The day that the Iron Lady celebrates (she's probably the only one doing that!) her birthday, the country is focused on scousers winning in court and a mine!
Those of you who are glued to live coverage of the Chilean mine rescue have probably not had time to raise a toast to Baroness Thatcher, who is today celebrating her 85th birthday. Indeed, the woman who did so much for the British coal industry will be returning to 10 Downing Street for a knees-up just as the 33 trapped miners …
Having stopped those cursed Spaniards from prosecuting that poor sick Pinochet chap.
Truly her life will be long remembered by freedom loving people everywhere (in their darkest nightmares)
I presume God doesn't want her and hell won't have her @ this point (cf Mr. Frankie Boyle on the subject)
In both respects. It doesn't take balls to be vicious, it just seems that way to those who would like to be too.
As for lying, I wonder if it doesn't come down to how much the electorate lies to itself to see even the slightest iota of nobility in either of the apparently celebrated fuckers. I suggest it's the same demographic as the Kray Bros. apologists.
I'm pretty sure that most Chileans don't give a flying fudge at Thatcher's birthday. She actively supported Pinochet, especially because of Chile's stance on the Falklands/Malvinas war. Of course, that war was what kept Thatcher in power, so go figure.
But I'm pretty sure that Thatcher isn't quite loved in Chile ... except probably by the Pinochet apologists.
Dear Old Maggie, who, as you write, did so much for the British Coal industry - was of course great friends with Chile's benevolent, caring and compassionate* leader Pinochet.
Pinochet's brutal dictatorship combined with his laissez-faire economic style is certainly part of the reason for the utter lack of safety which led to the collapse of this mineshaft.
So, by association, it's Maggies fault.
The milk-snatching union-bashing polltax-grabbing pain in the ass.
Paris - cos she'd have loved to have had 33 miners in a hole.
....we learnt the power of a riot and showed that people do (did) have a voice that politicians can't ignore.
Let's save a bit of time, chuck her on the funeral pyre now, although the blinding light from all the matches being lit may obscure the night sky for some time.
No, you're not. As cornz 1 points out, certain unions were well overdue for bringing down to size. I remember I was at school when we could walk past the local electricity board showroom and read the posters informing us of our power allocation (ie when we'd be getting the power cuts).
And as someone in the office said today, what would Gordon Brown have done if he'd been in her shoes over the Falklands ? "nothing effectual" might sum it up I think.
You may not like Thatcherite policies and politics, but at least in her day there was an environment where those that wanted to, and were prepared to put the effort into it, could make a go of things for themselves. These days there's an environment bred by Blair's government where people expect the state top make all the decisions for them, and expect the state to take care of them - so where's the incentive to G.O.Y.A. and make a go of things yourself ?
Actually... he would've done the same thing Thatcher did. She didn't do it "for the UK" ... she did it 'coz that gave her the popular boost she needed to stay in power. Labour was all set to win those elections before Falklands. Gordon Brown would've equally cinched a NuLabour victory as well!
The past 50 years has seen a recurring cycle:
1. The electorate gets all misty-eyed and elects a Labour government.
2. One or two Parliaments later, they've spent all the money and the country's bust.
3. A Tory government rescues the country, to accompanying wailing and tooth-gnashing from that part of the population who think "hell in a handcart" sounds like a nice trip.
4. Goto 1
... and here come the downvotes, from those who ignore the lessons of history.
Don't get the wrong idea; I grew up in the 70s and have as much reason to hate this evil old trout as the next man.... and I do absolutely hate her.... with a passion.
The thing is, she's gone a bit senile, but is apparently having ludic moments every so often. This means that at times she must realise how old and frail she is, how hated she is and how far she has fallen, and that very shortly the grey fog of senility will again descend.
Politics aside, one thing you could never say about the woman is that she was thick, and I think a long, slow slide into dementure, with the occasional good day to remind her of what she has lost, is just the ticket.
I hope she's a looooooong time passing and (as they kept telling us) it's going to get worse before it gets better.
Ordainarily I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy but.... well... Thatchers decline is an acceptable price to pay for northern jollity.
She would have been the last PM who stood up to the American President when invited to invade a country for no particular reason. I think the phrase at the time was 'Regime change is not a reason for military action' or something like.
Blair and brown have perhaps cast her in a different light?
I might agree if you said 'had the greatest effect'....
But then there are other contenders...
Heath took us into the EU (then common market) one of the all time worst decisions ever made.
Blair took us into an illegal war which has managed to give an excuse to terrorists everywhere to rattle their sabres and the police to enforce a security regime which wouldn't have been tollerated by Stalin.
But I still think Thatcher wins - she single handledly did more damage to British industry than Hitler managed... well done to her, I mean who would want to make any money, far better to let the Chinese and Germans do that while we shuffle our ever decreasing pot round in ever smaller circles until we are all paupers....
Wonderful woman, couldn't wish for better he says (slightly tongue in cheek).
It wasn't Thatcher who destroyed British Industry; the managers & unions had already done that in the 60’s & 70’s in their ongoing competition to find out just which group was the biggest bunch of (insert expletive of choice).
Thatcher just brought it to a head and took away state support from them pissing up wall. Yes it should have been dealt with in better way (Scargill shares some of the blame for that along with Thatcher and several others) so as cause less damage to social fabric of the nation but it did need to be dealt with and Michael Foot wasn’t going to do it.
The one thing to her credit was when the IRA blew up the government her response to was to go on TV and say that our way of life would go on, Blairs response would have been to round up everyone in the country and lock them up, that’s why she has more balls than Blair and Brown combined.
...was only ever wanted by fat cat bosses and those who hated the real working people.
The 'undemocratic' industrial actions you speak of were voted on by the Union members who represented the majority of the workers in their respective fields. That's how the Unions work. No vote to support action, no industrial action. It's a damned sight more democratic than a General Election with the 'first past the post' system any day.
...to the people who are prepared to tell the truth about what went on at Longbridge.
Whole engines going out in car boots as the management were too cowed to check for such things....workers at the GATE waiting for the 5.00 whistle...theres a LOT more, if you can be bothered to look for it.
People elect a government to run the country, not a bunch of unions. The strikes by unions in the 70s were thoroughly undemocratic. Undemocratic to the country and undemocratic within the union since voting was not by secret ballot and union membership was mandatory in many cases.
In addition unions could and did engage in unofficial strikes, sympathy strikes, and secondary picketing (so called solidarity). All of which had nothing to do with defending their workers and more to do with trying to be an unelected political power bloc.
Trade union reforms were long overdue and Thatcher is to be congratulated for pushing them through as well as other reforms such as privatisation. The country is much better off for it, whether some people care to admit it or not.
Trade Union reform was way overdue. So was management reform. People love to blame the unions, but, really, everything that goes wrong in a company, or an industry, is actually the fault of its owners and managers. That is what management is about.
Thatcher could have done so much good.
I agree that she should be dropped down that Chile mineshaft. Lets not hear about her this time next year!
Let her be remembered as patron saint of the mad cow,
Bollocks are all very well and to be admired and respected, but not when they are a substitute for brains.... 'The ladies not for turning' was a classic line - lets not look at the evidence of the damage we are doing but continue brainlessly forward until we have destroyed everything in our path. She certainly did. Since her reign of terror we have become dependant on importing everything - from coal to army uniforms - from abroad, nothing is made here anymore. The huge deficit and massive balance of payments problems can be put down to the fact that now only 10% of the working age population actual make anything, everyone else lives off shuffling the money around.
Even the fiasco with the Argies was poorly learnt from - we failed to listen when they rattled their sabres, withdrew a ship and didn't reinforce the troops there - the war could, and should have been prevented. We had to borrow a ship we had sold back - showing te defence cuts underway were obviously far too savage, we had to borrow many cruise liners and other ships to deliver troops and equipment, we couldn't protect the beech head and landing properly because our air defence (about to be cut again) was not good enough... We even failed to notice that the argies lost the war (rather than we won it) partly because they couldn't build the exocets that were sinking our ships. We are now even further into the position where we as a nation can't build the planes, ships, guns, missiles, even uniforms we need - if we fight a war we can only do it with permission of our suppliers, if they don't agree we are sunk well and truely. We need to spend much more on defence, we need to strategically keep industries open (lorry/van making, plane makers, ship building, munitions, tank building, even cotton mills and clothes manufacture) in order to be able to defend ourselves properly. The job of government is to defend us, and Thatcher and the later governments have ALL failed that basic test.
lest anyone remember (it seems) that there is no other believable explanation for the loss of that log book than making sure the war that got her popularity back enough to where she didn't get kicked out at the next election, began, just when it seemed like it might not. At the cost of several hundred lives.
The chemist, i.e. who was capable of understanding about what addiction is and how very very bad nicotine is (and the additives) in that respect, who went from Downing Street to cheerleading for BAT.
The word I'd describe her with, now, would probably get this comment rejected.
>> ... all the good stuff her supporters (apologists) say she did involved people dying? Falklands, Miners Strike, Pinochet etc.
Falklands - are you suggesting that she forced the Argentinians to invade ? Are you suggesting that we should have just stood back and left them to it ? I assume the Argentinians were asked to leave through diplomatic channels, but they didn't - that meant we either let them keep the Falklands and reward aggression, or we had to go and physically kick them out.
Miners Strike. Well I think you need to take a good look at Arthur Scargill for that - as I recall he wasn't known for his moderation ! OK, there was violence on both sides (yes I've heard first hand accounts of how people were mistreated by the police), but again - are you suggesting that the leader of a democratically elected government should let an unelected union leader dictate policy, and enforce it by violence without any response ?
Pinochet. Have to agree there, it should forever be a point of shame that we have him safe haven.
Economically, I seem to recall that when Blair and Brown moved into Downing Street, they'd been left a fairly healthy economy. Need I say more on their track record since ?
There is one very positive outcome of the loss of deep coal mining in this country, and that it has udoubtedly saved a lot of lives. That's for two reasons. Firstly deep mining is inherently dangerous. Whatever precautions are taken, there will inevitably be some accidents. However, even accidents could be eliminated, there are the health risks inherent in the industry itself. There are thousands of miners whose life has been cut short through working in the filthy atmosphere of coal mines.
it is certainly possible to greatly reduce these two factors, but not eliminate it - at least not until completely automated deep-mining using machinery alone becomes possible.
> deep mining is inherently dangerous. Whatever precautions are taken, there will
> inevitably be some accidents
Mining deaths have simply been exported to countries with worse safety standards than Britain.
I do not value a British life any higher than a Venuzuelan one (despite not being able to spell the name of the country...). Do you?
No, she didn't force the Argentinians to invade BUT it was known they were likely to and she pressed ahead with the withdrawal of Endurance and failed to add to the military presence on the islands. She COULD and SHOULD have prevented the war - a simple thing to do - send a decent sized ship or two and a decently equiped force with tanks. They would never have had to fight and the action would have saved lives. Instead she sold the navys ships (and later had to borrow one back) and left the few soldiers pitifully equiped and not reinforced. This was a failure of leadership and foresight. She should NOT be applauded for the slaughter that followed in putting her mistakes right.
Arthur Scargill was partly to blame for the problems of the miners strike, he should have had the secret ballot demanded, he would have won, the strike would have been legal, the country might well have had some sympathy with the fact that thousands of profitable jobs were being lost (and yes the mines largely were profitable despite the often excessive wage claims reinforced by strikes). Thatcher didn't need to close the whole thing down in order to beat the unions, there were ways - yes it is possible to 'cure' toothache by killing the patient, but its not the only, or the best way.
The economy hasn't been healthy in many many years. You CAN NOT build an economy based on shuffling wealth from one place to another. You NEED to mine, build and grow things. Banks are leaches on society taking money from individuals and companies and hording it as profits, insurance, estate agents, tax collectors, teachers, managers.... all the rest are not producers. Look at Germany and China to see what successful economies look like - they are still growing - massively in the case of China - based on making things. Blair/Brown didn't make the economy bad, it already was, the charge you can lay at their feat is that they didn't make it better because they were too stupid to notice it was badly broken and needed fixing.
"The economy hasn't been healthy in many many years. You CAN NOT build an economy based on shuffling wealth from one place to another."
you can that is what economy means it is how fast the mony moves round there is realy only a limited suply of mony when you dig stuff out of the ground you needto sell it to somomne
"You CAN NOT build an economy based on shuffling wealth from one place to another."
I'm sorry, but that only holds true if the money starts and finishes in your own country and never leaves it's borders.
As it is. money comes in to London from all over the world, and it goes out again. Every time it does someone makes a profit, even if it's only interest on loans for trades.
When Thatcher took over the country, it was swamped by strikes, had high taxes and economically in the toilet.
She left it a much more prosperous, stronger and more confident country and handbagged anyone who opposed her to death. I'm sure she's not popular in mining communities and a few other sectors, but without her I shudder to think what the country would be like.
"She left it a much more prosperous, stronger and more confident country"
She left it a basket-case at the mercy of foreign money and asset-strippers.
If you hadn't noticed, the biggest heist in human history has just been pulled off by Thatcher's cronies the financial services sector - the bill for which will be met by the taxpayer - a minute fraction of the cost of which could have easily given every coal-miner in Britain a shovel made of gold, and a Rolls Royce to get to his job-for-life in.
... has been pulled off under a Labour Government which had been in power for a number of years and was claiming that it knew all about finance and was ......what was that word.....ah yes....PRUDENT!
There is absolutely no way that Thatcher could be blamed for that, especially as Labour set up the banking regulatory system under which it went so spectacularly tits-up.
Incidentally, if you look at the decline in the numbers of miners, you'll find that the rate downwards actually *slowed* during the Thatcher years. Scargill was right about the death of the mining industry in the UK, but what he didn't say was that it had been dying on its feet for years before, and Thatcher probably gave it a couple more years before it fell off its perch...
Mining output in the UK has been in steady decline for 97 years. Thatcher nonetheless still killed deep mining in the UK along with pretty much every other heavy industry, and every community these industries supported.
As for the "Labour" government - these spiv yahoos are her vile spawn, pure and simple. She was the enabler and the root of the rot. A traitor by any other name.
why is my Dad could work a 40 hour week, buy a house with an affordable 25 year mortgage and keep a wife at home with 3 kids who all got a decent education and got decent jobs in this country.
While his grandchildren have shit schools, both parents have to work 50 hours+ to pay off debts and fund vanishing pensions and a mortgage on a house that's dropping in value. Those same kids will get into university with two O'levels and leave with a degree no-one wants and wont be able to think about buying a house until they've paid their university loans in their mid thirties.
I had a better standard of living in the early eighties than I do now. And in real terms most of the things I need to keep me alive are about 30% less than they were then and IT products about 0.1% of the cost,
You cant blame that on just labour - they just used failed Tory economic policies on advisement from the city and it was only when the crash started did the Tories stop screaming 'they've stolen our policies'. If the Tories had been in power instead of labour there wouldn't have been the £20 left to give the bankers to slow down the crash.
We're not better off - we just stole our children's futures and pissed it up the wall.
I'm just coming to the last 5 years of my 25 year mortgage, my wife lives at home with 2 kids, and the education is reasonably decent.
Labour did not really use failed Tory economic policies, which were to keep the public sector spending down to a minimum and work on substantially reducing the national debt. Brown stealth taxed everything where he could *cough* pensions *cough*, and massively increased the size of the public sector, giving us the financial headache we have now. He got handed a golden goose of an economy and by various policies caused it to lay itself to death,
"I had a better standard of living in the early eighties than I do now. "
You do know when she was the PM don't you?
She hasn't done a thing to hurt or enhance the economy for over 20 years, or 4/5 of your Dad's 25 year mortgage.
If you are worse off now, it is hardly down to her. If you are worse off today it is more likely to be as a result of the failure of the last administration which has been in sole power and uninfluenced by her for 13 years but still didn't change anything. They even continued to sell the family silver.
Normally El Reg articles are subjected to a lot of analysis, some critical, but mostly reasoned in the comments.
However on this subject, it seems that a lot of El Reg readers respond in the same knee jerk way as a Jeremy Kyle audience/mob when "those all important DNA tests" are revealed; they leave their brains and critical faculties at the door.
Never in the field of human history has the downvote button been subjected to so much misuse.....
It was Labour who closed more mines than the conservatives FACT!
Not a single union law passed by the conservatives has been resinded, and not one of the major parties has proposed that they do so FACT.
Thatcher voted against the withdrawal of the milk , and it was labour who first withdrew it from secondary schools .. FACT
Google any of them if you want to, but hey lets not let facts get in the way of hating the woman who did more to turn this country around fromt he shambles that labour had turned it into in the 70's than anyone else.
Google "Sick man of Europe!"
by the way anyone who was not even alive when she was in power , has no right to post about whether she was good or not, us who actually lived through the 70's and 80's know better. The only people who hate her are the lazy northerners who were forced to actually work for their living, oh and if you have or members of yoru family have not worked since, its not her, its because your useless wastes of DNA
mmm, Who closed the mines - Thatcher or Labour, I honestly don't know a quick look at google didn't for me bring up any new facts - I know as a boy we had coal mines in the UK which supplied (when not on strike) coal for British industry, I know that we produced twice as much coal as our nearest competitor at the turn of the 1900's, I know that many many people were employed mining the stuff and it was used all over the country. I also remember Thatcher being in charge as the coal mines were shut down and seeing us having to import it from South America and Germany.
What is really indisputable is the mismanagement of the UK economy since the war - 30 yrs labour and 35 years conservative rule have wrecked the country. We might have been up against it following the destruction of the second world war when the USA (our 'friends') helped the Germans and Japanese and at the same time undermined us and forced us to dispose of our armed forces and empire - probably being saddled with a labour government at that crucial point where we needed more leadership and strength was the biggest problem.
"by the way anyone who was not even alive when she was in power , has no right to post about whether she was good or not, us who actually lived through the 70's and 80's know better."
You lived through the 70s and 80s, did you? From the way you write it looks like you haven't finished primary school yet.
"The only people who hate her are the lazy northerners who were forced to actually work for their living, oh and if you have or members of yoru family have not worked since, its not her, its because your useless wastes of DNA"
It's because your useless wastes of DNA what? By bringing DNA into it (and race as well, perhaps), you're sliding even further towards the extreme end of British conservatism. Are you Norman Tebbit?
>Pinochet's brutal dictatorship combined with his laissez-faire economic style is certainly part of
> the reason for the utter lack of safety which led to the collapse of this mineshaft.
Chile's mines generally have excellent safety standards. Haven't been to this one but most are run by Brit/Canadian/Oz companies and have Brit/Canadian/Oz engineers, their safety standards are a lot better than the USA for example.
Remember, they were found in the safety refuge on each level - ask where the safety refuge is in an American coal mine and they ask you if you're gay or just a commie (in slightly less polite terms)
"done something popular while she was in office... and abolished the British television licence fee?"
Because it simply wouldn't have been popular. We would have ended up with a diet of advertising-funded cheap (in all senses of the word) TV supplemented by very expensive subscription financed TV also riddled with adverisment and made up of largely imported US TV and sports.
Basically what you get now from ITV, C5 and C4 plus Murdochvision. News would follow the rubbish Sky-News or, worse, Fox model. Whatever the problems of the BBC, it is relatively cheap and it has sustained a level of home drama production which Murdoch's crew have singularly failed to do preferring the lazy and risk-averse way of simply buying into US productions plus major sports rights. In the days before advertising fragemented, C4 & ITV could make produce some good stuff. No longer. In that the UK TV business makes money intenationally it's from the selling of inane format TV. It makes people like Simon Cowell very rich, but is not exactly enriching culture.
I would like to see more diversity in publicly-funded broadcasting, so I'm not one of those who think the licence fee (really a hypothecated and regressive tax) should all go to the BBC but, on balance, I think the great majority of the population would wish to retain public funding.
But I could reach for the 'off' switch and not have to pay £100/yr TV tax, but .. back to mining
Its actually nice to see that against the odds 33 men survived for 2 months 2000 feet down a hole, and its nice to see people around to world happy that the rescue engineers have managed to get 18 out so far.
This is a far more important story than some old tory witch having a birthday party
Even if the witch did a few things right like take down some union leaders who thought they should be telling the elected government what to do.
Lets face it , if you want to complain about the damage the tories did to mining in this country, just think how much collusion Scargil gave them
Calling for a region by region ballot for a national strike because he did'nt get the vote to strike when he did call a national ballot, starting the strike in spring with coal stocks at record levels, using mass picketing to shut down those regions who did'nt vote to strike
Come on, those are the actions of a idiotic leadership who were just out to use the miners as weapons in their personal war on the elected government.
But never think I'm a tory supporter, I worked in the MoD in Portsmouth in the 80's and always remember what some of us got from the tories for equipping the falklands fleet.
is how after 10 years of sustained growth in the UK with many people able to afford second homes and holiday homes, massive public building projects including new schools and hospitals etc, suddenly a fraud of biblical proportions was perpetrated by the American finance industry on an unsuspecting international banking fraternity, vaporising peoples pensions and investments over night and it was all Browns fault!!
Then, come the election, the UK lurches towards the old Etonians and we start crying when the axe is brought out and we lose even more wealth and prosperity. WTF did people expect?
The tories are responsible for looking after the top 10% of the population, always have been and always will be and how the average middle incomers can vote for them is beyond me.
Thatcher was responsible for the biggest breakdown in community spirit of the 20th century because of the way she attacked the very people who sustained most of the economy. She should be burnt at the stake never mind buried by the state.
Scargill and his ill considered attempt to bring down the government of the day by means other than democracy. That's who closed the fucking mines.
I don't have much love for old Maggie, to my mind she was the embodiment of the horrible pseudo Victorian morality and creeping authoritarianism of middle England. She had a lot of time for Mary Whitehouse*, for instance.
But I'm afraid that the closure of the mines and various assorted industrial wastage can't be blamed on her. And lest we forget, she won three elections, so let's not pretend that was universally unpopular.
*I knew MW when she was alive, she was a complete bitch, and she absolutely fucking hated children. True.
For instance she did not like to be beaten, so attacks by Scargill, Galtieri, or the IRA were like an invitation for her to bare her teeth, however she frequently threw the baby out with the bathwater in her zeal to overcome.
However, there were more subtle enemies, like the teacher training colleges that were infested with marxists just dying to get at the kiddies. From reading the majority of the above comments, they look like they have succeeded. Then there was her own back office... The civil service, which conspired against her throughout her eleven years in power. Oh and then there was/is our new anti-democratic and fascist government in Brussels.
There just wasn't enough time.
Anyway, I do not think that any of the so-called leaders since 1945 have been any good, they have too much power. Rather than live through the Thatcher regime, I would have much rather have had far less overbearing government throughout that time. Far lower taxes, far less interference from the EEC/EU and more power for the people of this country.
What we really needed was the death of so-called representative politics, Margaret Thatcher did not represent the people of this country and neither did any of the other politicians or union leaders... They all had/have their own ideological agendas.
My view is that the only way to stop this sort of crap is for the people of this country to campaign for a "Direct Democracy". This would effectively put the Thatchers, Attlees, Blairs and all the other superstars that bestride our benighted little island back in their unproductive boxes where they belong.
The most prominent example of a direct democracy is Switzerland. This is a nation made up of a microcosm of European types. It has very little by way of natural resources and yet it is the richest per head nation in Europe and in the world is only surpassed by those that have immense natural resources. Watch them pick up the fallout from the EU's AIFM directives and further destroy the fabric of this country and the enrichment of theirs.
I reckon that we should have the upper hand in the running of our homeland and politicians should be mere functionaries, there to do our bidding.
So, to sum up, they are all f**king disasters but Thatcher was less of a disaster than most of the others.
Whilst Scargill was deserving of contempt, so was Thatcher, as her actions in using excessive government power reminded us 'Bloody Friday' Glasgow's General Strike of 1919 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_George_Square >.
She closed the mines and now the folly of her decision can be seen with the introduction of clean coal usage.
The mines were closing anyway, the program was well under way, she just gave it a shove in the right direction. I'm sorry that lots of communities were ruined because of mass unemployment, but this was always going to happen when one industry/factory employs the whole town. People really couldn't see it coming? I mean at the time we all still had coal fires in our homes and travelled behind steam locomotives to work didn't we? No we bloody didn't.... Nostalgia is lovely but you have to move on every now and again. If you genuinely believe that the conservatives sole mission is to screw over the low paid then I'm happy for you to vote for someone else. You're conveniently ignoring the fact that every few years they have to come along and fix the bankrupt state left by successive labour governments. Is telling people the fantasy land they are daydreaming through is unsustainable popular? No it isn't, neither is reducing benefits or increasing the retirement age. Should she be burnt alive as some kind of hate figure, no. Grow up.
"I mean at the time we all still had coal fires in our homes "
Maybe not all, but certainly quite a lot of people did, in fact, still have coal fires in their houses.
Notably those living in council houses in mining villages, tis true. And miners of course, who got free/subsidised coal. I well remember the NCB lorry coming around the estates to fill the bunkers. Ah, the nostalgia.
... and almost lost my home when she was in power directly due to the high interest rate fiasco Lawson pursued.
I think she did some good things for the country, but the bad - lack of investment in the railways, destroying industry etc etc - outweigh them all.
Britain could have been so much better ...
All you Thatcher haters are morons.
Do you want the unions to run everything again?
Do you want to return to the misery of the 1970's?
Do you want to only be able to eat in a restaurant between 1:00pm and 1:30pm, and between 8:00 and 8:05pm?
Do you want tax at 98% on your savings and investments because you are "not a good socialist worker"?
Do you want strikes strikes strikes and more strikes?
Do you want wait in lines to do anything?
Because if you are against Maggie, you are for all that!!!
Hate crimes? Thought crimes, you mean. That Thatcher provokes a reaction of hate from some parties should come as no surprise, at least to anyone with a reasonable overview of her record (as opposed to cloudy-edged Tory fantasies dwelling on selected highlights of the Thatcher era).
I wonder how many people on here were actually alive or not a child when Thatcher was in power.
She didn't "snatch" any milk, it was still available and plentiful in those lovely mini milk bottles.
But if you research your history you'll find that *Labour* education secretary Ted Short started scrapping milk in schools in 1968.
As for the mines, UK coal mining was already in trouble because there was too much sulphur in the coal. European emission regulations meant that coal with a lower sulphur value was needed - and that was from overseas. So, blame geology and the dinosaurs.
As for all the dancing on her grave and funeral "jokes", pretty pathetic IMO.
In 1976 the Labour government at the time went begging to the IMF for funds after they had run out of other people's money to spend. As a result the IMF imposed conditions on that loan, which basically boiled down to privitisation of pretty much everything. Thatcher was obliged by contractual agreements with the IMF - any other government of whatever colour of rosette would have had to do the same, and we've been feeling the effects ever since.
Google "Equador interim country assistance strategy", or go here:
From that Greg Palast link, from interviews with Joseph Stiglitz (i've chopped down a bit here, but it's worth a read):
"There is an Assistance Strategy specially designed for each nation, says the World Bank, following careful in-country investigations. But according to insider Stiglitz, the Bank's staff 'investigation' consists of close inspection of a nation's five-star hotels. It concludes with the Bank staff meeting some begging, busted finance minister who is handed a 'restructuring agreement,' predrafted for his 'voluntary' signature.
Each nation's economy is individually analyzed; then, according to Stiglitz, the Bank hands every minister the exact same fourstep program.
Step 1 is Privatization -- which Stiglitz says could more accurately be called 'Briberization.' Rather than object to the sell-offs of state industries, he says national leaders' using the World Bank's demands to silence local critics -- happily fiog their electricity and water companies. "You could see their eyes widen" at the prospect of 10 percent commissions paid to Swiss bank accounts for simply shaving a few billion off the sale price of national assets.
After briberization, Step 2 of the IMF/World Bank's one-size-fits-all rescue-your-economy plan is Capital Market Liberalization. This means repealing any nation's law that slows down or taxes money jumping over the borders. In theory, capital market deregulation allows foreign banks' and multinational corporations' investment capital to fiow in and out. Unfortunately, in countries like Indonesia and Brazil, the money simply fiowed out and out. Stiglitz calls this the "hot money" cycle. Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then fiees at the first whiff of trouble. A nation's reserves can drain in days, hours. And when that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation's own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30 percent, 50 percent and 80 percent.
Higher interest rates demolished property values, savaged industrial production and drained national treasuries.
At this point, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step 3: Market-Based Pricing, a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and domestic gas. This leads, predictably, to Step 31/2: what Stiglitz calls "the IMF riot." The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is "down and out, [the IMF] takes advantage and squeezes the last pound of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up" -- as when the IMF eliminated food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998 and the nation exploded into riots. There are other examples -- the Bolivian riots over water price hikes pushed by the World Bank in April 2000 and, in early 2001, the riots in Ecuador over the rise in domestic gas prices that we found in the secret Ecuador 'Assistance' program. You'd almost get the impression that the riot is written into the plan.
And it is. For example, we need only look at the confidential 'Interim Country Assistance Strategy' for Ecuador. In it the Bank states -- with cold accuracy -- that they expected their plans to spark 'social unrest,' their bureaucratic term for a nation in fiames.
Given the implosion of the economy, that's not surprising. The secret report notes that the plan to make the U.S. dollar Ecuador's currency has pushed 51 percent of the population below the poverty line, what Stiglitz called their squeeze-until-theyexplode plan. And when the nation explodes, the World Bank 'Assistance' plan is ready, telling the authorities to prepare for civil strife and suffering with 'political resolve.' In these busted nations, 'resolve' means tanks in the street.
Each new riot (and by 'riot' I mean 'peaceful demonstration dispersed by batons or bullets') causes panicked fiights of capital and government bankruptcies. Such economic arson has its bright side, of course -- foreign corporations can then pick off a nation's remaining assets, such as the odd mining concession or port, at fire-sale prices.
Stiglitz notes that the IMF and World Bank are not heartless adherents to market economics. At the same time the IMF stopped Indonesia 'subsidizing' food purchases, "when the banks need a bail-out, intervention [in the market] is welcome."The IMF scrounged up tens of billions of dollars to save the country's financiers and, by extension, the U.S. and European banks from which they had borrowed.
A pattern emerges. There are lots of losers in this system, but two clear winners: the Western banks and U.S. Treasury. They alone make the big bucks from this crazy new international capital churn. For example, Stiglitz told me about an unhappy meeting, early in his World Bank tenure, with the president who had just been elected in Ethiopia's first democratic election. The World Bank and IMF had ordered Ethiopia to divert European aid money to its reserve account at the U.S. Treasury, which pays a pitiful 4 percent return, while the nation borrowed U.S. dollars at 12 percent to feed its population. The new president begged Stiglitz to let him use the aid money to rebuild the nation. But no, the loot went straight off to the U.S. Treasury's vault in Washington.
Now we arrive at Step 4 of what the IMF and World Bank call their 'poverty reduction strategy': Free Trade. This is free trade by the rules of the World Trade Organization and World Bank. Stiglitz the insider likens free trade WTO-style to the Opium Wars. "That too was about opening markets," he said. As in the nineteenth century, Europeans and Americans today are kicking down the barriers to sales in Asia, Latin America and Africa, while barricading their own markets against Third World agriculture.
In the Opium Wars, the West used military blockades to force markets open for their unbalanced trade. Today, the World Bank can order a financial blockade that's just as effective -- and sometimes just as deadly."
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