Monday, April 08, 2013

If Thatcher hadn't won in 1979...

"It's chilling to think what we would have become if Baroness Thatcher hadn't been PM. Makes one realise the fine line history treads." So tweeted conservative commentator Stephen Pollard tonight in the context of the Iron Lady's demise.

Well maybe not so chilling at all. Let's say that James Callaghan had been re-elected with a working majority in 1978 - which he might well have been. Would the "Winter of Discontent" have been avoided? Maybe not - but whatever happened Labour would have looked at itself and said, as they did with "In Place of Strife" , Union reform is essential. The young ambitious Labour leaders - David Owen and Shirley Williams, allied with their slightly older fellow travellers Roy Jenkins and Denis Healey, would have put change to the Industrial Relations situation high on their agenda. In a year or so and approaching 70 years of age Callaghan would have stood down. Healey would have succeeded him and his Cabinet would have had Jenkins, Owen, Williams In key jobs - possibly also with Michael Foot or Tony Benn the latter charged ( from the Left) with Trades Union reform. Change would have happened albeit more slowly but more decently than under Thatcher.

With David Owen continuing as Foreign Secretary it is highly likely that the absurd Falklands War could have been avoided. His American connections, personal and political, would have ensured that a Pan-American resolution with Argentina could have been achieved.

With Roy Jenkins as Home Secretary the social reform changes would have continued far more quickly than under the Thatcher regime's social conservatism.

With Shirley Williams as Education Secretary the integration of the public and private education sectors would gradually have happened and a greater degree of decentralisation would have happened.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Eric Varley would have worked closely with the Prime Minister Denis Healey in ensuring that necessary economic changes would have happened. This would have included change to Mining, Steel and the motor industry.

So there you have it. No Labour Party split. No dead soldiers and sailors in the South Atlantic. No battles at the coal mines. No class driven brakes on social change.

NO THATCHER. What's not to like?



5 Comments:

At 11:55 pm , Blogger Mike Briggs said...

Excellent piece!

 
At 11:55 pm , Blogger Mike Briggs said...

Excellent piece!

 
At 11:55 pm , Blogger Mike Briggs said...

Excellent piece!

 
At 9:13 pm , Blogger Bunyan said...

What a load of self delusional nonsense!

 
At 9:16 pm , Blogger Bunyan said...

What a load of self delusional nonsense!

The world was changing and if Mrs T hadn't have made those unpopular decisions they would have been made for us by external agencies. Have you forgotten than Dennis Healy had to go cap in hand to the IMF?

 

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