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John Drake

Thatcherism - The Political Debate Thread

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This thread is to debate the politics of 'Thatcherism' not the person. Stay on topic, and follow the rules we have set out below.

 

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You must be a glutton for punishment!

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Good luck keeping this one on track!

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It's going well so far. :D

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A lot of the world problems today both economic and geopolitics can be laid at the feet of the former "leaders of the free world" Ronald Reagan and Margaret thatcher.

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You've got us all terrified John, they have similar posting restrictions in North Korea I believe.

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You've got us all terrified John, they have similar posting restrictions in North Korea I believe.

 

Count yourself lucky I don't have nuclear weapons at my disposal. :D

 

Seriously though, all I've done today is ask people to abide by the normal T&Cs, which most people manage all the time every day of the year on here without even thinking about it.

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You've got us all terrified John, they have similar posting restrictions in North Korea I believe.

 q. so whats it like living in north korea then mate?

a. oh well... i cant complain.

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I'll start then. Swindon was an industrial town with most of the workforce building/repairing trains until British Rail closed it. Swindon was reinvented by Thatcherism and became the fastest growing Town in Europe. I know there are towns which "died" when their industries were taken away but Thatcherism kept Swindon from going under.

I know there are plenty of people on here who experienced the other side of Thatcherism but it worked in my home town.

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the greedy grabbing privatised money driven companys of today are all a result of thatcherism, she didnt die this morning because she couldnt afford to put the heating on did she?

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A lot of the world problems today both economic and geopolitics can be laid at the feet of the former "leaders of the free world" Ronald Reagan and Margaret thatcher.

Excellent point

The housing boom bust bubble - MIRAS yeh great idea for very short term popularity gain

The welfare dependant generations - allow massive unemployment to happen thus creating a new generation of youngsters with no hope of earning a decent living wage.

Are but two if Thatcher's achievements - although to be fair she was aided and abetted by a labour movement of the time who were totally out of touch with the new affluent working society that emerged from the 70s

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I thought she did what needed to be done at the time.  Had Thatcher not been our PM back then we would still be living in the 1970s, God help us.

But did it need to be done that way?

 

For suew

the UK's 'smokestack indutsrys' were obsolete.

workers and management were at each others thtoats

the products that those workers an managements were expected to produce were garbage.

 

But

Do you think the financial industry needed deregulating?

public transport turndinto a free for all.

Did we need section 28?

 

do yu think that creating post industrial Britain could hav been carrid out a little more constructively and less vindictively?

 

We certainly needed to retake the Falklands, but why did we need to in the first place. How did the planned defence cuts help this task?

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Excellent point

The housing boom bust bubble - MIRAS yeh great idea for very short term popularity gain

The welfare dependant generations - allow massive unemployment to happen thus creating a new generation of youngsters with no hope of earning a decent living wage.

Are but two if Thatcher's achievements - although to be fair she was aided and abetted by a labour movement of the time who were totally out of touch with the new affluent working society that emerged from the 70s

 

Not sure why you've picked MIRAS, to be honest. Someone will probably correct me, but I thought there was tax relief on the interest paid on mortgages before MIRAS. All it did was alter the way it was paid - 'at source'. It was popular among almost everyone trying to buy a house.

 

Was this down to Thatcherism, or just the changing nature of global industry, for which we were unprepared.

 

Your third point is interesting. Thatcherism could not have happened if the Labour party had been able to offer a credible alternative.

 

What is most disappointing is that we have still not dealt with the fallout of Thatcherism in an effective way. We need new skills, new opportunities, a new outlook. I'm beggared if I know how to achieve that, though.

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Have any of these people who are gushing in her praise mentioned her friendship with Pinochet?

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Have any of these people who are gushing in her praise mentioned her friendship with Pinochet?

I remember one of the tabloids headlines (can't remember which one) "fascist dictator meets General Pinochet"

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But did it need to be done that way?

 

For suew

the UK's 'smokestack indutsrys' were obsolete.

workers and management were at each others thtoats

the products that those workers an managements were expected to produce were garbage.

 

But

Do you think the financial industry needed deregulating?

public transport turndinto a free for all.

Did we need section 28?

 

do yu think that creating post industrial Britain could hav been carrid out a little more constructively and less vindictively?

 

We certainly needed to retake the Falklands, but why did we need to in the first place. How did the planned defence cuts help this task?

I don't know whether replying to your post will cross into the content of the politics thread but I'll respond anyway.

 

Given the choice, I am sure Thatcher would have preferred a negotiated way forward.  However, she came to power at a time when the unions were strong enough to depose a government (as they effectively did with Ted Heath's government).  No unelected body should have that degree of power in a democracy and she understood that quite clearly.  The minute she took on the might of the unions they fought back.  Most of the leaders, particularly the idiot in charge of the miners, were as absorbed in their own ideology as Thatcher was in hers and therefore it was a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other.  But it was important that democracy won, and it did.  While those who like to jump on the hate bandwagon persist in pointing out the destruction of communities (and St Helens was a strong mining and glassmaking community but is now former in both pretty much), what they don't like to consider is that during the present economic crisis, people have stayed in jobs because unions have negotiated with management and management have retained workers for when things get better: a situation that would never have happened in the 1970s.  There would have been all out war on the streets since 2008 had Thatcher not quashed the unions.  That is one of the very positive aspects of her legacy.

 

As for the financial industry being deregulated, you need to look to Gordon Brown for that one, which may upset you.  He was the one who deregulated the financial services industry.

 

So far as public transport is concerned, I understand why Thatcher considered privatisation.  Nationalised services and industries are invariably loss making and certainly in this country they were extremely inefficient and very costly to the tax payer.  However, both were controversial policies at the time.  Mind you, when I travel to London or the Lake District on Virgin Trains I wonder at the quality of service, food, the discount prices (if I time my booking right), time keeping, cleanliness and comfort of the whole experience.  It is so, so far ahead of anything I experienced when British Rail was in operation that all my initial doubts about privatising the rail network have long since vanished!  You really had to be there to know just how bloody awful British Rail was!  The buses are slightly different as their privatisation had a direct impact on outlying communities and elderly people who relied heavily upon them.  There was also a sharp spike in prices.  Personally, I haven't seen any particular improvement in the bus services since privatisation.  I may even think they have worsened.

 

Section 28 was created as a direct result of predominant public feeling at the time, just as its repeal came as a result of predominant public feeling at the time. 

 

The Falkland Islanders identified as British.  They still do.  I would hope the British government would rescue/protect me from an invader because I also identify as British (well, English these days).  Why should we not rescue the British Falkland Islanders just because they are thousands of miles away?  Thatcher did the right thing where the Falkland Islands are concerned.

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Being from a shipbuilding town she tried to destroy, I only seen happy smiling faces today at work today.

No love for maggie in barrow

Your rhetoric is silly. 

 

Thatcher didn't try to destroy any community.  Her zeal was to break the stranglehold of the unelected unions.  You forget/choose to ignore, clearly, that following on from that policy was the one of rebuilding.  For example, she went on to create Enterprise Zones in the most affected areas, attracting inward investment into those same communities, and also secured substantial EEC monies into the hardest hit areas to aid regeneration.  One of the most enduring of those initial inward investments is Nissan in Sunderland.

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I don't know whether replying to your post will cross into the content of the politics thread but I'll respond anyway.

 

Given the choice, I am sure Thatcher would have preferred a negotiated way forward.  However, she came to power at a time when the unions were strong enough to depose a government (as they effectively did with Ted Heath's government).  No unelected body should have that degree of power in a democracy and she understood that quite clearly.  The minute she took on the might of the unions they fought back.  Most of the leaders, particularly the idiot in charge of the miners, were as absorbed in their own ideology as Thatcher was in hers and therefore it was a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other.  But it was important that democracy won, and it did.  While those who like to jump on the hate bandwagon persist in pointing out the destruction of communities (and St Helens was a strong mining and glassmaking community but is now former in both pretty much), what they don't like to consider is that during the present economic crisis, people have stayed in jobs because unions have negotiated with management and management have retained workers for when things get better: a situation that would never have happened in the 1970s.  There would have been all out war on the streets since 2008 had Thatcher not quashed the unions.  That is one of the very positive aspects of her legacy.

 

As for the financial industry being deregulated, you need to look to Gordon Brown for that one, which may upset you.  He was the one who deregulated the financial services industry.

 

So far as public transport is concerned, I understand why Thatcher considered privatisation.  Nationalised services and industries are invariably loss making and certainly in this country they were extremely inefficient and very costly to the tax payer.  However, both were controversial policies at the time.  Mind you, when I travel to London or the Lake District on Virgin Trains I wonder at the quality of service, food, the discount prices (if I time my booking right), time keeping, cleanliness and comfort of the whole experience.  It is so, so far ahead of anything I experienced when British Rail was in operation that all my initial doubts about privatising the rail network have long since vanished!  You really had to be there to know just how bloody awful British Rail was!  The buses are slightly different as their privatisation had a direct impact on outlying communities and elderly people who relied heavily upon them.  There was also a sharp spike in prices.  Personally, I haven't seen any particular improvement in the bus services since privatisation.  I may even think they have worsened.

 

Section 28 was created as a direct result of predominant public feeling at the time, just as its repeal came as a result of predominant public feeling at the time. 

 

The Falkland Islanders identified as British.  They still do.  I would hope the British government would rescue/protect me from an invader because I also identify as British (well, English these days).  Why should we not rescue the British Falkland Islanders just because they are thousands of miles away?  Thatcher did the right thing where the Falkland Islands are concerned.

Thatcher, or should I say Sir Keith Joseph orchestrated, planned and handled the miners' strike superbly. They wated to smash the NUM. The NUM or any other unioin didn't bring down any government. The government(s) brought themselves down by tyhir inmadequacy in dealing with te NUM. The NUM, when Heath was in power acted legally(their constitution, decision making processes. democracy and so on were an are more stringent than what the Tories brought into force under Thatcher). Scargill as a combative, one dimensional leader who was outflanked from the outset by the government, but the conduct ofthe government and their vassals during the strike was unforgivable.I haven't if you read my posts on these two threads jumped on any bandwagon. I loathed what the Thatcher government did not just in terms of the miners' strike: and yes I felt it necessary that the countries obsolete industries needed replacing, but the way the government vindictively wen about its work leaves me bitter to thbis day.

British rail was an appalling oprganisation, to what extent do you think lack of investment was responsible for that? I suggest you look at other nationalised rail systems for examples of how they can succeed.

so the predominat feeling in the country was homophobia at the time was it? O, there was a lot of racism going around at the time: how com they didn't bring any race laws in? The Thatcher governmnt was supposed to be a government of conviction.

You missed my point about the Falklands tragedy.

The islands had to be retaken, but it was due to the incompetence of the government that the conflict happenedin the first place and was such a close run affair. The government as on the brink of selling the invincibleto Australia andf drastically cutting the navy's frigate strength, and of coure it was proposed to remove the islands' only constant naval presence.

Why would Gordon Brown's handling of the economy upset me? Do you suppose I'm a labour supporter? far from it.

Then of course there was the Poll Tax

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Mind you, when I travel to London or the Lake District on Virgin Trains I wonder at the quality of service, food, the discount prices (if I time my booking right), time keeping, cleanliness and comfort of the whole experience.

I travel on Virgin trains a lot and I can assure you that I too wonder at the quality of service, food, the discount prices, time keeping, cleanliness and comfort of the whole experience. I wonder at them all. But mainly I'm wondering what the hell that smell is.

OT, sorry.

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A lot of the world problems today both economic and geopolitics can be laid at the feet of the former "leaders of the free world" Ronald Reagan and Margaret thatcher.

This is undeniably true.

After the war a large number of countries in the West settled into a fairly progressive way of governing and achieved great success. Here we had the full employment of the swinging sixties, in France they had the social reforms of the Fourth Republic and the economic growth of the Trente Glorieuses, there was the Wirtschaftswunder in West Germany. Across more or less all the nations which could be considered comparable to ours, governments successfully pursued social market policies which, by and large, produced considerable wealth and shared that wealth around fairly equally and fairly.

By the 70s, invitably, the flaws in this way of governing had started to show and the combination of this and external shocks like the oil crisis, lead to a stagnation. I am totally in agreement with those who say there needed to be a change, and a big one, in 1979. Whether the change that was required was Thatcherism/Reaganomics is a debatable one but the 35 year post war consensus was over and that was the change that we got. Other countries took slightly different paths, with generally more success, but what's done is done and we have now had 35 years of Thatcherism. And we again have a stagnating economy and a society at a crossroads.

Whereas the brakes on growth were the underinvested, unproductive state owned mass industries in the 1970s we now have a bloated and corrupt financial sector that hoovers up talented young people and can act only on short term profit rather than long term investment.

Whereas in the 1970s we had undemocratic unions abusing their power and ensuring that public services and other industries were run for the benefit of their members rather than for the paying customer, we now have undemocratic Capita, Serco, E-Act, Virgin running vast swathes of our services for the benefit of their shareholders rather than the people who rely on their services.

Thatcher is dead. Like her or loathe her, agree with her or disagree, she was a remarkable woman. But of far more importance is that Thatcherism is dying. Cameron is the last gasp, and it will get a lot nastier yet before it's all over, but it's on its way out, make no mistake about that.

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I travel on Virgin trains a lot and I can assure you that I too wonder at the quality of service, food, the discount prices, time keeping, cleanliness and comfort of the whole experience. I wonder at them all. But mainly I'm wondering what the hell that smell is.

OT, sorry.

It's probably the person sitting next to you.  Unfortunately, we still have to share carriages with other people.

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Thatcher, or should I say Sir Keith Joseph orchestrated, planned and handled the miners' strike superbly. They wated to smash the NUM. The NUM or any other unioin didn't bring down any government. The government(s) brought themselves down by tyhir inmadequacy in dealing with te NUM. The NUM, when Heath was in power acted legally(their constitution, decision making processes. democracy and so on were an are more stringent than what the Tories brought into force under Thatcher). Scargill as a combative, one dimensional leader who was outflanked from the outset by the government, but the conduct ofthe government and their vassals during the strike was unforgivable.I haven't if you read my posts on these two threads jumped on any bandwagon. I loathed what the Thatcher government did not just in terms of the miners' strike: and yes I felt it necessary that the countries obsolete industries needed replacing, but the way the government vindictively wen about its work leaves me bitter to thbis day.

British rail was an appalling oprganisation, to what extent do you think lack of investment was responsible for that? I suggest you look at other nationalised rail systems for examples of how they can succeed.

so the predominat feeling in the country was homophobia at the time was it? O, there was a lot of racism going around at the time: how com they didn't bring any race laws in? The Thatcher governmnt was supposed to be a government of conviction.

You missed my point about the Falklands tragedy.

The islands had to be retaken, but it was due to the incompetence of the government that the conflict happenedin the first place and was such a close run affair. The government as on the brink of selling the invincibleto Australia andf drastically cutting the navy's frigate strength, and of coure it was proposed to remove the islands' only constant naval presence.

Why would Gordon Brown's handling of the economy upset me? Do you suppose I'm a labour supporter? far from it.

Then of course there was the Poll Tax

The post of mine you are replying to was written in response to one asking me questions and both were originally located on the other Thatcher thread so no, I won't have read any of your other posts.  I don't jump on bandwagons.

 

I don't think lack of investment had anything to do with British Rail being 'an appalling disorganisation'.  If you have any knowledge at all about our nationalised train system you will know that it had been in trouble for years.  Just because other countries make their systems work, doesn't mean we are able to make ours work. 

 

Actually yes, if you view the time of Section 28 through the glasses of today's language and predominant views then the prevailing wind was homophobic (although there was no such word at the time).  Generally speaking (and obviously nobody can talk for everybody at any time), people did not want their children learning about gay relationships at school.  That is how it was.  I'm not saying that was a correct or incorrect attitude; it was just how it was.  That changed, and so did the legislation. 

 

The government was doing what all governments do at times of economic crisis and that was cut back the defence budget.  Thatcher was caught out.  We had to borrow a ship from New Zealand I think it was.  But we did what we had to do and won back the Falklands for the British people living there.

 

The Poll Tax was very good in theory.  I benefited from it because I was a single person living alone.  I had to pay the same in rates as my neighbours who had three working people in their household.  The Poll Tax (Community Charge) sought to address that disparity and so I paid less than my neighbours.  However, it was impossible to administer and so was repealed.  I believe it is the only piece of legislation to have been introduced and repealed by the same government.

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