READERS’ VIEWS ON MARGARET THATCHER

READERS' VIEWS ON MARGARET THATCHER

SHOULD MARGARET THATCHER HAVE A STATE FUNERAL?

What kind of people are we that we consistently throw up and admire that kind of leadership? Care for no one but yourself. She was the first one to strike a serious blow against the trade union movement, started the privatisation of our state utilities, started the dismantling of our communities, a self aggrandising war against Argentina, leading ultimately to the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan and then the banking collapse. The ‘triumph’ of greed. And now….. GOOD RIDDANCE I say.

Any funeral should be based on standard precedent for her position. If as a Baroness, a state funeral is standard, or if as a former PM it’s standard, then yes.

If it isn’t standard, then NO.

It’s a bit like the argument about flying the Union Flag in Belfast, the argument for it being flown continually was at odds to the precedent set in the rest of the UK i.e. it is only flown on certain occasions and the democratic vote was to change to match the rest of the UK and yet there were riots by supposed Unionists against a democratic and standard decision.

Personally I think this is the best way to handle anything to do with either Margaret Thatcher and Arthur Scargill as neither were entirely wrong, but nor were either entirely right….

There’ll be a lot of street parties oop norf.

My favourite tweet so far on the subject is this: “There’s no such thing as society.” – Margaret Thatcher. “There’s no such thing as Margaret Thatcher.” – Society.

No state funeral thank you!

Whilst not agreeing with her policies, she was elected by the people in a democratic way, but as far as a state funeral, No, this could encourage others to follow her Right wing views, or even a snap general election.

When ego goes out of control – a history lesson that’s never learnt!

I remember being very excited that a woman became prime minister – we’d had strong women in politics – Barbara Castle, Shirley Williams, Golda Meir etc. But a woman PM – amazing!

She put UK on the map in international politics, gave people the right to buy their own home, created aspirations for all. Maybe a feeling of equality for all – that we have a right to aspire to more if we work hard? But, I believe at great cost to us. The demise of community, society as we knew it. A time of prosperity as the family treasurers were sold off. In some respects there was a case to give them to the private sector to run, the public sector doesn’t have much success with running our property. Greed is good was the war cry of the time (sink the Belgrano was the other one). What have we inherited? Aspirations greater than our ability to earn, debt, austerity, lack of savings, breakdown in community.

Margaret Thatcher was our elected Prime Minister, and for that alone, I believe that she should be honoured in her death in some form. A state funeral is not necessary, apparently she didn’t think so either.

Spare a thought for the thousands of elderly people in the UK suffering with dementia who aren’t lucky enough to end their days being cared for round the clock in The Ritz.

“Thatcher’s whole philosophy was that she measured the price of everything and the value of nothing, and we have to replace that…for 10 years it is the bad that has been promoted and the good that has been denounced as lunatic, out-of-touch, cloud cuckoo land and extremist” – Tony Benn, 1990

When Margaret Thatcher first became Prime Minister, I was thrilled. I thought she was “the best thing since sliced bread” because she stood up to the pompous idiots who had previously run parliament, allegedly on our behalf, and particularly stood up for us in Europe. However, and this is where I think the rules let us down, she was elected for a third term, following the success in the Falklands (incidentally, throughout history – you know I’m an historian? – no Argentinean has ever lived on the Falkland Islands) and that was a BIG mistake. It also happened with the idiot Tony Blair. Any Prime Minister elected to a third term believes they have carte blanche to do as they please, which is exactly what they both did.

The worst, and most horrific, part of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy was to sell off our essential services. We are now paying through the nose, with money we can ill-afford or just don’t have, for our gas, electricity and water supplies. In this 21st century, we cannot live without any of them, but especially water. Why on earth did anyone think it just that we should pay extortionate salaries and bonuses to thousands of employees, prices that incorporate the costs of dozens of different companies’ business premises, equipment, vehicles, etc, and ridiculous dividends to shareholders who bleed us dry (literally) for profits on their investments? There are people dying because they can’t afford to pay for this stupidity – for things to which we should all be entitled! It is a national disgrace and will remain, in my mind, Margaret Thatcher’s legacy.

I feel sad hearing of the death of Margaret Thatcher, she certainly was a strong woman and did a lot of good for the country. Our people were starting to dictate to the government of what they wanted, such as, more money less hours to work, this would not be accepted by any Government . This attitude from the people began to ruin our country, our car manufacturers started moving to other countries. Margaret Thatcher closed the pits which did cause problem to many, but the pits were not paying for them selves and wasting money. I didn’t agree with the selling of council houses, this is now proving to have been a bad idea. Arthur Scargill was a big thorn in her side and his continual threats of strikes and inciting the crowds to violence, brought the country to it’s knees, but she still held on, what a strong woman.

The country would have been in a worse state today, if we hadn’t been through the Thatcher years. At least our people in the Thatcher years took any job available, just look at our unemployed today. This is the legacy left from Blair.

“It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.”
This was Thatcher’s belief; if the country as a whole still abided by this we would not have the financial and social problems from which we now suffer.

Yes indeed, Margaret Thatcher should have a state funeral.

The funeral should be put out to tender and given to the lowest bidder!

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31 comments

  1. Under Thatcher things did change:

    Child poverty increased.

    The infant mortality rate increased.

    Homelessness increased.

    Social housing disappeared as electors were bribed by the sale of council houses.

    90% of shares sold in privatisations were sold on for a quick profit and ended up in the usual hands.

    We became dependent on foreign supplies of fuel and energy.

    A ‘feel good factor’ was created by an engineered property boom.

    Greed and self-interest became the norm.

    More damage was done to our industry than the Luftwaffe ever achieved.

    The financial sector became dominant.

    High wage skilled labour was replaced by low wage service industries.

    Unemployment topped 3 million.

    The ‘short sharp shock’ increased youth crime dramatically.

    There was a high-level MI6 intelligence report on her desk telling her that if she withdrew the ice-breaker from the Falklands then the Argentinian junta would see it as a green light to go in. She chose to ignore this.

    Brixton and Toxteth burned.

    The Poll Tax was a remarkably fair system, if you happened to be a Duke.

    Yes, truly great achievements. She did batter Europe with her handbag, and change was needed, but not in such a confrontational manner.

    Germany invested in its industry, rather than destroy it. It created a co-operative system with Works’ Committees, and it didn’t become so dependent on a financial sector that provides over 40% of Tory Party funding. And that’s why it’s much better off than we are.
    But it’s good that she’s being cremated, there’d be massive queues wanting to urinate on her grave.

    Had the NCB not been still paying off the interest on the bank loans paid when the mines were nationalised they’d have been in profit for decades.

  2. PS: She also introduced the system of agencies for supply teaching and nursing. Where teaching is concerned two ladies in Canterbury ran all of East Kent. The system of agencies means that teachers are paid much less and schools charged much more, but why worry, it’s only tax payers’ money. Isn’t competitive capitalism wonderful? Well, it is if I want to buy a TV, but not if my kid’s school needs a teacher for the day.

  3. She is not being given a State Funeral for the reason that she was never the Head Of State. She is being given a funeral with military honours.

    People taking to the streets to celebrate the fact of her death is one of the most sickening things that I have ever seen.

    I do not take offence at learned criticism of her political career. But there is little of that. Most of the criticism is kneejerk from those who were not even born when she was Prime Minister.

    I can understand why she is vilified by the Communists bearing in mind that she was the avowed enemy of communism, and that she did much to bring down the Soviet dictatorship.

    I do not much mind the antics of the Anarchists. For they do not like anybody, including each other, and anyway are bit dotty.

    1. I understand that Margaret Thatcher is loved or hated according to political persuassion or personal experience. The fact remains, she was the first female prime minister, the longest serving since WWII at the time and she changed the centre ground of politics as even acknowledged by her opponents. The nation is right to formally recognise her passing and give her the funeral that is planned, not a state one as John Holyer correctly points out, but a prime minister’s one with military honours.

      Like John, I also abhor all this sick celebration over a frail old lady’s death. I am right of centre, but would not rejoice in the death of any left wing politician or prime minister. I believe, in office they try to do what they think is for the best even if, in most cases, around half the population disagree with them.

      Additionally, all those students union members, who were largely not even born when MT was PM, out revelling in her death, would do well to remember that during her time they would have paid no fees and the poor got grants. It was a Labour government who introduced tuition fees and did away with grants and assisted places. Are they thus going to celebrate Tony Blair’s passing?

      1. I agree with both William and John.
        It is disgraceful what is happening on the streets of some towns, no respect for the dead at all.
        Rather a reminder of the Scargill days when he incited violence and hatred, which did no good then and certainly will do no good now.

        She deserves to be acknowledged in her death, she was a grand and fiesty woman, I didn’t agree with all she did, but she did make our country stronger and was envied by many other countries in the world.
        Apart from Winston Churchill no other leader has helped Briton the way she did. Unions must never be allowed to lead the country, for this, I thank her, God only knows what our country would have become if she hadn’t stopped them.
        The Unions lost our munufacturing, not the Government, I can remember so many striking for more money BUT less hours, this action brought Britain to it’s knees. The Unions created this not Magaret Thatcher

      2. Carole, unions had become too bloated with power, wishing to directly influence politics rather than merely represent their members, and their leadership was far too alienated from their members, but the cliche about ‘holding the country to ransom’, which I’m sure you’d recite, is somewhat ironic in a system which allows the banksters in the City to hold the country to ransom every day of the year.

        I would most certainly celebrate Bliar’s passing in my own quiet way. Perhaps with a glass of single malt.

        Thatcher, along with the right-wing philosophers who influenced her, believed that everyone had their price. Those that held ideological beliefs were denigrated as ‘zealots’. We can discern a Post Modernist influence here, that belief that the age of metanarrative was over, somewhat ironic when both post modernism and Thatcherism have become metanarratives.

        Try checking out the sociological research into Red Robbo and the car industry. You’ll find that the reason the workers were willing to follow him was not due to intimidation, whatever the Daily Mail said, nor had they all become communists. Management had removed tea breaks, only allowing a cup from a trolley whilst still at the machine, and they’d cut back on cleaners so that the loos were overflowing and there was no paper. That’s why they were in a strike mood.

  4. A PPS:

    The target system, which was so successful recently at Stafford Hospital, was introduced by Thatcher. It was first used by the US military, which is why whole villages in Viet Nam were slaughtered and marked down as ‘Cong’. The inspiration for this and monetarism came from the right-wing US philosophers who call themselves ‘libertarians’ [‘libertines’ would be more appropriate], or ‘neo-liberals’. The spokesperson here was Roger Scruton. A few years back Roger said, “I got it wrong.”

    Blair and Brown followed the Thatcher philosophy as if it were unassailable.

    The Grantham grocer’s daughter to PM, is, of course a myth. She got there because she married a very rich man.

    Her research was in making a softer ice-cream by forcing more air into it, and thus using less product. So she was a ‘milk snatcher’ in more ways than one.

    Sadly the cost of university tuition and grants could not be sustained with the expansion in higher education, so to praise her for that is somewhat fraudulent.

    Whilst the London anarchists are hardly deserving of the name, failing to realise the work that would be expected of them in an anarchist system [Barcelona in the Spanish Civil War providing a model], and not wishing to condone violent protest, I must state that the young have every right to peaceful protest. In a sense they are all ‘Thatcher’s children’, the problems they have inherited come directly from her policies. And I did live through the Thatcher horrors, and I saw first hand the devastation and despair she created north of the Trent.

    I should also have included the increase in the suicide rate, and the increase in family break-up and divorce. Perhaps I should have mentioned the classrooms that would have been condemned if subjected to the Factory Acts. Isn’t it strange how history repeats itself?

    The suggestion that her funeral be put out to tender and the contract given to the lowest bidder is very Thatcherite, and so should probably be adopted as a mark of respect.

  5. I guess age is telling on me, and memory operates in spasms.

    She is the British Prime Minister who described Nelson Mandela as a ‘terrorist’, now doesn’t that and her support for the racist South African regime do honour to us all?

    She also supported the murdering totalitarian dictator Pinochet.

    As to the fall of the Soviet Union, the information leaked from Moscow stated that it was due to the military informing the Kremlin that they could no longer defend the capital when they saw the US stealth aircraft in operation, not to their fear of a woman with a handbag.

    1. Mr. Frew, sorry to correct you, but at that time Nelson Mandela was a terrorist, like Jerry Adams and Martin McGuiness also were. The ANC were not freedom fighters, did not take on the South African Security Forces, but largely confined their activities to indiscriminate shootings and bombings in rural areas with innocent farming families and African villagers their main victims.

      It was F W De Klerk who led South Africa towards democracy and he recognised that an educated and much reformed Nelson Mandela was probably the best man to bring about a peaceful transition of power. They achieved that together and Mandela is now rightly revered.

      On the Pinochet issue, it was he that supported this country during the Falklands War and, in such circumstances, you do not get to choose your allies on their good table manners. After all, in WWII we were only too glad to ally ourselves with and supply arms to the Soviet Union and Jo Stalin although having very different ideaolgies. How many people do you think Stalin murdered, rather more than Pinochet I think.

      I do not think anyone is claiming Margaret Thatcher brought down the Soviet Union, but she was PM at a time when the Soviets were tiring of the arms race, the ongoing and costly Cold War and when they had a leader, Gorbachev, who was ready to talk to the West.

      You are rather letting your hatred cloud your judgement and distort your interpretation of history,

      1. There will be a special article on the impact of Margaret Thatcher’s policies on Thanet in the next issue of Thanet Watch magazine. If you have views about how the Isle fared under Mrs Thatcher please let us know. Email us on inmeds@yahoo.co.uk. Deadline is this Sunday.

      2. Mr Epps, you are allowing your distorted neo-fascist right-wing pro-racist apologist views to distort the truth. Mandela was incarcerated on Robin Island and the racist South African police were murdering ANC members and innocent people. It was the boycott of white business that brought down that regime, not De Klerk or any other Boer.

        I’m not quite sure what the paranoid totalitarian Stalin has to do with anything here. Totalitarians are totalitarians, left or right is irrelevant, only the uniforms differ. If you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.

        What qualifications in history do you possess?

  6. I now have a mug of coffee and at least am starting to wake up, which is why I remembered that I’d ridiculously written ‘Robin Island’, rather than Robben Island. It’s difficult to commit terrorist acts when serving 27 years.

    Of course, Steve Biko’s death was purely accidental, and such atrocities as Sharpville never took place, at least, not according to Epps.

    Stalin was most certainly a monster, but without the Soviet Union we’d all be speaking German, clicking our boot heels, and raising our right arms in the style of a Sunderland manager. Ah, I see that Mr Epps already is.

    If WWII was won anywhere, it was won in the tank battles that followed Stalingrad, when the new T34 wiped out the Panzers. Under such circumstance arming the Soviets is hardly akin to cuddling up to Pinochet. Did Chile invade Argentina? Did Pinochet send troops to the Falklands? Just what aid exactly did the dictator Pinochet provide? As far as I’m aware he allowed the SAS to operate out of Chile once, and that was it. Pinochet murdered American citizens, but the US saw him as an ally in its fight against communism, socialism, liberalism, and democratic rights in Latin America, and hence did nothing, and that’s tantamount to breaching the Constitution.

    And you chose to ignore the most succinct point Mr Epps, had Thatcher not ignored MI6 and withdrawn the ice-breaker, it’s unlikely that there would have been a Falkland’s conflict.

    1. Mr. Frew, nowhere in my comment did I seek to insult you or brand you any kind of political extremist. I simply offered an alternative view.

      Whilst I accept your democratic right to debate the issue the personal insults are totally uncalled for in such an exchange, but say far more about your political extremism than mine.

      As for history qualifications, I did not think they were necessary in order to offer an opinion, but clearly I was wrong. Thanet Watch has oft called on people of all view points to join the debate, but if the kind of insults you bandy around are to be the result, I shall not be doing so again.

      By the way, when were you in South Africa or Rhodesia, did you ever see the abused and tortured villagers, the butchered missionaries or the bayonetted babies? I was and did and I assure there were terribly atrocities committed by both sides, not that you will believe it.

      1. Mr Epps, you raised the issue of history and interpretation. I possess O level history grade 1 Oxford and Cambridge Board, A level history grade A Northern Board, and it was part of my first degree. My teacher at A level had a double first in the subject from Cambridge and he had 3 students, so it was rather intense. Given this, I think I have more experience at historic analysis than you. Historic analysis may differ, but it is not merely ‘opinion’.

        If you actually bother to read what you have written, you will see that you did accuse me of ‘allowing hatred to cloud my judgement’ etc. When one defends monsters such as Pinochet then one must be assumed to wear the same cloth.

        I didn’t see the atrocities you mention, but I saw enough in S. E. Asia. There is an intrinsic difference between the violence perpetrated by the oppressor on the oppressed, and the retaliatory violence of the oppressed against the oppressor. Of course, neither are desirable, but they are essentially different.

        Mr Epps, if you’re so thin skinned, you’d better never enter parliament.

  7. Unfortunately, Mr. Frew, what tends to happen in such conflicts is that the unfortunate people, particularly in the rural areas, are terrorised by both sides. To those who are victims it matters not a shred whether the perpetrators are the so called oppressors or the oppressed. Furthermore, dividing lines are often not that clear.

    Thanks for the advice on parliament, by the way, but not one of my ambitions. I am actually not that political.

  8. “Speaking ill of the dead” is a very Victorian concept! I think that the ill that some political figures do in their lives is rarely buried with them, in Margaret Thatchers case it’s alive & well & still dividing the UK.

    1. Mr Epps, at least we agree where victims are concerned. To the dead it matters not how they died. One is just as dead from a bayonet as from US bombs dropping on you. The US way is simply a more efficient killing machine. But to those of us that have to make judgements, it does matter.

      Lin, very true. It’s also somewhat hypocritical from those who say it. They have no problem in speaking ill of Pol Pot, Idi Amin, or Osama, and nor should they, but they are somewhat selective in where and when they apply it.

      1. I’m not too sure regarding his qualifications, but he is/was regarded as one of the country’s leading business consultants.

  9. Well that makes him well qualified to comment on the Luftwaffe. Much the same as a history degree makes you an expert on terrorism I suppose.

    1. It does make him extremely well qualified to judge the damage Thatcher did, and to use the Luftwaffe as a illustrative comparison. I think your NVQ in woodwork [failed] must rankle, but please learn to read and retain, I never said anything about a history degree, I merely stated that historic analysis was a part of my degree, and such analysis is in part a learnt skill. I do note your attempts at sarcasm, not very good at it, are you? But then you’re not very good at defending neo-Thatchist dictators or brutal racist regimes either, perhaps because they’re indefensible.

      1. Well whose a clever boy then! Am I supposed to be impressed. As for the NVQ, I am flattered you should think I am that young but, like you, I date back to the O level era. Actually I am none too hot at woodwork, but a bit of a wizard on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. .

      2. Neesalter, I’m retired due to ill health and am presently fairly restricted to the house, so I can entertain myself by baiting Epps.

        But at least he’s now informed us as to what he was doing there and what expertise he was trying to supply to those racist colonial regimes.

        I agree with the points you raise regarding the funeral and the costs Thatcher brought to us.

  10. Reading the postings from Messrs Frew and Epps, I feel I have to first offer my credentials: I have a Master of Arts in Maritime History from Greenwich Maritime Institute at the University of Greenwich, so hope I may be allowed to offer my humble opinions!
    Personally, I am surprised that two such, apparently, knowledgeable men have so much time to waste on blogs, or whatever they are called! I have to say that I spend most of my time indulged in researching historical facts (not just maritime) and have just dipped into this due to contact from ThanetWatch.
    I do, however, have some sixty-odd (not saying how many!) years of experience from various governments and I have to say that I feel that a State Funeral (you can call it what you like, but that is exactly what it is) for Margaret Thatcher is wholly inappropriate. Only two previous Prime Ministers have been honoured with a State Funeral; the first was the Duke of Wellington, who became Prime Minister following his finally defeating Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. The second was Sir Winston Churchill in recognition of his achievements in our winning the Second World War.
    Margaret Thatcher oversaw the defending of the Falkland Islanders against the Argentinian invasion, but wouldn’t the sinking of the ‘Belgrano’, in today’s “climate”, be classed a war crime? Sorry, but wasn’t she (the ‘Belgrano’) heading away from the Falklands and outside Falkland Island waters?
    I will not be any part of Wednesday’s over-the-top funeral. I feel the pinch from Thatcher’s “reign” every time I have to pay through the nose for my water, gas, electricity, etc, due to privatisation and the money now going to directors and investors. It is a national disgrace that pensioners (most of whom have paid into the system for 40 or 50 years) struggle to pay for their essential services.
    This present government cannot afford, apparently, to provide finance for schools, hospitals, police forces, council services, etc, but can give away millions of pounds, which they borrow for the purpose, to Europe and other countries, and can then suddenly magic up about £10m for this funeral!
    I feel Cameron has opened a can of worms.

  11. Wrong, Frew, I was there monitoring an election and trying, without a lot of success, to ensure fair play and no intimidation of the electorate. Bit like trying to ask Millwall supporters to cuddle West Ham ones.

    As for your baiting, don’t kid yourself. It is you that has consistently had to resort to all the personal insult bits without really knowing anything about me. Neo-facist, racist, woodwork NVQ (failed), does not say a great deal for your debating skills.

    1. Epps, you are too boring and this site too slow. You contradict yourself but fail to realise it. You were obviously supporting Millwall and Pinochet, while maligning Nelson Mandela.

      1. What a sad old man you are, Frew. There is no contradiction other than in your imagination, but, I tell you what, you keep taking your tablets until you feel well enough and then I will tell you a bit about monitoring elections in Africa. By the way, I do not malign Mandella, but I am honest. He was a terrorist and, like Saul on the road to Damascus, saw the light and became a champion of unity and reconciliation. I doubt any other African leader at the time could have pulled the rainbow nation together the way he did.

  12. You also move position when challenged yet fail to acknowledge it. A terrorist while serving 27 years hey what, now that’s clever. How can you be judged a ‘monitor’ when you are obviously so in favour of those racist regimes? How can you be thought objective when you support a neo-fascist murderer like Pinochet? You can’t.

  13. Whatever turns you on, Frew, for debate you do not. Just twist what other people say. I suppose you were a civil servant before ill health forced your early retirement. Sounds about par for the course.

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