Firstly Margaret Thatcher was an "opportunist" who's "clear" vision was the beginnings of the destruction of the role of the State in favour of privatisations, yet she was given a State funeral, how ironic!!
In the 80's she sold off council houses to get votes from existing tenants at 10 per cent the market value, and she stopped building council houses hence our housing crisis today, over 30 years on. She privatised our utilities, hence the extortionate above inflation increases today. She brought in poll tax which was unjust because it did not take account of people's ability to pay, the council tax replaced poll tax, and the council tax isnt based on ability to pay either. She lowered workers income tax and NI contributions, hence the crisis in pensions today, and NHS privatisation by the back door.
It's quite possible that the unions didn't do enough forward planning, as you say, Cogito (don't know enough about it).
To go back to Thatcher, in a democracy the govt can only stay in power by the will of the people. We get what we deserve. And if we are badly served by the media, or if we are not given the information we need to make an informed decision, or if we are misled or lied to or bribed (as in Thatcher's case), then we make mistakes and vote for people like Ms Thatcher.
The forward planning was also neglected by the unions who had an equally narrow interest in bringing down any democratic government. When they knew the writing was on the wall (which they did well in advance of Thatcher), if they'd really been thinking about their members' best interests, they'd have been campaigning for regeneration rather than stagnation.
But I agree that forward planning for the sake of the nation (ie looking into the likely devastation caused by their policies) is often neglected by governments. But they are very good at it when it concerns narrow party political interests.
Everything that governments do in a democracy has as its first aim to keep the government in power and get it re-elected. So if that's true, then it's our fault Thatcher was ever given enough rope to hang us all with.
The thing is, Thatcher wasn't alone. There were people who agreed with her and did her dirty work for her. You can't keep blaming individuals for mistakes made by governments, imo. And this country - our parents and grandparents, and even some of us - voted her in, three times!
I think the real pity of the whole 1960's/1970's era was that no-one seems to have spent any time thinking about or planning for the future of the North post heavy industry. The unions were far too obsessed with defending the status quo when, in the powerful position they were in and with the knowledge they had at their disposal, they could have done so much more for the workers of the region. Governments spent too much money & time fire-fighting and/or keeping the peace short-term when they could have set up regional business incentives, retraining programmes, etc. If power had been more evenly matched and the thinking less entrenched, there may not have been the need for a painful 20, 30 year catch-up. It's fairly well accepted that the Thatcher government's biggest mistake was relying on market forces to pick up the slack but it's clear the decline started 10-15 years earlier and, rather than planning for a transition, the main protagonists stuck their heads in the sand.
...and oversaw the destruction of much of British industry.
You may want to read this article: C4 Factcheck
Between 1980 & 90, manufacturing reduced only by 2%. Between 2000-2010 under Labour it fell by 6%.
So if your claim is correct and you consider Mrs Thatcher to have destroyed much of our industry then you must hate Blair & Brown even more! Correct?
Or are you just blindly following the rhetoric without looking at the facts?
"As a child I never remember seeing a beggar"
You don't remember the nationalised industries then... Always had the bowl out for taxpayers' cash when the businesses were failing, old-fashioned & we desperately needed to modernise. It was like financing blacksmiths and saddlers when the world had moved to the internal combustion engine. People talk about the scandal of propping up failing banks with public money. Peanuts by comparison.
She took us from being the sick man of Europe to a country to be respected once again. Many from other countries cannot believe the way she is vilified by some British people. But at the end of the day, her influence ended years ago, and it's seriously sad that some blame her for the shortfalls in their lives today.
And yes Erebus, we have to pay for it, and why shouldn't we? No-one owes us a living - it's up to us as individuals to make what we can of our lives.
As a child I never remember seeing a beggar. As a teenager, right up to sixth form... same thing. I do remember one old eccentric who used to do some form of busking I think. But no actual street beggars.
Then, when Thatcher came along, so did the beggars. It started with a benefit 'reform' under her regime which was targeted at the under-twenties.
Margaret Thatcher was a woman lacking in compassion. She shouldn't be treated, in death, as if she's some kind of saint. She caused a huge amount of suffering and oversaw the destruction of much of British industry.
Condolences to Carol Thatcher, though, who seems to be a much warmer, kinder and far more empathetic person than her mother ever was.
My memories of the seventies in a working class part of a northern town... bloody awful. We didn't have a pit we had one factory that employed a big chunk of the population (and is still there). I remember the power-cuts, my Dad going on a three day week and the overlaid stickers that appeared on cans at the supermarket as the prices went up and up. What I especially remember was the doom and gloom around me that 'it's all going to the dogs'... 'hell in a handcart'... 'what's the point' etc. People where I lived had given up way before Mrs T appeared on the scene and, for an ambitious young person, that was depressing
I don't go in for public mourning either and I'm realistic about her failings, but Mrs T invokes a certain nostalgia because, at a crucial time & when surrounded by nothing but pessimism and restriction, her 'can do' approach was very influential to me personally.
Yes, silver- and oh, how we will pay, pay and pay again for it.
My memories are of the country being on its knees at the time she became Prime Minister and that she had the strength to do what needed to be done.
If you were a friend of the family and talking to them I wouldn't recommend criticising maggie right now. But as you're not and she was a huge public figure you are perfectly ok sayingwhat you think she did was vile/awful/brilliant. Got fuck all to do with 'respect'. As long as you're not being crass ('yay the witch is dead' etc) what's the problem?
I am not sad she is dead. I never am for people I don't know. I can of course appreciate a family lost Someome though. I don't get this public mourning stuff. Very odd
I think that many supporters of her views are simply trying to shut people up by invoking notions of respect. They aren't really asking for respect, they just want ordinary people to surpress their views while the media treat her like a saint.
I don't think that's in dispute, niceguy- but I imagine her politics caused more than grief to an awful lot of people over her political lifetime.
They are allowed their opinions, too.
No matter what your own political views, I think it would be most respectful to remember that at the end of the day an 87 year old woman died yesterday and a family is grieving.
.My memories of Thatcher; launching brutal police attacks against the miners,launching the right-to-buy scheme for council house tenants leading to a chronic shortage of social housing and Section 28 which labelled my relationships as "pretend" relationships. So I am not sad that she has passed away.
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