chapter  2
17 Pages

Establishing Hegemony

At 2.45 pm on 4 May 1979 Margaret Thatcher was called to Buckingham Palace to be asked by the Queen to form a government. Mrs Thatcher was determined to use the first Queen's Speech, on 15 May 1979, to spell out clearly that her government meant business. Economic policy provided the first real evidence of the willingness of the Thatcher government to put its radical policies into effect. Mrs Thatcher had decided that her government would not operate an incomes policy and instead looked to control wage settlements by bringing the unions within the scope of the law. The 1983 election victory was thus the result of a lucky combination of factors, of which only one was admiration for Mrs Thatcher's leadership. Whatever the causes of her victory, however, what cannot be doubted is that after the election Mrs Thatcher's position was well established and her survival as Prime Minister, at least for the foreseeable future, was assured.