Thatcher’s Secret Wars tells the story of the rise of the secret state in modern times and the way the state-within-the-state warped the history of her premiership and manipulated the population into supporting an ideology designed to defeat her definition of the ‘enemies within’; everyone she could not see eye to eye with. It is also about how her supporters recognised whether a civil servant, journalist, union leader or simple member of the public was ’one of us’ rather than one of those: the subversive and unwashed socialists of whom her government were so wary.
The central argument of the book is that there was not only a secret and undeclared, internal ‘cold war’ fought throughout the 1980s (a war that had started in the 1970s), but that the consequences of those years have huge implications for the importance and role of the state as it evolved beyond into the twenty-first century outside parliamentary control. It is in the years between the 1970s and 1990 that the state became a direct arm of government policy, but one which was undeclared as such and unexamined in parliament.
This has led to the secret bureaucracy of the state actually metamorphosing into the real and uncontrolled hidden political power in Britain; a power no longer decided by parliamentary process.
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