The Permanence of Thatcherism


Despite the best efforts of Paul Weller and Elvis Costello, Thatcherism, according to a new study, has permanently altered the British political landscape. Despite the rampaging, balaclava-clad students protesting government spending cuts…

Britain is now more Thatcherite than when Margaret Thatcher was in power, with people much less supportive of the welfare state and the redistribution of wealth than in the 1980s, according to an authoritative study of the country's mood.

New Labour oversaw the biggest recorded shift to the right in public attitudes on those measures, despite a surge in concern about the scale of the wealth gap between rich and poor.

Sympathy towards benefit claimants has evaporated, along with support for redistributive tax and spend policies, over the past 20 years, with Labour governing during a period of significant hardening of attitudes towards the poor, the annual results of the British Social Attitudes survey reveal.

It was a tough choice between The (English) Beat's "Stand Down Margaret" and Morrissey's "Margaret on the Guillotine," for most unsubtle anti-Thatcher song of the 1980s. But the Mozzer barely edges out Ranking Roger: