DBWI: PM Thatcher?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by King Jasper, Jul 21, 2019.

?

Would the UK be better or worse with a PM Thatcher?

  1. Better

    26 vote(s)
    37.7%
  2. Worse

    43 vote(s)
    62.3%
  1. King Jasper Well-Known Member

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    Dec 27, 2018
    As you might know, Margret Thatcher was the leader of the Conservative party from 1974 to 1978, famous for her Chicago-school ideas--sort of a British Reagan. After resigning due to loosing the 1978 general election, Tory Monetarists were largely cast aside, and one-nation conservatives continued to dominate the party, winning for them the 1983 general election, and pushing out Callaghan. But what if somehow Thatcher became PM, whether through an earlier winter of discontent, or something else. What would happen to the UK under a monetarist Prime Minister?

    OOC: Most Thatcher threads turn into a flamestorm as people argue that the UK would literally be a utopia or dystopia without her. Please don't try to derail this DBWI. Arguing in character is fine, though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  2. West Well-Known Member

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    Mar 24, 2015
    British industry was at this point really sick and dying.

    It was horribly inefficient, the coal mines at some point cost more to operate then they made in profit, and the unions strangle hold on the economy was too much. This was one of the major factors in why the british never joined the EU, with their huge structural problems there was no way they could compete against the germans and hope to come out with any of their industry in tact. And once they closed that off they just kind of distanced themselves more and more from the rest of Europe as they found themselves cut off from more and more trade by EU regulations, tarrifs, and other methods.

    That's why parlament invested so much into the industrial renewal policies of the 1990s, the EU basically told their banking industry that they were no longer welcome which hurt the UK hard. These days the brits do a lot of light industry and northern England, Scotland and wales are doing well if a bit dirty at times, but its also why London is a depressed economic nightmare world where the only jobs are tourism, the government and services. Everything else left the city years ago.

    So if thatcher won? I think London would be doing better but northern England and Scotland might be a little worse off.
     
  3. King Jasper Well-Known Member

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    Dec 27, 2018
    Interesting. Thatcher would’ve killed all the inefficient industry very rapidly, causing a bunch of unemployment and blight in the north imo. Thatcher wasn’t super hot on European integration either, I wonder if you’d have our weird partial EU membership, or maybe no EU at all due to butterflies.

    How do you think she would be elected though? Her monetarist ideas were (and still are) pretty unpopular.
     
  4. wwbgdiaslt Well-Known Member

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    Feb 9, 2018
    Are we assuming that Thatcher would have got a larger share of the votes on her appointment as leader in 75, with fewer votes going to Hugh Fraser and Edward Heath. As it is, she only scraped into office during the leadership contest by a handful of votes, and the not unimpressive number that Fraser brought to play stood him in good stead when Thatcher resigned in 78.

    Even though he took the Tories into power in 83, his death less than twelve months later screwed them over because the vast majority of the public saw the new PM walk into Downing Street without 'a mandate', which David Steel took advantage of, stealing multiple constituencies at the next General Election.
     
  5. Thomas1195 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 26, 2016
    And unfortunately for Labour, the Alliance proved that they were more than sufficiently competent, largely because they gain credit from Roy Jenkins' economic policies, which in the long run helped revitalized and renovated the industrial regions of the North, Scotland, and Wales. Scotland and Liverpool are essentially leading ICT, computer and electronic centres of Europe, while Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham are leaders in life science, pharma and chemical industries. Liverpool is also the nation's and Europe's biggest port. The South West is a strong and competitive aerospace hub. Finally, its defense and shipbuilding sectors are still alive and kicking in Scotland and the Southwest

    Britain, or more accurately, those regions mentioned above, is definitely competitive again by 2000. Now, it is in the driver seat of the upcoming Fourth Industrial Revolution since Germany was essentially screwed up by the Global Financial Crisis.

    Wales, OTOH, is less successful since its industries are mainly low-tech: textile and clothing, bla bla bla, but at least they did not descend to "a land of mass unemployment" as many predicted during the late 1980s.


    OOC: Scotland is the biggest economic region of the UK ITTL and a Liberal bastion.

    London definitely declined, but calling it "economic nightmare" is quite of an overstatement. It is still the country's foremost national financial centre and the most important source of financing for high-tech centres in Scotland and the North. Its prospects have been improving since the latter half of the 1990s and have become a emerging competititor since 2010 as it managed to get away from the Global Financial Crisis relatively unscathed.

    OOC: London only has services, tourism and government IOTL, just on a larger scale.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  6. King Jasper Well-Known Member

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    Dec 27, 2018
    This reminds me. When do you guys think devolution will arrive ITTL? IOTL, we got Scottish in 1979, Welsh in 1982, and English regions throughout the 90s and early 2000s. All were under Labour governments, and the tories have always been anti-devolution, or at least against any more devolution. ITTL, You'll probably push back all these dates about 10 years, which would butterfly the Liberal/Alliance domination of Scotland. (And, of course, the Alliance-Labour two party system). Scotland would probably stay a Labour bastion, keeping the Liberals small and England-oriented.

    For Wales, without the Alliance it's also probably Labour dominated, instead of the swing country it is now. Working-class areas in south wales would probably get destroyed by Thatcher-ism, giving it even more of a Labour bent.

    I dunno when we would get english regional devolution. After Thatcher in the late 70s and early 80s, I guess you would have Labour rule the rest of the 80s, kind of opposite to what we had OTL. Late 80s/early 90s is wayy too early for regional devolution, though. You probably would get some regional devolution next Labour government, though. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  7. Galba Otho Vitelius Well-Known Member

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    Apr 21, 2016
    I was under the impression that most of the 1978 Tory manifesto wound up being adopted by later governments, only very gradually? Is the DBWI that Thatcher comes in and does everything in one parliament?
     
  8. King Jasper Well-Known Member

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    Dec 27, 2018
    Eh, not really. There was a shift to the right, but many SOEs that the ‘78 election manifesto wanted to privatize remained in public hands. Both Whitlaw and Callaghan performed anti-inflationary measures, which is where this misconception comes from, but they definitely weren’t monetarists. There were privatizations, and a significant change to the post-war consensus, but the magnitude of that change was nearer to France than say, New Zealand.
     
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  9. Thomas1195 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Very likely. The Thatcherite pursued laissez-faire policies, which means they would not have had industrial policy to develop new industries to replace dying ones, and retraining schemes to help workers of declining sectors (which are Liberal policies IOTL, especially the industrial strategy). Also, unlike the Liberals, the Tories would have never made R&D spending and modernization a priority. Under Thatcher, most of Britain's industries would have been dead, since they were already very uncompetitive by 1980 and would have been destroyed by market forces. Meanwhile, Thatcher's financial deregulation would have boosted London international banks but at the expense of industrial regions, Finally, their free-for-all economic policies would end up with all British major businesses being taken over by foreigners.

    Nope. Although much of the SOEs were privatized by the Alliance during their first two terms (1983-1992), the new industrial policy is totally a Liberal/Alliance thing. Without it British economy would have been totally dominated by services and banking. In other words, they would have become a clusterf**k once the Global Financial Crisis kicked in. IOTL, they emerged from the GFC as a relatively stronger country, since they dodged the worst parts of the crisis.

    The public utilities are still largely publicly owned, although all industrial SOEs were privatized.
     
  10. King Jasper Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    OOC: Wait, what? I thought we were having the Liberals/Alliance as a third party propping up Labour. Maybe change the Liberals/Alliance to Conservatives.

    Or we could roll with it and say the Tories made a comeback from third party status, just like the Liberals. Up to you.
     
  11. Thomas1195 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 26, 2016
    OOC: I mean the Tories to be relegated to the third party status. Initially, my first comment is to have Labour destroyed in 1983 (hence, "unfortunately for Labour"). Let's just make Lib-Lab two party system lol.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  12. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    Well, even if she ends up fixing British economy, we would definitely lost our beloved "Granny Thatcher's Instant Ice-Cream".

    She returned to food chemistry industry after retiring from politics, and her instant ice cream mix (Just add water, Mix! Freeze! And Woah!) will never become such a British Icon at the first time since I doubt Prime Minister Thatcher would not be so willing to return to Ice-Cream and Milk derivative industry again.

    R.I.P Granny Thatcher though, her ice creams are the best instant powder ice cream, and her soft serve whippy ice cream parlors are still one of the most popular in the world, even children could easily make those themselves when they wanted. All those ice creams definitely changed the world, as they are still very popular desert, especially in Argentina.
     
  13. GeorgeUK Massively Multiplayer Contributor

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Apparently, the company recorded the equivalent of a month's revenue when she died and people decided that the best way to honour her memory was with some of her famous ice cream.
     
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  14. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Yeah London still have his football(both kinds) but that count as tourism isn't it?
     
  15. King Jasper Well-Known Member

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    OOC: Sure. Let’s say the Alliance is a Liberal-Conservative Alliance as well, since the OTL Alliance is probably butterflied. I’ll edit my post accordingly. And don't forget to add in your OOC.
     
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  16. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

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    Apr 4, 2018
    Can't blame them, Granny Thatcher is essentially The British version of Colonel Sanders these days. With their respective 'non-food-related' Jobs they held before being world-famous taught as part of the joke and acting 'in-character'.

    So yeah, Granny Thatcher being once a full-blown Tory leader is often thought as just a joke by younger generations these days, only for them to have their jaw dropped once they finally get undeniable confirmation that these are really the truth as people often thought she was just some local Tory member and used that stereotypes of being very conservative grandmother as a marketing ploy (even if what she sold is ironically just mix of sugar, milk, and a lot of air).

    Sure, the late Colonel Sanders' military career being limited to 4 months stint as mule driver didn't help. x'D
     
  17. MKD Well-Known Member

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    Oct 4, 2017
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    Milton Keynes Central
    Bloke in pub:

    There is no way a woman could be PM. They aren't up to the job. The British people wont have it. Anyway, she was a nutter led on by the likes of Kieth Joseph always going on about privitisation and deregulation and free markets. As if someone other than the local council can run the water board or the electric. Madness. The way she went about things like car factories, mines and ship yards would have led to an economic disaster in large parts of the country. The woman was batty.

    Whitelaw is the kind of man we want. Even that limp wristed Heath would be a better bet but a woman - no bloody way.
     
  18. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    Yeah, the very fact that United Kingdom is the only great power that never have any kind of female PMs is somewhat distressing.

    Even US and Soviet Union have female President and female Premier at some point in history.
     
  19. West Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    That's kind of a mixed bag, sure things under Laura Bush were pretty stable but Mad Dasha's genocide of the Tatar people murdered 5.8 million people, and that isn't even going into the large number of other people that died under her blood soaked reign. Theres a reason why Ukraine kept their nuclear weapons after they left the union and Dasha's it.
     
  20. Railmotive Friendly, law abiding citizen who should post more

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    New Aberdeen, New Britain
    What would have happened to British rail ITTL? Thatcher was not exactly a fan of the railways and this was during a time when BR where in desperate need of funding. Thanks to the construction of the Channel tunnel in the early 80s Britain’s industries gained direct access to the continent which helped keep BR a float until sectarisation in the late 80s. Today our rail network is the best in Europe because of this and under a Thatcher government i doubt such a large rail project such would have been given the go ahead.
     
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