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Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013

Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013
Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013
Thatcher is probably unique in that her most famous piece of philosophy appears in a magazine more famous for recipes, celebrity gossip and agony columns. Yet this is characteristic of a politician who, though not an original theoretician, was a communicator, as her political opponent Tony Benn suggested, a great teacher, whose political success rested upon mobilising aspirational blue collar workers impatient of the leftward move of Britain’s Labour Party (she had the uncanny ability, as Chris Patten remarked, to “detect the first slight stirrings of an issue in the loins of a Sun reader”), and whose signature policies were designed to undermine the reliance of the working class on the social institutions and safety nets designed by socialist politicians, which she believed corrupting. This chapter will explore three questions. First, what is the nature of her political philosophy, and in particular the uncompromising statement that ‘there is no such thing as society’? Second, if it is not possible to get inside Thatcher’s mind, can we at least understand whether her policies in office were consistent with conservatism, and therefore acceptable to conservatives? Third, can we trace some of the antecedents of her thinking, and place her, tentatively at least, within a tradition?
Margaret Thatcher, Conservatism, Society
Bloomsbury Academic
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Garnett, Mark
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Garnett, Mark

O'Hara, Kieron (2018) Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013. In, Garnett, Mark (ed.) Conservative Moments. London. Bloomsbury Academic. (Textual Moments in the History of Political Thought) ,

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Thatcher is probably unique in that her most famous piece of philosophy appears in a magazine more famous for recipes, celebrity gossip and agony columns. Yet this is characteristic of a politician who, though not an original theoretician, was a communicator, as her political opponent Tony Benn suggested, a great teacher, whose political success rested upon mobilising aspirational blue collar workers impatient of the leftward move of Britain’s Labour Party (she had the uncanny ability, as Chris Patten remarked, to “detect the first slight stirrings of an issue in the loins of a Sun reader”), and whose signature policies were designed to undermine the reliance of the working class on the social institutions and safety nets designed by socialist politicians, which she believed corrupting. This chapter will explore three questions. First, what is the nature of her political philosophy, and in particular the uncompromising statement that ‘there is no such thing as society’? Second, if it is not possible to get inside Thatcher’s mind, can we at least understand whether her policies in office were consistent with conservatism, and therefore acceptable to conservatives? Third, can we trace some of the antecedents of her thinking, and place her, tentatively at least, within a tradition?

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Submitted date: 1 April 2017
Published date: 2018
Additional Information: Extended version of published chapter.
Keywords: Margaret Thatcher, Conservatism, Society

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419318
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419318
PURE UUID: 19f1d910-f701-420d-8dca-2ea4daaabcb8
ORCID for Kieron O'Hara: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9051-4456

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Date deposited: 10 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 10 Apr 2018 16:30

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Contributors

Author: Kieron O'Hara ORCID iD
Editor: Mark Garnett

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