• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Privatisation was the subject of fierce party conflict in the 1980's and early 1990's, but since the mid 1990's there has been a growing consensus over the issue. Explain and evaluate this statement

Extracts from this document...


Privatisation was the subject of fierce party conflict in the 1980's and early 1990's, but since the mid 1990's there has been a growing consensus over the issue. Explain and evaluate this statement? Privatisation is the transfer of state-owned or nationalised industries to the private sector and Margaret Thatcher was the first to do this on a large scale in the late 1970's and early 80's. The Conservative Party felt that privatisation was the way forward and would help in their aim for a free market economy. They believed that privatisation would make industries more efficient by increasing the need for survival and profit. Privatisation also fitted in with Margaret Thatcher's view of a 'share owning democracy'. She wanted the ordinary people to be shareowners, as this would root capitalism into the countries roots. This aim was achieved, as by 1992 there were 10 million shareholders within the UK. The Tories wanted to save money and saw privatisation as an easy way to make money. This would help finance tax cuts and reduce the government borrowing. Also, as a by-product it would cut government spending as the government wouldn't have to give subsides to nationalised industries. To begin with the Tories began to privatise the companies, which had been nationalised by the 1974-1979 Labour government. This included aerospace (privatised in 1981-85 for �827 million) ...read more.


The electorate also became angry with the government for selling off public companies for very little money like Rail Track as this was sold for only �1.95 billion. All the privatisation led to huge unemployment figures as the privatised companies sought profit. BT alone lost 108,000 jobs between 1990 and 1991. The Tories believed in privatisation and thought it would increase efficiency, which it proved with the Jaguar Company as it was now making a �10 million profit and not a �121 million loss as it had previously but saw that there were inefficiencies with the system. They still support privatisation and are currently tackling new areas that have previously been taboo areas. These include the new 'schools passport' and the idea of Private-Public health care a new Private Public Partnership (PPP). During this period Labour was suffering from numerous embarrassing electoral defeats due partly to their position on privatisation. Labour was underpinned by socialism and this was characterised by common ownership seen in clause 4. This suggested harnessing material resources for the common good. Labour was hostile to privatisation as it believed that the Tories had no right to sell off what was collectively owned by the people. Former Conservative Prime Minister Lord Macmillan likened it to selling off the family silver. They said you could not sell what the society owned and that the people should not be exploited by ruthless businessmen. ...read more.


Also, even if Labour did want to renationalise the cost of doing so would be colossal and electorally unpopular. During the 1980's and the early 1990's Labour did not agree with the Conservative enthusiasm for privatisation. They believed in their socialist views and thought that privatisation was selling off what people already owned. The Conservatives on the other hand believed privatisation was a brilliant idea, which would improve the efficiency of the companies so they could provide a better service for the public. There are elements of truth in both ideas but the electorate believe in privatisation, as it tends to produce efficient companies such as BT and Jaguar. The problem with some of these companies is that they don't work as a private company as directors are more concerned with making profits and so the quality of the service decreases. This can be seen with Rail Track which has since come out of administration and a new not-for-profit company, Network Rail, has had to take over the running of the railways. Now since New Labour has evolved there is a consensus between them and the Conservatives over privatisation. Both believed in the free market and have moved away from a Keynesian approach to the economy. Labour are now privatising companies and industries that were left by the conservatives such as hospitals and the London Underground but are doing so using PPP's and Private Finance Initiatives (PFI's) rather than the traditional Tory way of public procurement deals. Danielle Hill 13KF ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Why Did the Post-war Consensus Breakdown?

    under the terms of the post-war consensus led directly to high inflation. According to this view, the Labour government of 1974-79 had been unable to control inflation and this was a major cause of Britain's economic decline. In fact the Labour government had been relatively effective in dealing with inflation.

  2. To what extent was there a 'post war consensus' between 1945-1970.

    The 'special' relationship that existed between Britain and the United States of America was built upon, with Britain proving to be a loyal ally in the Korean War of 1950-1953. In 1949 Britain became a founder member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, which formally committed the United States to defending Western Europe.

  1. What Are The Key Elements Of Thatcherism? To What Extent Was It A Reaction ...

    First she had an unusually decisive and confrontational style and a forceful personality. She was also an activist in her cabinet, with the number of both cabinet meetings and committees falling dramatically during her 'reign'. She often pushed other cabinet members into her way of thinking.

  2. What, other than the personal beliefs of Margaret Thatcher was there to Thatcherism?

    Shift the balance of power on the shop floor towards management. The manifestation of these objectives was the Trade Union Act of 1984 that required unions to hold secret ballots and the 1990 Employment Act that made unions responsible for strike action unless they specifically opposed it.

  1. The position of the New Labour government with Tony Blair ahead of that government.

    New Labour is very much what I believe in. It's very much my own creation" (www.bbc.co.uk/election97/background/parties/panblair.htm, May 4, 2004). As Blair said, the New Labour had become a modernised Labour Party, but the question is about the direction. Did it shift towards Conservatism and especially Thatcherism? Probably-yes, and there are some evidences supporting this idea.

  2. Kashmir Issue and Mediation.

    On the contrary, Indian government seemed as fully opposed the mediation and direct involvement of the international community or US or any other Third-party Peace Mediation on Kashmir dispute as degrading India' independence while as the same time jeopardizing its integrity.7Any plan for international intervention that envisioned a major expansion

  1. J. S. Mill Despre Libertate

    Mill �si construieste analiza prin aproximari succesive �n demonstratia sa disting�nd doua mari ipoteze 1. Schimbul a doua marfuri �ntre doua tari 2. schimbul a doua marfuri �ntre mai multe tari John Stuart Mill dezvolta urmatoarele puncte: a. Daca nu se au �n vedere preturile de transport raportul de schimb international devine raport de schimb intern �ntre cele doua tari.

  2. Is New Labour a Conservative Party?

    Thatcher had cleverly predicted this eventuality by stockpiling coal at power stations, the impact of the strike on the economy was reduced. The government had approved legislation to made striking more problematic with a compulsory secret ballot, with flying pickets being banned.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work