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Margaret Thatcher : The Downing Street Years (1993)
Her Policies and their Impact, A Juxtaposition of Margaret Thatcher's Account with that of her Critics


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Myeong, Do Hyeong
Term Paper, Medieval History Class, December 2010



Table of Contents


I. Introduction
II. Background Information on the Book
II.1 Information on Margaret Thatcher
II.2 Brief Synopsis of 'The Downing Street Years'
III. Thatcherism
III.1 Definition
III.2 Socio-Economic Background
III.3 Descriptions of Thatcherism in ¡®The Downing Street Years¡¯
III.4 Effect on Society
III.5 Criticism
III.6 Evaluation
IV. Policies on Economy
IV.1 Privatization of Government Utilities
IV.1.1 Descriptions in ¡®The Downing Street Years¡¯
IV.1.2 Effect on Society
IV.1.3 Criticism
IV.2 Poll Tax Policy
IV.2.1 Descriptions in ¡®The Downing Street Years¡¯
IV.2.2 Effect on Society
IV.2.3 Criticism
IV.3 Evaluation
V. Policies on Society
V.1 Public Spending Cut
V.1.1 Descriptions in ¡®The Downing Street Years¡¯
V.1.2 Effect on Society
V.1.3 Criticism
V.2 Flexible Labor Market; Attack on Trade Union
V.2.1 Descriptions in ¡®The Downing Street Years¡¯
V.2.2 Effect on Society
V.2.3 Criticism
V.3 Evaluation
VI. Policies on International Relationships
VI.1 Falklands War
VI.1.1 Descriptions in ¡®The Downing Street Years¡¯
VI.1.2 Criticism
VI.2 Views Regarding German Unification
VI.3 Views Regarding the European Community
VI.4 Evaluation
VII. Evaluation of the Bias in 'The Downing Street Years'
VIII. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography



I. Introduction
            Margaret Thatcher is one of the most attractive political characters in modern history. She is the first British Prime Minister to have a set of policies named after herself (Thatcherism), as well as having been the first female prime minister in Britain. She emphasized a free market, so-called Victorian values, privatization, nationalism and an array of other political ideals during her years in 10 Downing Street. In her years she is considered to have brought economic recovery to Britain (1), and gained victory at Falklands war; on the other hand, she is criticized for recession, high unemployment rate, and poll tax plan. This paper uses her memoir, The Downing Street Years, as a source of information to know her policies, and intend to provide an appropriate criticism on the bias shown in the book and an independent evaluation. In this paper, the following topics would be discussed;
      Margaret Thatcher and Thatcherism
      The social effects of Thatcher's policies
      Criticisms on Thatcher's policies and independent evaluation on the policies
      Evaluation of the accuracy and neutrality of The Downing Street Years

II. Background Information on the Book

II.1 Information on Margaret Thatcher
            Margaret Thatcher (1925-) was Prime Minister of United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was born in Grantham in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom as a greengrocer's daughter. Her father participated actively in local politics and religion as an Alderman and a Methodist Preacher. Thatcher was brought up a strict Methodist by her father. She went to Oxford in 1943 and studied Natural Science, majoring in Chemistry. Her Political Career started as becoming president of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1946. She worked as Secretary of State for Education and Science under Ted Heath from 1970 to 1974, and served as other important positions as well during her early political career. She became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975 and Prime Minister in 1979. In her years as Prime Minister, she tackled inflation and trade union disputes, gained victory in Falklands War, privatized state utilities, and pursued the "small state" (2). Her social and economic policies are known as Thatcherism.

II.2 Brief Synopsis of 'The Downing Street Years'
            The Downing Street Years is a memoir of Margaret Thatcher, dealing with the time period from the very first day of her becoming the Prime Minister and moving into 10 Downing Street - the official house for Prime Ministers - to the last day of her position and moving out of the place. Being a memoir, this book has a highly subjective perception of Margaret Thatcher. One reason she decided to write this book could be to pass her experiences to later generation and to share her thoughts; another, however, could be to justify herself and her policies. In this book Thatcher does not focus on her being the first female Prime Minister of Britain and difficulties following; rather, she focuses on her public role as a Prime Minister and policies she came up with in the events between 1979 and 1990, her Prime Minister years.
            Among many events portrayed in the book, some major events worth mentioning in the Synopsis; Her first day in Downing street and appointment of the cabinet, victories she earned in three elections, the Falklands War, the Miners¡¯ Strike, the Brighton Bomb Assassination, the Westland Affair, her conflict with the party members over the policy toward the European Community, and records and explanations of her major policies. Remarkable thing is some of the important chapters are concerned with her diplomatic policies as well as socio-economic policies.

III. Thatcherism

III.1 Definition
            According to Wikipedia, Thatcherism refers to the conviction politics, economic and social policy, and political style of Margaret Thatcher (3). Thatcherite ideals listed by Nigel Lawson are; ¡®Free markets, financial discipline, firm control over public expenditure, tax cuts, nationalism, "Victorian values', privatization and a dash of populism' (4). Margaret Thatcher claimed that 'Thatcherism goes even further to the heart of what politics and economics are - or ought to be - about.' in her speech in Korea in 1992 (5). In this paper, the term is used to describe the overall social and economical policy of Margaret Thatcher and the political culture and ideology of Margaret Thatcher while she was Prime Minister.

III.2 Socio-Economic Background
            Before 1979 when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, Britain was considered to suffer from 'British Disease', the frequent labor strikes and industrial unrest from 1960s to early 1980s which were considered to be damaging British economy and be endemic in Britain (6). This British Disease was the result of the Government being highly willing to subsidize or nationalize inefficient industries and irresponsible union power. For example, when Rolls Royce went bankrupt in 1971, Edward Heath's government chose to save the company using huge amount of taxes. Also, because of the lack of powerful centralized labor organization which could negotiate the deal and make the workers accept it, trade union leaders often had unofficial strikes when they had a conflict with employers. Wilson and Callaghan's Labour government had a wage increase to deal with such matter, but it only led to a huge inflation (7). Also, oil shock and an array of strikes called 'the Winter of Discontent' are background of Britain's bad economic condition as well.
            Also, beyond the economic problem was a major social problem; people being lenient from the old and sweet dreams of 'Great Britain'. According to Margaret Thatcher, Britain¡¯s industrial supremacy had been steadily eroding in the face of America and Germany from 1880s. Even though some part of this erosion was positive because rise of other countries meant larger export market, Britain failed to respond to the change effectively. They invested less; lowered the standard of education; and let workers combine in various cartels which restricted free competition and reduced efficiency (8). To deal with this situation, Margaret Thatcher came up with her laissez-faire type of that all individual with will and ability could be and should be working hard and be able to get corresponding result. Thus she focused on "setting limits to government - but sought to ensure that government performed effectively those functions which are Government's alone" (9).

III.3 Descriptions of Thatcherism in 'The Downing Street Years'
            Rather than allotting a specific chapter for description on Thatcherism, Thatcher describes and explains each of her policy by category and time period in the book. However, there are quotes regarding the Britain before 1979 and quotes describing her own policy. By comparing these two, we can know about Thatcher's view of Thatcherism.
            When describing her years in the Opposition, Thatcher says that "what appeared to be technical arguments about the relationship between the stock of money and the level of prices went right to the heart of the question of what the role of government in a free society should be. It was the job of government to establish a framework of stability- whether constitutional stability, the rule of law, or thee economic stability provided by sound money-within which individual families and businesses were free to pursue their own dreams and ambitions" (10). This describes the Thatcherism best; it includes key beliefs of Margaret Thatcher such as that Constitution must be upheld, all individuals are free, desire of doing better for one¡¯s family is the great dynamo of progress, and government should rather ensure the framework for free competition than ensuring control over economy (11). Her opinion on Thatcherism is that it is morally right and fair for everybody because it theoretically ensures the success of those who worked hard. Also, we can assume from the fact that she emphasized the Constitution that Thatcher wanted reform but in a sophisticated and un-radical way.

III.4 Effect on Society
            According to the Wikipedia, the extent to which one can say 'Thatcherism' has a continuing influence on British politics and economy is unclear. In reference to contemporary British political culture, a "post-Thatcherite consensus" may exist, especially in regards to economic policy. In the 1980s, the Social Democratic Party adhered to a "tough and tender" approach in which Thatcherite reforms were coupled with extra welfare provision. Neil Kinnock, leader of the Labour Party from 1983-1992, initiated Labour's rightward shift across the political spectrum by largely concurring with the economic policies of the Thatcher governments. The New Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were described as "neo-Thatcherite", since many of their economic policies mimiced Thatcher¡¯s (12).
            Most of the major British political parties today accept the anti-trade union legislation, privatizations and general free market approach to government that Thatcher's governments installed. No major political party in the UK is committed to reverse the Thatcher government's economical reforms. Moreover; the UK's rather macroeconomic performance has improved since the implementation of Thatcher¡¯s economic policies. When Thatcher resigned as British Prime Minister in 1990, UK economic growth was on average higher than the other large EU economies such as Germany, France, and Italy. However, her 11-year premiership was also marked by social unrest, industrial strife and high unemployment (13).

III.5 Criticism
            Critics of Thatcherism claim that its successes were obtained only at the expense of great social costs to the British population. Industrial production decreased during Thatcher's government, which critics believe increased unemployment rate. When she resigned in 1990, 28% of the children in Great Britain were considered to be below the poverty line (14).
            While credited with reviving Britain's economy, Thatcher also was blamed for a doubling in the poverty rate. Britain's childhood-poverty rate in 1997 was the highest in Europe (15). During her government Britain's Gini coefficient (measure of the inequality of distribution, 0 for total equality and 1 for extreme inequality) reflected this growing inequality, going from 0.25 in 1979 to 0.34 in 1990 (16).

III.6 Evaluation
            The belief of Thatcherism is notable in many aspects. First, it contains moral values as well as economic principles. This could be said as ¡®superior¡¯ to other economical policies which only deals with materialistic matters. The values it weights high are basic and worthy; liberty, freedom, rule under Constitution, and diligence. As a theory, it is well-spun and reliable; however, as a practical policy, involving a premise of all the people following the same moral value is risky and may bring failure, for it overlooks the difference in every individual. Also, Thatcherism was considered to be successful and are still implemented by others. The social effect it brought, stabilizing the declining economy, was outstanding; however, unemployment rate was still high.
            When discussing about the Thatcherism, Margaret Thatcher obviously approves of her ideas. Considering that Thatcherism is not only a set of principles made in a year or two but a collection of beliefs and policies which originate even from the childhood memories of Thatcher, this approval is natural. However, even though those ideas are generally acceptable, they could be inappropriate for some people. For example, for people who do not have ability to work, the principle of 'working hard for your family and progress' cannot work. Also, Thatcherism cannot cure every disease of society-it worked for reviving the economy, but it couldn¡¯t bring employment rate higher.

IV. Policies on Economy

IV.1 Privatization of Government Utilities

IV.1.1 Descriptions in ¡®The Downing Street Years¡¯
            In the book, Margaret Thatcher says that privatization was fundamental to improving Britain¡¯s economic performance (17). Through privatization, the state¡¯s power was reduced and the powers of the people are enhanced. Privatization itself does not solve every problem, but it reveals hidden problems which could be tackled, for instance monopoly. Thatcher herself says that it was nearly revolutionary in the end of 1970s (18). According to Thatcher, industries to privatize were industries whose nationalization was justified only by socialist dogma-an expression showing her anti-socialism (19). Thatcher privatized more than 50 government utilities from 1979 to 1990, including British Leyland, British Steel, and the British Telecom.

IV.1.2 Effect on Society
            After Thatcher was elected as a Prime Minister for second time in 1983, the sale of large state utilities to private companies accelerated. British Petroleum was privatized in three stages in October 1979, September 1983 and November 1987; British Aerospace in January 1981 and 1985; the government share in British Sugar in July 1981; Cable and Wireless in November 1981; Amersham International and National Freight Corporation in February 1982; Britoil in November 1982 and August 1985; Associated British Ports in February 1983; Jaguar in July 1984; British Telecom in November 1984; the National Bus Company in October 1986; and an array of other government utilities were also privatized (20).
            The process of privatization, or the preparation of nationalized industries for privatization, was associated with marked improvements in terms of labour productivity (21). Many people took advantage of share offers, although many of them sold their shares immediately for a quick profit and therefore the proportion of shares held by individuals did not increase. By the mid 1980s, the number of individual stockholders had tripled, and the Thatcher government had sold 1.5 million publicly owned housing units to their tenants (22)
            The privatization of public assets was combined with deregulation in an attempt to fuel economic growth. Notably, in 1979 Geoffrey Howe abolished Britain's exchange controls to allow more capital to seek profits overseas. The government encouraged the growth of the financial and service sectors to replace Britain's ailing manufacturing industry. This new financial growth model, flourishing in Britain and America under Thatcher and Reagan, was called "casino capitalism" - as speculation and trading in financial claims became a more important part of the economy than industry (23).

IV.1.3 Criticism
            It is not clear how far this can be attributed to the merits of privatisation itself. According to Andrew Glyn, the "productivity miracle" observed in British industry under Thatcher was achieved not so much by increasing the overall productivity of labor as by reducing workforces and increasing unemployment (24). According to Wikipedia, a number of the privatized industries, such as gas, water and electricity, were natural monopolies, thus privatization involved little increase in competition. Furthermore, the privatized industries that underwent improvements often did so while still under state ownership. Overall, there was no clear pattern between the degree of competition, regulation and performance among the privatized industries. While the output and profits of the privatized companies grew, margins increased, and employment declined, the exact relationship of these changes to privatization is uncertain (25).
            Another book, ¡°Breaking the Nation¡±, criticizes privatization under Thatcher government for poorer quality and higher costs of service and wage cut. For example, a review after School meals were privatized in Merton says that the meals were "almost inedible", and the hourly wage paid to school cleaners of Birmingham has been cut over 20 percent (26).

IV.2 Poll Tax Policy

IV.2.1 Descriptions in 'The Downing Street Years'
            Although it is obvious that popularity decline due to poll tax policy in 1989 was one of the major reasons that made Margaret Thatcher resign, not much of the policy are discussed in her memoir. In describing the process of resignation of herself, she does not mention that three quarters of population were against poll tax and that there was a riot against the policy in Trafalgar square (27). She admits that there was political discontent during summer and autumn of 1989, but the explanation she gives to that discontent is high interest rate and inflation, as well as her conflict with EC (28). The poll tax policy was not included even when she discussed about tax reforms in late 1980s, and was just briefly described as a minor discared policy because of some opposition.
            Given the political importance of this policy, which eventually led to Thatcher's resignation, the reason that she did not mentioned the huge riot could be because she intended to hide her political mistake.

IV.2.2 Effect on Society
            Because the tax rate is single flat-rate and per-capita for poll tax, the budget of the poor is comparatively very high to the budget of the rich. Therefore the system of local taxation (poll tax) was among the most unpopular policies of her premiership with working class and poorer citizens unable to pay the new tax, some being sent to Prison for non-payment. The Prime Minister's popularity declined in 1989 as she continued to refuse to compromise on the tax. Unrest mounted and ordinary British people, who took to the streets to demonstrate, met with horse mounted Police in riot gear and demonstration turned to riots at Trafalgar Square, London, on 31 March 1990; more than 100,000 protesters attended and more than 400 people were arrested (29).
            For this among other reasons, Thatcher was challenged for the Conservative leadership. Although she prevailed by a margin of 50 votes, she narrowly missed the threshold to avoid a second vote, and on 22 November 1990 she resigned. All three of the contenders to succeed her pledged to abandon the tax. According to B. Gascogne in his book "Encyclopedia of Britain", "there is also some evidence that the poll tax had a lasting effect of people not registering themselves on the electoral register to evade collection attempts; that may have had an effect on the results of the 1992 general election, which ended in a fourth successive Tory victory" (30).

IV.2.3 Criticism
            While students and the unemployed only had to pay a small percentage, charges of large families using a relatively small house went up, and the tax resulted in saving money fo the rich and moving the expenses onto the poor. Considering Poor families usually have more family members than rich families, this could be even worse. As the actual cost of the tax varied by local council, some areas ended up charging a great deal more; some councils also used the new tax to try and obtain more money by charging more to residents.

IV.3 Evaluation
            Thatcherite economic policies are respected for reviving British economy. However, Thatcher¡¯s Economic policies looks more successful than it actually is because the North Sea Oil money was paying for her economic policies, one fact neglected by Thatcher's memorial and many other critics. According to BBC, dozens of new platforms were built in the North Sea under Margaret Thatcher, bringing in millions of barrels of oil and billions of pounds of taxes to the Treasury. The economy was transformed as the fortunes of oil and banking soared, while Britain's traditional manufacturing industries declined (31). Because the income from North Sea Oil paid for expenses needed to implement new policies and covered loss of income and employment coming from declining coal mining industry. James Callaghan, prime minister in the late 1970s, claimed that whoever won the 1979 general election was likely to remain in power for many years, thanks to the windfall from North Sea oil and gas receipts (32).
            Though prices and incomes in 1990 were more than six times higher than that of 1971 and inflation rate dropped from 14. 9% in 1973-79 to 8.2% in 1979-89, unemployment rate of years 1979-89 were approximately three times higher( 9.0%) than that of years 1973-79 (3.4%) (33). Privatization increased employment rate at private sector but decreased much more employment rate at public sector, and privatization of essential state businesses such as water or oil is partly responsible for high energy costs nowadays in Britain, regardless of how Margaret Thatcher praises accomplishment of ¡®free market¡¯ in her memoir. When dealing with her economic policies Thatcher is being highly protective. In the matter of privatization she went too extreme that she privatized even the industries that ought to be controlled by the government for social stability. She does not come up with the bad results that originated from it afterwards, but instead emphasizes on short-term accomplishment of her policy. In the matter of Poll Tax, it is not even properly mentioned in the book. Being a policy that accelerated in social division and causing serious riot it definitely does worth a record. However, by not mentioning its failure and coming up with other reasons to explain how she came to resign, Thatcher is being both highly protective of herself and deceptive.

V. Policies on Society

V.1 Public Spending Cut

V.1.1 Descriptions in 'The Downing Street Years'
            According to Margaret Thatcher, the main purpose of public spending cut was indeed to cut the unnecessary money going out , for the welfare system was more expensive than it actually needed to be, and to ultimately motivate people to work harder by reducing free falls without working. Thatcher¡¯s government had promised to increase resources for law, defense, and order, and not to cut spending on the National Health Service. They also pledged to raise retirement pensions and other long-term social security benefits. However, they found some ways to reduce the financial burden. She saved money on industrial support, especially on regional development grants, raised prescription charges, reduced civil service numbers, and thought of other various methods to cut the expense. For the result, they had found 900 million pounds in savings in 1980-81 (34).

V.1.2 Effect on Society
            The public spending cut saved 900 million pounds in savings in 1980-81. The government was able to use that savings in other matters and eventually calm down the economic depression. However, the spending cut inevitably resulted in loss of service that the society needed, such as reduction in number of teachers, fire services, and public transport. About 45000 teachers, 2400 fire services, 3550 public transports were reduced, and more than 20000 residential places, day-care places, and community services were reduced (35).

V.1.3 Criticism
            Although police, defense, and National Health Service were not included in spending reduction plan, other reductions in education, housing, and many other aspects of welfare system went down in quantity. According to the book 'Breaking the Nation', Thatcher was right in not reducing investments in NHS, defense, and the police, but she did not thought about education, pension, and - residential places for the disabled and elderly people, which is obviously wrong decision (36).

V.2 Flexible Labor Market; Attack on Trade Union

V.2.1 Descriptions in 'The Downing Street Years'
            The term ¡®Flexible Labor Market¡¯ refers to a labor market that can aptly respond to changes and fluctuations in society, production, or economy. In pursuit of flexible labor market Thatcher tried to reform Trade Unions and reduce their power. According to Margaret Thatcher, the reason British labor market was so un-flexible was because Trade Unions, which gained power more than needed during Labor Government and of which power was exploited by socialists and militants, restricted the employment through closed shop provisions and was against free competition. Thus, Thatcher pointed the abuses of that power to justify Trade Union reform (37).

V.2.2 Effect on Society
            In Trade Union Act 1984, Thatcher succeeded in allowing the state to rewrite union rulebooks, weakening the power of Trade Unions in deciding how to organize their union. Also, it made the registration of Trade Union mandatory, rules out indirect elections, and restricts ballot papers. By this, the power of Trade Unions became weaker than before, and thus free employments and competitions became less difficult (38).

V.2.3 Criticism
            According to Ashley et al., for ballots every five years made it difficult to make closed-shop agreements, many workers had lost the safe-belt that ensured their jobs. Also, making the unions have a ballot before every action weakened its ability to respond quickly to the problem. Workers¡¯ union lost its function as an organization that ensures the workers¡¯ status and through which workers can have collective actions quickly. By decreasing the power of Trade Union, Thatcher also threatened the rights of working class (39).

V.3 Evaluation
            The social policies of Margaret Thatcher intended to motivate free competition. First she implemented public spending cut on fields which she considered as not very important. The process was quite successful that at the end of first year she saved 900 million pounds. However, her values, putting less value in education and welfare than economic recovery, could be questioned. Also notable is that on 'The Downing Street Years' no specific results of public spending cut rather than saving of 900 million pounds are mentioned, and where exactly she used that savings is also not clarified.
            Another major social policy of Thatcher is pursuit of flexible labor market. To pursue this goal she tried to weaken the power of trades union, which was the main reason why the labor market was so un-flexible. She had succeeded in this and the labor market became quite flexible and open, but rights of workers were also restricted as well. When discussing about the labor problems such as Trade Union or strikes Thatcher is hostile against the workers engaged in such events. Her discomfort toward socialists and militants are also expressed in her tone, too. This dislike originates from her values of Victorian age, which emphasized diligence and working over welfare.

VI. Policies on International Relationships

VI.1 Falklands War

VI.1.1 Descriptions in 'The Downing Street Years'
            The Falklands war, happened in the year 1982, was an Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, British territory located near South Sandwich Islands. The day after the invasion, Margaret Thatcher ordered the British military to re-conquer the territory; such a quick decision is the effect of her small state system, which had the power centralized to Prime Minister. In describing the Falklands War, she is very hostile towards Argentines for indeed, but she also expresses uncomfortable feeling for her small mistakes during the war. Moreover, in her accounts she is trying to express that she was proud of the results of the war and that she cared very much about the soldiers and common peoples, such as in phrases like 'How deeply depressed I was.' Or 'For the nation as a whole, though the daily memories, fears and even the relief would fade, pride in our country¡¯s achievement would not.' (40).Because the war resulted in great success, the approval rate of Margaret Thatcher and her party was raised very much. It was a combination of military, diplomatic, and political victory of Margaret Thatcher. Perhaps this is the reason why Margaret Thatcher had spent two whole chapters in her memoir describing the events in the war and her victory (41).

VI.1.2 Criticism
            Certain criticisms about the Falklands War exist from the viewpoints of labor party. According to 'Breaking the Nation', the relationships between Argentina and Britain had not been normalized until at least 1985. Also, maintaining naval fortress at Falklands cost a huge amount of money. For instance, Falkland Islands had cost 1.5 million per annum for every Falklands family. The alternative they suggested was letting the UN negotiate the deal peacefully without big military conflicts (42).

VI.2 Views Regarding German Unification
            Concerning to German Unification, Thatcher quotes "The problem had several elements which could only be addressed in Non-Germans considered them openly and constructively" (43). Thatcher says that the unified Germany under Bismarck has veered between aggression and self-doubt, and that it will repeat again due to the national character. She also discusses the situation in which no country in Europe being able to stop German Unification as 'trouble' (44). The reason for Thatcher to be against the German Unification was because she feared the power of unified Germany would become closer to Soviet Union and felt threatened.

VI.3 Views Regarding the European Community
            In one field Margaret Thatcher had her opinions different from those of people in her party, and that was Britain¡¯s relationship with European Community. Thatcher said that she wanted European Community to be 'one in which a free and enterprising nation-state like Britain could comfortably flourish' (45). This differentiation in opinion, which delayed Britain's joining to the Exchange Rate Mechanism, was one of the causes that afterwards brought Thatcher's resignation. In October 1990 during Rome summit she had a dispute with Geoffrey Howe, and How resigned because of very dispute.
            The two conditions which she wanted from the EC were 'Britain¡¯s own proposal for a parallel or common currency, and a form of words that UK would not have a single currency imposed upon them.' (46). She tried to justify her positions using the excuses as the Mechanism was not 'free' enough for Britain, or that suggesting that there might have been a better compromise between She and EC if she continued to refuse the offer. However, for her stubbornness made the difficulty in Britain's economy, she was removed from office by her own party. Unlike her former foreign policy over Falklands, a huge success, the failure to foresee the advantages of joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism and stubbornness for not listening to her cabinet was the reason for her stepping down from the power.

VI.4 Evaluation
            Margaret Thatcher, like an ordinary person, tries to justify and protect her position when discussing the international relationship. Though there were some critics, the victory at Falkland Islands were solid and considered to have shown her ability, so she discuss about the war spending two chapters. However, her personal views regarding the German unification is British-centered and somewhat arrogant, saying as only non-Germans could deal with the matter, and egocentric; she judges the value of German unification not within the German people and nation who actually were involved, but rather thought in a way concerning to the profit of Britain. It could be appropriate for a Prime Minister to think of the gaining of her country firstly, but for a person that view could be wrong. When discussing about relationship with European Community, Thatcher tries to defend her position for she knows that her views were proved wrong.

VII Evaluation of the Bias in 'The Downing Street Years'
            Because The Downing Street Years is written solely in Margaret Thatcher's perspective, there are some things, though many of the contents are fairly accurate, that we have to pay attention and have to judge the accuracy by ourselves. First, all the events are written in Britain-centric way, when describing events such as the Falklands War. Although Thatcher's perspective for these events is widely accepted, we will have to think over at the perspective of the opposite side to be fair.
            Second, she tries to justify herself in the book and explain all the reasons for her acts. The fact that her actions need explanation somehow could mean that the actions could be misunderstood for some people, or she isn¡¯t confident that others would approve; thus, she explains her actions in the book, for herself, to the public. For instance, when describing privatization she spends three whole articles explaining her policies, their background, further plans, sometimes containing too trivial materials which gives impression that she is overly explaning.
            Third, sometimes she intentionally omits the bad consequences resulted from her policies. For example, when discussing the failure of the poll tax, she just mention it was abolished because there were oppositions, but she does not state the bad points about the poll tax and how it affected the poor people with large family. Also, she never mentions about causing a high unemployment rate by her policies of privatization and defeating trade union. Also, she writes in opposition of people who had made her leave the position, too.

VIII. Conclusion
            Margaret Thatcher¡¯s The Downing Street Years contain narratives of 11 years during her premiership. Among various policies of Margaret Thatcher, the policies discussed in this paper along with the concept of Thatcherism, economic and social policies of Thatcher, are poll tax, privatization of government utilities and public spending cut, and defeat of the trade union. Those socio-economic policies are sometimes apt but sometimes too short-sighted. One major criticism on Thatcher¡¯s socio-economic policies could be that although she succeeded in stabilizing the economy, she failed to solve the unemployment problem and it worsened. Her foreign policies toward Argentina in Falklands War were appropriate and showed the pride of Britain; one toward the joining of UK to the Exchange Rate Mechanism was not, and it led to her loss of power. Also, her opinion towards the German Unification was highly Britain-centered and arrogant in some aspects.
            Margaret Thatcher is not being neutral in her memoir, which is very natural, by writing narratives of the events only in her perspective, justifying her every action, omitting the bad results of her policy or omitting the event itself, and writing in opposition of people who made her leave the position of Prime Minister. However, although her bias is included in the book it has value itself as a memoir ,which is written to be stand for a person instead of being a historical narrative. We could see the perspective of Margaret Thatcher through the book and know her political visions and policies through reading.


Notes
           
(1)      Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(2)      ibid.
(3)      Thatcherism, Wikipedia
(4)      Nigel Lawson (1992). The View From No. 11: Memoirs of a Tory Radical, quoted after: Thatcherism, Wikipedia
(5)      Speech in Korea ("The Principles of Thatcherism"), Thatcher, 1992, Margaret Thatcher Foundation.
(6)      British Disease, Reverso
(7)      Britain in the 70s, Thatcherism, Kim Changhyun
(8)      Thatcher 1993, pg. 5
(9)      Speech in Korea ("The Principles of Thatcherism"), Thatcher, 1992, Margaret Thatcher Foundation.
(10)      Thatcher 1993, pg. 14
(11)      Speech in Korea ("The Principles of Thatcherism"), Thatcher, 1992, Margaret Thatcher Foundation.
(12)      "New Labour Neo-Thatcherite", New Statesman,6 June 2005. http://www.newstatesman.com/200506060022. quoted after Thatcehrism, Wikipedia
(13)      Thatcherism, Wikipedia
(14)      Nelson, Emily and Whalen, Jeanne (22 December 2006). "With U.S. Methods, Britain Posts Gains In Fighting Poverty". The Wall Street Journal Online. http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB116674870703357351-lMyQjAxMDE2NjI2MjcyNDI4Wj.html. quoted after Thatcherism, Wikipedia
(15)      Shephard, Andrew (2003). "Income Inequality under the Labour Government", Briefing Note No. 33. Institute for Fiscal Studies. http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn33.pdf. p. 4., quoted after Thatcherism, Wikipedia
(16)      Tempest, Matthew (10 June 2002). "Mandelson: we are all Thatcherites now". London: The Guardian. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,9061,730718,00.html. quoted after Thatcherism, Wikipedia
(17)      Thatcher 1993, pg. 676
(18)      ibid.
(19)      Thatcher 1993, pg. 679
(20)      Cook 1995, pg. 186-188
(21)      David Parker and Stephen Martin, "The impact of UK privatisation on labour and total factor productivity", Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 42, Issue 2 (May 1995), p. 216, quoted after: Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(22)      "Margaret Thatcher". Encyclopaedia Britannica, quoted after: Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(23)      Andrew Gamble, The Spectre at the Feast p. 16, quoted after: Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(24)      Andrew Glyn, 'The 'Productivity Miracle', Profits and Investment', in Jonathan Michie (ed.), The Economic Legacy, 1979-1992, London: Academic Press (1992), quoted after: Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(25)      Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(26)      Ashley 1985, pg. 44-45
(27)      Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(28)      Thatcher 1993, pg. 830
(29)      Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(30)      Poll Tax, Encyclopedia of Britain, Bamber Gascoigne, http://www.historyworld.net/Articles/PlainTextArticles.asp?aid=zai&pid=165 , quoted after: Community Charge, Wikipedia
(31)      Crude Britannia: The Story of North Sea Oil, BBC
(32)      North Sea Oil, Moneyweek
(33)      Cook 1995, pg. 177-182
(34)      Thatcher 1993, pg. 49-55
(35)      Ashley 1985, pg. 20-22
(36)      ibid.
(37)      Thatcher 1993, pg.97-98
(38)      Ashley 1985, pg. 161-163
(39)      ibid.
(40)      Thatcher 1993, pg. 173-235
(41)      Margaret Thatcher, Wikipedia
(42)      Ashley 1985, pg. 217-218
(43)      Thatcher 1993, pg. 791
(44)      ibid.
(45)      ibid. pg. 831
(46)      ibid. pg. 833


Bibliography The following websites were visited in October, November and December 2010. All Wikipedia articles cited below are from the English version, except noted.

Books
1.      Thatcher 1993: Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years, Harper Collins Publishers, London ,1993
2.      Ashley et al. 1985: Labour Party Research Department, Breaking The Nation - A Guide to Thatcher¡¯s Britain, Pluto Press, London, 1985
3.      Ko 1994: Seungje Ko, Margaret Thatcher, Achimnara, Seoul, 1994
4.      Park 2007: Dongun Park, Margaret Thatcher, Salim, Paju, 2007
5.      Thatcher 2003: Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft; Strategies for a changing world, Harper Perennial, London, 2003
6.      Bedarida 1991: François Bedarida, A Social History of England 1851-1990 (La Societe Anglaise 1851-1990, first edition published in 1976), translated by A.S. Forster et al., Routledge, Oxon, 1991 (2nd edition)
7.      Speck 1993: W. A. Speck, A Concise History of Britain 1707-1975, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993
8.      Cook 1995: Chris Cook et al., The Longman Companion to Britain Since 1945, Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, 1995
9.      Royle 1987: Edward Royle, Modern Britain; A Social History 1750-1997, Arnold, London, 1987
10.      Phillips 1996: Roderick Phillips, Society, State, and Nation in Twentieth-century Europe, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, 1996


Websites
11.      Margaret Thatcher Foundation, http://www.margaretthatcher.org/
12.      Article, Margaret Thatcher, at: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher
13.      Thatcherism : students paper by Kim Changhyun, 2005, posted on http://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/changhyun/Index.html
14.      The North-South Divide and Margaret Thatcher : students paper by Kim Changhyun, 2005, posted on http://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/changhyun/NSindex.html
15.      Article, British Disease, at: English Definition Dictionary, Reverso http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/British%20disease
16.      Article, Margaret Thatcher-Legacy-, at: Spiritus-Temporis.com, http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/margaret-thatcher/legacy.html
17.      Article, The Winter of Discontent, at; Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_Discontent
18.      Article, Community Charge, at: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Charge
19.      Article, Crude Britannia: The Story of North Sea Oil, BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lc7nr
20.      Article : Thatcherism, from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thatcherism
21.      Article, North Sea Oil, at: Moneyweek, http://www.moneyweek.com/investments/commodities/learning-to-live-without-north-sea-oil.aspx





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