Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 22. Jahrgang (1996), Heft 3 But by then the govemment had (secretly) given up on monetarism. Its anti-inflationary policy was now "largely rudderless" (20). "Unthinking monetarism" (2 1) was followed by a less dogmatic, discretionary approach to the management of the economy via a variable mix of monetary and fiscal policies, the very pre-Thatcher strategy about which the thatcherites had been so dismissive. It brought a brief period of mo­ dest growth and low inflation. When Lawson retumed to the Treasury after the 1983 election, dogma was "in" again. In his Mais lecture of June 1984, he proclaimed a eross­ over from what he called the conventional post-war wisdom, in which macro-economic policy was assigned to promote growth and micro (in­ cluding incomes) policy to suppress inflation: now the Suppression of in­ flation was to be the task of macro (mainly monetary) policy while micro (supply-side) policy, mainly tax and labour market reform, would pro­ vide the conditions favourable to improved performance in terms of growth and employment, which were now considered outside the proper direct responsibility of govemment. There was an implied allusion to the claim that a succession of pre-Thatcher govemments had allowed the country to become "ungovernable" (22), presumably because decades of full employment had shifted the balance of power too far from managers to workers and had brought "excessive" job security and wage rises. But by the mid-1980s inflation had risen again sharply and the go­ vemment escaped by making the Deutsche Mark (instead of the money supply) the target variable for the conduct of British monetary policy and so handed over its disinflationary policy to the Bundesbank. This was reinforced when the pound entered the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) of the European Monetary system (EMS) in October 1990 . When that strategy collapsed also, in September 1992 , a new phase of more pragmatic - quite unthatcherlike - way of steering the economy ensued, though again only briefly (See Section 10) . 3. The economic record: an overview Table 1 sets out some selected key data to show how the economy has in fact performed: clearly the overall objective of decisively improving on the past was in no way achieved: economic growth did recover marginally from the - intemationally - dismal second half of the 1970s, but it remained much inferior to the pre-Thatcher 1960s. Rates of un­ employment and of inflation were also very much higher under Thatcher than they had been before. In intemational terms the growth rate remained below, unemployment above, inflation marginally above, that of the EU between 1979 and 1996 : the government's claim that the deregulated British economy "has been out-performing" all the more regulated Countries of Europe (23) does not square with the facts. What is true, however, is that the negati­ ve differential has shrunk as performances have deteriorated in traditio- 360