Tag Archives: trade unionists

Thatcher: Legacy and Legend; divisive in life and death.

First, allow me to assert that I make no intention on “bashing” the death of Thatcher. I merely wish to analyse, from my personal opinion, her role as a minister and a formidable leader. 

Indeed, she was a formidable leader. She redefined the political spectrum, and consequently the United Kingdom. She transformed us from an industrial power to a financial power house. Dubbed as a modernisation, the rate at which she transformed Britain was such that it aggravated a winter of discontent and the epoch of misery for many working class families and communities. Her role within the Conservative party was seen as an attack on the livelihood of a huge number of individuals across the north of England. She attacked the little that remained for the working classes and whoever makes an attempt on a man’s life, on a man’s liberty, on a man’s honour, inspires in us a feeling of horror analogous in every way to that which the believer experiences when his idol is profaned. 

I would argue that Thatcher’s legacy denounced Unionism and Communitarianism, forcing Britain into crass commercialisation which reduced society to nothing more than a vast apparatus of “purchase” and “exchange” on credit and debt, disguised as liberty and individualism. She made it exceedingly clear that within her society communal life is, in fact, impossible without the role and existence of interests superior to those of the individual. 

Commendations can be made upon her determination, conviction, and the role and importance for women who felt disillusioned or disenfranchised in 1980’s Britain, but as it has been made clear by Glenda Jackson this view may be somewhat distorted by an increasingly flattering press. Yes, she was a formidable leader due to the vast array of changes she made and the sheer extent of them; an excellent orator who is undoubtedly skilled in public addresses, but nonetheless an individual whose policies destroyed communities. 

However, in regards to those who have celebrated her death without the knowledge of her true impact and rather relies on hearsay may be wildly misinformed. The controversies of yesterday only give superficial expression to a more profound disagreement, and an opinion which is far more divided over a question of principle rather than a question of fact. One must hear the arguments which have been exchanged on both sides in order to reach a justified and well-judged evaluation. 

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Don’t worry. Keep your head up. It’ll be okay.

Apparently so, anyway. This is what Labour’s new policy seems to be, it doesn’t have too much to it. What Labour have suggested is “remain optimistic”, which is pretty obvious considering it probably couldn’t get that much worse. What Milliband should have probably said was “We’re close to rock bottom, really. It could get a little bit bumpier, double dip, few recessionary measures handled by that Etonian and his best mates in their ‘light-handed manner’, EU issues, but nothing we’ve not had to deal with; three more years to go and we might just get me to sort things out”.

Oh, Eddie, how I love your charismatic approach to serious issues. I myself am a strong Labour supporter. I do, in fact, hope at the General Election of 2015 that Milliband finds his voice and does something great and pulls a trick out of the bag, or at least Cameron to gets into a limousine and calls someone from Bradford a peasant (I can dream!). At the same time, I also hope good ol’ Eddie stops being such a tool and starts working things out properly. I hope he realises his manifesto isn’t that great, Ball’s and His ideas are on par with Cameron’s and Osborne’s and he can continue to slate Cameron as much as he likes but until he finds some sort of better alternative I suggest he does what the rest of us are having to do and deal with it.

Being completely honest, I can already predict some extent of the speech. It’ll go along the lines of Him saying we need to help the squeezed middle class and encourage public spending. He’ll target the public sector and defend them to his death bed because, after all, he’s a socialist (in the New Labour sense) and that’s what we do. Sadly, however, he’ll fall into the “tax and spend” trap which never really solves anything. Cameron tried encouraging public spending earlier last year and it really didn’t do much for the economy.

What I suggest is he edges on the debt relief side of things (providing Cameron doesn’t already use this). It was around the ’80’s when a lot of money was given to Sudan and over the years after changing interest rates, the debt rose to £678 million. Sudan have asked for debt relief, now if Britain essentially say “okay, you don’t owe us it, providing this contributes towards the target of spending 0.7 per cent of the national income”. That could effectively help Britain “cancel out” some of our debt and get us on track for targets.

We’ll see what 2012 has to offer for us, but I suspect internationally it’s going to be rather interesting.

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