Commentaire de Droit étranger en anglais: The Downing Street Years, Margaret Thatcher's Memoirs (4 pages)
After the Second World War, Labour and Conservative governments followed each other, but the policies didn't change : this period is known as the post war consensus. The aim of the consensus was the reconstruction of the United Kingdom. It was composed of economic and social elements. For example, the welfare state was an application of the consensus in social politics : all citizens must be protected all their life. Thatcher referred to it as ?dependency in place of independence? (l.19-20).
But in the 1960s, many economic problems occurred : the growth was slow. In 1973, there was an economic crisis because of the oil shock. The Labour government was unable to solve the economic crisis. The Government had to pay for the welfare State and got little in return in the matter of taxes. From 1974 to 1979, the situation went from bad to worse. Economy was not recovering and inflation and unemployment were still rising, which led to social problems : ?contemporary social problems? (l.35).
There was also the influence of the Trade Unions if the 1970s : the Trade Unions asked to much and when they were not satisfy with the conditions, went on strikes. Both the public and the private sectors were affected, the whole country was paralysed. Margaret Thatcher underlines that : ?socialism had failed? (l.15)
I. New economic and social principles as a break with the post war policies
II. A modern application of the Conservative ideology
[...] And the State intervention should be limited to the maximum, because what matters are market forces. The State should not interfere except if it has too, “in specific instances” (l. 30). The result of that policy is mass privatisation and liberalism : “the State had been doing too much” (l.37). If we privatise all public companies, lots of profit can be redistributed, not to mention the jobs it will provide for people. It implies that redistribution of wealth can only work in capitalism, it will not be fully efficient in mixed economy, like during the consensus. [...]
[...] It came at a time where people were very receptive. In winter, the major wave of strikes and problems with the devolution occurred, and led the Conservative party to win the election in 1979. New principles as a way to boost the country When Thatcher became the leader of the party and after that Prime Minister, she completely broke with the ideology of the party at that time : “I could not accept it” (l.29), which was more socialist than conservative : “we ourselves were nearly as socialist in practice” (l.27). [...]
[...] For example, the welfare State was an application of the consensus in social politics : all citizens must be protected all their life. Thatcher referred to it as “dependency in place of independence” (l.19-20). But in the 1960s, many economic problems occurred : the growth was slow. In 1973, there was an economic crisis because of the oil shock. The Labour government was unable to solve the economic crisis. The Government had to pay for the welfare State and got little in return in the matter of taxes. [...]
[...] The Victorians values are about the institutions, moral values, hard work, respect of authority and for law and order. At that time, they had a strong believe that institutions bring a strong sense of identification for everyone, with the most important institutions being the Monarchy, with Queen Victoria. But also Parliament, Church of England . There was also patriotism. Family is an important point too : Thatcher refers to the family many times (l.41 and l.52) : responsibilities of family should keep you away from such sins as drinking or gambling your pay. [...]
[...] The United Kingdom kept the Falklands, a rest from the Empire. In 1982, during the Falklands crisis, Margaret Thatcher managed to keep the islands as an English territory. The United Kingdom was no more an Empire but there was still patriotism and a will to become as powerful as before the Second World War. Individualism is one of the values of Victorians : “individuals are ultimately accountable for their actions and must behave like it” (l.61-62). This is not the way people are thinking about individualism, because it just means that they have responsibilities, but it also means that they have responsibilities to others. [...]
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