Was Thatcher a Thatcherite?

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Conservative grandees, and members of the British establishment in general, were sniffy about Margaret Thatcher.

When she became leader of her party in 1975, many of them declared that she would never last.

Fifteen years later, when she had won three elections and survived as prime minister for over a decade, they often suggested that the serious thinking behind her policies had been done by other people.

Nigel Lawson, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1983 and 1989, believed that he himself was the first Conservative to use the term Thatcherism, adding that this was not "whatever Margaret Thatcher herself at any time did or said".

Riddled with contradictions

In one sense, no one was a Thatcherite, because Thatcherism was never a unified idea.

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