Monday, 8 April 2013

Thatcher's legacy was that greed is good and there is no such thing as society

The death of Margaret Thatcher is a time to reflect on all the suffering and premature deaths her policies have caused down the years.
A time to remember how foolhardy Jim Callaghan was in delaying the general election from autumn 1978 to spring 1979. By the time Labour got back into power again in 1997, its leaders had become so engulfed in the Thatcherite creed that they couldn't wait to invite the old haragon round for tea. Labour had become a lighter shade of blue. Not for nothing was it said that Thatcher's greatest creation was New Labour.
Yes Thatcher did change Britain but not for the better. She destroyed communities up and down the land. The early years saw unemployment driven up over three million quite deliberately in order to weaken organised labour in the form of the trade union movement. The other parts of this assault comprised the anti-trade union laws and a hostile right wing media.
Thatcher was also a lucky Premier. Beyond Callaghan's bungling, she could have lost the Falklands War and the miners strike, which would have meant her government becoming a shortlived blip in history.
Instead, the pursuit of policies driven by greed created a political landscape skewed off to the far right. Thatcher's words that there is no such thing as society, merely individuals, said everything anyone needs to know about her legacy.
Unfortunately these policies still live on to the point where the neo-liberal structures first put in place in the 1980s, rewarding the few and not the many have become the norm of the political landscape. The present reluctance of many in the Labour Party to criticise Thatcher prove only how deep the politics of greed have infected the body politic in the UK.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Mr Donovan. The seeds of our modern society with its unbridled capitalism and creeping privatisation in all areas were laid during the Thatcher years. Being an immigrant like myself during the Thatcher years you knew your place. With Reagan I think she reversed to some extent the decolonisation of the developing world in the post-war years by championing Western neo-liberal policies. She branded the ANC a terrorist organisation while she feted dictators like Pinochet and General Zia ul-Haq.

    Let history will judge her more objectively than what the British media is doing right now.