Paris: Did Margaret Thatcher do more harm than good?

By: /
11 April, 2013
By: Erna Paris
Award-winning author, journalist, and historian

Her legacy is mixed, but more negative than positive, in my view. She waged a nonsensical “patriotic” war in the Falklands and a domestic war against the unions. The latter were certainly disruptive, but coal mining was more or less the only work available in the north and that industry imploded under her tutelage. She did help business develop in the wealthier south, but the north remains hopelessly depressed.

Her version of winner-takes-all capitalism was eventually discredited. She exacerbated British class divisions, now based more on money than birth status, and eroded a viable welfare system, leaving millions stranded. Future historians may see her as the leader who promoted The Great Leap Backwards: to the Victorian era when the poor were believed to be the authors of their own misfortune.

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