Hindsight is a wonderful thing
1986-1987: At the zenith of Mrs Thatcher’s power and popularity, the failure to include any commitments in the 1987 General Election manifesto to liberalise the market for the supply of health and education services has meant 20 more years of dirigiste central planning, government targets, Whitehall second-guessing, political interference, inefficient monopoly provision, waste, duplication, lack of innovation and second- or third-class outcomes for many.
The continuing failures in health and education between 1987-1997 (largely due to state control and 100% state subsidisation of supply) gave the Labour party a valid stick with which the beat the Conservative government, and some rational justification for voting ‘new’ Labour in the hope that it would improve matters.
1987 onwards: Mrs Thatcher failed to purge the cabinet of most of the old wets and failed to promote the new blood and new thinking: the failure to have a staunchly supportive cabinet weakened her fatally during the crucial November 1990 leadership challenge.
Leaving Kenneth Baker in charge of the National Curriculum, and the feeding frenzy it provided for the Marxist-inspired teacher training establishments and left-leaning educational bureaucracy was to be one of the worst legacies of her final term in office.
1989: Lawson and Major bullied Mrs Thatcher into accepting British entry into the ERM. The lady was opposed, but Lawson and Major prevailed. That fatal policy was to undermine the reputation of the Conservative party for economic competence for a generation. Mrs Thatcher was proven right two years after leaving office, but by then it was all too late…
1989-1990: It could be argued that the Poll Tax was a noble attempt to prevent left wing councils from racking up spending and debts and saddling the richer taxpayers with the consequences of their excesses. So, good intentions, but we all know where they lead...
Possibly it would have been better to have continued to allow the left to expose its economic madness for all the world to see. It would have made the subsequent “new Labour” re-branding exercise much more difficult to pull off, and much less convincing.
The Direct Democracy campaign has some good ideas on reforming local financing.
"Once back here I got to thinking - 'how do I get out of this?' Perhaps the really haunting spectre is that I would have to turn my back on the lake, and the prospect of the sword." Alan Clark, Diaries - 19th May 1999