Modern Britain is still living with the legacy of Margaret Thatcher's widespread policy of privatisation. How did this dramatic change in company structure effect modern British society? What are the implications for today's volatile economic situation? And what role did the champions of British industry play in forming the shareholder state? Lord Francis Tombs, at once one of Britain's major industrialists and public servants of the late twentieth century, explores how this shift occurred and chronicles the interaction between industry and politics over nearly half a century. Drawing on his own extensive experience as a business leader, he offers many colourful examples from the many varied negotiations with which he was directly involved, including with Margaret Thatcher, Tony Benn and the much feared and respected industrialist Lord Weinstock. Power Politics analyses the problems that can be caused by the sometimes divergent aims and mutual incomprehension of Parliament and the Boardroom and suggests how these can be resolved. This fast-paced account of top-tier business offers a penetrating exploration of the role of central government in business as well as many insights into big industry and the problems facing British business today. Tombs' unique perspective as the Chairman of the state-owned Electricity Council who subsequently oversaw the privatisation of Rolls-Royce gives him the experience and authority to explain the benefits and disadvantages of privatisation. And his own role in industry and occasional adviser to Margaret Thatcher gives extra weight to his robust criticism of the privatisation of the electricity supply. Power Politics offers an absorbing vision of British Industry at a crucial period which shaped this country's social and political history. As a story of individual development and action as well as a portrait of the British industrial landscape in the late 20th century, this is an invaluable contribution to Economic History.
Political Encounters in Industry and Engineering