Advanced search

Maggie is Dead.

(354 Posts)
Talkinpeace Mon 08-Apr-13 12:55:50

at last.

MiniTheMinx Wed 10-Apr-13 23:01:00

I read a lot of things Claig. Marxism.... part of a conspiracy! you have been listening to too many American Loons. Who do you think pays their wages claig? The same people that fund these think tanks.

Go back and listen some more.

claig Wed 10-Apr-13 23:05:47

No, Labour will need to reinvent itself.

The Philpott case unfortunately put Labour on the wrong side of the public (despite all of the complaints made to the Daily Mail) because of the way that the Daily Mail made capital out of it.

Now with the death parties and celebrations over Thatcher's death, unfortunately Labour are being associated with these people even though they would love not to be. With some of teh respected miners also talking about celebrating, it is nigh on impossible for Labour to distance themselves since they have been staunch supporters of teh miners.

The Daily Mail has again made capital out of it by saying that this is the way that the "Left has reacted.

Whatever happened to Labour's vaunted media management. The Daily Mail is single-handedly running rings around them and painting them into a corner.

The Labour party has to change and support the majority of the people. I don't think it is yet capable of making that change.

Thatcher represnted teh aspirations of teh working people - not the people who wanted handouts or state subsidies, but the ambitious working and middle classes. Labour needs to try and appeal to those people because they aren't Tories and don't like toffs, but they want someone to speak for them.

Labour have a chance to grab them, because the Tories are not Thatcherites, they are more like toffs and wets.

Can Labour changhe in time for teh next election? I doubt it, because they have now been wrongfooted twice by the Daily Mail and I think this election is practically over.

HesterShaw Wed 10-Apr-13 23:09:10

I know it's irrelevant to the discussion but please please PLEASE for the love of all that's holy can you fix the spelling of "the" on whatever device you're using?

MiniTheMinx Wed 10-Apr-13 23:09:28

We already have a one party state.

MiniTheMinx Wed 10-Apr-13 23:25:47

Thatcher may have represented the "aspirations" of the working person, who wouldn't aspire to have more, to earn more, to do well in life. But she was a tool of the wealthy who used her to consolidate their own wealth and power.

As for free markets, we don't actually have a free market because of the monopoly tendency which is inherent within capitalism. Markets are not unique to capitalism, what is unique is waged labour, exploitation of labour and capital accumulation. It is impossible to have a meritocracy.

If we have a level playing field and a meritocracy why do we have high unemployment? could that be because capitalism creates a dependency btw capitalists and workers? could it be because workers are dependant upon waged work which is not forthcoming and that even if they set up business they can't compete? they are then dependent upon welfare?

claig Wed 10-Apr-13 23:31:51

'But she was a tool of the wealthy who used her to consolidate their own wealth and power.'

Yes, but the working people didn't care as long as they benefitted. Labour are yet again on the wrong side of the public because they always talk about the wealth gap. The public do care about fat cats in public industries or charities earning 6 figure salaries because the public is paying for that, but they don't care what the CEO of Google earns as long as their earnings are increasing.

Labour need to concentrate on increasing the job prospects and earnings of the people rather than trying to reduce the wages of the top earners.

claig Wed 10-Apr-13 23:34:46

'As for free markets, we don't actually have a free market because of the monopoly tendency which is inherent within capitalism. Markets are not unique to capitalism, what is unique is waged labour, exploitation of labour and capital accumulation. It is impossible to have a meritocracy.'

It is not impossible and that is the challenge for politicians to win over the people. The EU and the US govt hold investigations into anti-competitive business practices and fine companies that are found guilty and competitors lobby govts if they believe that anti-competitive practices are taking place.

MiniTheMinx Wed 10-Apr-13 23:40:21 monopoly tendency of capitalism, explaining the mechanism for this and explaining why we do not have a free market.

The only thing I disagree with from that link is

"Imperialist exploitation of the colonies and semi-colonies retards and distorts the indigenous development of capitalism in these countries, perpetuating and intensifying their economic backwardness and their dependent and subordinate relationship to the advanced capitalist countries. It creates a permanent division of the world into rich nations and poor nations, consigning the majority of humanity to perpetual destitution"

The exploitation of third world countries has retarded the development towards an internal capitalist mode of production and the development of those countries. This was necessary whilst there was possible expansion and investment into markets in the west that relied upon natural resources and meeting unmet needs here, such as housing and consumer goods etc. However it is not perpetual because there are few new markets in the west now open to capitalist investment and expansion except welfare/health/education which actually leads to greater state spending (just wait and see!) Whereas the undeveloped markets can now be tapped. I think we will see massive capitalist expansion in other regions precisely because they are undeveloped.

Any such thing after 1900

MiniTheMinx Thu 11-Apr-13 00:07:04

"Labour need to concentrate on increasing the job prospects and earnings of the people rather than trying to reduce the wages of the top earners"

sorry wrong again.

During the 30s depression both here and in the U.S politicians went to the rich and said "if you won't invest (look up the falling rate of profit and the trusts btw corporations and banks "finance capital) and put people in work, then we will tax the money out of you and we will invest it" and that is what happened. Then the pattern of accumulation starts again except at some point in the late 1940s the rich industrialists and the trusts (thats where your vons come into it) set about coming up with a joined up economic plan, a plan so devious that it changed the way almost everyone thinks, it is the only view in the media, in schools, in most economics dept etc, is the only view espoused by politicians of all striped Neo-lib.

Its the history of class struggle and all played out since 1900

1920s, huge wealth inequality, rising poverty, banks contracted the money supply (remember finance capital) just as the industrialists realise that demand in the economy is grinding to a halt.

1930 depression. No demand, high unemployment. Governments introduce progressive taxation and use the money to invest. The workers are put back in work, demand returns for private goods and services, capitalists invest in productive things like manufacturing.

1945 Capitalists pissed off because workers demand good wages, taxes are high.

1970s progressive taxation and falling rate of profit means capitalists sulk and stop investing.

Then maggie rolls up and rather than say right you lot hand over the readies, she says, nah, have a tax break and get back to businsess and while we are at it, have a few cheap workers too. Two for the price of one in fact. Thing is, she did the only thing she could.

But look where we are, back where we started in the 20s.

Think of it like a plate with marbles rolling around. You can not have equilibrium because the system grinds to a halt. But everytime you tip the plate the marbles end up on one side or the other.

It will take a long time for people to realise that the fight is on for their living standards but to be honest it will be too late. We are too far down the road of neo-liberalism (it changed the way people think) plus we are a mature economy in decline.

You can't increase everyone's wages within having inflation. Plus 97% of money in the economy is debt.

MiniTheMinx Thu 11-Apr-13 00:09:00


BombJack Thu 11-Apr-13 08:47:54

>> that Thatcher would have told the bankers to go whistle is pure speculation.

I know - I said as much. It's a fascinating thing to ponder though.

When Labour bailed out the banks (Northern Rock, RBS, etc) I sympathised with their plight. The effects of a refusal would have rocked the entire world. What kind of politician would have made the decision to refuse?

Just RBS alone, if it were to default on its obligations, could have brought down the entire financial system. Worldwide.

I would argue that everything Thatcher said during her life indicates she would have refused a bailout - with her cabinet probably weeping in fear.

I'd love to see the commons debates regarding the Euro crisis too if she were in 10 Downing Street. She is on record as predicting the current problems with a Unified currency. I suspect she would have been (rightly IMO) telling Germany to leave the currency, and a return to national currencies in Europe.

The Euro is currently in the process of collapsing, yet none of the politicians in Europe, nor those affiliated with the EU, are being honest about the measures that must be taken.

“The European single currency is bound to fail, economically, politically and indeed socially, though the timing, occasion and full consequences are all necessarily still unclear.” - Magaret Thatcher.

FreedomOfTheTess Thu 11-Apr-13 15:04:57

Claig - most of those celebrating the death of Thatcher are not Labour voters - they are people far, far, far left of Labour.

Not everyone "lefty" is a Labour voter, you do know that right?!

claig Thu 11-Apr-13 17:22:00

Yes, I realise that.

ttosca Thu 11-Apr-13 20:41:13

Most of the people celebrating the death of Thatcher are just ordinary people who have suffered under her leadership or because they're angry about Thatcher helping to turn the UK in to a nastier, more selfish place to live.

ttosca Thu 11-Apr-13 20:42:00

Mark Steel: You can't just shut us up now that Margaret Thatcher's dead

If someone robs your house, you don’t say: “I disagreed with the burglar’s policy, of tying me to a chair. But I did admire his convictions.”


Maybe a more modern way of broadcasting the news would have been for Davina McCall to announce it, saying: “She’s gone, but let’s have a look at some of her best bits.” Then we could see her denouncing Nelson Mandela as a terrorist and befriending General Pinochet.

Instead it began as expected, with the Hurds, Howes and Archers phoning in their “remarkables” and “historics”, and we were reminded how she brought down the Berlin Wall and rescued Britain, then an article in The Times claimed she was responsible for ending apartheid, and it seemed by today we’d be hearing she stopped Gibraltar being invaded by Daleks and made our goldfish feel proud to be British and took 8 for 35 against Australia to win the Ashes.

“Even those who disagreed with her, respected her as a conviction politician”, it was said many times, as if everyone would participate in the mourning. But soon it was impossible to pretend there was a respectful consensus, not because of the odd party in the street, but from a widespread and considered contempt. In many areas it must have been confusing for Jehovah’s Witnesses, as every time they knocked on a door and asked, “Have you heard the good news”, they’d be told “Yes mate, I have, do you want to come in for a beer?”

Before long came the complaints, such as Tony Blair saying: “Even if you disagree with someone very strongly, at the moment of their passing you should show some respect.” Presumably then, when Bin Laden was killed, Blair’s statement was: “Although I didn’t agree with Osama’s policies, he was a conviction terrorist, a colourful character whose short films were not only fun but educational as well. He will be sadly missed.”

The disrespect was inevitable, as millions were opposed to her not because they disagreed with her, but because she’d helped to ruin their lives. If someone robs your house, you don’t say: “I disagreed with the burglar’s policy, of tying me to a chair with gaffer tape and stripping the place bare, even taking the pickled onions, which I consider to be divisive. But I did admire his convictions.”

For example, a Chilean woman living in Britain was quoted in The Nation magazine, saying: “The Thatcher government directly supported Pinochet’s murderous regime, financially, via military support, even military training. Members of my family were tortured and murdered under Pinochet, who was one of Thatcher’s closest allies and friend. Those of us celebrating are the ones who suffered deeply.” Yes, but she was able to buy shares in British Gas so she was better off in other ways. In so many areas, the party that insists we show compassion for their departed heroine made a virtue of showing none when she was their leader. She didn’t just create unemployment, she gloried in it. Her supporters in the City revelled in their unearned wealth all the more because they could jeer at those with nothing.

But this week Thatcher fans have been unrestrained in their abuse for anyone not displaying “compassion”. Maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt and accept they’ve just discovered it. They’re all going to the doctors saying: “I’ve been getting this strange sort of caring feeling towards someone who isn’t me. Do I need antibiotics?” If they’re puzzled as to why there isn’t universal sadness this week, maybe they should visit Corby. It’s a town that was built in the 1930s, entirely round a steelworks, and thousands of unemployed Scots moved there for the work. As a result its people still have a strong Scottish accent, even though it’s in Northamptonshire.

But in 1980 Margaret Thatcher’s government shut down most of the steel industry, as part of her plan to break the unions, and the effect on Corby was like someone taking control of the Lake District and concreting in the lakes.

I was there to record a radio show about the town, and met Don and Irene, both in their seventies, at the Grampian Club. Don’s father had walked to Corby from Larkhall, near Glasgow, in 1932. I mentioned the steel strike and plant closure to Don, but he gestured as if it had somehow passed him by. It would have to be mentioned in the show, so I tried to find someone in the town with a story, an anecdote, something. But no one wanted to say a thing about it. During the recording, I asked if anyone had a story to tell from those days, but no one did, until it felt as if the whole audience collectively passed a motion that went: “I think you’d best move on to another subject, Mark.”

Afterwards in the bar, Irene told me: “We weren’t being rude, love, when we didn’t have a lot to say about the closure. But it wasn’t an easy time. Don marched from Corby to London with a banner. It made him angry about everything, we split up for a year because it was too much to live with. But we were lucky, two of our closest friends committed suicide in the months after the closure. So people would rather forget about those times really. But apart from that we really enjoyed the show.”

Still, even those who disagree with her policies, will surely commend her achievements.

Strangely, it’s now her supporters who are insulting her memory, with a funeral paid for by the taxpayer. Surely it would be more fitting to leave her where she is, and say: “If you can’t stand on your own two feet, you can't expect help from the state.”

ttosca Thu 11-Apr-13 20:51:33

> I would argue that everything Thatcher said during her life indicates she would have refused a bailout - with her cabinet probably weeping in fear.

I doubt it. She would have realised that to refuse to bail out the banks would mean the collapse of the entire economic system which she was so fond of.

And anyway, if she had, she would have been deposed of quickly. Capitalists wouldn't risk collapse of the whole system and world-wide riots because of the wishes of one woman.

Beaaware Thu 11-Apr-13 20:59:06

Over £9 million of Uk tax payers money will be spent on the military near state funeral of Margaret THatcher. Meanwhile victims affected by the HUman Mad Cow Disease have spent their dying days in poverty. THousand more 'living victims' of the disease eke out an existence,their lives and futures ruined. Margaret Thatcher her loyalties to big corporations and business put capitalism and greed before the nations health. Her policies & decisions allowed BSE to exist & contaminate a nation.
It is appalling that so much time, money,pomp & ceremony is being spent on Margaret Thatcher a woman who cared little for the ordinary person in the street & condemned hundreds of people to a horrific death "vCJD"

Beaaware Thu 11-Apr-13 21:06:38

R.I.P victims of vCJD

MiniTheMinx Thu 11-Apr-13 21:12:27

Well said Beaware. Keep up the good work with your campaigning. smile

Great Link ttosca, I notice at the bottom of the page almost everyone who has read it agrees.

Beaaware Thu 11-Apr-13 21:46:40

Thanks MinibTheMinx, see this link

BombJack Thu 11-Apr-13 23:37:48

In response to ttosca. An article with some actual facts behind it:


Thatcher's achievements will long outlive the spite of Sheffield's sons and daughters - John Phelan

“When Thatcher dies they’ll have to build a dance floor over her grave for all the people who want to dance on it.” When I was told this in a pub some years ago it wasn’t the sentiment that struck me but that fact that the unimaginative fellow speaking might have thought it was the first time anyone within earshot had heard that rib tickler.

I was born in Sheffield in 1980 and through family and support of an underachieving football club I retain ties to the place and its people. I have heard Sheffielders, some quite reasonable folk, say that they wish the Brighton bomb attack had succeeded; I have heard them joke frequently about Thatcher’s dementia.

One told me that if there was a God he would believe in him if Margaret Thatcher died. But, if there is a God, shouldn’t he believe in him anyway? And unless he was ascribing to Thatcher powers of immortality, her death is a certainty and, thus, so is his eventual embrace of theism.

You won’t find logic where none exists. The visceral hatred of Margaret Thatcher isn’t based on anything resembling rational thought. As one Sheffielder once put it to me “I dont understand all this stuff about GDPs, Taxes, RPI etc etc. All i know is that growing up in Sheffield in the 80s. Thatcher demolished a once proud city & left alot of its inhabitants pennyless, jobless & without hope. You can argue about stats all day. But that was the reality of it all. People losing their, jobs, homes & pride.”

That’s why people in places like Sheffield will be celebrating Margaret Thatcher’s death. There’s just one problem. It’s wrong.

For starters, feel the parochialism. Thatcher was bad for Sheffield ergo she was bad. Never mind the rest of the country. Never mind the GDP growth of 23 percent or the increase in the median wage of 25 percent during her time in office. For most people the Thatcher years were ones of prosperity. That’s why she regularly tops polls of most popular Prime Ministers.

This is not to say that this person’s view is worthless. But it is to say that an opinion formed simply by looking up and down your street might not be too useful.

Then, just how proud actually were places like Sheffield before Thatcher came along? How proud can any city be when it is, essentially, a vast welfare case getting by on the wealth transferred to it from other parts of the country?

That was the truth of the industrial situation in these areas. Take coal. Just before the First World War the mines employed more than 1 million men in 3,000 pits producing 300 million tonnes of coal annually.

By the time the industry was nationalised in 1947 700,000 men were producing just 200 million tonnes a year. To improve this situation, in 1950, the first Plan for Coal pumped £520 million into the industry to boost production to 240 million tonnes a year.

This target was never met. In 1956, the record year for post war coal production, 228 million tonnes were produced, too little to meet demand, and 17 million tonnes had to be imported. Oil, a cheaper energy source, was growing in importance, British Rail ditching coal powered steam for oil driven electricity, for example.

Jobs were lost in numbers that dwarfed anything under Thatcher. 264 pits closed between 1957 and 1963. 346,000 miners left the industry between 1963 and 1968. In 1967 alone there were 12,900 forced redundancies. Under Harold Wilson one pit closed every week.

1969 was the last year when coal accounted for more than half of Britain’s energy consumption. By 1970, when the Conservatives were elected, there were just 300 pits left – a fall of two thirds in 25 years.

By 1974 coal accounted for less than one third of energy consumption in Britain. Wilson’s incoming Labour government published a new Plan for Coal which predicted an increase in production from 110 million tonnes to 135 million tonnes a year by 1985. This was never achieved.

Margaret Thatcher’s government inherited a coal industry which had seen productivity collapse by 6 percent in five years. Nevertheless, it made attempts to rescue it. In 1981 a subsidy of £50 million was given to industries which switched from cheap oil to expensive British coal. So decrepit had the industry become that taxpayers were paying people to buy British coal.

The Thatcher government injected a further £200 million into the industry. Companies who had gone abroad to buy coal, such as the Central Electricity Generating Board, were banned from bringing it in and 3 million tonnes of coal piled up at Rotterdam at a cost to the British taxpayer of £30 million per year.

By now the industry was losing £1.2 million per day. Its interest payments amounted to £467 million for the year and the National Coal Board needed a grant of £875 million from the taxpayer.

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission found that 75 percent of British pits were losing money. The reason was obvious. By 1984 it cost £44 to mine a metric ton of British coal. America, Australia, and South Africa were selling it on the world market for £32 a metric ton.

Productivity increases had come in at 20 percent below the level set in the 1974 Plan for Coal.

Taxpayers were subsidising the mining industry to the tune of £1.3 billion annually. This figure doesn’t include the vast cost to taxpayer-funded industries such as steel and electricity which were obliged to buy British coal.

But when Arthur Scargill appeared before a Parliamentary committee and was asked at what level of loss it was acceptable to close a pit he answered “As far as I can see, the loss is without limits.”

Falling production, falling employment, falling sales, and increasing subsidy; that was the coal industry Margaret Thatcher inherited.

She did not swoop in and kill perfectly good industries out of spite. Industries like coal and steel were already dead by the time she was elected. Thatcher just switched off the increasingly costly life support which had kept these zombie industries going.

When Margaret Thatcher dies the streets of Sheffield will flow with ale. But the next day the revelers will wake up with headaches and Margaret Thatcher will still have crushed Arthur Scargill, will still have helped win the Cold War, and will still have shown the supposed inevitability of socialism to be the dimwitted sham it was. And those achievements will last longer than the hangovers.

BombJack Fri 12-Apr-13 00:14:33

"Most of the people celebrating the death of Thatcher are just ordinary people who have suffered under her leadership or because they're angry about Thatcher helping to turn the UK in to a nastier, more selfish place to live."

No. Wrong. Incorrect.

More fantasies.

A "Nastier Place to live" is it? What a load of cobblers. Really going to have to dig out the photo I have of the Scousers picketing that graveyard. If my mum were still here, I could ask her to tell me the stories about working in a hospital during the late 70's. Ask her how pleasant a place it was to work in. grin

You can spot the people who are just parroting their family's beliefs about Thatcher. You'll only see them coming out with the bad, in ever more strident tones.

Or you'll see the old chestnuts... "She destroyed our community", "She ripped the heart out of...", "She closed our..."

Any political leader - yes even Stalin if you want to go press the point, will have had successes. Policies which can be argued to be a good thing. You'll never hear a Thatcher hater mention one good thing she achieved, however small. Thatcher supporters should at least be able to admit to her faults.

The people who's opinion is worth listening to, have at least cracked open Google. Nice to see a couple of people on this thread have done that, although given they mention the Winter of discontent as an example of "Progressive Taxation", I won't bother arguing the point back. Top marks for effort, though.

>> "Thatcher fans have been unrestrained in their abuse for anyone not displaying “compassion”."

Nope not really. Think some people are a bit shocked by it. But, if you grew up in the 70's you should have seen it all before (just not on twitter). There really was no low the left wouldn't sink to when they lost.

Unami Fri 12-Apr-13 00:22:16

Bombjack, without getting into Phelan's article in great detail, as it is late, we have to acknowledge that no one from any position in the political spectrum is claiming that the country's coal mines were operating as money pits in the 1970s, but no analysis of the interaction between domestic energy sources and UK inflation approaches completion without being honest about the impact of the OPEC crisis - which Phelan completely ignores.

But despite the apparent economic unproductivity of the coal mining industry (the extent of which is still debatable) it is clear that Thatcher's approach has been costly in the long term. This week I've heard many politicians and commentators grumble that before Thatcher the government seemed to see its role as "managing decline". But where there is decline, it has to be managed. The problems facing Britain's energy sector and heavy industries were hardly unique to Britain, and they were managed far more effectively in much of Europe. Closing down a coal mine, as I'm sure you will appreciate, does not have the same impact as closing down an unprofitable shopping centre, it has a knock on impact on a plethora of secondary services and the wider local economy - and of course all the action Thatcher's government took to remedy this was to tragically increase welfare dependency and put it on the tab. We're still picking it up. Did changes have to be made? Yes they did. Were the right changes made, at the right time and in the right way? I honestly don't think that many of her supporters wholeheartedly believe so.

slug Fri 12-Apr-13 09:59:49

You can stick your fingers in your ears and go laa laa laa but it won't stop people commenting

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Fri 12-Apr-13 10:13:57

Fantastic article.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now