Margaret Thatcher: a brilliant lady, in my opinion, who made decisions which many politicians were too afraid to execute themselves. However, I must say that I am sickened by the negative attitude towards her, especially after her death.
Many left-wing politicians and fan-boys have used her as a scapegoat for the economic, welfare and housing crisis of today, despite these crises being suffered more than two decades after her departure from office. It appears that many socialists such as Owen Jones and Ken Livingstone seem to have a selective memory – they claim that Margaret Thatcher ruined Britain, and did everything with “sharp elbows” (thank-you, Glenda Jackson, your silver-tongued diplomatic ways never fail to set an amusing example for how not to be).
Yet, they seem to forget the state which Britain was in before her tenure – was everything all fine and dandy?
Or, did Maggie, upon entering 10 Downing Street as Prime minister, whip out her telescope, glance across the skyline and demand that all factories in her line of sight immediately be closed down, because she could? She seems to be portrayed as a power-sick witch, determined to crush every “community” around her (I use inverted commas simply because “community” seems to be a popular buzz-word amongst most socialists). However, I desire to dispel these portrayals – they are factually inaccurate.
Ken Livingstone recently stated that “Thatcher was neither popular nor successful economically” – wrong. She was elected three times. As well as this, he claims that she was responsible for the housing, economic and welfare crisis.
Firstly, Thatcher gave the working classes the right to buy their own council home – this gave the poor freedom, responsibility, and the ambition to become something better, rather than remaining impoverished. However, supporters of Ken’s article (wherein he stated that Labour created hundreds of thousands of homes prior to Thatcher) claim that she “represented the cultivation of the Essex filthy kulak class of council house buyers”. Let us remind ourselves that “kulak” is a Russian term for a wealthy peasant, a particular genre of peasant most detested by Stalin himself, and the kulaks were prosecuted, especially after refusing to join kolkhozy (collectivised farms). So, according to Ken and his ever-loyal supporters, the poor should be kept so and not allowed to even own their own homes? Another Stalinist viewpoint from the socialists themselves – it comes with no surprise that in the 1983 Labour Party Manifesto, 5 year plans were proposed to increase industrial production. I wonder where the idea for 5-year plans originates? And yet, The Guardian readers who post on “Comment is free” compare Margaret Thatcher to that of Stalin. Well, imagine the state of Britain if it had fallen into the hands of Michael Foot…
What makes me laugh is that Ken Livingstone claims that Thatcher wanted to “reduce the share of working-class income in the economy” – oh, so now Labour claims to be trying to help the working man, and yet is disgruntled at Mrs Thatcher giving them the right to own their own home?
Owen Jones, of The Independent, claims that Thatcherism was a “national catastrophe that still poisons us” – so the state of Britain before Thatcher wasn’t a catastrophe? And this highly uninformed argument (that consists of Thatcher apparently destroying mining communities) comes from Owen Jones – a man who has never held down a “working-class” job in his life, (he currently works in a left-wing think tank), was 6 years old when she departed from office, and yet feels fit to write about how Thatcher destroyed the working man, as if he was old enough to complain!
Another reader suggests that “she represented the destruction, by fair means and foul (but mainly foul) of the workers right to defend themselves in the workplace”. Ah yes, I forgot that the workers in the workplace deserve to defend themselves using beer and sandwiches. Do they reserve the right to demand extortionate incomes? Or, perhaps, do they reserve the right to strike frequently – thus resulting in bodies not being buried, the elderly left with no electricity and heating, rubbish piled up on the streets, and fires having to be extinguished by the army? Is this the utopia which the socialists claim Baroness Thatcher destroyed? Yes, these were the fantastic days before the so-called rise of “Thatcherism” – ah, working by candle light, fond memories that I’m sure many of the elder generation share with each other. However, Thatcher brought in the right to a private ballot – this stopped bullying by the unions. The previous ballot system reinforced the idea that the unions could demand whatever they wanted with no opposition – and those who did oppose were persecuted.
So why do the unions (particularly the mining unions) hate Mrs Thatcher so? The miners claim it was because she destroyed their communities and closed their mines. And yet, more mines were closed by the Labour Party, and Margaret Thatcher pumped approximately 22.5 million pounds into South Crofty mine, Cornwall. In my opinion, they hate her simply because she took away their power – they could no longer whine for larger wages or go on strike whenever. She applied discipline, and, like toddlers in the midst of a tantrum, the miners moaned about the injustice of the matter.
One conspiracy which I must dispel is that Thatcher is responsible for the housing and banking crisis – no. Was it her who chose to bail out the banks? I don’t think so. Was it her who encouraged a “lend, lend, lend” policy by the banks to hand out mortgages approximately 7 or 8 times the average income, like candy? The answer is no. The Labour Party just kept borrowing more and more money – they are responsible for the debt which our children and grandchildren must pay off. Thatcher made necessary cuts because we could not afford a large public sector, as desired by the socialists. Britain in the late 70s was in terrible debt, and in the early 80s, Thatcher saw this and realised that Britain must live scrupulously in order to recover from this terrible debt. And by 2007, we hit crisis once more, and fell into recession. Not because of Thatcherism, but because The Labour Party wanted to create a population that was reliant on them and the welfare state. Thatcher did not create debt.
To conclude, the socialists must remember that the country was in grave peril before Thatcher arrived – strikes were frequent and the economy was dying. Thatcher came in, and took control – she told the British people exactly what she wanted to do before she came into power, and when she was voted in, it should have come to no surprise when she introduced the anti-Union laws. She closed down the subsidised factories because we could not afford them – and may I remind those who call this “barbaric” that the jobs in factories were ones that people did not want to do. She was changing Britain for the better in order to recover it from Labour’s mess, and healed the poor man of Europe. We must not forget her international relations – she ended the Cold War, aided in the abolition of the Berlin wall, and improved greatly relations with China. Therefore, I beg you, drop the childish epitaph of “Maggie the witch” and stop kidding yourselves that she destroyed a utopia. It is not right to use Thatcher as an excuse for Labour’s wrongdoing.