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Monday, 8 April 2013

Political Colossus - Margaret Thatcher

For many in the UK there have been only two political colossus's passing in their lifetimes (the other was Winston Churchill who died in 1965), and for the vast majority only one .... Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher - World Political Colossus - Died 08/04/2013.

All the rest have been lightweights, with only Tony Blair having the potential to almost match her, but his mistakes in blindly backing G.W Bush into Afghanistan and then compounding it by doing the same in Iraq, plus letting mass non EU immigration rip, all the while leaving Gordon Brown as Chancellor for five years too long, leave him as a politician who squandered his chances of greatness.

There is no doubting that in the mining valleys of Wales, Yorkshire and Scotland she is remembered with loathing, but its a mark of the differences between 'Right' and 'Left' in UK politics that only the visceral 'Left' would actually be cracking open champagne bottles and dancing openly in the streets (as was reported from Glasgow on Radio 5), to 'celebrate' the death of a UK politician.

Battles Between Miners and Police At Orgreave Colliery Defined The Miners Strike

I was a Thatcher supporter, but not blindly so ..... I wanted her to support UK manufacturing, but her expensive pound policy to fight inflation meant that what was left of manufacturing (after the trades union decade in the 1970's), left the UK, never to return. But, and this is the crucial 'But', I like many others had spent years watching the countries slow decline in the period 1965 - 1979. Most of you are probably too young to know what it was like living in the land of the "Red Robbo's", leading the trades union assaults on the UK car industry (look at it now that the unions were defeated) - according to the BBC, "between 1978 and 1979 Mr Robinson was credited with causing 523 walk-outs at Longbridge, costing an estimated £200m [in 1979 values, so think £2bn now] in lost production".

The 'Three-Day Week', which left us huddling in the dark and cold (led by the miners), and in the following years we were in such a state that we had to request a 'loan' of £2.3bn in 1976 from the International Monetary Fund to combat the rampant inflation at that time, followed after a few years of turbulent trades union attacks on a Labour government, and ending in the 'Winter of Discontent' ..... which is where we almost collapsed as a country ..... it included an unofficial strike by gravediggers working in Liverpool and Tameside, and strikes by refuse collectors leaving rats in the streets (like Naples). Additionally, NHS ancillary workers formed picket lines to blockade hospital entrances with the result that many hospitals were reduced to taking emergency patients only.

The UK in 1979 and Naples 2012

We were all trying to get out - the UK seemed doomed and a candidate for a civil war .... we were "The Sick Man Of Europe", and for all the 'Lefts' blaming of Margaret Thatcher for her policies .... it was their greed that created the conditions that ushered her in to power ... enough was enough, and we wanted change. Well we got that alright, and for good or bad, Mrs Thatcher dominated the remainder of the century.

4 comments:

  1. Up in Scotland they still hate her for the 'Poll Tax'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It appears that her funeral has passed off without lots of protesters after all. like many I can't make up my mind if she was good or bad for country.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think that too many traditional "Labour" voters have rose tinted glasses about the 1970's. They recall 'apprentices', nationalised industries, BT, and British Leyland etc as big successes.

    They also remember the UK as white, with full employment and being able to "quit a job on Monday, and start a new one on Wednesday". All myths. But worse than that, delusional.

    Strangely they never question why black immigration went through the roof in the latter part of the 1990's or why Labour never reversed a single de-nationalisation when they could.

    No, in Socialist mythology, "its all Thatchers fault".

    Therein lies their failure .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess its history that will be the final judge .... thats if we have a history.

      Delete

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