You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 08, 2016, 06:12:55 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.  (Read 2192 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HealergirlTopic starter

Margaret Thatcher is dead.  Warts and all - and I freely concede that she had many shortcomings - The woman was and is one of my heroines.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11518331
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 09:39:30 AM by Healergirl »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Even an Iron lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 09:26:53 AM »
I was never a fan, her politics are pretty far opposed to my own. Still, it's shocking to see the fall of so mighty a political titan.

Offline Medias

Re: Even an Iron lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 09:32:25 AM »
I'm just amazed she's gone so suddenly, people have joked about wishing for it for so long that you just forget it's actually gonna happen one day

Offline Beguile's Mistress

  • Time flies like an arrow ~ Fruit flies like a banana ~ Elliquiy's Fair-E Godmother
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Location: Faeleacanvald ~ The Steeler Nation ~ Home of Lord Stanley's Cup 2016 ~ She won't stay throwed! ~ 48\22-5\1\11-5\7
  • Gender: Female
  • Perpetual Notion Machine ~ 'What if...?'
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Even an Iron lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 09:34:20 AM »
She was a strong, determined, assertive person who did an amazing job.  RIP

Offline HealergirlTopic starter

Re: Even an Iron lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 09:36:54 AM »
I would not call myself a fan.  Her public insistence that "Society dose not exist", her relentless wfforts to reduce the authority of Local Councils - I mean really, conservatives are supposed to be all about devolving power to the local level after all.

Just two that come to mind.

But much of the crap that was thrown at her, much of the accusations of being a bitch... that just went with the job of being a woman with real power.

On the plus side, unambiguously in my mind:  Winning the Falklands War.  Seriously, how much legitimacy do you think the Argentiine junta lost in that defeat?  Enough to bring them down  sooner than they would otherwise have fallen.

 How much legitimacy would they have gained had England folded or been beaten?  Enough to wave in their people's faces for a very long time, I think.



edited for spelling.

 
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 09:38:43 AM by Healergirl »

Offline Beorning

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 09:50:52 AM »
I'm curious: what's the opinion on her in the UK?

I've read some opinions on her by British comic book writers (Alan Moore, Warren Ellis etc.) and I've noticed they positively hated her... I think that Ellis called her (in one Planetary issue) a "mad woman".

Offline consortium11

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 10:19:54 AM »
I'm curious: what's the opinion on her in the UK?

I've read some opinions on her by British comic book writers (Alan Moore, Warren Ellis etc.) and I've noticed they positively hated her... I think that Ellis called her (in one Planetary issue) a "mad woman".

Virulently mixed. The closest comparison in the US is likely Regan.

At its most basic if you're on the left and/or from the north/Wales you hate her for removing the state subsidies from industries and breaking the militant unions which led to many communities and towns based around those industries being devastated.

If you're on the right and/or from south then you praise her for breaking the militant (and incredibly powerful) unions, opening up the economy and moving it away from relatively low skilled manufacturing to a more service based economy, creating a vast number of new jobs in the South, allowing people to buy and own their own home and generally praising individual achievement.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 11:41:14 AM »
At a certain level, even if she was ultimately wrong about much of what she believed herself to be right about, one has to at least respect Thatcher's ability to get and hold on to power for as long as she did in what was still, in the Eighties, mostly considered a man's game. An achievement in itself. It's a shame that her legacy didn't leave very much to admire in what she actually did with that power -- she was hardly an ally of either feminism or diversity, and in the 21st-century financial collapse we've seen clearly what ultimately comes of economic policies that consist largely of "let's deregulate the financial sector, screw the working* class and privatize everything, huzzah" -- but as a face of the Eighties-era right-wing surge across the West she at least deserves her reputation as an energetic leader of style and conviction. (Compare and contrast the largely hollow cult surrounding the memory of her contemporary, Reagan, who was more a symptom of the decay of American politics than a genuinely impressive politician.)

* Edited for greater clarity in view of the discussion with consortium11 below.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 03:10:34 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline consortium11

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 11:54:28 AM »
...she was hardly an ally of either feminism or diversity, and in the 21st-century financial collapse we've seen clearly what ultimately comes of economic policies that consist largely of "let's deregulate the financial sector, screw the middle class and privatize everything, huzzah" --

Of the many things you can accuse Thatcher of I'm not sure screwing the middle-class is really one of them. There's a reason that the term "Essex/Mondeo man" (used to refer to a middle class individual who was doing fairly well for themselves) is used to describe those who benefited from Thatcher's policies in the 80's (which went into the 90's).

Her electoral success came about to a large extent because despite her policies causing vast difficulties for the working class (especially those in the industrial sectors and outside the south east) they visibly benefited the middle class (and the working class who aspired to be middle class).

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 12:08:50 PM »
On the whole, the basic project of trade unionism on both sides of the Atlantic was to bring the working class into the middle class as a key condition of general prosperity. Union-busting politics, which did indeed wind up undermining general prosperity in the long run, can therefore be read in the late 20th-century context as an assault on the middle class as a larger entity (although specific subsets of it, tied to the "service economy," benefited for a time).

Offline consortium11

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 12:29:59 PM »
I struggle to see how diminishing union power so that it could no longer bring down governments, create the winter of discontent and call strikes without balloting members can be seen as "screwing the middle class".

Moreover I struggle to see an argument that allowing the NUM of other such unions to have the almost unmatched and unprecedented power they did would have helped the U.K's prosperity. How many winter's of discontent would the UK have suffered and how would they helped prosperity?

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 12:43:01 PM »
I struggle to see how diminishing union power so that it could no longer bring down governments, create the winter of discontent and call strikes without balloting members can be seen as "screwing the middle class".

I've always thought the most infamous feature of the "Winter of Discontent" was supposed to be wildcat strikes by essential services workers, the reverse of unions "calling strikes without balloting members." Either way it's fallacious to insist that the only alternative to such excesses was to more-or-less completely gut the trade union in favour of neoliberal globalism and an unaccountable oligarchy of high finance, which was the Thatcherite and Reaganite mantra that ultimately produced a crisis whose scale beggars any possible "Winter of Discontent" and calls capitalism's very stability into question. I'd say that result qualifies as something of an own goal.

Offline consortium11

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2013, 01:02:29 PM »
I've always thought the most infamous feature of the "Winter of Discontent" was supposed to be wildcat strikes by essential services workers, the reverse of unions "calling strikes without balloting members." Either way it's fallacious to insist that the only alternative to such excesses was to more-or-less completely gut the trade union in favour of neoliberal globalism and an unaccountable oligarchy of high finance, which was the Thatcherite and Reaganite mantra that ultimately produced a crisis whose scale beggars any possible "Winter of Discontent" and calls capitalism's very stability into question. I'd say that result qualifies as something of an own goal.

1) Thatcher left power in 1990 and since her time there have been governments from both major parties as well as considerable reform and changes to the laws governing the financial markets. She at most set the seeds for the financial crisis but if we are to blame her for that then we must also praise her for the Big Bang and the almost unprecedented wealth it brought into the UK in the years prior. Moreover, exactly what about the Big Bang do you find unreasonable or a mistake?

2) I wouldn't say that Unions are gutted in the UK. Membership is down... but that has continued to decrease since... but unions continue to have considerable power. Look at what the transport unions are able to get for their members.

3) You're still to say how preventing unions from forcing the country to a three-day week (as happened in the mid 1970's) was her "screwing the working class"

4) Could she have handled the mining strikes better? Almost certainly. But Scargill was spoiling for a fight and he wanted to break her. Without giving in she had few options.

Offline SunshineSparkle

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 01:04:35 PM »
She was a woman who fought for what she believed in.

RIP Mrs. Thatcher.

Offline Kythia

  • Noooo-one Fights like Kythia no-one bites like Kythia
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • No one chain smokes Marlboro lights like Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 01:34:35 PM »
My mam won't have her name spoken in the house.  Just got off the phone with her and she's happy to an extent that's actually relatively distasteful (someone has died, after all).

For my part, I was born in '87 in Newcastle.  I missed the miner's strikes but I did see the devasation that her policies caused.  I think her fault lies not in taking on the unions - I fully agree with Consortium that they were too powerful and also that Scargill was responsible for at least 50% of the fight - but in the lack of effort and care she put in to rebuild the communities she shattered.  Newcastle had other problems and not all of them can be laid at her feet but if you look at South Yorkshire, say, then even 25 years on these communities still haven't recovered.

I think she should have taken with one hand and given with the other.  Fight the unions, yes, it needed doing.  But replace the economies of the pit villages with something else rather than, it appears to me at least, writing off areas that, frankly, were never going to vote Conservative anyway as simply unimportant.

Offline consortium11

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2013, 01:42:52 PM »
One of the things Thatcher can certainly blamed for is the way she refocused the entire UK economy on London specifically and the south east in general. Prior to her the economy was far more geographically balanced but when she broke the unions power and removed subsidies she shattered the North, Wales and a number of areas without offering anything in return; the majority of the jobs and prosperity she did create were in London and the south.

It's something the country still hasn't really dealt with and it causes issues on all sides.

Offline Beorning

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2013, 01:48:20 PM »
For my part, I was born in '87 in Newcastle.

Heh. Wouldn't it be fun if you were also, by chance, a Hellblazer / John Constantine fan? :)

Anyway: I see very interesting points raised about Thatcher. Back here, she's considered one of the symbols of anti-Communism - and very revered because of that (along with Reagan).

Offline Kythia

  • Noooo-one Fights like Kythia no-one bites like Kythia
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • No one chain smokes Marlboro lights like Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2013, 01:52:20 PM »
Heh. Wouldn't it be fun if you were also, by chance, a Hellblazer / John Constantine fan? :)

Little enough of a fan to have literally no idea what you're talking about.  Sorry.  I shall wikipedia it but no fun for you.  Sorry.

Offline Beorning

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2013, 01:58:26 PM »
Little enough of a fan to have literally no idea what you're talking about.  Sorry.  I shall wikipedia it but no fun for you.  Sorry.

No problem :) It's just that Newcastle (or, rather, certain event that took place in Newcastle) is sooo important in the biography of Constantine... Sorry, it's comic book nerd talking :)

Offline Diablerie

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2013, 02:00:45 PM »
Heh. Wouldn't it be fun if you were also, by chance, a Hellblazer / John Constantine fan? :)

*Got what you did there*

Ah, Margaret Thatcher, many didn't like you, but you sure deserve some peace.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2013, 02:40:22 PM »
Thatcher left power in 1990 and since her time there have been governments from both major parties as well as considerable reform and changes to the laws governing the financial markets. She at most set the seeds for the financial crisis but if we are to blame her for that then we must also praise her for the Big Bang and the almost unprecedented wealth it brought into the UK in the years prior.

The "Big Bang," like early nineties prosperity across the pond (or indeed the pre-Depression "roaring Twenties" at the end of the first Gilded Age), was a false dawn in a general Western economy whose fundamental safeguards were already being fatally undermined by Eighties excesses. It would only be really worthy of "praise" if that had not been the case. Changes post-Thatcher in Britain, and post-Reagan in the States, simply tinkered with the trend toward catastrophically unregulated markets they had already established. It was that trend that ultimately proved disastrous. I wouldn't say they "at most" set the seeds for the financial crisis, but that they and the entire movement of globalist neoliberalism for which they were standard-bearers most certainly and demonstrably did.

(This trajectory was less clear in post-War Britain, which didn't enjoy the prosperity of post-War North America. On the other hand a lot of what Labour and the left accomplished in post-War Britain to ameliorate the loss of empire and very difficult attendant circumstances is now entirely taken for granted in or conveniently written out of the Thatcherite narrative of events. That's a key part of the myth of the Iron Lady, a part of it which needs to die.)

Quote
I wouldn't say that Unions are gutted in the UK.

Then we shall have to agree to disagree.

Quote
You're still to say how preventing unions from forcing the country to a three-day week (as happened in the mid 1970's) was her "screwing the working class"

Heath's government "forced the country to a three-day week" in the mid 1970s, and deservedly lost the subsequent election. I'm suspicious of any narrative of the history of trade unions which assumes it was outrageous for them to ever exercise their power or win any confrontation ever. That often bespeaks a mindset -- it certainly did in the case of Thatcher -- whose real problem is the idea of the working class having political power and collective bargaining clout of any kind at all.

Thatcher declared unions "the enemy within," which was about rather more than just staving off the three-day week, and I've already spelled out quite clearly the relationship of that to an assault upon the idea of anything more than an attenuated middle class from which the working class is excluded by union-busting policies.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2013, 03:04:39 PM »
(Not to say that the trade unions weren't guilty of genuine excesses, BTW. Things would have turned out very differently if they'd adopted the "In Place of Strife" compromise -- indeed Thatcherism might have been avoided. But Thatcher was not just a reasonable corrective to an unreasonable left. She went well beyond that.)

Offline consortium11

Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2013, 03:26:56 PM »
The "Big Bang," like early nineties prosperity across the pond (or indeed the pre-Depression "roaring Twenties" at the end of the first Gilded Age), was a false dawn in a general Western economy whose fundamental safeguards were already being fatally undermined by Eighties excesses. It would only be really worthy of "praise" if that had not been the case. Changes post-Thatcher in Britain, and post-Reagan in the States, simply tinkered with the trend toward catastrophically unregulated markets they had already established. It was that trend that ultimately proved disastrous. I wouldn't say they "at most" set the seeds for the financial crisis, but that they and the entire movement of globalist neoliberalism for which they were standard-bearers most certainly and demonstrably did.

So which parts of the Big Bang do/did you object to?

Then we shall have to agree to disagree.

As someone who experiences the power of transport unions on a semi-regular basis I just struggle to see how anyone can say unions have been gutted... in absolute terms at least. As industries lose power so do their respective unions; it is how the world turns.

Heath's government "forced the country to a three-day week" in the mid 1970s, and deservedly lost the subsequent election.

Heath's government didn't do it on a whim. They did it because there was a chronic shortage of electricity due to industrial actions (notably by the coal miners). Heath's government were in a difficult position, the spectre of a currency crisis floating over them, inflation running rampant and the unions unwilling to accept pay caps.

I'm suspicious of any narrative of the history of trade unions which assumes it was outrageous for them to ever exercise their power or win any confrontation ever.

And I've presented this narrative when?

You'll find no greater fan of the way that say the German economy includes unions than me. The system there has evolved to be one of compromise and cooperation between unions, companies and governments. In the UK unions went the other way, followed by governments, focusing on confrontation above all else.

Let's remember here, the miner's strikes where Thatcher made her name came about because the mining industry was costing Britain money and had to be heavily subsidised. It was not a profitable industry and the unions were unwilling to accept the measures that may have made it economically viable.

That often bespeaks a mindset -- it certainly did in the case of Thatcher -- whose real problem is the idea of the working class having political power and collective bargaining clout of any kind at all.

I'm sure Thatcher, the daughter of a greengrocer, was completely against the idea of a working class person having political power. Other than becoming prime minister herself of course... and being one of the sponsors of the distinctly working class John Major.

Likewise, if she had wanted to end collective bargaining completely she could have done; she had the political support in the aftermath of the miner's strike. She didn't. Most of her formal restrictions on Unions are in the great scheme of things pretty reasonable; should a Union have the right to legally call a strike without its members agreeing for example?

Thatcher declared unions "the enemy within," which was about rather more than just staving off the three-day week, and I've already spelled out quite clearly the relationship of that to an assault upon the idea of anything more than an attenuated middle class from which the working class is excluded by union-busting policies.

So, where exactly did Mondeo Man come from then?

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2013, 04:16:57 PM »
So which parts of the Big Bang do/did you object to?

The confusion this question evinces probably starts from my confusion -- I erroneously confused the creation of the noveau-riche City class dependent on deregulated investment banking with the policy that established deregulation, which of course is what the term "Big Bang" refers to. We regret the error.

What I object to about the Big Bang is the Big Bang. It's not just about my opinion; the overwhelming analysis of the modern financial crisis is that it stemmed from Eighties financial deregulation -- the Big Bang was Thatcher's version -- which essentially made the criminalization of the financial sector possible. Being determined to "compete" in a financial sector that had decided to discard safeguards known to be necessary was little better, in terms of a long-term strategy for prosperity, than being determined to found one's economy on heroin smuggling. (It of course benefited the City nouveau riche and those tied to them in the short term, but that doesn't change the fact that the financial crisis that ultimately resulted was orders of magnitude worse than any crisis of the Seventies. Therefore positing that it was all worth it on account of the advent of "Mondeo man" (or "Essex man" before him, for that matter) is on rather shaky ground at best.)

Quote
Heath's government didn't do it on a whim. They did it because there was a chronic shortage of electricity due to industrial actions (notably by the coal miners).

Yes, I know that. The question you're rather casually skipping past is whether the industrial actions were justified. There are arguments for and against, but it's certainly not a question you can just skip over.

Quote
I'm sure Thatcher, the daughter of a greengrocer, was completely against the idea of a working class person having political power.

I don't believe you are genuinely confused about whether personal power and belief in the rights of the working class are interchangeable.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 07:46:32 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

  • Lord
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Location: The Occidental Wilds of the Realm of Canadia.
  • Gender: Male
  • "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the law.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Even an Iron Lady must yield to time: Margaret Thatcher is dead.
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2013, 04:24:20 PM »
(Further material about the Big Bang and the financial crisis here for interested parties.)