It is not the purpose of this chapter to delve into a detailed analysis of the British economy during the 1980s and early 1990s. The intent is rather to record very briefly the main changes in the leading economic indicators in so far as they are relevant to industrial relations. The Conservative government that came to power in 1979 was wedded to a firm belief in monetarism and a free market economy. Mrs Thatcher held to these beliefs as articles of faith along with a conviction that Britain’s problems in the post-war decades (whether under a Labour or a Conservative Government) were the result of a departure from this faith. Thus any form of corporatism or tripartism was anathema to her as was Keynesian economics and most forms of public enterprise and public expenditure.
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