Discuss Whether Margaret Thatcher Was a Pragmatist or an Ideologist

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Discuss Whether Margaret Thatcher was a Pragmatist or an Ideologist
After Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in May 1979, the legislation to implement the ‘Right to Buy’ was passed in the Housing Act 1980 which had a huge impact on Britain's housing market. The high discounts made the offer a fantastic bargain for those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. It meant that there was some real growth in levels of owner occupation and was considered to be great for individuals. Half of the proceeds of the sales were paid to the local authorities, but they were restricted on spending the money (they were made to reduce their debt until it was cleared, rather than being able to spend it on building more homes). The effect was to reduce the council housing stock, especially in areas where property prices were high such as London and the south-east of England. 200,000 council houses were sold to their tenants in 1982, and by 1987, more than 1,000,000 council houses in Britain had been sold to their tenants, although the number of council houses purchased by tenants declined during the 1990s. The ‘Right to Buy’ can be argued to be both ideological and pragmatic. Firstly, it could be said that the reason that Margaret Thatcher followed through with this plan is because it appeases the traditional conservative ideology; that home owners are more likely to care for the society/the wellbeing of the country, including the responsibility of owning a home, if they have ‘a stake’ it in. Heseltine stated that ‘There is in this country a deeply ingrained desire for home ownership. The Government believe that this spirit should be fostered. It reflects the wishes of the people, ensures the wide spread of wealth through society, encourages a personal desire to improve and modernize one's own home, enables parents to accrue wealth for their children and stimulates…...

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