Privatise Thatcher’s funeral – new petition


2:47 pm - December 21st 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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A new petition on the e-petitions site makes a call I’m sure we can all agree to: Thatcher’s funeral should be privatised.

In keeping with the great lady’s legacy, Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders. The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded.

Surely she would approve of this?

You can sign the petition from here.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Disgruntled Gnome

Bad idea – if it’s anything like PFI it would cost the taxpayer more in the long run …

Delays expected

I also propose that, in remembrance of his service to his adopted country, Tony Blair be buried with full military honours in Arlington Cemetary.

I’d prefer a petition on ending state funerals for politicians (unless perhaps they die in office in certain circumstances). Why is Baroness Thatcher entitled to a state funeral anyway?

Witty, but wrong.

Privatisation isn’t about funding, it’s about delivery 🙂

6. Julian Rowley

I whole heartedly agree. With that in mind I will be happy to donate, with no cost to taxpayers, a wooden stake and mallet.

I’m wiling to donate as long as the 21 gun salute is fired into the coffin, just to make sure.

I also take this thread as acknowledgement that dark humour is now perfectly legitimate, and we’ve seen the last of the manufactured ‘outrage’ that we normally have to put up with?

Let’s do it right now so everyone can enjoy it and guarantee a strong revenue er stream afterward by erecting a urinal on her grave. At 10p per wazz the country’s financial problems would be solved in about a week. How about an Ancient Egyptian theme so we could sacrifice her servants and followers? Preferably Blair and all of New Labour

Totally agree and we can pay for it selling the CD of her feeble cries as we lower her into the grave.

Excellent. And then BSkyB can bid for the broadcast rights, the side of the coffin plastered in adverts, and of course a paltry 0.02% of the profits can go to some charity whilst being trumpeted as evidence of the firm’s “passionate devotion to CSR”.

The opinions expressed on this thread are disgusting. Disagree with Thatcher’s policies all you like, but once you start exulting in somebody’s death like this, you leave behind the one baseline that every halfway moral person throughout history has agreed upon: the importance of human life.

I’m not sure that I agree that human life is more important than any other life, XXX. I was sometimes dubious about whether Thatcher belonged to the human race in any case.

People are entitled to be glad when someone who caused devastation to their country, through their ignorance, and absolute certainty that THEY were right, dies.

Was it not right for the Libyans or the Iraqis (although, they were actually better off under Sadam), the Romanians and just these last few days, the north Koreans, to be glad to be rid of people who have ruined their lives and the whole structure of their once agreeable country..

‘Don’t speak ill of the dead’ is a rather worn out idea. I’ll be glad when Thatcher has gone, and it’s the height of hypocrisy for she, who wanted everything privatised, to demand that the state provide her with the cost of a state funeral.

And, there is no reason for her to have one. Only royals and 2 other commoners have ever had a state funeral. Even the Queen Mother who was apparently much loved, did not have a full state funeral.

The Duke of Wellington battled against the French, Winston Churchill led through WW2. Margaret Thatcher sank a ship full of young men, which was sailing away from the area of battle, put around 2 million Brits on the scrap heap, deregulated everything, with the attendant mess, and taught us that to be greedy was good. Wicked woman, and I’ll have to help pay for her funeral!

While I have no liking for Mrs Thatcher I agree that it’s a bit distasteful to go on about their funeral when they’re not even dead (that’s the point, surely – exult over a death if you like once it’s taken place, but to do so beforehand is just creepy).

That said – when was it decided that she should have a State funeral? I must have missed that. State funerals for politicians are very rare – I think the last one was Churchill – and surely would not be considered appropriate for a figure as divisive as she still is?

Tris @ 12:

“Was it not right for the Libyans or the Iraqis (although, they were actually better off under Sadam), the Romanians and just these last few days, the north Koreans, to be glad to be rid of people who have ruined their lives and the whole structure of their once agreeable country..”

The deaths of Colonel Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein et al. could help their countries move towards freedom. Margaret Thatcher ceased to be PM over twenty years ago, so her death will achieve nothing but satisfying your vengefulness. Also, comparing Margaret Thatcher with a totalitarian dictator? Really?

“Margaret Thatcher sank a ship full of young men, which was sailing away from the area of battle,”

A ship full of enemy combatants, you mean. (I assume you’re talking about the Belgrano, at any rate.) And the fact that she was sailing away from the area of battle means nothing. Ships can quite easily change direction, I think you’ll find.

Also, I find it odd that you single out the Duke of Wellington and Winston Churchill for praise, as if the Napoleonic or World Wars never included any controversial actions. War involves killing, and it’s hypocritical to criticise Thatcher for sinking an enemy battleship whilst praising two people who were each responsible for far more death and destruction than the Falklands War ever caused.

15. Tax Obesity, Not Business

I think she deserves a state funeral. (However, as with all state occasions, we could save a huge amount of money by auctioning the sole TV broadcasting rights to the highest bidder, rather than allowing the BBC to cover them.) She was a great PM who transformed this country for the better.

Perhaps many of you forget how grim life was pre-1979…It took six months just to get the state bureaucracy to provide you with a new telephone line…the country was on the verge of bankruptcy…certain trade unions could hold the country to ransom, producer interests were feather-bedded, lame ducks were propped with public funds, industry was overmanned and full of restrictive practices. By removing subsidies and letting in the fresh wind of competition, all she did was speed up a process that would have occurred sooner or later anyway because the status quo in the 1970s was unsustainable. We could have developed into a siege economy with rigorous capital controls, travel restrictions and permanent austerity – the sort of Britain that Scargill and Jimmy Reid et al would have liked to create – but eventually even that would have crumbled as the unlamented Soviet Union did.

Over two decades after she left office, the left still abhors her, blaming her for things they disapprove of; yet, ironically, often they are first to complain when the coalition blames current problems on Labour’s time in power from 1997.

@XXX

Come off it.

The Government has plans to spend millions of taxpayers money on organising a state funeral for Thatcher when she, sadly, passes away which, again sadly, is looking likely to be in the near future.

What you are saying is that this area of public spending should be exempt from democratic debate and argument over whether funding this funeral (and using civil service resources to organise this) for a multi-millionairess is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds in a time of austerity.

@11 – In response to someone likening Clarkson’s social values to those of President Assad of Syria, you appear to have said (apologies if there is more than one XXX):

“For a start I don’t think Clarkson was seriously calling for strikers to be shot. “Making a tasteless joke about shooting strikers” is obviously not morally equivalent to “shooting strikers”, and anybody who thinks otherwise really ought to get a better sense of proportion.”

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/12/02/jeremy-clarkson-the-right-the-left-and-deathwish-jokes/ Last accessed 21/12/2011 20:09

So here we have a few ‘tasteless jokes’ about Thatcher and all of a sudden it is disgusting behaviour exemplary of those who have totally abandoned their morals. Hmmmm. If not proportion, it certainly does all seem to be about perspective.

Tax Obesity @ 15:

But – and I don’t have numbers but I’m sure this is right – a lot of people won’t agree with you. I’m one of them, but regardless of the rights and wrongs doesn’t that mean she is still too divisive a figure to get a State funeral? Such a thing would be (or look like) the present Government saying, look, we’re in charge, we’re doing this for one of our own. So the whole thing is politicised from the start – the very opposite of respectful, quite wrong for a funeral. I think State funerals should be reserved for those who are more or less universally respected – which means they’re going to be vanishingly rare for politicians, and rightly so. In fact, as far as I can tell, Mrs T never wanted to be universally respected: she put herself forward as the opposite of consensus, which she seemed to despise. It would be a strange day indeed that the whole country got together and pretended to like her.

Thatcher was directly responsible for ruining of millions of British people’s lives and was at best, a highly controversial Prime Minister. Outside a small, loyal cadre of her own supporters she is hated and not a figure that united the Country. That might be harsh and it might be unjustified, but it cannot be denied that there are people who totally despise the woman. Not a figure like Sir Winston Churchill who was well liked throughout the Country as a whole, even among Labour voters.

If the vermin that prop up the Tory Party want to turn out their own greedy pockets to ensure the bitch is buried then that is fair enough, but under no fucking circumstances should we spend a single penny of public money on this woman’s funeral.

@15

But a lot of people don’t agree with you. So a State funeral would be a divisive occasion – a political act by the present Government saying, look, we’re in charge, we can do this. I don’t think that’s what State funerals are meant to be about. It seems to me that there is unlikely ever to be a politician who is a unifying figure which would make such a funeral appropriate. Indeed, didn’t Mrs Thatcher present herself as the enemy of consensus? To pretend she was universally respected therefore seems a bizarre thing to do.

“Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral”

It’s sorta unlikely that she’ll have one.

“Why is Baroness Thatcher entitled to a state funeral anyway?”

She ain’t. It’s a decision by Parliament.

“as long as the 21 gun salute”

19 for a PM. 21 is for a Sovereign.

“Only royals and 2 other commoners have ever had a state funeral.”

No, 5 in 19th cent. Nelson, Wellington,. Dizzy, Gladstone and I forget the other. This cent., Haig, Churchill and a couple of others.

“Even the Queen Mother who was apparently much loved, did not have a full state funeral. ”

Correct, for it was her husband who was Sovereign. Princess Margaret did not have on either etc.

“is that this area of public spending should be exempt from democratic debate and argument over whether funding this funeral”

Nope, needs a Parliamentary vote on it.

“I think she deserves a state funeral.”

My personal view? No. Except for this: it would piss off mightily so many who I think should be pissed off. But then I’m sufficiently a liberal that I don’t think that your money should be spent on gratifying me.

People who gloat about the ill health of Margaret Thatcher and contemplate her funeral really should go out a bit more and live in 2011 rather than fester with their student memories of the 1980s.

It’s so embarrassing, albeit in an amusing kind of way:
“Maggie was mummy, and mummy was soooooooo mean to us. It just wasn’t fair”.

IS this a real petition, if so where do i sign. Considering she privatised everything I think this is a great idea.

“Maggie was mummy, and mummy was soooooooo mean to us. It just wasn’t fair”.

I think somebody has to cut his umbilical.

Jon’s right @17. This is just like Clarkeson. Anyone laughing at one joke but expressing ‘outrage’ at the other is a hypocrite, and a prick.

We should bookmark this thread, and the Clarkeson one(s) so we can throw the hypocrites’ words back in their faces next time they throw a hissy fit.

I’m also starting a petition so that anyone who references the Belgrano without mentioning the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan has to fuck a pig.

When England was the whore of the world, Margaret was her madam
And the future looked as bright and as clear as the black tarmacadam
And if she seemed bulletproof I put it down to black magic
Every day now we’re invited to pity the tragic
Forlorn faded figure whose story’s on sale
As she finally swallows the fine bitter flavour that she likes to think is betrayal
While I pity those who forgot and forgave
I believe she should be hounded down into her grave
Along with the glove puppet that they put in her place
The simpering chump with the whimpering face

Elvis Costello, Tramp The Dirt Down

Tim W @ 21

Except for this: it would piss off mightily so many who I think should be pissed off.

However, how much pissing off around the Country that took place would be more than made up with the mayhem caused when protesters are kettled and law and order breaks down etc.

What a fitting end to Thatcher~:

Her corpse being paraded around the Capital, hoards of blue rinsed, piss soaked old Tories weeping into hankies along side the Country’s most amoral usury merchants, while jackbooted para military force open fire on anyone who dare dissent from the Party line.

To be fair, Tim, I accept that this is not really my gig and all that, but would you really like to see her funeral be used as gesture politics?

To be honest, I think a private affair in her adopted home of South Africa would be best.

Sevillista @ 17:

“What you are saying is that this area of public spending should be exempt from democratic debate and argument over whether funding this funeral (and using civil service resources to organise this) for a multi-millionairess is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds in a time of austerity.”

Erm, no, that’s a massive strawman. I’m not saying that disputing the appropriateness of a State Funeral ought to be forbidden, I’m saying that gloating over somebody’s impending death is a grossly inappropriate thing to do.

Jon @ 17:

“So here we have a few ‘tasteless jokes’ about Thatcher and all of a sudden it is disgusting behaviour exemplary of those who have totally abandoned their morals. Hmmmm. If not proportion, it certainly does all seem to be about perspective.”

No, because there are two important differences between the Clarkson joke and this business. First of all, there was approximately zero chance that any strikers were going to get executed, whereas Margaret Thatcher is definitely going to die, and probably quite soon. Secondly, Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t give the impression that he’s be glad if strikers were executed, whilst a lot of people here give every indication of genuinely looking forward to Thatcher’s death. So on the one hand you have what is obviously a piece of comic hyperbole about something which had no chance of happening, and on the other you have people exulting in the imminent death of an old woman who’s long past doing anybody any harm whatsoever. The situations are very different.

It’s Gordon Brown I feel sorry for, he’ll end up with a PFI funeral.

30. So Much For Subtlety

7. Shatterface

I also take this thread as acknowledgement that dark humour is now perfectly legitimate, and we’ve seen the last of the manufactured ‘outrage’ that we normally have to put up with?

I don’t know. Where’s the humour? Show us and we will see.

The Left has never criticised anyone on their side no matter what they have said. There was never a prohibition against Leftists being vile to anyone else. Outrage on the Left is when one of their own stubs a toe, not when they cut someone on the Right’s leg off.

For accuracy, it may be worth noting that this isn’t a ‘new’ e-petition, but one that’d been on the site for a couple of months before anyone noticed it.

I fully support this. Since Lady Thatcher was renowned for “rolling back the frontiers of the State”, I find the notion of a State funeral grossly inappropriate. Could the event not be funded by private enterprise? I’m sure the financial institutions and utilities companies that did so well from her policies would compete furiously for the right to have their logos emblazoned on the coffin and the backs of the pallbearers; and perhaps advertising hoardings could be set up along the route of the procession. The minister in charge of the service would be expected to utter a few kind words about the generosity of these supporters alongside the conventional “ashes to ashes” stuff.

The mourners themselves could be asked to chip in, with the scale of their contributions reflecting their prominence in the service: big donors at the front, plucky constituency stalwarts in a more modest position; the relationship between party donations and awards of peerages, MBE’s, etc could act as a model.

I’m sure it’s what she would have wanted.

The Left has never criticised anyone on their side no matter what they have said.

I just wanted to repeat that, because it’s so delightfully, brain-achingly stupid.

The Left is notorious for factional infighting, sectarian bickering, and constantly ticking each other off. Remember the people’s front of Judaea?

I think all left minded liberals should gang rape her course, skin it, and then take turns wearing the skin to commit some nefarious deeds in her name.

Then we should round up thatchers children and grandchildren and rub their faces in her decaying flesh before we burn them alive.

32
Totally agree, that would be poetic justice, well they hanged Mussolini on a lampost didnt’ they?

For what it is worth, let me point out something. I hate Thatcher and I hope she dies a horrible death, smeared in her own shit and vomit and what’s more, I hope someone has the presence of mind to catch her last moments on camera and posts it up on you tube.

The above is not a joke, it is how I honestly feel. Now, if anyone on the Right wishes to judge me on that, fine, I am more than happy for you people to judge me for that. I ceased to care long, long ago what you cunts think of me. The same people who think disabled people should wallow in their shit are not the type of people I set my moral compass by.

When Tony Blair and Gordon Brown die, you will no doubt have something to say and we will judge you for that as well.

Quick note to XXX what do you think of the people who are gloating over Al Meghranis impending death? Or Saddam or Osma Bin Laden?

Sanctity of life?

I hate Thatcher and I hope she dies a horrible death, smeared in her own shit and vomit

The same people who think disabled people should wallow in their shit are not the type of people I set my moral compass by.

— Isn’t Maggie herself quite disabled after having several strokes? Make your mind up cocker!

Jim @ 36:

“When Tony Blair and Gordon Brown die, you will no doubt have something to say and we will judge you for that as well.”

I can’t speak for anybody else, but personally I doubt I’ll feel any particularly strong emotion when they die. Why should I? I’ve never met them, and, although I think they both caused considerable harm to this country, they’ve both already retired, and aren’t in a position to do any more damage. What good would their deaths achieve? The only result would be that people can indulge their vindictiveness, which is an emotion unworthy of rational men. And, Jim, losing your job isn’t comparable to living under a totalitarian dictatorship. Even if you can’t get another one. Trying to liken yourself to Libyan freedom fighters or whatever is just ridiculous.

Grow up.

Some commentators seem to have no sense of humour or proportion, and in some cases show a worrying lack of common decency. This must be the internet…

I have to say that there is no reason I can see that Baroness Thatcher should have a state funeral, and any legitimate (i.e. non-partisan) argument would have to mean Mr Blair got one as well at the very least (three elections won, ten years in power…).

Which would be particularly ironic, as the original idea appears to have come from one Gordon Brown, presumably as one of his potential dividing lines (quite a good one actually, but one that the Conservatives now they are in power (mostly) can easily shoot down should they wish).

Anyway, there is one other factor of importance. Mrs Thatcher’s own wishes and those of her executors will have to be borne in mind – unless the state is going to commandeer funerals now…

Dave @ 37

I do not approve of suffering, but poetic justice is so beautiful sometimes I am prepared to let it pass. There are lots of people who have done things that I would describe as ‘nasty’, ‘evil’ or whatever and I wouldn’t want the State to do anything to cause them suffering. I wouldn’t Thatcher against a wall for a firing squad or anything like that. I condemn, without reservation, the IRA’s attempts on her life and I would not support an assassin attempt now. However, the thought of her suffering in her own personal hell?

Bring it on. If that gives her cause to reflect on the undue suffering that her policies have brought on people. The unemployment, the suicides, the hypothermia, the long waits for treatment on the NHS, etc then I would call that justice in my book.

XXX @ 39

If that is how you feel, then fair enough. Okay, you are perfectly entitled to feel disgust, anger, pity, hatred or any other emotion you want for what I have written. We all made our feelings quite clear when Tory vermin burned an effigy of Barak Obama in St Andrews. I doubt these people give a fuck what we thought about that any more than their eighties counterparts did when they were wearing ‘Hang Mandela’ T-shirts.

@41

An assertion that ends in but? I often see that on the Daily Mail boards. Please at least take the blinkers off, and admit that you do approve of suffering. Im not criticising your opinion, just that you seem to want your cake and it.

You can’t claim to not approve of suffering whilst at the same time state that you do.

Dave @ 42

To clarify.

I do not believe in unnecessary suffering caused by human activity, or suffering caused through a lack of intervention.

In Thatcher’s case, if it forces Thatcher and her supporters to revaluate their behaviour towards the suffering of others, then it will not be ‘unnecessary’.

@ Jim:

“I do not approve of suffering, but poetic justice is so beautiful sometimes I am prepared to let it pass.”

Everything before the “but” is bullshit, as they say.

“In Thatcher’s case, if it forces Thatcher and her supporters to revaluate their behaviour towards the suffering of others, then it will not be ‘unnecessary’.”

Somehow I find it difficult to believe that that’s your real motivation.

45. Tax Obesity, Not Business

Jim @ 36

“I hate Thatcher and I hope she dies a horrible death, smeared in her own shit and vomit and what’s more, I hope someone has the presence of mind to catch her last moments on camera and posts it up on you tube.”

Yeah, and let’s dig up Clem Attlee’s corpse, shit on his bones and throw stones at his skull. By spending money on the welfare state when the country was broke and needed its industrial base rebuilding, he condemned thousands to misery in the decades that followed…

*yawn*. Let’s not do any such thing. Both suggestions, yours and my tongue-in-cheek one, are utterly barbaric examples of the politics of hatred. And the suggestions say more about the vindictive, immature and angry people, like you, who give vent to them than they do about Attlee/Thatcher.

Your hatred, Jim, harms you, not the object of your hatred. Hatred by its nature is reflexive: it turns in upon itself. Imperceptibly at first, it spawns self-hatred and fractures the integrity of the self. You can condemn Thatcher’s behaviour and philosophy, but still respect her as a human being. That is the civilised thing to do. And I am reminded here that Michael Foot and Enoch Powell would often meet to discuss books, despite their intense political disagreements.

“…if anyone on the Right wishes to judge me on that, fine…. I ceased to care long, long ago what you cunts think of me. The same people who think disabled people should wallow in their shit are not the type of people I set my moral compass by.”

I don’t know of anyone on the right who thinks disabled people should wallow in their shit. Do you? Or is that just another of your childish rhetorical flourishes? You might argue (mistakenly, in my view) that that is the practical effect of the right’s policies; but that is not the same as intending that disabled people should wallow in their shit.

You see the political world in stark Manichaean terms. Yet the vast majority of people are neither good nor evil, but somewhere in-between. Evil is not a positive force; but, as Aquinas put it, a privation, a lack or absence of goodness — much as coldness is the absence of heat energy. Self-deception and ignorance are the principal sources of evil – from Bush and Blair going to war in Iraq to Hitler’s final solution, self-deception and ignorance are the twin causes of evil.

@8, shatterface, who would be first in the que to spend 10p? the grown up kids who had their milk snatched, former miners/steelworkers/shipbuilders, or long bankrupt shopkeepers? (many of which never recovered)

i live in an area where there are lots who’d que, because she decreed their fate to be thrown on the scrapheap and her legacy is the replacement of reasonably well paid jobs & prosperous communities with insecure minimal wage mcjobs and smack/alcohol ghettos. you cannot build a stable economy on either option, no matter what specious twaddle rightwing libertarians & puritans peddle!

& to the rightwing trolls on here, that is the real world consequence of her ideology!!

the list is potentially endless…

47. Tax Obesity, Not Business

Daz @ 46:

“she decreed their fate to be thrown on the scrapheap and her legacy is the replacement of reasonably well paid jobs & prosperous communities with insecure minimal wage mcjobs and smack/alcohol ghettos.”

But what was the alternative?

Perhaps you forget how grim life was pre-1979…It took six months just to get the state bureaucracy to provide you with a new telephone line…the country was on the verge of bankruptcy…certain trade unions could hold the country to ransom, producer interests were feather-bedded, lame ducks were propped with public funds, industry was overmanned and full of restrictive practices.

By removing subsidies and letting in the fresh wind of competition, all she did was speed up a process that would have occurred sooner or later anyway because the status quo in the 1970s was unsustainable.

Myopically, you are blaming the physician who prescribed chemotherapy instead of the Labour governments who allowed the cancer to spread and grow.

47
Nice metaphor but Thatcher was not in anyway similar to a physician, she deliberately broke the miners and paid for it by selling-off the assets which had been paid for by the taxpayers of the 1950s.
She facilitated the selling of the majority of social housing stock and now we’re landed with housing benefit bills that amount to millions.
Our competative spirit is so good that the tax credit system sustains thousands of businesses which cannot or will not pay a decent living wage.
Of course the speedy connection of telephones is the result of post-1979 technological innovations not better management by the utility companies, have you tried to contact B.T. when you have a query?
By all means defend Thatcher but let’s get real about it..

49. brockley jack

Tell 5id the blessed Margaret lied to him. His 10 BT shares amount to fuck all. He sold out his collective bargaining rights for the individuality of creeping poverty. His Sun Alliance pension was stolen by stock brokers, and he can sit in his own piss in a freezing Southern Cross departure lounge while he watches her state funeral on TV.

Some of the comments on this thread really reveal the hateful violent nature of those on the left. On further reflection, this comes as no surprise. If you look around the world at the sort of socialist societies that Thatcher would have opposed on principal, you will see far more violence, oppression and evil than in the liberal society and economy she helped to create.

Those who have left the offensive comments above should be utterly ashamed of themselves. She isn’t even dead yet. You are free to disagree vehemently with her opinions and policies, but in the baseness of your comments you have revealed to us all that you do not deserve to be debated with like civilised adults. You would have been better suited to a life in a socialist country whipping up hate for public heretics.

50 Trisha. Yes like Pinochet’s Chile that Thatcher was an admirer of which murdered over three thousand trade unionists and carried out a neo liberal experiment that destoyed the lives of millions and had ChIleans fleeing all over the world for sanctuary. Thatcher killed my community through her hatred of working people and as such, I reserve the right to mark her demise as I see fit as I would that of any other tyrant (either “socialist” or neoliberal) that extols the politics of greed over the politics of decency.

I reserve the right to mark her demise as I see fit as I would that of any other tyrant

Yes, you have that right, but as trish simply said

“you have revealed to us all that you do not deserve to be debated with like civilised adults.”

Seems fair enough

53. So Much For Subtlety

51. Robert Anderson

Yes like Pinochet’s Chile that Thatcher was an admirer of which murdered over three thousand trade unionists and carried out a neo liberal experiment that destoyed the lives of millions and had ChIleans fleeing all over the world for sanctuary.

A coup that Thatcher had nothing to do with. A regime that Thatcher had nothing to do with. I guess that your basic problem is to rationalise your hatred. To that end you will reach for any old crap.

Pinochet did not murder three thousand trade unionists. He executed or tortured some three thousand opponents. It total. Or roughly thirty times less than Cuba. Which Thatcher did not admire.

As for the lives of the people of Chile, Chile is now the richest country in Latin America. It is the Castros and Chavez that are ruining the lives of their people. Pinochet prevented a Communist coup and made Chile a vastly better place.

Thatcher killed my community through her hatred of working people and as such, I reserve the right to mark her demise as I see fit as I would that of any other tyrant (either “socialist” or neoliberal) that extols the politics of greed over the politics of decency.

So you’re basically incapable of civilised thought. Big deal. Thatcher was not a tyrant and did not hate working people.

54. Robin Levett

@Trisha #50:

Some of the comments on this thread really reveal the hateful violent nature of those on the left.

Are you really so one-eyed that you think that this is exclusive to “the left”?

@ some of the “outraged of Tunbridge Wells” thatcher apologists above:

Thatcher doesn’t deserve a state funeral because she was and remains a deeply divisive figure in our society. The tired old refrians of “well, remeber what things USED to be like in the 70’s… Thatcherite medicine was nasty but necessary” keep getting trotted out, and are no more convincing for their constant repetition.

The fact remains that Thatcherism continues to cast a baleful shadow over our society and political system. The Manichaean cast of her ideology resulted directly in outcomes that were not only grossly unfair and socially divisive, but laid the foundations for much of the current economic and social mess we find ourselves in.

The policies she and her acolytes insisted where “the only way” were of course nothing of the sort. The privatisations, PFI’s, lack of regulation, xenophobia, anti-Europeanism, the Dickensian attachment to the withering of the state, slavish subservience to US policy, ideologically driven destruction of what remained of our manufacturing base… the list is a long one.

Yes, things DID need to change in the 70’s, but only the most blinkered of Tory loyalists can maintain that there wasn’t a better alternative. Since her governments and ideology were also instrumental in helping to unravel the United Kingdom, I will leave it with the words of the wonderful Frankie Boyle on Mock the Week some time ago:

‘3 million for Thatcher’s state funeral? You could use that to buy a shovel for everyone in Scotland and we’ll dig a hole so deep you could hand her over to Satan himself’.

56. Tax Obesity, Not Business

steveb @ 48

I wrote that “you are blaming the physician [ie Thatcher] who prescribed chemotherapy instead of the Labour governments who allowed the cancer to spread and grow”, and all you do is deny the physician metaphor by making claims about the alleged side-effects of the chemotherapy. You evidently do not want acknowledge what a dire state the UK was in the 1970s, and how we were following that policies that were unsustainable and would ultimately have led to a siege economy, socialist authoritarianism and permanent austerity. The Guardian comment pages published paeans of praise to East Germany and Cuba, suggesting that they were the route to follow.

“she deliberately broke the miners”

Yes, she did; and a good thing, too. The NUM had held the country to ransom in its sectional interest, and their strike had resulted in the 3-day week. Later, Scargill insisted that deep-mined British coal should be subsidised in perpetuity (at the expense of taxpayers, consumers, industry and other workers’ jobs) and foolishly sought a political confrontation over the pit closure programme.

“paid for it by selling-off the assets which had been paid for by the taxpayers of the 1950s.”

Fantasy economics! The privatisation of the coal and other industries removed the need for continuing subsidy. Cheaper, imported coal reduced energy costs. However, the chemotherapy had some undesirable side-effects – the human and financial costs of running down an inefficient industry enjoying “an orgy of cross subsidy” (as Chris Huhne wrote at the time as a Guardian journalist).

“She facilitated the selling of the majority of social housing stock and now we’re landed with housing benefit bills that amount to millions.”

She rather facilitated the transfer of social housing away from inefficient and unresponsive local authority landlords to housing associations and charitable trusts, and she introduced the right-to-buy. Any connexion between that and the huge HB bills of today is tenuous. After all,

“Our competative spirit is so good that the tax credit system sustains thousands of businesses which cannot or will not pay a decent living wage.”

This would take too long to unpack. Tax credits are an indirect subsidy to employers, just as HB is a direct subsidy to landlords. However, high wage levels are not a right: they are earned by increases in efficiency and productivity. We now have the NMW; and Labour was in power from 1997-2010, so harking back to Maggie is pretty feeble.

“the speedy connection of telephones is the result of post-1979 technological innovations not better management by the utility companies, have you tried to contact B.T. when you have a query?”

Technological innovation is a small part of it; but the increased speed at which you can get a ‘phone line today is more to do with the fact that telecoms are no longer an inefficient, producer-led, union-dominated nationalised monopoly. Though customer-service from BT has increased dramatically, it is stiill relatively poor, as the culture of the organisation is still shaped by its nationalised past (BA is similar in this respect).

RA @ 51:

“like Pinochet’s Chile that Thatcher was an admirer of which murdered over three thousand trade unionists and carried out a neo liberal experiment that destoyed the lives of millions and had ChIleans fleeing all over the world for sanctuary.”

She did not support any murders; but she did admire Pinochet’s economic policies and was grateful for Chilean support over the Falklands. In any event, Chile is a side issue.

“Thatcher killed my community through her hatred of working people”

She did not hate working people, and many of them voted for her. If her policies killed your community – and some were devastated by the removal of unsustainable subsidies irresponsibly introduced by her predecessors – this was because there was no acceptable alternative. The subsidies could not continue. The Labour government had had to grovel to the IMF for loan guarantees: the UK was effectively bankrupt. What would your “politics of decency” have done?

@56 TONB

It’s interesting that your dissection of what was wrong with the British system pre-1979 at no time leaves any room for doubt that the only way was her way.

Privatisation of e.g. the railways is widely regarded as having been totally mishandled, even by many of the dry as dust thatcherites who tub thumped for it so hard. It was a pattern…. nationalised industries were sold off cheap, with too little regulation.

Similarly the mantra that the service sector would make up for the disappearance of our manufacturing base has turned out to be wrong, whilst our german friends (hardly a hotbed of socialism over the past 30 years) seem to have managed a slightly better job.

You may regard Chile as a side issue; many of us will find it hard to take the democratic credentials of someone who takes tea with a vile dictator, and goes out of her way to give him comfort and support, seriously.

Once again you try to perpetuate the old lie that in 1979 there was some zero-sum game: it was either Thatcherism or Old Labour. Not so.

She may not have “hated” working people per se, but her policies and crazed belief that hers was the only true path resulted in outcomes that convinced many people she and her supporters did. The cure was far too often much, much worse than the disease. Many of those who voted for her in 1979 had no real inkling what was in store, and doubtless bitterly regretted their decision. Only the fact that the feckless Labour party were unelectable, and our squalid rigged crypto-medieval political system stopped progressive and radical change allowed thatcherism to prevail.

Look how it’s worked out for us….

@ 56 TONB

It wasn’t a zero-sum game in 1979. However much you and the Thatcherites might like it to be true, there WERE alternatives.

You didn’t have to be an admirer of Scargill, Foot or a Guardianista lauding the triumphs of Cuba and east Germany to see much of the thatcherite agenda as inept, socially divisive and ideologically driven to the extent that many people DID beleive she and her party hated working people, because the outcomes were functionally indistinguishable.

Why do you think the vast majority of Scots hate her and her legacy so much? Yes, it was partly to do with the policies, but it was also to do with the attitude, the hectoring. It wasn’t false consciousness on a mass scale, it was a profound and justified belief that she and her party did not have the best interests of the community at heart, and were hell bent for ideological reasons on imposing drastic solutions for which they had no mandate or support, and which were in any case NOT the only way forward.

Your protestations need to be seen for what they are; crocodile tears from a true believer that there really was no turning back from the shining path.

Hmmnn…apologies for the double post above; looked like the first one had failed! 😉

56
Fantasy economics, well yes, but that label belongs to you, as ever, Thatcherites were always quick to mention cost, (all jobs are a cost ) but yet do not mention the income. In fact the South Yorkshire coalfields were producing coal (that’s minus the subsidy) for far less than any other country, that area was effectively self-sufficient.
Social housing was a fixed asset and also the rentals were a steady income,
In case you were wondering who paid for the building of said housing and indeed the purchase of the (inefficient) private coal mining industry, it was the taxpayer, no, not fantasy but actual reality, it was our grandparents and great-grandparents whose investments were sold to finance the economic boom which had nothing to do with markets but the subsidy from the family silver.
Now I’m not one to confuse correlation with causation, but if you believe that it is a coincidence that as the social housing stock transferred to private individuals, the rents increased, thus the increase in HB claims, then, to quote another metaphor ‘you are living in cloud-cuckoo land’
I hope your shares in BT are doing well because, as a customer, I find them incredibly inefficient.

I hope your shares in BT are doing well because, as a customer, I find them incredibly inefficient.

BT’s customer service is notoriously shite.

62. Tax Obesity, Not Business

G10 @ 57/58/59:

“…your dissection of what was wrong with the British system pre-1979 at no time leaves any room for doubt that the only way was her way.”

There’s always room for doubt. But you have not explained what you think the alternative was. All you can say is what you think it should not have been – the poltical equivalent of the theologian’s who try to describe God by telling us what He’s not.

“Privatisation of e.g. the railways is widely regarded as having been totally mishandled,”

The railways are safer, have better rolling stock, carry more passengers and have better levels of service than they did under BR. And, moreover, we are talking about the Thatcher not the Major government.

“the service sector would make up for the disappearance of our manufacturing base has turned out to be wrong”

Really? Many service sector jobs have been created; and the maufacturing base is still there. Modern manufacturing is capital- not labour-intensive; and even if the UK manufacturing sector were much larger than it is — and even now the UK has (as a % of gdp) the 6th largest manufacturing sector in the world – employment levels in it would have declined.

“our german friends (hardly a hotbed of socialism over the past 30 years) seem to have managed a slightly better job”

Post-1945, Germany invested in its manufacturing base, while the UK foolishly spent money it didn’t have on a welfare state it could not afford at that point. If post1945 we had invested in the wealth-creating parts of the UK economy, we could then have created a welfare state when Germany did in around 1960. The UK nationalised and feather-bedded its inefficient industries believing that Whitehall new best; Germany drew the private sector and trade unions into a partnership with a government that held down inflation, wages and living standards until the economy was growing.

“the democratic credentials of someone who takes tea with a vile dictator, and goes out of her way to give him comfort and support”

Realpolitik is often necessary, and then my enemy’s enemy is my friend. She’s not the only PM to have supped with the devil.

“you try to perpetuate the old lie that in 1979 … it was either Thatcherism or Old Labour.”

Well, I am inviting you and others to illuminate my darkness, but you’ve yet to generate a single photon. In 1979, there were just two main options in the UK: a socialist siege economy; or a revitalised capitalism. The question then becomes what was the best way to manage the revitalisation of UK capitalism. Government, unsurprisingly, had proved incompetent in managing the nationalised industries — steel, coal, rail, telecoms, utilities — and the trade unions believed that these industries were to be run for the benefit of those employed in them. Meanwhile, trade unions had forced governments to subsidise ‘lame duck’ private sector companies in the name of job preservation and regional policy. Competitiveness was declining, balance of payments crises were frequent, investment was falling, capital controls meant you had to smuggle money out of the country when you went on holiday, strikers made unreasonable wage demands…. Essentially, competitiveness had to be restored, and trade unions had to realise that this would be a painful adjustment to the real world. It could have been done slowly over a couple of decades; or it could be done quickly, as Mrs Thatcher did it. The former approach risked being blown off course by vested interests or the electoral cycles; the latter approach risked trying to do too much at once. I think it was better to get over the worst of the pain in a relatively short space of time.

“the attitude, the hectoring”

Fair point. Her personal style was very irritating. Though I think women are judged more harshly in these respects, as even Millipede’s charmless voice irritates me a lot less than hers did.

“she and her party did not have the best interests of the community at heart, and were hell bent for ideological reasons on imposing drastic solutions”

I think all our politicians, whatever their ideology, want the best for the people they serve – not least because they want to be re-elected. Mrs Thatcher believed that what she was doing was right and in the interests of all British people, and she acted in good faith. If she did evil — and I don’t think she did – she did it, not because she was promoting sectional interests at the expense of the wider community, but because of ignorance and self-deception. Demonising her only prevents a proper assessment of her legacy.

“apologies for the double post above; looked like the first one had failed!”

Understood. Strange how some comments can take 20 minutes to appear.

Steveb @ 60:

“In fact the South Yorkshire coalfields were producing coal (that’s minus the subsidy) for far less than any other country”

That is nonsense on stilts, as Bentham said of natural rights. I was working for South Yorkshire CC in Barnsley at the time, and I met Scargill and his research team (Mick Clapham, Steve Bundred). Yes, that was their propaganda line, but the best that could be said of it was that a couple of pits in S Yorks produced some relatively cheap deep-mined coal – though it was far, far cheaper to import open-cast coal.

“I hope your shares in BT are doing well because, as a customer, I find them incredibly inefficient.”

Yup, they are appallingly inefficient. I’m not denying that. All I’m saying is that BT is undoubtedly better than its nationalised predecessor and that this improvement is not solely attributable to technological innovation but is also due to increased competition. The GPO – not to mention the gas and electricity boards – were national jokes for their grotesque inefficiency in the 1970s; and even with 1970s technology, it was never necessary to make customers wait six months for a new phone line, but we had to and we did.

@ 62

Oh come now, even lots of dry as dust Thatcherites would take your defence as a tad strained.

Granted the Labour alternative was pretty unappetising, as the electorate at the time and later domonstrated. The point is that the monetarist agenda wasn’t the only way to reform the things that were wrong with British society, the economy and the political system at the time. The failure of the SDP and splintering of the left of centre vote gave thatcher and her minions a free ride.

If you actually believe that the current state of the railways is a great advert for the way they were privatised, you either never travel by train or are being wilfully ignorant. Of course decades of under-investment in infrastructure by parties of both left and right haven’t helped, but it is a fact widely acknowledged that the privatisation of the railways was a buggers muddle from start to finish, and we are still dealing with the effects. Much the same can be said of other public “goods” sold on the cheap.

There are any number of “alternative histories” which would have resulted in better outcomes.. of course they are all speculative and can’t be proved, but your sad atavistic attachment to the “there was no alternative” line just makes you look odd.

Most of us don’t regard her as a demon, we just have the breadth of mind to realise that in the application of her ideological agenda she was wrong, ignorant and self-deceived, and that just because she sincerely believed she was right don’t make it so!

Galen10 @ 63:

“The point is that the monetarist agenda wasn’t the only way to reform the things that were wrong with British society, the economy and the political system at the time.”

Quite possibly. What, in your opinion, would have been a better way?

“If you actually believe that the current state of the railways is a great advert for the way they were privatised, you either never travel by train or are being wilfully ignorant.”

The railways were privatised by Major.

“Most of us don’t regard her as a demon,”

Depends on who you mean by “us”, really. Judging by the comments upthread, I’d say that most of the posters here probably do.

65. Tax Obesity, Not Business

G10 @ 63:

“If you actually believe that the current state of the railways is a great advert for the way they were privatised, you either never travel by train or are being wilfully ignorant.”

The legal structure underpinning the privatisation has rightly been criticised. However, the first three of my claims for the privatised rail service – ie that the railways are safer, have better rolling stock and carry more passengers than BT did – are supported by statistics available from the regulator.

In general, your position seems to be: ‘I don’t like what happened under the Thatcher government, and I feel there must have been a workable alternative, but I don’t know what it is.’ That is not very convincing.

66. Robin Levett

@TONB #65:

…carry more passengers than BT did…

Which isn’t, to be honest, much of a claim.

…carry more passengers than BT did…

Which isn’t, to be honest, much of a claim.

One day we will be able to FAX ourselves to work.

“Most of us don’t regard her as a demon,”

Worth an exorcism just in case though.

62
The extent of available coal in the South Yorkshire area is massive, The Plan for Coal was based on estimates that there were available seams which could be excavated for another century.
There were two planned super-pits in Barnsley before Thatcher decided to vent her malice on the miners, Thorne Colliery had a seam that strectched to Cleethorpes on the east coast when it was privatized.
Stating that this is just propaganda is probably the best argument that you can formulate.

70. Tax Obesity, Not Business

steveb @ 69:

Of course UK coal reserves are massive. Nobody disputes that. But it is not economic to extract it. If it was, the private sector would do so.

71. Just Visiting

It’s ironic that Scargill and some on the left have painted Thatcher as the one who willfully killed the coal industry.

Whereas even 30 seconds of googling shows what has happened in Germany is no different – but they are paying 3B Euros of tax payers money still, for a dwindling number of coal jobs:

The German government is phasing out the 2.5 billion euros (US$3.9 billion) of subsidies it provides to the coal industry by 2018. The move is mostly financial. German coal is often 1,000 meters below ground, making it much more expensive than imported coal, which accounts for 95 percent of the coal burned in Germany.

At the end of 2007, the German coal industry employed 32,800 workers – 76 percent of whom work in the Ruhr Valley. The industry employs about 43 percent fewer people now than in 2000, and 94 percent fewer than in 1959, according to the German Hard Coal Association [PDF]. An association-supported study predicts that unemployment in the Ruhr area will grow about 2 percent on average if coal mining ends. Steel production jobs are on the decline as well, due to mechanization. Unemployment in the Ruhr, already higher than surrounding areas of Western Germany, is now 11 percent on average.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,463172,00.html

Pinochet did not murder three thousand trade unionists. He executed or tortured some three thousand opponents. It total. Or roughly thirty times less than Cuba. Which Thatcher did not admire.

A sketch, inspired by So Much For Subtlety

Man 1: You’ve made friends with Ian Huntley?

Man 2: Yeah. So?

Man 1: Didn’t he kill two children?

Man 2: Yes, but John Wayne Gacey killed 33 people and I’m not friends with him.

Man 1: ??!?

73. So Much For Subtlety

55. Galen10

Thatcher doesn’t deserve a state funeral because she was and remains a deeply divisive figure in our society.

There is a simple solution to that – move on. Give up your hate and accept the will of the British voter. You don’t have to keep isolating yourself from Britain.

The Manichaean cast of her ideology resulted directly in outcomes that were not only grossly unfair and socially divisive, but laid the foundations for much of the current economic and social mess we find ourselves in.

And yet it is not her supporters who call for people to dance on her enemy’s grave. If there is a manichaean cast to modern Britain it was an import from the Left. The solution, again, is to stop hating.

Yes, things DID need to change in the 70?s, but only the most blinkered of Tory loyalists can maintain that there wasn’t a better alternative.

Name it.

72. BenSix

A sketch, inspired by So Much For Subtlety…

That is not the point. Thatcher was not friends at the time with either. The Left merely wishes it was true. While all the time defending Castro and his strange little paedophilia-supported hereditary Communist totalitarian state. That comment about Castro was not aimed at Thatcher but at friends of Cuba who get worked up about the vastly smaller Chile death toll.

70,71

So you think it makes economic sense to create mass unemployment for decades because it requires a large (initial investment) for develolpment?
Germany had more forsight than Thatcher, but it was worth it to her to punish one sector of the workforce. It wasn’t just miners in those areas who suffered and still do. The quick buck philosophy didn’t work very well for the UK, privatize coalmining, nationalize banks, now that didn’t make economic sense.

@73

Who appointed you as the one who channels the will of the British voter? As I’ve said above, I don’t hate her or demonise her, although I do hate the effects of much of her period of rule and its legacy. She isn’t worthy of a state funeral because she isn’t remotely in the same category as a Nelson or a Churchill. If you think there is a huge wellspring of support for giving her a state funeral, I’d suggest you are the one isolated from mainstream opinion, not me.

You get nutters on both extremes. Go figure; the left no more has a monopoly on hating than does the right. Many people “hate” Thatcher, similarly many people “hate” Jeremy Clarkson. Context is everything… people’s feelings about her inform their view of whether she should be honoured; part of that is about how they react to her as a person, and part on how they see her legacy, and the outcome of her ideology. The achievements are to most of us far outweighed by the negative aspects, but it is hardly surprising that those currently ruling the roost in the Tory party feel she did and can do no wrong; the fact that they sincerely believe it doesn’t make it true.

As for the alternatives to Thatcherism, I think they have been petty well rehearsed over the years. Note that I’m not even saying that everything she did was wrong, simply that in virtually every policy area you can think of there were alternative less damaging routes which would have been less socially divisive, better economically and better politically. It’s pointless getting into a debate about the details here… you’d need a book. But if Thatcherism and it’s “lite” version in New Labour were so brilliant…. why are we in such a mess now? Hardly a shining tribute to the long term success of the Thatcherite experiment.

While all the time defending Castro and his strange little paedophilia-supported hereditary Communist totalitarian state. That comment about Castro was not aimed at Thatcher but at friends of Cuba who get worked up about the vastly smaller Chile death toll.

As I’m not a friend of Cuba – or its leaders, anyway – I’m presumably allowed to maintain that her pitiful apologetics on behalf of this unrepentant mass murderer were quite disgraceful.

We all have to pay for our own funerals and the Thatcher family are very wealthy so they should pay for a state funeral if they want one.

The tax payer should not have to pay one penny towards her funeral ! Why should we ?

After all, her own cabinet office, ministers made her resign in disgrace because she was a disgrace and become too BIG for her own boots.

The Thatcher family is wealthy so they should foot the entire bill if thats what they want at this time of austerity when people are finding it hard to put food on the table.

TONB @ 45

By spending money on the welfare state when the country was broke and needed its industrial base rebuilding, he condemned thousands to misery in the decades that followed…

What the fuck are you talking about? Can you justify anything you have written here, because this is just plain wrong on so many levels. The manufacturing base was not in a bad state or anything near a bad state; in fact it was thriving and as for your assertion that the money that was spent on building a welfare State was ‘wasted’ is nothing short of a disgrace. This is rather typical of the lice that support Thatcher they are forced to drastically rewrite history in order to justify your dogma.

Your hatred, Jim, harms you, not the object of your hatred. Hate by its nature is reflexive: it turns in upon itself. Imperceptibly at first, it spawns self-hatred and fractures the integrity of the self.

On this, we agree. My hatred for Thatcher will do me far more harm, than her I totally agree with you in that.

You can condemn Thatcher’s behaviour and philosophy, but still respect her as a human being.

Can you think aof a reason I should respect this woman? This woman went out to destroy millions of lives and the communities that they sustained, I cannot respect anyone who does that. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but there you go. You do not get to destroy other people for political gain and expect to retain respect in my view.

I don’t know of anyone on the right who thinks disabled people should wallow in their shit. Do you?

Most of the Tories who comment on this board do, for a start. Even you wanted to know what else we should cut to allow disabled to be treated fairly.

Add to that list. David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith and a whole lot more of the coalition and a fair amount of the so called opposition.

You might argue (mistakenly, in my view) that that is the practical effect of the right’s policies; but that is not the same as intending that disabled people should wallow in their shit.

Who would supervise a system that manifestly failed so many needy people? Who would read reports like Sue Marshes and not see a problem?

Jim @ 78:

“On this, we agree. My hatred for Thatcher will do me far more harm, than her I totally agree with you in that.”

Then why on earth do you not try and overcome it?

“Can you think aof a reason I should respect this woman?”

She’s a human being. That ought to be enough. Even if you think her policies led to a great deal of evil, the proper thing to do would be to view her as a sadly misguided person, but still a person like yourself, rather than to wallow in your own hatred like this.

XXX @ 79

Then why on earth do you not try and overcome it?

Yeah, sure, how can I just tirn a blind eye to the millions of lives she ruined, the millions thrown onto the dole and now we are told that destroying jobs and lives was a price worth paying? Nope. Great swathes of this Country have still not recovered from the beating the recieved from Thatcher. Her ideology STILL causes problems even today. Difficult to see how I can let that past.

the proper thing to do would be to view her as a sadly misguided person,

Whatever Thatcher done, she was NEVER ‘misguided’, she knew exactly what she was doing and the damage she was causing. This will slowly emerge over the next five to ten years as cabinet papers are released from that era in time.

I have my own personal bet, here. This time next week the debate over Thatcher’s State funeral with start to take shape as these papers start to released and it becomes obvious to the extent that the cabinet were all too aware of the damage their policies where having.

81. So Much For Subtlety

75. Galen10

Who appointed you as the one who channels the will of the British voter?

No one that I have heard. The voters making their own views clear without me.

As I’ve said above, I don’t hate her or demonise her, although I do hate the effects of much of her period of rule and its legacy. She isn’t worthy of a state funeral because she isn’t remotely in the same category as a Nelson or a Churchill. If you think there is a huge wellspring of support for giving her a state funeral, I’d suggest you are the one isolated from mainstream opinion, not me.

I have no idea what most people would support but I think more would support the idea of a State funeral than the necrophilia shown around here. You clearly do hate her, but if you don’t want to admit it that is fine by me.

You get nutters on both extremes. Go figure; the left no more has a monopoly on hating than does the right.,/i>

Except the Left really has nothing else left. Odd.

As for the alternatives to Thatcherism, I think they have been petty well rehearsed over the years.

Then you should be able to list off a few.

Note that I’m not even saying that everything she did was wrong, simply that in virtually every policy area you can think of there were alternative less damaging routes which would have been less socially divisive, better economically and better politically.

The only reason she was socially divisive is that people chose to be outraged. They chose to hate. She did not make them. All they had to do was accept the will of the people and the inevitability of the changes. Which we all pretty much have done.

But if Thatcherism and it’s “lite” version in New Labour were so brilliant…. why are we in such a mess now? Hardly a shining tribute to the long term success of the Thatcherite experiment.

We aren’t. We are at least twice as rich for one thing. And much of the damage done was done by the US government meddling – Fannie Mae for instance. Yet another American bank was fined this week for not lending to enough minorities – even though we hardly need more sub-prime loans.

BenSix

As I’m not a friend of Cuba – or its leaders, anyway – I’m presumably allowed to maintain that her pitiful apologetics on behalf of this unrepentant mass murderer were quite disgraceful.

Why do you feel it was disgraceful? More people were killed in the violence leading up to the coup, the coup was requested by the Parliament, Pinochet saved Chile from far worse and every other mass murderer has more friends, vastly more friends, around here. Why should being nice to Pinochet be worse than, say, being nice to Mandela who had more people killed?

Jim @ 80:

“Yeah, sure, how can I just tirn a blind eye to the millions of lives she ruined, the millions thrown onto the dole and now we are told that destroying jobs and lives was a price worth paying? Nope. Great swathes of this Country have still not recovered from the beating the recieved from Thatcher. Her ideology STILL causes problems even today. Difficult to see how I can let that past.”

But you’ve openly stated that your hatred is only damaging you and not achieving anything. What’s the point in keeping it up?

“Whatever Thatcher done, she was NEVER ‘misguided’, she knew exactly what she was doing and the damage she was causing. This will slowly emerge over the next five to ten years as cabinet papers are released from that era in time.”

Do you have any evidence for that?

83. Tax Obesity, Not Enterprise

Jim @ 80:

“how can I just tirn a blind eye to the millions of lives she ruined, the millions thrown onto the dole and now we are told that destroying jobs and lives was a price worth paying? Nope. Great swathes of this Country have still not recovered from the beating the recieved from Thatcher”

Your anger would be better directed towards the post-war Labour (and those Conservative) governments whose corporatism allowed irresponsible trade unions to institutionalise overmanning, inefficiency and greedy wage demands – all with the goal of achieving ‘democratic’ socialism (though the Tory corporatists aimed only to restrain what they believed was inevitable). For 35 years, the UK was bled on the altar of ‘democratic’ socialism: the experiment failed – miserably and at huge cost.

Why did the miners lose their jobs? Because they wanted the taxpayer to subsidise uneconomic pits and uneconomic mining jobs, when the British Steel Corporation wanted to import cheaper coking coal so it could compete on world markets. The ISTC wanted the government to subsidise inefficient steel plants as well as the subsidise the expensive coking coal produced by the NCB. Meanwhile, British Leyland wanted to import cheaper steel so it could make its cars more cheaply, but the ISTC and the NUM were opposed, and meanwhile the unions at BL wanted their overmanned industry preserved from competition by government subsidies (remember Derek ‘Red Robbo’ Robinson?).

The UK’s industrial base was an orgy of cross-subsidy that was already failing by 1979. All Mrs Thatcher did was what was ultimately inevitable (as eventually the IMF would have imposed it on us) – remove the subsidies over the period of a few years. Yes, it was painful; but you blame the physician (Mrs Thatcher) who administered the chemotherapy, not the Labour party and trade unions who let the body politic live so unhealthily that it developed cancer in the first place, and then, when the cancer was diagnosed, not only let it grow but even encouraged its spread!

and @ 78:

Jim, try Corelli Barnett’s ‘The Audit of War’. Atlee’s government imprudently spent money the country simply did not have. The UK’s outdated industry thrived briefly in the 1950s, but was soon overtaken by Germany and France.

TONB @ 83

Jim, try Corelli Barnett’s ‘The Audit of War’. Atlee’s government imprudently spent money the country simply did not have. The UK’s outdated industry thrived briefly in the 1950s, but was soon overtaken by Germany and France.

Both Countries had welfare States far bigger than the British one. However, you start of with a false assumption, because you believe that Welfare States are a net cost to society. Nothing could be further from the truth, because they increase trade. You are rewriting history, for your own purposes. That is fine, we expect nothing less from the Tory vermin.

Your anger would be better directed towards the post-war Labour (and those Conservative)

My anger is aimed squarely at the person who destroyed thousands of communities right across our society. We hate Thatcher for the long term damage she caused, she and her supporters hate us for nothing more than who we are. That is the difference.

I don’t hate any other Tory (perphaps Norman Tebbit and Nigel Lawson) with anything close to the passion that I hate Thatcher. I do not hate John Major, Edwina Currie, Norman Fowler or anyone else of that era. Nor do I hate Ted Heath or most of his cabinet either, RAB Butler or Sir Alec Douglas Hume? Nope, not them either.

Just Thatcher for her destruction of a working class she hated.

85. So Much For Subtlety

84. Jim

Both Countries had welfare States far bigger than the British one. However, you start of with a false assumption, because you believe that Welfare States are a net cost to society. Nothing could be further from the truth, because they increase trade. You are rewriting history, for your own purposes. That is fine, we expect nothing less from the Tory vermin.

That is not true. What is more they have better welfare states. They started earlier and so their welfare states are more liberal and less Stalinist than Britain’s is. The French do not have anything like the NHS for instance. You used not to be able to sit on the dole all your life – you got paid a percentage of what you used to earn for a limited time. There was not a lot of help for single mothers, as there still isn’t in places like Italy.

And Welfare states are a net cost to society. They do not increase trade. They also blunt the willingness to work and study. We do it because it is fair. Not because it is sensible.

Just Thatcher for her destruction of a working class she hated.

Yet again there is no evidence of this hate. Thatcher’s, not yours. You need to deal with your issues.

81. SMFS

1) “No one that I have heard. The voters making their own views clear without me.”

The “voters” are doing no such thing. I’m not the one isolating myself from Britain; it is in fact much more likely that you are the one in an isolated position. A minority of people ever voted for her and her party, and even those who accepted that things needed to change in the 70’s and despaired of the lack of viable alternatives, or even had a measure of admiration for some of what she did, never actually warmed to her as an individual, still less to some of the dry as dust carpet biters she encouraged.

The fact (which you have assiduously avoided because you can’t answer it) remains, that for the majority of British people the Thatcherite cure was in many ways worse than the disease. If we’d had a decent, progressive radical opposition instead of the useless statist Old Labour party, we’d all be a lot better off today than we are.

2) “I have no idea what most people would support but I think more would support the idea of a State funeral than the necrophilia shown around here. You clearly do hate her, but if you don’t want to admit it that is fine by me.”

What are you eight years old?! As I’ve said already, I don’t hate her… I pity her if anything. Much like Blair, she’s a mono-maniac built up into something more than she was by the sad inadequates around her. You are free to continue in your sad delusion that more people like her than dislike her; just because you say so doesn’t make it so. Even if it is true however, that still doesn’t make her worthy of a state funeral. Her achievements and merits do not put her in the league of others who have been accorded the honour, and her many demerits simply support the view of the majority that she should not have one.

3)“Except the Left really has nothing else left. Odd.”

That’s a breathtakingly stupid statement even by your standards… and you consistantly set the bar fairly low. “The left” I’d imagine has plenty of alternatives other than simply hating the right… I wouldn’t know not really being involved in their plans. You and Thatcher’s fan-boys are of course simply the mirror image of the left you so revile… each as bad as the other. Neither of you had, or have, the right answers to the problems our society faces, as indicated by the mess we are now in.

4) “Then you should be able to list off a few (alternatives to Thatcherism).”

FFS it isn’t hard. Do your own research. Have you actually swallowed the Blue Thatcherite Bible whole? In the broadest brush sense, how about something closer to the scandinavian model of social democracy….? Not selling off nationalised industries dirt cheap to your city mates? Not relying on self (or no?) regulation of the financial sector? Not contributing to the break up of the UK by crass mismanagement of the devolution issue? Not being a poodle for US foreign policy objectives around the world for no particular gain when compared with our European allies? Not standing on the sidelines of the EU throwing rocks, thus leaving the EU to be run by as Franco-German club? The list is a long one… you’re just too blind by the “there is no alternative” mantra to admit that there were any other options.

5) “The only reason she was socially divisive is that people chose to be outraged. They chose to hate. She did not make them. All they had to do was accept the will of the people and the inevitability of the changes. Which we all pretty much have done.”

No, the reason people were outraged was the fact that many of the policies were outrageous, and they were imposed in a way which was seen to be (and often was) unfeeling and ideoligically motivated. It was only the will of a section of the people. Change is of course inevitable; the means to effect change, and the way in which it is done, are a conscious choice. You are simply deluded if you “think” we all have pretty much accepted that her way was the only way. Just because you think that doesn’t make it a fact, any more than Scargill’s certainty that he was right made it so.

6) “We aren’t. We are at least twice as rich for one thing. And much of the damage done was done by the US government meddling – Fannie Mae for instance. Yet another American bank was fined this week for not lending to enough minorities – even though we hardly need more sub-prime loans.”

You lack imagination, as well as analytical ability. Lots of societies are probably twice as rich now than they were then; who is to say we wouldn’t be even better off if we had pursued a different course? If our nationalised industries hadn’t been sold off cheap, if we hadn’t frittered away North Sea oil revenues. We can’t apportion ALL the blame for the current situation to US government meddling. The current situation wasn’t any more inevitable than the Argentine invasion of the Falkalnds discussed elsewhere; it was forseeable and avoidable, and had we been following different policies, the effects would at the very least have been less damaging.

87. cripplekicker

Jim @ 84:

“Both Countries had welfare States far bigger than the British one.”

Not in the 40s and 50s they didn’t. They invested in their industrial bases after WW2, and they only began to improve welfare as their economies grew. Similarly, China, India and Brazil are not investing vastly in welfare – yet.

“you believe that Welfare States are a net cost to society. Nothing could be further from the truth, because they increase trade.”

Even if welfare states “increase trade” (how exactly?), they are still a net cost; but that is not to say that the price is not worth paying, just that it has to be paid by haing a thiving economy. China, India and Brazil etc have not introduced cradle-to-the-grave welfare yet; and somehow if welfare states really increased trade dramatically, I think those countries would have done so by now…

“We hate Thatcher for the long term damage she caused”

Either there was an alternative to what she did or there wasn’t. I think there wasn’t really much choice, and hindsight is a wonderful thing. However, if you are to blame her for what she did, you need to show that there was a workable alternative to her policies. So what would you have done – when the then status quo was unsustainable?

speaking as someone who live in an area destroyed by milksnatcher thatcher, insecure mcjobs are the order of the day, you acquire zero experience to help you, especially since experience means you are more likely to know what’s truly needed in your place of work, but knowledge means you have more power! a neoliberal power junkie doesn’t want that… so experience =P45, once you have said P45, lots more humiliations are in store, you committed the crime of knowing the job, so now you are a pushed down into being a SCROUNGER, while a 1%er gets fat on what you made!

as for the kids, if they are even remotely enquiring/rebellious, there is the smack trap (best thing for people who don’t conform to 1%er propaganda, since it is flooded (profitably) into smashed communities (yeh life is shit, u have no prospects coz daddy went on strike, never mind this’ll make it feel better…
& you are rebelling against received wisdom good for you – ol pc plod wants to tax yer tho!!!)

conformists have the solace of beer, & blaming it on everyone else except the perpetrators!!

of course it goes without saying that is a self destructive system i see every day in the former socialist republic of south yorkshire, a place of smack ridden former pit villages (moorends is a classic example, 10% heroin addiction/population last time i heard) or that other record breaker doncaster, with more pubs/square mile (or more accurately the portman cartel’s VDE’s) than any other town)

89. So Much For Subtlety

86. Galen10

A minority of people ever voted for her and her party, and even those who accepted that things needed to change in the 70’s and despaired of the lack of viable alternatives, or even had a measure of admiration for some of what she did, never actually warmed to her as an individual, still less to some of the dry as dust carpet biters she encouraged.

I agree a lot of people never warmed to her, but that is beside the point. And of course anyone who does not vote is supporting the Party in power. If they do not want a change, they will not vote.

The fact (which you have assiduously avoided because you can’t answer it) remains, that for the majority of British people the Thatcherite cure was in many ways worse than the disease. If we’d had a decent, progressive radical opposition instead of the useless statist Old Labour party, we’d all be a lot better off today than we are.

This is simply not true. For the majority of British people the Thatcherite consensus is now standard. We lived with the welfare state consensus for 30 years. We have lived with Thatcherism as long. You may wish that if only the Labour Party was properly Trot they would be winning elections, but they are the professionals and that is not what their polling tells them.

What are you eight years old?! As I’ve said already, I don’t hate her… I pity her if anything.

As I have said I am fine with you continuing your denial.

That’s a breathtakingly stupid statement even by your standards… and you consistantly set the bar fairly low. “The left” I’d imagine has plenty of alternatives other than simply hating the right…

You would think, wouldn’t you? But they don’t. As we see with the banking crisis. The largest disaster for capitalism since 1929 and the Left’s response has been ….. nothing. They have tried, but they have come up empty.

FFS it isn’t hard. Do your own research. Have you actually swallowed the Blue Thatcherite Bible whole?

So no, you don’t have any alternatives. Great.

In the broadest brush sense, how about something closer to the scandinavian model of social democracy….? Not selling off nationalised industries dirt cheap to your city mates? Not relying on self (or no?) regulation of the financial sector? Not contributing to the break up of the UK by crass mismanagement of the devolution issue? Not being a poodle for US foreign policy objectives around the world for no particular gain when compared with our European allies? Not standing on the sidelines of the EU throwing rocks, thus leaving the EU to be run by as Franco-German club? The list is a long one… you’re just too blind by the “there is no alternative” mantra to admit that there were any other options.

The Scandinavian countries have a welfare state but they are much more liberal than Britain is. Their economic policies are broadly Thatcherite. That was the model she was moving towards. Not selling stuff off is not an alternative, it is a sound bite. If that. How many more billions should she have poured into them? Self regulation of the banking sector worked fine – not one run under the Bank of England since Victoria was a lass. It was taking it away and giving it to the FSA that f**ked everything up. We have gained from allying with the US, but again not only is this not an economic policy, it is not a policy at all. It is hatred of the US.

You have utterly failed to come up with anything relevant much less alternative.

No, the reason people were outraged was the fact that many of the policies were outrageous

No they weren’t. Well, not by many. As can be seen by the fact they have not been reversed.

and they were imposed in a way which was seen to be (and often was) unfeeling and ideoligically motivated. It was only the will of a section of the people.

They were held up vote after vote. You are talking about a tiny section of the chattering classes. As if they represent Britain.

You lack imagination, as well as analytical ability. Lots of societies are probably twice as rich now than they were then; who is to say we wouldn’t be even better off if we had pursued a different course?

Sure. Who knows, pixies may have come and waved their magic wands and we would be rich. Everyone in the 1980s adopted Thatcherite policies. Those that did are richer. Those that did not are not. Not really a lot of room for argument.

Daz

Blah, blah, blah, blah.

as for the kids, if they are even remotely enquiring/rebellious, there is the smack trap (best thing for people who don’t conform to 1%er propaganda, since it is flooded (profitably) into smashed communities (yeh life is shit, u have no prospects coz daddy went on strike, never mind this’ll make it feel better…
& you are rebelling against received wisdom good for you – ol pc plod wants to tax yer tho!!!)

They have no prospects because they are not willing to get up and create some jobs. That’s the problem. Flooded? Sure, it is all a plot. The idea that taking smack is a rebellion shows the real nature of the problem – these people are stupid. They are stupid to think that heroin is a solution to anything or that by taking it they are standing up to the Man. They are not. They are breaking the law. If they were not law breakers, they might have jobs, and if they had jobs, they might be creating new jobs. But no, much better to blame Thatcher.

conformists have the solace of beer, & blaming it on everyone else except the perpetrators!!

Indeed. Once coal mines close, towns created for the coal mines have no reason to exist unless the people there create new jobs. Which they decline to do in any real numbers.

of course it goes without saying that is a self destructive system i see every day in the former socialist republic of south yorkshire, a place of smack ridden former pit villages (moorends is a classic example, 10% heroin addiction/population last time i heard) or that other record breaker doncaster, with more pubs/square mile (or more accurately the portman cartel’s VDE’s) than any other town)

Brilliant. Now Thatcher is sneaking out of hospital to stick needles in people’s arms. Is there any delusion the Left won’t embrace if it validates their hatred?

@89 SMFS

As usual, you haven’t actually addressed the issues put to you; usual right wing troll. Nobody was saying that we should pour billions into nationalised industries; the point being made was that even by their own lights the process was back handed and the assets were sold off too cheaply. the property owning democracy never happened, because the shares were sold to those who could afford them, usually at ridiculously low prices, rather than allocated more fairly to all tax payers or adults. Too much to expect of course for Tories to promote anything actually fair or egalitarian… too busy feeding the pigs in the trough.

Self regulation of the banking sector obviously hasn’t worked fine, as recent events have shown… both that, and the decision to set up the toothless FSA and to let it fiddle while Rome burned are another baleful legacy of Thatcherism. Our poodle like subservience to US foreign policy has of course done much to harm us politically and economically, with very little gain. How many billions have we spent in Iraq that could have been used to better effect domestically or even overseas?

You haven’t even addressed the matter of our solution in Europe, or her role in the destruction of the Union… largely of course because you have no real answers and are a monomaniacal Thatcher fan boy… thankfully, you are getting less and less common given the shambles she and her ilk left us in.

Galen10 @ 90:

“assets were sold off too cheaply. the property owning democracy never happened, because the shares were sold to those who could afford them, usually at ridiculously low prices, rather than allocated more fairly to all tax payers or adults. Too much to expect of course for Tories to promote anything actually fair or egalitarian”

Surely selling shares off cheaply (and so enabling more people to afford them) is more egalitarian than selling them off for a higher price?

“Our poodle like subservience to US foreign policy has of course done much to harm us politically and economically, with very little gain. How many billions have we spent in Iraq that could have been used to better effect domestically or even overseas?”

Funny, and there I was thinking that Tony Blair was PM when we went into Iraq…

92. Tax Obesity, Not Enterprise

Daz @ 88:

SMFS @ 89 has already nailed your pathetic whinge.

However, I would just point out that there is another factor at work here in South Yorkshire (an area I know well). Those with get up and go have got up and gone, and those who remain interbreed, passing, genetically and culturally, their lack of initiative and underclass lifestyle on to the next generation. Perhaps Keith Joseph had a point with his ‘pills for the proles’

@92 So you’re still there, living with your mothersister and whining on about the good old days. Yep, Yorkshire as it always was.

@91 XXX

1) “Surely selling shares off cheaply (and so enabling more people to afford them) is more egalitarian than selling them off for a higher price?”

Errrm… no, because many people couldn’t afford them at all. Many of the privatisation’s could have netted the exchequer billions more than was achieved because the sale price was set too low, i.e. the Tories sold them off cheap to benefit their fat cat mates in the city… stun us with another! If (as was pointed out at the time) they had been that interested in passing the benefit on to all, they would have allocated shares to everyone with an NI number…. simple really, even for the likes of you.

2) “Funny, and there I was thinking that Tony Blair was PM when we went into Iraq…”

New Labour is simply Thatcherism in a new bottle; as even someone as hard of thinking as SMFS can see, Blair and the vile New Labour reject simply represent a continuation of Thatcherism. The point being made is that the knee-jerk subservience to the USA exhibited by the likes of Thatcher and Blair has been detrimental to our interests both politically and economically over decades. The special relationship is only special to us, not the USA who really don’t understand why we are so hung up about it…. we certainly get very little if any concrete benefit from it!

I agree with Margret Thatcher. She was right about so many things:

Poor children should not receive free food.

England does not need coal.

There is no such thing as society.

The poll tax was a good idea and made society fairer.

It was a good idea to sell off all the council houses as now people have the freedom to be homeless.

Nelson Mandela was a terrorist.

Monetarism is the best economic policy and without it Britain wouldn’t be the strong economic powerhouse it is today.

We should never deal with the Irish Republican Army. ‘Crime is crime is crime’. No good could possibly come of it.

We should support General Pinochet. He is a good man.

Poor people should pay more tax. Rich people should pay less. Its only fair.

It was a good idea to privitise the railways. And Gas. And water. And power. Look how much better they are now.

The police should raid the BBC. We need journalists to do as they are told.

It was right to allow old people freeze to death in winter. If they cannot stand on their own two feet they cannot expect the nanny state to look after them. This is what the second world war was all about.

Galen10 @ 94:

“New Labour is simply Thatcherism in a new bottle; as even someone as hard of thinking as SMFS can see, Blair and the vile New Labour reject simply represent a continuation of Thatcherism.”

So what, because New Labour was further to the right than Old Labour, that somehow makes everything bad which Blair did Thatcher’s fault? For Heaven’s sake. Blair was the one who took us into Iraq, not Thatcher. Nobody was forcing him to do so. Margaret Thatcher definitely wasn’t.

“knee-jerk subservience to the USA exhibited by the likes of Thatcher”

You mean like going ahead with the Falklands reconquest despite American reservations, or prodding George Bush into supporting military action during the Gulf War? That doesn’t exactly sound like “knee-jerk subservience” to me.

96 XXX

You really are a stance little Thatcher fan-boy aren’t you? I bet one of your other heroes is William Hague huh? 😉

Nobody said Iraq was Thatcher’s fault.. do calm down slightly, and try to see through the red fog which descends before your eyes when anyone dares criticise the Leaderene. The point being made (which is hardly exceptional after all) is that New Labour is/was the bastard child of Thatcherism; some Tories aren’t above taking the credit, and many Labour part members (to their eternal shame) probably agree.

So, to the extent that Blairism and the vile New Labour project drew it’s inspiration and tactics from Thatcherism, then the mad old “tea with murderous dictators” trout IS partly responsible, yes.

The point being made about our leaders supine approach to US geo-political policy is that despite our craven inability to think for ourselves, even where good sense and self interest would suggest doing otherwise, we get very little in return. Again, this is hardly an exceptional view; the “special relationship” has few real benefits for the UK… it’s not as if we get preferable treatment economically, or are being showered with benefits denied to others is it?

98. Tax Obesity, Not Enterprise

Galen10 @ 97:

“to the extent that Blairism and the vile New Labour project drew it’s inspiration and tactics from Thatcherism, then the mad old “tea with murderous dictators” trout IS partly responsible”

About as responsible as Melanie Phillips was for Breivik’s murderopus rampage? That is, not at all…

@ 98 TONE

That debate was raked over fairly extensively at the time of Breivik’s mass murders, and the response remains the same; nasty pieces of work like Melanie Phillips cannot totally dissociate themselves from creating the milieu within which such nut jobs are nourished. The comparison isn’t particularly germane however; the actions and omissions of the Thatcher government were much more directly responsible than is the case for Philips and her ilk helping to create their dystopian nightmare.

100. Tax Obesity, Not Enterprise

Tony Blair was responsible for his government; Margaret Thatcher was responsible for hers. You are evacuating the concept of ‘responsibility’ of meaning if you make it interchgangeable with ‘influence’ or inspiration’.

I have a better idea: let’s declare her a non person – let’s write her out of history books, erase her image from all papers in which it previously appeared. And let’s not stop there; let’s declare all Conservatives persona non grata, eliminate their right to vote or hold public office. In fact, an even better idea: let’s make conservatism illegal, subject to transport to the Gulag. When only the lib-dems (Labour too squishy) have the right to rule, Britain will finally have achieved the equality and fairness she deserves.

102. Leon Wolfeson

@100 – We have a cabinet government.

@92 – Do catch up to Darwinism, Lamark went out some time ago now.

@30

“The Left has never criticised anyone on their side no matter what they have said. There was never a prohibition against Leftists being vile to anyone else. Outrage on the Left is when one of their own stubs a toe, not when they cut someone on the Right’s leg off”.

What a load of drivel. Whine, whine, whine.Have you got any evidence to support this contention?

104. Cliff Laine

Sells of all our finest assets, then the State she impoverished has to pay to see her off? No way. Let BT and the other privatised utilities pay for it.


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