Thatcherism and the Union

Edited by T.M. Devine

in Scotland and the Union 1707-2007

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780748635412
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672202 | DOI:
Thatcherism and the Union

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter investigates some of the common assumptions that underline the recent Scottish home rule narrative. It also draws the various strands together to show a version of events that places socioeconomic change at the heart of political change in Scotland during the 1980s and 1990s. It then confirms the primary role of political ideology both in causing and engaging with that change. Comparative figures show the degree to which the Scots were failing to benefit from the Margaret Thatcher revolution. The main criticism of the Thatcher government was that its policies damaged the fabric of civil society and that a key reason why the Scots rejected the Tories was their desire to protect their civic society. It is noted that a major problem with the Conservative Party in Scotland was its failure to engage imaginatively with the Scottish dimension.

Keywords: Scottish home rule; Scotland; political ideology; socioeconomic change; political change; Margaret Thatcher; Conservative Party; civic society

Chapter.  7726 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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