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Thatcherism - The Political Debate Thread


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#41 dhw

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:48 PM

Ok which regime is responsible for the increase in life expectancy from about 40 years 300 hundred years ago to 80 years now

Scientific progress can only be stifled by totalitarian regimes it will flourish if it is left to its own devices. Thatcher in this respect did nothing extra than previous governments.

If you look at history totalitatrian regimes furthered scientific knowledge to a much greater extent than liberal ones did. Biggest advances in technology occur during wartime or potential conflict that is driven by political will. Thatcher and her cabinet(s) increased funding in academic scientific research with a definite aim, she also encouraged hi-technology companies to flourish and realised early what was happening the the electronic commincations fields in the same way scandinavian countries did. Do you think the life-sciences industry flourished in the UK totally by accident ? 



#42 dhw

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:12 PM

there is a lot in that

 

but the issue surounding Thatcher and her team was the way it was done, the fact that one ofher ams was to establish a resevoir of cheap, often part time, subdued labour for the service industries, and the little matter of a needless war which she ended up being the beneficiary of when in fact it was her government's fault in the first place. Also I'm not sure where deregulation of the finance industry, and the poll tax fits in to your vision.

 

Here's a good thing that happened: telephones. Can you imagine what things would have been like if the phon system had still been run by the GPO?

 

As I stated many people did suffer in the short term. Thatcher was a political visionary  unfortunately some of her visions had rather rough edges or appear to have been not the right thing to do. Though likewise for people to beblaming Thatcher for many of the ills and unfairness in society is a little difficult to accept when those same people have benefitted from her policies.

 

Not sure what you mean by "subdued labour for the service industries". Regarding the Falklands War that is a complex issue and new imformation has recently come out which sheds greater light on the events happening at the time. Nothing much wrong with the thinking behind the need to implement the poll tax to replace the rates system, the implementation and lack of debate/consultation (the latter being a Thatcher trait) was responsible for causing issue with people but there where other factors leading to the level of ill feeling and protests.



#43 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:21 PM

As I stated many people did suffer in the short term. Thatcher was a political visionary  unfortunately some of her visions had rather rough edges or appear to have been not the right thing to do. Though likewise for people to beblaming Thatcher for many of the ills and unfairness in society is a little difficult to accept when those same people have benefitted from her policies.

 

Not sure what you mean by "subdued labour for the service industries". Regarding the Falklands War that is a complex issue and new imformation has recently come out which sheds greater light on the events happening at the time. Nothing much wrong with the thinking behind the need to implement the poll tax to replace the rates system, the implementation and lack of debate/consultation (the latter being a Thatcher trait) was responsible for causing issue with people but there where other factors leading to the level of ill feeling and protests.

substitute 'cowed' for subdued.  

 

some of the most deprived towns in the country are former coal mining towns-the effects are still being felt. personally I think the mines should hav been shut down-it wsas the way it was done and the motives behind it which I find repugnant. The effect  of the deregulation of the finance industry  are one of the reasonsfor the banking scandals that have had such a catastrophic condequences for  the economy. What i this new informtion about the Falklands which has come to light?

 

As for ther poll tax, well that's where we part company compeltely


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#44 Steve May

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:32 PM

substitute 'cowed' for subdued.  
 
some of the most deprived towns in the country are former coal mining towns-the effects are still being felt. personally I think the mines should hav been shut down-it wsas the way it was done and the motives behind it which I find repugnant.

I read today a piece which argued, quite persuasively, that Thatcher and the Tories believed very sincerely that once the mines were closed "the market" would come along and provide work and jobs for all those who had previously worked in the mines.

The after effects of the mine closures, and the closures of other industries, were not expected. The market driven ideology simply didn't allow it and the Tories therefore couldn't accept it was happening, and still can't.

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#45 Wolford6

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:36 PM


The after effects of the mine closures, and the closures of other industries, were not expected. The market driven ideology simply didn't allow it and the Tories therefore couldn't accept it was happening, and still can't.

That idiot Sir George Young was on breakfast tv this morining doing a Thatcher hagiography and had the gall to state that the reason we didn't have a mining industry today is because there's very little coal left.


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#46 Steve May

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:41 PM

If you look at history totalitatrian regimes furthered scientific knowledge to a much greater extent than liberal ones did. Biggest advances in technology occur during wartime or potential conflict that is driven by political will. Thatcher and her cabinet(s) increased funding in academic scientific research with a definite aim, she also encouraged hi-technology companies to flourish and realised early what was happening the the electronic commincations fields in the same way scandinavian countries did. Do you think the life-sciences industry flourished in the UK totally by accident ?

This is true. The Thatcher government did realise the importance of R&D and hi-tech companies.

But, referring to another discussion about the importance of ownership on the other Thatcher thread, there are no significant British owned companies in the life sciences. There was, but they have been bought by foreign companies.

Amersham Life Sciences, for example, was the first company privatised by Thatcher. It is now a division of the US company General Electric.

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#47 Wolford6

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:54 PM

It wasn't just the coal industry that got Thatchered; she destroyed the UK's textile and steel industries as well.


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#48 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:00 PM

It wasn't just the coal industry that got Thatchered; she destroyed the UK's textile and steel industries as well.

the textile industry was long gone,

 

and the steel undustry was uncompetitive.


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#49 Wolford6

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:01 PM

the textile industry was long gone,

 

Not in Bradford, it wasn't. Still employed thousands when she came to power.


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#50 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:04 PM

Not in Bradford, it wasn't. Still employed thousands when she came to power.

it was a ghost of its former self because of cheap imports, and was in a decline that didn't relate to Thatcher.


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#51 Wolford6

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:34 PM

Sorry but it did relate to Thatcher; her government put up interest rates that meant the industry couldn't afford to re-tool to modern machinery. I worked with a bloke who had this problem. He and his partner had purchased a firm and had orders that couldn't be met with the existing machinery. They couldn't get a loan because their building was rented and couldn't be offered as surety. The business closed, costing about twenty people their jobs. Under a Labour administration, they'd have had their guarantee underwritten.

 

I worked at John Fosters Black Dyke Mills in 1975. The firm already had a very big mill but was bullish about its future and decommissioned its mill pond and built two large brick buildings ... spinning shed and warehouse ... on the footprint.

 

Similarly, I dealt with Woolcombers who built a huge boiler to burn scouring sludge to provide heat and steam for their combing plants.

 

At work in the 1970's, I dealt with ICI and Holliday Dyes, both doing well until Thatcher's government got in.


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#52 ShotgunGold

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:37 PM

The first thing I'd like to say is that I am amazed at the anti-Thatcherism amongst people who were born AFTER 1980. In other words those of 33 years or younger. And even more so people 23 years or younger. I don't know if it's because everyone has been watching "This Is England", or that scenes of the miners striking are cool, or perhaps even because of the whole "socialism/communism/anarchism" phase that every politically minded teenager goes through circa 17 years old (and fortunately 90% soon grow out of!), but it does seem to me that a lot of those dancing in the streets where under the age of 25!

 

I'm sorry but I cannot view their opinions with the same strength than those who actually remember 1979 and who are thus 40 years old+ (whether they are pro or anti Thatcherism)

 

For that reason my opinion I don't feel is as valid as someone who actually had the vote in 1979/1983 or 1987! But nevertheless having studied politics I'll give it a go!

 

I think the greatest thing that Thatcher did was uphold and promote the key belief that naturally, human beings are not equal.

 

It is common belief that we are all born equal (hence why racism etc is wrong), but that due to varying factors from creativity, intelligence, ingenuity, ability to connect with others, focus, ability to work hard and compete, leadership etc, as adults we soon diverge so that some individuals become better, and thus superior, than others. This leads humans to compete, and thus for humanity and the nation to develop. We were doing it 5000 years ago over food and resources! And we will continue to do it in 5000 years time over food, resources, and, err, electronic gadgets!!

 

This is something that unfortunately has not been promoted in society (which does exist!) recently. Hard work I feel is increasingly becoming less rewarded, and ideals such as responsibility, competitiveness and "standing on your own two feet" are not being promoted in our schools. Fortunately my parents taught me at an early age that on the whole hard work and developed skills can lead to happiness, wealth, stability and prosperity - but you must be prepared to compete for it!! Because everybody else wants exactly those things too!

 

It was a belief that my Father shared but unfortunately for him he grew up in 60s working class Liverpool. His Dad died when he was very young which can't have helped matters. My Uncle actually had an interview at Cambridge University in the late 1960s but was rejected because he had a Scouse accent, was a Northerner and didn't have a (wealthy) Father.

 

I have been told that Mrs Thatcher's policies destroyed the rigid class boundaries - the idea that ANY man born upper class died upper class, and any man born working class died working class. Fortunately with our country's fantastic education system, libraries, and of course access to the internet (Wikipedia anyone?!), anyone who is prepared to put in the hours of study can become great in our now "knowledge-based" economy. It now doesn't matter whether you were born in Brixton, Cornwall, Glasgow or Castleford - you can now compete with the "Home Counties gentry"!

 

There was even a clip of Alan Sugar on the BBC explaining that Thatcher's policies caused any old geezer who had the intelligence and the 'get up and go' attitude could now make it in the world of business.

 

There seems to be two types of people that are anti-Thatcher. They seem to be a minority (she did win three elections!). One group is those whose jobs were taken away by her (mines, pits etc). From what I have heard these were no longer economically viable industries (which doesn't surprise me! Europe/Japan/USA are built on pharmaceuticals, banking, technology, highly-skilled engineering, services and law - NOT coal and steel!!).

 

What I believe she perhaps should have done is take the old industries away with one hand, and attempt to replace with the other hand. From what I've heard most of the "new" wealth and industries that were created ended up in London, whereas I think it would have been better if they were spread out across Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow etc. But that probably would have gone against the free-market.

 

The second group are simply people who cannot compete. They blame this on "the rich", or "the state", and thus believe in socialism, but the bottom line is that for whatever reason they cannot compete. When aimed at Thatcher I have a sneeking suspicion that a lot of these people are under the age of 25! Their skills, personality or knowledge is just not desirable enough for them to earn a large wage/do the job that will make them happy/become employed. I feel sorry for these people but they cannot blame their circumstances on other people or on the state.

 

As a whole though, as one nation, it's clear from statistics that we went dangerously close to being a nation of "Tier 2" stagnation, to a nation of "Tier 1" prosperity! And even now in 2013 after Major, Blair, and Brown we are STILL a tier 1 nation. The British people still have the opportunity to live extremely happy and fulfilling lives!

 

I have always had respect for anyone who manages to get into that elite group of being Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but...

 

For promoting and staying true to her beliefs, for firing up the British people and the British engine to compete with each other and with other nations, for believing in pure meritocracy in social and economic settings - I tip my hat off to Mrs Thatcher!

 

RIP.



#53 Wolford6

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:48 PM

It was a belief that my Father shared but unfortunately for him he grew up in 60s working class Liverpool. His Dad died when he was very young which can't have helped matters. My Uncle actually had an interview at Cambridge University in the late 1960s but was rejected because he had a Scouse accent, was a Northerner and didn't have a (wealthy) Father.

 

I tip my hat off to Mrs Thatcher!

 

RIP.

 

 

Are your Dad and Uncle tipping their hats to her as well?


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#54 Saintslass

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:49 PM

I think your posts sum up what thatcher was about. You personally benefited in a very small financial way from her policies therefore her dogma was a good one.

Just forget about everyone else in society.

:lol:   But in terms of the poll tax, there were thousands like me: single people and small family units who had had to pay the same rates as families with numerous working people living within the family.  So those of us who benefited from the poll tax were simply a group of people who had, for years, been unfairly treated.  If I live alone now I can get a reduction on my local tax and that is a hangover from the poll tax principle: that it is unfair for one person to pay the same as a group of people when that single person is not using the services to the same degree as the group of people. 


Edited by Saintslass, 09 April 2013 - 04:50 PM.


#55 Saintslass

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:54 PM

It wasn't just the coal industry that got Thatchered; she destroyed the UK's textile and steel industries as well.

We still have a textile industry and a steel industry.  At the time she was elected though both had pretty much priced themselves out of a market and of course China and India have undermined us in textiles (and China in steel) for over a decade.  Thatcher didn't destroy anything.  She simply did what others had been to weak to do and made us face the reality that our nationalised industries were uncompetitive, badly managed and losing money - taxpayers' money - hand over fist.  Our present textile and steel industries are those which survived by being competitive and offering quality product.  Most of our textiles are high end, just as our remaining car industry is high end.  We are very good at producing high end stuff.  But other countries now excel at producing mass market stuff as cheaply as people in this country want it.



#56 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:00 PM

Sorry but it did relate to Thatcher; her government put up interest rates that meant the industry couldn't afford to re-tool to modern machinery. I worked with a bloke who had this problem. He and his partner had purchased a firm and had orders that couldn't be met with the existing machinery. They couldn't get a loan because their building was rented and couldn't be offered as surety. The business closed, costing about twenty people their jobs. Under a Labour administration, they'd have had their guarantee underwritten.

 

I worked at John Fosters Black Dyke Mills in 1975. The firm already had a very big mill but was bullish about its future and decommissioned its mill pond and built two large brick buildings ... spinning shed and warehouse ... on the footprint.

 

Similarly, I dealt with Woolcombers who built a huge boiler to burn scouring sludge to provide heat and steam for their combing plants.

 

At work in the 1970's, I dealt with ICI and Holliday Dyes, both doing well until Thatcher's government got in.

 

 

Sorry but it did relate to Thatcher; her government put up interest rates that meant the industry couldn't afford to re-tool to modern machinery. I worked with a bloke who had this problem. He and his partner had purchased a firm and had orders that couldn't be met with the existing machinery. They couldn't get a loan because their building was rented and couldn't be offered as surety. The business closed, costing about twenty people their jobs. Under a Labour administration, they'd have had their guarantee underwritten.

 

I worked at John Fosters Black Dyke Mills in 1975. The firm already had a very big mill but was bullish about its future and decommissioned its mill pond and built two large brick buildings ... spinning shed and warehouse ... on the footprint.

 

Similarly, I dealt with Woolcombers who built a huge boiler to burn scouring sludge to provide heat and steam for their combing plants.

 

At work in the 1970's, I dealt with ICI and Holliday Dyes, both doing well until Thatcher's government got in.

and lots weren't doing well, check any history of the decline of the UK textile industry in Bradford or anywhere in the UK. This was happening for at least 20 years before Thatcher.


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#57 Wolford6

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:02 PM

Most of our textiles are high end, just as our remaining car industry is high end.  We are very good at producing high end stuff.  But other countries now excel at producing mass market stuff as cheaply as people in this country want it.

 

More fool us; by allowing the endless import of cheap foreign textiles we are condoning child labour and sweatshop working. We can't stop these practises, but we can tax them.


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#58 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:03 PM

:lol:   But in terms of the poll tax, there were thousands like me: single people and small family units who had had to pay the same rates as families with numerous working people living within the family.  So those of us who benefited from the poll tax were simply a group of people who had, for years, been unfairly treated.  If I live alone now I can get a reduction on my local tax and that is a hangover from the poll tax principle: that it is unfair for one person to pay the same as a group of people when that single person is not using the services to the same degree as the group of people. 

and there were millions who weren't people on low incoms struggling o bring up families.

Again congratulations on benefitting from the poll tax.


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#59 Wolford6

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:10 PM

We still have a ...  a steel industry.  Our present ...  steel industries are those which survived by being competitive and offering quality product. ...  We are very good at producing high end stuff.  But other countries now excel at producing mass market stuff as cheaply as people in this country want it.

 

I don't think you are fully aware of what happened to the UK steel industry; it was sold off to Corus (Dutch) and Tata (Indian). Both just wanted the order book.


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#60 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:13 PM

We still have a textile industry and a steel industry.  At the time she was elected though both had pretty much priced themselves out of a market and of course China and India have undermined us in textiles (and China in steel) for over a decade.  Thatcher didn't destroy anything.  She simply did what others had been to weak to do and made us face the reality that our nationalised industries were uncompetitive, badly managed and losing money - taxpayers' money - hand over fist.  Our present textile and steel industries are those which survived by being competitive and offering quality product.  Most of our textiles are high end, just as our remaining car industry is high end.  We are very good at producing high end stuff.  But other countries now excel at producing mass market stuff as cheaply as people in this country want it.

yet again, and I wonder for how many more times few dispute that much of the UK's heavy industry was obsolete. The issue surrounds how the issue was addressed.

It wasn't just the nationalised industris that were uncompetitive.

 

presumably you are against Taxpayers' money being used to subsidise the agriculture industry, orinded on unemploymet benefits.

 

The UK car industry produces vehicles right across the market spectrum-check out what the higly succesful  Nissan plant in Sunderland makes for instance, or honda in Derby for another example.


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