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John Drake

Thatcherism - The Political Debate Thread

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barrowbob, on 08 Apr 2013 - 20:24, said:

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

Bit of an odd one, considering Barrow, an industrial northern town, once described as "the most working class town in England", and it's surroundings elected a Tory MP for the duration of Thatcher's premiership. Thatcher did not try to destroy shipbuilding in Barrow; instead the end of the Cold War led to a major decline in the need for shipbuilding for military purposes and the town became a victim of the "peace dividend".

 

The investment and regeneration that occurred off the back of this, and continued under Major and Blair, diversified the Furness economy and moved Barrow away from being a one-horse town.

 

I'm no fan of her policies, but you can't deny that the Cold War was good for Barrow, and the end of it was a good thing for the World.

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It isn't a myth.  There is nothing mythical about the power held by the unions in the 1970s. 

Unions have no power except that leant to them by their members.  The Thatcher government in curtailing Union activity was actually acting against a large minority of this country's working population. In addition she also brought in a clause to try and cripple the Labour party by trying to stop the political levy.   Funny I didn't notice her bringing in a law that companies must allow shareholders a vote before they contributed to the Tory party.

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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?

You mean it could be worse than BT who have left me without a PSTN line for six weeks? Logged it on line, it's tested, fault found and the job is cancelled two days later.

Bemused man it India is very synthetic, says it shouldn't happen and will report it. Nothing happens.

We are now living in a world where no one takes responsibility for anything and it is impossible to complain.

Not sure if Thatcher is responsible but she sure set up the path for it to happen.

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I will say something good about Thatcher. I assume because she came from relatively humble beginnings and probably used the health service she did not try to destroy it

That was left to two posh boys who have never used it in their lives.

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Good, and correct, use of "inward investment". Nissan opened a factory in Sunderland where there wasn't one before. That is inward investment.

Usually "inward investment" in the mouth of a Tory means "we sold something important to the Japanese and we now have no control over it"

Inward investment of the Tory kind is the reason that something as strategically important to the UK as our electricity generation and distribution is now mostly owned by the French government.

 I know what inward investment is, thank you. 

 

Nissan opening their factory at Sunderland was as a direct result of Thatcher's policy to attract inward investment to Britain to replace the outgoing heavy industry.  She created Enterprise Zones and secured EC grants also (which St Helens refused due to the ongoing dumbness of its Labour run council and it's touchy feely relationship with Derek Hatton and the scouse militants - we are still counting the cost today). 

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I said that the British car industry now is high end.  You know what I wrote but you choose to be obtuse.  Why?  There is no need for it.

 

Nissan is a Japanese company which happens to produce cars in Britain (among other places).  However, I was labouring under an error as I thought Aston Martin was still a British company but it appears not.  I knew that Bentley and Rolls Royce had gone to the Germans but I didn't realise that Aston Martin had been sold to Ford way back in 1994.  We do produce our own Formula 1 cars still so I suppose that is something.

no it isn't. It encompasses the entire spectrum of motor vehicle manufacture. Nissan and Honda are noit 'high end' manufacturers. Jaguar and Range Rover are. Guess which make the most  vehicles.

 

It doesn't matter when pudsh coms to shove: the vehicles are made here and sold worldwide. They are made by a strongly unionised workforce.

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Unions have no power except that leant to them by their members. 

That's as dumb a thing to say, frankly, as 'It isn't guns which kill, it is people'.

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You mean it could be worse than BT who have left me without a PSTN line for six weeks? Logged it on line, it's tested, fault found and the job is cancelled two days later.

Bemused man it India is very synthetic, says it shouldn't happen and will report it. Nothing happens.

We are now living in a world where no one takes responsibility for anything and it is impossible to complain.

Not sure if Thatcher is responsible but she sure set up the path for it to happen.

oh yes

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That was left to two posh boys who have never used it in their lives.

I assume you are not referring to David Cameron there?  If you are then you couldn't be more wrong.  He used it regularly for years because the NHS cared for his son, who died recently, and that care is thought to be the reason why Cameron continues to ringfence the NHS budget, protecting it from public sector cuts.

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no it isn't. It encompasses the entire spectrum of motor vehicle manufacture. Nissan and Honda are noit 'high end' manufacturers. Jaguar and Range Rover are. Guess which make the most  vehicles.

 

It doesn't matter when pudsh coms to shove: the vehicles are made here and sold worldwide. They are made by a strongly unionised workforce.

I know that Nissan and Honda are not high end manufacturers.  I didn't say they were.  I was talking about Aston Martin, which I hadn't realised had been sold to Ford years ago. 

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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?

 

No she died in the Ritz.....The real one, not our local fleapit cinema.....

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I know that Nissan and Honda are not high end manufacturers.  I didn't say they were.  I was talking about Aston Martin, which I hadn't realised had been sold to Ford years ago. 

you were talking about the uk automotive industry

you have only just mentioned Aston Martin, hich holds a small but successful niche within that industry.

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Unions have no power except that leant to them by their members.  The Thatcher government in curtailing Union activity was actually acting against a large minority of this country's working population. In addition she also brought in a clause to try and cripple the Labour party by trying to stop the political levy.   Funny I didn't notice her bringing in a law that companies must allow shareholders a vote before they contributed to the Tory party.

 

In reality, by the 1970s trade unionism had sowed the seeds of its own destruction by undermining successive Labour governments and by ignoring the views of their own members. Ultimately, they helped usher in the era of Thatcherism, and many trade union members voted Tory. They should have reformed themselves when they had the chance. History could have been very different.

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you were talking about the uk automotive industry

you have only just mentioned Aston Martin, hich holds a small but successful niche within that industry.

You have not read my posts then because I mentioned Aston Martin on a previous page.

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Some posters may need to step away from the keyboard now.

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That's as dumb a thing to say, frankly, as 'It isn't guns which kill, it is people'.

Nevertheless it's true. Trades Unions didn't come about in order to dominate society they came about as a response to the wrongs of the capitalist system. Workers joined together because unity is strength. The state's initial reaction was to transport them to Australia on trumped up charges.

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I think you'll find that;

several car companies spent some time undder state ownership

including Chrysler and rolls royce.

 

They were nationalised because under their various guises: rootes group(chrysler), bmc,blmc, Austin Rover and finally Rover they were a basket case but considered to be strategically important.

 

the battles were between unions and management . I don't thinkl such turkeys as the autin allegro, austin princess, morris marina etc etc etc were designed by trade unions. The problem with industrial relations in British manufacturing industry centred around obsolete prctices on both sides. Union membership at plces such as Nissan is compulsory, there is a closed shop-essential in keeping communications open and constent -both ways.

 

You said that the UK car industry concntrates on high end products. It doesn't and I gave you an answer why it wasn't, next you say you know about Nissan. I find tis a little odd.

 

What you fail to see is that the capitalist classes in Britain are not patriotic as you and many other working class people are, they look to the global economy for their returns on investment.....Thatchers husband was the top man in that game......

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You have not read my posts then because I mentioned Aston Martin on a previous page.

 

Did you say Mark Aston or Aston Martin....There is no difference, they are both top of the range models......They have just produced a Mini version.....The Cory 24.....It goes like lightening......

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Nevertheless it's true. Trades Unions didn't come about in order to dominate society they came about as a response to the wrongs of the capitalist system. Workers joined together because unity is strength. The state's initial reaction was to transport them to Australia on trumped up charges.

However, that isn't where they were up to in the 1970s, which is the only relevant period to this debate.

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However, that isn't where they were up to in the 1970s, which is the only relevant period to this debate.

They were doing in the 1970's what they had and have done all their existence - looking out for their members' interests. It's as I say a myth that they were running the country.  They weren't.  Heath didn't need to call an election but he did and lost.  Callaghan should have called an election in 1978 but he chickened out. He had a fair chance of winning in 1978, and had he done so would have had a mandate to impose his pay policy. he didn't and the rest is history.  The "winter of discontent" followed - it was a bad winter - a bit like the one we're just coming out of - but it wasn't as bad as the press portrayed it - but then as I said in another post the British press are like that. 

The miners, in 1984 misguidedly under Scargill came out not for more money, not to bring down the government, but to protect their jobs and commuities.  Thatcher used every trick in the book including some that it now seems were against the law to defeat them.  She won, but the bitterness is still there in Cas, and Fev, and Grimey, and Hemsworth (where my own family are from) and one day it'll turn and bite someone. 

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I assume you are not referring to David Cameron there? If you are then you couldn't be more wrong. He used it regularly for years because the NHS cared for his son, who died recently, and that care is thought to be the reason why Cameron continues to ringfence the NHS budget, protecting it from public sector cuts.

Apologies, I was wrong, I forgot about his son

However it does not alter the fact that he and Osborne, and a health minister that believes in homeopathy, have this year destroyed the health service.

However that is for another thread. My point was that the ONLY good thing you dicould say about Thatcher was she believed in socialised medicine.

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What you fail to see is that the capitalist classes in Britain are not patriotic as you and many other working class people are, they look to the global economy for their returns on investment.....Thatchers husband was the top man in that game......

of course you are right. I didn't fail to see it, I just ddn't feel the need to mention it.

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You have not read my posts then because I mentioned Aston Martin on a previous page.

so does the UK automotive industry concentrate on high end products or doesn't it?

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They were doing in the 1970's what they had and have done all their existence - looking out for their members' interests. It's as I say a myth that they were running the country.  They weren't.  Heath didn't need to call an election but he did and lost.  Callaghan should have called an election in 1978 but he chickened out. He had a fair chance of winning in 1978, and had he done so would have had a mandate to impose his pay policy. he didn't and the rest is history.  The "winter of discontent" followed - it was a bad winter - a bit like the one we're just coming out of - but it wasn't as bad as the press portrayed it - but then as I said in another post the British press are like that. 

The miners, in 1984 misguidedly under Scargill came out not for more money, not to bring down the government, but to protect their jobs and commuities.  Thatcher used every trick in the book including some that it now seems were against the law to defeat them.  She won, but the bitterness is still there in Cas, and Fev, and Grimey, and Hemsworth (where my own family are from) and one day it'll turn and bite someone. 

 

I just want to pick up on that first point about "looking out for their members' interests". At that time, the unions were very highly focused on pay and there were regular strikes for increases. I don't believe this approach really is "looking out for their members' interests", at least not in the longer term, broader sense of "interests".

 

My own recollection of the times is one of intransigence. Management (and most of the problems were down to p***-poor management) and unions would face off across the negotiating (sic) table and refuse to budge. Broadening the scope of the discussions might have led to better industrial relations and practices. I always wanted to bash their heads together, personally.

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