Margaret Thatcher’s revolution
David IgnatiusPeople talk about transformational politicians. But watching Margaret Thatcher take down the British class system was an education in how it’s really done. It required the radical vision and iron will of someone who genuinely abhorred the status quo.
Thatcher demolished the two conservative pillars of British society: the labor unions that held the parliamentary Labor Party in bondage, and the upper-class Tory leaders who resembled the benign but hapless relics of “Downton Abbey.” It’s hard to say which side was more hidebound and resistant to change, the unions or the aristocrats. They were unwitting partners in Britain’s paralysis.
By breaking the power of the unions and the old Tory elite, Thatcher opened the way for a politically powerful British middle class. The universality of the middle class is America’s enduring national myth, so it’s hard for us to appreciate how narrow and precarious it was in Britain. Recall the disastrous aspirations for upward mobility of the bank clerk Leonard Bast in E.M. Forster’s novel “Howards End,” and you have a sense of the limited, dreary vista that was middle-class life before Maggie.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"Margaret Thatcher’s revolution", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), septembre 2013. Consulté le 01/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/archives/archives-revue-de-presse/margaret-thatcher-s-revolution