allowed
leftists
in
the
cabinet
o Tony
Benn
tried
to
get
National
Enterprise
Board
to
acquire
shares
in
private
companies.
o NEB
created,
and
it
bailed
out
companies
(sadly
not
investment).
! Benn
moved
to
energy.
o In
1976
leadership,
Michael
Foot
came
a
close
second
to
Callaghan.
- More
involvement
in
grass-roots
level
of
the
more
socially
radical.
o Civil
rights,
feminists,
black
activists,
gay
rights,
environmentalists.
- Commitment
to
traditional
patriotic
values
of
Labour
Party
remained
strong.
Crisis
inherited
- Social
Contract
agreed
with
TUC
in
election
o Abolished
Pay
Board,
and
wage
restraint
ended
in
July.

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Freeze
imposed
on
rents.
o TUC
in
return
hoped
to
get
voluntary
wage
restraint.
- Settled
strike,
ended
three-day
week
and
ended
state
of
emergency.
- Promise
of
pension
increases,
price
controls
and
food
subsidies.
Labour
and
the
EEC
- Division
over
membership
o Many
regarded
it
as
too
free-market
and
capitalist.
- Renegotiation
of
terms
of
membership
o 1974
election
pledge
to
do
so.
! Even
the
Chancellor
of
West
Germany
felt
Britain
was
paying
too
much.…read more

Page 3

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Plaid
Cymru
and
SNP.
o SNP
30%
in
Scotland
in
1974.
! 11
MPs.
o Plaid
Cymru
10%
in
walesin
1974.
! 3
MPs.
- Trade
unions
o Increasing
wildcat
strikes,
with
TUC
having
less
control.
o Arthur
Scargill
and
other
militant
leaders.
- International
fear
o April
1975
Wall
Street
Journal
editorial
`Goodbye,
Great
Britian,
it
was
nice
knowing
you'.
! In
relation
to
high
income
tax.…read more

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Political
strategy
- Made
few
substantial
changes
to
Cabinet
- Lib-Lab
Pact
o By
1977
Labour
didn't
have
a
majority,
so
could
be
defeated.
o Pact
with
13
Liberals
gave
some
concessions.
! Mainly
the
votes
on
devolution
in
Scotland
and
Wales.
- Held
out
for
most
opportune
moment
for
election
o Held
too
long
Social
policy
- Police
Act
o Set
up
Police
Complaints
Board
to
investigate
issues
from
the
public
with
the
police.…read more

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Civil
Servants
o Liverpool
Grave
diggers
-1979
! Leaving
bodies
unburied
o Dustbin
men
! Bins
piled
up
in
the
streets
o Water
workers
northeast
! Creating
contaminated
water
o Nurses
- Unions
wage
gains
(remember
5%
limit)
o Ford
workers
gained
17%
rise.
o Fire-fighters
gained
22%.
o Lorry
drivers
gained
17-22%.
- Other
issues
o Unemployment
had
risen
to
1.6
million
(5.5%)
by
the
end
of
1978
! Linked
to
the
IMF
loan
and
the
spending
cuts.…read more

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K.O.
Morgan
o `The
unions
destroyed
wantonly
a
government
which
could
hardly
have
been
gentler
towards
them.'
- Geoff
Stewart
o The
memory
of
picket
lines
and
unfilled
graves
would
linger
for
many
years,
damaging
Labour's
electoral
chances
and
the
reputations
of
the
unions
themselves.
`The
gravediggers
had
dug
the
grave
of
popular
trade
unionism'
- William
D.
Rubenstein
o `Callaghan's
administration
should
be
seen
as
the
last
Buskellite
administration
which
attempted
to
grapple
with
Britain's
economic
problems
in
the
traditional
way'.…read more

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Hardworking
and
rather
serious.
- Understood
political
image
o Used
advertising
gurus
Saatchi
and
Saatchi
to
polish
her
political
image.
- Chose
Willie
Whitelaw
as
loyal
deputy.
o He
was
more
of
a
`wet'
than
a
`dry'
but
his
loyalty
got
the
`Heathites'
onside.
- Thatcher's
cabinet
was
mixed
of
`wet'
and
`dry'
in
order
to
try
to
unite
the
party.
o Key
position
of
Employment
Minister
given
to
Jim
Prior.
! Contrast
to
the
key
economic
dries
bellow.…read more

Page 8

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Used
Saatchi
and
Saatchi
to
polish
her
image
- Callaghan
was
not
able
to
deflect
media
coverage
away
from
`winter
of
discontent'.
o The
economy
dominated
politics.
o Labour
voters
stayed
home?
Turnout
was
better
than
1974.
o Sandbrook
supports
this
idea.
- Thatcher
spoke
in
broad
terms
of
what
she
would
restore
to
Britain.
It
resonated
with
the
voters
across
the
spectrum.
o Labour's
share
of
the
vote
fell
to
36.…read more

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Employers
were
given
greater
power
to
sack
workers.
- Results
of
acts
o With
rising
unemployment
and
new
legislation
Unions
were
less
inclined
to
strike.
o 1982
Rail
strike
called
off.
o Miners
refused
to
strike
when
Mr
Scargill
called
them
to.
o Civil
service
and
NHS
disputes
were
solved.
o 1981
only
4.2
million
days
lost
to
strikes,
rather
than
the
13
million
a
year
average
of
the
1970s.…read more

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Introduced
a
new
'block
grant'
and
compulsory
competitive
tendering
(CCT)
for
direct
labour
organisations.
o The
block
grant
allowed
the
government
to
impose
grant
penalties
on
councils
which
exceeded
expenditure
targets.
- This
led
to
many
conservative
councils
keeping
within
their
limits,
while
Labour
ones
didn't,
rising
taxes
as
few
paid
them
so
the
political
cost
was
small,
and
creative
accounting,
involving
a
lot
of
mortgaging.…read more

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