Drawing on the influential analysis of Thatcherism by the late Jim Bulpitt, this paper seeks to do two things. First, to use the enquiries of the Treasury and Civil Service Committee of 1980 to underpin an account of economic policy-making in the initial period after 1979 which stresses the inadequacy of accounts which see policy as based upon a coherent, monetarist doctrine. Instead, it is argued that policy in this period is best described as 'adventurist', based on strikingly little analysis of its possible consequences. Second, this analysis is linked to the question of Conservative 'statecraft', and especially what Bulpitt called the 'political argument hegemony', which enabled the Conservatives to win the 1983 election despite mass unemployment. Here, it is argued, notions of economic 'decline' were crucial.
- Economic policy