Margaret Thatcher's premiership from 1979 to 1990 had a profound and historic impact on Scotland. David Stewart analyses the impact of this period of Conversative government on Scotland, while examining the extent to which Conservative policy under Thatcher represented a break from the 'post-war consensus' in British politics. Although Thatcher's restructuring has previously been the subject of scrutiny, no book has comprehensively studied Thatcher's policies in Scotland. 'The Path to Devolution and Change' seeks to fill this void by taking a broad overview of Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister. It blends analysis of her Scottish and British policies to provide a unique insight into the Thatcher years. Challenging the perception of Thatcher as 'anti-Scottish', the study interprets Thatcherism as a UK-wide mission to overturn the post-war consensus and destroy the preconditions for socialism. Stewart highlights the Scottish Conservative Party's integral role in the introduction of the poll tax, the campaign to save Ravenscraig steelworks, and the retention of the Barnett Formula. The book also illuminates key themes and events that have hitherto been under-researched, ranging from the 1985/86 Scottish teachers' strike, and the growth of Scottish welfare dependency, to the 1984/85 miners' strike in Scotland, and the impact of the right-to-buy scheme. It is underpinned by analysis of the changing balance of power within Scottish civil society, the sharpening economic divide between northern and southern Britain, the erosion of the Scottish consensus on administrative devolution, and the ideological compatibility of Thatcherism and Scottish Unionism. By interweaving previously unseen sources with Scottish press coverage and oral testimony from the leading protagonists in Scottish politics during the Thatcher era, such as Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, Gordon Wilson, and Campbell Christie, 'The Path to Devolution and Change' makes substantial contributions to the debates surrounding the decline of Scottish Unionism, the roots of Scottish devolution, the legacy of Thatcherism, and the changing British constitution.
Path to Devolution and Change, The
A Political History of Scotland Under Margaret Thatcher