The legacy of Margaret Thatcher - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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'Cold war' communist versus capitalist ideological struggle (1946 - 1990) and everything else in the post World War II era (1946 onwards).
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#14360794
Yes, we are a richer nation perhaps because of her, but most of that wealth has gone to those who were already well off anyway. The poor have actually gotten poorer, once living costs are taken into account, and inequality has vastly increased. Greed was actively encouraged, along with disdain for those at the bottom. Society is now much more divided than it was before she came along. Rather than modernising industry, she decided to destroy it wholesale in pursuit of ideological dogma, putting millions out of work and thereby creating a culture of welfare dependency that has blighted our nation ever since.

She certainly boosted home ownership, particularly with the sale of council houses to tenants at discounted prices heavily subsidised by the taxpayer. The increase in home ownership was also effectively achieved by making the alternatives either less attractive or less available. New council house building was restricted as much as possible so that cheap social housing to rent became steadily harder to obtain. Meanwhile, rent caps in the private sector were abolished and security of tenure for tenants seriously eroded. By discouraging the building of council houses, and building prosperity on a house price inflation bubble, her long term legacy is now housing that is utterly unaffordable to buy for many, massively inflated and often extortionate private rents, and ever scarcer social housing, with much more insecurity for tenants. Thus, whether we rent or buy, the cost of putting a roof over our heads is in real terms much higher than it was before she came to power, impoverishing many of us and further reinforcing welfare dependency by pushing the cost of housing beyond the means of low paid jobs.

Poverty at the bottom of society has increased enormously as a direct result of her policies, not only due to high housing costs and mass unemployment, but also due to the fact that insofar as the well paid manufacturing jobs that she destroyed were replaced, they were often replaced by low paid jobs in the retail and service sectors.

Her privatisations, trumpeted as major successes at the time, and a means of putting state industries into the hands of the people via “popular capitalism”, have actually resulted in most of our essential utilities being owned and run by foreigners, and in them fleecing the British public something rotten, apparently without restraint. More generally, Britain has come to be known as “rip off Britain” by many, and this, more than anything else, is the true legacy of Thatcher’s “greed is good” philosophy.

Enormous suffering was inflicted upon many parts of the country during her tenure, and upon the poorest third generally. This resulted in a massive increase in many social ills, from crime to drug addiction, from alcoholism to prostitution, from an increase in the numbers of dysfunctional families to much higher levels of gang violence, and from more mental health problems to the expansion of the black economy. We remain blighted by these problems today which, if not created by Thatcher, were undoubtedly made vastly worse by her.

In the world at large, the Falklands war was an undoubted personal triumph, though her own government had previously done much to appear to give the Argentines a green light. But her overly jingoistic sentiments at the time, fanned by much of the press, fed many ugly emotions, which she exploited brilliantly. The Falklands War did bring her much more popularity at home which allowed her to get away with many more damaging policies in other areas. But I definitely remember that success in that war restored to our nation a sense of national pride that had almost died before then. There was much gratitude for Thatcher as a result, which boosted her support electorally – the so-called “Falklands factor”. Elsewhere in the world, Thatcher was greatly admired in the USA and still is, being seen as a staunch ally, and a fierce enemy of communism. I also know from my discussions with many East Europeans on a history forum that I frequent, that Thatcher (along with Reagan) are widely admired in Eastern Europe as champions of freedom and enemies of their communist oppressors. But it is also true to say that in South Africa, feelings towards Thatcher are much colder. She was known to regard Nelson Mandela as a terrorist, thought the ANC was no better than the IRA, staunchly opposed any form of sanctions against the Apartheid regime, and was viewed as a supporter of it. Also, her support for vile and loathsome dictators just because it was those on the left that they tortured and murdered – eg General Pinochet – is also surely quite reprehensible and was widely regarded as such at the time. So abroad, Thatcher’s legacy is very different from one place to another.

Certainly, economically speaking, Thatcherism has been exported to the rest of the world with considerable success, if not always for the benefit of many of it’s recipients. Indeed, the Thatcher-Reagan consensus became the dominant economic model in the world – privatisation, deregulation, lower wealth taxes, less welfare, more inequality, higher housing costs – and thus to quite a considerable extent the world at large is suffering from her legacy, not just Britain. The banking crisis that has wrought so much economic devastation upon the world is in part one of her legacies.

Another of Thatcher’s legacies was the phenomenon of New Labour. This actually was in practice the most craven surrender to Thatcherism by a party that had previously always opposed it. Some within the party had convinced themselves that they could only win an election against the Thatcherites by imitating them, and they delivered the party to a charismatic Tory-inclined leader with the gift of the gab, and his accolytes. Thus, Thatcherism ceased to be challenged effectively, and a Labour party which included a substantial number of Thatcherite converts (albeit with a softer face), originally borne of defeatism, was itself an apparently lasting legacy of hers.

The weakness of our trade unions is of course also one of her legacies. Yes, before she came to power they were overmighty, and far too ready to strike. There needed to be some means of diminishing this. But her attacks went too far, to the extent that today the unions are virtually powerless to defennd the living standards of their ordinary members. In both public and private sectors, most workers are at best recieving pay rises well below the rate of inflation. Some are seeing their pay frozen, or even cut. Their bosses, meanwhile, continue to enjoy annual percentage pay increases well into double figures. Most working people are now getting poorer whilst their bosses get richer, because the unions are too weak to fight this, thus increasing inequality ever further. Thus, the gradual impoverishment of working people in order to enrich the managerial and shareholding classes, and the inability of unions to effectively fight this, is another lasting legacy of Thatcher.

Of course, a great many people did prosper under Thatcher, and some of these might well have risen up from poorer backgrounds. Thatcher did create opportunities for some with the right skills and abilities. And certainly, the wealthier half of the country, the upper third for sure, prospered under her to an extent that they could only ever have dreamed about before 1979. But this was bought at the cost of enormous suffering wrought upon millions of ordinary people who were mostly not that well off to begin with, and at the cost of severe damage to the moral and social fabric of society.The poor getting substantially poorer was the price that had to be paid for the rich getting richer. It was always a most obscene price to pay, but is the most enduring Thatcherite legacy of all.
#14406821
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/03/10/Thatcherism-Verdict/?utm_source=weekly&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=070414

Also squandered British oil. Whereas Norway had a more forward-looking policy. Thatcherism failed on just about all issues, including energy/resources.
#14406823
Managed to keep the Falklands. That counts for what, exactly? Proving Britain can stand up to Argentina? Sure, there's apparently a bunch of offshore oil, but very little development has taken place on that front, save for minor explorations work
#14406837
Here are 42 reasons why Margaret Thatcher will not be remembered fondly:

    She supported the retention of capital punishment.
    She destroyed the country’s manufacturing industry.
    She voted against the relaxation of divorce laws.
    She abolished free milk for schoolchildren (“Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher”).
    She supported more freedom for business (and look how that turned out).
    She gained support from the National Front in the 1979 election by pandering to the fears of immigration.
    She gerrymandered local authorities by forcing through council house sales, at the same time preventing councils from spending the money they got for selling houses on building new houses (spending on social housing dropped by 67% in her premiership)
    She was responsible for 3.6 million unemployed - the highest figure and the highest proportion of the workforce in history and three times the previous government. Massaging of the figures means that the figure was closer to 5 million.
    She ignored intelligence about Argentinian preparations for the invasion of the Falkland Islands and scrapped the only Royal Navy presence in the islands.
    The poll tax.
    She presided over the closure of 150 coal mines; we are now crippled by the cost of energy, having to import expensive coal from abroad.
    She compared her “fight” against the miners to the Falklands War:

    "We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty."

    – Margaret Thatcher on the 1984-85 miners’ strike

    She privatised state monopolies and created the corporate greed culture that we’ve been railing against for the last few decades.
    She introduced the gradual privatisation of the NHS.
    She introduced financial deregulation in a way that turned city institutions into avaricious money pits.
    She pioneered the unfailing adoration and unquestioning support of the USA.
    She allowed the US to place nuclear missiles on UK soil, under US control.
    Section 28.
    She opposed anti-apartheid sanctions against South Africa and described Nelson Mandela as “that grubby little terrorist”.

    She supported the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and sent the SAS to train their soldiers.
    She allowed the US to bomb Libya in 1986, against the wishes of more than 2/3 of the population.
    She opposed the reunification of Germany.
    She invented Quangos.
    She increased VAT from 8% to 17.5%.
    She had the lowest approval rating of any post-war Prime Minister.
    Her post-PM job? Consultant to Philip Morris tobacco at $250,000 a year, plus $50,000 per speech.
    The Al Yamamah contract.
    She opposed the indictment of Chile’s General Pinochet.


    Social unrest under her leadership was higher than at any time since the General Strike.
    She presided over interest rates increasing to 15%.
    BSE.
    She presided over 2 million manufacturing job losses in the 79-81 recession.
    She opposed the inclusion of Eire in the Northern Ireland peace process.
    She supported sanctions-busting arms deals with South Africa.
    Cecil Parkinson, Alan Clark, David Mellor, Jeffrey Archer, Jonathan Aitkin.
    Crime rates doubled under Thatcher.
    Black Wednesday – Britain withdraws from the ERM and the pound is devalued. Cost to Britain - £3.5 billion; profit for George Soros - £1 billion
    Poverty doubled while she opposed a minimum wage.
    She privatised public services, claiming at the time it would increase public ownership. Most are now owned either by foreign governments (EDF) or major investment houses. The profits don’t now accrue to the taxpayer, but to foreign or institutional shareholders.
    She cut 75% of funding to museums, galleries and other sources of education.
    In the Thatcher years the top 10% of earners received almost 50% of the tax remissions.
    21.9% inflation.


http://mindfuller.tumblr.com/post/47531 ... -be-fondly
#14406852
She abolished free milk for schoolchildren (“Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher”).


That's only a half-fair criticism. The decision was made by Ted Heath. As a Cabinet minister you have to publicly vocally
and vote in support of government policies.

She presided over the closure of 150 coal mines; we are now crippled by the cost of energy, having to import expensive coal from abroad.


That's a 90% fair criticism. Labour's stance was only slightly less bad. Wilson & Callaghan allowed pits to close under their governments at a faster rate. True,
they didn't also privatise, end subsidies & de-regulate, but still only a slightly less bad policy.

She pioneered the unfailing adoration and unquestioning support of the USA.


No offence, but that's a 100% wrong claim. That fault goes to Winston Churchill. Churchill capitulated to FDR, and Truman after him, on
as scale no later British PM ever would. Even allowing the British empire to collapse because 'Wilsonian idealism' was US policy. Selfishly,
Britain as an imperial heartland could have drained the colonies to help it rebuild itself, etc, instead of in-debiting to the US, etc. As well
as prevent US hegemony and authoritarian dictators take over the third-world.

Her post-PM job? Consultant to Philip Morris tobacco at $250,000 a year, plus $50,000 per speech.


Ah, you're overreacting here. I think you're getting confused with Tony Blair getting rich after becoming PM and retiring.

More broadly, the British Establishment got its revenge on Margaret Thatcher, got to 3:50-watch onwards
#14406864
Not sure if you noticed, redcarpet, but that was quoted from an article by someone else, not me. I like your criticism of their points though.
#14406870
That's okay. Seen the YT clip of the Q&A discussion I linked?
#14406896
redcarpet wrote:That's okay. Seen the YT clip of the Q&A discussion I linked?


Yeah, it was a good watch.
#14755635
Thatcher is arguably the most divisive prime minister in British political history, and for good reason. Her policy of flogging off UK PLC to any foreigner who wanted make a fast buck was a criminally negligent act for which the consumer is paying a heavy price. Thatcher was great for the minority at the expense of the majority and this is why I say that: Thatcher's true legacy...

1980. Inflation at 20%.

1981. Negative growth , investment down 11% on 1979, interest rates at 18%. Desperate for cash Thatcher starts the great public asset flog off starting with Cable & Wireless. Mass civil unrest with riots in Liverpool Birmingham and London.

1982. £ in free fall, unemployment continues to rise, corporate bankruptcies number 11,131 for the year which is still a record today.

1983. Unemployment hits 3 million, manufacturing output 30% below that of 1978.

1984. Interest rates at 12%, unemployment continues to rise, BT flogged off.

1985. £ hits a new low of $1.05, unemployment hits 3.5 million.

1986. 1p cut in income tax (General election soon)

1987. Black Monday 26% wiped off the stock exchange.

1988. Interest rates at 13%, British Steel flogged off, income tax cuts for the wealthiest announced.

1989. Interest rates at 15%, growth at lowest since 1982. Ten water companies flogged off amid huge criticism they were sold too cheaply. Chancellor Lawson resigns at the onset of the second Thatcher inspired recession.

1990. Inflation at 11%, electricity industry flogged off.

1991. And after 12 years of Thatcher... UK still in recession, growth for the year -2% (That's minus 2%) Home repossessions peak at 79,000 for the year.

That is Thatcher's legacy and the reason she was thrown out of office by her own side is because she was a megalomaniac who cared about know one and took counsel from know one. How anyone could possibly suggest she was good for the country is quite baffling.
#14756454
Solastalgia wrote:She destroyed the country’s manufacturing industry.


I got to here and gave up.....

The country's manufacturing industry was already shot. How long would you advocate propping it up for? If it was profitable, it would either not close down or there would have been a buyout.
#14758407
Boggart wrote:I got to here and gave up.....

The country's manufacturing industry was already shot. How long would you advocate propping it up for? If it was profitable, it would either not close down or there would have been a buyout.


History shows us that manufacturing was in a considerably worse place in 1983 than it was in 1978.
#14758416
She wasn't perfect but she did some admirable stuff. The milk snatcher thing was a Communist jibe. What she did with the milk is take the State element out of it. It is the not the job of the State to appear before children as though it were a provider. That's the job of the parent. Your children belong to mum and dad, not nanny! What Mrs T did with the milk was very admirable.
#14820525
HHAHAHAHHA this crazy BITCH IS *HERO* in my mind , she have courage to operate according to principle of FREE ENTERPRISE, maybe you hear of it you whiny pussyholes? sorry, get me so mad when HATRED surpass REEASON in terms of thatcher enterprise which in my mind clever. sell mines, get money, use to buy ore and smelty bars - like homer simpson! my name lucas castro, hello, i pleasure myself to meet anyone who agree with me here on line. so, to return to issue, because i realise sometimes i cheekily have fun at expense of peers, i must ask this onl to thatcher hating BRITISH BULLDOG class - why you hate woman for obey DEMAND of overseas market for cheap british mines at minor expense of small livelihood?? british mining ALREADY DEAD, miners ALREADY DEAD, those crazy sons striking all day all night, never seen a pickaxe and then the north say 'oh where is mines' THEY ARE IN THE SAME PLACE - it is my belief politics can not change reality/ world 8) everyone on this forum take life so seriously. but yes i do believe in the kingdom of HEEVEN, and you bet this ironlady there laughing it up, at least she have sense of humour - you see this 'not good for turning' line? i link
okay enjoy that, but i must say i do not think in response to accusations that libertarian free market at odds with sunshine state - marg happy girl, with good life, and she libertarian as all H*LL. i have been lately listening to good hymn whcih go like this:

"Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing:
Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.
Praise Him for His grace and favor
To our fathers in distress;
Praise Him still the same as ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
Glorious in His faithfulness.
Fatherlike He tends and spares us,
Well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
Widely yet His mercy flows."

thing i like about this is reference to rescuring from foes. which of us has not in one political "BATTLE" or another had ecenmies made and go to bed crying saying 'i hope no one from online fin d my apartment' well i alwaus remember that in GOD KINGDOM mercy flows and maybe it all remind online enemies to lay down de pitchfork and put together hands in prayer and HAPPPINESS! for thia all you need is free market, an i think i not wrong to say this is philosophy of margaret thatcher (more or less!!!). seems to me better than this now lady who run through wheat fields like chicken shit. strong ladies are good for moral psirit of nation and IM UST SAY I AM A CHRISTIAN, though despite it all here in costa rica religious fervour not strong. my overall thoughts is that her legacy is nice and good, not bad, nice legacy which i like to read about when i get the time

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