Thatcher’s housing legacy

Red Brick

No doubt readers aren’t interested in my general views about Margaret Thatcher. You can assume that they aren’t as rose-coloured and sycophantic as everything that’s been on TV this evening (thank goodness for Kevin Maguire providing a smidgen of balance). So what did her 11 years as Prime Minister mean to housing?

The only housing reference made so far in the media’s extraordinary obituary-fest has been to the right to buy, as if it was the only housing policy at the time. The policy was wrong on so many levels and has been a long-term disaster, but it is hard to think of a political phenomenon like it (possibly until Boris Johnson came along). It steamrollered over Labour and touched an aspirational nerve in working class Britain that no-one at the time was prepared for or could explain. It became the iconic Thatcherite domestic policy (alongside destroying the trades unions) despite the fact that it was barely…

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