Some mention has been made of the impact of the initial privatisation and subsequent liberalisation programmes on the electricity industry, and occasionally it’s noted that many of our current woes can be traced back to that- the attempt to create competition has lead to a new set of powerful players, mostly non-UK owned, operating in a deregulated market. Presumably French domination was not what she had in mind.
Thatcher’s privatisation programme in fact presented her with problems back then. It collided head on with her nuclear commitment - she wanted to expand nuclear power dramatically (with 10 new plants proposed), but the city bankers made it clear that she couldn’t sell off the various chunks of the old nationalised CEGB if they contained nuclear plants. Much less get backing for new ones. And she certainly didn’t want the state to pay for a big expansion. So the old plants were initially withdrawn from sale, and the expansion programme cut back to just one plant, Sizewell B. That was eventually sold off (very cheaply) along with some of the old plants (even cheaper) to form part of a new private company British Energy. (It later went bust and had to be bailed out). So labeling her as ‘the plutonium blond’ (as she was sometimes called at the time) was not only rude/sexist, but also perhaps in the end less than accurate- she failed to secure much of a future for nuclear. Put simply privatisation and market forces killed off nuclear- at least for a while. Not what she initially had in mind. With British Energy later being taken over by EDF!