Thatcher's privatisation legacy

How the promise of increased British competitiveness and greater prosperity has not materialised, and why I didn’t get to grow up in Hawaii.
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Cable & Wireless HKT's logo fades into history
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<div style="text-align: left;"> Cable & Wireless HKT's logo fades into history </div>

I was 10 when the company my dad worked for became one of the first state-owned firms privatised under Margaret Thatcher.

Cable Wireless was one of those venerable old bastions of empire, tracing its origins back to the dawn of the telegraph. In one form or another, the company had been operating a global communications business since 1860 until it ceased to exist last year.

Of course, Cable Wireless is just one example, but Thatcher herself repeatedly claimed to have diagnosed the ills of government planning through the lens of her father’s greengrocers in Lincolnshire. “There is no better course for understanding free-market economics than life in...

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