It was 40 years ago last Friday, May 3, that Margaret Thatcher won the British general election of 1979 and became the UK's first woman Prime Minister.

For her devoted followers, it was an opportunity to celebrate, marking the dawning of a new era.

For most of the rest of us, however, it was the date that ushered in what is today called "neo-liberalism" - the belief that government should have only a limited role, that individuals should be encouraged to pursue their own interests, irrespective of the damage that might be caused to others and to our environment, that