Margaret Thatcher

Born at the fag-end of Callaghan’s Premiership I, unlike some who have recently been emoting vehemently, lived through the Winter of Discontent and all of Baroness Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister. Not being a child prodigy, I cannot though claim to have memories of seeing and experiencing much of the events of the time first hand. As for those born after she left office who apparently know so much of what life was like under her, I can only say that I am in awe.

My knowledge of her time – and the events leading up to her 1979 election victory – is the result of what my parents have said and what I have read over the last 20 or so years. I do however know that there is a lot of difference between words on the page and first hand experience.

She was not perfect – no person, especially a politician, ever will be and anyone who seriously claims that they are should be referred to the nearest loony bin ASAP – but so far as my interpretation of her time goes, she left this country in a far better shape economically than it was when she started.

My memories of events in the world around me go back to the mid/late 1980s. I recall my mum watching the wedding of Prince Andrew, I saw Challenger explode on the news and I loved some of the privatisation adverts but I have little memory of almost all of the politics of the day.

Politically the first thing I remember is the Poll Tax and the brouhaha which surrounded it. Although a political disaster for the Conservatives and the policy which triggered Lady Thatcher’s downfall, it is perhaps ironic that my contempt for the hypocrisy of socialism can probably be dated to this time.

Whilst my dislike (and eventual hatred) of tax didn’t begin until I had to start paying it in its most obvious forms (Income, NI, Council) I became aware of its existence as a result of the Community Charge. A flat rate tax with every adult paying the same, my young mind couldn’t, initially, work out why socialists, with their commitment to everyone being treated equally, would object to being taxed equally. It was the eventual realisation that people don’t always mean what they say which allowed me to understand that perhaps socialists don’t like the idea equality in practice – let alone when it applies to them.

RIP Baroness Margaret Hilda Thatcher, 1925 – 2013.

4 Comments

  1. MissB says:

    Like! Wish I had written this. Thank you.

  2. bunny says:

    Well said

  3. Harbinger says:

    Hmm….

    I would have to disagree with you on Thatcher and I’m right wing (anarcho nationalist). Many people believe she left the economy in a better state than Callaghan, but sadly what Thatcher brought in was a ‘service economy’ one that would rely on imports more than exports and eventually lose all sovereignty whatsoever. Labour and Tory play industry ping pong – one nationalizes, the other privatizes. The rich get richer the poor get poorer and the workforce ends up on the scrapheap.

    Thatcher also spoke of the shadow government which I believe she became part of when she left office. All PM’s are sock puppets who do the bidding of their masters and not the public. Politicians are merely lobbyists for corporations.
    I lived through Thatcher. I was eight when she took over office. She did wonders for the wealthy and like I said shafted the not so wealthy. The media painted her as a patriot, when she was nothing of the sort. She like all PM’s was controlled and she continued Britain’s journey to control under Europe started by Heath and finalised by Brown.

    Life will always be bad under socialism, but really, I think of those whose lives were destroyed under Thatcher, the continuation of Heath’s planned taking the UK into the EEC and the effect it would have on industry. Sure the corrupt unions played their part, but overall, those who look deep into history, while travelling down the rabbit hole, will see that the history we remember, even watched while it happened had ulterior, more sinister motives. You cannot turn an economy into a service one when you have a working manufacturing base. This was one of Thatcher’s main missions and that was to destroy Britain’s self sustainability once and for all. After all, look at the result of privatisation? EDF is a french company whose British customers subsidise french ones. We both lived through Thatcher and coming from a middle class family I was ok. As for the working class, or should I say ‘certain’ industry workforces……….

  4. zanshin says:

    @Harbinger
    Agree with most of what you said, though I am older and had a young family to support when Thatcher got in. I was also at Uni in South Yorkshire and remember well all the families she destroyed with her anti-union agenda/dogma and her privatisation of everything that was formerly owned by the public/taxpayer. The UK now has some of the highest power/gas bills ever, a crap railway system that most cannot afford to use on spec, and exports languishing whilst imports keep us going. We also have a “government” that blindly tries to follow Thatcher’s policies, not realising that time and economics has moved on and what worked then will not and cannot work now – hence the blind idiocy of following a course of austerity which is having disasterous effects on employment, the disabled and public services – all condemned by the IMF and ignored by the morons in charge.
    Thatcher, I hope she’s spinning on a spit somewhere really deep and hot!