Maggie Thatcher

Monday August 25,2008

By Alison Little Deputy Political Editor

LADY THATCHER’S decline into dementia was revealed yesterday by her daughter, who said she kept forgetting that her husband Denis had died.

Always sad to see someone lose their mental capacity. She was the best thing to happen to the UK in the last 50 years. Godspeed, Maggie.
She can now join drooling Ronnie in hell.
The lady turned around Britain's fortunes

From Monday's Globe and Mail
May 4, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

Thirty years ago this afternoon, Margaret Thatcher stood on the steps of 10 Downing St. as Britain's new prime minister and intoned what she thought to be the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony ... where there is despair, may we bring hope."
Her speechwriter, Ronnie Millar, a successful playwright, had given her this quotation so she might strike an irenic note of national unity after the bitter divisions of the industrial "winter of discontent" and the election. Another speechwriter with a drier political imagination, T. E. Utley, listening in from a broadcasting studio, said simply: "Oh, God."
There was little prospect, he thought, of anyone bringing harmony and hope to Britain in the short term. Desirable though both were, they were likely to arrive only after a great deal of conflict and partisan hatred.
The new prime minister may privately have agreed with him. Her four years as Opposition leader had involved considerable conflict both with the Labour government and with Tory "wets" skeptical of her economic reforms.
But her immediate mood was one of energetic determination.

Her biographer John Campbell quotes her bursting out in a BBC interview during the campaign: "I can't bear Britain in decline, I just can't." Anyone who has worked with Lady Thatcher will recognize both the opinion and the fervour. The "project" of Thatcherism was the revival of Britain.
It is often seen, not wrongly, as an economic project. She and her closest political allies - Keith Joseph, Geoffrey Howe, Nigel Lawson - were initially and especially concerned to defeat inflation, to prune excessive regulation, to reduce taxes and to create a stable monetary and fiscal framework in which enterprise could flourish.
Necessary though these policies look in retrospect, they were bound to invite conflict. They were opposed by important interests, notably trade unions and failing industries, that benefited from the regulations and subsidies of a sprawling but ineffective government. Transitional unemployment - an inevitable byproduct of squeezing inflation out of the economy - rose steadily. Labour unions launched strikes to keep the subsidies flowing to failing industries. Nervous conservatives added to the strain.
If Margaret Thatcher had lost her nerve in 1981 when these pressures reached their climax, her entire project of national recovery would have collapsed. But she kept it - indeed, at the height of the storm she imposed a tough budget, raising taxes in a recession, that made her even more unpopular.
But victories followed this display of resolution.
By late 1981, the economy began to turn around. What became a worldwide privatization "revolution" was launched in earnest in her second term. Massive nationalized industries, which had sucked up subsidies for decades, were sold to the private sector. A new investor class was born - so was a new class of working-class homeowners, who bought their "council homes" on favourable terms. Finally, in a series of tax-cutting budgets Mr. Lawson reduced the top rate of tax from 98 per cent on investment income (87 per cent on "earned" income) to a single top rate of 40 per cent.
In her second term, the prime minister entrenched the growing success of her economic policies by defeating the miners after a strike lasting more than a year. That was, so to speak, the final conflict in her domestic battles. It meant the general acceptance of her reforms, the defeat of the belief Britain was ungovernable without the consent of the unions to economic policy, and a new Thatcherite political settlement symbolized by the emergence of a moderate opposition party in Tony Blair's "New Labour."
While carrying through this program of domestic recovery, Margaret Thatcher had won the Falklands war, helped Ronald Reagan win the Cold War and changed her image from narrow partisan to national leader. She had indeed halted and reversed Britain's decline.
Some determined critics, anxious to win now what they lost then, argue that she (and Ronald Reagan) are responsible for the banking and financial crisis in which we are still embroiled. It is a little hard to make this case since (a) she was always a "sound money" girl, (b) the crisis occurred 16 years after she left office, (c) the main financial measure she introduced was the City of London "Big Bang," an act that extended regulation, and (d) the intervening period has been one of growing worldwide prosperity.
And if someone had predicted this 30 years ago, he would have been dismissed as a wild-eyed optimist.
John O'Sullivan is a former special adviser to Margaret Thatcher and author of The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister.
"She can now join drooling Ronnie in hell."

That is about the best you can hope for from someone who is too stupid to know how to wear a cap.
Her defense of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, as a true defender of her free market, anti socialist ideals, at whatever cost (murder, fascism, firesale selloff of national assets to the Global Investment Organism).. when he was arrested in Britain on outstanding international murder and torture warrants, a few years ago.. shows the limits to which she was willing to take her ideological beliefs, constrained only by Britain's democratic tradition.

And now that the Global Free Market is in catastrophic collapse, driving Britain and the rest of the World into another Great Depression, her real legacy, it shows she never really had her faculties in the first place. Just that rancid old failed ideology she shared with Reagan, government and unions are bad.. big banks, investment groups and corporations will be good and just and not the least bit greedy, just give them the freedom to do so.
Last edited by coldstream; May 4th, 2009 at 01:30 PM..

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