Where a maze of derelict warehouses and old cranes once testified to Britain’s decline, glass skyscrapers teeming with traders now dominate London’s docks, a metaphor – for good and ill – for Margaret Thatcher’s free-market revolution.

Thatcher called the dockside development one of the most exciting projects she had ever known. Its aim: To transform a virtual wasteland into a cluster of towers that would, combined with her ‘Big Bang’ reforms of the City of London, become the spine of the only financial capital to threaten New York.

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