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littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 22:37
Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Evil cow. FACT.

speckyget Posted on 31/8 22:37
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Yes, but hero or villain?

Red_Clowne Posted on 31/8 22:38
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

The champagne's on ice

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 22:38
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Hero. Evil Cow is a super-hero.

TODD_SLAUGHTER Posted on 31/8 22:38
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

#The low calorie spread is now 18 instead of 19, it's a savers assault# The Grantham Anthem

John_Craggs Posted on 31/8 22:40
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Her hero was Charlie Amer.

blaggamuffin Posted on 31/8 22:42
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

See you there Red_Clowne. I'll get the first shout in.

When the day finally arrives there will be men dancing in the streets all about this land. (For any younger readers - this is most definitely NOT an exaggeration).


pompeylad Posted on 31/8 22:42
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

was PM at a very changeable period in our society and got a lot of things right(dealing with the unions) and a lot wrong (poll tax,not understanding impacts of privatisation on communities)... She was the last in the era of dictatorial and stuffy leaders.

speckyget Posted on 31/8 22:43
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I for one will never forget the principled stand she took that removed saturated fat from the diets of primary school children.

Why, she was the Jamie Oliver of her day, and didn't even make up cockerney words like 'cushty'.

jd1973 Posted on 31/8 22:43
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Do any of you own your own home?

BoroBooBoy Posted on 31/8 22:45
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Villain, can't wait for the day, I'll be having a drink and it won't be to her health. Bitch

Red_Clowne Posted on 31/8 22:45
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Are there any council houses left?

Parmo_Pete Posted on 31/8 22:45
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Keeping my tap shoes polished ready for a bit of grave dancing

Doctor_Octagon Posted on 31/8 22:46
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

She was a necessary evil

XXLshirts_fit_all Posted on 31/8 22:48
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

hero in my eyes, didnt go in for any of this PC crap we have nowadays, even the poll tax as much as it was wrong, she tested it on the sweaty socks first ;-)

sweet_left_foot Posted on 31/8 22:50
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Sick twisted fck.

Mind you she was a mother also, she should be judged on the quality of her offspring also. A boy who can't find his way home and a girl who thought the dangerous dogs act was a well thought out piece of legislation.

I've got some tequila to go with that champagne RC

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 22:55
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I forgot about the poll tax. How can anyone like her after that?

There's nowt like a bit of Maggie-bashing to get everyone's juices going!

--- Post edited by littlejimmy on 31/8 22:56 ---

raggy Posted on 31/8 22:58
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Red-Clowne, Blaggamuffin, Borobooboy.

Please let us know when a close member of your family dies so that we can come and celebrate. Not a popular PM but those who celebrate death are evil.

green_beret20 Posted on 31/8 23:00
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I know, she even had the audacity to relinquish people of their cushy, jobs for life in their mothballed steel plants which all came courtesy from daddy putting a good word in for them.

--- Post edited by green_beret20 on 31/8 23:04 ---

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:01
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Her education policies really worked a treat when people can't tell the difference between courtesy and curiosity.

green_beret20 Posted on 31/8 23:03
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

How observant.

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:04
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

CrazyL Posted on 31/8 23:05
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Shouldn't it be heroine or villainess?

green_beret20 Posted on 31/8 23:08
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I guess her education polices rubbed off on you too LJ.

Red_Clowne Posted on 31/8 23:09
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Raggy, on a human level I'm not celebrating her death at all - I will just be happy when she's gone.

Members of my family had to leave Teesside in the 80's to look for work - came down here and then she "rationalised" the steel industry and then destroyed the mining industry - and then knighted the guy who shut them both.

Two of my family have never been able to work since as a result - one suffering from depression for more than 20 years, the other had a stroke in 1985 due to the pressure of ther miners' strike. She thought little of the working man or woman as she forced her policies through. The country will be a better place without her.

blaggamuffin Posted on 31/8 23:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Sorry raggy. She is a dreadful, evil woman. Don't underestimate how many people detest her. Many of society's problems today could be traced back to her stewardship and the subsequent political agendas pursued by successive governments. We live in a fractured society more than ever before these days and its down to people like her.

It is a real tragedy that in Britain the overwhelming acceptance of right wing politics as the norm will continue long after her death. What a legacy. Woe is me.

Are you sure you don't want to join us for drink?

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I don't class her as being of any sex. Women generally have hearts. This "woman" didn't have a heart or a soul.

Grumpy_Paul Posted on 31/8 23:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

"Mass unemployment, a price worth paying"
Not her words but certainly her policy.

Try telling that to those who were / are unemployed.

Regardless of rights and wrongs her governments had no heart, no love and no sympathy and no respect for the victims of her policies.

A price worth paying? I ask you

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:12
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

This all stemmed from the prison thread, where I have been saying pretty much the same as what blaggamuffin said.

XXLshirts_fit_all Posted on 31/8 23:15
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

must be a lot of ex dockers on here! they had jobs for life and closed shops and restrictive practices before she did for em. i mean fancy stopping people getting paid a full day just for turning up on a morning and going home if there was no work

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:17
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Hmm. Don't recall anyone saying everything was perfect before she did for manufacturing and mining, but the strength of feeling shows that her solution was somewhat extreme.

green_beret20 Posted on 31/8 23:20
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

As in closing them down, find another job?

Your last post there doesn't read too well by the way Jimmy.

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:26
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Makes sense to me. A bit long for you, perhaps?

red_ruth Posted on 31/8 23:29
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

visited lingfield primary school when i was a kid.we all had to draw pictures of her and write letters to her telling her how great she was. she went around, table to table looking at our work with her greasy, slimy hangers on, smiling and grinning. pure evil, but what a missed opportunity, she lent right over me. should of taken my chance and grabbed her by her throat until she was no more, or yanked on her t!t at least, what could they do?
my only regret in life, as well as selling my copy of organic bondage by wild willy barrett


green_beret20 Posted on 31/8 23:32
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Nah, even my Maggie Thatcher type education can see that the sentence doesnt carry on.

'before she did for'

Then you wonder why you were bullied for five years eh?

--- Post edited by green_beret20 on 31/8 23:33 ---

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:35
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Before she "did for". Haven't you heard that phrase?
I suppose I deserved to be bullied for my bad grammer and spelling.

green_beret20 Posted on 31/8 23:40
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Amongst other things.

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:42
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

That's right. Because anyone who gets bullied fully deserves it, don't they? What a mature attitude. Do you still go to junior school, or just wish you were there so you were amongst your intellectual peers?

green_beret20 Posted on 31/8 23:46
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Are you sure your not mixing up bullying with just not plain liked?

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:48
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Only a Thatcher fan thinks like that. I don't have the time or inclination to explain it, spell it out or draw diagrams. Suffice to say, the person doing the bullying wasn't present at any of the numerous school reunions I've been to.

--- Post edited by littlejimmy on 31/8 23:53 ---

green_beret20 Posted on 31/8 23:52
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Damn and blast eh.

Perhaps another time, like never.

littlejimmy Posted on 31/8 23:54
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Suits me, pal. Just remember, next time you disagree with me you'll have to come up with a better argument than that. Or you can just stick to insulting me, if that's beyond you.

--- Post edited by littlejimmy on 31/8 23:55 ---

jeff_potato Posted on 31/8 23:55
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Did what was necessary really - the staple industries which she destroyed, heartlessly, should've been downscaled over many decades, not propped up by the government until the eighties until she pulled the rug.

As someone way up the top of this thread said, a necessary evil.

red_rebel Posted on 1/9 0:26
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I've been saving a quid a week since the end of the miners strike to fund a massive Heigh Ho the Witch Is Dead Party. You can have some party with 1,000.

I will invite some all good comrades to drink and remember the class war and good times before the post war consensus was smashed and all that was good about the country was parcelled up and sold back to the people who already owned it just to line the pockets of the already rich.

I can't invite everyone that Thatcher shafted because hers was an industrial scale malice aimed at the young, the old, the poor, the unions, the immigrants, socialists, liberals, the towns, women, the universities, the media, the working class. Especially the working class.

We should celebrate the survival of humanity and society and a progressive culture because it is a triumph for we the people that such things withstood the malicious, petty small minded attack of those who see only profit.

Here's awebsite for your favourites LJ. You can use it next tim eyou pick at this particular scab.

Link: Burn the witch

longpig Posted on 1/9 1:20
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

it's funny reading this because i was just having this conversation on monday at work.

I remember the summer holiday after I left school and before I went to poly, I had a smashing time. This was the summer of 1990.

I went to poly, did the dole, got a job, lost a job, did all the courses invented to remove me from the unemployment figures, ate various vegetables, then got a court summons for council tax owed from the summer of 1990. This was in 1994.
i never even saw a bill. i protested but they said maggie made them do it so they got it back via a court order.

i can't even remember how much it was but i felt very wronged.

anyway, villain for me. dad made redundant at british steel and stole my saturated fat from school.

in the 80's at my particular school the label was everything
trainers - diadora nike addidas etc.
i had dunlop dodgems, this was before ironic cool, very bad.

jumper - leo gemmelli, pierre ferruchi or at least fred perry, mine was teen at CandA.

we couldn't afford a packed lunch, never mind a power lunch.

captain_cookie Posted on 1/9 1:45
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

hero. definitely.
She saved us from becoming a banana republic, wasting ever-higher taxes to shore up worthelss jobs in 19th century industries.
Of course, Gordon Brown'll soon have us back on that road.

Established1905 Posted on 1/9 1:45
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


Grumpy_Paul Posted on 1/9 2:00
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?



Do you understand the implications of mass unemployment, particularly when running alongside the unashamed decadence of the Yuppie culture?


I thought not

br14 Posted on 1/9 3:15
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I was hit hard by Maggies policies - she cost me a fortune workwise etc. So at the time, villain.

However, any prosperity the UK has enjoyed for the past 10 years is entirely at her feet. She restructured British industry and liberalised restricted working practices that now mean the UK has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe and indeed the world [Last time I checked]. (Sorry for those [including me] that lost work as a result).

In addition she was wise enough back in the 80's to recognize the impact of baby boomers on pensions, and introduced personal pensions - subsequently stupidly attacked by Gordon Brown. Those of you reaching retirement age in 15 or 20 years time will probably see her as a hero.

Plus, she was straightforward, honest and had balls - not something you can say about Mr Bliar.

Blair takes the UK into Iraq and as a result of "terrorist" threats removes all kinds of civil liberties. Compare that with Thatcher who retained those liberties even though she herself was attacked by IRA bombs.

Oh, and the other thing she did was release council housing for sale that has drastically increased the number of people in Britain owning their own home. Home ownership under Thatcher increased. I wonder if the same can be said for Blair.

--- Post edited by br14 on 1/9 3:17 ---

neiltrodden Posted on 1/9 3:40
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

This post comes around and around. Why don't we just hoof the last one?

neiltrodden Posted on 1/9 3:43
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Good post br14 although, I may have to re-think my views on this. Touchy subject.

br14 Posted on 1/9 3:52
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

The funny thing is Neil, that at the time she was hated by both socialists and conservatives alike.

She had the ability to engender hatred that was amazing. Hence so many people on here who condemn her.

Thing is that as a result of losing work, I retrained and now make more than I could have imagined at the time. So I guess my viewpoint has change somewhat. I can understand why many still hate her though!

The_Commisar Posted on 1/9 6:07
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Changed British politics dramaticly.
Most effective post war leader by far.
Interesting to note that the PC brigade would be happy to inflict personal pain and misery on someone if they could because of their political views, yet are happy to decry those who say something aginst their hero's.
The usual hypocrisy of the left.

Red Rebel, that money you have been saving, only reason that money has any real value is that Thatcher reformed the economy.
Perhaps if you took off your "class blinkers" and looked at the real world, not a failed experiment by a 19th century economist philosopher you might get a better perspective.

In the meantime, retreat to your middle class occupation and throw molotov coctails of jealousy over a non existent set of barricades.

MrAngryInKuwait Posted on 1/9 6:08
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Blame Maggie for a lot of things, but don't blame her for destroying the Miners. Arthur Scargill did that with the aid of the idiots in his own union who allowed him to pursue his own political ambitions at their expense.

As leader of the Miner's Union, he took them out on UNofficial strike. Wouldn't even follow his own union's rules. The dumb sheep just followed blindly, and people were killed as a result of the picketing that followed.

The miners got destroyed in the process. Arthur? Well, he's still president for life, of what's left of them, and doing very well thank you, in a nice little mansion, paid for out of union funds.

boroboyinbath Posted on 1/9 6:34
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Mr Scargil did for the miners. in recent interviews he has finally admitted his intention was to bring down the govt. and install a left wing dictatorship. He has said the miners were his soldiers...

He is as much to blame for the miners strike as anyone else.

She was a necessery evil of her times, without her we would not be owning our own homes, higher standard of living, freedom to negotiate our own salaries, no closed shops etc

zaphod Posted on 1/9 7:36
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

She was a nasty heartless piece of work, but unfortunately she was a necessary evil to counteract the shambles created by the soft-hearted Labour and Ted Heath Governments. The previous political consensus had to go, because it was ruining the country. Even Jim Callaghan admitted that.

She clearly thought the miners, steel-workers etc. deserved what happened to them and maybe in macro terms they did (and their leaders certainly did), for resisting gradual decline and holding previous Governments to ransom, but it was all too brutal for my taste. br14 is dead right in saying the present prosperity is mostly her achievement, but I can't help wishing there hadn't been so many casualties.

reynarddasilva Posted on 1/9 8:22
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

To add my two penneth.
I believe she was a necessary evil at the time.
I tend to look at the previous period before she came to power and then try and predict what life would have been like now if she hadn't come into power when she did. I am convinced that we wouldn't be where we are today economy wise, and I also predict that this government have fudged things for the last few years and we are in for a torrid time in the near future.
Yes she made mistakes, was hard on various industries and people did suffer at that time and also sadly for many years afterwards, but I believe history will show that this country could do with another strong leader now.

Derby_Red Posted on 1/9 8:43
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Many good considered and balanced posts on this thread, as usual for the thinking Boro fan. I have thought deeply about this taking all arguments into account and this is what I've come up with :

She is, was, and always will be a c!n!t.

littlejimmy Posted on 1/9 9:08
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Good to see Commisar falling back on his trusty old "PC Brigade" claptrap. Just use that label for everyone you don't agree with, it makes things a whole lot easier.

Borobarmy Posted on 1/9 9:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

some friends of mine and myself have already got the t shirts printed waiting for the great day when we will be outside the pub awaaiting its opening .
btw - every round will be in commemoration of a pit village and steel yard

May she rot in hell .

--- Post edited by Borobarmy on 1/9 9:15 ---

blotonthelandscape Posted on 1/9 9:11
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

The sale of council housing was good in theory and a complete disaster in practice. The private council houses have now been bought in bulk by 'private' landlords and rented to anyone. My mother and father recently moved from Overfields because of the shoite arround them, all in private houses.

On the whole the evil cow was good for the UK, something had to happen and Michael Foot / Tony Benn / Red Robbo/ Hatton were not the answer

The_Commisar Posted on 1/9 9:13
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Not a problem Jimmy, if you were not so predictable, it wouldn't be so easy.

However for the sake of your good self, let me try a re-brand.
How about
"two faced gits who think it's fine that someone from other than their political persuasion gets smacked/shot etc etc but not if it's one of the proletariat (copyright R_R)"
That better ?

Can you name the countries that have followed the economic model espoused by the likes of Arthur Scargill, Mick McGahee etc and that have delivered for their citizens ?

Borobarmy Posted on 1/9 9:16
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

it was a crying shame she was having a piss when the bomb went off .

littlejimmy Posted on 1/9 18:45
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Been out all day, so sorry for digging this up again.

Don't remember saying anything about socialism being the perfect answer. But there you go. Don't let that change your prejudicial prejudgements about others' opinions. Personally, I don't wish Maggie any specific harm, but I can understand the reasons for the hatred she engenders. I mean, there has to be reason for it, right?

It will be interesting when she finally does snuff it. I can see a few major fall outs on here.

Oh, and the best thing about hypocrisy is that you get to see both sides of the argument.

gatesheadsmog Posted on 1/9 18:49
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

the days she croaks i am going to have a party to celebrate

iron_nops Posted on 1/9 18:50
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

is she ill or sommat then?

I never wish ill of anyone, except those that deserve it (kiddly fiddlers and the like)

but the day she pops her clogs I'll do the samba down Hitchin High Road.

Alcoe Posted on 1/9 18:54
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

When she was elected in 1979 I was appalled.
When she was booted out of Downing Street by the spineless wimps in her cabinet, I was also appalled.
Hero. No question.
The amount of spite on this thread is depressing.

j_orourke Posted on 1/9 19:46
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I'm at the party with the Clowne, jimmy, the muffin and anybody else with a memory (and no rose tinted specs)

'There's a Rat in me kitchen'

sperks Posted on 1/9 20:18
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Bitch! She was the UK's CEO and saw herself having to get rid of deadwood in order for her company to grow. She gave no concern the welfare of the families or communities. CEO's can be valued for their ability to seperate their feelings from the job, but when you're running a country, you need a different set of priciples IMO.

jd1973 Posted on 1/9 20:24
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Total heroine.

She saved the country at the Bliar the ventriloquists dummy is fooking it all back up again.

TRANSITARMY Posted on 1/9 21:02
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

She made me sit at football matches!

Cobain_94 Posted on 1/9 22:00
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Jimmy, why do you take such great delight in one persons death yet when anyone says anything about what they'd like to do to burglers you say it's wrong?

raggy Posted on 1/9 23:14
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Must say that apart from those who celebrate the death of someone, this is a quality thread. Really find it hard to believe that people could delight in the death of someone. It seems that those who dislike her did not prosper under her government. Those that like her did prosper. This is proving her point that society no lonfer exists and that the indiviual rules.

irishjohn Posted on 1/9 23:26
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Villain is to light a word.. SHE THE COW ... decimated this area she shut; Head wrightsons,British Shipbuilders (Havertonand South Bank),Whessoe Eng, and had honest tradesmen (except Welders) Scrounging around europe for work. And if not in some God forsaken factory working for washers.
She also took the milk offa the kids (SHUDDERS AND SPITS)

T0O1O2N Posted on 1/9 23:44
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Maggie Twatcher and Charli Amer are two living examples of the good die young.

raggy Posted on 1/9 23:49
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Is Charlie Amer still alive?

Irish John - was it not a Thatcher government that set up the TDC ( an org that paid for the riverside) that put the largets public investment this area has ever seen.

irishjohn Posted on 2/9 0:12
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

OH the TDC... It created Teesside Retail Park..a fine developement I must say, it did improve Stocktons Riverside and I guess thats a hive of Industry.
The Barrage is fine until you look towards Middlesbrough, and it must employ thousands. The Riverside Stadium got more money from the football trust and the EEC and is built on one of the most contaminated areas on Teesside if not Europe next to dock point, How long did it take to dredge that dock ?. I can see companies lining up to be sited there.
Mention to me what we actual got from the T.D.C. Which you consider a Thatcher legacy which was worth all we lost.
As for buying a house I bought mine before she came to power, and all she did was allow the softning of borrowing and credit so although you now "own your own home" most are so much in debt and they are now owned.
Her dream of total control is now a reality.
I mean how many people could afford to disagree with their employer or even strike despite their principles.
As for freedom in wage bargaining I think its more like the rate of inflation or lower...some freedom

--- Post edited by irishjohn on 2/9 0:57 ---

Tweek Posted on 2/9 2:23
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

It's only right that society should respect her in death, but as she famously said there is no such thing as society, so fk her the evil witch.

I hope while she is rotting in hell she contemplates all those she sent to their deaths on a godforesaken sh it hole in the south atlantic and for what her poltical ego, then there are the villages she kille in various fields (steel coal car etc)) and the countless who took their own lives as a result of her twisted belief in reaganomics.

Evil witch the day can't come soon enough.

Alcoe i would like to see you go to the villages in durham south yorkshire and wales and tell these people why she is a hero.

That old adage about Judging a person by the company they keep;

Link: this sums thatcher up

br14 Posted on 2/9 4:24
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Wow. This one really has legs. Thats hatred for you!

Had Britain at the time continued the policies of previous governments, by now the UK would be tariff ridden, with high unemployment and limited resources. Effectively a third world country.

For example, how could the UK possibly have competed with the cheap imports from China we see today.

By the time Thatcher came to power, the steel industry; shipbuilding; heavy engineering and the automotive industry were on their knees. Overweight, inefficient, uncompetitive and suffering from decades of lack of investment.

Partly because of ignorant, stupid capitalists who failed to reinvest; partly because of ignorant, stupid union leaders whose only mantra was to bring down the management.

You could argue that we could have followed the lead of say France, and invested in our car industry etc. You could, if the UK was anywhere near as efficient as the French were at the time.

Dont forget the main reason the previous Labour government before Thatcher was brought down, was because of the "Winter of Discontent" brought about because of the unions backing out of the "social contract".

It is no accident that for many years you could buy a car in Europe for two thirds what it cost in the UK. Even now prices for many goods are significantly higher in the UK.

What Thatcher did was recognise the shrinking world and the effect of global economics. That is why the UK has low unemployment and from what I can see the highest disposable incomes for many years.

You may hate the way she implemented her policies. I certainly did so at the time. But like the overspending family that cuts up it's credit cards and cuts back on it's spending she did what was necessary at the time. And at least she didnt lie about it, and under her government, you didnt have to pay for an education.

The_Commisar Posted on 2/9 7:19
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Irish John
A few points

Why do you think the TDC

OH the TDC... It created Teesside Retail Park..a fine developement I must say, it did improve Stocktons Riverside and I guess thats a hive of Industry. < The industry in that area died because it was inefficient, badly managed and unable to compete, you can blame ALL the govenments on the the run up to Thatchers election for that.

The Barrage is fine until you look towards Middlesbrough, and it must employ thousands. The Riverside Stadium got more money from the football trust and the EEC and is built on one of the most contaminated areas on Teesside if not Europe next to dock point, How long did it take to dredge that dock ?. I can see companies lining up to be sited there.
Mention to me what we actual got from the T.D.C. Which you consider a Thatcher legacy which was worth all we lost. < The TDC achieved very little, prinarily due to the pathetic, childish politics of the Labour party in Teesside, the small cliques (there, got that word in) of ex union men who couldn't see past the end of their street and back stabbed each other to prevent the TDC doing anywork that did not directly benefit their constituency.
TDC versus it's Newcastle equivalent, compare and contrast.

As for buying a house I bought mine before she came to power, and all she did was allow the softning of borrowing and credit so although you now "own your own home" most are so much in debt and they are now owned. < whats your point ?????
Her dream of total control is now a reality. < again, whats your point ???
I mean how many people could afford to disagree with their employer or even strike despite their principles.< go shopping with your principles do you ?
As for freedom in wage bargaining I think its more like the rate of inflation or lower...some freedom < So you want to take out more than you contribute ? 10% rises for no extra productivity ? Thats what brought Thatcher to power, your her biggest supporter and yopu didn't know it.

speckyget Posted on 2/9 7:56
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Just on a point of pedantry Commi (fancy that!) but your last point about not taking out more than you put in is interesting. Last year FTSE 350 directors' remuneration rose by 16% on average. The same group have seen their earnings rise by 113% since 1998.

If the UK has experienced GDP growth on the same scale recently I must have missed it.

Not strictly Thatch related you may say, others might argue that this untouchable, apparently unaccountable and virtually unsackable caste - the so-called 'fat cats'- came to prominence during her heady reign. As did the spiralling greed in corporate UK.

zaphod Posted on 2/9 8:11
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

You're dead right, speckyget. As I've pointed out on another thread, the old class structure is now irrelevant. The people with untrammelled power are top managers (plus top bankers and fund managers) and, as you indicate, they're using it to enrich themselves. Ordinary people, through our pension funds and savings, are the owners, but we have no power to control them. The situation will only get worse, I fear.

The_Commisar Posted on 2/9 8:15
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Not going to argue Spec's, far from it, if a director, or any member of staff can demonstrate they have added X percent value then give them the appropriate pay rise.

If it's wrong then the shareholders can vote them out, or the unions can strike, trash the company and they all end up out of a job.

Pre Thatcher the latter option was the most likely.

Theres an interesting thought;
Pre Margaret Thatcher Britains foreign aid policy was the best in the world as we made a concious decision to export jobs at each and every opportunity !

--- Post edited by The_Commisar on 2/9 8:16 ---

speckyget Posted on 2/9 8:18
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

My point is they can't argue that they have added anything like that amount of value overall - not with annual growth at well under 2%.

The_Commisar Posted on 2/9 8:20
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

So buy a share, go to the shareholders meetinga and cause hell !

You own part of the company if you own a share. It's called democracy, it may catch on.

j_orourke Posted on 2/9 8:35
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Oi Comms my old pal sticking up for this old cow goes against everything your shabka stands for!

A paradox indeed!

speckyget Posted on 2/9 8:36
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Hmmm...ask Marconi or Railtrack investors their views on shareholder democracy as a means of controlling weak, inept directors.

littlejimmy Posted on 2/9 9:28
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Cobain - please show me where I've said I will celebrate the woman's death. Your mixing me up with other lefties.

borobadge Posted on 2/9 10:07
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


JoJon Posted on 2/9 10:47
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I was opposed to every single one of Thatcher's policies. If she ever did any good, it was entirely by accident.

She set the dogs on the working class. Or actually no ... she herself was the dog that the upper classes set on us.

I celebrated when she lost power, but the idea of celebrating her death moves things onto another plane entirely as far as I'm concerned. I couldn't see myself hating anyone that much and when people do, or say they do, I always think it says more about them than it does about her.

Azedarac Posted on 2/9 11:16
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

One more group to add to the list of people who have a grieveance against the Thatcher government - the mentally ill. The mental health service needed an overhaul, rather than throwing out en-masse the patients from mental hospitals.

The idea of "care in the community" could have worked for many patients, but the "care" part was dropped once the Governemt realised the mental hospitals were sat on large estates. In my area alone there were 4 mental hospitals, now there is a unit bolted on to the side of a general hospital. On the old hospital sites there are 2 new villages, a private hospital and an estate with a couple of hundred detatched houses which currently sell for around 200,000 each. These sites were another piece of family silver to be sold off to fund tax cuts.

Meanwhile those who are mentally ill or even just a bit too simple to look after themselves live in Bed and Breakfast accomodation (which lines the pockets of private landlords), with minimal social support and are expected to self medicate.

TheMidfielder Posted on 2/9 11:44
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Red Rebel, can I come to your party?
The woman deliberately brought the country to it's knees, took it to war, all so that already bloated capitalists could make even greater financial killings.

Borobarmy Posted on 2/9 11:59
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

is that wan ker Tebbit still alive . Remember she had plenty of cronies sucking up to her peddling her ethos . Scum the lot of them .

littlejimmy Posted on 2/9 12:01
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Getting closer to my second century in a week. This one's a slow burner, the other one got a ton in less than an hour. (Cheers, YL)

TheBoroBoss61 Posted on 2/9 12:35
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

When she does cark it will there be a minutes silence?

The old Witch will get buried at sea to stop the Masses dancing on her grave.

Leedsclive Posted on 2/9 12:38
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I'm disappointed, I thought she must have died.
I did go to the same school as Edward Heath so perhaps that prejudiced me against her.
That and ruining the country.

Grove_Hill_Red Posted on 2/9 13:01
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

What a bunch of twisted a**** a lot of you are. As has been pointed out she actually did an AWFUL lot of good for this country and is probably MOST responsible for the relatively good condition it's currently in.

The Poll Tax, was actually probably the fairest system there was to replace the old rates, sadly the lefty bully boys led by the Labour Party managed to cause so much mayhem that they got it overturned.

I hope it's posted on here when some of you lot pop your l=clogs, cos I for one will be more willing to celebrate that!

speckyget Posted on 2/9 13:07
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

The poll tax, whatever the rights, wrongs, fairness or otherwise, was the most imbecilic piece of public policy making in living memory. The first rule in designing any tax is that it should be collectable. The poll tax wasn't, Thatch was advised that it wasn't by the Charted Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (yes THOSE lefty bully boys), and there was the example of the debacle in Scotland.

But she pressed ahead anyway purely in pursuit of dogma and serving sectional interests.

Borobarmy Posted on 2/9 13:07
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

your entilted to your opinion GH red . Mind when we hang up our keyboards on here we wont leave crying for ourselves like that tyrrant did .
As a matter of interest Grove Hill aint exactly wallowing in her legacy is it . Maybes coming up 3 generations now declined of meaningful work .
Thats testimony to her . The broken working class and its widened gulf betwen it and the ruling classes .

PaddlingBack Posted on 2/9 13:08
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

100th post, to sum it up....... M.T=Modern day Hitler.

Grove_Hill_Red Posted on 2/9 13:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Sorry specky but I disagree. I regard it as one of the best bits of failed policy. 1 person 1 bill in the same way as 1 person 1 vote. Maybe it needed a little more thought before implementation, BUT in principle an excellent idea.

borojap Posted on 2/9 13:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

But in one respect the Poll Tax was a stroke of genius. It got thousands off the electoral register, very likely nearly all of whom would have voted for parties other than the conservatives!

speckyget Posted on 2/9 13:12
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

You can't base a tax on something that doesn't have to keep still. It plunged local government finances into a crisis from which they haven't yet fully recovered.

--- Post edited by speckyget on 2/9 13:13 ---

Grove_Hill_Red Posted on 2/9 13:14
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

BB I agree about Grove Hill, sadly it's wallowing in good old socialist welfare state syndrome. You know, why should I work when I can get more by not and if I cant afford it then I'll just nick it instead.

There are still some decent people in the area, mainly (but not exclusively) from the older generation, god knows what they make of it.

manhead Posted on 2/9 13:17
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

The iron lady was an absoulte hero. should be made a saint for me. she took no crap and was up there with queen elizabeth the 1st and queen victoria. look at the pathetic, spineless, american worm with have now. sit down argies, millitants, spongers etc all put in their place.

long may she live.

Grove_Hill_Red Posted on 2/9 13:20
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Specky - local government finance is a total different ball-game. I know many local government officers and all I ever hear is "thats how it's always been done". I have yet to see or hear of a government (central or particularly local) that has heard of fixed price contracting for major jobs. Rather they take the cheapest quote then watch it go up as the company doing the work knows from the outset that the price is totally unrealistic.

Local Government needs a hefty kick up the backside especially when it comes to expenditure. Ring fencing money for a ceratin dept. then wasting it on cr@p because they have to spend it and can't run it over to next year or pass it off to another dept. what utter and total balls!

Local govt. is in a mess because it's a flamin dinosaur, full of inbreds who are there because their parents and their parents parents were there.

speckyget Posted on 2/9 13:27
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

GHR - wouldn't disagree that local government practices, procurement, spending etc needed and still need sorting. But saddling all councils - good or bad - with the enormous costs of this tax (with less revenue raised) was not the way to reform local administration. Why do you think it was ultimately scrapped? Because it could never have worked, and this was known BEFORE Thatcher drove it through.

Oh and councils only became obliged to ringfence their Housing Revenue Accounts when Thatcher introduced it to stop them blowing the proceeds of council house sales.

--- Post edited by speckyget on 2/9 14:04 ---

irishjohn Posted on 2/9 14:38
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Points taken Comissar.
Could debate all day (nicely of course) but I`m about to finish work maybe later.
I never realised there were so many supporters of a person who I regard as sinister and devisive but there ya go. They`ll be convincing me Ian Paisleys a nice bloke next.

raggy Posted on 2/9 16:32
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Irishjohn - how can you say you did not realise how many supporters she had, why do you think she got elected so often. Agree with you about Paisley, an awful man who is barely fit to be called a politician, similar to Adams and McGuiness but without the criminal record.

The_Commisar Posted on 2/9 16:35
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

to bring about 3 threads together
"were Ian Paisley to invade hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to him in the house of commons"

(oh yes, that was a good one, I'm chuffed with that)

irishjohn Posted on 2/9 16:52
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

So you should be Commisar, and you might even speak in the Tithe an Oireachtais I reckon ya good enough.

Lefty3668 Posted on 2/9 17:58
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


She didn't get everything wrong but most of what people generally regard as things she got right, her so called legacy, were either not actually a success or not down to her.

The biggest urban myth is that her economic policy was successful.

It is just not true.

Her Policies were just as much a recipe for disaster as the previous labour governments were. If you are in any doubt about that then consider black friday which was a direct result of Thatchers policies.

Then consider the economy of America. Reagan was such an admirer of Maggie he adopted her economic policies wholeheartedly. When he took over America had problems, but were basically still the strongest economy in the world with a tiny national debt. Go and look up their National Debt when he left.

They have never recovered.

What happens in America ........

But I don't despise her for her economic policy as much as for what she did to the Miners. And I have no affinity with any miners.

That something needed to be done about the unions was obvious to all at the time. The worst of them were stifling British industry with their obduracy, but ironically it was the Labour Governments attempts to do something about this that led to the winter of discontent.

Those people who blame Scargill for this dispute, and use quotes from him that he wanted to bring the government down, that it was a war etc. should just look at some of Thatchers quotes. They are far more vitriolic and - this is key here - she made them first.

She was the one who set out to make it a war. It was always her aim but she had to wait until she was politically strong (following the unecessary Falklands war). She looked on a section of her own people as the enemy and wanted to crush them, to make an example of them! The quotes are all there. It is appalling.

Scargill's quotes are from after the bitter struggle had begun and he realised that the only way to save his members jobs was to bring the government down.

Most people do not realise that the miners were one of the best unions. Their members had implemented more and more modernisation and flexibility than any other despite earning less in real terms than they had 20 years earlier. Furthermore they had actually had wage rise after wage rise agreed with the coal board only to find the Government refuse to sanction it.

Finally an agreement was reached with the Coal Board which would have averted the strike but Thatcher wanted the fight and again refused to sanction it. It was provocation and she got what she wanted. The miners didn't want it. They were portrayed as militants and revolutionaries with Breshnev as their leader. They weren't. They were just people like you and me, doing a dangerous horrible job who had implemented all the changes asked for for less and less money. They did the only thing they could and went on strike.

And then Thatcher used a civil Police Force as a weapon against its own people in a political struggle. And people, who just wanted to be able to eat, were killed.

Just like the servicemen in the Falklands who were killed in a war that she was too arrogant and incompetent to avoid.

She stood for greed is good and victorian values.

So I will celebrate her death, I won't find it sad. Nor will I consider myself to be somehow deranged for doing so any more than I think my Grandad was out of order for doing a jig when Hitler died.

The_Commisar Posted on 2/9 18:07
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Mr Lefty3668
Sorry to pee on your parade but a lot of what you took time to type is utter drivel, a few good ones for you to mull over

Then consider the economy of America. Reagan was such an admirer of Maggie he adopted her economic policies wholeheartedly. When he took over America had problems, but were basically still the strongest economy in the world with a tiny national debt. Go and look up their National Debt when he left. < Erm, that was about as far froma Thatcherite policy as you can get, balanced budgets with a reducing element of state spend was the main theme of her policies.

I'm not sure what you mean by black Friday, I assume that you mean the massive hikes in interest rates which followed the UK's collapse within the ERM, which was under a Major government, and was not a Thatcherite policy.

The rest of your post just makes no sense at all, it looks like a long apology for Scargill.

2/10, try harder.

moxzin Posted on 2/9 21:32
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I'm interested to know what the alternatives were to going to war over the Falklands (genuinely). For me it looks like British territory was aggressively invaded against the population's will, and we were forced to fight and get it back. Seems black and white to me, so what the grounds for using the Falkies to beat her with?

speckyget Posted on 2/9 21:58
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

The alternative was to do as the Labour government had done previously and keep a cruiser in the region rather than withdraw it to save a few bob, thereby sending the message to Galtieri that we weren't too fussed, and an invasion would not be resisted.

grantus Posted on 2/9 22:09
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Im going to have my tuppence worth, but am not interested in getting into a political debate. All I remember that we lost our milk, apart from that there was no other personal impact on me as i was still a child and can only remember images on tv regarding her controvertial policies.

I appreciate that she conjures up a lot of emotions in people. Good and bad.

As a leader of people, a figuerhead for this nation and when people look back on the history of our country, she will ultimately and rightfully be remembered as a herione. In my opinion.

One thing that you cant argue about is this.

She was the first woman PM, she was realected many times for PM and she will be remembered for long, long time. She has my respect as a political leader. She has pride, real pride to be english, something that is sooo un pc these days.

irishjohn Posted on 2/9 22:50
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Depends how you balance the books.
Lets see... hmmmm sell them something thats already theirs.
Water Board
Electricity Board
Gas Board
Thats the silver gone
Now then what else is costing us...ahhhh
British Leyland
British Coal
British Shipbuilding
saved a few bob there
what about the people. ....Who!
Also lets not lay out for any major projects and that should finish off the rest of heavy industry and all its suppliers.
what about the council houses... yeah sell them off the councils housing stock is reduced we don`t have to give them as much and we`ll also cap the bastxxds.
Hey that bank TSB can we hijack that too it doesnt seem to be owned by any bugger?
Lets give it a go. ....Foiled... TWXTS
Hey what about the people.
Love Thatcher the milk snatcher
Good Economics if ya like but it ruines peoples lives

--- Post edited by irishjohn on 2/9 23:04 ---

irishjohn Posted on 2/9 23:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


mcgurn Posted on 3/9 0:38
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Furkin villain of the highest order a villain essentially because of her lack of humanity , power when exercised and devoid of a human context is the abuse of power. The first responsibility of the powerful, elected or not, is to not abuse their position, she did. And as for the myth of her 'democratic election' - 'it was the Sun what did it' and my how the Dirty Digger benefitted.
Democracy (40% turnout) is a myth Representative democracy is simply another clever ruse to keep us all in our place, the place being the shoite council house we bought as a result of the privilege of being allowed to borrow money at extorionate interest rates for 25 years or so. Get real all of you, stop whingeing about it and do something about it,they've got you by the bollotts, they know they have and their fellow traveller The Commisar knows it too.

headred Posted on 3/9 0:41
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Spinoza is the anomaly. In the century that saw the birth of bourgeois ideology and the bourgeois State, Spinoza discovered an alternative mode of thought and practice, a nondialectical path to social organization and liberation. Spinoza's work illuminates an alternative to the bourgeois arc of Modern thought that extends from Hobbes to Rousseau and Hegel. Spinozian ontology presents an absolutely positive and univocal conception of being, founded on the material power of its own constitutive force. It is a "savage" conception in that it rejects any preformed model of order, any external organization, any hierarchy, and insists instead on being continually remade through a constitutive process on the immanent field of forces. This "savage" metaphysics prepares the terrain for a radically democratic vision in which social order is constituted exclusively by the collective practices and desires of the multitude

beera Posted on 3/9 1:24
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Got me bottle of bubbly ready.(Can`t be long now).

onthemap Posted on 3/9 1:40
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

your kids will look back and see what you missed. Absolute Saint.Oh and Gibson bulldozered Ayresome park so you will want to crucify him then... thought not.
The only people that hated Maggie are the ones that hate change and the resulting hard work needed to make things better.
Get a life and a job.

bblf Posted on 3/9 1:42
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

feckin evil slut FACT.

onthemap Posted on 3/9 1:44
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

What a forthright and well thought out repost.You really are the son of god.

grantus Posted on 3/9 1:45
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

That comment is disgusting! Shame on you, go to bed.

onthemap Posted on 3/9 1:50
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I agree - these people have no idea.

onthemap Posted on 3/9 2:15
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

mmm. looks like you world leaders need to sleep.Dont worry tomorrow will bring something else you can comment on without being there.

borojap Posted on 3/9 2:57
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Anyone thought of the probably the 3 most basic services a country provides its citizens - education, healthcare and transport? Now, she made those the envy of the rest of the world, didn't she?

br14 Posted on 3/9 3:16
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Education; Healthcare and Transport.

Are you suggesting Maggie was responsible for problems in these areas?

Education: Think she may have reduced grants - but university education was still free under Thatcher if my memory serves me correctly. Wasnt it Blair that started tuition fees?

Healthcare: Cant see that is was any worse under Thatcher than anyone else. Healthcare is a bottomless pit capable of absorbing every penny available. It's really just about priorities. Did Maggie introduce private healthcare? If so that made the UK similar to many other countries in Europe and beyond - cant see a problem with that either really.

Transport: I assume you're referring to rail privatisation and that was enacted under John Major in 1993. I believe the number of passenger miles has actually increased since privatisation. The only part that didnt seem to work too well after privatisation was the rail network itself - perhaps because it was the part closest in structure to the original nationalised organisation!

The two major actions of Maggie that really seem to upset people were the miners strike and the poll tax.

Clearly breaking the back of the miners union was the main objective. If you want to know why, just ask the previous Labour Prime Minister (Jim Callaghan?).

The Poll Tax was very badly implemented and clearly a mistake. Though the fact is that it is much fairer and more representative than council tax or any other property tax - however difficult it might be to collect.

--- Post edited by br14 on 3/9 3:16 ---

borojap Posted on 3/9 5:22
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Education - University tuition fees?! A bit of a strange one to pick on in your defence of her. Yes, university tuition was still free under Thatcher; but are you seriously suggesting she deserves credit for that? It had been free for long before she arrived and given that it was her government that took the decision to get rid of grants, only a fool would imagine that she wouldn't have later gone for the tuition fees if she'd stayed longer. And she didn't just REDUCE grants, she got rid of them. They were phased out and little bits of them lingered after she'd gone, but it was her that made this decision.

Anyway, education is hardly just about university. She effectively took money away from state schools and pumped it into private schools via the assisted places scheme. This was presented as being an opportunity for able but poor kids to go to a nice school, but in practice usually just helped out the wealthy who'd had fallen on hard times. She also helped reduce many state schools to the sink schools they became - not just through diverting funding they needed through the aforementioned assisted places scheme to the private sector which catered for the rich and didn't need it, but also by allowing the schools in the poorer areas to drop further by losing their better pupils to schools in leafier areas.
And we haven't even touched on school milk, meals or the selling off of school sports and recreation facilities. Ever noticed how fat the UK is getting these days? Mmm, could there be a link, there?

No, not just referring to rail privatisation. Of course, the way she ran down the railways is part of it, and funny how again people defending her try to get her off the hook for stuff that was her idea, set in motion by her and only finalised by someone else because she was removed from power prematurely. No, I'm thinking of lots of other things that fekced up the UK's transport system. She prohibited subsidies of bus fares, making previously affordable essential travel much less so for many people relying on it the most. She de-regulated bus services and generally cut costs that led to things like safety having a much lower priority. Basically, she got lots of people out of public transport, that was serving a whole community rather than individuals and causing less environmental damage, and into cars with the results obvious today. Over the last 15 years I've met lots of people who visited the UK as foreign tourists from comparable industrialized nations - not a single one who had to rely on public transport around the UK spoke highly of it.

If you can't see that healthcare was any worse under Thatcher than anyone else then you need to look a bit harder at what was there before she came along. Someone else has already mentioned the impact on mental health. Ever wondered why we have to pinch nurses from developing nations and can't recruit enough of our own?

TWO main things she did that upset people? TWO?

--- Post edited by borojap on 3/9 6:30 ---

The_Commisar Posted on 3/9 7:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I think a few people fail to realise what a bad state the UK was in.
We had been bailed out by the IMF.
We had a period of intense labour unrest that looked to be getting worse.
We were losing money hand over fist to Europe.

Something had to be done otherwise the UK would simply stop being a viable state.

The post war concensus had delivered a horrible state of affairs.

We needed a revolution and we got one.

A point to note re the welfare state and the NHS; It failed.
It did not achieve what it was set up to do. It was unsustainable. Inflation in the NHS was running at 6 times the rate of inflation of the rest of the economy. We still had relative and in many cases absolute poverty. The main plank that it was built upon (full employment) was vanishing.
It needed to be rebuilt in a way that was sustainable. That involved private sector involvement through PFI and private insurance.

Anyone who thinks that the UK had any other options seems to be thinking of a far rosier land that did not exist. No other politician was prepared to take the task on.

The Poll tax - local government funding has still not been addressed by any party since. So thanks to a few rioters, we still have an unsustainable model.

Education - yes it's a real mess, not suire why there are now more people in higher education than ever before, perhaps they know something I don't.

And beinf a fellow traveller is great thanks, I enjoy the scenery.

borojap Posted on 3/9 7:54
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Commisar, what exactly do you think the NHS was "set up to do"?

littlejimmy Posted on 3/9 7:58
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

This one just keeps going and going!

irishjohn Posted on 3/9 9:26
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


The_Commisar Posted on 3/9 9:42
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

The NHS was part of the post war fabian vision that is the "Welfare State".
Beveridges premise was that it would be a 60 year cycle before it's (the NHS/welfare state) job would be complete.
20 Years of rising costs as the NHS expanded to cope with the population.
20 Years of stable costs.
20 Years of falling costs as the health of the nation improved.

Beveridge did not forsee the advances in medicine, hence we got 60 years of rising costs and no great improvement in health, as new and different health issues were found. And, we never addressed preventative healthcare in the way we could have.

Plus, the funding was based on the assumption of permanent full employment.
So when the basic 60 year assumption fell apart, and the employment assumption fell part, the model was no longer valid. Instead we had massive expectations and no means to fund it.

Thats why we had to address it.

My view is that we came close when we introduced the provider purchaser split - there are no natural forces in our model of healthcare to control costs/inflation (thats from a senior lecturer in Social Policy who did his thesis on drug costs in the UK) but no party has been brave enough to tackle the assumptions we have. sooner or later we have to, other wise every single penny we make could be eaten by the NHS.

Sorry to waffle, but you did ask

littlejimmy Posted on 3/9 10:19
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

What do you do for a living, Mr C.? You seem to be a veritable font of knowledge!

The_Commisar Posted on 3/9 10:36
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I am a project manager, my degree is in Public Admin, my specialist subjects
a) talking bolloxs <- wine affects this
b) byzantine history
And I think this board os bloody marvelous, it's like google with humour.

j_orourke Posted on 3/9 10:39
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

What's the story behind your hat (shabka) Mr C ?

The_Commisar Posted on 3/9 10:49
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Always wanted one as being "follicly challenged" have to keep the noggin warm, just like them, love the soviet era art work as well, so what the hell.

Plus, it's ironic in a way.

You will be happy to note that Mrs C has "tidied it up".
I'm going to turn the house upside down to find it.

irishjohn Posted on 3/9 11:49
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Soviet Art work..Hmmm conjurs images of giant red stars above fireplace and signed picture of Moscow Dynamo back four on huge sideboard.
This Font of knowledge LJ speaks of, it seems to me although leaving people with a brilliant mind it also seems to damage hair folicles which is a shame.
For instance my friend who has wavey hair (its waving Ta-ra) is really clever and he went to the doctor to see what he could get for his loss of hair... instead of a cure or even a hat he gave him a box to put it in.

borojap Posted on 3/9 13:21
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

commisar, I accept your apology for waffling, although you're mistaken I never asked you to do so at all. Perhaps someone else did.

I'm quite well aware of the background to the NHS, thanks. I just asked what YOU thought the NHS was set up to do. Fairly simple question, I reckoned. But don't fret, I can probably work out what the answer would be now.

The_Commisar Posted on 3/9 15:36
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

in my view the role of the NHS is to improve the health of the nation.
I would personnaly say more should be spent on preventative health care.

The mechanism as to HOW to improve the health of the nation is a political question.

I do not think the NHS is achieving what it could with the current resources.

Please note - I worked in the NHS for some six years not too long ago.

ray192 Posted on 3/9 16:00
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

villain the fooking bitch

borojap Posted on 3/9 16:02
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Cheers for that. I've similar length experience of another public service referred to above. And for a long while during the 80s and 90s I went out with a lass working in the NHS.

I note your experience, and never suggested nor thought you knew nothing about it. Many people have experience in the NHS with a wide range of opinions on it amongst them.

br14 Posted on 3/9 16:04
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

It's half time!

Borojap - you are clearly correct. Maraget Thatcher is single handedly responsible for the failure of education, healthcare, transport and all other ills affecting the UK.

borojap Posted on 3/9 16:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

br 14, impressive argument there.

It's not half-time. 2nd half began over 5 mins ago.

and england have just scored

--- Post edited by borojap on 3/9 16:12 ---

irishjohn Posted on 3/9 16:13
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Your right Commisar.
Preventative medicine is the Answer with FREE MILK to give us calcium and Mackerson or Guinness to stop aneamia.

The_Commisar Posted on 3/9 16:14
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Cheers for the footy update BJ, more than happy to share a pint with you and discuss in detail.
The pork scratchings are on me.

borojap Posted on 3/9 16:22
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

aye fair enough, comm, they make me fart, mind!

The_Commisar Posted on 3/9 16:30
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Too much information

br14 Posted on 3/9 17:02
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

It was half time when I posted!

And I learned everything I know about reasoned argument from you... ;-)

borojap Posted on 3/9 17:06
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Impressive again.

You need some lessons in sarcasm though. You're crap at that, son

br14 Posted on 3/9 17:09
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Obviously haven't had as much practise as you...

Sorry - but you walked into that :-)

borojap Posted on 3/9 17:11
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I think summat went whoosh there

Lefty3668 Posted on 4/9 13:55
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Guess who said this then.

'no one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions. He had money as well'

BigBadSteve Posted on 4/9 14:35
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Thatcher made lots of quotes like the one above.

Try: I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.

She was right you know; we kicked her out.

sw2boro Posted on 4/9 18:43
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Those who've picked people up potentially celebrating someone dying shouldn't forget the woman's word "Rejoice!" at the end of the Falklands War. Sure, she wasn't directly referring to an individual's death, but there was certainly an edge to it that was deeply unpleasant.

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/9 15:33
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Big Bad Steve,

Yes that is quite jaw dropping.

I have had a look for a few more. Surely the most jaw dropping is the little speech she made when she first took office.

'Where there is discord may we bring harmony,
Where there is error may we bring truth,
Where there is doubt may we bring faith,
Where there is despair may we bring hope.'

Did she do ANY of that? In fact, didn't she get it completely backwards?

They were apparently the words of St Francis of Assisi. I bet he was miffed. Wait till he sees her ....

Ah well, maybe not.

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/9 16:55
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


I have just seen your reply to me from a few days ago.

'2/10, must do better'.

So do you get up many peoples noses then?

P.S. I was of course referring to Shrove Tuesday.

P.P.S. Re the miners strike, I take it you think it was something that my mate Arthur started just to try and bring down the government then?

P.P.S Do you decide that someone is not a villain as long as their economic policy APPEARED to be sound? Anyway, Thatchers Britain and Reagans America followed broadly the same economic policies. They were big mates you know.

The_Commisar Posted on 5/9 17:05
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

see below

'2/10, must do better'.

So do you get up many peoples noses then?
>I do try
Bottom line is that your argument that the US and Britain followed the same economic polices is profoundly wrong. Theres no other way to describe it.
P.S. I was of course referring to Shrove Tuesday. < Look, I just don't get this, are you on about the ERM/Pound issue ?

P.P.S. Re the miners strike, I take it you think it was something that my mate Arthur started just to try and bring down the government then?
> Yes, the fact he did it on the back of a dispute about pit closures is neither here nor there, Scargill was looking for a fight, he got one that the whole country realised he was going to lose.
P.P.S Do you decide that someone is not a villain as long as their economic policy APPEARED to be sound? Anyway, Thatchers Britain and Reagans America followed broadly the same economic policies. They were big mates you know.< In some eays yes, but on economic policy, not really.
And on the basis that we HAD to go through the changes she put in place, it was a matter of when and how, then yes, a hero, she saw the job that needed to be done and did it.

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/9 17:56
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Well, you've got right up my nose on this!

Regarding the economy. I will come back to you on this when I can phrase my argument better (I don't want to lose marks!)You may then begin to see what I am driving at. So watch this space matey.

As for your comments on the miners strike. Are you winding me up?
I feel quite sure you are because you seem quite intelligent - a moron all the same - but please just confirm that you are yanking my chain.

littlejimmy Posted on 5/9 19:04
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Leave him alone. Commisar's alright. For a Thatch-lover.

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/9 19:21
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I would like to leave him well alone but he is just too .......... goddamn smug.

And wrong.

If he had been a teacher (which I have a sneaky feeling he'd like to be) and not a flaming project manager, whatever one of those is, would he have been one of the popular ones or one that has more than his fair share of nicknames, do you think?

And anyway, 'not bad for a thatch lover' is a watchemacallit.

littlejimmy Posted on 5/9 19:24
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


bahrgedo Posted on 5/9 19:29
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

sorry to jump in at this last stage

maybe someone might of said it before, but from what i see no one has mentioned the fact that thatcher tried to kill english football, she banned not just liverpool but every english club from europe for years, late eighties saw a dramatic drop in attendances around the country, and it is her fault we are paying these ridiclous prices now, as all seater grounds were not the answer, better policing was, and there was no suprise the rise of hooliganism collided with the thatcher era, we should all really thanks sky sports as if it wasnt for that id like to see what state our great league would be like now

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/9 19:29
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

He's got acne too!

littlejimmy Posted on 5/9 19:34
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Interesting new angle, there, bahrgedo, but I thought UEFA banned the English clubs, not the government.

irishjohn Posted on 5/9 19:36
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Apathetic interest?.

br14 Posted on 5/9 19:36
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

bahrgedo - depends on your point of view. Some would argue that footie has improved as a result of Thatcher. Look at Boro for example.

Whether Thatcher had anything to do with it or not - not sure - but the changes you mention have revolutionised the club and doubled attendances - even with the prices charged.

That and changes she made to industry mean we have a Chairman that can afford to support his club financially. So obviously someone in Teesside was doing ok during the Thatcher era.

Having said that, there are times I am nostalgic for Ayresome and the repartie that seems to have been lost.

bahrgedo Posted on 5/9 19:39
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

thatcher got the ball rolling, the day after the disaster, thatcher stated she wanted all english teams banned, now im sure if she wouldnt of pushed for this only liverpool would of been banned

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/9 19:40
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Ah but you see she needed the Police for sorting out all the rioters, striking miners, poll tax protesters etc.

It was much easier to phase out football altogether, hence selling off all the playing fields and fiendishly using the proceeds to help balance the economy (Mr Commissar).

The_Commisar Posted on 5/9 19:44
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I'm not yanking your chain, I just know a little about reagens financial policy (deficit economics is the term coined for it from memory). The stock quote on this is "are you worried about the deficit Mr President ?" "The deficit is big enough to look after itself".
They do share a common loathing of "big government" but for different philosophical reasons.

Simle question, if Thatchers policy was the same/similar, why did Lawson payback a lump of the national debt ?
I apologise for appearing smug, but's not my fault I'm right!!!

Scargill was defo out for a fight, he was spoiling for it.
He then
a) Called a strike without a (national) ballot
b) Gave about 6 months notice
c) Went on strike in summer

Now thats the act of someone who wants martyrdom.
Not someone acting in the best interests of his union !!!!

Teacher ? Nah, sorry, don't like kids.

The Football ID cards (against which I actively campaigned against) was a horrible bit of legislation.

However, a question - what caused that legislation to be proposed ?
Was it Liverpool fans rioting at heysel ?
Was it Livepool fans turning up on the thousands at Sheff Wed ?
Was it the poor state of the grounds resulting in disasters like Bradford ?

It's all too easy (IMHO) to blame those who try to do things about issues, than actually look at the causes ?

Genuine questions and I hope you reply.

--- Post edited by The_Commisar on 5/9 19:52 ---

bahrgedo Posted on 5/9 19:48
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

br14- valid point, but attendances only picked up when sky came in, sky sports made the english game far more appealing and family friendly

as an everton fan i personally dont blame liverpool for our downfall, i blame thatcher as only liverpool should of been banned, well known fact that everton were the greatest force in english football in the mid-eighties and knowing our luck it collided with heysel

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/9 23:34
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


You may know a little about Reaganomics and about Mrs T's schemes, but you only think you know much about the miners strike.

Neither did I until quite recently. What I thought (as it was reported) at the time was basically this:-

The unions had brought the country to its knees in the 70's. They had the Labour Party in its control and they wanted to bring it back into power so they could effectively be in charge of the country and introduce even more left wing policies until we were Russia. The leading and most militant union was the miners.The government wanted to modernise their industry to make it profitable, but the miners were well paid, had a cushy number and therefore were not going to allow this government to change anything even though the rest of us were subsidising them.

Then last year my mate said Billy Bragg was on in concert in Durham, do you fancy it? I said 'yeah, I really like quite a few of his songs (especially 'A Lover Sings')'. Just as long as he doesn't do too many political ones I thought.

We got there at 7. Took our seats and found out that he wasn't due on until 10. 'By, there must be quite a few support acts' I thought and wondered if they would be any good. Then I noticed a big banner in the backdrop. It was the badge of the Durham Miners Federation. I had arrived at a 'celebration' of the 20th Anniversary of the strike. I then had to sit through nearly 3 hours of films, poems, slideshows punctuated with am-dram and speeches. I couldn't even turn to my mate to give him a mouthful for bringing me to this @~#@#! show because the place was packed with former miners and their wives.

So there I was, a captive audience. What choice did I have but to listen. Perhaps this should have been forced on Mrs T and her ministers, who always at the time avoided coming anywhere near the places their policies impacted on, did you notice, as in truth it was very very moving.

What really came home to me what a struggle it was and what enormous courage the miners showed under extreme adversity. Above all they showed (and still show) great dignity. Far more dignity than Mrs Thatcher has ever shown since she had her job taken away from her.

Throughout the show though they kept showing statistics and quotes and such like that quite astounded me. Frankly, I didn't really believe them and thought it was propaganda to justify the strike.

But I have stumbled across plenty of information to convince me it was correct.

craig_pancrack Posted on 6/9 3:08
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

"There is no such thing as society, there is only you and I" Margaret Thatcher 1980.


The_Commisar Posted on 6/9 7:11
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

fair point re miners strike, and never said the miners were not courageous."Lions led by donkeys" as Kinnock described them in one of the best labour party conferences I have ever seen.
I'm sure if I had sat at a 3 hour poltical broadcast I would have learned a lot.

Your right in what you say
"The unions had brought the country to its knees in the 70's. They had the Labour Party in its control and they wanted to bring it back into power so they could effectively be in charge of the country and introduce even more left wing policies until we were Russia. The leading and most militant union was the miners.The government wanted to modernise their industry to make it profitable, but the miners were well paid, had a cushy number and therefore were not going to allow this government to change anything even though the rest of us were subsidising them. "
In which case, what was the governments duty ?
To accept what the miners wanted ?
Or to defeat them, utterly.

You can guess my vote.

Thoughts re Heysel ?

PS I like Billy Bragg - looks like the devil does have all the best tunes.

--- Post edited by The_Commisar on 6/9 7:12 ---

zaphod Posted on 6/9 7:56
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

But, Lefty, the problem is: what is the Government supposed to do about an uneconomic industry which can only survive by having taxpayers' money pumped into it? Thatcher did what had to be done in (to my view) an unnecessarily callous and brutal way, but it could be argued that the previous 10 years of militant resistance to closures by the miners made the manner of it inevitable.

Lefty3668 Posted on 6/9 10:19
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Miners strike history lesson. As not reported at the time.

Prior to 1984 the miners had twice been on strike since 1926. In 1972, because they hadn't had a pay rise since the war, which is surely an example of what an union should do, to thwart an employer from EXPLOITING its workforce, not militancy.

The pay rise the Tory government gave made them the highest paid section of society, however within a year the escalating inflation (had we just gone into Europe or introduced VAT or something?) meant that they were only 18th on the list. In 1974 they struck again.

Now I'm not sure what to think about this second strike. Was it greed? Had they got the taste for power? Or was it the duty of the leadership to again look after its members in times of ever increasing inflation?

Whatever, it brought down the Tory Government. And Mrs Thatcher determined then that there would be payback. She did not even look at co-operating with the union to move the country forward. She wanted to smash it.

You say that Scargill wanted a battle and set out to prepare the ground. I say it was Mrs Thatcher who was determined to have that battle.

And here is the evidence:-

According to The Economist, in 1976 she asked MP Nicholas Ridley to draft plans to combat 'enemies of the next Tory government' This report stated that the battleground to take on the unions should be carefully selected and prepared and that the coal industry would be the preferred choice. Which suited Thatch. The 'Ridley Report' suggested importing coal and building up stocks, encouraging recruitment of non union drivers to move supplies, cutting off social security payments to strikers and organise the Police into large mobile units to combat picketing.

Now this could all just about be said to be prudent planning but not when you consider the following.

1.Following the inconclusive 13 week strike by the Steel Workers in 1980 legislation was drawn up to remove the unions legal immunities and outlaw secondary picketing.

2. According to her biographer, Hugo Young, from 1981 onwards the National Coal Board was 'given every financial and other encouragement to produce more coal than anyone could consume, and the Central Electricity Generating Board given similar inducements to pile up the stocks at power stations'. The miners actually worked overtime to create a 6 month surplus.

3. The Police were equipped with new vehicles, communications equipment, weapons and body armour.

4. We won the Falklands war. Thatcher was popular and re-elected. She now referred to the Argentines as the enemy without and the miners as the enemy within. They were a 'scar across the face of the country'.

Having prepared the ground well, what was now important was the timing of the strike. To say that Scargill wanted the strike in the summer is nonsense.

6. According to the Sunday Times, it was the governments strategy to provoke a strike in early spring when the demand for electricity and coal stated to fall.

7. In the 12 months leading up to the strike the NCB had closed 23 pits employing 21,000 miners, meeting with only sporadic resistance by the NUM, according to the BBC. The union recognised that some changes were inevitable and necessary.

8. Rumours then began to circulate of the NCBs plans to cut as many as 100,000 of the remaining 184,000 jobs in the industry.

7. The trigger. On 1 March 1984 It was announced Cortonwood colliery was to close in 5 weeks time. Why? The workforce had just been assured there jobs were safe for another 5 years, the pit baths had been refurbished and it wasn't even high on the list of uneconomic pits. But it was in South Yorkshire - Scargill country.

Thatcher liked to pretend that this was a dispute between the the NCB and the NUM ( remember she was vehemently opposed to government intervention in industry). But the NCB wanted a much more phased approach. The confrontation was clearly driven 100% by Maggie, a fact confirmed by the president of the NCB who complained to a reporter after one meeting at No. 10 that I have weals all over my back, which I will be happy to show you.

So was the strike necessary? Well it might have happened anyway given what Scargill was like, but we will never know because clearly Maggie was going to make sure it happened.

As for the argument that the pits needed closing as they were no longer economically viable. Certainly many were coming to the end of their life and many were at that time uneconomic. But could some have been made profitable with some reorganisation? Again we will never know because Thatcher never even wanted to give them a chance.

Were all the ones reckoned to be out of coal actually out of coal? There were many rumours of reports around at the time which said otherwise. What I do know is this:-

When the last deep mine in Wales (Tower Colliery) was also eventually listed for closure the same reasons were cited lack of financial viability, dwindling coal reserves in the mine and a diminishing marketplace for the type of coal mined.

The miners themselves challenged these reasons. They used their redundancy payments and asked the government if they could buy it themselves. Checkmated, the Government had to agree. Guess what. More than a decade on the mine is still working, still profitable. In fact there are plans now to expand, to tap in to seams that were worked by other nearby collieries that were closed long ago.

If nothing else they give they prove there was no substance in those exhausted/uneconomical claims. So could this have been an option with many of the others. You have to say yes, dont you? But Mrs T was so keen to crush the enemy that it was never even looked at. Of course after the strike there were no miners left with any money except the Notts/Derby ones in the super pits that never went on strike.

The most disgusting thing about the whole strike, and the one that still has bitter scars is the mobilisation of a civil Police force against whole towns of its own country. Brian Walden, the political analyst Thatcher thought was the best, said the strike was nothing short of civil war without the guns. And for what? Thatchers arrogance.

Hero or villain?

On this issue, does anyone still maintain she was not a villain? Please I have spent a lot of time on this so would anyone reading it let me know if you agree with or, if not, what it is that you can find that can tell me I am wrong.

Incidentally, I did not have any of this saved anywhere, I have dug it up to confirm what I saw at that Billy Bragg miners gig. I guess I am as angry that I was not told the whole truth about this at the time as many people are over the WMD in Iraq lies.

And Commissar, from an economics point of view, what was the cost of this strike? The treasury estimate it cost a 1.5bn just in extra policing and supplying the power stations with oil rather than coal .

And do you know that Maggie herself later admitted that she was only 6 weeks (then the reserves were gone) away from it bringing her down. If the miners had only known.

But what a gamble eh. Tell me, if you came home having won 500 the missus would be delighted right. But would you tell her that you'd gambled the house in the first place?

red_rebel Posted on 6/9 10:21
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

But the coal industry WASN'T uneconomic and that is the heart of the matter.

Coal was profitable and efficient. The uneconomic industry was nuclear which will never show a profit in 1,000 years.

But for Thatcher the NUM was a political target. The miners had brought down Heath in 1974. She set out from day one to plot a destructive and costly confrontation for revenge.

To say that Scargill was planning a strike is only half true. He certainly knew what was coming but wasn't half clever enought o grasp the sheer scale of confrontation the state wanted.

The Ridley Plan drawn up by the Tory cabinet envisaged a wide confrontation and drew up a raft of legislation that was pushe dthrough over the next few years that would allow them to deny strikers miners families access to welfare benefits. She intended to starve them.

Union legislation prevented other unions aiding them and the NUM using its assets to fund political action.

The state prepared fot industrail action. Police were trained, potential scabs were identified in advance and secret agenst infilitrated the NUM.

It was a co-ordinated set peice war. Once the NUM fell for the provocation - the McGregor hitlist of 50 pits was deliberately leaked to Scargill -Thatcher went fotr it.

Mining areas became practically police states. For a year Yorkshire was under martial law. The police were encouraged to be vicious and were not identifiable. It was quite clear what was going on. Even senior Tories were embarrrassed at th ethird world appraoch to industrail disputes.

That is when Thatcher revealed her true colours. As far as she was concerned the miners - these brave ordinary family men doing a dangferous job, the salt of the earth who had worked double shifts in the war to power the fight for freedom - were the enemy within and she was going to break them no matter what the rights and wroing sof the economic case and no matter what cost to the economy or social fabric of the nation.

Not since the 1820s had a prime minister used the state so brutally against its own citizens. And enjoyed it so much.

red_rebel Posted on 6/9 14:14
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Plus there is the villainy that was the grand theft of public assets sold off cheaply to her rich mates to make even more money.

Privatisation was so badly wrong on almost evry count that it defies belief.

Firstly there was the notion that something already owned by the people can be sold back to them.

Secondly was the scandalous undervaluing of the assets. In order to ensure that privatisation was asuccess shares were deliberately undervalued.

This ensured that 'Sid' made a quick 500 when he cashed his British Gaz shares in. Hundreds of thousands of peopel with a few bob to spend thus made a small profit.

But the big banks and city institutione that bought blocks of millions of shares made a vast profit.

The small shareholders 500 was hush money. You had been implicated in the scam. Don't cause a fuss or they might want it back.

That would be bad enough in itslf but who was making the money? Firms with Tory MPs and cabinet ministers on their boards. Firms who made big donation sto the Conservative Party

In a third world country if a government pulled off a scam like that and handed state assets to friends of the president for peanuts it would be called corruption.

zaphod Posted on 6/9 14:36
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

The mines were uneconomic. The Electricity Generating Boards were forced to buy coal at above-market prices in order to subsidise the pits. This, of course, meant that electricity consumers (i.e. all of us) were subsidising the miners' pay. Even imported coal has proved less economic (and dirtier) than gas for electricity generation. Just because Thatcher subsidised uneconomic nuclear power, doesn't mean she should have subsidised the pits as well. One blunder doesn't justify making another.

Of course, unions are supposed to protect their members, but the 1974 strike made miners very unpopular (people were sympathetic in 1972) because their strike caused real misery. Thatcher considered another strike inevitable, so she engineered the confrontation at a time she could win it, instead of waiting for Scargill to call it when it would cause maximum pain. A good general fights on ground of his own choosing.

Lefty3668 Posted on 6/9 15:14
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


Re the stadiums, I am pretty sure that Heysel was a combination of a delapidated stadium that was unfit to hold the event, lax organisation by the authorities, taunting Juve supporters and finally the hooligan Liverpool supporters.

if I was to name just one of these as being the worst then, simply because it was a deliberate attempt to injure people I would have to say it was the Liverpool hooligans.

Bradford was surely the stadium being a deathtrap waiting to happen. I don't know how the fire started though.

Hillsborough. I think it was mainly shambolic organisation on the day but I am sure that the stadium played a part. Many people were crushed against the fences and as they were put there to curb hooligan acts such as the Millwall (?) pitch invasion I suppose that can be cited as a reason too.

Lefty3668 Posted on 6/9 16:45
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


I agree that she gets 10/10 for planning.

Isn't the point though that a good general doesnt attack his own people.

Isn't it even more to the point that a good politician avoids going to war except as a last resort.

Everything I have seen points towards her doing everything she could to hurtle towards it. If you have evidence to show me otherwise then cite it.

On the profitability of the pits angle you and Red Rebel are poles apart. Can you both be right? I wouldn't have thought so, so if either of you can point me to some sources please do.

For the moment though I will side with Red Rebel as he seems a thoroughly nice chap and there is that pit in Wales.

How do you explain that Zaphod?

The_Commisar Posted on 6/9 18:37
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Right, jsy back checking my e-mail and have war and peace to reply to, as I am cooking tea tonight, a few selected responses....
Would love to do a full response point by point etc, but no can do.

OK, That cher picker her target, prepared for it, went for it and won. Now I am assuming that the various info you quote to me (Ridley report) was all avilable in afvance, I do not think the agenda was ever gidden, so why on earth did Scargill still go for it and try to win ? It most certainly wasn't for the sake of his members. He wanted to defeat a legally elected government.
The miners leadership were the last bastion of the failed socialist/marxist model. They were an enemy.
A lot of innocent people got hurt.
Trying to lay the blame at Thatchers door (and her door alone) fails to take into account the very points you make.
Yes senior memners of the conservative party at the time were shocked, and sacked/removed. The old p[olitical concenus had produced people who thought they should have a job for life even if they were digging up mud. And that was from Scargill himself.

What was the cost of the strike ?
If ut had won the last 20 years political history would have been very different, I can not see the current levels of economic prosperity existing.
You used the metaphor of betting the house, if the bet had been lost then the house, the street and most of the neighbourhood would have gone.
Re pit in wales, simply put GB PLC was is not in that business, we cannot do well at it. If that is the case why exhaust national effort and resources in it ? Without doing research I am 99% sure that it may have stayed open an additional 6 months or a year, however we can not manufacture and produce goods as cheaply as our competitors, if you want proof of that argument go look at your wardrobe, most of your clothes will have been made off shore, what make of car do you drive ?
Labour costs have made it prohibitive to manufacture in the UK.

R_R re public assets.
You fail to mention the misuse of another public asset, taxation revenues. The public made a concious choice, for lower taxes. That involved selling off assets and getting the goverment out of industry (where it had a rubish record).
The reason that nuclear never made a profit was that it spent massively on the AGR programme (under Tony Benn) when commercial nucear reactors (PWR) was available off the shelf and was deployed in France.
Governments that meddle in markets get it wrong.

Off to cook.
A good debate this, more please

speckyget Posted on 6/9 18:48
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Hang about Commi - I'm your estate agent and you ask me to sell your house as you feel you shouldn't live in that particular locale any more. Being a bit of a sap (no offence, work with me on this) you give me total power of attorney to do a deal on your behalf, and then nash off on holiday.

Prestatyn, nice.

You return to discover that the sale has been a complete success - hand bitten off as soon as the sign went up. You then find out the buyer sold on your house the same day for three times the price I charged.

Have I been a good steward of your asset? Am I your hero?

red_rebel Posted on 6/9 19:31
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

So people wanted lower taxes? Anotherexample of villainy because she certainly didn't deliver that.

The whole tax cutting image was a con. It neverhappened unless you were very, very rich indeed.

Thatcher didn't cut tax she just moved the burden onto those who could least afford to pay.

For the majority income tax was lowered from 33% to 30% almost immediately. But at the same time VAT was doubled from 7.5% to 15% which had a far bigger impact on the pocket.

Then followed a whole raft of other measures. The link between incomes and pensions was cut leaving the old to have their income eaten away by inflation.

And precription charges soared as the sick and infirm paid to give the super rich their 20% pay cut.

Under Thatcher the total tax take actually rose.

Lefty3668 Posted on 6/9 21:54
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Red Rebel

What was the 1820's thing? Was it the Luddites or was it civil unrest presumably linked to unemployment following the end of the Napoleonic war?

Lefty3668 Posted on 6/9 21:59
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Why is it some of the messages have a reply option and some do not?

MinPin Posted on 6/9 22:25
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


That's a stunning bit of polemical journalism, and it deserves to be more widely read. Thanks for pouring so much effort into it.

Lefty3668 Posted on 6/9 22:46
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Ok the debate seems to have moved on from the Miners Strike to the general economics of the Thatcher era.

I did think that maybe Commisar, Zaphod etc. didn't think that Thatchers actions in the strike was heinous simply because they were unaware of the truth of her behaviour, as I was.

That doesn't seem to be the case. I am frankly gobsmacked that you refuse to admit that she is a villain just over this alone, but there you go.

A couple of final points from me before I attempt to poo poo your ideas that HER economic policies were the bees knees.

IMO she went to war on her own people. To do that you have to have no alternative. To know you have no alternative you must have looked at alternatives. There is no evidence that she did.

Whether the miners leaders had their own agenda or not, it is surely neither here nor there. What alternative did they have other than industrial action when they were faced with seeing 100,000 out of their 184,000 workers lose their jobs with no attempt at consultation?

Economic mines were closed and mines that could become economic were closed simply to destroy the union.

I assume that you take the view that drastic times call for drastic measures and that the ends justify the means.

But if you find your hand caught in some machinery and you are being dragged in wouldn't you start by chopping the hand off at the wrist rather than starting off by just whipping the whole arm off at the shoulder.

Finally, these pits cannot now ever be reopened and some still had coal in them. The reason given for closing them was that they were not economically viable at the time. What about in the future?

Remember, that pit in Rhondda valley is still going 10 years on with plans to open up more seams.

Lefty3668 Posted on 6/9 22:57
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


Thank you. I had to look up what polemical meant to make sure you weren't taking the p1ss.

I guess everyone has a war and peace in them.

red_rebel Posted on 6/9 23:25
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


The ruling classes have always feared the sight of the masses on the streets. In the early 19th century there was social andf economic turmoil.

The end of the Napolionic wars had caused problems as you point out, plus increased industrialisation and urbanisaton but more importantly seditious ideas of democracy had wafted over the channel from revolutionary France.

People were started to talk of voting, secret ballots and electing their own representatives to Parliament.

In August 1819 a meeting was called at St Peters Field in Manchester to discuss the way forward to democrcay. Reports put the crowd between 50,000 and 150,0000. What is certain is that the government panicked and sent in armed cavalry toughened in the battle of Waterloo to wade into their fellow citizens leaving 11 dead and hundreds including women and children - injured.

It became known as the Peterloo Massacre and sparked a long period of repression in which the government tried to stamp out the reform movement, trade union and any talk of democracy. Thousands of radicals were beaten, tortured, imprisoned or transported to Australia for daring to demand one man one vote and secret ballots.

But the forces of progress could not be denied. There grew a massive nationwide agitation around the People's Charter and in 1832, 1828 and 1842 the country came close to revolution before massive concessions were made in regards to voting, secret ballot and the rights to political organisation.

Every right we have ever had we have had to fight for.

Lefty3668 Posted on 7/9 10:51
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Thats very interesting Red Rebel.

I feel quite ashamed not knowing anything about our own path to democracy even though I know a little about the womens struggle to get the vote.

To the population at the time this must have been the all important issue in their lives. But of the Georgian/Victorian era I probably only really know that we had a period of splendid isolation where we expanded the empire and have a passable knowlege of some of the military campaigns, although I have been to Beamish and I have always felt proud that, having by far the greatest scientists, inventors, explorers and entrepreneurs, we shaped the modern world.

Am I right in deducing this struggle was linked to the 'Rotten Boroughs' that Edmund Blackadder alluded to?

red_rebel Posted on 7/9 11:10
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Yes, the old rotten boroughs where just one or two people had the right to vote (usually the local landed gentry) and pocket boroughs where those who could vote who depended on the local gentry for housing and employment. Voting was in public with the candidate, employer and landlord watching closely.

Back then there was a property qualification to vote. The vast majority of people rented not owned their homes. The landlords were usually their employer too, even in the new industrial towns. Workers were completely tied to the

Democracy threatened the control of the lan owning classes.

It was a time of revolution. In America people rose over the concept of 'no taxation without representation'. Most of the workers in England were heavily taxed (a legacy of funding the Napolionic Wars) but had no right to vote and unions were illegal.

People who wanted even the most basic democratic reform (one man one vote, secret ballot, universal sufferage, an end of the propery qualifications) were persecuted.

There were other issues going on in the background too like the campaign against the Corn Laws (tariffs on importing grain which kept prices artificially high and much of the country in semi-permanent starvation), the end of the Poor Laws (a system of workhouses with forced labour in return for food)and a fight to overturn theCombination Acts that outlawed unions.

It was an important era in which the organised working class asserted their muscle for the first time.

Lefty3668 Posted on 7/9 11:52
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

I am heroically avoiding the Joseph Stalin thread. I will not rise to the bait one iota and I am certainly not going to call uncle harry a villain.

Lefty3668 Posted on 7/9 13:06
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Commisar, Zaphod, BL14 etc.

I dont want to put words in your mouths, but is this a fair summing up of your stance on Mrs T ?

Except in times of crisis (i.e. wartime or during times when there is the threat of war), the most important task of a government is to run a successful economy?

Her behaviour over the Poll Tax, the Miners Strike and the Falklands War was shameful, but you are prepared to overlook that and whatever the consequences were for those people affected because of her record on the economy!

red_rebel Posted on 5/1 11:15
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Hoofed for Finny's son's homework.

boroboy75 Posted on 5/1 11:18
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

littlejimmy is a pretend Thatcher hater.
It makes him feel closer to the masses. I bet he was a junior tory in his boarding school days.

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/1 11:54
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?


I still haven't got round to reading about the Peterloo massacre yet, but I heard Melvyn Braggs 'In our time' on R4 recently which was about that and it was riveting.

One thing the professors said that differs from your brief explanation was the role of the Waterloo veterans. Apparently it was the Yeomanry, comprised mainly of the sons of the local landowners and businessmen - those people most under threat by the movement - that were responsible for this atrocity.

The soldiers and cavalry were appalled at this - many of the officers wrote letters condemning what they saw - and actually spent most of the time trying to stop the Yeomanry who acted with a savagery and bloodlust that shocked men who had been at Waterloo.

Two other things that I found very interesting.

1. The censorship that was imposed. Even the imprisoning of one of the main speakers for 6 years just for printing eyewitness reports in his own newspaper, then his wife was also imprisoned for continuing the paper. It was under hastily introduced legislation and was on the grounds of something like inciting civil unrest. The parallels with today are startling.

2. I have been reading a little about the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999 and the parallels with that are even more startling.

Buddy Posted on 5/1 11:56
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Go on then, I'll do it.....

Lefty3668 Posted on 5/1 11:58
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Hope its not a posthumous hurrah for Littlejimmy.

red_rebel Posted on 5/1 12:00
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

Yes, the 'anti-terror' laws today will also be used to prevent lawful political protest.

We are a sophisticated society but the basic political mechanism, vested interests and balance of power is the same. The State will always defend its power by force.

Forgive my chocolate box picture of early 19c history. I could get dour and detailed and mix it with the professors if neccessary but on here it tend to keep it simplistic and colourful. It is seditious propaganda remember.

finny Posted on 5/1 12:08
re: Maggie Thatcher - Hero or Villain?

cheers boys and girls