The Iron Lady

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:32 pm

Looking back on Thatcherism and trying to make sense of it, I gather that -

Mrs. Thatchers' undeclared crusade was against socialism, a sudden and ruthless campaign, launched without warning, and continuing many years.

She considered the British people,whether they knew it or not, had become infected with the virus of international socialism.

Those so infected had to be fought against, battered down and economically and politically neutralised by whatever means possible. That's why so many ordinary peoples lives were so damaged, they were her 'enemy within.'

Other people whose circumstances happened to suit her model of British Privateering, were looked after and did well. That's why her time in office and her legacy is so divisive.

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Hinch on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:34 pm

We are booked in at the Blakeney Hotel for dinner on Wednesday PI. Had a really dreadful meal with appalling service at the Manor so won't be returning. Breakfasting on eggs benadict at Byfords in Holt tomorrow.

Have set up my astronomical telescope on our first floor balcony overlooking the salt marsh waiting for the sun to set.

Bliss!
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  teamplayer2 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:01 pm

Respect should be given on the day of the funeral.
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:27 pm

Out of respect for Mrs. Thatchers' principles, perhaps the funeral should have been privatised?

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Old Regulator on Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:30 am

Now that the burial has gone, well going on whilst I write, I will put up my thoughts of the legacy of Prime Minister Thatcher. Let me say from the outset that I hated the woman when she was alive and I hate her just as much now she is dead.

I’ll eave most of the usual anti pro Thatcherism rhetoric to others but offer the below as my view.

As a trade union representative, works convenor for over 15 years, most in the 1980s, I did my upmost to improve the pay and conditions of my fellow workers, union members, in engineering. This included making the work place safe and when manual workers were ‘allowed’ to join the pension scheme, a Thatcher policy, I and a manager held meetings to encourage membership of the scheme, so yes I am guilty as charged ‘rapacious’, although the management regarded us as colleagues not enemies.
Next time you hear ‘she broke the unions’ ask the young person how many hours they are working, what holiday and fringe benefits they enjoy and if they work on minimum wage for an agency and get shift payments.

The wrapping of our national flag around the coffin is mildly humorous to me as privatisation has seen most of our nationalised industries fall into the hands of foreign ownership, and irony of ironies our rail operators being mostly foreign and at least 2 state owned, remember when ‘we’ used to own them? So the shift from nationalised ownership is complete with the shares, remember Sid? Being firmly in the hands of the top couple of percent of the rich. (rich list due out on Sunday)

What do I consider her worst policy? Easy, the abolition of the Truck Acts. This in my mind forced working people into the hands of the real rapacious ones the banks. I’ll expand.

The Truck Acts meant that only ‘coin’ of the realm could be used to pay workers. This meant on weekly pay day wages could be prioritised, rent/mortgage, fuel, food etc and household economics
practised without the need to be taught. The abolition saw companies force employees into monthly pay into a bank account, on the face of it not earth shattering I hear you opine. Take the logical journey now that the banks know what income is on its way and hey presto a credit card drops unbidden onto the mat. Move on 30 years and guess what it is our fault that ‘we’ are in debt and it is us who will have to make sacrifices to enable the rich to enjoy their ill gotten gains. I speak here as one who, luckily, could bail out all 3 of my children from crippling debt run up on the High Street using their flexible ‘friend’ (was anything more mis named?).

so good bye and riddance to a politician who divided our country and shame on all politicians who have not righted these harmful wrongs to the majority of the population of this country.
Iron Lady RIP (Rust In Peace)

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Hinch on Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:37 am

Best forum post so far on this or any subject Old Regulator.
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  johnb on Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:04 pm

The good unions and trade unionists got tarred with the same brush as the bad ones. That was sad, but the mining, steel and automotive sectors, not to mention local government, where relations were poisoned and poisonous ensured that all the good practice (and there was much of it) would be swept away with the bad.

I agree about certain aspects of privatisation - though BT and British Gas were the only ones Maggie was involved with. The sell off of british Gas (as a monolith though) was to enable investment and rapid modernisation. The sell off of BT (GPO) again to enable technology and modernisation. I don't think we would have the rapid communications that we have now at costs so low (and in relative terms electronic communication is dirt cheap) if telecoms had remained nationalised. Maggie never contemplated doing anything with the railways though, and I think she would be bemused by the artificial competition that is touted as giving us choice of cheapest, but in reality means finding the supplier who will rip us off least. As to foreign ownership, she would never have countenanced that in the way it has happened.

I'm in several minds about the universality of banking and payment by bax (etc.) People of my generation and position expect this, but we also expect banks to be dull and trustworthy. I don't think payment into bank accounts has fueled the credit boom, I think that is down to greed of bankers trying ensnare as many as possible, since ensnarement means a regular income. Margaret Thatcher was a believer in personal thrift (a child of her upbringing, environment and time) and I'm sure, found the credit fueled lifestyles of today anathema
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:45 pm

Interesting comment on the radio "Margaret Thatcher was never defeated by the British people."

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  past it on Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:20 pm

Spot on Old Regulator.

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Jeanie on Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:05 pm

She stuck to her principles never once a nodding donkey ,spoke her mind and led this country now let her rest and her family grieve respectfully .

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:16 pm

It was good to have a dignified funeral, although it should have been privatised and not paid for out of taxation. However, there is no good reason why politics, arguments and points of view should not be fully expressed now the funeral is over.

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:50 pm

Mrs. Thatchers' political legacy has lasted so long because it changed society, not just the economy. Her government demonstrated that, unless their interests happened to co-incide, a British government, acting within legal restraints, could be an implacable and ruthless enemy of British people.
We still assume ( or have learned) that our governments may well be hostile to us, that has now become the default position. Although it may have been illusory, there was a general post war belief, before Thatcherism, that a British government would support the interests of it's people.

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Atlas on Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:19 am

It was illusory. Even the oft revered Churchill was an Imperialist by nature and nurture believing, as they do, that the ruling class should maintain it's firm grip by dint of hereditary and inheritance and that the mass of the people should benefit by controlled 'trickle-down' of resources - which of course was available through the then present day wealth and capacity of the economy. Very little has changed in the 'blue-rinse' fraternity although today there are far less of them in positions of influence - but they do - to an extent still have too much power which when wielded does great harm to the less fortunate. A 'mixture' of political beliefs when made to 'work' together can often produce better results for the masses than the intransigence of 'one'. Whichever 'belief' that happens to be. Neutral
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:10 am

Politics and the art of government are, like show business, much concerned with belief or illusion, the two being very connected.

If the great proportion of a population believe a harsh economic regime is for the greater good of everyone, they will go along with it. If they do not believe that, and see their lives ruined apparently for no good reason or to enrich the few, many will refuse to go along with it, and government, although it may cling on in power, loses authority and credibility.

Thatcherism broke that illusion or belief, causing fractures in and between government and society. Because Mrs. Thatcher was re-elected and re-elected, those fractures were compounded, causing groups of the population to view each other with incredulity, suspicion and despair, now an established and continuing feature.

Our politics is not really structured to deal with such larger effects of government, it tends to assume the overall system is correct and in good working order, and to concentrate on departmental detail. We have seen the different departments of government struggling and failing, becoming 'not fit for purpose'.

Commentators and analysts differ widely over the Thatcher legacy. My view is that it was in some ways very damaging, and we have seen very little done to recognise and repair that damage.

On the point about coalition or a mixture of political beliefs made to work together, that would seem to be the best modern, peacetime system, and may turn out to be, depending on larger events, the long term response to the single minded 'war government' style of Thatcherism.


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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Atlas on Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:00 am

Good post cyfrifia. Well put. bounce
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:19 pm

Thankyou Atlas. Not much comment here on Thatcherism, perhaps it's yesterdays news, which is a pity in a way, seems a bit sad for the UK to suffer all those years of Thatcherism without getting some sort of wider perspective on it, apart from that it's history, like world war two and the war of the roses. Information that has come to light suggests that despite being very hard working, Mrs. Thatcher was poorly informed on some important subjects relevant to government. An interesting commentary on her on TV that showed her scurrying around on newsreels of the day, compared her walk to that of a nervous hamster, which did seem to be the case.

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Atlas on Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:07 am

If your advisors are 'right-wing' and your politics 'right-wing' then it will come as no surprise that the information you receive will have a 'right-wing' slant on it. Crushing militancy that comes from those diametrically opposed to you and your politics is a natural thing to do and thus comes easier to the conscience as to the outcomes. At the time the country was in what one might term a anarchistic frame of mind following the collapse of the Heath government which gave the 'left-wing' renewed hopes of political gain and subsequent victories. Things went too far -. A balance had to be gained. The country was in turmoil and failing economically year on year. However - should the draconian measures that were used have been so hard depends on ones view. Which would you rather - rip off the sticking plaster, hairs, skin, scabs and all, in one rapid painful tug? Or - damp down the area allow the sticking plaster to ease itself off the skin and tease off the plaster gently? Personally I prefer, when dealing with peoples lives, to take the latter course of action. Maggie didn't. And that's why she is so hated by the tens of thousands whose lives she, her advisors and their policies, effectively shattered.
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:34 am

Atlas wrote:The country was in turmoil and failing economically year on year.
A familiar situation. Mrs. Thatchers' medicine was too drastic, leaving the UK in the same basic long term situation, but, after a lot of aggravation, with a more cynical, fractured and divided society.

The swing of the political pendulum from left to right and back again is impractical, like a ship changing captain and crew far too often, from pirates to sunday sailors, zig-zagging across the water, arriving nowhere. Very Happy






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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Hinch on Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:21 am

For me, one of the saddest legacies of the Thatcher era and cemented by Major's myth of a classless society was the implosion of the Labour Party and its total abandonment of its ideology. Now it has become a party whose seeming goal is to try to out-Tory the Tories.

When Prescott came out with his "We're all midde-class now" rubbish, it seemed to confirm the role of the party as being some sort of social democratic glee club rather than as a political force for real social change.

I would only vote for them now if there was no Loony candidate .
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:24 pm

Understandings of how it happened will differ, but yes, the Labour party that came to power after Thatcher was something of a disaster.

It may seem out of proportion to focus on Thatcherism as where it all went wrong, but then again, perhaps the underlying, extensive structural damage that happened to the UK during the Thatcher era, to it's politics and particularly it's society is still not properly understood.

Maybe it was one of those things they call a perfect storm nowadays, a co-incidence of events. Mrs.T was rather like an over zealous cleaning lady let loose. Finding the family silver too fiddly to clean, she auctioned it off, finding the working class cluttering up the kitchen doorway she sent them packing, stuffed all the paperwork into filing cabinets and went to meet the important guests at the front door with a freshly ironed outfit, a good strong reliable perm and a quotation from St. Francis.

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Hinch on Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:28 pm

The shambles of the Heath and Callaghan administrations provided the ideal culture medium in which Thatcherism was spawned.

Everthing needs to be considered within the context of what preceded it.
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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  cyfrifia on Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:34 pm

Historical context is needed to understand how political arrangements arrive to be at times and places. At any time, moral context is needed to decide whether a course of political action is for the good. That moral context did come under strain during Thatcherism.

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Re: The Iron Lady

Post  Atlas on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:39 am

We can debate what preceded Thatcher's time until the cows come home. Another global war that bankrupt the country and an Empire which wanted, and got, change. The austerities of the 50s and the social changes that were desperately required and the costs upon costs. The 60s and the 'winds of real change' and the feel-good factors followed by the do nowt brigades, free love and bugger the State. And the 70s when the chickens came home to roost. In total we have a country that had to find itself a new place in the global programme. That had to re-adjust to a new way of doing things. Considering what has happened in most other countries that had to do the same we haven't come out of it too badly. We need now to concentrate on getting down to a fair days work for a fair days pay and investment in our people and our technologies. We have a reasonably level-headed society which drawn the right way will produce the results for a good and healthy future - not forgetting to look over one's shoulder every now and then. Softly, softly, catchee monkey. Works every time. Wink affraid
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