“As bad as things are at the moment, it seems a mite premature to write off policies in the 1980s as an abject failure. We have not lost 30 years of wealth, and living standards have increased for billions of people since the 1980s. Income inequality has increased, and that can be undesirable, but the welfare of many low-income people has dramatically improved.”
The 1980s were only an “abject failure” in the eyes of those whose political ideas never developed beyond a sort of bastardised Marxism. They were not a failure for those who enjoyed, say, the ability to get a phoneline installed in 24 hours rather than six months, or not be forced to join a trade union, or no longer pay cripplingly high taxes, or be banned from taking more than a paltry sum of money abroad on holiday. The 1980s were a good decade in my view across a number of fronts with two main, glaring exceptions here in Britain: the-then Thatcher government did not truly uproot the Welfare State and the “enemy class” that ran it, and she did preside over what was later to become a relentless assault on the checks and balances of the English Common Law. But generally speaking, that decade goes down in my book as a good one.
Talking of Mrs T, it is now 30 years since she came to power.