back to article Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister who worked alongside the world's first business computer and who privatised the UK's phone network, has died. She was 87. When Britain's Iron Lady came to power in 1979, your average Brit had just one phone, which was fixed to a wall by a wire and connected to a network …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Thank the stars she privatised BT...

    ...it would just be some faceless, mega-incompetent corporate giant now if she hadn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

      Love her or hate her, she dragged the country into modernisation. The destruction of the closed shop, where you would only be allowed to work if you joined a union was almost her greatest triumph. In 1979 with the lights going out because of strikes, the British car industry run by unions, 22% inflation and where you could only take a maximum of £50 out of the country she came to power.

      Without the break up of the unions we wouldn't have the technology base we have now, though if we had stronger unions the jobs might not have been farmed out abroad.

      I still don't like her policies as when I left school the only jobs available for me was the Army, thanks for that Maggie.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

        Lights going out??? when was that?

        Oh yeah 1972 and 1974 while we had a Tory government... closed shop? not where I ended up working (MoD research) they made it quite plain you could join, or not depending on your political views

        I joined.. but only for the legal aid if I was injured on the job.

        The unions were well on their collective way to committing suicide anyway since they were run by people who used them for political purposes instead of looking out for their members

        Remember Labour from 1974 to 1979 shut more mines than maggie wanted to...

        And the reason the miners lost..... because what union boss changes the rules on a national strike , then goes for an area by area strike ballot for a national strike in MARCH when there are record coal stocks.

        Scargil has a lot to answer for

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

          "because what union boss changes the rules on a national strike , then goes for an area by area strike ballot for a national strike in MARCH when there are record coal stocks."

          My family had several coal miners and they were incredulous that the union should adopt such a patently flawed strategy. They also felt that the strike created a very politicised Police force and instituted the view of it becoming a paramilitary force in the public's perception.

      2. Ally 1

        Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

        That saved the car industry!

    2. LarsG
      Meh

      Before anyone moans about her...

      The Labour Party first under Blair and then Brown could have, with such a large majority in Parliament over turned everything she and John 'Privatise Everything' Major had done.

      They did not and THAT speaks volumes for her policies.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Before anyone moans about her...

        The Labour Party first under Blair and then Brown could have, with such a large majority in Parliament over turned everything she and John 'Privatise Everything' Major had done.

        They did not and THAT speaks volumes for her policies.

        I think that speaks more about the tidal wave of bullshit and mediocrity that was NuLabour.

      2. Evil Graham

        Re: Before anyone moans about her...

        No later government (under anyone) could have reversed the Tories' privatisations because they couldn't afford to. It always amazes me when Thatcher is held up as some kind of economic miracle worker, when in reality she was bolstered by masses of North Sea oil coming on stream and sitting on nationalised industries that had been built up over generations. All she did was take stuff that we owned collectively (like council houses) and sell it back to us for quick cash.

        It was just like burning the furniture to stay warm.

        And whilst it's true to say that the unions had got out of hand by the late 70s (and many people voted Conservative to try to change that situation), the cure ended up being worse than the disease. You don't fix things by destroying them.

        1. Jim 59
          Megaphone

          @Evil Graham

          "And whilst it's true to say that the unions had got out of hand by the late 70s..."

          Out of hand ? Completely out of control more like. The dead left unburied, ludicrous rent-a-bully "flying pickets", over 300 strikes a year at British Leyland, where night shift workers were caught in sleeping bags, miners in Downing Street telling the Prime Minister what to do. Strike-ridden ship yards delivering ships so late the customers just went away. The union bosses had become public enemy number one. The shoeing they received from Thatcher was deserved, overdue and entirely necessary. Unfortunately it was also so severe that a lot of industry was destroyed and left desolate.

          What a shame the previous labour government - under James Callaghan, didn't stand up the communist boot-boys sooner, when their behaviour was less extreme. Then perhaps the reforms would have been more gentle. We would still have a manufacturing industry and moderate unions. Instead we have very little of either.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Before anyone moans about her... @LarsG

        >They did not and THAT speaks volumes for her policies.

        NO... It speaks volumes about new labour. The current labour party is even more right wing than the old tories. When in power they did sod all for the worker, lined their own pockets while in power and lined up comfy jobs for when they were out of it. When Cherie Booth announced to her father she was to wed Blair, Tony Booth is reported to have said "God no, she's marrying a tory", I can only imagine his disappointment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Before anyone moans about her... @LarsG

          The difference between New Labour and the Tories is that Labour do these things with a sad face, rather than with a smug grin.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Before anyone moans about her... @LarsG

            >Labour do these things with a sad face, rather than with a smug grin.

            Tony Blair's mug is the epitome of smugness. it's plastered on there like a botched botox grin.

            1. Nuke
              Trollface

              @Chris W - Re: Before anyone moans about her... @LarsG

              Wrote : -"Tony Blair's mug is the epitome of smugness. it's plastered on there like a botched botox grin."

              Botox? I always assumed he had wires put inside his mouth to pull up the corners.

              I saw him on TV news once when it was clear that he was getting very angry with a heckler during a speech, yet it still looked as if he was smiling. It was creepy. He had God's gift to a politician.

              Blair's smile in the icon.

              1. Triggerfish

                Re: @Chris W - Before anyone moans about her... @LarsG

                Tony Blairs smile takes me back to childhhood, its like benig grinned at by an aquaphibian.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Before anyone moans about her... @LarsG

              at least the Tories stabbed you in the front...

      4. Euchrid

        Re: Before anyone moans about her...

        @LarsG

        "The Labour Party first under Blair and then Brown could have, with such a large majority in Parliament over turned everything she and John 'Privatise Everything' Major had done"

        There was additional privatisation under Labour. In fact, with one service, Air Traffic Control, Major’s Government thought that it wouldn’t be a good idea – Blair’s, on the other one, disagreed. There was a story in Private about Major collaring a Labour MP in the Commons about it, asking him what he thought – the latter ummed and ahhed, causing the former premier to remark that in his cabinet it was ‘only nutters like Redwood’ were in favour.

        Also, I think it’s a good idea to look at PFI – Labour took it far further than the Conservatives and made it more ‘business-friendly.’ See Private Eye ad nauseam and George Monbiot’s State of the Nation presents a decent early history of the whizzer concept.

      5. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Before anyone moans about her...

        They did not and THAT speaks volumes for her policies.

        They did not and THAT speaks volumes for their policies.

        there fixed it for you.

        public school tory bois - a pox on em, whatever colour badge they are wearing this week

      6. This post has been deleted by its author

      7. Scorchio!!

        Re: Before anyone moans about her...

        Let's not forget the Labour manifesto commitment that "Every country must have firm control over immigration and Britain is no exception.". Subsequently, and apparently in order to "spite the right", they clandestinely imported millions of people into the UK, resulting a rapid rise in agricultural water abstraction rates from rivers, when we only grow about 60% of our food, when we already had a housing shortage, when we faced a separate influx of people from new EU accessions, when we faced an energy shortage that is now beginning to bite, at a time when we have reached peak phosphate/fertilizer (see food and note that for the first time in a long time, due to population increase and weather, we didn't export grain this winter) [...]

        There are many other things that could be mentioned, including the sale of 66% of treasury reserve gold, when the price was at a 20 year low, in bulk, announcing it in advance (thus betraying complete ignorance of the markets); investment of billions into white elephant projects that faltered and then failed; passing volumes of red tape legislation that has tied down the economic and cultural life in a manner not unlike Gulliver in Lilliput... ...all the while they lied about their intentions and what they where doing, and the lies of Eric Byers and his special adviser (good day to bury bad news) on the matter of Rover's impending crash, as conveyed to him by the head of BMW who said that it was 'quarter to midnight', were symptomatic of these creatures, for whom I once (and only once) mistakenly voted.

        These people left us with the biggest peacetime national debt, something which I didn't think possible given that I thought they'd learned the lesson of the 1970s, when they had to call in the IMF and thus left Thatcher the task of clearing up their tawdry mess. Already the process of forgetting what the Labour party left behind last time has begun, so I am unsurprised that people have forgotten what they left behind them in 1979.

        The last government was mendacious, incompetent and seemingly wedded to a philosophy of political correctness which, in their attempts to inflict it on the 'right', has hurt the electorate. These people defy even my ability to wield adjectives, even more so than during the last Conservative government.

        As a very accomplished rock poet once said, "there is no longer any one to vote for, only people to vote against".

    3. RegGuy1

      Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

      Having read many of the comments on here, is there anybody who thinks Thatcher actually did any good? Must be full of people of my age who were forced to live through the 80s.

      1. TheTick

        Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

        If anyone doesn't admit Thatcher did a lot of good they need their head examining. But people rarely admit they were wrong all along, far easier just to go with the herd than engage thought processes.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

          As a Yank hard to comment on her but I can tell you her kindred spirit old man in the US Reagan did some good but that was all negated by getting the trickle down your leg economics ball rolling which has done a whole lot to destroy our middle class today.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

      It's also worth noting that the privatisation legislation deliberately had a time limit built in so that the utilities couldn't be renationalised by an incoming Labour government..

    5. Barry Mahon

      Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

      Yes, in principle, but in practise? They should have privatised the access services and made the network a common good. That way we wouldn't have BT 'engineers' still doing the servicing on the ground, but a band of competent people providing the best possible access using the best possible technology - universally, as opposed to cherry picking the 'best' areas.

    6. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Thank the stars she privatised BT...

      Yeah, Thatcher's "liberalisation" of the markets has left the majority of the country still connected to a single operator that is still considered monopolistic to the point that it has to be forced by law to charge MORE than its competitors in order not to be seen to be unfairly leveraging its monopoly.

      Think about that. Next year is the china anniversary of BT Plc, and after two decades in a "competitive market" it will still constitute a monopoly. The absolute success of privatisation.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My prediction is: Not all the comments are going to be flattering.

    I, however, felt she did far more good for this country than bad.

    1. Evil Graham

      "This Country"

      I'm guessing you mean "The Home Counties and the City of London".

      1. cnapan

        Re: "This Country"

        And Sunderland... Making cars people actually want to buy. Fancy that?

        1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

          Re: "This Country"

          And Derby (Toyota and Rolls Royce).

  3. Spoddyhalfwit

    @AC "I, however, felt she did far more good for this country than bad."

    Let me guess - you're in America?

    1. Andrew Moore Silver badge
      Coat

      "Let me guess - you're in America?"

      Or in southern England...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Go

        Or....

        In a mental institution.

        1. Cucumber C Face
          Headmaster

          Re: In a mental institution..

          No actually you're wrong there.

          "Care in The Community" (National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990) a.k.a. all but eliminate inpatient mental health - neglect or underfund community care - came in right around the end of her administration.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Between The Unions and Thatcher

    The UK has F*&k all manufacturing base left.

    As the Steel Wheelers song goes:

    "Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right"

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher

      The UK has F*&k all manufacturing base left.

      Actually we're still in the top ten - number six or seven I think. But hey - with people like you talking it down all the time and putting people off careers in that sector it might eventually fall further. Way to go - nothing like supporting your own country, eh?

      1. Titus Technophobe
        Thumb Down

        Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher

        and making things at a cost that competes.

      2. aBloke FromEarth
        Mushroom

        Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher

        Yes, the UK's in the top ten. But only because of the enormous arms manufacturing sector.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But only because of the enormous arms manufacturing sector

          well actually no, but don't let facts get in the way of a glib reply to attempt to back up your negative rhetoric.

          8 global car makers are here employing British workers, Rolls-Royce - world leading aerospace, significant petrochemical, brewing, clothing etc etc.

          Manufacturing has become much more efficient since the 60s, but employs fewer people.

      3. Nuke
        Meh

        @AndrueC - Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher

        Wrote :- "Actually we're still in the top ten [for manufacturing] - number six or seven I think"

        Sorry, but that's poor compared with what it once was. It is also how it is spun, as a lot of "manufacturing" is only assembling kits of parts made abroad; the clever design and skilled manufacture are done abroad, but we, as dumb chimpanzees, assemble the flatpacks for peanuts as a PR gesture.

        Whatever the statistics say, I look outside and see only German, French, Italian and Jap cars. It is rare that I buy any manufactured thing that does not say it is made abroad (the last "Made in the UK" thing I recall was a box of Xmas crackers). I see areas that used to be "factory estates" now flattened for housing and "retail outlets". There are new commercial estates at the fringe of town, but seem to be warehousing for imported goods. They called like "Distribution Parks" - Mrs T made it "shameful" actually to make anything, or sound as if you do. On TV last night I saw an archive news clip where she was saying we should not want to do dirty, noisy jobs.

        I do not know anyone who makes anything anymore, they only shuffle paper around. Company A is doing a Health and Safety check on Company B's offices, who are doing the accounts for Company C who are installing software (written in USA and India) on Company A's PCs. I do not understand where the money comes from for their BMWs.

        OTOH my parents and grandparents would not buy anything from abroad on principle. That would be utterly impossible today, which shows how far things have gone.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: @AndrueC - Between The Unions and Thatcher

          > look outside and see only German, French, Italian and Jap cars.

          Hmm. The "Jap" cars were probably made in England, the French ones in Romania or N. Africa, even some of the German ones aren't made in Germany any more.

          I'm reminded of a story from a year or so back when the Labourites in Crewe & Nantwich laid into their Tory MP for being a toff in a flash car. He replied that he was delighted to have the chance to drive an excellent car that was made in his own constituency (Bentley are a nice little earner based in Crewe)

          1. Nuke
            Meh

            @PhiloO'Sophical - Re: @AndrueC - Between The Unions and Thatcher

            Wrote :-

            >> I look outside and see only German, French, Italian and Jap cars.

            > Hmm. The "Jap" cars were probably made in England,

            As I said, those Jap cars will probably have been designed and the parts made elswhere (ie the skilled and exacting work) and only assembled in the UK.

        2. TheTick

          Re: @AndrueC - Between The Unions and Thatcher

          "OTOH my parents and grandparents would not buy anything from abroad on principle. That would be utterly impossible today, which shows how far things have gone."

          Your parents and grandparents were part of the problem then. If they were not willing to purchase superior goods at a cheaper price from abroad then the British companies taking advantage of their little England mentality saw no reason to improve and compete in an increasingly global market. Whereas if your forebears had not subsidised them they may have restructured and innovated and still be around today.

          Of course the Labour party (and Ted Heath's Tories) were massively to blame too, by propping up these industries with the money from productive people.

          Mrs T. did what was necessary, and took all the hatred that should have fallen on the shoulders of those who went before her.

          1. Nuke
            Meh

            @TheTickRe: @AndrueC - Between The Unions and Thatcher

            Wrote :- "Your parents and grandparents were part of the problem then. If they were not willing to purchase superior goods at a cheaper price from abroad"

            In the 1950s-60s they were not superior. British stuff was good and sold all over the world, not just to my grandparents. 1950's Ausin Cambridges were widespread (still used in India today, as are 1950's Routemaster buses), and the World came to us for shipbuilding, Sheffield tools, electronics and railway equipment.

            OTOH, the first widespread foreign manufactured imports were crap. Corroding Fiat cars, Renault Dauphins, flaky white goods and East German cameras. The reason people started buying foreign stuff was because it was cheap, pure and simple. It did improve with time as people generally became better off after recovering from WW2.

            1. Tom 13

              Re: In the 1950s-60s

              It's hard to make competing products when your factories have been bombed out by the Allies, and that's what the state of most of the world was in the 1950s except for the US (essentially untouched) and the UK (damaged but not flattened).

              And all the snobby engineers backed by Unions and leftists in both countries ignored Deming and his continuous improvement processes. Those processes were eagerly picked up by the countries that had been bombed out in their desperation to make something that could compete. His processes worked while the unions and the snobs continued to whine. Now you are buried in your own bile, yet still you whine. Get over yourself. Get off your lazy ass and do some real work. Earn your living instead of whining that you lost your inheritance.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Megaphone

        Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher @ andrueC

        I suggest you read this paper:

        'BRITAIN’S INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE SINCE I960:

        UNDERINVESTMENT AND RELATIVE DECLINE

        ESRC Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge

        www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/wp014.pdf

        I worked in pharmaceutical research and manufacturing for 15 years, my old man worked in engineering manufacturing for 40 years so don't lecture me with nationalistic, jingoistic crap.

        I now sell equipment to manufacturers and believe me there are getting less of them over the last 15 years.

        What's your experience of industry ?

        Cake baking in Brighton ?

        1. Ossi

          Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher @ andrueC

          From the report you quote (www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/wp014.pdf) on page 22: notice the period when manufacturing output is falling (late 70's) and when it starts to rise again (around 1981 onwards, and solidly throughout the 80s). Now who was in power in those periods? Myth busted, as they say.

    2. william 10

      Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher

      During 1981 I toured some of our engineering firms and then later toured some in Japan, we were 20-30 years behind our factories still harked back to the 19th century - and this was caused by the complete failure of our managers combined with the Unions. Between the two they killed our manufacturing base, if it was not for Mrs T. are car industry would followed our textile industry into obscurity.

      You are wrong to blame Mrs T. for these issues the seeds of our down fall was the set in the 60s & 70s with the Big government the State Owned Industries and the Managers/Unions refusal to move forward - after decades of failure Mrs T. came along and said let failures die and back the successes - the strategy only started to fail when Mr Brown & Mr Blair returned to the failed policies of the 60&70 started trying to prop up failing institution's the big example being those risky banks should have been left to fail (those retail banks Northern Rock, HBOS, RBS, Bradford & Bingle).

      The state should never take on failed institution's it just drags the economy down and down. We should put a lot more state funding into new small business, it is these firms that will take over when today's large firms go through their cycle of decline.

      1. henchan
        Meh

        Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher

        You could also argue that Britain was 30 years ahead of Japan back in 1981. In Tokyo now I see similar conditions in the IT industry. Large zombie companies being kept alive through government's direct and indirect support, despite their persistent losses and massive public debt. Little or no chance of any dynamic start-up growing quickly, due in part to crowding-out by domestic champions who are not globally competitive. Here, the cultural problem is not class-war. Rather the opposite; excessive consensus and homogeneity driving fear of change.

        Like many on this thread I despised the lady at the time, for all her divisive vindictiveness and bloody-mindedness dressed up as necessity (TINA). Still do. Yet I did grow to respect some of the things that she achieved over the years. The worse things become, the more radical the remedy will have to be. I tell my Japanese colleagues the same.

    3. Dr Stephen Jones
      FAIL

      Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher

      @Elron Cupboard

      The UK has F*&k all manufacturing base left.

      Actually:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/22/manufacturing_figures/

      Here's a nice simple picture even you can understand.

      { insert song lyric here }

      1. Nuke
        Meh

        @Dr Stephen Jones - Re: Between The Unions and Thatcher

        @Elron Cupboard : "The UK has F*&k all manufacturing base left."

        @Dr Jones : "Actually: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/22/manufacturing_figures/"

        Sorry, I do not find an index increase from 40 to 100 in 60 years impressive (was it meant to be?) given that it starts from just after WW2, which devasted industry, and that in the meantime we have had revolutions in manufacturing methods. I would like to see that chart compared with the rest of the world.

        Also, as the link says, it shows value, not the physical volume. As most things have become more expensive in real terms due to greater complexity (compare fitting out a house then and now), one would expect the value to rise even if the amount of manufacturing went down - indeed the link says it has.

        The point is that manufacturing *has* gone down in volume while at the same time we are buying far more things in volume, so we are importing more things while most of us just shuffle paperwork, do safety inspections, drive lorries around between warehouses, and spend billions on greenwash. I do not see that the situation is sustainable.

        1. Dr Stephen Jones
          FAIL

          Re: @Nuke

          @Nuke: Also, as the link says, it shows value, not the physical volume.

          So we should use physical volume as our measure of manufacturing activity?

          That's brilliant, Nuke. Absolutely brilliant.

          We therefore need to invest in mass manufacturing styrofoam. Or bouncy castles - we can measure them when they're full of air. Now that's a volume business.

          There are some geniuses on here for sure.

  5. Andrew Moore Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    A fitting eulogy...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOFvgiCyChA

    1. Mnot Paranoid
      IT Angle

      Re: A fitting eulogy...

      Mr Kipling 6 x Bramley Apple pies: then, £1.23 now, £1.49

      "Let them eat pies"

  6. Clyde

    At least two sides to this story

    Yes she opened up state monopolies, yes she let in many chippy chappies who went on to make shed loads of dough, but she also opened the door to de-regulation - leading to all the financial woes we have today.

    She also destroyed the lives of millions of families by asset stripping and closing down whole industries. There are still villages and towns today which are derelict and depressed, and full of unemployment and all the social ills.

    She started a divide in Britain - the corner which she inhabited has done very, very nicely. But the other Britain - well, that's a different matter.

    She used the assets created by past generations to fund her dreams, she used the new oil wealth to buy off opposition, and most importantly she spawned a generation who look on greed as the right way to live. Greed as a creed.

    Yes she will have a legacy - but was it worth the human cost ? Could she have done things differently - better ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At least two sides to this story

      "There are still villages and towns today which are derelict and depressed, and full of unemployment and all the social ills."

      So thirty years later it's Maggie's fault that the inhabitants of <insert 5hithole of your choice> haven't retrained or moved to where there skills might be more employable? When mining and iron working started industrially in this country, people moved from jobs as agricultural labourers and learned (undoubtedly at great cost) the skills of these industries. Fast forward a few hundred years, and you could easily believe that descendants of those early workers now think the rest of the country should still owe them a living, mining coal in locations that suit them and at far higher rates than the rest of the world pay, or making steel on a similar basis.

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        Re: At least two sides to this story

        The point is that these changes were abrupt and drastic and insufficient provision was made for things like retraining the people affected leaving them, and all the dependent business in their areas, all simultaneously struggling at a time when unemployment was incredibly high already.

        A slow and natural decline with alternative employment encouraged to grow through the same period would have been a great deal easier to cope with.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: At least two sides to this story

          The point is that these changes were abrupt and drastic and insufficient provision was made for things like retraining the people affected leaving them

          No - or rather that wasn't my point. I do think there could have been easier ways for what she did. I think she expected too much of people - her insistence that everyone should look after themselves is laudable but a lot of people either struggle with that or else take it to the extreme and refuse to help others.

          No, the point I was disputing is this insistence by some people that she should be blamed for the current state of affairs. There has been ample time for change since she left office(*) - and indeed a lot has changed. People should stop living in the past and look toward those leading us now. Or are people saying that she was such a powerful, insightful, capable politician that despite all that's changed since she left office there has still been no-one strong or clever enough to undo her work?

          If so then they may not realise what a fantastic epithet that is :)

          (*)Mauled by a sheep - the saddest and yet funniest part of her tenure :)

          1. Naughtyhorse

            Re: At least two sides to this story

            She can justifiably be blamed for the current creek that we find ourselves in, and the propulsion options available to us.

            because since that glorious night that the tories stabbed her in the back and she inflicted that mindless fucktard Major on us there have been _no_ new policies.

            Major, Blair (brown? fuck brown he was only in office for 5 minutes) and Cameron

            are just thatch wannabes. There has been no choice, there has been no change.

            Thach brought about content free politics, and ever after parties can only lose. The other guy wins by default.

            Major wasnt a great mind - he did PR better then Neil.

            Blair was always a sniveling public school shit - but Michael Howard, really??? he gave even widdicombe the heeby jeebies ffs.

            and the last outing - we basically didnt give a fuck who it was, so long as it wasnt brown - and look what we got!

            !brown.

            from an intelectual standpoint it is well understood that the basis for her policies were as flawed (Nash was a loon, end of!), and simply wrong as anything marx or lenin ever considered. It's just taking politics a looooooong time to catch up with this, and buy into the next dose of snake oil.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: At least two sides to this story

              That's mostly a big old pile of drivel, but I've got to single one quote out:

              Thach brought about content free politics, and ever after parties can only lose.

              Surely the one thing you definitely can't accuse Thatcher of is content-free politics with no convictions, or doing only what would make her popular. That's just a bonkers thing to say. Given how absolutely everybody seems to have an opinion on her, and her policies, 25 years after she left politics - 5 elections and 4 Prime Ministers later.

              As for all the theories being her policies being discredited, nope again. Some have, some not so much. Extreme monetarism always looked like snake oil to me when I studied economics. But the problem of her time was high inflation, which isn't the problem in this current recession. Just like the problem of her time was over-regulation and too much trade union and state power. You probably wouldn't say that's the main problem now.

              1. Naughtyhorse

                Re: At least two sides to this story

                I can and i did.

                all thatch was ever about was helping 'people like her' at the expense of everyone else.

                it was always dressed up as something else, but look at every policy decision she made and fundamentally thats what it came down to;

                how does this help 'my people', and fuck the consequences for everyone else.

                why so pally with pinochet?

                why flog council houses at way below market value and block replacements to the social housing pool?

                why flog the utilities at a fraction of their worth?

                why maintain an economy with 15% long term unemployment, while undermining the representation of workers?

                in the short term bribe bind fools to keep 'voting for britain'.

                in the medium to long term, lots and lots of money for 'her people'

                that is not an ideology. its a fucking shakedown.

            2. Dr Stephen Jones

              Re: At least two sides to this story

              brown? fuck brown he was only in office for 5 minutes

              Brown ran the Treasury for 13 years.

              1. Naughtyhorse

                Re: At least two sides to this story

                and how long was he PM?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: At least two sides to this story

            Well she's been absolutely brilliant at destroying the Tory Party. The 'nasty party' has never really lost that gloss. And now they are sort of back in power they are continuing to destroy the lives of many low earners. Consistently down at 30% in the polls (their core vote). See, for example, ukpollingreport.co.uk.

            And as the older ones that vote for them die off that 30% will only get smaller.

            So if finally, after 300 years, they are consigned to history she'll get my vote. (Opps too late!)

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: At least two sides to this story

              Funny that. The last 2 Conservative governments have come in when the country's been right royally screwed. Both had to cut government spending and try to get the economy on an even keel. In the current case after Labour properly screwed things up. It's a bit harder to be that definitive in the case of 1979, because it's not as if the Heath government was that much better (or even hugely different) to Labour.

              Anyway it's a great wheeze for the Left. We'll call the Conservatives 'The Nasty Party', leaving the implication that we're the nice one of course. Which obviously they are... Spend more money than you raise in tax, and, "hey presto!", everyone loves you. Course it's a bit different when the economy turns to shit, and the levels of debt have to be reduced. Then it's much nicer to be in opposition and admit that maybe a cut or two is necessary, but oppose every one, and claim you'd be much nicer.

              Fuck that for political analysis. Could we have something a little less simplistic and a bit more adult next time please.

              Not that I claim Thatcher got everything right, and we were certainly well overdue for a change by 1997. But I wasn't much impressed with what Labour had to offer. And I'm even less impressed by them now. I don't see much chance of sorting things out with Ed Balls as Chancellor, and I'm not particularly keen on Miliband either. Mid-term polls are meaningless, and Labour are averaging under 40% at the moment - which is shocking! I'd still make them favourites, due to the inbuilt bias of our current boundaries, I suspect both major parties will only poll around 36%, leaving Labour with a very slim overall majority (or possibly forced into a coalition). I think they'll make a mess, but maybe it's what the country needs. Perhaps we'll get some more realism from some sections of the voters when it's Labour that are forced to make the cuts. We currently spend £120 billion odd more than we tax. That is completely unsustainable - and although most of it will go away when the economy grows more, we probably have to make £40 billion more of cuts to government spending or tax rises to balance things up. Then there'll need to be a bit of surplus for a few years, until we can get debt below 80% of GDP.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: At least two sides to this story

        That's true - when Darfield main closed I begged our dad to move to Canary Wharf and become a foreign exchange dealer but he were just to workshy and feckless to leave Barnsley and spent the next 20years looking for odd bits of part time work

      3. DJO Silver badge

        Re: At least two sides to this story

        So thirty years later it's Maggie's fault that the inhabitants of <insert 5hithole of your choice> haven't retrained or moved to where there skills might be more employable?

        Well if a house where there are jobs costs £175,000 and the house you occupy where there are no jobs would get about £25 on the open market then, yes, it is her fault. *

        * Maggie abolished the prohibition on building societies owning estate agents which directly caused house prices to double within a few months which still has repercussions today. When I was a kid it was normal for single wage earners to be able to afford to buy a house on their own - not anymore it's not.

      4. Graphsboy

        Re: At least two sides to this story

        Can't move - there's no affordable council housing anymore.

      5. Johan Bastiaansen
        Devil

        Re: At least two sides to this story

        Replace "miner" with "banker" and "5hithole of your choice" with "the city".

        Repeat.

        Try not to 5hit yourself laughing.

    2. cnapan

      Re: At least two sides to this story

      There are at least two sides to this story about 'villages and towns today which are derelict and depressed, and full of unemployment and all the social ills'.

      It used to be that the people moved to where the jobs are. Today, we pay people to stay where the jobs aren't, and instead, enterprising people in their millions happily travel from the far side of Europe or even further afield to do the jobs there are.

      We used to build ships that were outclassed and undercut by the far east, and we used to dig coal which cost 3 times what it cost on the open market, and we built cars which were exceedingly crap. Some of these things were a matter of geology, some a matter of relative cost of labour, and some the result of stagnant businesses destroyed by the two arses of militant unions and feckless bosses.

      Thatcher wiped this world away, and frankly, good riddance. We're a modern nation now, albeit with some parts of the population still in denial about it.

      Anyone fancy sending their kids down the pit?

      1. Heathroi
        Facepalm

        Re: At least two sides to this story

        To be fair, the cars were quite good, given the state of engineering at the time but tended to have one ,usually major component that was duff and blew the reputation for rest of the car and they kept badge engineered models in producttion for far too long. The dudes supposedly screwing the bits together didn't help much either.

    3. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: "There are still villages and towns...full of unemployment..."

      And now the current crop of Tory bigwigs are pointing at those very people and blaming them for being a drain on the system.

    4. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: At least two sides to this story

      There are still villages and towns today which are derelict and depressed, and full of unemployment and all the social ills.

      Really? 30 years (an entire generation later) and you want to blame her? How about blaming the politicians who came after her. The world has changed a helluva lot over the last 30 years and to blame Maggie for the current state of affairs is pretty ridiculous. There's been plenty of time and opportunity for those who came after her to fix the damage. Or hey - maybe you want to go back and blame Gladstone next?

    5. Naughtyhorse

      Re: At least two sides to this story

      the only way she could have done worse would be to behave like..... damn you godwin

    6. rh587 Bronze badge

      Re: At least two sides to this story

      "There are still villages and towns today which are derelict and depressed, and full of unemployment and all the social ills."

      Mining is by definition a finite job. When that seam runs out you up and move to the next one - as per the abandoned mining towns across America. Mine a seam and when it's dry pack up and go.

      Maggie hastened the demise of many a pit (as did the Labour government before her), but anyone still sitting around in a ghost town 30 years on and whining about how awful it all is has only themselves to blame - the mine was shut by politicians. Okay, that's not nice, but it's the same outcome as if the mine was worked out - you pack up, wave goodbye and find work elsewhere, not sit and feel sorry for yourself.

    7. Dr Stephen Jones
      FAIL

      Re: At least two sides to this story

      @Clyde:

      It was Blair/Brown and NuLabour who deregulated finance, and then impoverished our grandchildren by bailing out the useless f@ckers.

      She used the assets created by past generations to fund her dreams

      Like what, exactly?

      The asset base of any manufacturer is written down very quickly, it needs to be replenished with newer and more productive technology. Thatcher ensured the state was not making these purchasing decisions or spending our money on basket-case industries or companies like British Leyland. Even the French socialists extracted the state from industry, eventually.

      You blame Thatcher for historical progress where low-skilled low-wage metal-bashing jobs are replaced by better paid jobs. A bit sad, really, but then it sounds like you could start a fight with yourself and a mirror.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...your average Brit had just one phone, which was fixed to a wall by a wire..."

    You make it sound like she invented mobile phones.

    "...no competing communications services to keep the Post Office on its toes."

    And was the change a good thing? Now we have a crumbling post office system, which is the only way some people in the remote areas can get their mail. The other companies have been cherry picking the easy posts and dumping the expensive to deliver items on the post office for their flat rate delivery fee.

    And for privatising companies. Where has all the money gone in our almost bankrupt nation? All taken by the companies she sold off, keeping their owners in big houses and fat payouts.

    1. Captain Underpants

      Better yet, in several cases the privatisation strategy decided that keeping the money within the national economy wasn't important so they sold them off to foreign owners, meaning that the profits derived from said companies are flowing out of the UK economy. Which is just excellent. (Source: http://metro.co.uk/2013/04/02/soaring-rail-profits-are-used-to-cut-fares-abroad-3567491/)

      Privatisation, in theory and if enacted correctly, can let us all benefit from competition. The problem is that privatising infrastructure on which we all depend and which we cannot allow to fail is a tricky business, and the Post Office is a great example of how, when done wrong, there's a net degradation of service in many areas while costs continue to increase.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      She didn't privatise the Post Office. She hived off the telecoms bits, and privatised them as BT. Then its monopoly was regulated.

      As an example, in the early 80s a daytime national rate call was something like 40p a minute. By the 90s that was down to about 5p. Although I guess one downside of phone calls getting massively cheaper has been more sales calls - with Skype making it even worse...

    3. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      "And for privatising companies. Where has all the money gone in our almost bankrupt nation? All taken by the companies she sold off, keeping their owners in big houses and fat payouts."

      Most of it went trying to keep the welfare state and the NHS staggering on, propping up the failed nationalised white-elephants like Rover (destroyed by civil servants 'good at spending YOUR money, badly' and union militancy).

      Not to mention paying off an obscene national debt that only seems to spiral further out of control whenever Labour get into power and spend beyond their means.

  8. blcollier

    Prime time viewing

    Comfy chair? Check. F5 on standby? Check. This comment thread is sure to be interesting to watch; all I need now is some popcorn...

    Just do me a favour and try not to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that another human being has died, regardless of what you think of that person...

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Prime time viewing

      "... try not to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that another human being has died, regardless of what you think of that person..."

      Why? I hated her when she was alive - I'm not a hypocrite like so many others to change my views just because she doesn't breathe any more. I will, however, not state my opinions regarding how she died for fear of being mderated off the board.

  9. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    The post office is shit != Thatcher is great

    Discuss.

    Whilst I'm ready to concede that the public sector and the unions needed shaking up, Thatcher went far too far, leading pretty much directly to the 'greed is good' privatisations of the 80s and 90s, and the mess this country is now in as a result, where utilities which should be publicly owned are owned instead as for-profit organisations that fleece everyone.

    She also destroyed cabinet politics in this country, leading to what is essentially an internal dictatorship within government, preparing the ground for other luminaries like 'call me Tony' Blair. Add to that that she was chummy with such lovely chaps as Pinochet, she destroyed the livelihoods of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people in the mining industry, and she took our milk away.

  10. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Sadly, the under 40s

    will think we're making it all up.

    *If* you were lucky, you could get a phone in less than 2 months. And as for a *second* phone ....

    One of my first paying jobs in electronics was (illegally) fitting extensions for neighbours - because in those days only GPO engineers could do that (phones were hardwired - no plugs and sockets) AND you only rented the handset.

    Anyone remember party lines ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sadly, the under 40s

      Like her or loathe her she was still a human being, some of the comments seen (not on the reg) show a very dark side to this country which I don't like, what happened to a bit of basic human sympathy when someone dies..

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: @Anon 12:16

          Mines - actually I think the damage was done by Scargill waging a war and losing it against her.

          AFAIR she was fair with the previous more moderate leader.

          1. Professor Clifton Shallot

            @MJI

            "Mines - actually I think the damage was done by Scargill waging a war and losing it against her."

            I'm certain he didn't help the cause in the long term and his tactics were poor, possibly buoyed to the point of point of overconfidence by previous success.

            But taking on such an unsympathetic character and still coming out as the bad guy took some doing.

            As with so much that was done by those governments the good and / or necessary actions were frequently outweighed by the callousness with which they were carried out and the often clearly political motivation for their implementation.

            1. LinkOfHyrule
              Joke

              I dont know why the fuck I got some thumbs down, I said something very tame and not at all nasty about her - I must be getting it from both sides, I'm not a bloody lib dem you know, jeeze!

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: @Anon 12:16

            > Mines - actually I think the damage was done by Scargill waging a war and losing it against her.

            Yes, Scargill hated her so much that he tried to use the miners as his own private army against tne government. No elected government of any colour can allow that to happen. I suspect that Scargill & co. were somewhat misled by only hearing anti-Maggie sentiments in the circles where they moved, without realising (or perhaps without believing) just how popular she was in the country as a whole.

            It was no surprise that the breakway miners' union called itself the democratic union of mineworkers.

        2. Mad Mike
          FAIL

          Re: @Anon 12:10

          "were was her human sympathy when she cost the majority of miners their livelihood."

          I think you'll find the miners were heading into oblivion one way or another. The unions had such a hold on many areas of manufacturing with closed shops etc., that the cost of what they made was way too high. Yes, she broke the miners and caused a lot of hardship, but the coal was stupidly expensive and being driven higher and higher by their constant strikes and attitudes.

          The unions needed to become more sensible and the miners duly obliged as the first to try and fight. So, they were made an example of. Did it all go too far.....yes. Both sides were in the wrong. The miners were stuck in another time and Maggie went too far, but to blame her totally is completely wrong. The miners were also architects of their own demise.

          If you look back on her financial policies, you'll also find that she didn't hit the 'kids and the working classes' any harder (or some would even say, as hard) as those better off. I remember when I used to get MIRAS at 40(ish)% through being a higher rate taxpayer.....That went. etc.etc. A lot of things like that went during her time. And don't forget that she gave a lot of council house tenants the right to buy their houses at a hugely subsidised price, which is equivalent to giving them money.............

          But, some people take their stance, either pro or anti, and then concentrate only the one side that supports their argument, forgetting everything else on the other side.

          Don't forget the poll tax riots. Strange that more recent surveys suggest the majority of people now support something like a 'poll tax' paid by each person rather than each property!!

          1. Professor Clifton Shallot

            @Mad Mike

            "she gave a lot of council house tenants the right to buy their houses at a hugely subsidised price, which is equivalent to giving them money............."

            Absolutely. But Right To Buy also prevented local authorities from spending the money raised on building new housing stock for their residents so the bri.. incentive was large for the people who were in on the scheme early but limited in its longer term benefit.

            So now we have people like Charles Gow owning 40 ex-council properties in Putney and no doubt doing very well out of it (and quite possibly being a better, more benevolent landlord than the council ever was, I couldn't comment) while the local authority there was not able to replenish its stock.

            Obviously it is only a coincidence that Charles Gow is the son of Thatcher's former housing minister and there's no evidence that he charges higher rents than the local authority, nor that any of the income he receives comes in the form of housing benefit but still this sort of thing clouds the legacy of policies that might otherwise have been more highly regarded.

            1. Mad Mike

              Re: @Mad Mike

              @Professor Clifton Shallot

              "Absolutely. But Right To Buy also prevented local authorities from spending the money raised on building new housing stock for their residents so the bri.. incentive was large for the people who were in on the scheme early but limited in its longer term benefit."

              Never said she or the policy were perfect. Just trying to balance the 'she screwed the working classes' comments with a few facts by showing she actually gave them quite a lot of money. Some people suggest she gave high earners massive tax breaks and money back etc. taken from the 'workers', but the reality is that both got benefits and both got hit.

              1. Naughtyhorse

                Re: @Mad Mike

                bollocks!

                she bribed them to take away social housing, then used the fact they had been bribed to convince them they were tories.

                the rise of essex man. thank you very much

                1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          2. Nuke
            Meh

            @Mad Mike - Re: @Anon 12:10

            Wrote :- "Yes, she broke the miners and caused a lot of hardship, but the coal was stupidly expensive and being driven higher and higher"

            Not like today then, now that energy has become so cheap.

            1. Mad Mike

              Re: @Mad Mike - @Anon 12:10

              "Not like today then, now that energy has become so cheap."

              The price of energy today has more to do with subsidies and climate change levies than the actual cost of fuel. Also, it's the price of the coal against the price of imported coal. Interestingly, if you take out all the climate charges etc., coal is one of the cheapest means of generation!! However, coal from British pits was far more expensive than coal from foreign pits. So, you either paid the extra as an effective subsidy, or you purchased from abroad. And why was the coal so expensive? A variety of reasons, but being on strike more than working certainly didn't help.

              1. Naughtyhorse

                Re: @Mad Mike - @Anon 12:10

                A variety of reasons, but being on strike more than working certainly didn't help.

                oh dear, lets just think about that statement.....

                you know the reasons, but they just arent convenient.

                busted!

          3. Anonymous Coward
            WTF?

            Re: @Anon 12:10

            > And don't forget that she gave a lot of council house tenants the right to buy their houses at a hugely subsidised price, which is equivalent to giving them money.............

            You mean she encouraged a large number of people to take on mortgages so that they wouldn't be able to afford to strike more like.

            There's nothing like being thousands of quid in debt to make you more careful on the financial front.

            She certainly knew what she was doing there.

        3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: @Anon 12:10

          But she didn't "cost the majority of miners their livelihood."

          Take an industry that is bogged down by tradition, hamstrung by unions and deeply unprofitable... what do you have? You certainly don't have a viable industry. Despite the opinions of some of the rabid few, these businesses didn't exist solely for the benefit of providing jobs for those workers that, in between strikes, were employed in it. While I understand that there were some mines that were profitable at the time and were predicted to continue being for a reasonable period, most were not.

          While there is an element of "greater good" in such infrastructure there are points when it makes no sense to prop up failing industries. It's never nice or pleasant for those involved at the actual working (end) level, but these are the realities of life and have been for hundreds of years. Whole industries have grown and disappeared in this country since even before the industrial revolution, many of them fighting tooth and nail, sporting dirty tricks including laws through friends in power, the whole lot, but eventually things change. The biggest problem is that areas were so entirely dependent on one industry that when the inevitable happened, it caused wholesale change in the area. These problems were predicted far before this time, mines only have finite resources and have run many times before, but with growing specialisation and dependency the risks were higher.

          1. Naughtyhorse

            an element of "greater good" in such infrastructure

            go wash your mouth out with soap. infrastructure employes the working class, you know, the enemy!

            what this country needed, and what she provided was.......

            russian gas, cos it's so cheap, the supply can be guaranteed and the price so stable!

            oh hang on a second

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            anti-miner bullshit

            Don't let the facts get in the way of your prejudices Nick. Even that nitwit Scargill and the other NUM extremists did not agitate to keep unviable mines open. The union leaders said that when it no longer made financial sense to keep a pit open, it should close. Many profitable mines after the 1984/5 strike got closed because the market for locally mined coal for electricity generation was rigged: subsidies for nuclear, dash for gas, etc. Some previously profitable mines couldn't be revived after being mothballed for over a year.

            It is also nonsense to imply that strikes were the norm in coal mining. Labour relations in mining were generally better than most sectors of industry of the time (eg the car factories, shipbuilding) until Scargill fucked it all up.

            Although Scargill blew it spectacularly and got just about everything wrong, he was ultimately proved right about the core issue. The government wanted to close ALL the nation's coal mines. That's pretty much happened now. What he did was hurry that process along.

            1. Daren Nestor

              Re: anti-miner bullshit

              " The government wanted to close ALL the nation's coal mines. That's pretty much happened now. What he did was hurry that process along."

              No, the govenment wanted to lay off 20,000 miners (about 12% of the miners) and improve automation and machinery. The year long confrontation destroyed the industry and the government subsequently felt it was safer to close the mines than to have to deal with that again.

              Re-read that. The government of Britain decided that it was SAFER FOR THE COUNTRY to import coal than to have to deal with the NUM after Scargil. Says a lot, really.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sadly, the under 40s

        Thank you for making my point with such colourful language, I suspect you were not even born when she was in power.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. tabman

        Re: Sadly, the under 40s

        I agree, the comments and reaction have been disgusting. Regardless of the publics views on her policies and actions as PM, some comments on mainstream news sites have been disgraceful. I am ashamed to be British today knowing that people are reacting and have reacted in this way.

        More pitiable are the people commenting who weren't even alive when she was in power. I'm looking at you NUS.

        1. tabman

          Re: Sadly, the under 40s

          Oh, and bring on the thumb downs - presumably from NUS members?

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sadly, the under 40s

        I agree.

        The biggest thing I have learned from social media is how much bile and hatred sits beneath the surface of so many people. You don't need to go far down comments on innocuous youtube videos to get to deeply offensive racists rants or threats of sexual violence. A window onto humanity's darker side I wish I had not seen through.

      6. Neil B
        Unhappy

        Re: Sadly, the under 40s

        @AC 12:10

        You're describing the internet. It doesn't matter what the subject matter is.

    2. LinkOfHyrule
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Sadly, the under 40s

      I'm only 29 but I do remember my grandparents having still into the 90s a hardwired phone with a big ass dial on it, connected up to a little box on the skirting board with probably "GPO" moulded into it!

      This is of course the reason why they used to use the old acoustic couplers isint it!!

      I'm not a Thatcher fan but yeah, maybe if it wasnt for her, you might be using broadband couplers to get online with your fondle slabs! Maybe someone should make an App in her honour - all it does is play her famous line "The lady's not for turning" whenever you turn the tablet to one side!

      Paris because she's a lady who certainly does turn!

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: Paris because she's a lady who certainly does turn!

        Yeah. Stomachs!

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Sadly, the under 40s

      > *If* you were lucky, you could get a phone in less than 2 months. And as for a *second* phone

      Ah yes, party lines. My Dad waiting to call in his sales figures while the neighbour's teenage daughter was on the phone to her boyfriend every evening!

      Funny, the article notes "This was the same Post Office that, in the 1970s, snubbed one of the world's first mobile telephones, which was designed by the British Chelmer Institute." but that wasn't the first such screwup. A hundred years before that the GPO even turned down the idea of being involved in telephones at all. They couldn't see a need, when there was such a good Telegram service...

    4. Timbo
      Coat

      Re: Sadly, the under 40s

      <quote>......(phones were hardwired - no plugs and sockets)</quote>

      I seem to recall in our house, on the end of the phone cable was a big 4-pole brown plug that was like a 1/4 inch (6.35mm) headphone jack, that pushed into a small brown box on the wall.....

      Was this "non-standard" or maybe just used on those properties deemed suitable for such forward thinking connectivity ??

      1. Mnot Paranoid

        Re: Sadly, the under 40s

        I remember this exact connection.

        I grew up in Beverley which came under Kingston Communications, the only telecoms company that was completely separate from the GPO.

        White telephone boxes, jumpers for goalposts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sadly, the under 40s

        "I seem to recall in our house, on the end of the phone cable was a big 4-pole brown plug that was like a 1/4 inch (6.35mm) headphone jack, that pushed into a small brown box on the wall....."

        You probably had a Plan 4 setup in your house, which would have cost you more than for a standard phone.

        http://www.britishtelephones.com/pst1.htm has some more info.

    5. Aldous
      Trollface

      Re: Sadly, the under 40s

      going on 1.5 months now waiting for a phone line to be connected (and on an estate) so things have not changed all that much

      1. RubberJohnny

        Re: Sadly, the under 40s

        "going on 1.5 months now waiting for a phone line to be connected (and on an estate) so things have not changed all that much"

        A week for my VirginMedia connection.

        Or I can walk into Carphone Warehouse and have a connected new phone number in less than 5 minutes.

    6. Jim Hague
      Thumb Down

      Re: Sadly, the under 40s

      Liberalisation of phones happended before the privatisation of BT.

      I asked BT to reactivate the existing phone line in my new flat on 29/11/12. It took them until 15/1/13 to do it, and then a further 8 days to activate ADSL.

      1. Mnot Paranoid
        FAIL

        Re: Sadly, the under 40s

        "MBORC"

        "We don't give a shit."

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You can't libel the deceased

      just not so happy that she is going to cost the tax payer more money with her funeral.

      They should tender it out and then give the funeral to the cheapest firm, it's what she would of wanted!

    2. Callam McMillan

      Re: You can't libel the deceased

      Or, alternatively?

      She gave the country the bitter medicine it needed by readjusting our economy away from dying industries

      She gave the common man power by freeing them from reliance on the state. Or doesn't being allowed to own your own home at a subsidised price count. Plus, even after the recent financial crisis, anybody that bought their house as a result of Thatchers actions would be quids in.

      She didn't screw industry, they did that themselves by being rigid and inflexible in the face of greater overseas competition. Car Manufacturing was dying, Coal was dying. She cut off the sick bits to allow the whole to recover. As a result, look at how much Jaguar is now contributing back to the economy?

      She pandered to the people who would help her deliver what she set out to do. Is that right? Possibly not. Is it sensible? Absolutely.

      She took back what some jumped up Argies tried to take from us. Which is better than rolling over and then crying to the UN.

      She was more intelligent than most politicians - they don't just give out chemistry degrees... As for the social housing crisis. It wasn't her fault that councils failed to reinvest the money they made from selling properties back into new housing.

      Even now she's dead she's said she does not want a state funeral, which she would have been entitled to.

      I can see you, and quite a lot of other people don't seem to like her, yet ultimately everyone has benefitted from what she achieved. Thanks to her deregulation of the financial sector, I have a job that pays me a wage every month. If you're rich, she made it easier to get richer. If you're not, she made it easier to own your own home and move up in the world. If however you're a lazy, workshy slacker who thinks that the state should support you above all else, then yeah, you can be angry, but please be so in another country.

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        Re: You can't libel the deceased

        " As for the social housing crisis. It wasn't her fault that councils failed to reinvest the money they made from selling properties back into new housing."

        It was absolutely her (government's) fault.

        Not only were councils obliged to sell the homes at a discount they were prevented from using the proceeds to build new stock while at the same time continuing to be obliged to house residents who required assistance.

        With an obligation to sell assets, and only the best assets were bought, at a discount, controls on how the funds raised were used, a loss of rental income, the worst of their stock still to maintain, and a sudden increase in private landlords with fewer obligations on rental costs the local authorities were scuppered.

        The scheme could have been run with a view to reinvigorating both private and public sector housing but was tailored to reduce the provision of social housing as far as possible and that's having a continued negative impact.

      2. BioPeek

        Re: You can't libel the deceased

        >It wasn't her fault that councils failed to reinvest the money they made from selling properties back into new >housing.

        Actually, it was her fault. The councils were forbidden, under a statute brought in by her, to use the money from sold council houses to build more council houses!

        Get your facts right. Please!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You can't libel the deceased

        Industry did need a kick, but remember the people managing at the time were useless posh tory boys from the 50's and 60's, not there on merit, but nod and wink among friends and family.

        The housing sell off was a bribe pure and simple, she specifically stopped council's from re-investing into housing, and you can thank her for the ridiculous prices we now pay and for how much housing benefit costs us all, flushing millions into private landlords (Are you one by any chance? that's it keep sucking on her nipple).

        You do know that jaguar's profit's go to India (owned by TATA)?

        You mean she made it very easy for all her flunkies and supporters to sell themselves the countries assets, throwing crumbs to bribe idiot's to vote for her (each time just as an election grew near).

      4. Naughtyhorse

        Re: You can't libel the deceased

        does not want a state funeral, which she would have been entitled to.

        i think you need to spend a bit more time googling stuff if you don't want us to laugh at you

        she was not entitled

        the only reason she didn't want one (one didn't want one?) was cos it involved her being dead you doofus!

  12. Titus Technophobe
    Thumb Up

    Respect !!

    You have to respect the things she stood up for and against. In particular for this country being a modern economy and against:

    The work shy unions

    Argentina

    The monopolies and inefficiency of the pubic industries

    PIRA

    The Labour Party

    Politically correct Liberal policies

    The list is endless. It is just a crying shame that Tony and Gordon wrecked her legacy.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Respect !!

      Instead we have

      Thieving, lying, criminal bankers. Why are people still wittering on about unions when bankers have done so much more economic damage?

      Rupert Murdoch in charge of policy. (Who voted for him?)

      The monopolies and inefficiencies of giant corporates. (Tech support and competition? We've heard of them.)

      And so on.

      The list isn't endless, it just feels like it is.

      And worst of all is that she did the opposite of everything she preached. She 'cured' unemployment by causing more of it, she turned right-to-buy into you-can't-afford-a-house-on-£30kpa, and she killed what limited social mobility the UK had clawed out of the pre-war establishment by the 70s.

      Today, thanks to her, most people will be in the same class as their parents, and almost certainly earning less in real terms with lower job security - no matter how hard they work.

      Fail. That is all.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Respect !!

        "Thieving, lying, criminal bankers. Why are people still wittering on about unions when bankers have done so much more economic damage?"

        Oh yes; the country was in a much better state in the 1970's!! Not saying there isn't some truth in your comment, but the unions were doing the same sort of job in the 70s.

        "Rupert Murdoch in charge of policy. (Who voted for him?)"

        I think you need to blame people after Thatcher for that. Do you really think Rupert Murdoch told Thatcher what to do?

        "And worst of all is that she did the opposite of everything she preached. She 'cured' unemployment by causing more of it, she turned right-to-buy into you-can't-afford-a-house-on-£30kpa, and she killed what limited social mobility the UK had clawed out of the pre-war establishment by the 70s."

        I think you'll find that social mobility is far higher these days than during the 70's. Not saying this was entirely her actions, but some of them helped.

        "Today, thanks to her, most people will be in the same class as their parents, and almost certainly earning less in real terms with lower job security - no matter how hard they work."

        Yes, if they have no ambition. Personally, I believe that people have far more ability to rise through their efforts these days than in the 70s etc. Not saying it's great or couldn't be better, but it's heading in the right direction. Not all her doing either, but she started it to a degree.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Respect !!

      Tell me more of these pubic industries. They sound fascinating.

      To counter:

      1) Unions have an important role to play in balancing the workplace environment between employer and employee. Although they were too strong before Thatcher came to power, they were left far too weak afterwards to be able to fairly represent their members.

      2) Yes, Argentina was such a wonderful war wasn't it. Lets have another one with them soon. </sarcasm>

      3) A lot more was done in Major's time to make peace with the IRA than Thatcher ever managed.

      4) Thatcher basically made way for the cult of personality that was Tony Blair. She led to the destruction of any real Labour party representing workers, and to the creation of 'New Labour', who bore no resemblance to left-wing politics whatsoever.

      5) Why do you think liberalism is a bad thing, or are you one of these people who think inequality is good?

      6) If anything Tony carried on her legacy. PPIs are just privitisation by another name after all. Gordo was the man holding the purse strings while he did this. Tony and Gordo ARE her legacy.

      1. Titus Technophobe
        Stop

        Re: Respect !!

        1) Unions have an important role to play in balancing the workplace environment between employer and employee. Although they were too strong before Thatcher came to power, they were left far too weak afterwards to be able to fairly represent their members.

        No. Take a look at the heavily unionised industries where time served with the union is far more important than ability.

        2) Yes, Argentina was such a wonderful war wasn't it. Lets have another one with them soon. </sarcasm>

        How about Iraq and Afghanistan? Did either of these make any sense to you?

        3) A lot more was done in Major's time to make peace with the IRA than Thatcher ever managed.

        True. But she cope with the Grand Hotel bombing.

        4) Thatcher basically made way for the cult of personality that was Tony Blair. She led to the destruction of any real Labour party representing workers, and to the creation of 'New Labour', who bore no resemblance to left-wing politics whatsoever.

        Yes and they were like poor imitations. Tacky, wet, plastic rubbish.

        5) Why do you think liberalism is a bad thing, or are you one of these people who think inequality is good?

        Yes and no, and a very long discussion. Question for you should there be quotas for jobs so that equality is represented, or should there be an attitude that the best person should get the job regardless of colour, sexuality, creed etc?

        6) If anything Tony carried on her legacy. PPIs are just privitisation by another name after all. Gordo was the man holding the purse strings while he did this. Tony and Gordo ARE her legacy .

        Yes. Tony and Gordon carried on her legacy (badly) because there weren’t competent to do anything different.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Respect !!

          No. Take a look at the heavily unionised industries where time served with the union is far more important than ability.

          As I said, unions were too strong before Thatcher, but they were left too weak afterwards. There should be a middle ground between union-run shops, and Chinese-style sweatchops where the employees have no rights.

          How about Iraq and Afghanistan? Did either of these make any sense to you?

          That's a bit of a straw-man argument. These wars weren't started by Maggie, but that doesn't mean Argentina wasn't equally about oil.

          True. But she cope with the Grand Hotel bombing.

          By not being there at the time to get blown up. I''m not sure what else she brought to that particular party.

          Yes and they were like poor imitations. Tacky, wet, plastic rubbish.

          I think we can agree on that; New Labour were the proverbial shower of c**ts. It is because of the state British politics had become that they got into power, that can only be blamed on the previous incumbents - Major, and before him, Thatcher. Thatcher did a lot more than Major to 'shake up' our political system, so teh blame lies at ther feet.

          Yes and no, and a very long discussion. Question for you should there be quotas for jobs so that equality is represented, or should there be an attitude that the best person should get the job regardless of colour, sexuality, creed etc?

          Such quotas are more a symptom of the New Labour lot again. They have nothing really to do with 'political correctness' (a term invented by Stalin by the way), or real liberalism, but are more an artefact of spin.

          Yes. Tony and Gordon carried on her legacy (badly) because there weren’t competent to do anything different.

          It is difficult for a bad legacy to be carried on in a manner which can be described as anything other than 'bad'. Maggie screwed us and then handed the reins to others allowing them to screw us some more. The last 30 years in our political system have been characterised by the greedy getting richer and the poor getting poorer, whatever the colour of the ties of the politicians in charge. Whilst I agree that Blair and Gordo weren't competent, neither was Maggie and each of these governments has done more harm than good.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: Respect !!

            "These wars weren't started by Maggie, but that doesn't mean Argentina wasn't equally about oil."

            Argentina invaded the Falklands. She didn't start it, they did. Was it about oil? Probably. It was equally about letting the rest of the world know that she wasn't to be trifled with and had the resolve to look out for Britains interest and citizens.

            1. DJO Silver badge

              Re: Respect !!

              Argentina invaded the Falklands. She didn't start it, they did.

              Not strictly true, they "started" it because the Royal Navy withdrew the patrols in the South Atlantic, and you know why they were stopped? Because Maggie thought (against military advice) the few million it cost to patrol around the Falklands and South Georgia was a waste of money.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Respect !!

                Government records also show that it was considering offering Argentina joint sovereignty over the Falklands. The Argentinians took that, plus the naval patrol withdrawal, as a sign that the UK was not interested in the Falklands. If they had been patient then they would have probably been handed all they wanted on a diplomatic plate. By invading they granted Mrs Thatcher her wish to be regarded as another Churchill.

                She did not do the same in the following year when Ronald Regan invaded Grenada without telling her in advance. That was a Commonwealth island with nominal British protection.

          2. LPF

            Re: Respect !!

            "That's a bit of a straw-man argument. These wars weren't started by Maggie, but that doesn't mean Argentina wasn't equally about oil."

            The stupidity of this comment no no bounds. When they found out the falklands had been invaded , they had to find maps to locate where the falklands where you dimwit! Jesus were you even born when she was in power??

  13. James Pickett

    As I recall, shortly before privatisation, BT offered to join up the whole county with fibre. In return, they wanted to distribute TV channels over it (the Web not yet having been invented) but Mrs T didn't like the idea of a nationalised industry doing something innovative and useful and so squashed the idea. We'd have had FO connections for decades otherwise, which rather negates the article...

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      Close

      BT wanted it as part of the privatisation deal, and it would have given BT the unique position of being a total monopoly on the UK market (like a public sector service) but with the economic might of private industry.

      No wonder the government said NO!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If she was so worried about a monopoly why did she give it one any way?

        Pretty much still looks like a monopoly now! (wierd how only BT and BT owned companies can provide FTTC with unlimited caps, when they charge all the other ISP's by the Mbytes making it impossible for them to compete as they can't cap costs charged by BT(openreach).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well recollected

      Meanwhile, in much of the country (what Ofcon calls "Market 1") BT are still the sole supplier, a de facto monopoly on the "last mile" and beyond. That could easily have been avoided - a properly regulated monopoly delivering the bits, and your choice of ISP delivering the "value added" services on top (Internet, TV, whatever). But no, we must have it in the private sector and there must be competition, because competition is what moves things forward. It worked so well for cable, after all - dozens of different franchisees in different regions, all thriving by competing with each other. You wot?

      Madness.

      Just like Thatcher's post-privatisation "dash for gas" in the electricity supply industry, and what she did with the "clean coal" research at the CEGB. Courtesy of those two policies and the inability of a deregulated market to see beyond this year's dividends, UK plc will see rolling electricity blackouts in the next decade, and if we're particularly unlucky the gas will stop flowing too, when sterling falls out of favour with our suppliers and the weather isn't favourable locally.

      A very sick woman.

    3. Buzzword

      In other words, they only started thinking about innovation when faced with the prospect of losing their cosy monopoly.

      1. PT

        In other words, they only started thinking about innovation when faced with the prospect of losing their cosy monopoly.

        Isn't that true of all large corporations?

  14. SirDigalot

    I think...

    Her and her cabinet really did study the American system very well, She did great things for women and women in power generally, but at the same time made people very cautious about electing strong women to office.

    Deregulating was a good thing, within reason, unfortunately we never actually got the "within reason" part, so instead of massive state run monopolies we now have massive privately owned monopolies, yay! We paid for the whole infrastructure to be built, and then, we pay even more to a company to make profits and not maintain it, additionally when they want to or more accurately, need to, improve their creaking unstable mess, which has not been touched in years they get to raise their prices to pay for it, all while still making nice profits.

    How's our manufacturing now? about the same state as many parts of the US... cheaper to import from another country and have them deal with the bad working conditions and pollution, that way we have deniability.. You have got to keep that bottom line looking good for shareholders, something we were also promised by that gov at the time, also I believe also something about having really cheap petrol and gas like in the middle east.

    The one I can't help thinking about though, is her and Reagan potentially hooking up, they were very chummy...

  15. stu 4

    RIP Mrs T

    I thought the film was good.

    She came at the right time to kick the unions up the arse. And I can't think of any contemporaries who would have went into The Falklands.

    She didn't kill manufacturing - global markets did that surely ? or do you think we could persuade northerners to mine coal for 10p an hour like the million Chinese do ?

    I'm a scot - so it's not just southerners who thought she did the right thing.

    I was 8 years old when she came into power, and I remember 70s Britain - its strikes, the work attitude of the state owing everyone a living and strikes all the time, and I remember the tide seeming to turn in the 80s as those same people that had been paid a fortune (growning up next to ravenscraig steel works in scotland for example - the amount the unions forced the steel works to pay for unskilled people to do utterly FA was staggering) suddenly realised that the game was up

    - the Unions that had been set up in the early 20th century to protect the worker had become a massive machine around which businesses were forced into paying idiotic salaries for unskilled work or face strikes - with 'free speech' an unknown concept - you striked or you were a scab. Now THAT was the true monopoly. And for me, the main monopoly that Thatcher smashed.

    RIP Mrs T.

    1. Titus Technophobe
      Thumb Up

      Re: RIP Mrs T

      70s Britain - its strikes, the work attitude of the state owing everyone a living and strikes all the time, and I remember the tide seeming to turn in the 80s

      I have to agree, it is only a shame that the later governments left a whole generation still with the attitude that the state owed them a living this time on benefits ........

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: RIP Mrs T

        There is a typo:

        I have to agree, it is only a shame that the later governments left a whole generation still with the attitude that the state owed them a living this time on bailouts........

    2. jason 7
      Meh

      Re: RIP Mrs T

      Indeed, I was watching a documentary on BBC4 a few months ago about the decline of the British Ship Building industry.

      How the bosses knew they had to modernise their factories with new gear and get rid of the Victorian era presses etc. However, when they said they wanted to get rid of the press that required 8 men to operate for one that required only 2, of course the shop steward would call everyone out and the 8 man press that took far longer to use and more expensive to run was kept.

      Things just fell further and further behind.

      I often wonder what would have happened had Thatcher got into power say 5 years earlier.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: RIP Mrs T

      "And I can't think of any contemporaries who would have went into The Falklands."

      Don't forget she withdrew the token British naval presence in the South Atlantic on economic grounds. It appears from recent Government record releases that it was also debating joint sovereignty with Argentina for the Falklands. The Argentinian junta saw these actions as a green light to mount an unopposed invasion to distract from their own economic woes. If they had instead played it softly then there would have been no loss of face for Mrs Thatcher to have to salvage with Churchillian rhetoric.

      Don't forget that she happily let the USA invade Grenada without telling her. That island was a member of the Commonwealth and nominally under British protection.

      A woman of many contradictions, ditched by her own party when her policies became too extreme for them. She was no longer a power in the land after that. The irony is that her mantle was taken over by New Labour. Mr Blair proved himself far more dangerous to the country - and has not learned her lesson to retire gracefully.

      1. LPF
        Thumb Down

        Re: RIP Mrs T

        "Don't forget that she happily let the USA invade Grenada without telling her. That island was a member of the Commonwealth and nominally under British protection."

        I want you to read the sentence again and tell me whats wrong with it!

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward 101
      Thumb Down

      Re: Fixed the phones?

      If you are going for a low cost funeral, you would be better hiring some Poles or Nigerians to throw her in the Thames. Based on the amount you bid for the job, the representatives of the NUM will go on strike because you surely can't be paying them much. And your animal welfare standards can't be very good.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Fixed the phones?

        believe me _ANY_ ex NUM member would gladly do this job for free - maybe some help with the cost of cleaning their clothes of all the 'tributes' that missed the beloved leader

    2. Dr Stephen Jones
      Happy

      Re: Fixed the phones?

      El Presidente: You should watch the solitary drinking. Apart from that - with you all the way, Comrade!

      (Overgrown middle-aged students are easy to spot by their drinking habits)

      1. El Presidente
        FAIL

        Re: Fixed the phones?

        @Dr Stephen Jones

        Solitary? There were 8 of us celebrating and the drinks were on me.

        What did you get your doctorate in? Flower arranging? LOL

        1. Dr Stephen Jones
          Joke

          Re: Fixed the phones?

          What did you get your doctorate in? Flower arranging? LOL

          Oscar Wilde, we've found your successor.

  17. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    She mostly did well by the telecoms sector but one thing I feel she got wrong was denying BT a broadcast license in exchange for a national FTTP program in the early 90s. Now fair enough we don't know how much of its end of the bargain BT would actually have held up but getting foreign companies to come in and set up competing cable networks hasn't worked out very well. Their descendant - VM - had its first ever profitable quarter last year and still has mountains of debt. It's also in the process of being sold to a large US corporation - which may explain why it's suddenly started making a profit.

  18. Richard Wharram
    Meh

    Well...

    The unions needed to be stopped. It was a filthy, corrupt, and sexist, system. She did that. Good.

    What she replaced them with is a mixed legacy and your point of view probably depends on where you lived and what industry you or your family worked in.

  19. Ketlan
    Thumb Down

    FFS

    I was hoping that at least the Register would have been a site free of the Thatcher beatification that seems to be going on at the moment.

    1. El Presidente
      FAIL

      Re: FFS

      Agreed. Scraping the bottom of the barrel, really, praising her for dismantling the PO.

  20. mikie
    Meh

    is this the same

    Maggie that withdrew research funding for the National Fibre-optic network from BT and Mercury in 1988 because of over-zealous neo-liberalist ideaology and an infatuation with telewest etc.

    If so then tell me again why it is that she helped innovation

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: is this the same

      Exactly right. BT offered to have fibre to every home and business in the land by 2000 if they could maintain their monopoly. Thatcher vetoed it. What's the current percentage who have fibre today?

    2. stu 4

      Re: is this the same

      "If so then tell me again why it is that she helped innovation"

      ok - she made it PRIVATE.

      It can't be helped if the then private companies like BT were too fucking stupid to invest in research -it's not the government's job to invest in industry research surely - it's the bloody companies ??

      A case can perhaps be made for government to step in where research is required for the good of the populace, but which has no obvious financial return (e.g. some drug research, etc) but clearly not in something like optical fibre!

      Unfortunately, what Maggie did not do when she privatised companies (like BT) was sack all the work shy, unimaginative tossers who worked for those companies - people who worked there precisely BECAUSE it was required their unimaginative dossing skill set.

      Only natural wastage over the last 20 years has finally started to make companies like BT innovative again - though the pre-privatised management tended to employ their own kind through the 90s - so there's a way to go yet.

      1. BioPeek
        WTF?

        Re: is this the same

        >It can't be helped if the then private companies like BT were too fucking stupid to invest in research -it's not the >government's job to invest in industry research surely - it's the bloody companies ??

        BT spent fortunes on research! System X for example predated its privatisation by many a year. After privatisation and to this day it spends peanuts in comparison.

        Got to love the FWs who prefer ideology to history.

        1. PT

          Re: is this the same

          BT spent fortunes on research! System X for example predated its privatisation by many a year.

          Interesting that you mention System X. I recall how many years and how many millions went into that piece of corporate welfare for the telecom suppliers cartel, when an equivalent system could have been bought for a fraction of the cost off the shelf from the US. Having said that, I will never forget my jaw-dropping astonishment when I made my first system X long distance call and instead of 15 seconds of clicks and whirrs, the phone at the other end started ringing as soon as I keyed the last number.

      2. Naughtyhorse

        Re: is this the same

        Are you for real?

        "no obvious financial return (e.g. some drug research, etc"

        you are aware that some of the most sucessful and profitable companies in the world do drug research???

        "companies like BT were too fucking stupid to invest in research "

        The whole point of privatisation was that companies like BT with the profit motive could best direct themselves, and being private entities they could turn to the markets to pay for this.

        "it's not the government's job to invest in industry research surely"

        Astonishingly! it WAS the governments job, they funded the universities - you know the place where research is actually carried out....

        and dont call me shirley!

        "was sack all the work shy, unimaginative tossers who worked for those companies "

        I dont quite know how the prime minister was supposed to sack people working for a private company - but the owners of those private companies did exactly that!

        Then the following day hired them all back in at 3 times the cost as contractors (open your mind real wide - to run a comms network, you need lots and lots of people that know about coms networks - fortunately a bunch of them just got laid off - less fortunately a few of their more imaginative managers (also laid off) hired them as part of their new agency business. and are now ass fucking you with your pants on to get the blokes back) - it's okay, the accountants can hide it forever!

        the real reason??? they spent that ages ago. dolt!

        You have managed to produce the most inaccurate, un informed, disengaged and utterly ignorant post that I have ever read on the reg.

        well done!

        keep it up!

        1. stu 4
          FAIL

          Re: is this the same

          ""no obvious financial return (e.g. some drug research, etc"

          you are aware that some of the most sucessful and profitable companies in the world do drug research???"

          er.. yes. are you aware of the way drug research works ?

          you spend money on creating drugs that make money, not 'cure people' or stop suffering.

          My point (which I though was obvious enough to a reg readership to not need pointing out).

          Aids got drugs developed because wealthy white folk got it. If it had remained in Africa they'd have been no research, and no drugs as an example.

          Ben Goodacre for example makes a good point about drug research being made independent from industry funding for those very reasons.

          However, expecting the government to say, invest in your companies wish to build faster networks is moronic.

          And Governments haven't funded universities much for decades. Most research is commercial short term privately funded.

  21. Anonymous Coward 101

    God Bless Maggie

    Imagine how much CO2 the nation would be producing if she hadn't crushed the miners.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: God Bless Maggie @AC101

      >Imagine how much CO2 the nation would be producing if she hadn't crushed the miners.

      A lot less as the power stations would be using high quality clean burning locally sourced British coal instead of subsidised coal dust transported from as far away as Australia.

  22. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  23. hammarbtyp Silver badge
    FAIL

    Showing my age but...

    I don't remember this lean, privatised, competition centric BT the article alludes to. Must be my memory.

    I do remember however a privatised monopoly, who did there best to hold back the implementation of fast broadband because it cut into there lucrative voice line and international call monopoly.

    It also doesn't explain why our broadband speed is so behind some of our industrial competitors such as Sth Korea and Japan.

    It couldn't be the need for government oversight and investment for large infrastructure projects, that are just to speculative for privatised industry, could it?

    1. jason 7
      Meh

      Re: Showing my age but...

      Yes I was thinking "wow how did I miss this golden age of telecoms?"

      I remember BT holding on for dear life to only wanting to push out mega expensive and slow ISDN connections rather than give the masses ADSL.

      The whole ADSL thing was done grudgingly by BT. We'd still be paying £150 a month for 128k ISDN or leased lines if they had their way.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One lasting change from Mrs T

    Energy company or telco piss you off ? Tell them to do one, and choose another.

    Try doing that in 1978, and see how far you got.

    1. El Presidente
      FAIL

      Re: One lasting change from Mrs T

      We used to own our national energy policy. Thatcher changed that. Now foreign pension funds do.

      Vast North Sea Oil revenue was squandered on welfare to drive down wage expectations. Now we have welfare culture and a pensions time-bomb that you, clearly a youngster, will have to deal with.

      It used to be rightly difficult to get credit for consumer goods. Thatcher changed that. Now look where the UK is.

      The City was regulated. Thatcher changed that. Billions have swallowed up bailing the banks out.

      People had affordable places to live. Thatcher changed that. Homelessness and outrageous rents are now the norm.

      1. Chris Miller

        Re: One lasting change from Mrs T

        Thatcher had been out of power for a decade when Tony and Gordon decided that 'light touch' regulation of the banks was a winning idea. You really should try to put aside what you were taught in school about Thatcher being the devil incarnate and the root of all evil and start thinking for yourself.

        1. El Presidente
          FAIL

          Re: One lasting change from Mrs T

          @ Chris Miller: "Thatcher had been out of power for a decade when Tony and Gordon decided .... "

          And who the fuck do you think *legitimised* Tony and Gordon's behaviour?

          Thatcher.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: One lasting change from Mrs T

            And who the fuck do you think *legitimised* Tony and Gordon's behaviour?

            I'd say that would be the voters who elected them. Funny thing this democracy lark, but people tend to get at least some of what they vote for. For example, Margaret Thatcher won 3 general elections as party leader, the final 2 larger than that which first got her in, in 79. Which suggests at least some of the voters thought she got things more right than wrong.

            I find it very odd to hear and read how Mrs T created a selfish society. I suspect politicians wish they were that powerful. Politics doesn't really change society, it's the other way round. There are exceptions of course, but if society is more individualistic since the 80s that's probably because people are more individualistic. If they weren't, they'd vote consistently for more tax and more government, more would join unions etc. Which they haven't. I'd suspect a majority thought Thatcher went too far in the 80s, but I'd be amazed if there are all that many who'd like to go back to the 70s. Blair certainly didn't feel he had a mandate to rip up Thatcher's reforms, and for all his faults he was an excellent reader of the electorate for at least a decade.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: One lasting change from Mrs T

        Whatever you may think about the City being de-regulated in the 80s, Brown and Balls set up a new City Regulation scheme in 97, when they took regulation off the Bank of England and gave it to the FSA - while making the BofE responsible for interest rates. So whatever happened afterwards is definitely not her pigeon.

  25. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    On the whole

    It would be remarkable if any PM did not have at least one policy which was generally seen as a good thing. Every PM would be a great if we only judged them on what we saw as positives and ignored the negatives.

    Thatcher is primarily seen as great by those who profited under her policies and choose to blame those who did not as that being their own failing. Thatcher is the patron saint of selfishness and her "I'm alright jack, sod the rest" legacy is a root cause of many of today's ills.

    Many take her success in promoting greed and lack of moral concern for the less well fortunate amongst us as a measure of greatness. I see it as entirely opposite.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: On the whole

      It's a question of degree. People need to want to do better and need to gain the rewards of their efforts. That's greed to an extent. However, it went too far. Before she came to power, everyone just sat back taking it easy. Change my job.....go on strike. Try to be more efficient....go on strike etc.etc.

      However, she went too far. A certain amount of greed is good in driving people to do better for themselves, but it has to be tempered by understanding and contributing to the greater good. This is the bit that was lost. She did good and bad, but didn't manage to get the balance right.

      I certainly wouldn't want to turn her into a saint, but I wouldn't turn her into the devil either.

      After all, many council house tenants made huge profits on the properties she sold them at next to nothing, but she screwed all the working class didn't she?

      Everyone takes their position and then remembers only one side of the coin.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On the whole

        She only sold them off as bloody great bribe to vote for the witch!!

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: On the whole

          A vote bribe _and_ a way of nobbling the predominantly labour councils in areas where council housing was most concentrated.

          The reason people hated her is that she saw the end goal and didn't care much about the means, or whether the end was fair or just. A lot of people made out like bandits and a lot more were trod underfoot, instead of being assisted into alternative employment. (Not that nulabour was any better, TBH, but at least they pretended to care, and the current tories do try to as well)

          Her (and Ronnie Raygun's) primary legacy is a government run by the Money Party - it does't matter which faction of the Money Party is in power, it's still the Money Party.

  26. StereoStokey
    Devil

    And Hitler...

    ... gave Germany cheap cars and Autobahns to drive them really really fast. It's not all bad, hey.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: And Hitler...

      GODWIN!

      what do I win?

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: And Hitler...

        not too sure, is it really godwin if the comparason is valid?

  27. Sandpit
    Thumb Down

    So we have to thank Thatcher for technological advances in an industry that didn't even exist in her day? I think not. Regardless of ploitics and how you think about her it is ridiculous to suggest that things are better now because of her that they would otherwise be. All we know is that we have different technologies and systems now than we did in 1979.

    Thatcher did not give me fiber broadband, I know this for a fact because, like most people, it isn't available to me yet.

  28. Simulacra75
    Coat

    At least..

    Now that she's brown bread, she have countless chats with Jimmy Saville about screwing miners.....

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: At least..

      And this years finalist for the frankie boyle comedy awards are.....

      new kbd pls

  29. Tom_

    The Iron Lady

    May she rust in peace.

  30. BigTim
    FAIL

    Mobile phones? That's nothing!

    In 1979 you couldn't even buy a zx80, now we have ipads up the wazoo.

    All praise maggie.

    FFS.

  31. sandman
    Unhappy

    &@£!

    I logged onto the Reg hoping to escape the Thatcher media saturation and what do I find! ARGH! Ah well, off to Greece for the weekend with no TV and no UK papers, so should get a short respite. Sadly I'll be back in time for the funeral :-(

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: &@£!

      Dont worry , Thatcher will be forgotten by next week as the norks(north koreans) seem to be trying a new method of regime change called 'suicide by nuclear weapons'.

      'ding dong Kim joug un is dead' does not have the same ring as 'ding dong the witch is dead' though

  32. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So where do I go...

      "where do I go to piss on the nasty old bastards grave"

      She's going to be burnt, specifically so the likes of you and me don't get that opportunity.

      Maybe we should use our local High Street banks as proxies, would that be OK with you?

      Barclays might be good for starters, given their penchant for encouraging tax-dodging by overseas and other methods. It would also hnour the fact that the Barclay brothers (no relation?) paid for That Blooody Woman's last days at the Ritz, and the Barclay brothers mouthpiece, the Torygraph, has barred reader comments 'cos they weren't sufficiently pro-Thatcher.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ex-Miners

    I actually worked with ex-miners for a number of years in the mechanical engineering industry. They'd been retrained as machine operators, turners, setters and without exception they were glad to be out of the pits.

    I'm not saying that the decimation of their industry was a good thing, just that it made some miners lives better.

  34. Stephen Channell
    Meh

    No ideological vision lead to BT privatisation

    The Post Office wanted a huge wodge of money to switchover all the exchanges to a digital network and Mr T wouldn’t splash the cash while she was slashing expenditure. Privatisation was a vehicle to get private money into the investment; the creative stuff was leveraging investment in Cable & Wireless to get them to compete with BT and avoid the cries of “monopoly”

    Privatisation was validated when BT “found” they could incrementally upgrade exchanges using revenue, and didn’t need the wodge after all.. could a change of management have done the job? .. that’s what she did with the Coal Board, where two years of overtime to build stockpiles at power stations provided the buffer needed endure a miners’ strike without power cuts.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old fogies

    Maggie who? Has she been on x-factor?

  36. Tom 7 Silver badge

    When BT got privatised it threw the baby out with the bathwater.

    And the bath and half the fucking bathroom.

    Want FTH??? Well 23 years ago BT could have connected a fibre into a chip and taken 2.4GBps over fibre for 10Km at an error rate of 1 in 10**14 for $5US for the chip. Would have needed a bit of infrastructure work mind but I bet they pay Outretch more than that to come and look at my pole with the red tag on it so they cant climb when my line goes on the blink every time it rains or the winds from the SSW.

    She may have broken the unions but she did it by taking away any work unionised people did which is a pyrrhic victory of global proportions - and she didn't fuck up the biggest union which has caused more trouble than any other...

  37. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  38. Sequin

    Having joined a government IT department in 1985, we were denigrated for years about how inefficient and over priced we were compared to the private sector, who could knock our skills into a cocked hat.

    We were later privatised as part of the Market Testing initiative, only to find that we were as good, and in a huge number of case, better than the private alternative. Many of us were motivated by a sense of service, not just a striving for profit, and the whole privatisation initiative led to many of the IT horrors of later years with companies such as EDS and Crapita

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have nothing to say about Thatcher, not because of my age, I most certainly remember all of her time in office, and a fair bit before that.

    I would like to take this opportunity to express my utter disgust and contempt for many of the people of my country though, for the frankly disgraceful and vicious comments they have provided over these last 24 hours.

    Here's hoping that those publishing such nastiness be held and treated with equal nastiness upon their passing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      People who don't believe in equality?

      That can be the only explanation for why people would down vote a comment which does no more than wish for people that which they themselves wish upon others.

  40. Clive Harris

    "Australia needs a good dose of Margaret Thatcher"

    Some 13 years ago I applied for our family to emigrate to Australia (driven out of the UK by "Red Dawn" Primerola's IR35 pogrom). The doctor who did our immigration medicals had just returned to the UK from Australia, so I asked him why he had decided to come back. He was reluctant to say anything at first, but eventually blurted out his reason: "Australia is OK but it needs a good dose of Margaret Thatcher".

    Having arrived in Australia, I found the solution to one mystery - what had happened to all the union bosses driven out by Thatcher? Answer, they'd all settled in Australia! For many years afterwards I kept hearing those familiar Northern England accents on the news, announcing the latest bout of industrial action.

  41. Cyberelic

    Post Office

    In the early 80's the GPO sold off all their spare hand tools. For a while there were stalls all over Brick Lane and similar markets. I still have several tools, marked GPO. They are excellent quality, Lindstrom and Wilkinson branded, box joint pliars in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

    I only recently stopped using my ex-GPO meter, the ones with the solid leather case, for a much smaller but cheap plastic digital one. They had a specialised dry cell battery and they eventually became unavailable.

    P.

  42. P_0

    I still find it hard to understand why people hate Thatcher so much.

    She did crush the unions, and for that I thank her. I don't see why I should subsidize miners working a pointless job. Still, 30 years later, they're still on the news moaning about how Thatcher ruined their lives. FFS, it was 30 years ago. Get a new job, start a business, move towns, do something productive, but stop whinging about the only PM who had the balls to stand up to you.

    I don't think she was a great PM but she did two great things:

    1. Fought to liberate the Falklands.

    2. Crushed the unions, who were really asking for a whooping throughout the 70s.

    1. BioPeek
      FAIL

      OMG!

      > don't see why I should subsidize miners working a pointless job. Still, 30 years later, they're still on the news >moaning about how Thatcher ruined their lives

      We're subsidising the banks. We're going to be subsidising them for a lot longer than 30 years to keep those fat cats.

      The mines kep a very healthy mining tools industry going -- an industry that exported all ovet the world because British Coal (as was) spent bundles and bundles on R&D, all of which eventually led to exports of mining machinery, techniques and expertise.

      >Get a new job, start a business, move towns, do something productive, but stop whinging about the only >PM who had the balls to stand up to you.

      What world do you live in? Start what kind of buisness? There's been no real nvestment in training and education for decades. F.E. colleges no longer teach anything that isn't government approved -- funding is dependeant on the teaching being government approved; H.E. is just about in the same boat. Innovative and creative thinking isn't something you create from a spreadsheet mentality.

      Start a business? How? Credit and investment has been cut off due to the need to recapitalise the banks; all that so-called quantative easing wasn't to make investment easier, it was to stop the banks from defaulting on their own debts.

      Thatcher didn't stand up to the unions [on the picket lines] it was the ordinary bobbies [taken from off their beats]. An ironic collorary would be that the Police Federation is arguably the strongest union in the UK and there is no politician strong enough to take it on.

      As for:

      1. Fought to liberate the Falklands.

      It was a war brought about by her government's stupidity. Goodness knows what the future is going to bring now that her political descendants have neutered this country's armed forces. Oh, btw, I am an ex-squaddy, so I think I might be better qualified than most commentards on this issue.

      2. Crushed the unions, who were really asking for a whooping throughout the 70s.

      Really? So the owners and management of companies of that era are entirely without any balme or fault?

      Sheesh!

      1. P_0

        Re: OMG!

        What world do you live in? Start what kind of buisness? There's been no real nvestment in training and education for decades. F.E. colleges no longer teach anything that isn't government approved -- funding is dependeant on the teaching being government approved; H.E. is just about in the same boat. Innovative and creative thinking isn't something you create from a spreadsheet mentality.

        Start a business? How? Credit and investment has been cut off due to the need to recapitalise the banks; all that so-called quantative easing wasn't to make investment easier, it was to stop the banks from defaulting on their own debts.

        What world do I live in? A world where people have the capacity to train themselves or find unconventional ways to get trained. I also live in a world where it is possible and actually quite doable - I have done it - to start a business with zero money from the bank and negligable capital.

        1. Fought to liberate the Falklands.

        It was a war brought about by her government's stupidity. Goodness knows what the future is going to bring now that her political descendants have neutered this country's armed forces. Oh, btw, I am an ex-squaddy, so I think I might be better qualified than most commentards on this issue.

        I agree more should be spent on the Armed Forces. But not really relevent to Thatcher.

        2. Crushed the unions, who were really asking for a whooping throughout the 70s.

        Really? So the owners and management of companies of that era are entirely without any balme or fault?

        Nope, never said that. But the unions were running the country more or less. Something had to be done. I'm guessing you think the 70s was a great decade for Britain?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Naughtyhorse

      'liberate' the falklands - if the junta could afford the time they could have been bought (privatised :-D)... cheap! all that wrapping herself in the flag was about re-election!

      Crushed the unions! - when your job gets outsourced to india, inspite of you offering to take a 20% cut on already sub-standard pay you'll know who to thank then!

      clearly you think 30 years is a long time (about twice your life span i'm guessing) So you haven't really put the time into it - the PM works for us! their job is to do what they are told! (in a perfect world told by us - c'est la vie )

    4. PT

      @P_o

      I still find it hard to understand why people hate Thatcher so much.

      I can give you my reasons.

      It was her utterly inexplicable and hubristic policy to hold a strong Pound at or above $2.40, by maintaining interest rates above 18%, and keeping it up for more than two years. If you ran a manufacturing business, as I did at the time, your domestic customers weren't going to invest in new plant at those rates, and you were priced right out of foreign markets. I believe it's this that did more damage than anything else to the UK manufacturing base.

      Worse, the almost overnight transition from record low to record high interest rates devastated the housing market. My monthly mortgage payments more than doubled over three months, and a year later people were just walking away from their under-water properties.

      Everyone remembers the miners and privatization, nobody seems to remember the depression.

  43. Piro

    Fibre broadband?

    I have ancient copper (installed pre-NTE5) and an exchange with no LLU, so I get just over 3Mbit.

    This ADSLMax is not much better than the classic ADSL I had almost 10 years ago. (I paid for costly 20:1 contended 2Mbit). Progress? I haven't seen it.

  44. ukgnome
    Thumb Down

    So very sad to see El reg delete comments

    I know thatcher wasn't everyone's cup of tea, , but with registers recent article on press freedom the deletion of negative comments is a joke!

    Especially as you can't libel the deceased.

    The vulture has lost it's teeth

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: So very sad to see El reg delete comments

      I'd imagine they delete them if they get complaints. Plus I bet they're heading for 1,000 comments on here, and the mods should really be subbies. The more foaming commentards they have to deal with, the more typos we'll get in articles, and the fewer bonkers headlines. So it's just a quick delete if you're not sure, rather than a 10 minute agonise about press freedom.

      Anyway, surely to mention press freedom is ludicrous. It's The Register's press, so surely they have the freedom to publish what they want. And not if they don't like it. If you want total freedom of speech, publish your comments on your own website.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: So very sad to see El reg delete comments

      Tsk. The ones rejected so far were just witless walls of rabid swearing, or just rubbish. Pardon us for trying to at least enforce a little quality control.

      C.

      1. ukgnome
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: So very sad to see El reg delete comments

        Ones man's trash is another man's treasure.

        Witless walls of rabid swearing - er nope, just 3 F's - sorry that you're so sensitive.

        or just rubbish - er nope, factual.

        Pardon you for quality control - the reason for the icon on the left.

        * I think I will take a break from the reg, you have become a parody.

        1. El Presidente
          Happy

          Re: So very sad to see El reg delete comments

          @ ukgnome: you could, you know, always start your own website :)

          1. Dr Stephen Jones

            Re: So very sad to see El reg delete comments

            +1

            Agrees with El Presidente SHOCK.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Labour turned it all around though....

    Didn't they? I thought that was why you voted them in? To make it all better.

    I realise they only had just over a decade to make it all better, but at least they made a start....

    Oh, hang on........

    Beer, because I shall have a pint for her when I'm at the funeral next week, here's to you Mrs T...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    rewriting history

    There's a fair bit of misreporting going on here.

    1) Telecom deregulation was going to happen no matter who was in power when Mrs. Thatcher was in Downing Street. AT&T had been broken up into the Baby Bells, regulations from Brussels meant the end of PTTs, etc, etc. Privatisation of the state-owned telcos was inevitable throughout Europe and beyond. Though her government made sure BT was floated at well below its then market value to make that a political success, shafting the original investors (us taxpayers). She no more "deregulated" telephony than Beardie has "deregulated" the trains.

    2) Digital telcomms and SS7 switches were replacing Strowger exchanges back then. The innovation was largely about the introduction of new technology, no matter who owned the incumbent telcos.

    3) The privatised BT offered to run fibre everywhere "for free" ~25 years ago in exchange for offering cable TV. But Mrs. Thatcher said no because BT's plan would have killed the Dirty Digger's ambitions for satellite dishes on every Barratt house and council estate in the country. That decision is still biting us in the arse today. OK, BT would have fucked up a national cable network as only they could, but at least the sodding fibre would be installed and lit for everybody today.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: rewriting history

      1) Do you really think that Labour would have sold off the GPO? This was during the time of union-backed Jim Callaghan and Michael Foot, who was so left wing he made a number of his MPs start their own party. Hell, Labour only took out the renationalisation clause in their manifestos out in the 90s.

      2) Before deregulation you weren't even allowed to connect your own telephone handset. Do you really think the GPO would have rolled out new technology as quickly if it still had a cosy monopoly? For comparison, just ask anyone in Hull.

      3) With a network like that BT would have had an unbreakable monopoly. Do you really think they wouldn't have royally taken the mick with pricing and access?

  47. bag o' spanners
    Devil

    In answer to those wailing about speaking ill of the dead...I wonder how much ill you spoke of Hugo Chavez. Or Thatcher's old chum, Pol Pot.

    Personally, I won't give a tuppenny toss what anyone says about me when I'm dead, because my hearing will have ceased to function round about the same time as my heart.

    Perhaps it's some bizarre religious hangover from the Roman Empire.

    The old witch certainly didn't do much in the way of good for the people outside the Home Counties. Stoking up the civil war in Norn Ireland with rabble rousing hollow rhetoric and state sponsored assassinations? Very diplomatic.

    Friedmanism demands that the elite thrive at the expense of the masses. She certainly carried that one through. Not quite as murderously as her beloved Augusto, but their bueprints for social division and asset stripping were like peas in a pod. Hectoring narcissistic imbeciles may be seen as useful puppet figureheads by the wealthy elites who patronise corrupt politicians, but in the real world, you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Attempting some childish guilt trippery on those who have good reason to loathe the woman, and the circus of boojwah entitlement she fronted, shows a peculiarly pissy and very selective approach to the real world.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      @bag o'spanners

      in my book:

      speaking ill of the dead = OK, no different from speaking ill of the living. If I didn't like someone's actions / behaviour I am entitled to say it whether they are alive or dead

      being happy that someone has died = nasty

  48. JayB
    WTF?

    What's more depressing...

    Is it

    a) people are so hung up on a Politician who left our lives over 2 decades ago

    or

    b) That so many otherwise apparently intelligent people see fit to voice such disgusting vitriol, such pathetic bile, such base hatred for someone who just died?

    Frankly some of the posters on here should be utterly ashamed of themselves. Keep your clinically fucked up opinions to yourselves you staggeringly bigoted rodents. You are the worst kind of social media hogging pond scum I can imagine. Most of you never fucking met her and yet you feel it necessary to spout this kind of hatred? Shame on you. I'd wish something awful on you all but frankly, what can be worse than being the insensitive pricks you ably show yourselves to be?

    I'll content myself with Rest In Peace Mrs T, good or bad, you'll be remembered.

    1. BioPeek
      Boffin

      Re: What's more depressing...

      No. Most of us never met her. You are sooooooooo right. We've just had to live with the consequences of her.

      Shurley shome mishtake?

    2. El Presidente
      Facepalm

      Re: What's more depressing...

      @JayB

      Just facepalm.

      You either don't understand or you're about 20.

  49. BioPeek
    Alien

    Why Thatcher joined the Conservatives

    The Observer: The New Review; 23/11/2012; pg15:

    Nina Baldwin (1925 - 2012) Obit. Interview with Roger Baldwin:

    "She was on fire-watch with Margaret Thatcher towards the end of the war and recalled asking her why she wanted to go into the Conservatives when they were much more intelligent in the Labour Party -- Thatcher said it was easier to get on in the Conservatives."

    So, there you have it. We ended up with a PM who was only interested in her ambition.

    Likewise Tony Blair became an MP based upon a single vote cast at his constituency selection committee (41-40 IIRC).

    Food for thought....

    1. LPF
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why Thatcher joined the Conservatives

      "Thatcher said it was easier to get on in the Conservatives."

      In other words, in the conservatives a woman would be allowed to rise through the party and not be sent to make the coffee and bring the cakes for the men!!

      How many female labour party leaders have their been by the way or liberal??

      Yep exactly , so how about you open a can of STFU

      1. BioPeek
        Facepalm

        Re: Why Thatcher joined the Conservatives

        >Yep exactly , so how about you open a can of STFU

        I'd love to open a can of STFU, truly, but you see thanks to Maggie and her political descendants the last British manufacturer has gone: asset stripped, patents sold, plant and machinery exported and the work force on unemployment benefits.

        D'Oh!

      2. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Why Thatcher joined the Conservatives

        yeah man that'll be it

        nothing at all to do with the fact it's been scientifically proven that right wing types are stupid or anything.

        here you can use my can opener - turns out i didn't need it

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why Thatcher joined the Conservatives

          Was that proven by the same scientists who proved working on your own car gives you cancer?

          Or

          Was it the scientists who said geeding extract of goats to cattle was perfectly safe?

          Or

          Was it the scientists...

          You get the point I'm sure.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Why Thatcher joined the Conservatives

      So, there you have it. We ended up with a PM who was only interested in her ambition.

      Likewise Tony Blair became an MP based upon a single vote cast at his constituency selection committee (41-40 IIRC).

      Food for thought....

      Hmmm... Perhaps some thought might be a good idea? Is it likely that Thatcher only joined the Conservatives because it was easier, and despite her opinions on socialism would have gone the Labour route otherwise? Or perhaps is it likely that this is an anecdote that means little?

      On the Tony Blair thing, I'm no fan of his, and never voted for him. But he managed to get himself elected by his constituents to the Commons during a big Labour defeat, got re-elected in the same seat 6 times, got elected to the Shadow Cabinet, got elected as Labour leader and won 2 general elections with over 40% of the vote and big fat majorities (plus one more for luck). Given that, and that he'd been selected for a by-election before, I'm sure he would have got a seat eventually.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing about the hashtag?

    After she died the hashtag #nowthatchersdead started trending on twitter and, so a major print paper claims, Cher's fanbase panicked.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    vibrant economy

    Close down all the car companies or sell them off to foreigners and bet the farm on banking, house price bubbles and the 'new' service economy.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  52. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    I can understand some of the animosity towards Thatcher...

    But at the same time, a lot of the invective is shooting the messanger. The world had changed by 1979, and middle class employment for life in the smokestack industry of your choice was gone.

    People for instance love to throw around the decline of British auto production. What is the relative employment loss in British automotive production vs. American? I'd bet the British industry has done as well or better than the American industry. And the American industry suffered from many of the same problems--inefficient work practices, shoddy products, crappy engineering as well as unimaginative corporate bosses.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: I can understand some of the animosity towards Thatcher...

      Wow, 2 downvotes? For saying that the world had changed and a lot of dislike of Maggie was shooting the messenger? Is this El Reg, or The Guardian?

    2. Naughtyhorse

      Re: I can understand some of the animosity towards Thatcher...

      middle class employment for life in the smokestack industry of your choice.

      only a yank could so grievously misuse the english meaning of 'middle class' (fyi the middle classes have jobs like doctor, solicitor, headmaster, bank manager - anyone who works in a 'smokestack' industry, whatever the hell that is! is most definitely 'trade' old chap)

      of course convincing people they are middle class is why you have the whole 'turkeys voting for christmas' thing so firmly rooted in merkin politics, 'keep your stinkin gubbermint hands of my medicare' etc etc etc - curiously only thatch ever pursued that tack over here, flogging working class dullards a manky old council house and convincing them they were landed gentry! lol

      oh and fyi again the british automotive industry is currently 2 blokes in a shed getting high on fibreglass fumes.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: I can understand some of the animosity towards Thatcher...

        Naughtyhorse,

        Seeing as you were doing so well with the being patronising... Can anyone join in?

        Middle Class in the US means blue-collar but well paid. So think plumbers, car-workers and the like. So that 'turkeys voting for Christmas bit wasn't all that accurate'.

        Even though we're two cultures separated by a common language, I think you ought to be able to work out what a smokestack industry is.

        The British automotive industry is currently turning out more cars than it has since peak production in the 50s. Sadly it's not employing anywhere like as many people, because it's all automated. Last time I saw any figures, Sunderland was the most efficient car factory in the world.

        Sadly we run a more open economy than many of our trading partners, which leads to them being able to buy more of our companies than they allow us to buy of theirs. This has both downsides and upsides. Although we also own a lot of foreign companies. The Germans, French and Italians in particular are far more keen on free trade when it suits them, and ignoring EU rules when it doesn't - but that's a question for another day.

  53. teapot9999
    Megaphone

    What did she ever do to me?

    Most of my education was in the Thatcher years, when schools had enough teachers, when I got a full grant to go to university and had no debt when I finished. Blair/Brown screwed up all of that.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: What did she ever do to me?

      Blair/Brown screwed up all of that.

      Major screwed up all of that.

      he was the bright spark with the '50% of kids go to uni' policy - and that doomed the grant.

  54. Mike Richards

    One undeniably good thing

    She met Mikhail Gorbachev in 1984 before he became Premier of the Soviet Union. They spoke, got on and she saw he was different from his predecessors. She persuaded President Reagan that this was someone the West could do business with. The rest followed. That's a huge achievement on her part.

    She was also the first senior politician (and a scientist at that) to point out that pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere was not a good thing.

    1. Johan Bastiaansen
      Devil

      Re: One undeniably good thing

      And her and Reagan doing business with Gorbachev, how did that work out for him? And for the Soviet Union?

      So she didn't only wreck the UK industry but also the Sovjets? So that makes it ok then?

    2. Naughtyhorse

      Re: One undeniably good thing

      Raygun and thatch had absolutely nothing at all to do with the collapse of the USSR!

      it crumbled from within as any fule kno

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Growing up in Northern Ireland in the late 70s’ 80s I missed the miners strikes, but do remember my older cousins coming over talking about walking to school past mountains of rubbish, 3 day working weeks and all that had come before her.

    From my point of view she was the Prime Minister who stood up to the people planting bombs outside my school and trying to and succeeding in killing my family and friends because of what religion we were.

    She was the one who supported people like my father, trying to support his family in a city torn apart by conflict, hatred, and division by not letting the terrorist run unions rule and determine your job based on your local terrorist group , instead of the Labour IRA sympathisers and appeasers.

    People talk about all the evil she did to unions, but everyone forgets about the ‘other’ working class people she stood up for, for those she helped keep safe, or guaranteed a decent future, who were able to get jobs and an education because of what she did.

    And I don’t just mean the forgotten in NI, but in the Falklands and Eastern Europe

    But then I guess when you grow up in a place where your school gets bombed and the army get medals for going you have a different outlook on life.

    Anon - Obvious reasons

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's religion for you...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > That's religion for you...

        So true. I see all the vitriol being poured out against a dead person here coming from those hateful religious types.

  56. Herby Silver badge

    The UK had Thatcher

    We here in the USA had Reagan.

    Both worked out pretty good, but their later successors have not done well.

    Life goes on. Politicians buy votes (usually Liberal ones) with "other peoples money". Then claim their policies work. Unfortunately "other peoples money" ALWAYS runs out, as we here in the USA are figuring out all to sadly.

    But life goes on. Politicians will come and go, and we will always complain about their policies, be it good or bad. (*SIGH*)

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She died?!?

    There was nothing about it on the news or in the paper.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    7% of the cost of everything you've bought for the last 30 years was to pay for the top rate tax cut she gave her mates, VAT went up from 8% to 15%.

    She was an avid supporter of Apartheid and said Nelson Mandela would not make a leader.

    The Falklands, the only war started to distract the electorate and won on behalf of a leader that needed to distract the electorate. She was very low in the pole rating and would probably have lost the following election.

    Can't be arsed to post more, apart from she neither forgot or forgave the people who lost her her job and means of earning a living, so why should 3 million other people forgive her for taking theirs.

  59. Polyphonic
    Coat

    World leader wedded to market economy, privatisation and private property ruins the UK

    World leader wedded to market economy, privatisation and private property ruins the UK

    In later years we will recall that a world leader in the 1980's changed the UK economy and the global economy for ever, and not always for the good.

    Not it was not Margaret Thatcher or even Ronald Reagan, but Deng Xaioping who had the most immediate impact when he liberalised the Chinese economy and it became cheaper to manufacture in China than Manchester. Not a new phenomenon, the cotton mills of England went when the cotton was woven nearer where it was grown, but one overlooked when viewed with the parochial eye of blaming everything on M. Thatcher.

    I saw someone say she was a warmonger too. Let's balance it up, 1 war (the Falklands), the ongoing Troubles in NI and I think that was about that. Whereas the peacenik T Blair had at least five wars or interventions to his name within 6 years.

    She was strong government when strong government was needed. She made mistakes, I feel the poll tax was not one of them, but there again I've always been a rate payer, but she is not to blame for everything. When all is said and done we are responsible for our own lives and shouldn't expect someone else to sort everything out for us.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Hopelessly biased.

    What a hopelessly biased article.

    - No mention of the swathe of destruction she and her ministers wrought to our coal, steel and car industries.

    - No mention of privatising national assets and using North Sea oil to fund tax cuts for the rich.

    - No mention of destruction of British Rail and the massive taxpayer-funded subsidies (far more even inflation adjusted than was ever paid to British Rail) now paid to foreign companies to enrich their share holders.

    - No mention of using the police to forward her party politics- running up such a huge political debt that even today the Conservatives barely dare implement the reform the police so badly need.

    - No mention of taking us to war over some worthless rocks in the South Atlantic in order to distract from her domestic failures and impending defeat in the polls.

    - And finally, and worst of all, no mention of the fact that she set the stage for possibly the most corrupt prime minister we've ever had: Tony Blair.

    That taking BT public was a (partial) success you can only conclude was by accident rather than design.

  61. Dropper
    Pint

    Dead. Dead. Dead.

    I must admit while I normally refrain from booze mid-week, I had a celebratory drink upon receiving the great news Thatcher is dead. It actually made my day brighter. I don't consider this in bad taste because she was the cause of so much pain and suffering during the 80s. No amount of revisionist bullshit can take away the fact she failed to support sanctions against Apartheid, destroyed employee rights and our manufacturing induistry in her war against unions, put millions out of work throughout the country, treated nurses and teachers with contempt and of course was responsible for the poll tax. So good to know she's dead, just a shame it wasn't 34 years earlier.

  62. Eradicate all BB entrants
    Coat

    I thought I was on theregister but .....

    ...... it seems I wandered onto the Socialist Workers site instead. My bad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hopelessly biased.

      I agree- the rail network was a massive failure. But that's because it was insufficiently privatised- the rail companies kept coming back to the government for more and more funds and the government, for some reason, kept forking over the cash.

      Our Coal, Steel and Car industries could have survived quite happily if they hadn't relied on massive government subsidy. Removal of government cash doesn't affect a company that doesn't take any! All they had to do was make cars on time and that would start first time and the foreign imports wouldn't have been anywhere near as enticing.

      The worthless rocks are full of oil, with the discovery of just how much oil leading to the recent Argentinian rumblings about them being theirs. Not sure if they knew that in the 80s, mind.

    2. Dr Stephen Jones

      Re: Hopelessly biased.

      Mr Kenworthy -

      You want good old British Leyland back?

      Really?

    3. rhydian
      WTF?

      Re: Hopelessly biased.

      "No mention of the swathe of destruction she and her ministers wrought to our coal, steel and car industries."

      I have no experience of the first two, but the third is a subject very close to my heart, and I think you need to read up on it more.

      BL was a clusterfuck of the highest order. The result of a shotgun marriage of Leyland Motors (who made money making lorries) and BMC (who lost money making cars). The whole lot fell on it's arse in 1974, so the Government of the day nationalised it.

      Of course, being the 70s, the workforce didn't take kindly to actually having to do work, so for a lot of the time you couldn't actually buy a BL car, as there weren't any coming out of the factories. So of course, the labour government decided the best thing to do was to give the unions a direct say in the running of the firm...

      Fast forward to the 80s and the management have finally got around to sorting out the worst excesses of the overmanning and overcapacity. The problem was that it had taken too long, and BL launched in to the 80s with a range of cars that were uncompetitive, but the tie-up with honda soon sorted that. In the meantime Thatcher had privatised Jaguar and Leyland Trucks and buses. BL (now Austin Rover Group) was finally sold off to BAe in 1988.

      Britain now makes more cars than ever. We have profitable, successful factories all over the country building cars that people want to buy (a strange idea to many I know). MINI, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Vauxhall to name but a few.

  63. ecofeco Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Thick as thieves

    I lived through Thatcher with her counterpart, Reagan. Those two are singularly responsible for the disaster economics that have destroyed the middle class of both GB and the USA.

    Trickle down, de-regulation, voodoo (er) supply side economics, "free markets", and all the other ocean deep sheep poop they foisted on the average person, whose torch was carried by a mass media that was being consolidated in to just 7 world wide companies by the neocons on both sides of the ocean, presenting an illusion of choice, when none existed at all.

    Do you like the current economic problems and the rewarding of the perpetrators? This is their love child. And it might still damn well lead to WW3.

  64. David 45

    Good riddance

    Sorry folks, couldn't stand the woman but then, why should I apologise for disliking somebody who was too full of her own importance for her own good; false, pompous, overbearing, condescending, patronising, shallow, self-righteous and possessing a completely misplaced superior attitude over everybody else. How she lasted as long as she did as prime minister is totally beyond me. Must be something to do with her toadying cabinet ministers - most of whom were tarred with the same brush in my opinion. Every time she appeared on TV, with that particularly irritating smugness and an equally nauseous whine of a voice, I felt like hurling something at the screen. Quite the worst thing that ever happened for Britain. Brought the country to its knees.

    1. JaitcH
      WTF?

      Re: Good riddance

      Thatcher only survived because of lethargy. The lethargy of the voters.

      Today the lethargy continues, the British Bulldog having turned in to the Lapdog it is.

      Why do people even tolerate the government even considering tapping in to every communication in the country? Why do people tolerate the Seniors, the disabled, etc. being reduced to trash?

      Get out, contact your MPs - contacting them at home really gets their attention - isolation keeps them immune to people's reactions.

  65. Gene
    FAIL

    Soft Ice Cream?

    Carvel was selling it in the US in the 1930s.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politicians all suck

    Eton-educated, upper-class southern twats with no background in science or engineering...

    What we need is a proper Northern Prime Minister. Someone who can keep hold of the purse strings. Someone with a background in the sciences or Engineering... chemistry, maybe. Maybe- since we're being hypothetical- maybe /even a woman/.

  67. Gray Ham

    "You all did love him once, not without cause:

    What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?

    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,

    And men have lost their reason."

  68. Potemkine Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Her true legacy

    Her legacy is the crisis we face today. Like all the ideologies of the XXth century, her ideology led to disaster and suffering. Deregulation and developing outrageously the finance sector led to the subprimes and housing crisis, which degenerated in the debt crisis, countries having be obliged to take the debt of the banks for themselves to avoid the collapse of these 'to big to fail'.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you think privatising the GPO was a bad idea, imagine the alternative

    The only ISP or phone calls suppler you can choose is BT (Phorm and all)...

  70. JaitcH
    FAIL

    Thatcher: Her achievement? People celebrating her death - justifiably

    How many, and what were the characters of, people who have induced such unusual reactions to a persons death?

    Not too many, and none too savoury.

    Ignoring the Benito Mussolini, Augusto Pinochet, Nicolae Ceausescu, Idi Amin or Saddam Hussein - there are others equally as bad but celebrations would not have been tolerated politically - I can think of few who generated this public outpouring from apolitical members of the public - maybe bLIAR will get a similar treatment when his number comes up.

    Since Thatcher ruled, the UK has been through THREE recessions, THREE RECESSIONS since World War 2.

    She believed the UK economy could be built on a SERVICE economy - destroying the British manufacturing base (not SDK assembly) - you will have a hard job finding a British made screw. Where are our Plessey's, Marconi's or Leylands now?

    She also set the 'Fat Cats' on their route to raping the industrial sector. Scargill got her right, she was anti-worker (and NO, I am not a Labour supporter). Who else has used Plod and the Armed Forces as suppression of democratic strikes and protests.

    Although I left the UK many years ago, before Thatcher, I hoisted a 333 celebrating her death, along with all those 'street' celebrations that had to be broken up by Plod.

    She screwed Britain, in a way that no one else has managed to do. Good riddance to her. And may she rot in Hell.

    1. El Presidente

      Re: Thatcher: Her achievement? People celebrating her death - justifiably

      But she 'fixed' the post office, !!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thatcher: Her achievement? People celebrating her death - justifiably

      Britain was all rosy before she screwed it, eh?

      We all just imagined the waist deep rubbish, the constant strikes, the ridiculously high taxes to subsidise unviable state businesses.

      Never mind maybe Ed can reset it back to how it was, and we can yet again see militant scum regain the right to throw concrete slabs through taxi drivers windscreens.

  71. Great Bu

    Without Thacher

    Just think, if Thatcher had never existed we would all be millionaires.

    Admittedly that would be because we would have had 25% inflation for the last 30 years though......

  72. meanioni

    Were you there?

    I wonder how many of the posters here actually were adults in Thatcher years...

    I was and I remember just how crap things were in the 70s prior to her coming in. Let's start with some home truths:

    Car industry was on its knees - destroyed by over-unionised workforce, rolling strikes and dreadful product. Reason it died was lack of competition against the German/Japanese imports. Our luxury cars weren't and normal cars were unreliable, lacking features and not using latest technology. Blaming Thatcher for this is a bit rich as it was in its death throes anyway.

    Mining and steel industry - quite simply we could not produce at a good enough price - like tin mining before it (which we used to lead the world in) and clothing, other countries entered the market with a lower cost base (cheap labour, etc).

    Other manufacturing, I remember in the 70s everything was "made in Hong Kong", again cheap labour. they, like us moved on into higher value business (when was the last time you saw anything labelled "made in Hong Kong"?) China is currently filling that void, next it will be India and Brazil - just natural progression. No point in us trying to compete.

    British Rail was a laughing stock, bloated, inefficient, strikes, lack of investment. Whilst I don't like the rail prices at least when I travel now its on a modern, fast air-conditioned train that generally runs on time.

    And the list goes on.

    Thatcher was a catalyst, like it or not this was going to happen anyway. If she was guilty of one thing it was not providing the support for the people - the sudden crash plunged many areas into deep depression. But then I'm not sure what could have been done anyway.

    I also laughed to see someone blaming Thatcher for Blair coming in. Hilarious.

    And if there was one person who is more responsible for screwing this country over, it was him:

    Got us involved in expensive and pointless wars

    Spent like there was no tomorrow

    Encouraged a dependency culture

    Failed to control bankers

    Almost sunk us into the Euro...

    Wasted billions on vanity projects (Millennium Dome....etc)

    1. TheWeddingPhotographer

      Re: Were you there? Yes I was

      This is it in a nutshell, you hit the nail on the head

      It was crap before Margaret Thatcher become prime minister. We need to remember she was democratically elected into office three times.

      before Thatcher, we had rubbish piled in the streets, bodies awaiting cremation and burial, and a closed shop labour market

      The country needed the medicine, and it was delivered. Yup, it didn't taste nice, however it took a politician with balls to deliver it

      The rosy eyed view of British industry is only held by those on the gravy train. Mr Scargill, who fervently wanted strikes was sitting pretty on 70K a year, whilst "his" miners striked and earnt nothing. Let us not forget all of Mr Scargills shinnanigans since the 70's and 80's

      Many miners didn't strike, because they had families to feed, the travesty was the "flying pickets" putting immense presure on the ordainary working man. The bottom line with the mining industry was that the pits were not viable, and they could have either had a slow expensive painful death or a quick one

      Industrial relations are much improved, with far less hours / year lost due to industrial action post Thatcher

      Additionally let us think about her legacy.... the EU rebate, peace in Europe after the fall of Soviet Union, the ability to buy a council house, and the general shift of power away from institutions and unions, and corporations - towards the individual

  73. blueprint

    She considered her greatest achievment to be New Labour.

    I close the case for the prosecution.

  74. Lghost
    Pint

    ding dong :)))))..dancing :)))))

    yes ..I'm Irish..and for her support for apartheid..and so many other things..and I was 30 when she came to power..and she proceeded to ruin the UK, the insane, vindictive hag..

  75. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Even before

    Maggie came to power, those opf us on the otherside of the worl treated "made in britain" as a warning label.

    Case in point: UK cars. A year after they stopped being a protected import in New Zealand in 1972 they went from nearly 405 of the market to 2%. The japanese not only ate them for breakfast, they gave them a sound thrashing and took their lunch money too.

    It wasn't just the unions at fault. The entire system was broken from top to bottom.

    What Thatcher did wrong was to approach things with unveiled hostility for her enemies and was prepared to allow unlimited collateral damage if it took them down, this in turn caused increasing militancy in the responses. Mine closures were inevitable (and already happening). British Leyland should never have been bailed out (there were already other manufacturers who could have picked up the workforces).

    Privatisation was done as a matter of blind faith, without full research into the consequences (the privatisation of BT wasn't as badly done as it was in New Zealand though) and in later years it was pretty clear she had completely lost touch with the country at large, even from 12,000 miles away.

    We should not be thankful that we don't have drab wired telephones. We should be annoyed there isn't a vibrant telecommunications business, with lines heavily regulated and completely separated from all suppliers, instead of a monopoly presiding over the (literal) rot of one of the greatest infrastructure investments in history to the detriment of all except the mobile companies.

    BTW, try getting 1Gb/s fibre even 5 miles outside of a major city and tell me BT isn't a monopoly which charges like a wounded elephant. Noone else can supply it, because BT owns the ducts and won't allow anyone else to use them - at any price.

  76. briesmith

    What's Happened Since Maggie?

    For the last 100 years or so, since before the Jarrow marchers, every UK government of any colour has sent billions in development aid to the regions.This continues to this day with massive flows of capital from, mainly, the south east.

    What has this a achieved? The public sector component in the economies of Scotland, Northern Ireland, the north east, all the English regions in fact and Wales exceeds 60%. There is more state ownership in these countries and regions than was typical in communist Europe. The mining, steel making and shipbuilding communities in receipt of 100 years of subsidy or more (but supposedly devastated by Maggie 30 years ago) are still there; still with their mouths open and their hands out.

    Had Maggie not started the privatisation process - copied by every other country in the world by the way - God alone knows what sort of state we would be in.

    Re-establishing enterprise and rolling back the public sector is at least as big a challenge as taking on taming the unions was in the 70s and 80s.

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