April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher, RIP

I'm going to write a column on Mrs. Thatcher, but you can post comments here for me to steal.

153 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was she a nationalist or a neo-liberal?

Anonymous said...

Was she courageous? How?

Anonymous said...

I used to be a big fan of Thatcher, but her legacy has to be diminished by the fact that she ruled Britain for eleven years and today Britain is a terrible place, a veritable smoking crater in the ground.

Maybe she needed to do more.

Anonymous said...

Did she love her people?

FWG said...

Most of my favorite musicians seem to share a disdain for her. But what else can you expect?

Anonymous said...

In her defense, most of the worst immigration policies enacted in Britain were after she left office.

James Kabala said...

British readers can answer: Why exactly was Thatcher so hated? I mean truly hated - it seems to me that she was hated far more viscerally by the British left than her contemporary Reagan was by the American left or even more than George W. Bush later was. The most comparable American in terms of hate level was Nixon, but even he has many who concede he was a complex figure and an intelligent man - yet Thatcher just attracts hate, hate, hate. Why? To an American her policies seem (sometimes for good, sometimes for ill) to have been rather moderate.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of European leaders, see this article on Putin's reaction to a topless female protester during an event in Germany. Putin has quite a few quips if you read to the end. There's also a photo (somewhere else) of him giving one of the protesters a double thumbs up.

Pink Arrow Gal said...

From wikipedia:
"British Conservative Party politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. "

Also, this:
"Her stance on immigration was perceived by some as part of a rising racist public discourse, which Professor Martin Barker has called "new racism""

So like all the rightwingers, she claimed to be against mass immigration.....just like the rightwing politicians here in america.

But what were the actual RESULTS of her putative anti-immigration policies?

Lookee lookee what your girl Pink Arrow Gal has found:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Foreignborn.jpg

Look at that graph, rightwingers! The rate of foreign born neoslaves imported into Britain during Thatcher's reign did not decrease at all when she took over in 1975. And in fact during her reign, the rate of imported foreign neoslaves brought into the UK continued to increase during her reign.

When are you going to admit that 'conservatives' are just as much traitors as the supposed-leftists?

Admit I am right. Admit that Thatcher sold out the working class brits just as Labor did. Quit idolizing the elite.

Thursday said...

The best analysis of who Thatcher was here:
http://ozconservative.blogspot.ca/2013/04/margaret-thatcher.html

Roger Scruton had her pegged decades ago: a right wing liberal NOT a conservative.

Steve Sailer said...

"Why exactly was Thatcher so hated?"

Good question.

Anonymous said...

"Why exactly was Thatcher so hated?"

Good question.


Are you sure the premise is true? Or was she only hated (if at all) by one political faction? If so, that's similar to the dynamic we have in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Was she courageous? How?

She did survive a bombing attempt from the IRA. Taking them on took some balls.

I suppose the Falklands could have turned out badly as well.

Anonymous said...

The most comparable American in terms of hate level was Nixon, but even he has many who concede he was a complex figure and an intelligent man - yet Thatcher just attracts hate, hate, hate.

Ordinary Americans don't hate Nixon. Whereas there are significant numbers of ordinary Brits that hate or hated Thatcher.

Anonymous said...

Was she courageous? How?

She did survive a bombing attempt from the IRA. Taking them on took some balls.

I suppose the Falklands could have turned out badly as well.


I don't think the Falklands counts as courage. It was beating up on a third-rate military. I don't know exactly what she did with respect to the IRA but if she put her life on the line, that could count.

Still, neither of these really impress me as courage for a public figure. I had in mind something like bucking the powers that be.

Anonymous said...

The reason Thatcher was so hated is quite simple. She was the most effective conservative. She was Woman and therefore a traitor to her sex. She was smart and had an effective comeback to to all the Left-wing BS, and above all she actually believed in what she was saying and doing.

Anonymous said...

"Why exactly was Thatcher so hated?"

Good question."..

Because it was the thing to do. The question implies rational weighing of the pros and cons of her policies. That has nothing to do with it.

British folk singers needed an enemy. She was perfect. She was self confident, popularly elected, her background was good for attacking from above and below.

Politics as a family fued.

If you can judge someone by their enemies Thatcher seems like a great English patriot.

Anonymous said...

If you can judge someone by their enemies Thatcher seems like a great English patriot.

This seems a possible answer to what I think may be the most interesting question of our times concerning a politician:

Did they love their people?

Anonymous said...

"Ordinary Americans don't hate Nixon. Whereas there are significant numbers of ordinary Brits that hate or hated Thatcher."

Maybe not now, but I don't know where you were in the 70's. WW2 vets were protesting him. Don't let the National Review crowd brainwash you son. Nixon was a criminal.

middle aged vet said...

Why was Thatcher so "hated".
She wasn't nearly as hated as non-Brits think. First, "punk rockers" tried to tap into what they ignorantly believed was ancient Celtic/Brythonic passion... quite ofen (in the indignantly untalented punk mind) about nothing more than mucking up in face paint and screeching about hate and one's own moral superiority. Second, fifty generations of male Oxford and Cambridge grads had a collective PMS episode at the fact that she was fertile, female, and not noticeably less intelligent than them. The unions didn't like her because union people felt that only union people suffer in this vale of tears and that lesser humans like chemists and shopkeeper's children did not know authentic suffering, so to not hate her, for the proud union fools, was to lose self-respect and moral superiority. "Punk rockers", oxbridge gits, and uberproud union members were never the majority on that big island. Scots, Irish and Welsh love themselves too much (in proportion) to love anyone English.
Unfortunately, although she may have become a better Christian in retirement, during her politics years she was pro-choice, and thus was wrong on the main moral issue of her time, so she played to Reagan, a far better person, by being wrong that issue, namely the question of our unborn brothers and sisters, the second rater role that Roosevelt played to Churchill, the far better man, by being unChristianly and patricianly wrong (in a way that Churchill never was) on the issue of murderous Communist duplicity as against our Slavic and Austro-Hungarian brothers and sisters. So Thatcher lacked the philosophic support that Reagan got from pro-life intellectuals.

Matra said...

Look at that graph, rightwingers! The rate of foreign born neoslaves imported into Britain during Thatcher's reign did not decrease at all when she took over in 1975. And in fact during her reign, the rate of imported foreign neoslaves brought into the UK continued to increase during her reign.

She did not become PM until 1979.

She did nothing about immigration but it would be absurd to compare the Thatcher and Major years to the horror show that happened when Blair came to power.

Why exactly was Thatcher so hated? I mean truly hated - it seems to me that she was hated far more viscerally by the British left than her contemporary Reagan was by the American left or even more than George W. Bush later was.

It was very similar to Dubya hatred in the USA. A lot of that seemed to be just visceral hatred for the man's personality, demeanor, and accent. Thatcher's hectoring female middle class southernness really rubbed Northerners and Scots the wrong way.

Anonymous said...

"Why exactly was Thatcher so hated?"

Probably for being right on a lot of things, and beating her enemies. What was she really wrong about? Criticisms I can level:
-deregulation of banks, allowing the housing bubble to occur
-not doing more to stop immigration (though the criticism should not compare with that levelled at Tony Blair, see:
http://notasheepmaybeagoat.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/ed-miliband-and-immigration.html)
-perhaps, selling off of national assets and dismantling industry

Where the hate really comes from is things like correctly calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist, helping to defeat the Soviet Union, defeating the unions (power base of the left), and opposing immigration. See:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/margaret-thatcher/6906503/Margaret-Thatcher-complained-about-Asian-immigration-to-Britain.html

He said that according to letters he had received, opinion favoured the accepting of more of the Vietnamese refugees.

Lady Thatcher responded that “in her view all those who wrote letters in this sense should be invited to accept one into their homes," the minutes disclose.

"She thought it quite wrong that immigrants should be given council housing whereas white citizens were not."

James Kabala said...

6:28 Anonymous: Maybe someone else can think of an example, but I can't think of any mainstream American pop singer, however leftist, who wrote a song fantasizing about the death of a president - yet it happened to Thatcher more than once! Of course she was not hated by all, but I mean that those who did hate her hated her with an astonishingly fierce passion.

Every successful American president, whether FDR on the left or Reagan on the right, seems to eventually blend into an I-guess-he-wasn't-so-bad pantheon in the public mind, but it is clear from Twitter and elsewhere that many still hate Thatcher fiercely today.

Anonymous said...

i) Thatcherism was expressly and purposefully built on Powell-ism (ie Enoch Powell, aka "rivers of blood") which will be of interest to isteve

As a former resident of the UK, she was hated because
a) she switched from the traditional british isolationism (as per steve;s prior post with the terrific use of shakespear) to what became known as "atlanticism" (her big split with enoch powell) which is to say, "the us and the uk are inseperable always and forever". People had bad feelings about it then and in hindsight they were right. A policy of english isolatinism would have NEVER seen uk troops in iraq and much less likely seen uk $ flowing into san bernadino sub-prime

b) times were REALLY rough udner thatcher. REALLY rough. We can argue that England needed restructuring, it probably did, but "restructuring" in practice meant kicking people out of "high prole" jobs like coal mining and ship building en masse, often even making those entire industries obsolete. Without subsidies, they weren't viable. Economics tells you you can't prop up things forever, but the human experience was MASSIVE unemployment and total dysfunction in industrial towns.
There really were no jobs for those people to re-train *into*. "Coal, not dole" was their mantra.
If you are a "left of bellcurve" guy, being told you simply cannot show up to work tommorrow in the coal mine (for reasons you can't understand) and that nothing awaited you thereafter was *really tough*.
Many cities in Northern England entered a steep recession from which, in 2013, they have yet to recover from. Not quite Detroit, but "detroit-lite", and tons of them.
For the North (and Scotland and Wales) there was basically a "lost generation".
In the long run, economic liberalization might have been for the best, but it bears noting that in the short run, it was *really* hard on a big swath of the UK.

Matthew said...

"I used to be a big fan of Thatcher, but her legacy has to be diminished by the fact that she ruled Britain for eleven years and today Britain is a terrible place"

"Today," meaning 23 years after she left office.

IS Britain's related more to Thatcher's rule, Labour's 13 year reign, or did it decline under both? Was there anything Thatcher could have done? Was she a genuine nationalist, or a neoconservative/neofeudalist?

Anonymous said...

"If you can judge someone by their enemies Thatcher seems like a great English patriot."

Perhaps this is why I like her so much, without really knowing all that much about her.

Anonymous said...

also, thatcher really turned the screws on Northern Ireland. The basic premise (which may not have been wrong) was classic anti-insurgency. Mao wrote "the insurgent moves through the People like a fish through water", so Maggie's NI policy was to effectively "drain the swamp". By really ratcheting down on NI, she thought she could make supporting the IRA simply not worth it anymore.
This strategy broadly worked, but in addition to making it "no longer worth it" to support the nationalists, it also made her no friends with the "law abiding" catholics.

This was doubly compounded when you factor in the "Irish Abroad". Places like Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow were home to huge Irish populations (1rst through ~3rd gen). And, of course, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow were absolutely HAMMERED by the thatcher de-industrialization.
So, if you were a northern irish catholic or an Anglo Catholic, it was *rough*.
You see examples of this in "thatcher protest music". The ne plus ultra of "i hate thatcher" music was The Smiths, fronted by Morrissey. Morrissey writes a song called "Margaret on the Guillotine", about beheading Maggie. Morrissey, later on in his career, goes on to write "English Heart, Irish Blood". There's no co-incidence.

Derek Brown said...

She broke the post-Beveridge Report consensus and broke the unions. England's New Deal grew out of the Churchill war cabinet so even the Tories felt beholden to it. Understand that MacMillan parlayed a successful tenure Minister of Housing into primiership. A Tory PM whose biggest success was publich housing. Conservatives simply weren't supposed to roll back the welfare state. There was no Taft/ do-nothing congress in England. The do nothing congress curtailed the New Deal sufficiently well that America could roar into prosperity, an equivalent curtailing of the welfare state never occurred in England until Thatcher. The unions were so used to crippling England that when the new tactical anti-strike force crushed the mine pit strikes the unions truly felt defeat for the first time.

In one sense the opposition to Thatcher was similar to
Nixon. Both were despised as strivers by the toffs/patricians.

Anonymous said...

Why exactly was Thatcher so hated?

Good question.


Same reason they hated Sarah Palin - she was smart, she was effective, and she was SEXY.

In fact, Mrs Thatcher might have been the sexiest, most erotic homely girl of the 20th Century - in her prime, she exuded an animalistic magnetism in every sentence she spoke.

If socio-biologists could agree that there is such a thing as an Alpha Female, then Mrs Thatcher would have been it.

BTW, I've heard that the Left's deconstruction of Sarah Palin was so effective precisely because so many woman felt that Palin was too gorgeous, and they felt threatened by her.

Conversely, in the England of the 1970s, maybe most wives didn't realize quite how strongly their husbands were sexually attracted to Mrs Thatcher?

Of course, there was probably a similar chemistry between Englishmen and their Virgin Queen, back circa 1588.

Steve Sailer said...

"I don't know exactly what she did with respect to the IRA but if she put her life on the line, that could count."

IRA blew up her hotel suite in 1984, killing a half dozen of her aides.

Hey, I was interrogated for 15 minutes in 1999 under suspicion of being an IRA assassin attempting to blow up Mrs. Thatcher with a letter bomb!

Anonymous said...

to capture the feel, try the perfect Northern England During Thatcher Anthem: The Smith's "Still Ill"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8b3UkqTQNI

It begins, in a phrase isteve readers might appreciate vis-a-vis citizen-ism:
"I decree today that Life is simply taking and not giving. England is mine! It owes me a living!"

Anononymous said...

"Why exactly was Thatcher so hated?"

Margaret Thatcher Receives Critical Eulogy From South Africa

"Thatcher refused to impose sanctions on South Africa's apartheid regime and went so far as to describe the African National Congress in 1987 as terrorists. "Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land," she said of the ANC at the time."

"Pallo Jordan, a once-exiled ANC leader, was more direct. He told the Guardian: "Good riddance."

"I've just sent a letter of congratulations," Jordan said. "I say good riddance. She was a staunch supporter of the apartheid regime. She was part of the right wing alliance with Ronald Reagan that led to a lot of avoidable deaths."

The last South African president under apartheid, F.W. de Klerk, praised Thatcher for siding with his regime."

Anonymous said...

vis-a-vis the IRA, the UK had a long history of seeing "troubles" (up to and including The Troubles) as police actions, not military actions.
Maggie, either by action or omission of action, broke that notion. Rather than use just the police, she militarized NI. She sent in the SAS, put a "shoot to kil first, don't worry so much about arrest" order in place etc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoot-to-kill_policy_in_Northern_Ireland

This was pretty shocking to residents of the UK (as an example, we didn't hunt the Weather Undergrond with Green Berets or Navy Seals).

Whether or not it was "good" shocking or "bad" shocking probably depended on a score of issues, but it was pretty universally seen as a dramatic break

Canadian Observer said...

Northern Irish Catholic nationalists, the descendants of Britain's past thriving coal mining industry, working-class Marxists and professional elitist Marxists are all saying "Good Riddance".

Anonymous said...

"Same reason they hated Sarah Palin - she was smart, she was effective, and she was SEXY."

I'll tell you a secret. We Democrats didn't admit it at the time, but we liked Palin in '08 because she was effective -- effective at "stirring the base." She caused basest, most hate-filled elements of the Republican coalition to come out of the woodwork with jingoistic chants (USA! USA! Drill Baby Drill!). In your terms, she was a KKK krazy glue factory. Without her, I'm not sure Obama would have won. We also snickered at the fact that she got credit for being smart because she was SEXY: the Republican version of affirmative action, I guess.

irishman said...

" Steve Sailer said...
"Why exactly was Thatcher so hated?"

Good question."

Thatcher was hated because she was a woman. Women are hated more than men. Compare the hatred directed toward Hillary compared to Bill, the instant hatred of Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi v John Boehner, examples can be found in any democracy. In Canada the Tories elected Kim Campbell as their leader and promptly imploded. Julia Gillard is loathed in Australia.

I figure the source of this hatred is the feeling among men that women in power are doing a man's job and they resent that while other women see them as uppity.


Thatcher wrecked Britain. What economic success there was in Britain in the in her era was concentrated on London, which has almost become a city-state separate from the rest of the UK, and was funded by ever increasing debt. Britain used to be a capital exporter. Thatcher's failures reversed that, it has been a capital importer since 1983. This is the source of Britain's supposed success. The Thatcher economic model was to develop "the city" as a wall street for the rest of the world and use the revenue generated to paper over the cracks in the rest of the UK north of Cambridge and west of Oxford. Cities Like Liverpool, Glasgow and Newcastle did not feature in her Britain and are Detroits without the blacks. This is why she did nothing about the welfare state, she needed it. She wasn't even much of a tax cutter. She traded taxes on the rich for a VAT increas. The Tory scum running Britain now pulled the same stunt, denying they would before the election, natch.

I can't stand these idiot conservatives who are trying to exonerate her from blame for mass immigration. She was a neo-liberal. She didn't believe in society. She felt no obligation to her fellow Britons. Mass immigration is a capitalist policy. Tony Blair supported it bacause he was a cosmopolitan politician created by Thatcherism. Same story around the Western world. Mass immigration to France got going under Gaulle, to Germany under Adenauer and in America under St Ronald. You can't have capitalism without the tendency and desire of the capitalist class to commodify labour. Don't want immigration and anti-nationalism? Find another economic system.

The failure of the Thatcher economic model is being felt to-day in Britain. The major effect of the Global Financial crisis is the re-nationalisation of the Global Financial system. This is very bad for London. With major parts of the rest of their economy gone because of Thatcherite de-industrialisation, the British economy can't recover. Attempts by Gordon Brown to pump-prime the economy failed and degenerated into inflation. The only thing holding down unemployment is the willingness to accept shorter hours and wage freezes by British workers. And it's all Thatcher's fault.

From an Irish perspective, Thatcher was a sectarian politician, the Irish in the North simply had no reason to expect anything from her, to her we were foreigners. I don't blame her for this, I just wish our politicians were as ruthless and sectarian. I will confess to wishing that the Brighton bomb had killed her, and also to schadenfreude that the her close confidants say that she bitterly regretted the Anglo-Irish agreement. She is right to. We won the troubles and we're winning the war. Before Thatcher set the peace process in motion with the agreement there was no clear path to independence. Now there is. Win a majority in the six counties and we're free. That is just a matter of time. Demographically we're winning. Only 37% of school kids are Protestant, Catholics are a rising majority in the schools and the universities. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/51-of-northern-ireland-school-pupils-are-catholic-28671003.html

It's only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

We need to dig this out of the archives:

http://www.isteve.com/images/Me_and_Mrs_T-very_small.JPG

Go Steve!

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

""Ordinary Americans don't hate Nixon. Whereas there are significant numbers of ordinary Brits that hate or hated Thatcher.""

Maybe not now, but I don't know where you were in the 70's. WW2 vets were protesting him. Don't let the National Review crowd brainwash you son. Nixon was a criminal."

WWII Vets like who? Howard Zinn? George McGovern? Sure lefties didn't like him. My father was a WWII vet, and he didn't hate Nixon (he voted for him every time he ran) although he eventually became disappointed with him, and came to realize that he was just another sleaze-bag on the make.

And - let's be honest - Nixon was no more of a criminal than JFK or LBJ. He just got caught.

Anonymous said...

"If socio-biologists could agree that there is such a thing as an Alpha Female, then Mrs Thatcher would have been it."

Are you the commenter who is always announcing who is an alhpa or a beta male when it isn't quite relevant to the discussion? I have a pet theory that people who are really interested in this question are terribly insecure. It seems obvious that dominance and submissiveness are on a continuum in human populations, and making an arbitrary separation at some point to separate alphas and betas is an unhelpful oversimplification. But I see why an insecure person would want to do this: unlike most spheres of life, where you feel threatened and bullied, in conversations about alphas and betas, you draw the line separating alphas from betas anywhere you want, and you can make sure you are on the side of the alphas! You win!

Ed Cefala Jr said...

From what I can tell most of the band CRASS's shtick was dark and surreal satire about Thatcher. I'd describe it as lots of quotes lots of context manipulated with tape and ranting set to music. Five feet of Fury and Street Boners probably know about all the cultural indictments of Thatcher such as this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thatchergate

Anonymous said...

http://isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/

wmhde said...

Thatcher wanted to prolong the illusion of Brtish greatness. She seemed haughty and arrogant and wanted others to imitate that manner as if that would make England great.

She was out of touch with the zeitgeist as well as reality.
She seemed to want to pick fights to make her point re British greatness point eg treating IRA political prisoners as just common criminals precipitating the hunger strike crisis.

She was no nationalist. If she opposed sanctions against South Africa it was to advance business interests not to help a beleaguered white community…..(Earlier in 1980 she had sold out the Rhodesians).

She had the luck of the Devil. In the 79 election had been fought in 1978 before the 1978 winter of discontent Labor would have won. If Labor had not gone haywire and instead had selected Denis Healey as its leader he would have pounded her in Question Time and might have defeated her in 1983 especially if the Argentinians had waited 6 months later to invade when navy cuts would have made the invasion impossible.

It is noteworthy that five of her twenty inner cabinet members were Jewish…..there were about 35 Jewish MP’s….all but one were Tory in 1986. Twenty years previously the numbers were exactly reversed…..so was Thatcher following the Jewish community or were they simply abandoning a failed ideology that they had once promoted to advance their interests?

She is said to have wept when she heard tales of Jewish refuseniks not being allowed to emigrate. It is doubtful that the grocer’s daughter ever thought of weeping over the White Russians who perished in the gulags. Or of those who lost manufacturing jobs due to her monetarism.

James Kabala said...

Since I have sort of taken this thread in a negative direction, I will compensate by also giving a funny Thatcher story told to me by an eyewitness:

When Thatcher was only a Cabinet minister, she debated a Labour leader before the Oxford Student Union. She was heckled throughout the debate, and finally someone actually yelled, "Shut up, you cow!" Thatcher replied with a long, drawn-out "Mooooooo!" The heckling stopped.

Big Bill said...

here's a good one:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/08/the-queen-mother-of-global-austerity-financialization/

Ex Submarine Officer said...

"IRA blew up her hotel suite in 1984, killing a half dozen of her aides."

The IRA's note to Thatcher after their unsuccessful attempt to kill her contained this gem:

"Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always."

dirk said...

Thatcher was much more radical than Reagan relative to the status quo she inherited. Thatcher improved the economy over her reign, but she inflicted a lot of specific pain in industries she privatized. Reagan firing a few hundred air traffic controllers for striking isn't comparable to Thatcher cutting 20,000 coal miners.

Simply put, Thatcher made tougher decisions than Reagan.

Anonymous said...

She was hated by the left because she turned the UK back from outright Socialism. it's completely unacceptable to point out the obvious, and it was obvious that Labour's commitment to owning the means of production was was outlandishly dumb and unworkable.

Anonymous said...

St Ronald passed an giant amnesty, Thatcher eliminated birthright citizenship and tightened immigration laws generally.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Nationality_Act_1981

Here is a nice set of graphs showing UK immigration was negative for a long time, low but slightly positive under Thatcher and Major, and took off under Labour in 1997.

http://www.balancedmigration.com/content/uploads/2012/10/ourcase_1.pdf

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling after reading Steve's comments and OzCon that Thatcher was caught between two different eras.

Sure some of the stuff she said was liberal, but at that time those were just buzzwords...the end result had not come to fruition...she didn't know where it was all going.

Now we know. I have no doubt that if Thatcher was 50 years old today she would be the Iron Lady saving Britain from Immigration.

I think the hate is twofold...
1) Modern Day Hate To Discourage another Iron Lady
2) Genuine hate as told from the commenters above who saw the job losses and saw the terrible toll on the people

I have no comment about those loss of jobs. My gut says losing jobs is never a good thing.

Baden Ols said...

"I used to be a big fan of Thatcher, but her legacy has to be diminished by the fact that she ruled Britain for eleven years and today Britain is a terrible place, a veritable smoking crater in the ground."

Many of my British/Irish friends in Holland hated her. I think she came into power when the UK was in serious decline, and implemented many economic changes to try to reverse this. Like the commenter quoted above, I feel differently about those changes now than I used to. It's better to live in a coherent less consumer, crime free society, like the UK of 1960, than the UK of today, even if it means the GDP is less.

Anonymous said...

Too young to have any real memories of her. But England has catastrophically fallen to pieces over the last 15 years, so I can't imagine she did anything that great. Other than - at best - delay the time at which England fell to pieces by a few years.

I can understand why people like Mussolini attract the attention of energetic young men. None of you professors seem to create anything that lasts. And your heroes are for shit.

Anonymous said...

also, Thatcher leaves a dubious genetic legacy. The Prestige Press is being kind and not pointing it out, but her son moved to Africa and basically "went native" and planned a coup in Equitorial Guinea. It's literally impossible to imagine Chelsea Clinton being caught red-handed with a plane full of 67 mercenaries in "full battle rattle" en route to overthrow a country.
If one is inclined to see Thatcher as some sort of heartless hyper-capitalist expropriator, the fact that her son was caught in heartless, hypercapitalist expropriation throws gas on the fire

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Equatorial_Guinea_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat_attempt

Anonymous said...

You can't have capitalism without the tendency and desire of the capitalist class to commodify labour.


You can't have people without the tendency and desire of people to do assorted bad things. The solution is not to get rid of people, or of any "class" of people, it's to put checks on peoples ability to do socially destructive things. The sole reason for government to exist is to enforce those checks.

Anonymous said...

of course, as it was thatcher's kid, this was no ragtag group of mercenaries. The leader, Simon Mann, is the heir to a massive fortune, attends Eton, goes to Sandhurst where he graduates into being a Scot's Guard Public Duty officer and from there goes into the SAS.
(eg, goes to phillips exeter, West Point, persoanlly guards the President on Marine One, makes it into the green berets).
From there, he appears to "go rogue" with a few colonels from the british army.
Now, it's *possible* he did it of his own initiative, but with a resume like that, one has to wonder if the coup was being done entirely unknown to the powers that be.
It isn't a criticism of thatcher, per se, but one does wonder just what was going on

Anonymous said...

It's literally impossible to imagine Chelsea Clinton being caught red-handed with a plane full of 67 mercenaries in "full battle rattle" en route to overthrow a country.


I'm undecided as to whether that is a point in Chelsea Clinton's favor or not.

Glossy said...

I don't know much about British politics, but I gather that Thatcher's stated rationale for getting rid of a lot of British industry was that it wasn't profitable, that it was being subsidized. Of course that just led to the state subsidizing the newly unemployed instead. The treasury couldn't have been much of a net winner here, but people's lives were screwed up and the country, deprived of much of its industry, became less important. Note that the most important country of tomorrow, China, is all about manufacturing. And the fastest-growing power of Thatcher's own day, Japan, was all about manufacturing too. Perhaps, being a woman, she was honestly too clueless to see this. There's also a possibility that she didn't care. British commenters would be more qualified to opine on this.

The real reason for West's deindustrialization was of course a search for cheaper labor. The more nationalist a politician, the more he or she would have resisted that trend. A nation isn't a profit-making enterprise, it's a nation. The rulers of both China and Japan understand this. It seems that she either didn't understand it or didn't care.

Anonymous said...

"http://www.balancedmigration.com/content/uploads/2012/10/ourcase_1.pdf"

What is telling is the graph on attitudes vs race and immigration, page 3. As labor enters government in 1997, it goes from near nothing to historic highs of 25% and keeps climbing to 42% in 2008, the last year measured. This is BEFORE the riots. I can only imagine what the level is now, and what the percentage is among the indigenous British.

Anonymous said...

If one is inclined to see Thatcher as some sort of heartless hyper-capitalist expropriator, the fact that her son was caught in heartless, hypercapitalist expropriation throws gas on the fire


Of course the British Empire was not really created in a "fit of absence of mind" as is sometimes claimed, it was created precisely by multiple acts of "heartless, hypercapitalist expropriation" - many of them involving the violent overthrow of countries - over a period of centuries. Her son was simply being an old-school Englishman.

Matra said...

Rather than use just the police, she militarized NI. She sent in the SAS, put a "shoot to kil first, don't worry so much about arrest" order in place etc

Unfortunately, there weren't that many "shoot to kill first" incidents it's just that when they happened they garnered a lot of publicity, which IRA sympathisers then milked for decades. She did not militarise the situation as British troops had been on the ground since 1969 and as of 1971, a full 8 years before they came to power, they had hadbad relations with the Catholics.

This was pretty shocking to residents of the UK (as an example, we didn't hunt the Weather Undergrond with Green Berets or Navy Seals).

No it wasn't shocking as the public was used to soldiers on the streets of NI by then. By the start of 1979, the year she was elected, 1884 people had been killed in Northern Ireland along with scores in IRA bombings in England. How many died in Weather Underground attacks? Besides every British public opinion poll I ever read dating from the early 70s until the mid-80s showed widespread (70% to 85%) support for much more aggressive military action against the IRA.

Anonymous said...

"If you can judge someone by their enemies Thatcher seems like a great English patriot."

This seems a possible answer to what I think may be the most interesting question of our times concerning a politician:

Did they love their people?


Some contemporary leaders who do not/did not love their people:

Barack Obama
Bill Clinton
Tony Blair
David Cameron
Gordon Brown
John Howard

Some contemporary leaders who do/did love their people:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
George H.W. Bush
Hugo Chavez
Ross Perot
Osama bin Laden
Jimmy Carter
Benyamin Netanyahu
Richard Nixon

wmhde said...


Thatcher ignored Powell's warnings on immigration while embracing his economic ideas. Cynically she pretended to embrace Powellism on immigration and won the votes of the pint-drinking working class "don't knock Enoch" constituency. Yet like Republicans she did little or nothing for that group in the long term...
http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/how-margaret-thatcher-was-influenced-by-enoch-240006

Recall also that she was called "Maggie Thatcher milk snatcher" for cutting milk deliveries to schools as education minister in 1970......dhe went after that rather than the bureaucracy....

Anonymous said...

It's better to live in a coherent less consumer, crime free society, like the UK of 1960, than the UK of today, even if it means the GDP is less.


Of course it is, but those are not the options before us now and those were not the options in 1979 when Thatcher was elected. A lot of things killed off the world of the sixties, technology chief among them. Britain in the 1970's prior to Thatcher taking office was "the sick man of Europe". She didn't take an idyllic country and screw it up, she took a very screwed up country and made it somewhat less screwed up.

Anonymous said...

Milk snatcher Thatcher....fanned IRA extremism

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/many-will-never-forgive-milk-snatcher-hate-figure-29182701.html

Anonymous said...

"Note that the most important country of tomorrow, China, is all about manufacturing. And the fastest-growing power of Thatcher's own day, Japan, was all about manufacturing too. Perhaps, being a woman, she was honestly too clueless to see this. There's also a possibility that she didn't care. British commenters would be more qualified to opine on this. "

Maybe it's also a case of buying into the BS espoused by Randites/libertarian economists. Some of it is rather believable if you don't have any other experience.

Of course, the economics of the situation are highly dependent on tariffs. If the coal imports were tariffed, then British coal would pay for itself. Same with steel. Arguably however, a country is probably better off importing cheap energy and using the country's own energy as a stockpile for future hardships such as war or resource scarcity. Let other countries sell the farm.

Consider also the case where much of the costs of an industry are not in labor, but in non-labor expenses. If this industry is being subsidized to the point where the costs of subsidies are much larger than the costs of the labor, there is an argument to save money and just pay those people to do nothing rather than do make-work activity.

Anonymous said...

matra-
I'm sticking to it. The phasing out of squaddies and Territorials (national guard for the yanks) and the phasing in of SAS is a qualitative difference.

As an example
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17938189

A SAS group shoots a provo 22 times (!!!) and then walk over to his barely-alive body and shoot him point blank. Let's shelf the "is this right or is this wrong" discussion for a bit, it's clear this was a "shock" to The Powers That Be, as you'll note it went to official inquest. That is, by definition, a "shock". The shooting in gibraltar also received similar inquests

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Flavius

The transition to SAS and away from RUC-paired-with-squaddy was really noticable in the scope and daring of the operations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loughgall_Ambush

This is a war-footing counter ambush in which 25 SAS soldiers shot 600 rounds. That's not tit-for-tat sniping in the ardoyne, that's a military operation fit for iraq or afghanistan. There simply wasn't anything of this sort going on in the 70s, because the troops present were incapable of this level of sophistication or were not permitted to use such force.

As an example, in 1972 the provos engaged a british patrol. The provos shot rpg's and anti-tank rifles, the british shot 4,500 rounds of small arms fire...and the only casualty was a farmer's pig. I don't want to belittle the efforts
of the British army during that period, but Maggie made sure to staff Ulster with guys who could and would shoot straight.

Also, the entire threat profile changed during the bobby sands hunger strike.
I'm sticking to it, the Thatcher Troubles were qualitatively different

Anonymous said...

If we're going to throw Thatcher's kid under the bus, what about Reagan's? He had 2 kids that were freak shows and losers.

Anonymous said...

"WWII Vets like who? Howard Zinn? George McGovern? Sure lefties didn't like him. My father was a WWII vet, and he didn't hate Nixon (he voted for him every time he ran) although he eventually became disappointed with him, and came to realize that he was just another sleaze-bag on the make.

And - let's be honest - Nixon was no more of a criminal than JFK or LBJ. He just got caught."

I think the anti Vietnam sentiment was stronger than you recall. Not everyone got a cushy deferment like Cheney. And if your kid died there, maybe you'd have a problem with him too.

As far as LBJ and JFK, well, let me tell you - they were and are widely despised as well. If that's your yardstick, then yeah, Nixon wasn't all that unpopular.

BTW, I hated hippies probably before you were born, but Nixon was a buffon and a stooge for Kissinger. The best thing Nixon did was resign. If he really had honor he would have killed himself.

Dave Pinsen said...

David Pilling of the FT tweeted a link to this obit of Thatcher in the Guardian. Here is a brief excerpt, and then below a couple of ideas for angles you could explore in your essay.

"Britain would have had to alter radically in the 1980s and 90s, and the process would have been hard and controversial. But, as Germany and other northern nations have shown, economic dynamism has been possible without the squandering of social cohesion that Mrs Thatcher promoted.

[...]

She abhorred disorder, decadence and bad behaviour but she was the empress ruler of a process of social and cultural atomism that has fostered all of them, and still does.


Angle 1: How much of the "social and cultural atomism" obit refers to was due to the mass immigration Britain has been the beneficiary of over the last few decades?

Angle 2: As Andrew Sullivan noted in his obit, the UK was socialist to the point of being moribund when Thatcher came to power, with a number of industries nationalized and noncompetitive. But as the Guardian obit alludes to, Germany and other Northern European countries have done a better job of building resilient and prosperous market economies while maintaining generous social welfare systems.

My guess is that Thatcher was half-right on economics: she was right that introducing market forces would improve what had become a sclerotic economy, but maybe didn't quite grok that those market forces would need to be steered in such a way to insure that they continued to benefit her country. In the years since, Britain has taken a laissez-faire attitude while great British companies were acquired by foreign competitors and had their local operations and workforces gutted. I don't imagine that has happened a lot in Germany or Sweden.

And unlike Germany or Sweden, Britain seems to be on a trajectory of becoming a land of butlers and billionaires, with little in between.

John Lilburne said...

2 Aspects
On race and Culture
Thatcher was ultimately a world order liberal. Her loyalty was to intellectuals and businessmen and not to the people of britain. As stated she preferred the company of old estonians (Jews) rather than old estonians. She once , like goebbels said that there was no such thing as culture and although immigration did not rise during her time she did set the scene for the labourtraitor party of Bliar.
Why was she hated. She broke the social compact that had been in operation from the second world war between the toffs and the unions. The unions (and labour party) had been infiltrated by trotskite revolutionaries who were wanting to bring the UK to their knees to further the revolution(my uncle was on the leadership of the miners union and opposed scargil because he was more interested in revolution than in miners interests). The unions had broken the compact. Thatcher sealed the break. The miners strike was violent and tore the country apart and lead to the destruction of the unions and the deindustrialiation of britain. The city then ruled the UK. Also thatcher was personally irritating with her pompous put on (southern)accent and general arrogance. She simultaneously saved britain and destroyed it.
John

Peter the Shark said...

Her loyalty was to intellectuals and businessmen and not to the people of Britain.

Exactly. Thatcher was a free market liberal (in European terms), who believed that Britain deserved a better population, and then proceeded to help import as many of those "new people" as she could. She disliked both the English working class and the aristocracy. She was a never a true conservative.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Steve if you have steal something, you could do a lot worse than Dalrymple who I think as usual gets it right..


My friend was by no means an unequivocal admirer of Mrs Thatcher, and neither am I. He used to say that she spoke too much and did too little; and her somewhat strident tone, that was capable sometimes of cutting glass, gave even her best ideas a bad reputation, as if they had actually been put into practice when in fact they had not. Thus she set back her own cause by generations and made impossible the very reforms that she vaunted so rhetorically. I would go much further in my negative assessment of her: by naively believing in management as a science in itself, that could somehow be applied in the public sector to make it more efficient, she introduced the legalised corruption that is now so characteristic of her country, a legalised corruption that was (as the Soviets used to say) creatively developed by her follower and disciple, Anthony Blair, and that created the nomenklatura class that was and is largely responsible for the country’s disastrous situation. In retrospect, Mrs Thatcher was just another political figure wrestling unsuccessfully with her country’s inexorable, century-long decline and slide into sub-mediocrity. But one should not blame her too much: no one could have done better and she was, after all, the greatest reformer in Argentinian history.

Anonymous said...

To: John Lilburne
brilliant summary that she saved and destroyed Britain.....I think that she said that there "no such thing as society"....her defenders qualified the remark but I rate here a fairly one dimensional neo liberal, neo libertarian with nostalgia for the empire --as long as it was consistent with immediate economic interests

Anonymous said...

For those who take the "no such thing as society" out of context, here is the actual quote:

"I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first… There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.’"

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is why do so many prominent conservatives suffer from dementia in old age? Thatcher, Reagan, charlton heston, there was even a recent article in the Globe supermarket tabloid saying loved ones fear George W. bush was getting Alzheimer's. I know that some studies have linked conservatism to lower intelligence so is this what's putting them at risk for future dementia?

Dr Van Nostrand said...


She did survive a bombing attempt from the IRA."

Meh, a bombing attempt(mostly from Maoists guerillas but also Muslim terrorists and Hindu nationalists) is something a good chunk of Indian politicians routinely experience and just shrug off.


Taking them on took some balls."

Irish riff raff armed with crude pipe bombs against the might of the British army? Wow that was a knuckle biter!
What took courage and determination was not actually fighting the IRA per se but simply believing the British were upto the task despite a lack of political will.


Anonymous said...

I was not a fan of hers, but even as a neo-liberal Mrs Thatcher was an immigration restrictionist - she was not conned by the usual neo-liberal bullpoopy that somehow uncontrolled massive immigration was somehow a 'free market good', unlike that tosser Tony Blair, for example.
In fact during the Thatcher years immigration into Britain was very tightly controlled and kept to the absolute barest minimum that could be gotten away with.
On immigration her instincts accorded with the broad mass of the British people - she was viscerally, instinctively against it, she was uncomfortable with it and would not be swayed by all this pseudo economic bullshit in the the Thatcher emulating (onl after the event though)shit-sheets ie The Economist and the WSJ.
It was Blair who changed Britain for good - through uncontrolled massive immigration, which WILL ensure white Britons are a minority in their own homeland by 2040 - and NOT Thatcher.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

It's literally impossible to imagine Chelsea Clinton being caught red-handed with a plane full of 67 mercenaries in "full battle rattle" en route to overthrow a country.

To be sure if she had done that, it would be spun by the lapdog media as win win - girrrrlllll power coupled with helping Africans!Hadnt the head of Equitorial Guinea been a bit rude to his 5th wife.And how about the time he referred to an air hostess as stewardess! He had it coming...

Black Mamba meets Princess Diana , amend the constitution and make her President for life.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Lookee lookee what your girl Pink Arrow Gal has found:

Admit I am right. Admit that Thatcher sold out the working class brits just as Labor did. Quit idolizing the elite."

Lets see , reference to yourself in the third person coupled with "admit I am right" when no one really addressed you.

All of this seems to be more about you than your positions. Please leave your ego at the door.

Rob said...

Best assessment of her I've read since she died.

Auntie Analogue said...


Of all the British politicians since Winston Churchill, only two had and showed spine: Enoch Powell and Margaret Thatcher.

When Thatcher accepted the premiership the unions had already destroyed British industry. Just ask anyone who'd bought any 1970's British car that began to self-destruct as soon as they'd driven it a block from the dealership.

I don't get all this hot air about how Thatcher "didn't love" her people. This is tommyrot. She was a shopkeeper's daughter, and she spoke often of getting Britons off the public socialist teat and giving them the liberty - and lower taxation - to incentivize them to become self-reliant producers instead of dole-demanding yobs, and she spoke about how everyone, from the common laborer to the executive, was responsible for making Britain thrive.

On immigration, it rose somewhat during Thatcher's premiership, but it was still limited chiefly to incomers from Commonwealth countries - not from the EU and not from Moslem pestholes, which became the deliberate - and documented - intention of the traitorous Blairites (now there's a pack of jackals who did not love their own people - accused their own people of being "racists" for happening to have been born British).

Then there was Thatcher's resolute retaking of the Falklands - which was not an easy mission against a "third-rate" military power, as the British fleet and landing forces were operating at the end of the longest, most tenuous supply lines, while the Argentines were operating along very short supply lines. Only an individual who loves her own people would have stood up - and did stand up - for the right of the Falklanders to self-determination.

She didn't get everything right, but then she took office when her country was in deep, deep doo-doo, and she did much to lift it from the total squalor toward which it had been accelerating.



Matthew said...

"If you can judge someone by their enemies Thatcher seems like a great English patriot."

George W. Bush had all the right enemies, but he was still a dick.

Anonymous said...

"Best assessment of her I've read since she died."

Meh. A few "citations needed" in that libertarian article you've linked to.

Shakey said...

Britain's body was sclerotic when she came to power. She gave some much needed medicine - a shot of speed. Having achieved some success, she went a much too far, prescribing the same kind of medicine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Manufacturing and other industries were hollowed out, and the only big fish left was the financial 'industry'. Her philosophy of the market is one of the ancestors of our own time, where the banks are so lawless, that Eric Holder can say that prosecuting them is not going to happen, because they are so powerful:
http://www.salon.com/2013/03/07/holder_banks_too_big_to_prosecute/

Apart from that, her support for strange causes like the Khmer Rouge and Pinochet, is perhaps evidence of early Alzheimer's, which her transatlantic counterpart no doubt shared.

Anonymous said...

About the dementia, maybe only getting four hours of sleep a night is what did it. Every day your brain secretes amyloid beta proteins as a toxic waste product and you need sleep to get rid of it. If you don't sleep enough, this toxin builds up and eventually your brain starts getting destroyed as a result.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/sep/24/lack-sleep-onset-alzheimers

Anonymous said...

What is the effect of Thatcherism on iSteve?

Clean Shave.

Rob said...

She's hated by everyone on the nationalist right in Britain. Before she was elected PM, the National Front seemed about to make the leap to getting members elected to Parliament, but the Tories stopped them by assuring voters that they'd deal with immigration. They didn't do what they promised, but they seem admirably restrictive compared to what came after them.

Conservatives who blame the Left for demolishing the meritocratic education system forget that as Education Secretary Thatcher closed down more Grammar Schools than any other politician.

Roger Cameron said...

Bus stop rat bag, ha ha, charade you are
You f#cked up old hag, ha ha, charade you are
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass
You're nearly a good laugh
Almost worth a quick grin
You like the feel of steel
You're hot stuff with a hat pin
And good fun with a hand gun
You're nearly a laugh
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you a secret. We Democrats didn't admit it at the time, but we liked Palin in '08 because she was effective -- effective at "stirring the base." She caused basest, most hate-filled elements of the Republican coalition to come out of the woodwork with jingoistic chants (USA! USA! Drill Baby Drill!). In your terms, she was a KKK krazy glue factory. Without her, I'm not sure Obama would have won. We also snickered at the fact that she got credit for being smart because she was SEXY: the Republican version of affirmative action, I guess.

That's because your base is all the old barren childless salt-n-pepper hags, living alone with their cats and the cat litter and the Toxoplasma gondii and the swiss-cheese for brains and the overriding Mandingo complex.

Death. Of. Civilization.

Extinction. Of. Man.

I'll take Sarah and a healthy TFR FTW, thank you very much.

Pink Arrow Gal said...

Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher, was NOT an immigration restrictionist: look at this graph of foreign born as a percent of Brit population:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Foreignborn.jpg

She was a liar and a hypocrite. The flood of cheap labor did NOT decrease when she took power. It continued to increase. She pretended to be against immigration. But she was a hypocrite.

besides, the prime minister in britain (and every other western nation) is not as powerful as the president is in America and other similar pseudo-democracies. In parliamentarian nations (Britain, all western euro nations, canada, austral, NZ, etc) the Prime minister serves at the whim of the parliament.
But thatcher was just a tool of the rich, just like every other power hungry politician. And idolizing her is the wrong thing to do.

But thatcher was worst than most.

Pink Arrow Gal said...

they are partying in the streets of the UK at the death of maggie thatcher, milk snatcher:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-dead-video-cheering-1818888

THAT is why the europeans still have a chance of breaking the grip of the neoliberal elite--they are not yet completely cowed by the edu-propaganda/media industrial complex. THAT is why they will stop mass immigration and take back control.

Can you imagine the american liberals daring to party in the streets when Bush goes down? Or the conservatives daring to party in the streets when clinton bites it? Oh, sure they might post on their little internet forums. But party in streets? Too cowed and beaten down for that....

Anonymous said...

The real reason for West's deindustrialization was of course a search for cheaper labor. The more nationalist a politician, the more he or she would have resisted that trend. A nation isn't a profit-making enterprise, it's a nation. The rulers of both China and Japan understand this. It seems that she either didn't understand it or didn't care.

The search for cheaper labor isn't the cause in any relevant sense of the deindustrialization. The cause was whoever and whatever gave into that appetite and opened the borders and why they did so.

Anonymous said...

None of you professors seem to create anything that lasts. And your heroes are for shit.

"You professors"?

S'mon said...

anon:
" She sent in the SAS, put a "shoot to kil first, don't worry so much about arrest" order in place etc"

As I expect you know, that only applied to ambushes of IRA units actually engaged in offensive operations. There were no Bin Laden style assassinations of leading IRA men. There was no military action; she maintained the de-escalation policy that eventually led to relative peace, at the cost of thousands of innocent deaths.

IMO the Westminster government should never have got involved in Northern Ireland, never sent soldiers nor imposed direct rule. If they had left Stormont in charge there would have been no IRA campaign, no Troubles. The IRA feared ethnic cleansing of Ulster Catholics and would not have attacked the Protestant population without the cover of the British military.

Pink Arrow Gal said...

the media demonized sarah palin because she was a populist, or at least she used populist language and spoke out against the domination of the states by Washington DC. Now I doubt she really was populist. But she used that language. And the expression of those ideas is dangerous to the hold of the elite on America. So they destroyed her.

Simon in London said...

irishman:
"Demographically we're winning. Only 37% of school kids are Protestant, Catholics are a rising majority in the schools and the universities. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/51-of-northern-ireland-school-pupils-are-catholic-28671003.html

It's only a matter of time."

That would require that (a) NI Catholics vote for unification with the Republic and (b) Protestants accept unification peacefully, rather than eg demand repartition.

Neither of those seem certain, or even particularly likely.

Anonymous said...

Harry Reems, Lawrence Auster and Margaret Thatcher all died within a month of each other.
Harry Reems was the only one of that infamous trio not to be granted the privelege of an iSteve artcle.
However, it is my contention that Harry Reems had, ahem, the biggest impact of the lot.

Basically 1972's seminal porno movie 'Deep Throat' is singlehandedly (no pun) credited with the birth (sorry, my dirty mind's working overtime, 'birth' is one thing you actually can't 'credit' it with)of the almighty, all power and omni present south California porno industry, an industry on whom's misdeeds an awful lot of money and tax basing of SoCal is based (just to think, in this modern day Babylonia the whoredoms of its women keep the schools running). It is however, in engendering the birth of the internet that the San Fernando jizz bizz - and Reems's claim to paternity for all that. That his role as a colossus of the 20th century (in all ways) is staked.
As never mentioned in polite circles, but which is undoubtedly true (like all functionings of the brute body), the internet was birthed by porn. It was started out as aplatform for porn by amateur enthusiast nerds (distinctly of the Rodney Moore type as regards phenotypes). Big business (in the ready made form of San Fernando) did its bet, and we've got to where we are today. The Internet has canged the world and our lives with it - and porno is still the dominant reigning spreme force of the internet.

So let's hear it for that ghostly porksword across that greatwater-bed in the sky.

OklahomaRichard said...

Re the hatred against Nixon: I was in high school when the establishment perpetrated its coup against him, and what I knew at the time and know now, Nixon's enemies were vicious sh*tz. He was one of their own, and they were too stupid to know it. Just judging him by the legislation he signed, Nixon ranks with FDR and LBJ as the most liberal of the presidents. Ted Kennedy's greatest political regret was that he did not work with a willing Nixon on national health insurance.

Anonymous said...

Marge was the Susan Patton of her time.

Anonymous said...

I know that Alan Whats-his-name who wrote the graphic novels Watchmen and V for Vendetta was highly motivated by his hatred of Thatcher. It's especially obvious in the latter novel.

Anonymous said...

In fact during the Thatcher years immigration into Britain was very tightly controlled and kept to the absolute barest minimum that could be gotten away with.

This language of "getting away with" restricting immigration--what are you implying? What were the forces that somehow required some minimum of immigration? Were they economic? Were they political? Please explain.

Anonymous said...

The cause was whoever and whatever gave into that appetite and opened the borders and why they did so.

CORRECTION: The cause was whoeever and whatever opened the borders and why they did so. Their doing so meant that the cheap labor appetite could gorge itself but it is not necessarily the case the the appetite was what motivated the borders to open.

Aging Hag said...

Irishman,

Quoting another commenter but question is directed to you: " but the human experience was MASSIVE unemployment and total dysfunction in industrial towns."

Do you think this led to white chav phenomenon? (This hasn't reached US shores much...most of our white chavs are posers.)

Regarding Nixon, during the 70s he was hated with a passion - as was LBJ ("hey hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?") but that was a function of hatred of the war and general left-wing psychopathy. When they died, the hatred died for the most part. Nixon's reputation, especially, has grown. Yes, some of it is "strange new respect" (accorded to conservatives who did liberal things) but even his enemies conceded that he had great gifts and was truly talented statesmen. When he was on his game, he was great. This from a former Nixon hater, from a Nixon hating family.

Now, Thatcher is still hated with a passion. Why? I obviously cannot answer this fully, not being British, but I do think that some of it has to do with her sex - females attract a peculiar vitrol. Look at Susan Patton. And women are the worst haters. If they could, I think that women would bring back stoning and hanging, and they would use these methods on women who step out of line and shame them.

Another is that class hatred is simply OK in Britain, it's socially sanctioned in a way that open expressions of hatred aren't in the US, except against white straight men. But even that doesn't come close to the class bitterness of Britain. I wonder whether Thatcher would be as hated (even by the people she harmed) if she were male and from a posh background. There is a sense of "who the hell does she think she is?" in the hatred.

Just my musings.

David said...

Well, she obviously wasn't hated by everyone, because she won three general elections in a row - though under the UK's electoral system that doesn't mean she was supported by an absolute majority of the electorate.

She was hated mainly by three ovelapping groups: the extreme left (including the left wing of the Labour party); the trade unions; and the Marxist or Marxising intelligentsia. In all these cases they hated her because she successfully opposed their own interests. Throughout the 1970s they had become used to getting their own way, even under a Conservative government. Margaret Thatcher put an end to that, and effectively destroyed the power of the trade [i.e. labor] unions. In the process some industries and communities, such as coal mining, were devastated, and of course the victims blamed Thatcher rather than their own appalling leaders - some of whom, it should be remembered, were outright Communists.

To a large extent any Prime Minister who successfully applied the same policies would have been hated by the same people, and in fact Tony Blair, who might be described as Thatcher-lite, despite leading the Labour party, was almost equally hated by the left. But in Thatcher's case there was an additional twist of hatred due to her abrasive personality, her social class (her petty-bourgeois orgins aroused the scorn and snobbery of leftist intellectuals), and probably some plain old-fashioned sexism.

Baloo said...

She was hated by some for the same reason Nixon was hated. She was unhip.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

I think the anti Vietnam sentiment was stronger than you recall. Not everyone got a cushy deferment like Cheney. And if your kid died there, maybe you'd have a problem with him too."

Yes, I know. My Dad told me that he would have personally put my brother on a plane to Canada if the war had gone on longer. But people then were also aware of the fact that Nixon didn't start the war. He inherited it from LBJ and JFK. And I believe that more American soldiers died in Vietnam during LBJ's tenure in office than under Nixon.

And by 72', the Democrats - at the national level, anyway - were pretty openly the party of the lefties and the hippies. At least they were trying to kow-tow to them. There's a reason that Nixon won every state but one, and it had nothing to do with dirty tricks.

Difference Maker said...

I'll tell you a secret. We Democrats didn't admit it at the time, but we liked Palin in '08 because she was effective -- effective at "stirring the base." She caused basest, most hate-filled elements of the Republican coalition to come out of the woodwork with jingoistic chants (USA! USA! Drill Baby Drill!). In your terms, she was a KKK krazy glue factory. Without her, I'm not sure Obama would have won. We also snickered at the fact that she got credit for being smart because she was SEXY: the Republican version of affirmative action, I guess.


So, you admit jingoism is good do you. Because that wasn't what was ineffective amongst her supporters

David said...

When people say an industry is "moribund," they mean it is supporting the people in it (the ones doing the work) - and not the speakers, who want to squeeze money out of it for themselves (who are not doing the work).

Through all kinds of maneuvers, such as sacking half the workers in it, they make an industry "pay" - them - then they move on, like locusts, leaving behind a destitute area in which formerly employed people can no longer support themselves. So much for "self-sufficiency."

Eventually the locusts have nothing else to eat, so they start devouring each other - they derive their sustenance from trickier and trickier and ever-more-fantastical financial speculations.

Anyone who dislikes the locusts is called a parasite. This is known as chutzpah.

At times the public's attention must be diverted from this ruinous process, generally by starting a war on the other side of the earth. This war always is hip-hip-hoorayed as "patriotic," "heroic," etc.

Finally, the necrotic areas become so enormous that their borders touch - and that country is dead. But by this time, the locusts have flown on.

Anonymous said...

Reagan was much loathed for his policies but even his enemies liked his personality and style. Gipper could be tough on the inside but gentle on the outside, or vice versa.

Thatcher, on the other hand, was tough on the outside, tough on the inside. Even her smile looked like an iron smile. Ironically, even though she was the champion of individualism and capitalism, she came across as rigid and stern. She could be witty but she seemed humorless. She had proper manners to be sure, but there was also something of the Polish cleaning lady about her, all too common.

I think the British left could have tolerated snobbery from the traditional elite types. Hate them but still appreciate them for what they were.
But Thatcher was too strange a combination. She came from a humble background but she refused to be stuck in her station in life. She was the daughter of a grocer but an avid newspaper reader and ambitious politico. So, her snobbery was harder to take since it lacked the proper pedigree. Worse, it was a kind of anti-snobbery snobbery. Thatcher didn't just lash out against the left/socialists but at elite privilege that favored manners and customs over achievement and hard work. Thatcher favored the businessman, the entrepreneur. Even from a young age, she prolly saw useless bums who lived on welfare while her family worked long hours to run a small store. She prolly thought the state turned the lower orders into lazy bums. As she strove to rise higher, she had to rise up against both the privileged left and privileged right. That a 'conservative' could rise from below against the lofty privileged 'left' was hard to take for the left that maintained the fiction that it was for the 'people'.

But more than that, there's been a long hostility between small businessmen and the left, especially the privileged left. The petite bourgeoisie and lower-middle-class have always been seen as anxious social strivers who, instead of uniting with the people to overthrow the system, prefer to collaborate with the system, rise within the system, and be part of the system. They are toadies than rebels. In America, there's a reason why so many small businessmen are Republicans despised by the privileged left and liberal superrich. The superrich can put on airs of noblesse olige with their gazillions whereas the small businessmen tend to be more 'greedy' and 'crass' in wanting to be rich.

Also, there's been a long theory that fascism was essentially a lower-middle class movement of people who were anxious of slipping to the prole or poor ranks and wanting to be accepted by the established powers than be than overthrowing them.

Also, though Thatcher didn't look bad, I can see how gays would have found her clothes and hairstyle to be stuffy and plain. She looked dowdy and old even when she was young. It's as if she never had any fun in life.

Also, she fought conservatism to save it. Just like some conservatives in the US believe that GOP is filled with too many RINOS and Neocons who just wanna win without principles, Thatcher had a sense of principles that didn't go too well with a lot of cons as well.

Anonymous said...

She was also very British(and proudly so) and very American(at least in her economic philosophy, which was like Goldwaterism). In her manners, she played something like the middle-class version of queen of England. But she knew that the empire was gone, and that it made no sense for British conservatism to look back to the old days of privilege. It had to win by working hard and making money, by extolling the businessmen and entrepreneur--than the dandy gentleman who'd rather be a civil servant whose hands never get dirty.

The great irony is that the very people who reaped the most benefits from Thatcherism--the urban rich--hated her the most. But the same happened in the US. The likes of Steve Jobs and their minions gained most from the reforms pushed by Reagan(which were, if anything, furthered by Clinton as well). But the people who gained most from 'free trade' and the new economy--the urban rich--turned out to be most liberal.

What this tells us is that economic narcissism is wedded to moral narcissism. A narcissist wants to feel good about everything. So, he or she wants to be economically narcissistic by feeling, "my house, car, clothes, etc are so much better than those of other people. I have cooler friends and I went to better schools". But man/woman doesn't live on economic narcissism alone. He/she wants to be morally narcissistic too, and the short cut to that is to be 'for the people' and yammer about the evil of 'greed'--even as one rakes in the dough. And then, there's cultural narcissism--"We are sooooo creative and intellectual"--, and since most of the artsy and academic crowd are liberal, the rich narcissists want to win the approval of playwrights, rock stars, actors, professors, etc.
This is what the Right never understood. It thought that by helping the people to become rich, the rich would love it and shower it with candy.
But, it's like Mildred Pierce thinking she could win the love of people by giving them money.
It doesn't work that way.

Anyway, the contradictions that made Thatcher makes her one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. She was much a Irony Lady as Iron Lady.

Anonymous said...

If Bruce Forsyth ever died....now that would be a real tragedy f epic proportions.

The premature death of Benny Hill affected me more than the death of any politician.

Matthew said...

"look at this graph of foreign born as a percent of Brit population:"

The graph you shows the growth of the foreign born population slowing under Tory control and picking up (rather dramatically) under Labour control.

The largest spike happens after Thatcher left office. So perhaps you can blame John Major (perhaps) but you certainly can't blame Thatcher for that. The increase in the immigrant share of the population was relatively slow on her watch.

Provide more specific, year-by-year data, if you care to prove your point.

Anonymous said...

The IRA feared ethnic cleansing of Ulster Catholics and would not have attacked the Protestant population without the cover of the British military.

Ha hah. The Protestant population was attacking the Catholic population for decades prior to the arrival of the British Army. That British Army did not "cover" for the Catholic population - in fact it openly sided with the Protestants.

Philip Neal said...

"Thatcher's hectoring female middle class southernness really rubbed Northerners and Scots the wrong way."

True, but she was a northerner herself, from a lower middle class family. Grantham sounds more like Leeds than the London commuter belt, her oft mimicked RP accent was consciously learned as part of her education at a private day school. She rather fell between two stools in that way - too grand for those below her, not grand enough for those above.

Anonymous said...

She did not militarise the situation as British troops had been on the ground since 1969 and as of 1971, a full 8 years before they came to power, they had had bad relations with the Catholics.



You mean "as of 1972" they had bad relations with the Catholics. Or to be precise, "as of January 30, 1972".

2Degrees said...

I remember the 1970's in England. The country had been brought to a standstill by continuous strikes. The unions under Arthur Scargill were seeking political power. They brought down a Conservative government under Heath and then wrecked a Labour administration under Callaghan. They had total control over the nationalised industries that were running up unsustainable deficits. At one point, Callaghan was offering money to anyone who would take British ships. The IMF was called in to stabilise the economy. Something had to give. British goods were shoddy and unsaleable.

Immigration happened in two great pulses. The Blacks and Ugandan Asians in the 1970's (Blame Heath) and just about every conceivable Third World loser under Blair. Don't believe UK government statistics. Immigration did slow under Thatcher. I had the evidence of my own eyes.

Many on the Left are now screaming with joy at Mrs Thatcher's death. They scream "hate", "stupid" and "ignorant" to close down free speech, but no one can hate like a Leftie. They are comparing her to Pol Pot. Duh? They are everything they claim to despise in their opponents, hateful, ignorant and dumb as a bag of hammers.

PS. Wilson resigned during the Lockheed scandal and there have been persistent rumours ever since that he was implicated. Some leading military figures were so concerned that they even considered deposing him and asking Lord Mountbatten to head an interim government.

That was the catastrophic situation Thatcher inherited. How quickly we forget.

Anonymous said...

I may not be as old as some of the other posters, but I can remember TV news reporting about Britain in the late 1970's and it seemed to me even as a kid that it was a country coming apart at the seams. They were strikes, riots, and inflation above 20%, the people and infrastructure looked rundown and decrepit, as if nothing new had been built since the Blitz.

I can remember reading as a teenager a few years later that it was called the "The Sick Man of Europe" during the 70's, and it had fallen way behind Germany, France, and Italy in standard of living. I remember reading some other books written in the same time period that predicted Britain would become the 1st first world nation to become a third world nation.

That was the decaying society and economy that Thatcher inherited. She couldn't give modern skills to a uneducated 60 year old Yorkshire coal miner who was working in a mine for four decades that had been in the red for years. Britain needed major economic surgery in order to pull out of an interminable decline, if she had dithered Britain would be even worse off today. If that isn't putting the collective good above yourself ( Judging by the venomous hatred directed at her by working class socialists like Kinnock and Livingstone ) I don't what is.

Anonymous said...

Well, here's one anecdote:

Germany had just defeated England at football (soccer) and Margaret Thatcher saw one of her cabinet members looking depressed about it.
She asked what was wrong only to be told, "Prime Minister, the Germans have beaten us at our national game."

"So what," replied Mrs Thatcher. "We have twice beaten them at theirs."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I used to be a big fan of Thatcher, but her legacy has to be diminished by the fact that she ruled Britain for eleven years and today Britain is a terrible place, a veritable smoking crater in the ground.

Maybe she needed to do more.

Trouble was, Thatcher left office in 1990 -- now almost 25 years ago. Her legacy was slowly but steadily undone by her successors John Major and especially Tony Blair (the less that is said of Gordon Brown and David Cameron, the better).

Ronald Reagan's legacy has been undermined by the Bush 1 and especially Clinton and Bush 2. Obama's undermining it still.

In short, no matter how hard you work to fix things, someone will always come along and f--- them up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
In her defense, most of the worst immigration policies enacted in Britain were after she left office.

Actually, Thatcher was the last British PM to actually reduce immigration into the UK (she even went so far to prevent the Hong Kong Chinese from obtaining residential rights -- a move I disagreed with).

Britain's immigration problems were both pre-Thatcher and, unfortunately, post-Thatcher.

Anonymous said...

"Why exactly was Thatcher so hated?"

Because it was fashionable. Like hating Germans is fashionable. Irrational fashions.

Pink Arrow Gal said...

ha ha, I love that there are some actual true-leftists posting on this blogpost on thatcher. So rare, so rare.

True leftism is about being against the upper class, being against mass immigration, against multiculti, being for workers' rights, being for progressive taxation and universal healthcare. Thatcher was filth. And so was Blair and Brown and all the rest. And Bush and Clinton and Carter and Reagan. Realizing this is a vital first step.

And the graph does show about that when Thatcher became prime minister that the immigration rate did NOT decrease and in fact continued to increase. PERIOD.

Anonymous said...

She asked what was wrong only to be told, "Prime Minister, the Germans have beaten us at our national game."

"So what," replied Mrs Thatcher. "We have twice beaten them at theirs."


Steve,

Is it verboten in your comment sections to suggest that Britain took the wrong side in World War II? (The argument rests, of course, on the premise that the Holocaust wouldn't have happened but for British and American aggression against Germany.)

Matra said...

You mean "as of 1972" they had bad relations with the Catholics. Or to be precise, "as of January 30, 1972".

No. In 1971 43 "British" security personnel were killed, along with 16 "local" members of the security forces, presumably police and possibly UDR ("National Guard equivalents" in the US), though the latter may have been lumped into the "British" category. The source of my stats isn't clear on the matter.

Ha hah. The Protestant population was attacking the Catholic population for decades prior to the arrival of the British Army.

Could you provide some casualty lists. Do not include Hollywood movie casualties :)

That British Army did not "cover" for the Catholic population - in fact it openly sided with the Protestants.

Romantic Marxist/Irish propaganda. Had there been no British Army sent in the fledgling Republican, oops, I meant "Civil Rights Movement, would've been dealt with by local forces. British Army protection allowed the IRA to develop in the first place, then London refused to allow that Army to do much more than contain the violence to an "acceptable level".

As I expect you know, that only applied to ambushes of IRA units actually engaged in offensive operations. There were no Bin Laden style assassinations of leading IRA men. There was no military action; she maintained the de-escalation policy that eventually led to relative peace, at the cost of thousands of innocent deaths.

Exactly. Loughgall and Gibraltar got so much attention because they were so out of the ordinary.

My suspicion is that Thatcher's reputation for being hardline on Ireland has more to do with her outspoken refusal to give in to the IRA hunger strikers rather than with her actual Northern Ireland security policies.

Anonymous said...

James Kabala said...
British readers can answer: Why exactly was Thatcher so hated? I mean truly hated - it seems to me that she was hated far more viscerally by the British left than her contemporary Reagan was by the American left or even more than George W. Bush later was. The most comparable American in terms of hate level was Nixon, but even he has many who concede he was a complex figure and an intelligent man - yet Thatcher just attracts hate, hate, hate. Why? To an American her policies seem (sometimes for good, sometimes for ill) to have been rather moderate.

Thatcher was hated because she opposed almost everything the transnational left loved/loves:

-- she opposed the ANC and to all intents and purposed supported Apartheid South Africa
-- opposed the USSR and its fellow-travellers and useful idiots (this included the "No Nukes" nerds)
-- tried to halt the homosexual lobby's efforts at sodomizing kids with Section 28 (Google it)
-- opposed the European Union (she supported free trade with in Europe with the Single European Act, but opposed political integration)
-- opposed multiculturalism and non-white immigration (following the Brixton riots she said the British felt "swamped" by black people and actually reduced immigration into the UK -- the last British PM to do so)
-- took on, with varying degrees of success, institutions riddled with what she called "layabout Trotskyites" but what Americans call "liberals", including the BBC, the universities and the Church of England -- all very left-wing institutions.
-- broke several unions in spectacular fashion
-- actually instituted some reforms (albeit not as many as her admirers claim) of Britain's bloated welfare state and actually forced some folks to work for the first time in their lives
-- demonstrated quite publicly an obvious contempt for artists, actors, directors, and all the rest of the left-wing's propaganda units

Your comparison with Nixon is a good one in that like Nixon, Thatcher was an outsider (to the British establishment in the manner Nixon was to the East Coast Establishment) and like Nixon, she really opposed and, at times, even halted the left's agenda.

For that, she will never be forgiven....

Anonymous said...

Pink Arrow Gal said:

"Look at that graph, rightwingers! The rate of foreign born neoslaves imported into Britain during Thatcher's reign did not decrease at all when she took over in 1975."

Margaret Thatcher was not elected until 1979. And she did reduce immigration.

Anonymous said...

Baden Ols said...
"...Like the commenter quoted above, I feel differently about those changes now than I used to. It's better to live in a coherent less consumer, crime free society, like the UK of 1960, than the UK of today, even if it means the GDP is less."

Ironically, Maggie would have agreed with you -- it wasn't the UK of 1960 she was having to deal with, but the UK of 1979 -- as different a nation as the US of 1960 was to 1979.

Most of what is wrong with the UK today ain't the result of Thatcher, but what happened between 1960-1979 which she proved unable to reverse, or was instituted post-1990 when she was gone.

Matra said...

Now, Thatcher is still hated with a passion. Why? I obviously cannot answer this fully, not being British, but I do think that some of it has to do with her sex - females attract a peculiar vitrol

There's something to that but I think national characteristics come into play here too. Americans have shorter memories than the British so their hate is tempered with time and possibly by their eternal optimism. The British are more negative, hanging onto their bitterness over time, even over petty things, with barely suppressed hatred of those around them.

Simon: That would require that (a) NI Catholics vote for unification with the Republic and (b) Protestants accept unification peacefully, rather than eg demand repartition.

Neither of those seem certain, or even particularly likely


That's why there is unlikely to be a referendum on a United Ireland for many decades. I don't think they'd risk it unless Catholics made up well over 60% of the population. Even then are all those SDLP, and even Sinn Fein, voters cashing civil service cheques really going to vote away their employment and middle class lifestyles? The demographics have always been bad for the Protestants in Ireland. Look at what they were like in 1900! Yet most of their descendants are still living under the Crown. It's not over by a long shot. Then there's the other demographic issue: Immigration. What evidence we have suggests the bulk of non-white residents - many from other arts of the UK - prefer the status quo. The Poles currently swelling Catholic numbers in primary schools are unlikely to stick around when Poland's economy improves, and based on my (admittedly few) conversations with them they cannot be assumed to be future Nationalists.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading a piece by Freeman Dyson explaining where he thought the hatred for Thatcher came from at least on the intellectual end of the left. He said that Britain had two different upper middle classes, the intellectual and the commercial. The intellectual side was the upper middle class for most of the 20th century that dominated British society, but that Thatcher's election signaled their decline and the rise of the commercial upper middle to predominance. He said he came from the intellectual branch and was taught to detest the commercial side, and that the intellectual branch could never forgive her for deposing them from power. So she had to deal with both the aristocratic/working class opposition but the intellectuals who felt she displaced them from their rightful place of rule.

Alwaysright said...


Another is that class hatred is simply OK in Britain, it's socially sanctioned in a way that open expressions of hatred aren't in the US, except against white straight men. But even that doesn't come close to the class bitterness of Britain. I wonder whether Thatcher would be as hated (even by the people she harmed) if she were male and from a posh background. There is a sense of "who the hell does she think she is?" in the hatred.


So many intelligent, insightful, thoughtful, educated comments here (who are you people?) but this one I especially agree with. Yes the left hated her policies, but they also hated her at a more visceral bigoted level, and used her policies to justify said hatred.

But was thatcher really thought of as low class? Yes she came from humble origins, but she exuded a certain gravitas and sophistication that other politicians from the low class (i.e. Sarah palin) lack.

Robert Marchenoir said...

"You can't have capitalism without the tendency and desire of the capitalist class to commodify labour. Don't want immigration and anti-nationalism? Find another economic system."

Such as ?

Capitalism does not imply immigration nor anti-nationalism.

Cail Corishev said...

If long-standing government ownership or support of an industry has made it dependent, it's going to be painful to withdraw that support, even if it's the right thing to do in the long run.

Here in the US, a good example might be farm subsidies. Dozens of different programs provide farmers with income for raising crops, not raising crops, slaughtering animals to reduce production, terracing hilly land to put it into production, returning productive land to wild prairie or wetlands, growing something we want to compete in globally, to make up for seasonally low milk prices, and so on. There are so many checks being written for so many things that no one really has any idea whether farmers would be better or worse off without it all (except in the theoretical sense that obviously an industry would be better off if it didn't have to support large numbers of bureaucrats). Probably farmers (and certainly the country) would be better off in the long run if we got rid of it all, but in the short term it would hurt many farmers badly if the checks stopped flowing. They've bought/leased land and equipment, planted crops and expanded herds, based on those subsidies. Take those away, and they'd feel like the rug was pulled out from under them.

I don't know how closely that parallels Thatcher and the coal mines, but the point is, rolling back socialism is painful for the people who are dependent on it. That's why we never even really try to in the US, and when a candidate even brings up the topic of growing dependency (47%!) he's shouted down and called a racist. We can't even make cuts in the increase of most programs, let alone any kind of real rollback.

If Thatcher was able to get the government out of entire industries that had been nationalized for years, that's amazing first of all, but it's also not surprising that it didn't go smoothly. That's why it's so important not to let socialism get started in the first place, as if we can just try out socialized medicine or whatever and then give it up if it doesn't work: there's no easy way to take it back.

Anonymous said...

Hard to add anything to this, but as a white Anglo colonial who lived in Britain during her time as PM, I can tell you that at a very visceral level, one knew that she was absolutely one of us.

Whereas, most UK politicians were, and are, absolutely not one of us; Wilson, for example, had no concept of the massively civilizing influence of Empire, and what it took to actually run it, and nor did Kinnock, Blair, or Brown, and nor does Cameron; no idea whatsoever.

If Thatcher was hated, I can tell you it was because Britain is a country easily roused to hate. They all hate each other, which is why there is always no shortage of pimps and traitors ready to sell it out, whatever the consequences. There is simply not enough money there for generosity, and there never has been. The mass immigration of the Labour years, and which goes on, is a direct result of self-hatred, whatever economic purposes it might have served.

The UK will not be fixed up by it`s own people. It will need outside help. Thatcher could not have stopped this, all she could do was make it solvent for a while, and then only with the help of North Sea oil.

But we loved her, and for all her faults, she was one of the few Brits who cared about `our people`.
And so today we truly mourn her, unlike the fatuous parade of British hypocrites commenting on the BBC.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"Now, Thatcher is still hated with a passion. Why?"

I think it has something to do with the fact that the privileged liberals and leftists gained so much as the result of her policies.
They are the main beneficiaries of the 'culture of greed', and they can't face up to that fact.

Just as Clinton and the liberal boomers really extended Reaganonmics, Blair and new labour extended Thatcheromics. As the result, there was a vast rise in boho yuppie urban classes. With old labor crushed, the ambitious people could make more money than ever before, and these people mostly happened to be liberals, Jews, and gays. So, economically, they are the main winners of Reaganism/Thatcherism. But their hipster/progressive vanity cannot recognize the fact that they've gotten so rich and privileged by pro-greed policies. So, they blame Thatcher.

They wanna believe that they got so rich because they happen to be so creative, decent, innovative, and brilliant than greedy. So, Steve Jobs used to say he doesn't care about money. So, Bono wants to believe he's for humanity than fortunes. So, Rowhling acts like the billions mean nothing to her.

Thatcher, like Rand, spilled the beans that people are indeed motivated by money and ambition, and there is no shame in that.
But liberal rich don't wanna hear that they are rich because they care about money. I mean Al Gore made his billion because he cares sooooooo much.

Ironically, Reagan and Thatcher made far less after they left office than the likes of clinton, gore, blair, mandela, and schroder.

Cail Corishev said...

Thatcher was hated because she opposed almost everything the transnational left loved/loves:

-- she opposed the ANC and to all intents and purposed supported Apartheid South Africa
-- demonstrated quite publicly an obvious contempt for artists, actors, directors, and all the rest of the left-wing's propaganda units


I'd guess those two account for a lot of the over-the-top hatred. Anti-apartheid was incredibly fashionable at the time -- imagine the current fashion for "gay marriage," except with all the churches on board with it instead of in opposition. Even Mel Gibson made a movie where the bad guy was a rich white South African who looked a lot of F. W. de Klerk. Opposing the ANC then would be like opposing the Voting Rights Act today.

On the second item, there's nothing that angers liberals worse than people who don't take them seriously. You can oppose them, but outright contempt for the things they care about scares them. My theory is that deep down they know they're a joke, so they can't afford for too many people to say it out loud.

James Kabala said...

Relevant to my earlier comments:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/angelameiquan/21-incredibly-angry-songs-about-margaret-thatcher

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Your comparison with Nixon is a good one in that like Nixon, Thatcher was an outsider (to the British establishment in the manner Nixon was to the East Coast Establishment) and like Nixon, she really opposed and, at times, even halted the left's agenda."

I'm not aware of any significant component of the left's agenda that Nixon halted, and in fact he materially aided a few: he expanded the wefare-state and created the EPA (or at least presided over its creation). Nixon was really a disaster for conservatism.

Anonymous said...

Pink ASrrow Gal - Look at that graph, rightwingers! The rate of foreign born neoslaves imported into Britain during Thatcher's reign did not decrease at all when she took over in 1975.

She led the Conservative party from 1975 but she wasnt PM until 1979. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Protestants accept unification peacefully, rather than eg demand repartition.

Ive always thought a humane, managed repartition would be the ideal solution. Sadly this would probably be denounced as ethnic cleansing. But if 40 years ago the borders had been redrawn and various Protestants and Catholics bribed to move, well, it would have turned out to be cheap at twice the price. Say four Protestant counties and two Catholic ones - which would then have joined the Republic.

The current situation is one in which its regarded as patently absurd that Catholics should acquiesce to British/Protestant rule. But its regarded as equally absurd that protestants should not/ acquiesce to Irish/Catholic rule.

Yet many, perfectly nice Irish people I know in every other respect make no secret of their dislike (hatred?) of Ulster Protestants. Apparently this animosity is going to magically disappear under Irish rule.

This animosity btw from Irish people who've grown up in the Republic with no direct connection to NI or in the UK again, with no direct connection to NI.

Separation is the way.

Anonymous said...

Matra - The Poles currently swelling Catholic numbers in primary schools are unlikely to stick around when Poland's economy improves, and based on my (admittedly few) conversations with them they cannot be assumed to be future Nationalists.

The liberal slanted MSM in the UK is quietly stoking anti-Polish sentiment. This is to protect the beloved crown jewels of immigration - blacks and Muslims. Yet actually the British seem to get on well with the Poles.

But from what I can tell from Irish people Ive had contact with is that the Irish (in the Republic) seem much less well disposed towards the Poles than do the English/British. A shared religion doesnt seem to be helping. I dont know if there is some qualitative difference between Poles heading to the UK vs Ireland or its some UK/Irish difference. And Ive no idea about what the situation on the ground in NI is right now.

Anonymous said...

"The liberal slanted MSM in the UK is quietly stoking anti-Polish sentiment. This is to protect the beloved crown jewels of immigration - blacks and Muslims. Yet actually the British seem to get on well with the Poles."

I don't know. Maybe attacking Poles is a safer way to attack the immigration policy as a whole. It sounds less 'racist' than to attack black or Indian immigration.

It's like conservatives prefer to attack the Muslim tide and use 'Muslim' as codeword for African on discourse about European immigration.

Rob said...

I forgot to mention she also increased public spending by 50 percent in real terms during her eleven-year tenure as PM.

Anonymous said...

many, perfectly nice Irish people I know in every other respect make no secret of their dislike (hatred?) of Ulster Protestants.


Ulster Protestants are some of the nastiest, hateful, bigoted people you'll ever meet. They tend to speak of Catholics in much the same terms as KKK members speaking of blacks or Nazi's speaking of Jews. You sometimes can hear faint echoes of this sentient in the comment sections of American political blogs like this one.


Ive always thought a humane, managed repartition would be the ideal solution.

Do you think America should be partitioned on Protestant/Catholic lines?

Anonymous said...

Then there's the other demographic issue: Immigration. What evidence we have suggests the bulk of non-white residents - many from other arts of the UK - prefer the status quo. The Poles currently swelling Catholic numbers in primary schools are unlikely to stick around when Poland's economy improves, and based on my (admittedly few) conversations with them they cannot be assumed to be future Nationalists.


So Ulster Protestants are now in favor of non-white immigration as a means of weakening the power of Irish Catholics. Nice of you to clear that up.

Alwaysright said...

I remember reading a piece by Freeman Dyson explaining where he thought the hatred for Thatcher came from at least on the intellectual end of the left. He said that Britain had two different upper middle classes, the intellectual and the commercial. The intellectual side was the upper middle class for most of the 20th century that dominated British society, but that Thatcher's election signaled their decline and the rise of the commercial upper middle to predominance. He said he came from the intellectual branch and was taught to detest the commercial side, and that the intellectual branch could never forgive her for deposing them from power. So she had to deal with both the aristocratic/working class opposition but the intellectuals who felt she displaced them from their rightful place of rule.

I think that's why "intellectuals" hate conservatives in general. They can't stand pro-business policies because they allow for people with half their education to make ten times as much money, thus deposing the academic elite from the top of the class hierarchy.

And since conservatives are hated by "intellectuals" they compensate by pandering to the least intelligence whites (religious extremists)

Matra said...

Do you think America should be partitioned on Protestant/Catholic lines?

Since religion is really just an ethnic marker in Ireland what you are really asking is: Should America be partitioned along ethnic or racial lines? I think that would be a good idea but then again I'm not American.

Yet many, perfectly nice Irish people I know in every other respect make no secret of their dislike (hatred?) of Ulster Protestants. Apparently this animosity is going to magically disappear under Irish rule.

I've noticed that when after a friendly conversation with southern Irish they just assume I must be Catholic. Even just having a Belfast accent leads them to express pro-Nationalist sentiments and to fire insults at Protestants. You should see the shocked and embarrassed expressions when they learn otherwise. I think because they've never taken any interest in the Protestant side - and in fairness the Prods never made any effort to explain it to outsiders - they tend to be easily led by left/Nationalist media stereotypes - ie Protestants=KKK. So I'd say they are mostly just ignorant rather than malevolent.

But from what I can tell from Irish people Ive had contact with is that the Irish (in the Republic) seem much less well disposed towards the Poles than do the English/British. A shared religion doesnt seem to be helping

The Irish are more xenophobic than the English - though they do love that whole 'Magic Negro' thing, at least from afar. The English are used to foreigners in their midst, the Irish still haven't got used to the presence of Protestants after 400 years. Irish communities (both Catholic and Protestant) are also smaller and more tight-knit so the sudden appearance of a lot of Poles has led to some disruption and hostility. The Polish flood is probably over now anyway, especially in the Republic with its unemployment situation.

Working Class Englishman said...

But from what I can tell from Irish people Ive had contact with is that the Irish (in the Republic) seem much less well disposed towards the Poles than do the English/British. A shared religion doesn't seem to be helping

Interesting if true.

Despite all the negative media noise about the Poles in the UK I have yet to actually hear anyone genuinely expressing any animosity toward them.

IMHO criticism of Polish immigrant is really a proxy for criticism of the immigrants it would 'racist' to criticise.

An almost entertaining development has been the unabashed slagging off of muslims by people who would be very offended if you were to be racist about blacks - its all got very twisted over here!

As a kid growing up in the South East of England I knew quite a number of people who's fathers were Poles who came over in WWII. The girl I sat next to in junior school called Wisneski, the ex-spitfire pilot who ran one of the local pubs, the Dom Polski Polish club where numerous parties were held. So people like me, grew up with the sons and daughter of Pole who fought on our side in WWII. Like I say, all the animosity towards Poles is stuff I've read about in the papers - I haven't personally heard any in real life.

Working Class Englishman said...


If Thatcher was hated, I can tell you it was because Britain is a country easily roused to hate. They all hate each other, which is why there is always no shortage of pimps and traitors ready to sell it out, whatever the consequences.


LOL!!!

Its sad but I think sadly true.

Working Class Englishman said...

So many intelligent, insightful, thoughtful, educated comments here

Yes. I agree. Particularly so, bearing in mind most of the commentators probably aren't British.

Anonymous said...

Do you think America should be partitioned on Protestant/Catholic lines?

No, I dont think thats necessary. How about on racial lines?

The religious divide in Ireland is really reinforcing an ethnic divide.

Ulster Protestants are some of the nastiest, hateful, bigoted people you'll ever meet. They tend to speak of Catholics in much the same terms as KKK members speaking of blacks or Nazi's speaking of Jews.

Like I said, separation is the way. Why would you want these people to be living with Catholics then?

Anonymous said...

So Ulster Protestants are now in favor of non-white immigration as a means of weakening the power of Irish Catholics. Nice of you to clear that up.

My impression is the reverse. Ulster Catholics are now in favor of non-white immigration as a means of weakening the power of Irish Protestants.

Anonymous said...

So Ulster Protestants are now in favor of non-white immigration as a means of weakening the power of Irish Catholics.

That's the patented "Scots Irish" formula. Are they not Scots Irish?

Matra said...

So Ulster Protestants are now in favor of non-white immigration as a means of weakening the power of Irish Catholics. Nice of you to clear that up

So you are incapable of distinguishing between the descriptive and prescriptive. Nice of you to clear that up. It helps explain the quality of your comments thus far. LOL

My impression is the reverse. Ulster Catholics are now in favor of non-white immigration as a means of weakening the power of Irish Protestants.

Someone has been reading up on Sinn Fein.



irishman said...

Aging Hag said...

"Irishman,

Quoting another commenter but question is directed to you: " but the human experience was MASSIVE unemployment and total dysfunction in industrial towns."

Do you think this led to white chav phenomenon? (This hasn't reached US shores much...most of our white chavs are posers.)"

It's much too widespread for that. You can see unruliness in respectable areas of London(where I have lived) too. I figure it's the welfare state. People to-day don't want to grow up. This is an expression of this infantilism. It's not deprivation; chav chic can be pretty pricey. You could also blame feminism. Emasculated men with no means reason to become husband material stay boys. And then the girls emulate the boys.

Simon in London

"That would require that (a) NI Catholics vote for unification with the Republic and (b) Protestants accept unification peacefully, rather than eg demand repartition.

Neither of those seem certain, or even particularly likely."

The Northern economy has a GDP of 29 billion. It pays 9 billion in taxes and receives 20 from her majesty. That can't go on forever. And it won't. The protestant population is being decapitated. It's best and brightest are being educated in England and are staying there. In a generation it is likely you'll see a Northern economy as moribund as ever with a Catholic bourgeoisie and a Nationalist majority. Partition is strangling the Northern economy. It always has. It has no economic advantage over the rest of the UK and is out-competed by the republic. Sooner or later the British will tire of paying and will cut their budget. They don't supply 30 Labour MPs like Wales does so they will be hung out to dry. Remorseless economics and demographics will mean the end of Northern Ireland.

As for repartition. Gimme a break. Been to Belfast lately? Protestants are being pushed ever further east. In 2015 3 Westminster out of 4 seats will be held by nationalists. Catholic areas are over crowded while Protestant ones are sparse. The end of peace lines will make Belfast a Catholic city. What are you going to do? Kick us out? Turn Belfast into New West Berlin?

I don't think so.



"But from what I can tell from Irish people Ive had contact with is that the Irish (in the Republic) seem much less well disposed towards the Poles than do the English/British. A shared religion doesn't seem to be helping"

It's all relative. Irish people don't much like Poles, but there a hell of a lot better liked than Travellers and Nigerians.

The Poles appear to be taking our side in the North where the head-banger element among the protestants has taken a special dislike to them. I read they made a special order for Polish flags for the riots a few months ago specifically to burn them. Nice.