Letter: Adieu Major, we'll miss you

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Sir: While the manufacturing base of Britain was being decimated in the Thatcher years, the middle-class backbone of the electorate complacently watched the workers in shipbuilding, mining, engineering and steelmaking being dumped on the dole to beg for payments sustained by the boon of North Sea oil. Whatever was happening to the "working classes" was not going to happen to the "middle classes".

When the banks, building societies, civil service, armed forces and local government jobs started to dry up, and when sons and daughters, leaving university, came home, after being told there were very few jobs on offer, the untouchable middle classes suddenly became vulnerable (Letters, 7, 10 May). The dicta of Thatcherism - "industry to be leaner and fitter ... industry must take its medicine" - didn't appear quite so appealing after all. The dagger of unemployment now points relentlessly at the throats of Middle Britain. The election result was a foregone conclusion.