There was a weary air of predictability within hours and days of Margaret Thatcher's death about all the things she can be blamed for.
The shortage of housing in the UK, the high cost of power for consumers and the banking crisis were just a few issues that were laid at her door.
Certainly, effectively stopping local councils from reinvesting the proceeds from council house sales into building new homes has not helped with the shortage of housing, but the rise in population is not something we can blame her for.
Is the privatisation of the old state-owned utility and energy companies, such as the National Coal Board, the cause of the higher energy prices we now face?
You could argue the answer is ‘yes’, largely because the UK taxpayer effectively subsidised its own energy prices as these were largely unprofitably run industries. But high energy prices in 2013 are more a result of global demand and supply issues than privatisation.
And so to financial services. Can Baroness Thatcher be blamed for the banking crisis?
Well, she started what we now call the ‘Big Bang’ – the deregulation of the City that was enshrined in law in the 1988 Financial Services Act.
She started the growth in the financial services industry which saw it go from being a small part of the UK economy, to by some measure over 25% of the UK’s GDP.
Her reforms also went hand-in-hand with a drive to greater share ownership. In my mind, it is not a huge leap of faith to link the privatisation in the 1980s of BT or British Gas with the demutualisation of the likes of Halifax, Norwich Union, Standard Life or Scottish Widows.
And while Halifax might be a mess, Norwich Union (now Aviva) certainly is not, Standard Life is largely flourishing as a public company, while Scottish Widows remains an iconic brand within the broader Lloyds group, which is also a bit of a mess.
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