Thatcher was a huge figure in twentieth century politics, and we’ll hear a lot about her complicated legacy over the next few weeks. The only point I have to make is that there was an alternative. The UK economy in the late 1970s was in dire need of change. But so were many western economies, and nations like Australia and Germany are proof that you can achieve price stability, labour market reforms and introduce free market forces into your economy without crippling unemployment, widespread rioting and dooming entire regions of your country to permanent socio-economic depression.
Thatcher was important for a number of reasons, but in economic terms she’s significant for the radical, revolutionary nature of her reforms, and the fact that they were a lot less successful at achieving growth and creating wealth than those of more moderate, less celebrated leaders. Her reforms did make a small number of very wealthy people even wealthier – at the cost of making a huge number of working class people significantly poorer – which is the main reason her achievements are so celebrated by political, media and business elites.