“Defeat? I do not recognize the meaning of the word”

This quote really does suit The Iron Lady who never ever let the word “defeat” enter her territory.

Margaret Thatcher of Britain gained the name of Iron Lady for her strong leadership as the first female Prime Minister who has been in office for about 12 years from 1979 to 1990. During her leadership, she made some tremendous changes in Britain through her policies popularly known as “Thatcherism.”

Apart from being the longest-serving Prime Minister in the 20th-century, Britain Thatcher is known for her leadership skills and her unique overpowering personality and political style, and her free markets policies.

So let’s know how she has ruled Great Britain during her longest-serving as the prime minister.

Margaret Thatcher Policies: What did Margaret Thatcher do?

Margaret Thatcher’s policies are jointly known as Thatcherism. But what does Thatcherism mean?

To put it simply it’s a political and economic philosophy of a free-market policy. The policy involves the privatization of all forms of industries only leaving the most crucial subjects defense and monetary to the hands of the government.

The former British Prime Minister of the conservative party is more of a liberal person when it comes to economic policies. As a leader of the conservative party, she too was influenced by great philosophers like Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman who were loyal supporters of the free-market economy and privatization. She also believed that individuals should be left to make their own life choices and responsibility for their life. So during her government, she introduced various policies called Thatcherism that follow her strong beliefs in a liberal economy.

The Policies Under Thatcherism


This policy came as early as the 1980s and aimed at reducing inflation by controlling the money supply. The policy involves higher interest rates and taxes to reduce the rising prices.

According to the policy, the amount of money supplied to the economy is the base for the growth of any economy.

New taxation policy

The Income Tax Cut is one of the popular ones in which the total rate of income tax was reduced to 40% which used to be 83% and the base rate from 33% to 25% by 1988. But the VAT rate increased from 8% to 15%. Later in 1989, Thatcher introduced the Poll Tax or the Community Charge with the idea that all the individuals be paying the same amount regardless of how much each household earns.

Privatization and Deregulation

Margaret Thatcher’s policy of free market comes with the privatization of major public and state-run industries like British Gas, British Telecom services, and many other industries. The buying of the shares was opened to the whole public and they were often sold below the market price, so it can help the owner to get immediate profits in his wealth.

After privatization, it introduced deregulation of the telecom, electricity, and gas sector and of financial services like banks and other financial firms allowing more competition.


The Housing act of 1980, allowed the tenants who were living in the government housing facilities for whom it was difficult to buy houses of their own, were sold the council houses at a very heavy discount rate.

Now Let’s Look Into the Positive and Negative Effects of Thatcherism Policies

  • The positive impact of monetarism policy is that it is able to reduce inflation and it was considered successful in controlling the price rises and inflation by the government.

But what causes its negative effect is because of its high tax rates, unemployment begins to rise which harms the economic output.

  • Then the Poll Tax was regarded as unpopular among people as it was not based on the income of a household but to pay an equal amount by everyone which increased the gap between rich and poor, where the rich have to pay a much lesser portion of their income and the poor much higher of their income.
  • The privatization and the deregulation helped increase the individual wealth and contributed more to the state’s overall economy. This policy also made London the global center for a free marketplace. But it also shows significant inequality in the population with half of the population getting wealthier and the other half getting poorer. This period also shows the decrease in the National Union of Mineworkers’ power. The mineworker’s strike over mine closures of 1984 is considered one of the most significant strikes in the nation which led to the decrease of the famous union of mineworkers.
  • The housing policy of the government seemed popular with the tenants who were able to own houses but also showed a negative impact as it caused the depletion of the affordable public houses for everyone and it increased the housing prices and mortgage rate.

Apart from her economic policies, she introduced to Britain Margaret Thatcher a significant contribution to ending the Cold War between the then Soviet Union and America. It’s not new news, how she handled the Falkland war with Argentina during her prime ministership in 1982 gives her great credit as a leader, but her skillful communication and diplomacy are another significant part in decreasing the cold war tensions between the two big powers. The cold war ended in 1989 just before Thatcher resigned from her post of the prime minister in 1990 because of increasing opposition to her economic policies.

Margaret Thatcher – “The Crown”

Margarate Thatcher’s death was a huge loss for everyone and a loss of a great leader. She died on April 8, 2013, because of a fatal stroke, but until she died she influenced world politics and was the major player in the Conservative Party. Many movies are based on Thatcher like The Iron Lady 2011, the television movie Margaret 2009, and the Falklands Play 2000 but the popular ongoing Netflix series The Crown has beautifully portrayed Thatcher’s political stance as a Prime Minister.

The Crown, one of the ongoing popular chronicle Netflix drama series that started airing in 2016 is about the life of Queen Elizabeth II, from her time as a queen from the 1940s to the present time. The series takes us to all kinds of moments of the queen’s life from her personal development, and romance to her political matters. The series now in its 4th season is dominated by Margaret Thatcher, as its leading lady played by Gillian Anderson.

The shows portrayed Thatcher’s life as the significant leader of the British government and her role as the Prime Minister and her significant political stance in shaping Great Britain to its present form. Gillian Anderson was praised for her stunning portrayal of The Iron Lady in the show and was considered one of the best actresses to play Margaret Thatcher after the actress Meryl Streep from The Iron Lady.