The Lady’s Not for Turning……

9 Apr

‘Yesterday we heard of the death of Lady Margaret Thatcher.  My Mrs Thatcher 02sympathy goes out to her family but for the rest of us, who are removed from the emotive relationships of genealogy, she was a very different character and the sycophantic outpourings of her colleagues,  adversaries and contemporaries are sickening, if not perverse……’

 

As a Human Being……

In the same way that Mira Hindley’s family are able to see beyond the vile part she played in the deaths of innocent children, Margaret Thatcher’s family will see only the person and not the effect that her actions had upon the wider society over which she wielded power.  With the announcement of her death, politicians from all sides have come forward to say, even if they profoundly disagreed with her politics, that they ‘admired’ her unshakable belief and her commitment to what she thought was right for the country.  Unsurprisingly, I have yet to see an ex-coal miner, printer or a victim of her relentless pursuit to privatise industry, asked for their perspective of her legacy……

Mrs Thatcher’s Legacy……

I was only 10 years old when the ‘iron lady’ first came to power.  By the time she was stabbed in the back, ironically by the same sycophantic individuals who are now singing her praises from the same post mortem hymn sheet they always seem to use whenever a notable political colleague dies, I was 21 or 22, the details escape me.  However, I was already aware of the adverse affects her and her party’s policy decisions were having, upon me and my contemporaries.  A legacy that persists to this day and affects all of us, young and old alike……

Mrs Thatcher 01On the Plus Side……

If you were of the right age and happened to fit Mrs Thatcher’s vision of aspiration you may well have done quite nicely for yourself.  Suppose you lived in a house belonging to the local authority, her ambitions for you to own that property may have served you well.  You may have been able to buy that house at a huge discount along with the majority of people in your street.  That house is probably a distant memory for you as you climb the creaking stairs of your mock Tudor mansion with its Greek columns and paper thin, plaster-board walls, with just enough room to squeeze your wheelie bin between your and your neighbour’s property.  But what she achieved in getting you onto the property ladder was the dismantling of the country’s social housing stock (paid for with your family’s taxes).  Although today it may well be looked down upon in some circles, social housing provided affordable accommodation for over 50% of the population after the Second World War and still does in many other European countries.  It also opened up the rental market to the private sector supply and demand economy, making rented housing today, not only hard to find but, unaffordable to a large section of society; the ones like me, who didn’t benefit from Mrs Thatcher’s ideology of the ‘free’ market and, ironically, now a target of the current Tory party benefit cuts.  It could also be argued that in her drive for home ownership, the unrealistic housing bubble that is responsible for the current economic disaster was born.  Had it have been pointed out to her at the time, as we know ‘the lady’s not for turning’ and, any attempt to reason with the Prime Minister was not unlike trying to get ‘Gideon’ to review his plan for economic recovery……

The Price of Privatisation……

‘If you see Syd, tell him’; tell him what?  That in twenty years time the privatisation of our country’s infrastructure would end up costing us all dearly.  If I ever hear one of the beneficiaries of Thatcher’s Britain complain about the cost of electricity or gas, god help me, I’ll knock them out!  The industries that were built or acquired many years ago were paid for by our grand-parents and great grand-parents.  Now, and this list is not exhaustive, the electricity, gas, telephones, water, railways and many other services, make huge profits for their shareholders, most of which are not like me and you and, whilst holding the country to ransom, because, although the view that a ‘free’ market would encourage competition, in reality the few investors with the resources to buy and run them are so few they have an effective monopoly, albeit a monopoly of maybe 5 or 6 but, a monopoly all the same and, one which costs us all more than a state owned alternative, with its profits whisked away to the Cayman Islands……

The Human Cost of the Free Market……Arthur Scargill 1984

Bearing in mind that we now import huge quantities of coal to keep the lights on and, due to the free market that Mrs Thatcher encouraged the price of that coal is dictated by demand, the closure of the coal mining industry was a disastrous move.  Even if every ton of coal cost this country a few pence, or even pounds, the effect on the lives of the miners and the eventual cost to the economy is almost incalculable as it not only destroyed the miner’s lives but affected whole communities and the other businesses within them.

Poll Tax RiotWe now have an economy in which 80% of people work in the ‘service industry’.  That means that if you’re not at work serving someone, you’re being served by someone in your leisure time.  You cannot have a productive economy based on service industries, especially financial services that produce nothing other than money from money and in all probability for someone outside of the UK……

In Memorandum……

She may have been ‘the iron lady’, she may have been the lady who was ‘not for turning’ but, was she the saviour of Britain as she is being portrayed?  No, I don’t think she was.  She was a utilitarian politician with her own opinion of what was best for the UK.  That opinion was mostly based on profitability and devoid of considerations of any human costs.  In the short term the country’s balance sheet may have gone into profit but let’s not forget that she sold the nations assets to achieve that goal.  The path she led us down has left us with the worst economic depression since the 1920’s and in more debt than we had after WWII.

Whether you are a republican or not, Margaret Thatcher was not royalty and does not deserve a state funeral with full military honours, especially at the ‘hard pressed’ tax payer’s expense……

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‘I’ll put in a Freedom of Information request to establish the cost of the funeral once the ashes have cooled.  I’ll let you know the answer……’

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One Response to “The Lady’s Not for Turning……”

  1. Marnie Langeroodi April 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Arts and Humanity and commented:
    They aren’t calling it a state funeral though it seems to be in every way. She doesn’t deserve such ceremony and I don’t see why The Queen and DOE are attending. She was a vile person and should not be glorified in death. (I don’t condone those who celebrate her death either).

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