The Thatcher Crisis Years

1980s politics blog from TV historian Tony McMahon

Here’s an interesting series of clips of Thatcher throughout the 1970s from her time as education minister under prime minister Ted Heath, then opposition leader facing Labour PM Jim Callaghan through to her taking power in 1979.

As education minister, Thatcher infamously withdrew milk for school kids. I remember the little milk bottles that used to turn up for us – an important source of nutrition for poorer kids. For this action she earned the nickname “Maggie Thatcher Milk Snatcher”.

Then we see her as opposition minister – note the voice has deepened and that mannered delivery was developing.  A very revealing comment Thatcher makes is: “I’m never quite sure what you mean by consensus politics”. In reality, she did – she just didn’t believe in it.

On the verge of taking power, she sets out key themes that would dominate her time in power.

Click to view – Margaret Thatcher

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