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John Major's Citizens Charter - fifteen years later

Abstract : When John Major was chosen as leader of the Conservative party after the fall of Margaret Thatcher, he faced a number of problems. He shared the same philosophy as his predecessor of defending the “free market” against the state, and reducing the costs of social services. Naturally, this approach included the consideration that users of public services were best served by being treated as customers or consumers. Yet the Conservative government was less confident about its general project, after the massive civil disobedience and rioting over the poll tax which had helped precipitate Thatcher’s fall (Adonis et al. 1994). There was a general demand for change, both in content and style. Some of the ideas of ten years earlier, of popular capitalism where all citizens would be shareholders and house-owners had faded - the shares having been rapidly sold off to large companies, and the stock of council housing being so low that many young couples had great difficulty obtaining somewhere to live.
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John Mullen. John Major's Citizens Charter - fifteen years later. Raphaële Espiet-Kilty et Timothy Whitton. Citoyen ou consommateur ? Les mutations rhétoriques et politiques au Royaume-Uni, 2006. ⟨hal-02536967⟩

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