As the capital hosts the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, PrettyGreeners note an uneasy air hanging over London on this grey Wednesday.
With the horrific backdrop of the Boston terrorist attacks and the country divided on the extent of state funeral given to one of British politics’ most recognizable figures, a definite nervousness preludes the ceremony.
Those PrettyGreeners who are ‘Thatcher’s children’ live in a country where her policies and their effect had such a fundamental influence on the shape of modern Britain, some of the most important include:
– Major deindustralisation of the manufacturing sector resulting in mass unemployment and a growth in the gap between the rich and poor
– Standing up to the European Union and resisting the UK joining European Monetary Union
– Victory in the Falklands War
– Eroding Trade Union power and its control over government
– Deregulation of the city and the ascent of London as a major financial power (and arguably leading to excessive financial speculation and the resulting credit crunch in 2007)
– Privatisation of state industries such as the railways, energy and telecommunications
– The sale of council houses and a rise of people owning their own homes
– Encouraging entrepreneurship
All of these policies have had a monumental effect on today’s Britain but if you are one of Thatcher’s Children it is likely that your opinion will be sculpted by your own experiences in the 1980s and where you grew up in the UK. For example if your Dad was a trader living in the London commuter belt you probably have a much more positive view on Thatcher than if you lived in the North East and your Dad lost his job on the shipyards and your local area was decimated by mass unemployment and low investment.
From the debate in the office, there is no denying that Baroness Thatcher was one of the most polarising characters in recent British history and hence one of the most interesting. The debate on her legacy and feeling towards her is likely to rumble on long after she is laid to rest later today.