Thatcherism

  • The Political Myth of Margaret Thatcher in Scotland

    Author: Tomasz Czapiewski
    E-mail: tomekczapiewski@gmail.com
    Institution: University of Szczecin (Poland)
    Year of publication: 2016
    Source: Show
    Pages: 85-98
    DOI Address: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2016007
    PDF: ppsy/45/ppsy2016007.pdf

    The article describes and explains the phenomenon of the political myth of Margaret Thatcher – her anti–Scottish attitude and policies and its impact on the process of decomposition of the United Kingdom. The author indicates that the view of Margaret Thatcher’s dominance in Scotland is simplified, stripped of complexity, ignoring significant information conflicting with the thesis, but that also plays an important role in current politics, legitimizing secessionist demands and strengthening the identity of the Scottish community. In the contemporary Scottish debate with its unequivocal defence policy of Thatcher is outside of the discourse, proving its sanctity status. Thatcher could see this special Scottish dimension within the United Kingdom, but treated it rather as a delay in the reforms needed in the country. There are many counterarguments to the validity of the Thatcher myth. Firstly, many negative processes that took place in the 80s were not initiated by Thatcher, only accelerated. Secondly, the Tory decline in popularity in the north began before the leadership of Thatcher and has lasted long after her dismissal. The Conservative Party was permanently seen in Scotland as openly English. Thirdly, there is a lot of accuracy in the opinion that the real division is not between Scotland and England, only between southern England and the rest of the country. Widespread opinion that Thatcher was hostile to Scotland is to a large extent untruthful. She has never retreated radically from any of the Scottish privileges, such as the Barnett formula or the Scottish Development Agency. 

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