Saturday, November 10, 2007

Comparison of Sarkozy and Thatcher

Eric Le Boucher compares the reformist tactics of Margaret Thatcher with those of Nicolas Sarkozy. As Le Boucher points out, Thatcher approached the unions quite differently from Sarkozy. She turned her back on them, whereas he has tried repeatedly to persuade them that their interest lies in collaborating with him. By contrast, when it came to substantive policy, she was cautious and moved slowly at first, while he has moved quickly to implement policies bound to lead to head-on confrontation.

Of course the two political cultures are very different, as is the economic conjuncture. And in a sense, Sarkozy is continuing the Gaullist tradition of conciliation of workers, whereas Thatcher consciously rejected the conciliatory aspects of Toryism.

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