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John Drake

Thatcherism - The Political Debate Thread

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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  However, it was impossible to administer and so was repealed.  I believe it is the only piece of legislation to have been introduced and repealed by the same government.

I have an intimate knowledge of the nationalised rail sstem of the UK, from the continuation of building obsolete un-needed steam locomotivesthroighouit the 1950s, to the botched, wasteful modernisation plan that followed it, to the lack of investment wich lft it lagging embarrqssingly behind thre national rail systems of western Europe.

 

congratulations on benefitting from the poll tax

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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.

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.

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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.

Nailed it. Right there.

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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.

Thatcherism in a nutshell.

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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.

 

In terms of quality of life, social changes and and standard of living most people in the UK did benefit in the mid to long term. In the short term many people did suffer.

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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.

 

Yes. And it's the blueprint for the current meagre rise in the personal allowance. Have an extra fiver a week, then keep quiet about the scroungers next door who've had their benefits cut.

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In terms of quality of life, social changes and and standard of living most people in the UK did benefit in the mid to long term. In the short term many people did suffer.

The quality of life and social changes are a result of progress in science understanding and health care. This has happen throughout the ages and is a result of mankinds curiosity not any political dogma.

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The quality of life and social changes are a result of progress in science understanding and health care. This has happen throughout the ages and is a result of mankinds curiosity not any political dogma.

 

You sure of that? What about the improvements (sic) in North Korea? Are they not down to political dogma?

 

The politicians provide for the infrastructure/culture/society in which mankinds curiosity can prosper.

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In terms of quality of life, social changes and and standard of living most people in the UK did benefit in the mid to long term. In the short term many people did suffer.

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?

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You sure of that? What about the improvements (sic) in North Korea? Are they not down to political dogma?

The politicians provide for the infrastructure/culture/society in which mankinds curiosity can prosper.

I was referring to PROGRESS sure some totalitarian political regimes can stifle this, but progress has happen throughout the ages independently of political regimes.

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I was referring to PROGRESS sure some totalitarian political regimes can stifle this, but progress has happen throughout the ages independently of political regimes.

 

And you don't think that political regimes can enable or even encourage such progress?

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And you don't think that political regimes can enable or even encourage such progress?

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.

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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.

 

A series of broadly similar regimes (your word, not mine) which have encouraged scientific and artistic advancement.

 

It will flourish if left to its own devices? It won't because it needs investment. There have been huge advances in science as a result of state-sponsored programs such as the USA's space program, the UK and France's Concorde program. Where would artistic endeavours like the National Gallery or ENO be without state support? To suggest that these things can operate successfully in isolation is surely not correct.

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The quality of life and social changes are a result of progress in science understanding and health care. This has happen throughout the ages and is a result of mankinds curiosity not any political dogma.

 

Quality of life involves many things not just healthcare, social changes are often driven from political changes and changing attitiudes in society. Aside from that quality of life is not purely a result of scientific/healthcare knowledge, because if they were pretty much every country in the world would have similar life expectancy. If a political decision was made tomorrow that refuse collection and disposal was the responsibility of the individual that would have a massive impact on standard of health and have big impacts on many other areas including general safety of the public and provision of services. Over recent years Thailand and Vietnam has seen hugs leaps in standards of health and life expectancy and infant mortality in rural areas which has been driven by political changes not advances in healthcare.

 

Education - choice and standard of education improved (driven by political changes)

Economy - resulted in a lot of inward investment, shift towards serivce based economy rather than an agricultural and manufacturing one, with significant changes in property and tourism contributing to the economy. Those shifts resulted a higher standard of living and better quality of life for the public in general. Much of this was done deliberately through political actions.

Public services - become more customer focused rather than driven by the whims of local and central government

Meritocratic - supporting a move towards a more meritocratic culture

Trade Unions - a controversial subject

Open Markets - a politcal decision to make the economy more open (internally at least)

 

All those things have benefitted (sometimes indirectly) most people in this country.

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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 ? 

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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the textile industry was long gone,

 

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

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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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