The end of an era ? Margaret Thatcher passes away A controversial but also creative force in British politics is gone.

Margaret Thatcher, an elemental force of great magnetism but also great negative consequences, has passed away. She enters history as an extraordinary politician and certainly one of the great figures on the Tory side of British politics. From my liberal social democratic leaning perspective much of what she did and stood for I strongly disagreed with. But having met Mrs. Thatcher during my student days in Britain when she was the Minister of Education in Ted Heath’s government, I can attest like so many others that she was a formidable figure of enormous energy and magnetism. Much of what she wrought in Britain led to higher unemployment and more poverty. She also beat the drum of British patriotism in repelling the invasion of the Falklands and in her relentless pursuit of promoting British industry. Her measures on the poll tax were unjust and helped lead to her downfall and replacement by a more moderate Tory, John Major. Her overall policy of rejecting Keynes, promoting Friedman and laissez-faire and  deregulation has led Britain and much of the West to the disastrous financial meltdown of 2008.

She was a figure of great controversy, over the trade unions, Ireland, over monetary policy, over health care,over local government, over the the balance in the British post- war welfare state, over Britain’s complex relationship with Europe which continues to this day. On Europe she may well turn out to be more correct than not.

On the whole I disagreed with her, but like many other critics in Britain and abroad I admired her tenacity, her energy and her willingness to stick up for her principles and fight for what she believed in.

My condolences to her family , her friends and the millions of Britons who will mourn her passing.

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
This entry was posted in austerity, Hayek, J.M.Keynes, Keynesian welfare state, U.K. economy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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