To wonder why thatcher was at the ritz

(147 Posts)
Lockedout434 Tue 09-Apr-13 07:38:28

I understood that she was very ill with alzimers and had been suffering since 2000 ish. Was she living there or had she been taken out by someone.

Anyone any ideas?

LadyKinbote Tue 09-Apr-13 07:44:12

Sky News said she'd been there since Jan. Very interesting place to be in these times of austerity!

twofingerstoGideon Tue 09-Apr-13 07:45:43

Because her Belgravia home was too downmarket for her?

Meglet Tue 09-Apr-13 07:53:33

I wondered that too.

Probably because there was no way she could go into a regular nursing home due to security issues but it could all be set up at The Ritz.

Snazzynewyear Tue 09-Apr-13 07:53:45

Little said to explain this but one of the news channels yesterday referred to her staying there long term 'because it was easier to care for her there' whatever that means.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 08:08:30


The only thing I feel any warmth towards her is regarding her illness.

But how lucky for her to be cared for at the Ritz with a private nurse.

Lockedout434 Tue 09-Apr-13 08:13:40

Strange though

Feminine Tue 09-Apr-13 08:17:49

I'm sure she is not the only one who has done this. confused

She was ill in her last days.

Yes, she could afford it. Like plenty of others I presume?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 09-Apr-13 08:22:00

Lots of rich people do it....the Savoy and the Ritz are favourite places for people to spend their twilight years.

They have a suite of room, lots of staff...perfect for the elderly and infirm. It's in town...close to the action.

hf128219 Tue 09-Apr-13 08:23:53

Her choice. It may not that been more costly than a private care home.

NotTreadingGrapes Tue 09-Apr-13 08:24:26

I expect if she'd died on an NHS geriatric ward everyone would be moaning about her using state resources....

somethingscary Tue 09-Apr-13 08:25:39

According to one report, the owners invited her, so presumably it was free of charge.

SophiaTheFirst Tue 09-Apr-13 08:25:48

They said that when she last came out of hospital her carers felt her 4 storey town house was no longer practical and they went to the Ritz. Management said they were happy for her to stay long term so she made her suite her home.

yousankmybattleship Tue 09-Apr-13 08:25:59

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

melika Tue 09-Apr-13 08:26:09

I heard the Barclay brothers own the Ritz and they allowed her to stay. I think it is sad that she probably didn't get many family visitors because of her alzheimers.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 08:26:13


no - I'd like her to experience that. Hope she would be lucky enough to be cared for by people with enough time and empathy to treat her as an individual

You know, all the things she was so good at

sandyballs Tue 09-Apr-13 08:28:24

Would be interesting to know what the weekly cost was. My mum pays £900 per week in a private care home. She also has Alzheimer's.

charlieandlola Tue 09-Apr-13 08:31:55

Because she needed 24 hr nursing care, and she was too much of a security risk to place her in a nursing home. Her bedrooms at home were too small for a hospital bed and medical accoutrements, plus needed bedrooms for her carers. £20-30k a month hotel bills plus 24 hr nursing would have been small change to her

BMW6 Tue 09-Apr-13 08:47:44

My DH heard on Radio that she had been invited to stay at Ritz by owners as their guest (for free)

Tiredandhot Tue 09-Apr-13 08:51:09

She was staying free as a friend of the owners, the Barclays brothers, who are mired in controversy over their ongoing tax status. Indeed the Ritz itself has paid no corporation tax for almost 20 years via (legal) tax avoidance schemes.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 08:52:48


It gets better.

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 08:53:49

Her home was impractical as she was so ill. I've only heard/read gossip that she stayed for free, not sure that it's true. She didn't have masses of money as she didn't personally capitalise on her position - quite a rarity in politicians today! However, Dennis had a successful career, so she was probably 'comfortable'.

Moominsarehippos Tue 09-Apr-13 08:58:05

Radio said it was because it was more 'practical'. I suppose she was quite frail but she did seem to be having guests and meetings so I suppose a suite would be easier in that situation.

So she couldn't manage the stairs? She should have sold up and got a granny flat and paid out of her own pocket for full time care. Like my mum had to. My mum who had until recently paid for my grandmother to be in a nursing home

BlackAffronted Tue 09-Apr-13 09:00:09

A suite at the Ritz is £810 a night.

thebody Tue 09-Apr-13 09:01:31

I imagine security issues.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 09-Apr-13 09:27:28

I think it is sad that she probably didn't get many family visitors because of her alzheimers.

Lots of guessing here. We don't know that she didn't get many visitors. Apparently her daughter is devoted to her.

Artichook Tue 09-Apr-13 09:35:29

She was not able to make decisions about her own care, decisions were made by friends and family. The Barclay brothers own The Telegraph and The Ritz and were old friends. If you were her caters and were offered free accommodation at The Ritz vs the hassle if finding somewhere else what would you have chosen? I doubt she was even aware she was there.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 09:37:55


sHenwillnhavebbeniffitted fromthe individualmattention, food and comfort ofmthe Ritz, aware oor not

LaQueen Tue 09-Apr-13 09:38:06

Yes, I'm absolutely sure if someone offered my Mum (if she was very frail and suffering from Alzheimers) free accomodation and nursing care at The Ritz, then I'd turn them down flat because I'm just so much morally and ethically evolved than that hmm

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 09:38:16

You get the gist...

Artichook Tue 09-Apr-13 09:44:36

Fair enough LaQueen, I am pretty sure that if my mother was a massive security risk and not able to be accommodated in a normal nursing home but had old friends who offered free accommodation I'd go with the friends. I'm not sure I see the ethical problem.

PeneloPeePitstop Tue 09-Apr-13 09:45:46

I'd heard that since her operation her Belgravia home wasn't appropriate as it didn't have disability adaptations that she needed.

givemeaclue Tue 09-Apr-13 09:50:59

There were stairs in her home. Lots ofvery v wealthy elderly people choose to end their days in luxury hotels.

More like a travel inn for me...

givemeaclue Tue 09-Apr-13 09:51:35

She had her own two nurses

She may have been surrounded by the luxury of the Ritz, but she still died a lonely old woman who spent her last Christmases alone except for her (paid for) carers. I feel no envy or hatred for the woman, just a sadness at the glee and misogyny being displayed by a lot of people who should know better.

givemeaclue Tue 09-Apr-13 09:53:28

Thatcher died a very wealthy woman. Be under no illusions that she was "comfortable". She was rich.

LaQueen Tue 09-Apr-13 09:54:00

I'm curious as to why people are calling her just by her surname, and not Mrs Thatcher, or Margaret Thatcher hmm

FunnyLittleFrog Tue 09-Apr-13 09:55:43

Where were her kids? Why did she spend Christmas alone?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 09:56:16


Maybe because some of us don't hold her in any great esteem.

I'm sorry she suffered with ALzheimers. I'm sure those who loved her will be grief stricken.

Artichook Tue 09-Apr-13 09:57:15

LaQueen - It's how politicians are traditionally referred to:

Blair is in the US...
Brown was bitter...
Major had an affair...
Thatcher died...
Wilson closed mines too...
Obama payed tribute...
Chirac had an airport named after him...

Why the raised eyebrow?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 09:57:58


And that

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 09:58:50



Must have missed that

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Apr-13 09:59:09

Or even misogyny

WilsonFrickett Tue 09-Apr-13 10:01:02

Rich person has rich friends who put her up for free in their nice hotel. It's hardly a leap, is it? And she would have paid for her own care. I also presume she was still considered a high security risk.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 09-Apr-13 10:03:05

So now we're knocking her decision on where to stay in her final years hmm The woman had Alzheimers FFS, I really don't think she had much say in the matter. Family would have decided all that. But lets just blame her anyway hmm

Levantine Tue 09-Apr-13 10:12:14

I am no fan <understatement> but I don't have a big problem with her staying at the Ritz (Barclay brothers tax affairs notwithstanding)

Where is the misogyny? I don't see any. I find it very strange that her biggest supporters keep playing the frail old lady card. Why? She was incredibly powerful in her time.

Booyhoo Tue 09-Apr-13 10:13:38

"She should have sold up and got a granny flat and paid out of her own pocket for full time care. "

why if someone has offered to cover the cost of her stay at the hotel?

and also, she was quite well off, i'd say she did pay for her own care.

I don't know why she spent Christmas (and most other days) alone. Maybe her dedication to her job damaged her relationship with her children. Maybe her fairweather friends deserted her? Maybe her Alzheimers was too bad for her to be tolerable/bearable? Whatever her past achievements, her ending was extremely sad.

Lueji Tue 09-Apr-13 10:18:16

Does it even matter?

Lockedout434 Tue 09-Apr-13 10:18:16

I thought she had gone for dinner or something with someone.
So if she was that ill then how ill was she when Cameron wheeled her out for the cameras at 10 downing st in 2008 (I think)

Didn't like the women but even I think that's eeeew to make political capital over a sick women. Eeeew

newbiefrugalgal Tue 09-Apr-13 10:23:21

How did thatcher get so rich?

Pigsmummy Tue 09-Apr-13 10:25:21

After her long hospital stay it was decided that her and nursing staff would live in a rented apartment there rather than try to live back at home. I don't know who paid the bill and don't really care as long as it isn't the tax payer, I don't understand why people have issue with this to be honest?

There are apartments available there for rental, they are not at at the same tariff as the hotel nightly rates and the Ritz can use their own property for whoever they want can't they?

yousankmybattleship Tue 09-Apr-13 10:31:41

Newbie - she got rich by marrying a millionnaire.

mummytime Tue 09-Apr-13 10:39:37

But according to my neice, a lot of the news teams don't seem to know where she was as they are camped outside her house in Chester Square.

BTW didn't Elaine Striche live in the Ritz free of charge after she conned them, in exchange for publicity?

Snazzynewyear Tue 09-Apr-13 10:42:54

The Guardian says the following today:

In January it was reported that the former prime minister had decided to convalesce from the effects of bladder surgery in a suite at the five-star Piccadilly landmark rather than endure the stairs of her Belgravia townhouse.

Costing thousands of pounds a week for a suite as well as accommodation for her carers, Thatcher was part of a long tradition of rich and famous guests opting for permanent residence in hotels amid failing health.

LeQueen - didn't realise every public figure on here was referred to using an honorific. I must have missed that memo. People are commonly referred to (here as elsewhere) by surnames - Beckham etc.

Snazzynewyear Tue 09-Apr-13 10:44:21

Thatcher's money - in her days as a chemist didn't she have something to do with inventing new ice cream technology, Mr Whippy style soft ice cream? Played right that could have earned her a lot of cash. Plus there will be royalties from her various books, and earnings from speaking engagements before she stopped doing them, as well as Denis's money.

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 09-Apr-13 10:52:54

She did work on soft-scoop ice cream technology, but in a junior role, when she was employed by a company. Ie all the work, the learning etc would belong to that company. She would not have got rich from ice cream!

I can't say I see much issue with Thatcher living out her twilight months/years at the Ritz. Her house was listed I assume, it would have needed lots of work done to make it suitable for her and her care, and her carers post-op. But instead she received an offer to stay somewhere, FOC. I'd have taken it, for me, or for my mother.

Lovecat Tue 09-Apr-13 11:00:59

I couldn't bear Thatcher.

However other than a quiet eye roll at the rich getting yet more stuff for free (always the way - if you can afford it you always seem to be gifted freebies whereas if you're poor you have to pay through the nose for everything) I don't get why this is an issue.

mrsjay Tue 09-Apr-13 11:04:29

I have read a few famous older people have spent their last few years at posh hotels I would assume she had a suite with a nurse and all her needs were catered too , and places like the Ritz can offer free rooms for certain people as some sort of good will gesture

flatpackhamster Tue 09-Apr-13 11:09:25


After her long hospital stay it was decided that her and nursing staff would live in a rented apartment there rather than try to live back at home. I don't know who paid the bill and don't really care as long as it isn't the tax payer, I don't understand why people have issue with this to be honest?

Haters gonna hate.

If she'd been in a state facility they'd have whinged she shouldn't use it because 'everyone knows' that there was no public sector left in the UK after she resigned (despite the fact that public sector spending rose from 79-90). Since it's a private one they're whinging that it's clearly proof that she was part of the EVIL RICH OVERLORD TORIES.

As she herself said "If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn't swim."

reluctantmover Tue 09-Apr-13 11:10:54

Lots of guessing here. How do those posting she spent Christmas and most other times alone know this as fact, were you present?

elliejjtiny Tue 09-Apr-13 11:12:48

She was staying free as a friend of the owners

I need to get some new friends grin

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 11:15:36

Her house wasn't listed - I understood it was a new build Barratt home in Dulwich.

squeakytoy Tue 09-Apr-13 11:17:42

"How do those posting she spent Christmas and most other times alone know this as fact, were you present"

It was widely reported in the press. Her daughter and son were not in the country at the time.

The Ritz and a few other of the larger hotels in London are not like the average hotel. They have fully self contained suites with kitchens, and people often rent them long term for months, even years.

I have been told she was alone by people who are in a position to know, and who have no reason to lie to me about such things.

mrsjay Tue 09-Apr-13 11:19:24

The Ritz and a few other of the larger hotels in London are not like the average hotel. They have fully self contained suites with kitchens, and people often rent them long term for months, even years.

^ ^ that these hotels are not like 'normal hotels' really people do live in them , ( i watched a thing about claridges so i obviously know it all grin)

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 11:21:22

I understood that when her niece (her sister's daughter) learned that she was to be alone, she invited her to join her family for Christmas.

LifeofPo Tue 09-Apr-13 11:21:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MintyyAeroEgg Tue 09-Apr-13 11:22:53

I don't think she ever lived in the modern house in Dulwich. It was where she was going to move to after she stood down, which was 1990/91 iirc.

mummytime Tue 09-Apr-13 11:22:55

She sold the Dulwich house a long time ago!

reluctantmover Tue 09-Apr-13 11:23:02

it does not mean the woman was always alone, because they weren't in the UK yesterday. I find it a bit disrespectful to paint such a picture. I'd be the last person to ever have voted for her or her party, but there is no reason to speculate about the deceased.

LessMissAbs Tue 09-Apr-13 11:24:21

Considering a "celebrity" like Peaches Geldof lived free of charge, at the owner's invitation, at the Savoy for over two years, I think this a dignified final home for Margaret Thatcher. The owners didn't court publicity (unlike my other example) and it didn't use public resources.

MidniteScribbler Tue 09-Apr-13 11:25:15

Who cares? It's not like the taxpayer was paying the bill. God, some people are such arseholes.

LessMissAbs Tue 09-Apr-13 11:25:31

Or was it Claridges?

chris481 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:26:29

Telegraph said she moved there January because her home didn't have a stairlift.

(It did cross my mind that the expense of adding/removing a stairlift would be considerably less than staying in the Ritz.)

squeakytoy Tue 09-Apr-13 11:27:42

"I was unaware that the ritz offered maximum security. What a load of bollocks"

Again, the Ritz and similar hotels are not like the average hotel. They do have very tight security in place 24/7.

I know this first hand because my company does a lot of work in there and in other hotels in that area. We were working at a hotel in the same street yesterday and it was chaos.

reluctantmover Tue 09-Apr-13 11:29:37

Just reading back, the comment about her dying alone, well that's nothing compared the comments that she should have sold her house, she was paying X amount to stay in the Ritz etc etc. Do these details really matter to you all?

tiredemma Tue 09-Apr-13 11:33:26

Her son and daughter plan to remain in Switzerland and Barbados for the immediate future apparently.

That is very sad. I abhor Thatcher - I am not 'sad' that she has died- but it does anger me that her children could not find time to spend last few weeks with her or even present themselves after her death.
That Mark one is an utter shit.

edam Tue 09-Apr-13 11:37:17

Nice for her and her family that she was able to live in comfort. Sadly a comfort that was denied to the thousands of elderly people who died of cold when she was PM because they couldn't afford to put the heating on, and because of NHS cuts. That would never happen under the current Tory government of course...

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 11:40:28

I think Mark is totally self-centred, and Carol's relationship with her mother seems to have been damaged by her unavailability as the children were growing up.

But...MT has been very ill for a very long time, and I don't think they could have been expected to wait in the UK waiting for her to die.

Surprised they're not coming back now.

Owllady Tue 09-Apr-13 11:41:28

I am rather hmm at the security comments. My Gran has had her council bungalow burgled several times, once when she was in it. She gets a carer that goes in to make her a sandwich in the morning for 15 minutes and then one to make sure she is in bed at night. It's a good job she has a loving supportive family. The divide between the rich and the poor in this country is really quite disgusting.

My comments are really not personal to M Thatcher. I have just learnt something new today

mindosa Tue 09-Apr-13 11:42:05

She didn't have masses of money as she didn't personally capitalise on her position - quite a rarity in politicians today!

Ok so 250k as a director of Philip Morris ( a tabacco company!!) isnt cashing in.
It always amazes me when Tory leaders are simply expected to hoover up speaker and director money (John Major, Margaret Thatcher) whereas Labour leaders (Tony Blair, Gordon Brown) are said to be grubby money chasers. Bizarre

Chipstick10 Tue 09-Apr-13 12:05:42

So maggie was rich...and? So what, it's not a crime. She wasn't born rich btw.

AmberLeaf Tue 09-Apr-13 12:08:04

but it does anger me that her children could not find time to spend last few weeks with her or even present themselves after her death

Im sure I read that Carol came over the day/day before she died and was with her when she died?

It is bad that they didn't appear to spend much time with her prior to that, but maybe its a case of reaping what you sow?

...and yes, what edam said.

mummytime Tue 09-Apr-13 12:12:20

I do find that sad, that her kids didn't visit her.

But then Carol could feel at home on the Stately homes thread.

tiredemma Tue 09-Apr-13 12:13:30

yes yes- agree with edam also.

mindosa Tue 09-Apr-13 12:35:30

So maggie was rich...and? So what, it's not a crime. She wasn't born rich btw.

I have no issue at all with her being rich, just that it doesnt seem that all ex PM's are treated the same when it comes to making money! I was also correcting another poster who implied she didnt 'cash-in'. She did, they nearly all do and really why shouldnt they

WilsonFrickett Tue 09-Apr-13 12:36:04

I thought she had full-blown Alzheimer's? Her children would not be the first to stop visiting in that situation. It is absolutely heart-breaking when a relative doesn't recognise you. There's plenty to judge her children on (Mark especially), we don't need to be judging them on that.

Lockedout434 Tue 09-Apr-13 12:37:16

She was born to shop keeper who was doing ok
She married into inherited wealth ( Denis family made their money from paint)

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 12:44:51

She did not cash in - she created a foundation which closed down when she became increasingly frail. She earned $250,000 pa from Philip Morris - pretty much what some ex-leaders earn from one speech.

mindosa Tue 09-Apr-13 12:47:30

They all have foundations - please hmm

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 09-Apr-13 12:50:49

A suite at the Ritz? Free to those who can afford it, very expensive to those who can't.

montage Tue 09-Apr-13 12:51:18

I think it's very hard to know what goes on inside any family from the outside. Snippets can be fairly misleading.

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 12:51:30

They do now - they didn't before MT!

squeakytoy Tue 09-Apr-13 12:52:30

Is there any proof that she was staying for free?

AmberLeaf Tue 09-Apr-13 13:11:35

That is a fair point WilsonFrickett.

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 09-Apr-13 13:22:07

She did't live in a new build! She lived in Chester Sq, Belgravia. It often tops the /most expensive street in the UK' lists. Abrammovitch and Nigella Lawson/Charles Saatchi have previously lived there. And it is listed.
Her house would have been worth about 12mil.

saulaboutme Tue 09-Apr-13 14:04:55

As much as I didn't like her u do resent the luxury in which she lived and died. In my memory she was a symbol of the rich will be richer and fuck the poor.

Unless I've missed it, who is paying for her funeral? Her family? Plus taxes for all the security and pomp?
Considering how ths public feel about her she should be having a quiet send off.

mindosa Tue 09-Apr-13 14:09:31

Ajandjjmum Her foundation closed in 2007 because of 'financial difficulties'. Edward Heath also had a foundation.

Bridgetbidet Tue 09-Apr-13 14:35:15

Tony Blair started a war which killed tens of thousands of people and has become insanely rich after leaving office by accepting money from people who benefited from his policies whilst in office. He has a house in London worth tens of millions and a huge country estate which costs similar.

It's not just Thatcher....

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 14:38:22

She didn't earn so much money then mindosa - I'm surprised really.

Apparently the cost of her funeral is being met by her estate and the state.

twofingerstoGideon Tue 09-Apr-13 15:46:33

Bridget - two (or more) wrongs don't make a right, do they? Blair was as awful as Thatcher in my book, but there does seem to be an assumption on these threads that being anti Thatcher = being pro Blair. I doubt this is the case for a great many people.

SueDoku Tue 09-Apr-13 15:51:43

The Ritz is owned by the Barclay twins - reclusive millionaires who have donated a lot of money to the Conservatives - but who pay very little tax by basing themselves in tax havens abroad:

They have undoubtledly benefited hugely from tax changes put into place by Mrs T, and wished to reciprocate...

Blu Tue 09-Apr-13 16:08:15

Why did she need to be somewhere with high security?
Surely she was no longer a danger to anyone.

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Apr-13 16:15:53

She was no danger but she'd have been a great scalp for some saddo somewhere.

drjohnsonscat Tue 09-Apr-13 16:27:35

Was not a fan but I hardly think we can begrudge her this because it wasn't her decision. Her alzheimers had taken her to a point where I don't think she could make any of her own decisions.

Also, I know this is old fashioned but I think we should afford all our leaders some respect regardless of what we think of them on a political level. Being Prime Minister is a huge achievement, an overwhelming responsibility and almost impossible for a human being to succeed at. I respect anyone who gets to that level and takes on the responsibility. She made huge mistakes - as do they all and she perhaps made more than most - but she was prepared to lead and that's more than many of us are prepared to do.

WilsonFrickett Tue 09-Apr-13 17:22:03

Blu I'm pretty sure she's still on some IRA hit list. I hated pretty much every decision she ever made, but she stood up to them and showed immense personal courage in doing so. There will be someone somewhere who'd still like payback. I believe she still had a police officer allocated to her but may have read that in the Fail so it may not be true

drjohnsonscat Tue 09-Apr-13 17:50:35

I'm sure she did blu. Tony Blair (house next door to my dr's surgery!) has a very full armed police guard outside, day and night, back and front. Also motorbike outriders whenever he pops out.

FWIW I think that's reasonable for very high profile targets.

drjohnsonscat Tue 09-Apr-13 17:50:59

sorry that was to wilsonfrickett

edam Tue 09-Apr-13 22:40:39

blu grin

Blu Tue 09-Apr-13 22:42:06

It's possible that my post has been misconstrued wink

WilsonFrickett Tue 09-Apr-13 22:49:31

::Gets it::

Finally grin

chalkiegirl Tue 09-Apr-13 23:08:53

Thanks for your comments - a little drop of sanity and reasonableness in a sea of speculation and bitterness.

RapunzelAteMyHamster Tue 09-Apr-13 23:10:37

Why do people keep saying that she was so hated, as if the whole country loathed her and she sneaked into power by accident? She never lost an election, she was hardly reviled by all in the country.

Fakebook Tue 09-Apr-13 23:13:42

Because she'd gone crackers.

<Bada boosh>

Lasvegas Tue 09-Apr-13 23:17:50

For the 13 years i have walked past her house (during my commute) a police officer has always stood outside it. But officer disapeared in recent months I guess because she was no longer there. I have it on good authority she was considered by the police as an IRA target.

Blu Tue 09-Apr-13 23:21:40

Rapunzel, due to the vagaries of our electoral system she never had the vote of more than a third of the country. But obviously she had support of many. The thing is the hatred of those who hated her (like me) was vehement and heartfelt , not an 'armchair objection' When you got your poll tax bill, you drew breath in shock.ayne the mining industry wasn't sustainable in the long long term but there is coal still down there and she smashed the industry on idea logical grounds. Whole cmunities were decimated and remain so. So vehement and vocal hatred where other politicians might invoke a bit of a moan.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 10-Apr-13 08:39:54

Excellent post Blu.

For those who can't remember or who weren't around, the Poll Tax was unpopular because she made no allowance for differences in income.

Therefore if you earned £100 a month, you would pay the same Poll Tax as someone who was a multi millionaire. Regardless of property, regardless of income, regardless of circumstances, or number of children

Thatcher genuinely could not understand about poverty or financial struggles. It was if they did not exist to her.

QOD Wed 10-Apr-13 08:48:41

You shouldn't criticize her children, my mil died of Alzheimer's, she didn't know who we were and it was horrendous seeing her.

When my Pil had a stroke, before the Alzheimer's really hit her, my dh was qu ick to criticize families of the poor unvisited patients.

Then his mum went totally totally, well, mad. Thought he was King George etc. and became very very hard to visit.

There comes to a point when you are not helping them or yourself in anyway by visiting.

Figgygal Wed 10-Apr-13 08:51:23

I havent read all the way through so not sure if the truth had actually been shared or whether nastiness has prevailed but she had been there since Christmas when she came out of hospital after an operation and was too ill to stay in her own home anymore. The owners of the ritz offered her to stay I don't believe this was at anyone's expense.

QOD Wed 10-Apr-13 08:53:52

I also find it very odd that she's so reviled, she was voted in, the miners etc had the country in a stranglehold, and the same with Cameron et al.

Snazzynewyear Wed 10-Apr-13 09:19:35

QOD Her support always varied a lot regionally though. The Tories have never done well in Scotland and so there and in the north of England she is despised by a lot of people who suffered due to her policies. In the SE of England I would imagine it's different.

And yes she was voted in, but after the 87 election she introduced the poll tax and feeing turned against her.

Cameron is a different matter because he and his party did not win an overall majority, which Thatcher indisputably did at all 3 elections she fought.

edwardsmum11 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:35:17

Really no ones business tbh...

edam Thu 11-Apr-13 22:03:35

It is our business, though, given that the Barclay brothers don't pay very much tax and the Ritz doesn't pay much tax either. Essentially taxpayers picked up the bill for Maggie's last stay.

Snazzynewyear Thu 11-Apr-13 22:09:53

<repeats self> How much of what's written on here is anyone else's business? We may as well close down Mumsnet altogether if that's a requirement. People come here to discuss stuff they want to discuss. They want to discuss this. Whose 'business' it is is irrelevant.

ParadiseChick Thu 11-Apr-13 22:26:06

Blu grin

I got it!

PTA Thu 11-Apr-13 22:42:11

Perhaps this might go some way to explain why she is so hated and reviled.

From the Durham Miners;

"Margaret Thatcher - an Obituary

Margaret Thatcher died in the Ritz Hotel on the morning of Monday 8 April 2013.

She first came to attention in 1970 when, as Minister of Education in the Heath government, she ended the supply of free school milk to school children over the age of 7.

She never understood why this caused so much resentment and why it earned her the title “Thatcher the milk snatcher”. It was this detachment and lack of empathy with ordinary people that was to define her political career.

Although highly educated, she had a simplistic philosophy. For Thatcher, the historic problems of British industry were caused, not by lack of investment and innovation, but by trade unions and strikes were caused not by grievances but by evil leaders.

To rectify this she introduced the most repressive anti-union legislation in Europe which, some claim, was her greatest achievement but those who have seen their wages outstripped by inflation year on year do not view it this way.

Her “economics of the housewife” led her to the conclusion that Britain would be better off without manufacturing industry and that banking and financial services should be liberated from state interference and regulation.

This policy spectacularly burst into in flames five years ago when the state had to “interfere” by bailing out almost the entire the banking system.

Those who inherited her ideology are now using the full force of the state to make the people of Britain pay for the orgy of greed that she encouraged so enthusiastically.

Many who loyally bought into her dream invested their hard-earned cash in pension funds and many have been duly informed that the promise of a comfortable retirement is not going to be honoured.

For some their pensions are next to worthless or have been stolen by fraudsters. These same pensioners are now at the mercy of the service industries she privatised with their price hikes and mis-selling scams. They have a right to be incensed, but this time they can’t blame the trade unions.

In the communities where once men and women worked in useful occupations, manufacturing useful commodities, we now have industrial deserts where hope for the young is dashed by the spectre of permanent unemployment. For the fortunate there is the low paid servitude of the call centres or the short time uncertainties of the service sector.

In her long term of office, she supported the apartheid regime of South Africa and dubbed Nelson Mandela a “terrorist”. She was a bosom friend of Chilean fascist dictator Pinochet who overthrew a democratically elected government and slaughtered thousands of Chilean workers including its elected president. She sunk the Belgrano when it posed no threat, and sent hundreds of young Argentinean cadets to their deaths.

But it is, of course, the destruction of our mining industry and the damage to our villages and towns that exercise our anger most. It is an often repeated in the media that in 1984 Arthur Scargill called a strike. It is a lie. He did not. The truth is that Margaret Thatcher deliberately provoked a strike.

After the appointment of Ian McGregor to the chairmanship of the National Coal Board, on 28 March 1983, which was a provocation in itself, pits closed piece meal throughout 1983. But this was not good enough for Thatcher. Her political agenda required the destruction and humiliation of the National Union of Mineworkers and to do so she was prepared to destroy the industry.

The announcement of a massive closure programme in February 1984 caused a strike at Cortonwood Colliery in Yorkshire, a colliery led by moderate miners not noted for their support of Scargill and from Cortonwood the strike spread spontaneously.

There is irrefutable evidence that the Tories had been preparing this confrontation prior to 1979 when they were still in opposition. Central to these preparations was the organisation of a mobile and nationally controlled police force capable of rapid deployment to the coalfields.

From the first day of the strike miners were denied their legal right to travel freely. They were regularly falsely arrested, beaten and framed. It was this systematic gratuitous state organised violence, which turned many moderate local miners’ leaders into militants. It steeled our communities, bound them together and made them more determined than ever not to allow state violence to win.

After a full year, the miners were defeated but Thatcher did not have long to savour her victory as Prime Minister. Her pigheaded imposition of the poll tax moved a people weary of the politics of greed to revolt. She became an embarrassment to her party and they brutally cast her aside.

When we say we celebrate her death, we are reflecting the deep and lasting bitterness of our mining communities – and felt across the entire working class – at the ravages of her brutal policies which destroyed the lives and prospects of so many people.

Even today, we see the legacy of her policies in the continued vandalism of the Tory-Lib-Dem coalition, this time aimed at dismantling the Welfare State. Thatcher infamously said, “There is no such thing as society”. She was the person who wrecked it..

thecook Fri 12-Apr-13 00:45:35

The Barclay Brothers who own the Ritz invited her to stay for free. She brought her own security. This is a fact. I have inside info

ravenAK Fri 12-Apr-13 01:01:15

Blu - indeed. grin

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 12-Apr-13 01:03:41

It is our business, though, given that the Barclay brothers don't pay very much tax and the Ritz doesn't pay much tax either

Details please

Gingerodgers Fri 12-Apr-13 06:40:09

Great post PTA.

HollyBerryBush Fri 12-Apr-13 06:47:30

Why does no one mention it was Harold Wilson who started the programme of ending free school milk? Convenience I suppose.

And it was Ted Heath who forced through the ending of milk for the over 7's. MT was very much against it, but being the only woman in cabinet at that time, took the flack as Education Secretary.

The miners will always have a slant. Again conveniently forgetting MT took on a bankrupt country; the pound had been devalued and Labour has allowed us to be screwed over by the then Common Market. Five years of nagging as only a woman can, MT got all our money back from the IMF.

Where are we now? Oh yes, being bailed out again after another disastrous run of inept Labour policies that have driven us to the edge of bankruptcy yet again. Gordon Brown and prudence? I think not. Remember the gold fiasco for one thing!

None of MTS major policies were overturned by NuLabour - remind me again, why was that?

ItsYonliMe Fri 12-Apr-13 06:54:48

Trade Unions destroy countries. I've heard a few Australians this week saying that they need a Margaret Thatcher here in Australia.

Oil & Gas companies are actually running jobs in the USA now to avoid employing Australians - due to the problems that Unions are causing.

An example - huge ships with pipelines from Italy are forced to change crews and employ local Australians when they arrive here. Guess what happens then; the Unions get involved, accident rates rise tremendously and work grinds along at half the speed it should.

HollyBerryBush Fri 12-Apr-13 06:58:21

Unions have their place as a collective negotiating tool, but when they get out of control, as they were in the 70's, life becomes untenable for all.

I was a union rep for the thick end of 20 years, in the main because no one else would do it. I am vehemently against strike action.

Lottashakingoinon Fri 12-Apr-13 07:06:45

I'm curious as to why people are calling her just by her surname, and not Mrs Thatcher, or Margaret Thatcher

LaQueen I have not yet read the whole thread (flame me, flame me now!) but my response to this is: I would not take part in street parties or celebrations; I have too much of a broad general woolly respect for life and death for that and in any case it's not like she died when she was still capable of doing damage. However in view of the severe and lasting damage and suffering she DID cause when she was at her height I will not accord her any personal respect at all. So I will ONLY refer to her as Thatcher, not even Mrs Thatcher

Genuine answer; a small thing but mine own! (Can't speak for anyone else obviously)

jennywren45 Fri 12-Apr-13 07:11:41

Indeed the Ritz itself has paid no corporation tax for almost 20 years via (legal) tax avoidance schemes.

You mean Labour didn't do anything about this in their thirteen years in power? shock

ParadiseChick Fri 12-Apr-13 08:17:25

holly you're losing credibility with comments like this
Five years of nagging as only a woman can, MT got all our money back from the IMF

ajandjjmum Fri 12-Apr-13 12:08:07

Maybe Holly was just trying to lighten the thread a little?

ParadiseChick Fri 12-Apr-13 13:28:21

I fear not!

PTA Sat 13-Apr-13 00:08:19

Thanks Ginger but I can't take credit as its from the Durham Miners.

MT is always going to polarise opinion, with each side believing that they are right and the other is wrong.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of her policy decisions, it was her unwavering conviction that she was right that seems to have caused most offence.

I have read/caught the tail end of programmes on "if women ruled the world" type discussions and all seem to think that if more women were is charge then there would be more consensus politics as women are more inclined to listen to others, think about the issues and not become so entrenched in a position as men. This was not true of MT, she rigidly stuck to her policies, some to the detriment of society ("the lady's not for turning"). In the end this was also the cause if her downfall as she still wanted to intoduce the poll tax despite opposition from her own party.

Some of what has been said about life in the 70's is true. (I remember the power cuts). However there are ways of doing things and then there are ways of doing things.

To me (and it is a very limited view as I haven't read/researched everything that I would like to come to an educated view) she did what may have had to have been done, but went about it in the wrong way. There is no argument that she destroyed some communities that have never recovered (mine included).

I also think that her legacy is living large within the present Government, and that frightens me. Again, there are things that need to be done given the current economic climate, but I think that the Government is going about it in the wrong way. As MT made the Unions, especially the Miners scapegoats, Dave and George are doing the same to the disabled (see the thread about ATOS), single mothers and the unemployed.

edam Sat 13-Apr-13 00:12:25

PTA - that's the difference between one individual woman and women as a group. One individual can be like this or like that. But if you have boardrooms and courtrooms and cabinets that always include a good mix of people, men and women, black and white, disabled and non-disabled etc. etc. etc. you will probably get better decisions - because you are choosing from a wider pool of talent and getting all sorts of different viewpoints and styles, not just same old same old recruited in the image of the person doing the job now.

PTA Sat 13-Apr-13 00:24:09

But I think that is the point Edam, she ran the Government, seemingly on her own. I know this isn't true as she couldn't possibly do it all but she seemed to.

Even in the present set-up you have Dave, George and IDS but MT was onmipresent.

edam Sat 13-Apr-13 00:30:05

I'm not sure about that, you had big characters like Heseltine and Tebbitt, it's just as time goes on you forget about what seems like detail from today's perspective. She certainly gave the appearance of being dominant, however.

PTA Sat 13-Apr-13 00:34:43

Yes you did have some big characters but none lasted as long as MT.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 13-Apr-13 00:40:16

My ExSiL had private breast augmentation. The payment covered recuperation in a 5star hotel. Apparently it was cheaper and easier to cover her costs there than in a hospital, where she would have had to relinquish the bed (and state healthcare nurse) for the actual sick and dying.

Big hotels have big rooms (for medical equipment) and the cost is only monetary, not need.

Many nurses (especially in London, where cost of living is greater) moonlight for private firms to top up their salaries.

ajandjjmum Sat 13-Apr-13 12:16:15

Heseltine's motivation was that he was determined to be PM.

Tebbitt left mainline politics to care for his wife who was seriously injured in the IRA bomb attack in Brighton.

My father met Tebbit on one occasion, where he (as a steelmaker) was complaining about the EU quota system which was being ignored by other countries, but maintained rigidly by the UK. They had a full order book, but couldn't produce as they had reached their quota levels, which would have meant laying off (good) men. DF was impressed with the speed in which Norman Tebbit grasped the problem, and more importantly resolved it, so that this privately owned (not by DF sadly!!!) company could continue to make profit, and therefore employ people.

CruCru Sat 13-Apr-13 13:15:27

Re security - I think all ex PMs have police security assigned to them for the rest of their lives. Tony Blair definitely still has them.

Also re Mark and Carol - if they hung around more in the UK, it would be their partners and kids also having to hang around. These are adults with jobs and responsibilities. Presumably they are also affected by the vitriol against their mother; if I were them I would stay away too.

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