In 1979 the nationalised industries in the UK employed about 1.75m people and accounted for around 10.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 14 per cent of total investment and 10 per cent of the Retail Price Index.1 The industries dominated a number of sectors of the economy, in particular energy, telecommunications, public transport, aerospace, shipbuilding and steel production. However, between May 1979 and June 1987 a radical privatisation programme occurred under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister. What started as a tentative programme became a key element of the economic strategy of the Thatcher Governments to reduce state intervention in the economy. As Margaret Thatcher confi rms in her memoirs, during the 1980s “privatization . . . leapt from fairly low down to somewhere near the top of our political and economic agenda.”2