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Preempting the storm: RIP Margaret Thatcher

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Shoshino, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Being Welsh Ive heared enough rhetorical **** today, RIP Margaret Thatcher, If only the UK had more PM's like you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  2. Tarrasque

    Tarrasque Whoever said Paladins had to be charismatic? ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    If the UK had more PMs like her....we'd never recover.
     
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  3. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    How so? Explain.
     
  4. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    I've been avoiding the media and will continue to over the next few days to escape the sychophantic eulogising over a person whose dangerous ideology is the reason why we are in the **** heap we currently find ourselves.

    She was an extremely controversial, divisive public figure, who had enormous influence and political power. Domestically she left a legacy of inequality, social breakdown and privatisation, and abroad she counted ruthless dictators and tyrants among her allies.

    There's actually been parties up and down the country, which is possibly distasteful, but I understand it. The woman ruined so many lifes.
     
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  5. Arkite

    Arkite Crash or crash through Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    There was also propping up apartheid in South Africa (which always needled me because my tiny country did everything it could to oppose apartheid) and the sinking of the Belgrano, but Germaine Greer was asked about Thatcher on a show over here (panel discussion format), which was broadcasting live as the news broke and what she said made a lot of sense. The tories pushed for as much as they could possibly get, Thatcher took the blame, when she was politically used up they dumped her, and she lived out the rest of her life in relative obscurity.

    edit: tiny is a reference to Australia's clout/influence at the time, not it's land mass :p
     
  6. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    In my opinion she was very out of touch with the ordinary working man of whom many still curse her name and probably rejoice at her death. Her economic policy was controversial but in many ways the disaster had been brought on by the labor government that preceded her. She more or less stabilized the situation economically but left behind her a social disaster she did not seem a least bit interested to do anything about. Her legacy in that regard is quite mixed and deservedly so.

    Just my 2 cents without having any major feelings to one way or the other about her. Since I'm mainly interested in economics, I have little to no idea about her foreign policy achievements but I suppose she performed well enough in the Falkland war. ;)
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    The thing that surprised me most was that she was "only" 87. Not that she died young or anything, but she was the British PM from the time I understood what it meant to be a PM up until I nearly graduated from high school. Even all those years ago, she looked "old". I now realize that she was only in her 50s when she became PM, but the years must not have been kind to her, because I always thought she looked older than that. By the time she left office, she looked really old, even though she was still in her 60s. I don't know - maybe I was just making parallels with her and Reagan (who really was old). Granted I haven't really thought about her in the last couple of decades, but if someone had asked me recently about her I would have guessed that:

    A. She was already dead
    B. If she wasn't dead, she must be close to 100
     
  8. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Thatcher was a short-sighted bigot who was so far out of touch, she couldn't even see 'touch' anymore. Here's a few reasons why most people in this country are happy to see the back of the hag....

    1. She supported the retention of capital punishment
    2. She destroyed the country's manufacturing industry
    3. She voted against the relaxation of divorce laws
    4. She opposed anti-apartheid sanctions against South Africa and described Nelson Mandela as "that grubby little terrorist"
    5. She supported more freedom for business (and look how that turned out)
    6. She gained support from the National Front in the 1979 election by pandering to the fears of immigration
    7. She gerrymandered local authorities by forcing through council house sales, at the same time preventing councils from spending the money they got for selling houses on building new houses (spending on social housing dropped by 67% in her premiership)
    8. She was responsible for 3.6 million unemployed - the highest figure and the highest proportion of the workforce in history and three times the previous government. Massaging of the figures means that the figure was closer to 5 million
    9. She ignored intelligence about Argentinian preparations for the invasion of the Falkland Islands and scrapped the only Royal Navy presence in the islands
    10. The poll tax
    11. She presided over the closure of 150 coal mines; we are now crippled by the cost of energy, having to import expensive coal from abroad
    12. She compared her "fight" against the miners to the Falklands War
    13. She privatised state monopolies and created the corporate greed culture that we've been railing against for the last 5 years
    14. She introduced the gradual privatisation of the NHS
    15. She introduced financial deregulation in a way that turned city institutions into avaricious money pits
    16. She pioneered the unfailing adoration and unquestioning support of the USA
    17. She allowed the US to place nuclear missiles on UK soil, under US control
    18. Section 28 of the Local Government Act of 1988 (basically otracizing homosexuality)
    19. She abolished free milk for schoolchildren ("Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher")
    20. She support the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and sent the SAS to train their soldiers
    21. She allowed the US to bomb Libya in 1986, against the wishes of more than 2/3 of the population
    22. She opposed the reunification of Germany
    23. She invented Quangos
    24. She increased VAT from 8% to 17.5%
    25. She had the lowest approval rating of any post-war Prime Minister
    26. Her post-PM job? Consultant to Philip Morris tobacco at $250,000 a year, plus $50,000 per speech
    27. The Al Yamamah contract
    28. She opposed the indictment of Chile's General Pinochet
    29. Social unrest under her leadership was higher than at any time since the General Strike
    30. She presided over interest rates increasing to 15%
    31. BSE was Thatcher and Major's fault
    32. She presided over 2 million manufacturing job losses in the 79-81 recession
    33. She opposed the inclusion of Eire in the Northern Ireland peace process
    34. She supported sanctions-busting arms deals with South Africa
    35. Cecil Parkinson, Alan Clark, David Mellor, Jeffrey Archer, Jonathan Aitkin
    36. Crime rates doubled under Thatcher
    37. Black Wednesday – Britain withdraws from the ERM and the pound is devalued. Cost to Britain - £3.5 billion; profit for George Soros - £1 billion
    38. Poverty doubled while she opposed a minimum wage
    39. She privatised public services, claiming at the time it would increase public ownership. Most are now owned either by foreign governments (EDF) or major investment houses. The profits don’t now accrue to the taxpayer, but to foreign or institutional shareholders.
    40. She cut 75% of funding to museums, galleries and other sources of education
    41. In the Thatcher years the top 10% of earners received almost 50% of the tax remissions

    Ok bored at 41, but it goes on. She pretty much ruined this country and there are still now areas up North that are still screwed over by her policies back then. I'm not unhappy that she's croaked it.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    ^ But other than that, it was great.
     
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  10. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    That's a little mean-spirited, Barmy.
     
  11. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Re: Preempting the storm: RIP Margret Thatcher

    I don't believe this 'don't speak ill of the dead' stuff counts when we're dealing with a huge public figure who affected the lives of millions.
     
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  12. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Tongue firmly in cheek here, but doesn't that list make her at least an honorary Republican?
     
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  13. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Definitely. She's almost as lauded a figure on the American right as Ronald Reagan. With almost as much mythology built on revisionist history.

    I've always found Margaret Thatcher to be a fascinating figure. In certain aspects, I admit to being a bit of a fan – but then, I do love me some House of Commons on YouTube.

    That said, I'm not sure my opinion of her means a whole hell of a lot, since no one in my family or I have had to live under the aftermath of her policies. For what it's worth, of all the Brits I know, SP included (so about 20 people total), not a one has anything nice to say about her.

    I was tempted to watch the recent Maryl Streep film "The Iron Lady," but I've heard poor reviews of it. Primarily because – and I just learned this fascinating bit of copyright law recently, which explains my puzzlement at other past films that don't quite jibe with the public record – the film can't quote any of her more famous one-liners accurately, therefore they either have to rewrite them entirely (which removes their historical and rhetorical punch), or simply leave them out. To wit, the movie focuses more on her personal life and the struggle of being a woman attaining power in that time period, rather than what you'd expect.

    Anyway, that's all I got.
     
  14. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    (sarcasm) I'm sorry, Barmy, but you haven't provided any reasons why people would dislike her (/end sarcasm) ;)

    It always boggles my mind when someone says what I just said in jest after someone has quite clearly provided a poopload of reasons.

    As for Thatcher, though, I've always respected and admired herfor her gumption. I'm not rabidly anti union, but neither am rabidly pro-union. I believe that what she did witht he unions was necessary. As for Argentina, if they didn't want any military casualties and other repercussions, they shouldn't have invaded in the first place.
     
  15. Tarrasque

    Tarrasque Whoever said Paladins had to be charismatic? ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Problem is, she had spent the years previous crippling the armed forces and making overtures to Argentina about giving them the Falklands (against the wishes of the Falklands inhabitants). Therefore Argentina was certain that the UK neither had the ability nor the inclination to defend the Falklands. 907 dead later.
     
  16. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Alot of these claims against her are baseless, hatred by the short sighted who cannot see further than their own desires. It is also something that should be noted that Thatcher won 3 general elections...

    Margaret Thatcher came into power following the government of James Callaghan she had to implement a strict austerity method to rebuild the country after the winter of discontent - noone was going to like it. Thatcher's policies saved British industry from total collapse, she massively decreased inflation and unemployment through the economic expansion of Britain, she sold state owned businesses that were nothing more than a drain on the treasury, allowing for the massive investment needed to improve services and keep prices low through competition. Regardless of what the media would like people to believe, energy prices are hardly 'crippling' likewise your average bus and train tickets are still low. The tax payer could have never afforded the billions of investment to modernise these utilities.
    Through control of inflation Thatcher helped to boost employement, when Thatcher took power inflation was a whopping 18.7% which crippled Britain's export market it was impossible to sell steel and coal abroad, our aerospace industry was crushed by the cheaper and more efficient American counterparts, jobs were lost at an exponential rate, indeed when thatcher came to power unemployment stood at 2.8 million, it peaked at 3.3 million by 1984 so the claims that Thatcher caused all of the unemployment figure are false, in actual fact it didn't grow much more than labour left it. By 1983 inflation had dropped to 8.7% By 1987, unemployment was falling, the economy was stable and strong, and inflation was low. Opinion polls showed a comfortable Conservative lead, and local council election results had also been successful.
    By 1989, the British economy had grown steadily, GDP had risen by a little over 23% employment figures were up by 33% social security was up 31% NHS funding was up 30% and spending had increased by 12%.

    The Coal mines.

    The coal industry by the 80's was a lumbering dinosaur, and relied heavily on government subsidies having been foolishly nationalised in 1947 by Clement Attlee's government under a Keynesian economic model the coal industry was unprofitable and relied solely on the taxpayer, coal miners were notoriously well paid many recieving upwards of £8 an hour... and that was back then. The coal industry was run by the National Coal Board (NCB), it would be this body that would later close the pits that Thatcher is hated for. Indeed since the 60's the NCB had been slowly closing pits, originally the board employed nearly 900000 workers costing in government subsidies £350mil per year( the equivilent of nearly £12 billion today), it also supplied free coal to these workers. That number had dropped in the 60's to around 700000. the Coal unions were the most powerful in the country boasting the highest numbers of members, these unions operated as an almost mafia, using its power to threaten and control, their strikes were nasty they blocked access not only to the mines themselves but also to any business that used coal in an effort to cause as much chaos as possible, resulting in power outages, violence was common for anyone who wanted to work, the killing of a taxi driver who was driving a strikebreaker to work show the extent that the unions were prepared to go to. The Heath government had been brought down in a strike in 1974, the Unions always encouraged a 'work to rule' (employees do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract, and follow safety or other regulations precisely in order to cause a slowdown, rather than to serve their purposes) practice with its members if a strike was not called. The result of course did more damage to the coal industry than any other force possibly could, coal stocks dwindled, prices increased and despite desperate measures by Ted Heath to ration coal, however the result was a turn over to coal imports, cheap open cast imports - the coal unions had shot their members in the foot. In 1981 the NUM elected a very millitant leader named Arthur Scargill, in 1984 he declared a national strike of its members without a ballot, having already lost 3 ballots in 1982 for industrial action, the NUM's members were torn, in many areas support for the strike was very small. As the strike was called without a ballot, it was declared illegal making the strikers ineligible for benefits, without a source of income riots and violence became widespread. almost a year later the miners returned to work without an agreement. Arthur Scargill rejected the NCB's offers throughout the strike, these offers included reduced job cuts in an agreement to modernise many mines in an effort to make them more profitable, reduced hours for workers to save their jobs and pay cuts for 'pit bosses' who claimed huge salaries. Through the strike coal was imported and Britain became dependent on foreign supplies, the coal industry was all but finished. During Thatcher's term the NCB would close 60 mines, by 1992 a further 37 closed, in 1994 the Coal board was privatised today 150 pits have closed.


    There will be more to come.
     
  17. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]

    Just FYI
     
  18. Arkite

    Arkite Crash or crash through Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Just before I forget, was trying to find that old story about the grandfather, father and son all losing their jobs, stumbled upon a story about the songs about Thatcher, a LOT of songs... hell, Pink Floyd had one, there was even that song Margaret on the Guillotine. Wanted to talk about the impact of the Thatcher years on culture and society through the music she inspired but I'm a bit tired right now, these essays are killing me.
     
  19. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    I don't know if "grubby" is a particularly awful appellation in the UK, but Nelson Mandela was a terrorist. Founded the armed wing of the ANP, which committed bombings responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people (mostly black). Went to prison for attempting to overthrow the government in the early 60s, I think, which is where, after some time, he renounced violence.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 8 minutes and 27 seconds later... ----------

    My understanding is that there was little reliable intelligence indicating that the Argentines were going to invade the Falklands and the information that was out there didn't reach Whitehall or Thatcher (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1546823/Falklands-and-Iraq-intelligence-failures.html, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6546223.stm ). I have read a few papers, including scholarly articles, about the intelligence build-up and, to me, it seems very unclear as to what was happening or what was about to happen. It seems to me that CPT Barker is the loudest voice clamoring that things were "wrong" and that the Thatcher gov't failed, but from what I can tell, he himself provided few if any specifics regarding much of anything.

    What Royal Navy presence did she scrap? My understanding is that the HMS Endurance was there and had been there (and I think was finally decommissioned in 1989, years after it was recommended to be scrapped) and there was a contingent of Royal Marines on the Falklands. Or do you mean after the conflict?

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 6 minutes and 40 seconds later... ----------

    From what I understand, in that respect she was continuing policies that were consistent with those of the last several administrations, wasn't she? My understanding is that the U.S. had nuclear weapons of our own forward deployed in the UK as early as 1954.

    Never mind the highly confusing "NATO sharing program" through which the US put missiles in multiple NATO countries throughout the globe for the last 50 or so years, maybe 60 years, I think.
     
  20. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    you'regoing to get me started on Clement Attlee? or as I call him 'the father of British entitlement'? watch this space
     
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