• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

The Thatcher legacy thread


borntorum

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
12,805
Given the importance of the woman, I would suggest that there should be a separate thread to consider Thatcher’s legacy in more depth, which hopefully will be free of the knee jerk stuff over on the breaking news thread.

Thatcher was unquestionably the most important female politician in the Western world during the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] century, and perhaps the most important European politician since the 1960s. She shaped her country and the world like few leaders have ever done, and we are continuing the live with the economic and social paradigm created by her with ideological soulmates like Ronald Reagan. Her legacy cannot be easily summarised as wholly good or bad. She was more nuanced and complicated than either her greatest supporters or fiercest opponents gave her credit for. In my opinion, however, her impact was unquestionably more negative than positive, and hindsight and the passing of time only confirms my view of her as a malign force on British and world affairs.

When she came to power she was faced with the final and undeniable breakdown of the post war social democratic consensus in the UK. Undoubtedly major economic reforms were needed, and the British State could not go on subsidising unprofitable industries as it had been doing at the behest of overly powerful trade unions. Mines had to be closed, the undemocratic power of the unions had to be tamed. But a better politician, and a better person, would have strived to do this in a manner that helped preserve, as much as possible, the working class communities that would be so affected by the diminution of their traditional sources of employment and social pride.

Thatcher didn’t want to preserve these working class communities. She wanted to destroy them. She was a fiercer class warrior than any Marxist. She came into power promising like Francis of Assisi to spread love instead of hatred. Yet she used the useful cause of deindustrialisation as a Trojan horse to smash a way of life and a people that was anathema to her and to people like her. In one of the most disgusting and dangerous remarks surely ever made by the prime minister of a democratic country about her own compatriots, she labelled the striking miners as “the enemy within”. These were men and descendents of men who had fought Britain’s wars and who had worked in dangerous and harmful conditions to provide the raw materials to fuel British industry and warm British hearts. It wasn’t enough for Thatcher to defeat the miners; she had to crush and humiliate them as well. She wanted to portray them as not properly British, or at least not properly part of the Britain she wanted to create.

And what sort of Britain, and indeed what sort of world, did she create? Well, on its own terms, initially it seemed to work. Greed was good, the City went bang, and Britain boomed. After a blip in the late 80s (a housing crash, no less!) the good times continued to roll long after she was gone, replaced by ideological mini-mes like Major, Blair and Brown, who may not have agreed with the nastiest elements of Thatcher's politics but who swallowed hook, line and sinker the belief that private profit must be facilitated at all costs, that big business is good but bigger business is better, and that the glorious invisible hand of the market place would correct market irregularities and dodgy dealings much more efficiently than fusty old State regulation.

We know where that has led us. Thatcher has been out of power for 23 years, so she can’t be held responsible for every negative of the ongoing clusterf*ck and omnishambles that is the world economy. But the current malaise – the busted but unbowed banks, the braying fund managers pocketing obscene bonuses, the corrupt Russian oligarchs and coked up aristrocratic Eurotrash buying up swathes of prime London real estate, while for the masses of working and middle class people unemployment soars, savings are wiped out, public services are slashed, wages are stagnant and pensions are eviscerated, all to feed the insatiable beast known as “The Market” – this is the logical extension and development of what Thatcher created.

Thatcher apparently once replied, when asked what her greatest legacy was, “New Labour”. At the time she was probably right. But today, as this crisis of capitalism continues and deepens, as it becomes ever more clear that the old days of comfortable middle class growth are threatened as never before in a world of Chinese and BRIC power and international capital, I wonder how much longer the Thatcherite paradigm will remain the dominant economic ideology in the west. I suspect that, ultimately, Thatcherism will be seen, not as the creation of a new way for western capitalism, but as a flawed ideal that quickened the already inevitable decline of Anglo-American economic and political power. All political careers end in failure. I believe that, in the fullness of time, as well as her personal career, Thatcher’s ideology will be considered a failure too.

<Mod> This thread has been merged with "Eoghan Harris back to his favourite battleground in the Sindo". </Mod>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Man or Mouse

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2010
Messages
7,110
She was probably the first to realise we can't afford this social welfare/medical care for life regime. I'm sure it was considerably lower in those days too.

Whether by design or not though, herself and Ronald Reagan - yes, definitely "not" in the latter case for sure - set in motion the terrible situation we have today where a few bankers rule the world.

But of the two lifestyle options, some bit of socialism would in my view be preferable. We do have to look after the weaker members of society to some extent which will include cradle to grave in some cases. The big challenge is trying to separate the deserving from the entitlement brigade.
 

FloatingVoterTralee

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
997
The main legacy was undoubtedly on the political system - before '79, each of the three main parties had clearly defined ideological differences, fast forward to 2010, and like Animal Farm, they had become practically indistinguishable. Labour became unelectable through focusing on irrelevances such as class politics, Clause IV and becoming beholden to the unions, but was unable to adjust until borrowing Clinton's Third Way clothes. Similarly, the old Liberals actually gained momentum through being seen as the "real opposition", abandoning old free market tenets in the gradual drift to Lib Dem social democracy as prompted by Owen and Williams.
 

44percent

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,230
Breaking the tyrannical power of union leaders and then making the tyrannical power of the banks with deregulation. Her Irish legacy? Irish history has a habit of hopping up and biting you in the arse so that one I leave to the future.
 

Expose the lot of them

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
20,944
Given the importance of the woman, I would suggest that there should be a separate thread to consider Thatcher’s legacy in more depth, which hopefully will be free of the knee jerk stuff over on the breaking news thread.

Thatcher was unquestionably the most important female politician in the Western world during the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] century, and perhaps the most important European politician since the 1960s. She shaped her country and the world like few leaders have ever done, and we are continuing the live with the economic and social paradigm created by her with ideological soulmates like Ronald Reagan. Her legacy cannot be easily summarised as wholly good or bad. She was more nuanced and complicated than either her greatest supporters or fiercest opponents gave her credit for. In my opinion, however, her impact was unquestionably more negative than positive, and hindsight and the passing of time only confirms my view of her as a malign force on British and world affairs.

When she came to power she was faced with the final and undeniable breakdown of the post war social democratic consensus in the UK. Undoubtedly major economic reforms were needed, and the British State could not go on subsidising unprofitable industries as it had been doing at the behest of overly powerful trade unions. Mines had to be closed, the undemocratic power of the unions had to be tamed. But a better politician, and a better person, would have strived to do this in a manner that helped preserve, as much as possible, the working class communities that would be so affected by the diminution of their traditional sources of employment and social pride.

Thatcher didn’t want to preserve these working class communities. She wanted to destroy them. She was a fiercer class warrior than any Marxist. She came into power promising like Francis of Assisi to spread love instead of hatred. Yet she used the useful cause of deindustrialisation as a Trojan horse to smash a way of life and a people that was anathema to her and to people like her. In one of the most disgusting and dangerous remarks surely ever made by the prime minister of a democratic country about her own compatriots, she labelled the striking miners as “the enemy within”. These were men and descendents of men who had fought Britain’s wars and who had worked in dangerous and harmful conditions to provide the raw materials to fuel British industry and warm British hearts. It wasn’t enough for Thatcher to defeat the miners; she had to crush and humiliate them as well. She wanted to portray them as not properly British, or at least not properly part of the Britain she wanted to create.

And what sort of Britain, and indeed what sort of world, did she create? Well, on its own terms, initially it seemed to work. Greed was good, the City went bang, and Britain boomed. After a blip in the late 80s (a housing crash, no less!) the good times continued to roll long after she was gone, replaced by ideological mini-mes like Major, Blair and Brown, who may not have agreed with the nastiest elements of Thatcher's politics but who swallowed hook, line and sinker the belief that private profit must be facilitated at all costs, that big business is good but bigger business is better, and that the glorious invisible hand of the market place would correct market irregularities and dodgy dealings much more efficiently than fusty old State regulation.

We know where that has led us. Thatcher has been out of power for 23 years, so she can’t be held responsible for every negative of the ongoing clusterf*ck and omnishambles that is the world economy. But the current malaise – the busted but unbowed banks, the braying fund managers pocketing obscene bonuses, the corrupt Russian oligarchs and coked up aristrocratic Eurotrash buying up swathes of prime London real estate, while for the masses of working and middle class people unemployment soars, savings are wiped out, public services are slashed, wages are stagnant and pensions are eviscerated, all to feed the insatiable beast known as “The Market” – this is the logical extension and development of what Thatcher created.

Thatcher apparently once replied, when asked what her greatest legacy was, “New Labour”. At the time she was probably right. But today, as this crisis of capitalism continues and deepens, as it becomes ever more clear that the old days of comfortable middle class growth are threatened as never before in a world of Chinese and BRIC power and international capital, I wonder how much longer the Thatcherite paradigm will remain the dominant economic ideology in the west. I suspect that, ultimately, Thatcherism will be seen, not as the creation of a new way for western capitalism, but as a flawed ideal that quickened the already inevitable decline of Anglo-American economic and political power. All political careers end in failure. I believe that, in the fullness of time, as well as her personal career, Thatcher’s ideology will be considered a failure too.
It was not just the working communities and working class trade unionists that she regarded as the enemy within, she took the same stand on the workers at GDHQ. Men and women who had proved their patriotism through various wars but who, by exercising their democratic right to be a member of a trade union, cast doubt in her mad mind on their patriotism. They had worked at Bletchley and had fought fascism in the 30s and 40s and regarded the right be be a member of a trade union as one of the rights they had fought for.

"In 1984, GCHQ was the centre of a political row when the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher prohibited its employees from belonging to a trade union. It was claimed that joining such a union would be in conflict with national security. Appeals to British Courts and European Commission of Human Rights[21] were unsuccessful. Appeal to the ILO resulted in a decision that government's actions were in violation of Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention.[22] The ban was eventually lifted by the incoming Labour government in 1997, with the Government Communications Group of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union being formed to represent interested employees at all grades.[23] In 2000, a group of 14 former GCHQ employees, who had been dismissed after refusing to give up their union membership, were offered re-employment, which three of them accepted.[24]"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Communications_Headquarters
Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503

NYCKY

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
13,101
She did many good things, crushing the unions and thereby saving Britain from itself. She slowed the EU gallop to greater federalism and wisely kept Britain out of the Euro.

One of the ways success is acknowledged, is that your successors keep your policies. John Major was never going to change much but Blair kept her policies largely intact.
 

Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,845
Thatcher's legacy was death.

Sync censored my original post.
/MOD/ We're going to try something discussed in Feedback in the past, essentially having one thread for RIP messages/insults/pictures and another thread for the adult conversation of the type BornToRum's started. No one's posts are being deleted, but basically the childish rubbish is going to be transferred into the other thread and the grown up posts (both complimentary and critical) will remain here. If you've an issue with that, please take it up in feedback or PM me or another mod. No derailing this thread. /MOD/
 

Andrew49

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
6,046
Twitter
AndrewSB49
She was one of only a few conservatives to support the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the U.K. in 1966.
 

Silentmajority

Active member
Joined
Dec 8, 2012
Messages
208
Thatcher was a product of her class, her upbringing and her times. She was also lucky to have come to the leadership at a unique time. The world economy was in recession, British traditional industry was in chaos, inflation was rampant and the Unions, yes the TUC, unions whose block votes elect labour leaders had brought down a labour government. That party that should have been organizing to protect the working class of the UK were so inward looking, chasing ideological socialist purity they choose to oppose her an un-electable unilateral disarmament zealot in Michael Foot.

All of these factors conspired to deliver the UK into Maggie's hands, perhaps they deserved each other, perhaps Thatcherism is the price the British had to pay for the age of Empire and the colonial past?
 

Boy M5

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
21,731
Martin Wolf (FT) has describes her as a pragmatist in tomorrow's paper.
Though a barbed end to his piece, that perhaps what she left behind has been shown to be an illusion.
 

Hitch 22

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2011
Messages
5,220
How can you maintain the living standards Westerners have come to expect when heavy industry and manufacturing and even high end technology and services are increasingly being taken over by the BRIC countries?

The free market means that the movement of goods, services and labor around the world is becoming easier because global business demands it.

Europe and America are becoming increasingly elderly and dependent on a shrinking pool of educated employed young people who themselves are having fewer and fewer children.

The cradle to grave welfare system has to be paid for by countries themselves or from borrowed money.

Borrowed money can only be sourced if there is a return on the investment.

If interests payments are beyond the capabilities of borrowers to pay then it dries up.

BRIC workers are the new consumers who have the money to back up their consumption while America and Europe is dependent on credit.

With the collapse of consumerism in America and Europe, the BRIC workers will replace it.

Whereas before BRIC workers migrated to America and Europe in the future Americans and Europeans will migrate to the BRIC countries.

When the living standards of people improve they demand freedom and if economies are to expand to their full potential people must have freedom of thought, word and action and the protection of the law.

The highly centralized ruling systems that exist in the BRIC countries will have to come to an end for their societies to continue to flourish.

That could result in social disorder and political fragmentation and economic destablization.

It also means there is more demand for diminishing resources and this means anywhere in the world where there was a previously unexploited mineral resource will become increasingly important.

If there had not been a Thatcher the decline of the West would have been much been more swift.
 

RobertW

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
20,483
Thatcher was undoubtedly the most divisive politician of the past fifty years or so.

In opposition she was a weak leader. This was never more considered when, in opposition, Alan Clark stated that usually there are one or two who look at their leader and think to themselves "I could do a better job". . . "I'm Margaret's case it was all of us". This wasn't sexism as Labour MP Margaret Beckett once described her "as so bad she was embarrassing"

On assuming power she quickly developed a taste for ruthlessness in a manner so confrontational and divisive that it would ultimately lead to her downfall via the poll tax riots in 1990. She adopted an attitude towards certain sectors of society along the lines of "they don't vote for us. . So why bother with them"....Hence the unnecessary confrontation with the miners.

The Falklands was a means to an end. . .an unnecessary war as a general election loomed. It gave her a taste of being a wartime PM . . Something she clearly revelled in. The sinking of the Belgrano was inexcusable and a war crime.

In some ways she was a lucky politican. The LP were unelectable in the 1980s and this very much contributed to her electoral success. She was also a disloyal one . . . As John Major found out when she tried to become a "back-seat driver".

A hero to her worshippers and Satan's daughter to her enemies.
 

gerhard dengler

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
47,554
Thatcher was undoubtedly the most divisive politician of the past fifty years or so.

In opposition she was a weak leader. This was never more considered when, in opposition, Alan Clark stated that usually there are one or two who look at their leader and think to themselves "I could do a better job". . . "I'm Margaret's case it was all of us". This wasn't sexism as Labour MP Margaret Beckett once described her "as so bad she was embarrassing"

On assuming power she quickly developed a taste for ruthlessness in a manner so confrontational and divisive that it would ultimately lead to her downfall via the poll tax riots in 1990. She adopted an attitude towards certain sectors of society along the lines of "they don't vote for us. . So why bother with them"....Hence the unnecessary confrontation with the miners.

The Falklands was a means to an end. . .an unnecessary war as a general election loomed. It gave her a taste of being a wartime PM . . Something she clearly revelled in. The sinking of the Belgrano was inexcusable and a war crime.

In some ways she was a lucky politican. The LP were unelectable in the 1980s and this very much contributed to her electoral success. She was also a disloyal one . . . As John Major found out when she tried to become a "back-seat driver".

A hero to her worshippers and Satan's daughter to her enemies.
Fair post.

Although the great statesmen and stateswomen actually achieve a level of consensus.
I'm not sure that Thatcher ever quite achieved consensus.
 

vision

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
1,094
Yes, she was divisive as I remember from cousins who lived in Thrybergh and worked the Silverwood Colliery. We were all young at the time and I remember going to weddings and christenings during and after the strikes. Now we are all older and see each other more at funerals and they are less bitter, in fact talk of the mines being unsustainaable and all went on to secure alternative forms of employment far healthier than had they stayed down pit.

Thatcher had what is hugely missing in politics generally "balls" she set her mind on doing something and did it whether she was liked or not. Have to say I disliked some of the things she did but respect her for many other things that she did. She did not deregulate the banks - that was Labour and Gordon Browne. She will go down in history as one of the greatest politicians in the UK because quite simply she was.
 
Top