The breakdown of the post-war consensus was to usher in a period of rapid change in important areas of British life. Consensus had broken down in part because of the economic problems, real or perceived, of the 1960s and early 1970s. One of those problems, inflation, continued throughout the 1970s and had major effects on the national psyche. By 1980 prices were about four times those of ten years earlier, and drastic action to tackle inflation seemed justified. Rampant inflation coincided with intellectual shifts which promised new solutions. Many Conservative MPs adopted a more free-market economic philosophy, and this was usually linked to the acceptance of monetarism. In fact there is no necessary connection between the two, but nonetheless the term ‘monetarist’ is often applied to the whole set of ideas.