Privatization and the Thatcher Legacy | Join the Discussion | Print | PDF
Up for Debate: Privatization and the Thatcher Legacy

The legacy of Margaret Thatcher's reforms remains the subject of great debate, both in the United Kingdom and in the many countries her reforms influenced.

At the core of the program was privatization. To this day, the management of public services in the UK is a matter of contention, although hardly anyone calls for a return to old-fashioned state ownership.

But the Thatcher legacy goes much further than that. It raises fundamental questions: What should be the vision of society? And what, in the end, should be the role of government?

Participants

Lord Norman Tebbit, Lord John Wakeham, Lord Cecil Parkinson, Lord David Young
Former Government Officials Under Margaret Thatcher

Lords Norman Tebbit, John Wakeham, Cecil Parkinson, and David Young all held senior government positions under Margaret Thatcher. All were instrumental in developing the privatization program, and take pride in its achievements.

Newt Gingrich
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1995-1999

U.S. Republican leader Newt Gingrich saw Margaret Thatcher as a great inspiration, and her reforms as a crucial achievement with global resonance.

Tony Benn
Labor Party Minister of British Parliament, 1950-2001

The senior figure of the left wing of the Labor Party, Tony Benn saw the Thatcher reforms as highly damaging to the fabric of society, and ultimately, as a failure.

Barbara Castle
Labor Party Minister of Parliament, 1945-1979

Veteran Labor politician Barbara Castle looks back on the apparent successes and hidden costs of Margaret Thatcher's reform, and their impact on ordinary people.

Gordon Brown
Chancellor of the Exchequer

Currently Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister), Gordon Brown sheds a New Labor light on the legacy of Thatcher's reforms, and on what governments should do to improve on both the Thatcher approach and the state-centered vision that it supplanted.

Privatization and the Thatcher Legacy | Join the Discussion | Print | PDF