Thatcher’s funeral: you mourn if you want to


by Dave Osler    
1:18 pm - December 23rd 2011

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Perhaps the most inane remark ever uttered by any leading New Labour figure - invidious though it is to select just one, of course – is Peter Mandelson’s vapid contention that ‘we are all Thatcherites now’. Some of us never were, and never will be.

Such abject ideological capitulation to the ideas Labour was created to stand against demonstates a certain arrogant incomprehension on the political right, a category into which Mandelson clearly falls. Admiration for Margaret Thatcher is far from universal.

The former prime minister, whose life is celebrated in an impending biopic, is now in frail health, and plans are already underway to mark her passing.

The announcement of her death, whenever it comes, will no doubt provoke endless days of media coverage celebrating her ‘greatness’, a quality that ‘even her opponents came to recognise’, or so we shall be told. For those of us who were involved in the labour movement in 1980s, such a conclusion will not readily be conceded.

My generation witnessed first hand her destruction of Britain’s industrial base, her deliberately planned decimation of entire communities and her erection of greed as the very basis of the value system in a country for which there was no such thing as society.

I remain too much of a humanist to exult in Thatcher’s departure. But my disgust at what she did is entirely undimmed by the decades.

The very idea of according this woman a state funeral - originally advanced by Gordon Brown, of course – is surely entirely inappropriate for the most divisive figure in post-war British politics.

You mourn if you want to; this lad’s not for mourning.

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Dave Osler is a regular contributor. He is a British journalist and author, ex-punk and ex-Trot. Also at: Dave's Part
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Reader comments


This flurry of anti-Thatcher articles make me very worried that the broader Labour movement will make a real spectacle of itself when she dies. Most people will not understand the self-indulgent bile and badmouthing that will accompany her funeral. They will draw the conclusion that ‘the left’ is characterised by Class War-style sociopathic exhibitionism.

This not-in-my-name posturing is self-indulgence masquerading as tactical necessity. We don’t want her to ‘win’ but her ideological hegemony will be secured more easily if her opponents behave exactly as she used to characterise them: hate-filled extremists.

As a miner who was vilified by Thatcher as the “enemy within” for taking a principled stand against the destruction of a vital energy resource, I will never forgive her or her cronies for branding me in essence a traitor when in reality, she is the most treasonous person to have inhabited these shores since lord Haw Haw.

I did not “sell the family silver” deprive 3 million people of work or send soldiers to their deaths when the Falklands war could and should have been avoided. I did smash longstanding stable communities or involve myself in redistributing wealth to the very rich, neither did I give the very rain that falls on our heads to profiteering privateers

I did not support vile dictators like Pinochet or the Saudis and I ceratinly did not support the evil white apartheid government of South Africa or deem one of the greatest living human beings, Nelson Mandele a “terrorist”

I love my country very much and therefore I will not be mourning this traitor who sold well and truly out to big business.

3. sean4thedefence

The only way to commemorate the demise of the witch of Grantham is with a calm, dignified street party and fireworks display.

Start applying to your local authoprity for permission now.

State funerals for non-Royal personnel should be restricted to absolutely huge exceptions. It’s very telling that the last non-Royal who was given a State Funeral was the man who steered the country through the last major World War – Sir Winston Churchill. If we include Thatcher, then the next step will be for Blair to be included on that list, and oh if we’re including Blair, why not Brown and Cameron and hey let’s open the door wide open … no! Let’s keep State Funerals outside Royalty to the utterly truly unique and exceptional circumstances that it would deserve.

3 – Thatcherites will be encouraging you in this endeavour for the reasons given in 1

Interestingly there were no mass celebrations amongst Tories when Attlee died, which suggests a more mature attitude to these things (but admittedly I’m biased).

Except of course, that Thatcher didn’t decimate Britain’s industry. It fell by 3.6% over the 79-97 Tory years. Under Labour between 97 and 2010 it fell over 11%.

It’s the typical left wing unionist rhetoric – a union folk tale rather than fact.

Yes, the mines closed, but they were nationalized industries, losing money, and nearing the end of their productive lives. The miners/unions see this as some form of great destruction, but if Thatcher didn’t do it earlier it would have happened soon enough after regardless.

(I should clarify that for the reasons given by Oborne I too am opposed to a state funeral)

Richard re:5

But how valid is the comparison between Clem and Thatch?

The reforms of the 1945 Labour administration were widely accepted, even by sections of the Tories such as MacMillan. Nationalisations and the institution of a welfare state were seen as in the national interest.

I’ve recently read study of the period – ‘Labour’s High Noon’, ed Jim Fyrth – making much this argument.

By contrast, Thatcherism split Britain down the middle.

I can’t think of any reason not to raise a glass of champagne when Thatcher dies. And there’s two schools of thought for why:

1. Ding dong, the witch is dead, if you’re of that mindset.

2. Alternately, if you’re one of those Tory types you might want to take the time to celebrate her life. I mean her death at this point is hardly tragic, it’s not like she’s got unfulfilled ambitions, or she hasn’t had a good innings.

I remain too much of a humanist to exult in Thatcher’s departure. But my visceral hatred for everything she instantiates is entirely undimmed by the decades.

Curious.

There are many politicians I dislike, and many I like – but to hold the emotion of “visceral hatred” for anything seems frankly, a bit weird.

I wouldn’t even hold that level of emotion for Marmite.

You hate everything she represents? You hate the fact that she won a war in the Falklands? Really, you actually hate that?

Do you hate the fact that she is female?

I could go on with more silly examples – but the really silly thing is to allow yourself to be consumed with hatred… for anything.

Not even Marmite.

Without death there can be no life.

All this talk of Thatcher dying had filled me with festive spirit.

She should be given a Viking funeral, with her dogs at her feet.

And by dogs I mean Blair and Swivel-Eyed Broon.

Its unkind to let a dog outlive its mistress.

You hate everything she represents? You hate the fact that she won a war in the Falklands? Really, you actually hate that?

Its not the winning or the losing, its the fact that an unnecessary war was fought at all.

My generation witnessed first hand her destruction of Britain’s industrial base,

I know we keep being told that (as Tyler points out) but it just isn’t true.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/22/manufacturing_figures/

Industrial out put was higher whan she left office than when she entered it (and that’s excluding N Sea oil too).

Even today the UK share of manufacturing in GDP is around the world average and just about the same as France (in fact, a sliver ahead I think).

@ 10

Shatterface is correct; Thatchers government precipitated the Falklands war by it’s lack of preparedness and tacit acceptance that we would do a Hong Kong style deal on the isalnds with the fascist regime in Argentina. Pointing out that she wasn’t the first one to sup with the devil doesn’t excuse her any more than it excuses others who enable such vile regimes. Just remember she and her party were quite sanguine about allowing the Argentine junta, which disposed of it’s opposition by throwing them into the sea from the back of a Hercules aircraft, to assume control of the Falklands before the generals exercised the stupid option and invaded.

The war was a damn close run thing, and if it had happened any later it is unlikely we could have retaken the islands, as defence policy and procurement by successive governments (not just hers) would have made the expedition functionally impossible. Nice to see that the current government with its Strategic defence Review isn’t any better!

@14 Tim

Once again, the fly in your ointment is that holding up the results of Thatcherism as a shining success story isn’t necessarily the whole picture. It is quite arguable that things would have been a good deal better had alternative policies been followed. The correct default response is not always to worship at the altar of the bitch-goddess of monetarism.

Tim–do you have a time series for UK employment in manufacturing?

“Tim–do you have a time series for UK employment in manufacturing?”

Not immediately to hand, no. But manufacturing employment has plummeted. A good thing, as this means that those who used to work in manufacturing can now go and do something else. It’s the flip side of it being easier to improve productivity in manufacturing than it is in services.

Say, 50% of employment used to be in manufacturing (about right I would have thought for the late 1940s) and it plummeted to 10% now (which is about the right figure). That’s 40% of the working age population which can go and do something else…..even as manufacturing output continues to rise.

For example, employment in health care has gone from perhaps 2 or 3% of the workforce to 5 or 6%. That’s good isn’t it? We like people working in hospitals?

Oh, one more thing.The number of global manufacturing jobs has been falling in recent decades as well. Yes, really, even as China grows, they too are losing jobs in manufacturing. It’s that productivity thing again and there’s only so many things you can drop on your foot that the world actually wants.

18. ex-Labour voter

Peter Mandelson owns a £21,500 watch but did his best to undermine the minimum wage.

In his memoirs, Blair admitted that he supported the 1988 budget which cut the top rate of income tax to 40%.

Gordon Brown floated the idea of a state funeral and invited her to Downing Street.
Do you remember the ‘Brown Tories’ that Labour was supposed to have won over at the time? Another part of that strategy involved abolishing the 10p tax rate to finance a cut in the standard rate. Very sickening behaviour.

David Cameron was able to cynically use the 10p tax abolition to show he was a caring figure eventhough the Conservatives voted with Labour to abolish it.

It is that dreadful legacy that handicaps the Labour Party to this day.

Robert Anderson @ 2:

“or send soldiers to their deaths when the Falklands war could and should have been avoided.”

Out of interest, how would you have avoided the war? Just rolled over and let British territory be occupied by a fascist dictatorship?

Galen10 @ 15:

“Thatchers government precipitated the Falklands war by it’s lack of preparedness”

She was drunk, Your Honour, and wearing a short skirt.

“For example, employment in health care has gone from perhaps 2 or 3% of the workforce to 5 or 6%. That’s good isn’t it? We like people working in hospitals?”

Pourquoi? According to your argument, this should be evidence of a terminal decline in sectoral productivity.

And if we reallocate resources between sectors, do the same inputs simply transition from one to the other in a frictionless manner? How many spot-welders now work in the NHS? Not many, I’d wager.

It seems to me that your implied model is far too simple to capture the full range of effects. Simply because the decline in manufacturing employment is associated with (but not identical to) a rise in sectoral productivity, it does not follow that the decline in manufacturing employment is ipso facto a net positive for social welfare.

“Pourquoi? According to your argument, this should be evidence of a terminal decline in sectoral productivity.”

No, it shows that health care is a luxury good*. As we get richer we desire to devote a larger portion of our newly higher income to it.

“And if we reallocate resources between sectors, do the same inputs simply transition from one to the other in a frictionless manner?”

Frictionless? No, of course not. One of the stronger arguments against Keynesian fiscal stimulus is that labour is not homogenous.

“it does not follow that the decline in manufacturing employment is ipso facto a net positive for social welfare.”

I do not argue that it is. I only argue the opposite position, that a decline in manufacturing employment is ipso facto not a net decline in social welfare.

* Please note, trolls, this does not mean the same as “health care is a luxury”. Go and look up the definitions of inferior, normal and luxury goods please.

@15 Galen

“tacit acceptance that we would do a Hong Kong style deal on the isalnds with the fascist regime in Argentina”

“Just remember she and her party were quite sanguine about allowing the Argentine junta, which disposed of it’s opposition by throwing them into the sea from the back of a Hercules aircraft, to assume control of the Falklands ”

This is new to me. Do you have a link to your source?

@19

Nobody was suggesting allowing the brutal fascists to hang on to the Falklands once they had invaded (apart from our “friends” the USA of course who spent a great deal of time on the fence and conspicuously failed to support us in the way we did our usual poodle act over Afghanistan, Iraq etc.).

As already stated, thatcher’s government precipitated the junta’s invasion by removing the islands only line of defence in budget cuts, and sending tacit signals that they were open to some form of Hong Kong type deal. Of course it is vanishingly unlikely the fascists who had just spent years murdering their own opposition would have been model rulers of the 1800 poor Falklanders who were effectively being thrown to the wolves.

The war could easily have been avoided by sending a (well advertised) nuclear sub to the area as previous Labour governments had done.

It wasn’t a matter of being drunk and wearing a short skirt, it was a matter of getting well rogered and waking up next morning and shouting rape.

Tim

But you will have seen the time series for UK manufacturing as a percentage of GDP, right? And compared it to the figures for Germany?

I’ll go and look it up in my Begg, Fischer & Dornbusch in a minute …

#

xxx@19 British territory thousands of mile away. Don’t make me laugh. You would still be supporting the oppression in the indian sub continent and elsewhere if you had been born earlier. The point I was making is that Thatcher withdrew military support form South Geogia giving the green light for thes nasty Argentine imperialist to invade “our” Falklands

Dave,

Good point.

Tim,

I do not argue that it is. I only argue the opposite position, that a decline in manufacturing employment is ipso facto not a net decline in social welfare.

With which I agree. So what are we left with? Not much.

Productivity us up, which is good. But unemployment in manufacturing is down, which–considered in isolation–is bad. Determining which effect dominates is non-trivial.

Consider: the increasing capital intensity of manufacturing is not necessarily a good thing, and neither is the loss of global manufacturing capacity (which Dave hints at above). We’ve got both those things. Don’t you think that’s worth worrying about?

Maybe Blair felt embaressed by the way that the Labour opposition of 1988 shouted down the Budget and Nearly stopped nigel Lawson form delvering it, Anyone would have thought tha the TOries hadn’t just won a landslide,

Mandlesons’”we’re all thathcerites now,”maybe was meant as A concession that unfortualtely the Right had won the debate and that we (the people running and organsiing the labour party Had to Admit that our socilaist dream of Tax and spend had died)

As For Thtatcher what she did was unforgivable to the Working class, But As Mandleson poitned out the Soicalist dream died-why ‘Becuase half backed ideas of the Left during the 80′s that were nowt to do with socialsim ,put labour out of power for 18 years, regarding Gordon backing the state funeral, maybe he did it to try to get labour votes, Personally I’ll get blaggered the day she dies, But I also curse those who let her win by making labour unfit to rule. And I’ll grudigngly admit those who left labour for the SDP in 1981 had the not voted SDP their second choice was The Tories,

Say, 50% of employment used to be in manufacturing (about right I would have thought for the late 1940s) and it plummeted to 10% now (which is about the right figure). That’s 40% of the working age population which can go and do something else…..even as manufacturing output continues to rise.

For example, employment in health care has gone from perhaps 2 or 3% of the workforce to 5 or 6%. That’s good isn’t it? We like people working in hospitals?

My maths aint so good. A rise in employment from 2-3% in healthcare to 5-6% takes care of what percentage of the 40% of people previously employed in manufacturing and with an entirely different skillset?

As For Thtatcher what she did was unforgivable to the Working class, But As Mandleson poitned out the Soicalist dream died-why ‘Becuase half backed ideas of the Left during the 80?s that were nowt to do with socialsim ,put labour out of power for 18 years,

Did Mandleson really use the word ‘nowt’?

Galen @ 23:

“It wasn’t a matter of being drunk and wearing a short skirt, it was a matter of getting well rogered and waking up next morning and shouting rape.”

I don’t see why you think the two situations are so different. In the one example, the girl’s behaviour was a contributing factor to the rape, but nobody forced the rapist to do what he did, and sensible people would agree that he has to take the blame. In the other, the British government’s behaviour was a contributing factor to the invasion, but nobody forced the Argentine government to invade. (Unless, of course, you want to suggest that Johnny Argentine can’t really help himself in such matters, and has to be firmly kept in his place by military force.)

Robert @ 25:

“British territory thousands of mile away. Don’t make me laugh.”

Yes. And?

21 Tim Wortall.

You are very good at quoting figures but are oblivious to human cost and and waste. As regards to manufacturing and importing thing such as New Zealand lamb for instance, look at the planet Tim, we cannot sustain such stupid global trade. Adam Smith would be turning in his grave to be quoted so often by unlearned persons such as yourself

Very interesting Tyler (6) But inaccurate. Britsh mines were some of the most productive in the world and we still have millions of tonnes of coal waiting to be mined. You do not understand the economics of energy supply although you probably would claim to be a patriot, but maybe your hatred of working people colours youe judgement

Stunning Tim Worst of all. you are obviously quite literate and probably quite sincere but your view of the world leads inevitably to a totalatarinism that maybe just maybe you desire. Your gurus which I presume are Hayek and Freidman denigrate many organs of democracy including trade unions. What is you esteemed opinion on the subject

@30 The rape analogy doesn’t really work, as pointed out it was well known by the British government that the Argentinian Junta was seeking to annex the Falklands, and Thatcher, armed with this knowledge, chose to leave it defenceless. Responsible leadership it ain’t.

Cylux @ 34:

“it was well known by the British government that the Argentinian Junta was seeking to annex the Falklands,”

“Argentina wants the Falklands” =/= “Argentina is planning to launch an invasion”. Heck, even a few members of the Argentine government didn’t know about the planned invasion until quite close to the start date.

4 Undeniably the best argument.

Demonisation is seldom, if ever, illuminating. For a detached and exceptionally well-documented assessment of the Thatcher governments, I suggest a read of: Simon Jenkins: Thatcher and Sons (Penguin Books, 2006).

Sam Brittan writing in the FT: “The relative decline of the British economy in the century up to the late 1970s has been reversed. Since then, the UK has caught up with and even overtaken its principal trading partners. The previous two sentences are neither a typing mistake nor a daydream. They are the sober conclusions of the country’s leading quantitative historian, Prof Nicholas Crafts”
http://www.samuelbrittan.co.uk/text399_p.html

The fact is that the Thatcher – and Major – governments spent billions of taxpayers’ money propping up the mining industry as can be easily verified from looking at the Coal Board’s annual borrowing requirement. The 1984/85 mining strike was about whether even more taxpayers’ money should have been spent propping up the industry. What prompted the post-strike run down of the industry was that world oil prices fell by about a half in 1985 and since coal prices paid by the electricity generators are linked to oil prices, there was a steep fall in the revenues of the Coal Board so more pits became uneconomic to run.

@2 Robert Anderson: I find it curious that this blog, which usually devotes itself to working actions against emissions of coal dioxide, servers here as a platform for hate against the one politician who did so much to raise the issue of possible man-made global warming. Thatcher was one of the first world leaders to speak of this issue in public. http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/107346

And likewise, I find it curious that it can be a very bad thing to use fossil fuels, but then it is also very bad that Thatcher worked to close down a particularly polluting, dangerous and inefficient kind of fossil fuel use (British coal mines). Shouldn’t everyone be doing the same?

There is lack of consistency here. I realise that it is partly because different opponents of Thatcher hate her because of different, in fact completely contradicting grounds. But it just seems that this site is more about hate and resistance than about consistent understanding and progress.

34, well sadi ,35 I have to disagree, it was on the card for ears

29 No he probably didn’t say Nowt, The memory cheats

@35 I’d suggest that when the nation eyeing up your territory happens to be ruled over by a violent military Junta, that planning for the worst is what a sensible competent leader would have done.

years not ears, Damn typo’s

Whether you love or hate the old crone isn’t the problem.
Why should a civil servant have an expensive state funeral?
She is getting £500, 000 a year already.
Churchill, yes because his funeral was a debt of gratitude to war generation and their sacrifices.
Thatcher’s generation and legacy . Greedy yuppies, right wing wankers who post on this site, unprincipled journo and bogus historians.
Also think of the people she will have to invite.
1. Khmer rouge. She lied that the SAS had not trained the little psychos under her watch.
2. Mad Mullahs. Who she trained and armed in the 80′s. The little sods still hated Jews, women and gays at the time.
3. Pinochet’s death and torture squads.
4. Argentinean Junta officers who were trained from 1980-1982. They were not nasty fascists then but important allies.
5. The Malaysian dam consortium. Pretty dodgy that.
6 The corrupt Saudis who her husband and son had some very dodgy dealings with. Which of course she knew nothing about ?
7. The racist boers who she admired and her husband had many dealings with.
The fragrant Ms Lloyd doesn’t mention that in her film “Mamma at number 10″

Martin
I love your idea
What about having a X factor type competition for next state funeral.
A few candidates
Bruciee
Peter Stringfellow
Cheryl Cole

38 ptp Which planet are you on? And which nation state do you support? I am and always will be a supporter of comminity whether that be a nation state, a village or even international. That in essence means looking after those people in those communities. YOU obviosly believe in social darwinism!

As a Falkland’s vet.
The reasons why the argies invaded was
1. Decommissioning of the endurance, in their minds it was an indication of the UK’s lack of commitment to the islands.
2. They thought their relationship was good with the Thatcher government. Many of the pilots that dropped bombs at murder alley were trained by us.
3. They thought the yanks would keep out of it. Their relationship with Fitzpatrick was very strong.
4. Their economy had gone tits up. Like most governments when this occurs they have to have an enemy to distract them. Thank god that would never happen in the UK.
Thatcher’s response initially was one of panic.
Carrington was the real hero because he kept his nerve.

46. Tax Obesity, Not Business

Robert Anderson @ 32:

“Britsh mines were some of the most productive in the world and we still have millions of tonnes of coal waiting to be mined. You do not understand the economics of energy supply”

That is wrong. A few British mines produced deep mined coal relatively efficiently, but most did not. So it was always going to be cheaper to import open cast coal.

@46: “A few British mines produced deep mined coal relatively efficiently, but most did not. ”

Exactly. Closed by the Coal Board in 1994, the Tower Colliery in South Wales continued working as a producers’ cooperative right through to January 2008:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_Colliery

Even her own cabinet got rid of her ! She was rude and evil to her own colleagues as well the British people.

She was a disgrace and went in disgrace.

More demonisation of Thatcher but how come the Conservatives with her leadership won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987 if she was such a failure as prime minister?

50
I think it was something to do with the Labour Party losing it’s way, never mind, the surrogate tory party had their own male version of Thatcher from 1997.

Sorry, that comment was meant for @49

Cylux @ 40:

“I’d suggest that when the nation eyeing up your territory happens to be ruled over by a violent military Junta, that planning for the worst is what a sensible competent leader would have done.”

Maybe, but then hindsight is always 20/20. Britain had enjoyed good relations with Argentina prior to the war, and the Argentine government had problems enough keeping control of its own people, let alone trying to conquer anywhere else, especially when that “anywhere else” is a set of barren islands with little practical benefit. Perhaps Mrs. T. just concluded that Galtieri would be too busy controlling his own country.

But still, even if we were to say that reducing British defences on the islands was a foolish thing to do, that still wouldn’t invalidate the rape simile. After all, getting drunk in the presence of strange men is a foolish thing to do, but most people would still say that the rapists were at fault, not the victim.

@steveb: “I think it was something to do with the Labour Party losing it’s way”

I agree that Foot and Kinnock were dead losses as leaders of the Labour Party but even so. Labour was predicted in the polls to win the general election in 1992 until that rally in Sheffield:

“So what did cost Labour the 1992 election? Worcester has no doubt that it was the Sheffield rally, just eight days before polling day. On the eve of the rally, three polls came out, showing a seven-point lead, a six-point lead and a four-point lead for Labour. That day, Labour peaked.”
http://www.newstatesman.com/199812110020

Having watched videos clips of that Sheffield rally on the BBC website and YouTube several times, I can easily understand why that triumphalism at the rally turned people off. Wasn’t that rally reputedly the “brainchild” of Philip Gould who went on to advise Blair on polling and strategy after Blair became PM?

Or, if you’d prefer another comparison: if Britain and France had stood up to Hitler more in the 1930s, the Second World War could have been avoided, as possibly could the Holocaust. But the blame for those deaths still rests with Hitler, not with the British or French governments.

55. Just Visiting

Coal mines – are you guys who are angry with Thatcher – equally angry with the Germans? Their coal employment went down over 90% 1977 to ~ 2005

They decided in 2007 to stop state subsidies of their mines….

Was it right for them to have pumped billions of tax payer money into them all this time?
NB -the subsidies don’t stop until 2018 !

“The Rise and Fall of Germany’s Coal Mining Industry

“Germany plans to close its remaining eight black coal mines by 2018
Coal might be Germany’s most abundant indigenous energy source, but the death knell finally sounded for the country’s unprofitable coal industry when the government decided to end mining subsidies by 2018.

Germany’s mining sector has been heavily dependent on subsidies ever since the coal crisis of 1958 and clearly could not be supported indefinitely.

One by one, the country’s pits were closed down. From 1960 to 1980, the number of mines fell from 146 to 39. By 2000, only 12 were still operating, with output down to 20.7 million tons in 2006 from 150 million tons in 1957 — a development which undid the very fabric of post-war Germany with its mass lay-offs. While some 610,000 were employed in the mines in 1977, the figure was well under 50,000 in recent years.

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,2331545,00.html

Robert Anderson @ 32:

“Britsh mines were some of the most productive in the world and we still have millions of tonnes of coal waiting to be mined.”

If that were the case, then why did they rely on state subsidies to carry on?

Readers of this thread from another planet could be easily misled into thinking that the 1984/85 mining strike and the subsequent run-down of the mining industry in Britain were the only events of real significance during Conservative governments which lasted from 1979 through 1997.

disgraceful for any govt to subsidise inefficient coal mines. far better to piss the money away on overseas energy sources. dsnt look too clever now with the rise in energy prices combined with clean coal technology and companies likes sasol’s innovations in converting coal into petrol

@52

But still, even if we were to say that reducing British defences on the islands was a foolish thing to do, that still wouldn’t invalidate the rape simile. After all, getting drunk in the presence of strange men is a foolish thing to do, but most people would still say that the rapists were at fault, not the victim.

It invalidates the rape simile because, in theory, one of the responsibilities of government is to the defence and protection of it’s citizenry and territory, whereas a woman has no responsibility toward not being raped. It’s a foolish line of argument to pursue, because you can end up either arguing for mandatory Burkas and pepper-spray for everyone to ensure they’re sufficiently defended, or unilateral disarmament and disbandment of the armed forces for cost saving purposes as nations hold no responsibility for their own defence. So goes the peril of comparing apples to ED209′s.

is a set of barren islands with little practical benefit. Perhaps Mrs. T. just concluded that Galtieri would be too busy controlling his own country.

By all accounts it’s the fact they were barren islands with little benefit that were costing money which inspired Thatcher to want to hand them over, and saw her cut their patrols. Course that attitude may well have made the Argentinians think that they might get away with helping themselves to the Falklands for free.

In retrospect, the mining strike of 1984/85 achieved nothing except to impoverish South Yorkshire and other strike-bound areas dependent on mining but impoverishment was probably the undeclared intention of the Yorkshire NUM which never balloted its membership to find out whether the members really wanted to strike. In South Yorkshire, 10 pc of employment was engaged in mining, little more than half the numbers employed in the local metal manufacturing and engineering sectors

The strike wasn’t supported by the Labour Party or other trade unions. Famously, the Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire coal fields didn’t strike. The Thatcher government was re-elected in 1987 with a comfortable majority.

Readers here may be interested in this news report from The Observer in 1999:

Two more British academics have been identified in files held by the former East German secret police as informers to the Communist authorities, The Observer can reveal. . . .

Vic Allen, a retired Leeds sociology professor and former political ally of Arthur Scargill, is also said to have passed information to the East Germans. His former university denied the charge on his behalf.

The allegations, which follow Friday’s unmasking of Hull lecturer Ronald Pearson as an East German agent, suggest that a network of Stasi informers could have been active in British universities in the Seventies and Eighties.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/1999/sep/19/antonybarnett.patrickwintour

Perhaps of special interest is that from January 1985 through to 1990, Putin was a KGB liaison officer serving in East Germany. Presumably, he had access to the reports of the Stasi spies operating in Britain, which would have likely included feedback on prominent Labour MPs and candidates active in CND since Vic Allen was on the governing council of CND.

61. So Much For Subtlety

2. Robert Anderson

As a miner who was vilified by Thatcher as the “enemy within” for taking a principled stand against the destruction of a vital energy resource,

Sorry but Thatcher left a lot of coal in the ground. The coal that was destroyed was Polish coal. You know, burnt up. She preserved Britain’s vital energy resources, didn’t she?

I will never forgive her or her cronies for branding me in essence a traitor when in reality, she is the most treasonous person to have inhabited these shores since lord Haw Haw.

Here’s a clue – if you don’t want people to think you’re a traitor don’t elect buffoons who take money from the Libyans and the Soviet Union. Don’t repeatedly take down governments for challenging one of the most left wing Trade Unions in Britain. If you do take the Dane’s shilling, people are going to think you support the Danes. And your Union did, didn’t it?

I did smash longstanding stable communities

Yes you did.

I did not support vile dictators like Pinochet or the Saudis and I ceratinly did not support the evil white apartheid government of South Africa or deem one of the greatest living human beings, Nelson Mandele a “terrorist”

Mandela was a terrorist. He was convicted of it. At a trial where he loudly said he was a terrorist. You may think his terrorism was cool, but he was still in every way, a terrorist. And someone who condoned placing tyres around the necks of law abiding innocent people and setting them on fire. He was no more one of the greatest living human beings than Pinochet was – Pinochet killing a hell of a lot fewer people. With more justification.

I love my country very much and therefore I will not be mourning this traitor who sold well and truly out to big business.

You love your country but you sided with those who wanted another country to love it. You love your country but you supported a man who took money from a leader who funded terrorists who murdered people defending your country. Yeah. Sure. It is ironic you are accusing Thatcher of selling out.

13. Shatterface

Its not the winning or the losing, its the fact that an unnecessary war was fought at all.

It is a measure of the irrationality of the Left that they attack Thatcher for their own policies. By all means, tell us how defence cuts were wrong. How Britain should have spent more on the Armed Forces – even though they were spending more then than we do now. Go on.

15. Galen10

Thatchers government precipitated the Falklands war by it’s lack of preparedness and tacit acceptance that we would do a Hong Kong style deal on the isalnds with the fascist regime in Argentina.

Thatcher’s new government continued many policies of the previous Labour administration. I am sure the Foreign Office wanted to sell out the islands. But whatever cuts there were, were caused by the Labour Party. Who were, at the time, strongly supporting a deal with the Argentinians. As expected. Thatcher did not precipitate the war. Although if the Labour Party had been in office we wouldn’t have had a war, would we?

Pointing out that she wasn’t the first one to sup with the devil doesn’t excuse her any more than it excuses others who enable such vile regimes.

Except she did not sup with the devil did she? She did not sell out the islanders and she did not do a deal with the Argentines.

Just remember she and her party were quite sanguine about allowing the Argentine junta, which disposed of it’s opposition by throwing them into the sea from the back of a Hercules aircraft, to assume control of the Falklands before the generals exercised the stupid option and invaded.

There being no evidence for this claim at all. In fact the evidence is directly to the contrary – thje Joint Intelligence Committee said that as long as the Argentinians had a chance of negotiating a solution, they would not resort to force. The advice Thatcher got was to hold out the possibility. Not actually give in. Despite the fact the Left wanted her to.

The war was a damn close run thing, and if it had happened any later it is unlikely we could have retaken the islands, as defence policy and procurement by successive governments (not just hers) would have made the expedition functionally impossible. Nice to see that the current government with its Strategic defence Review isn’t any better!

Yet again the Left channels its inner Colonel Blimp when it comes to Thatcher. So now we have the Left demanding more military spending – even though they opposed it at the time. Amazing.

It is quite arguable that things would have been a good deal better had alternative policies been followed.

Go on, argue it then. There really was no alternative.

The correct default response is not always to worship at the altar of the bitch-goddess of monetarism.

Nor is the correct default response to always worship at the altar of those who hate Thatcher. Just because you don’t like her doesn’t mean every decision she made was wrong.

23. Galen10

Nobody was suggesting allowing the brutal fascists to hang on to the Falklands once they had invaded (apart from our “friends” the USA of course who spent a great deal of time on the fence and conspicuously failed to support us in the way we did our usual poodle act over Afghanistan, Iraq etc.).

Don Regan supported a negotiated deal. The rest of America was not only on our side, they backed up their support with concrete aid such as giving Britain the latest Sidewinder missiles. Again the Left needs to lie.

As already stated, thatcher’s government precipitated the junta’s invasion by removing the islands only line of defence in budget cuts, and sending tacit signals that they were open to some form of Hong Kong type deal.

Britain had been sending such signals since the 1960s at least. On the idiotic assumption that the Argentinians would not choose war when they could opt for negotiations. Idiotic but not Thatcher’s fault. Endurance was armed with two 20 mm guns. It was a patrol boat, not anyone’s last line of defence. Or even their first. It was painting bright orange because its only real task was rescue. Not any of this matters to you does it?

Of course it is vanishingly unlikely the fascists who had just spent years murdering their own opposition would have been model rulers of the 1800 poor Falklanders who were effectively being thrown to the wolves.

And yet a lot of people supported that idea.

The war could easily have been avoided by sending a (well advertised) nuclear sub to the area as previous Labour governments had done.

And now the Left embraces gunboat diplomacy. Yes, that is what those lesser breeds without the law need isn’t it? Not talks but waving the flag and threatening nuclear annihilation. Yet again the Left is prepared to sell out every single principle it has just to smear Thatcher.

It wasn’t a matter of being drunk and wearing a short skirt, it was a matter of getting well rogered and waking up next morning and shouting rape.

I see. Thatcher consented to the invasion did she?

62. So Much For Subtlety

31. Robert Anderson

You are very good at quoting figures but are oblivious to human cost and and waste. As regards to manufacturing and importing thing such as New Zealand lamb for instance, look at the planet Tim, we cannot sustain such stupid global trade. Adam Smith would be turning in his grave to be quoted so often by unlearned persons such as yourself

There is no reason to think the planet cannot sustain lamb from New Zealand – shipping contrails cool the planet after all. The only waste I can see was the billions we poured into idle coal miners. There was a human cost to “dole not coal”, but then there was a huge to trade union militancy.

32. Robert Anderson

But inaccurate. Britsh mines were some of the most productive in the world and we still have millions of tonnes of coal waiting to be mined.

So Thatcher did not destroy those resources then? Good. Which mines were anywhere nearly remotely productive on an international comparison? Name three. British deep cut mines were expensive, out of date, often too wet and marked by poisonous Union behaviour. They were a negative legacy on the health of Britain and they had to be cut loose to survive on their own. Which they didn’t as their coal was too expensive – they were not productive. How many mines are left in Britain? Five? Eleven? The proof is in the pudding innit?

42. Angry dad

Why should a civil servant have an expensive state funeral?

Yes. Damn Nelson and Churchill.

1. Khmer rouge. She lied that the SAS had not trained the little psychos under her watch.

She did not lie because she did not send the SAS to train the Khmer Rouge. Such claims have been tested in British Courts and the morons who made them have lost. They have had to pay damages. You think Sunny is going to risk you putting his site at risk indefinitely by libelous statements that are trivially proven wrong? You keep this up and you’re going to look foolish again.

2. Mad Mullahs. Who she trained and armed in the 80?s. The little sods still hated Jews, women and gays at the time.

Actually Britain mainly trained the nicer Sufis. But facts, who needs them right?

3. Pinochet’s death and torture squads.

Something that had nothing to do with Thatcher.

4. Argentinean Junta officers who were trained from 1980-1982. They were not nasty fascists then but important allies.

Evidence. I won’t call that a lie but I bet you can’t prove it either.

7. The racist boers who she admired and her husband had many dealings with.

As we should have. Until the Soviet Union collapsed, there was no way any sane person could have supported the Stalinist South African Communist Party and its Front group, the ANC, taking power.

44. Robert Anderson

And which nation state do you support?

I think the question is which nation state do you support? Given your loud and vocal support of Scargill and his paymasters.

45. Angry dad

As a Falkland’s vet.

Wow. You’re a vet are you? Which regiment?

<i.2. They thought their relationship was good with the Thatcher government. Many of the pilots that dropped bombs at murder alley were trained by us.

Name three.

3. They thought the yanks would keep out of it. Their relationship with Fitzpatrick was very strong.

But they didn’t, did they?

More about Vic Allen:

A left-wing academic, unmasked as a spy in the unfolding Cold War scandal, has denied acting illegally or betraying his country.

Vic Allen, 77, a former leading member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), said he had “no regrets” over providing information to the East German Stasi secret police.

The retired Leeds University professor, from Keighley, North Yorkshire, said he did pass on information about CND’s activities. But he said he considered that perfectly legitimate because he belonged to a pro-Soviet, pro-East German faction of the group.

He told BBC Two’s The Spying Game: “I have no shame. I feel no regrets about that at all.

“My only regret is that we didn’t succeed.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/09/99/britain_betrayed/451366.stm

Several histories of the Yorkshire NUM and profiles of Arthur Scargill refer to Vic Allen – such as Michael Crick: Scargill and the Miners (Penguin). As best I can gather, the information about the extent of Vic Allen’s links with the Stasi came from access by British intelligence to the Stasi files after the collapse of the East German regime in September 1989. BBC2 produced a programme: The Spying Game, broadcast in 1999 presumably based on briefing by British security services. I assume this would have been cleared by the government.

Re the Falklands

The previous Labour Gov’t had forestalled Argentinian moves by a show of force

Compare that to the steps taken by Margaret Thatcher

1) removing British Citizenship from the Falkland Islanders
2) selling the aircraft arrives
3) reducing forces on the Islands
4) removing the naval presence

If the Junta had waited a few months, the UK would have not had the carriers, it barely had the Vulcans, they were taken out of retirement and needed spare parts from a US museum

Thatcher was “lucky”. She was nosediving in the polls and could have lost an election in ’83 or ’84.

Pity it took so many unnecessary deaths to achieve her reelection

65. Dear Old Ted

You mourn if you want to; this lad’s not for mourning.

Me neither.

If the Thatcher government was so dreadful at the time of the miners’ strike, how come the Conservatives were re-elected in 1987 with a comfortable majority?

As for the Falklands, the foreign office didn’t anticipate that the Agentine junta would order an invasion, which is why Lord Carrington, the foreign secretary at the time, resigned.

@66 Probably for the same reason Blair got himself reelected the second time despite everyone hating him. Plus let’s not forget such important things called ‘marginal seats’, and ‘electoral boundarys’.

68. THE TRUTH WILL BE

WOW! Such hateful zealotry aimed at an old woman! You cunts should convert to Islam…you’ve reached the same height of self-righteous, frothing hate.

Carrington took the honourable course in resigning as the result of the Argentine invasion of the Falklands and he went on to become secretary general of NATO.

For comparison, Blair didn’t resign when no WMD were found in Iraq after the invasion despite the claims made in that government dossier which Blair presented to Parliament on 24 September 2002. That dossier had claimed no less than four times – presumably, just in case readers missed the first three mentions, the first time over Blair’s signature – that Iraq could use WMD within 45 minutes of a command from Saddam Hussein.

70. David Quoosp

Seeing as I’m not remotely interested in trying to ‘win’ an internet argument, just let me assure you that our house will indeed be celebrating the day in the style.

I prefer Frankie Boyle’s take: For three million pounds you could give everyone in Scotland a shovel, and we’d dig a whole so deep we’d be able to hand her over to Satan personally.

Ding dong.

Alan Walters, who was Mrs T’s personal economic adviser, reportedly made a rather more intelligent comment in a conversation at a dinner to celebrate the recovery of the Falklands. For the cost of the war – about £6bn – each resident could have been offered a £1m to resettle somewhere else, the war would have been unnecessary and lives would have been saved. But he was only an economist.

72. the a&e charge nurse

Don’t be too hard on Thatch – if you want to be angry at something then why not that little bit of Thatch in everybody who thought her policies were such a good idea?

Without an army of ass kissing minions she would otherwise have remained a bossy women perhaps running a chain of shops in somewhere like Heckington or Bottesford?

You’re pretty obviously quoting Mandelson out of context, given that he was talking in a “strictly narrow sense”, but don’t let accuracy get in the way of a good polemic.

Yeah – if only Labour had won that election in 1983: the commanding heights of the economy would be in public ownership, Britain would be out of the European Common Market and we wouldn’t be worrying about whether to replace those Trident submarines to carry Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

As for the mining industry, presumably, we would still be subsidising that regardless of the cost in no longer affordable hospitals and schools. I wonder what would have happened to British Leyland on which £3.4 bn of taxpayers’ money was spent before it was privatised in 1988?

Sorry but Thatcher left a lot of coal in the ground. The coal that was destroyed was Polish coal. You know, burnt up. She preserved Britain’s vital energy resources, didn’t she?

Wow, shutting down the mines was a way of preserving our own resources while burning up our competitors’.

Genius.

It is a measure of the irrationality of the Left that they attack Thatcher for their own policies. By all means, tell us how defence cuts were wrong. How Britain should have spent more on the Armed Forces – even though they were spending more then than we do now. Go on.

How the hell do you get from me calling the Falklands War ‘unnecessary’ to ‘we should have spent more on it’?

“My generation witnessed first hand her destruction of Britain’s industrial base”

Well that’s a lie.

Industrial production increased constantly throughout her premiership. The relative decline compared to service sector was no worse than happened in other developed economies.

71
Wasn’t he the one that introduced her to market theory and Adam Smith, but I doubt if he had been so insightful before the event.
The French syndicalists attempted to stop the working-class of both the UK and Germany from going to war, now look what that would have saved. But they were only leftists activists.
74
Good news, now we are supporting chronic unemployment and an increase in health services. Never mind we can now all enjoy cheap energy bills.

@61 SMFS

So many words, and yet so little sense….

Thatchers’s government DID precipitate the war, as pointed out by Erchie @64 above by taking a number of decisions which directly encouraged the junta in Buenos Aires to gamble that an invasion was likely to be successful. All of these decisions went way beyond anything previous governments of either right or left had done. The evidence is therefore quite clearly against you in this regard.

The only reason she didn’t sell the islanders out was because she got lucky and the junta invaded. The fact that she managed to come up smelling of roses is attributable to luck as much as good judgement. Whether a Labour government, or a Tory government led be someone else would have done differently is another matter. Once the Argentinians invaded, it was never likely that the UK would simply sit back and accept the situation. The fact that we only barely had the capacity to mount the task force and retake the islands is an indictment of decades of mismanagement and failures in defence procurement and successive defence reviews. You need to get over your naive assumption that “all” people on the left oppose defence spending.

You still haven’t answered the charge of why Thatcher’s government took the actions Erchie mentioned above, and failed to warn the Argies off in ways that had previously been done. This is a direct failing on their part.. it has nothing to do with the left, or the advice of the JCS… they just got it wrong. The war was avoidable.

As for channeling “Colonel Blimp” you are obviously too ignorant and ill-informed about the issues to see that an ounce of prevention would have saved thousands of lives, and huge amounts of money. That wouldn’t have entailed huge additional expenditure, just a better allocation of resources, and decent defence reviews; not something Thatcher or indeed any other government before or since have done much about.

The fact that many people supported the idea of handing the islands to Argentina doesn’t make it right, nor does it support your argument, or the inaction and culpability of thatcher and her colleagues; it only shows how lacking in foresight and commitment to human rights she and her ilk were.

Why are you so against the use of military preparedness in addition to negotiations? The fact that the Tories tried to use the latter without the former led directly to the Argentinian invasion. Previous administrations used both. Again, your revered leaderene is exposed for what she really is. It isn’t a matter of being of the left or the right. Any reasonable person, and any objective outsider would hold her and her administration culpable.

Thatcher didn’t consent to the invasion, but her policies and action directly encouraged and precipitated it. If she’d had a shred of decency (faint hope) she’d have resigned in ignominy like some of the fall guys in her cabinet. The debacle was avoidable, and she was ultimately responsible.

The American role particularly at the start was much more equivocal than you make out. Fitzpatrick and many others in the USA administration were quite happy to stay out of it, and didn’t want to get involved at all; par for the course given their role elsewhere in Latin America.

Try actually educating yourself in the background to the conflict before going off on tendentious rants in support of your heroine. I warmly recommend the book “Razor’s Edge” by Hugh Bicheno .. you might actually learn something.

@71 Bob B

“Alan Walters, who was Mrs T’s personal economic adviser, reportedly made a rather more intelligent comment in a conversation at a dinner to celebrate the recovery of the Falklands. For the cost of the war – about £6bn – each resident could have been offered a £1m to resettle somewhere else, the war would have been unnecessary and lives would have been saved. But he was only an economist.”

Yeah, cos we should really listen to the advice of economists, what with the great track record they have…

… oh wait….

Steveb: “Wasn’t he the one that introduced her to market theory and Adam Smith, but I doubt if he had been so insightful before the event.”

Mrs T tended to credit Nicholas Ridley above all as her mentor on privatisation and markets – which btw is why the railways weren’t privatised by any of the Thatcher governments despite Ridley doing a stint as transport minister.

There are very mixed views about Alan Walters among Conservatives. A huge row erupted over his criticism of the policy about lining up the Pound to join the ERM. Lawson resigned as chancellor in 1989 ostensibly in protest at Walters’ role in advising Mrs T.

As events showed, Walters was absolutely right about why it wasn’t a good idea to put the Pound in the ERM but John Major, as Lawson’s successor, went ahead and did it in October 1990 not longer before Mrs T lost the support of her cabinet and was forced to resign. The Labour front bench, including John Smith and Gordon Brown, welcomed the decision to put the Pound in the ERM, which rather shows us that they hadn’t much of a clue either.

Alan Walters was also a pioneer in the 1950s and 1960s in developing the theory underpinning road pricing and readers will likely recall how nuch true-blue Conservatives hate the very idea of road pricing and the congestion charge.

Of course, it’s so much easier to engage in a few minutes of mindless Orwellian hate about Thatcher than to think through the policy issues

This debate seems rather irrelevant considering the immortality of vampires…

“This debate seems rather irrelevant considering the immortality of vampires…”

Quite so – which is rather the theme in Simon Jenkins book: Thatcher and Sons.

New Labour were even more enthusiatic about privatising state-owned business assets, were wildly pro-EU and ran an industrial policy than that of the Thatcher governments which spent billions of taxpayers’ money propping up the mining and motor industries.

81
‘Orwellian hate’, is that a hatred of Orwell or a different kind of hatred?

So many people on LC have reflected about Thatchers’ policies and most have come to similar conclusions. Her main problem was that she thought economics had the same predictability as chemistry, but then some still hold that same delusion.

Steveb:

“Orwellian” hate is as practised in Oceania under the direction of Big Brother.

Economics isn’t as predictable as the physical sciences – although physicists seem to be having an awful lot of trouble finding evidence of the Higgs Boson, which is a fundamental prediction of their standard model. But robust economic analysis is a crucial part of making public policy and that suggests that open debate is an effective way of sifting out faulty analysis. The mess in the Eurozone as the result of European monetary union is a classic case of what happens when politics is allowed to trump economics – rejoining the Gold standard in 1925 at the pre-WW1 parity was another.

As for whether Thatcher governments with their focus on economics and privatisation were a success, try following up that link to a quote from Sam Brittan @37. If we want to learn where economic policy was flawed – as it was with joining the ERM – we need to be very focused in the analysis. Posting mindless hate stuff is of absolutely no use to either policy makers or the rest of us in making policy choices.

Galen10 @ 79:

“Thatchers’s government DID precipitate the war, as pointed out by Erchie @64 above by taking a number of decisions which directly encouraged the junta in Buenos Aires to gamble that an invasion was likely to be successful.”

Erm, no. Those decisions might have made the Argentine government think that they could go to war and get away with it, but what actually precipitated the conflict was their invasion of the Falkland Islands.

87. blackwillow1

Regardless of the varying opinions about the policies of the thatcher years, the thing we should all remember is that this is the woman said there was no society. Anyone who truly believes that is unlikely to implement policies that provide help and support to those in genuine need. Yes ,she was a truly vindictive and cruel leader, but as others have pointed out, she did win three elections in a row. So, by all means tear her to shreds, villify her, condemn her for the brutality and divisive methods she used to try and destroy the society she claimed did not exist. But let’s not forget, a lot of people voted for her, because they were just as vindictive and cruel.

@64 Erchie

Callaghan’s Govt did send an attack submarine to the Falklands in 1977 in an act of gunboat diplomacy. However this proved to be a total waste of time as the Argentinians didn’t find out about it until 1982!

In 1982 Callaghan did allege he had used SIS channels to let the Argentines know about it, but he lied.

This is from Hugh Bicheno’s excellent book ‘Razor’s Edge’ which provides an excellent account of the build up to the conflict and the conflict itself.

The author is scathing of the civil service, the BBC, the MOD amongst others, but praises Thatcher.

@ 85 BobB

“Economics isn’t as predictable as the physical sciences”

Just a few moments reflection might lead you to consider a better comparison.

What science tries to make predictions about a complex chaotic system every day?

Meteorology is the best comparison with economics as a science. They’re OK on climate and big picture stuff but whether it’s going to rain or not on New Years Day at 9 am they can’t say.

50 wells aid

53, Regarding the sheffield rally, the Reason laobur went (allegedly) 7% ahead a week before polling was that laobur had a Party election braodcast on A girl whop had an ear Infection who was turned away form the NHS ( turns out the girls grnadad was A tory and he elaked via the tories to the Telegraph that the girls name was Jennifer, the Tlegraph adn the Tories claimed that laobur had leaked the girls name and they were exploting her, Denis healey claimed the Tories had leaked her anme and the Tories issued a legal writ agisnt LAoubr, then Tory William waldegrave admitted that it was infact the Tories who had leaked her name in An attempt to make Labour look bad and retracted the legal writ, as such laobur then went further ahead in the Polls than the week before,

there were various reasons that Laobur lost the election when people thought thay’d win
(for a start , When laobur went that far ahead alot of otry voters who were thinking of voting liberal panicked adn went back grudgingly to the Tories)
Also there were Alot of tory voters ashamed to admit they were voting tory so the polls were inaccurate, right up to polling day labour was still 1% ahead

Blair and John Smith and Secretly Mandleson new that the Public would never accept Kinnock for P.M as He’d fully endorsed the 83 election and couldn’t ahndle that amount of policy changes that he’d put through.

To win the 92′ election Labour needed a 8% swing something tha hadn’t happened since the war, they hoped it would be a hung parliament with Labour the biggest party and A second election later in the year would have delivererd it,

the Second most inportant thing that resulted in Labour not winning in 92 was that the Public still hadn’t forgot the self inflicted wounds that teh Deputy leadership election and the expulsions of Militatnt had casued

Lastly the Toires told the Sun thatlaobur were going to put up the basic rate of Income tax when Labour said they weren’t with the headline yo’u ll pay £1,250 more tax A year under laobur (double whammy) the Sun printed 6 pages of Lies about this teh day beofre the elction, I was In Basildon at that time adn People who were going to vote Labour were coming upto me saying they’d not voted laobur after reading the Sun that day.

the sheffield rally although a mistake (especially Kinnocks “well alright’”) really had very little effect on the election

blackwillow1 @ 87:

“Regardless of the varying opinions about the policies of the thatcher years, the thing we should all remember is that this is the woman said there was no society.”

“There’s no such thing as society” must be the most tediously quote-mined saying of recent history.

85
That’s economics for you, great at analysing where the original theory went wrong. Quantum theory is still in it’s infancy stage and is attempting to reach back to the big bang not attempt to impose rigid rules about human behaviour that harks back to the 18th century,
And of course, that’s what went wrong with Thatcherism, we were all fed with what amounted to a guide of how to make hay bales. Anyone in the hard sciences would have pointed-out that different environments cause different outcomes. An elementary knowledge of chaos theory wouldn’t have gone amiss.
87
Thatcher had to make that comment, she was following an economic theory which was based on individual action, having ‘society’ merely got in the way of that, but still, in true iron maiden style, and certain economic theorist, they don’t let simple facts get in the way of a grand theory.
89
Well said
91
I agree, the Labour Party had by then shown that it had no time for working-class solidarity.

@86

Are you hard of thinking or just doing this for a laugh?

They never would have invaded in the first place if Thatcher’s government had not given them the impression that we wouldn’t fight by dint of the crass decisions taken in the run up to the conflict.

It isn’t a hard concept for a tub thumping uncritical Thatcher acolyte like yourself to understand.

@88 Fungus

The book also makes it fairly plain that the Argentinian junta took the action they did on the basis of the decisions made by Thatcher’s government, in the belief that these signalled an unwillingness to fight; if thatcher and her government had had even a modicum of common sense, they would have realised that a desperate fascist dictatorship will be prone to wrap itself in the flag to try and distract the populace from domestic problems. Who does that remind us of I wonder….

@87: “Regardless of the varying opinions about the policies of the thatcher years, the thing we should all remember is that this is the woman said there was no society.”

If you actually bothered to read the full quote that is not what she was saying. But had she said just that, she would have been correct. The notion of “society” is just a construction, a notional entity. I looked into the sociology literature and found this this illuminating analysis from 1967 by the late Professor WJH “Sebastian” Sprott:

“The answer to the first question – ‘What is a society?’ is that it is a figment of the imagination. . . The fact is that in physics and chemistry you start with lumps of matter; you then analyse things into their chemical elements, into different combinations of entities, protons and the like. Far from being directly acquainted with the elements, it is not unknown for philosophers to question the existence of them. Equally nonsensical is it to say that we have a direct acquaintance with society. We do not. We have direct acquaintance only with people interacting, ie the elements of society, in so far as as it exists at all, is constituted. So I say that society is in some sense a figment of imagination. But we do in fact have in our minds models of the society in which we live. You can, if some foreigner asks questions about your society, refer to your model – not a very clear one perhaps; ‘scheme’ would be a better word in use. But you have some sort of model with its political system, economic system, legal system, religious system class system and so on. You have some sort of model in your mind of the society in which you live and, if you go abroad, you prepare a model which you hope will correspond in some sort of way with the society they happen to have.”

[Source: "Society: what is it and how does it change?" from The Educational Implications of Social and Economic Change (HMSO 1967), reprinted in: DF Swift (ed): Basic Readings in the Sociology of Education (Routledge, 1970)]

Sebastian Sprott was part of the Bloomsbury Group and a close friend of Maynard Keynes: google to find Paul Levy on: The Bloomsbury Group

This question shows just how notional is the term “society”: How many societies are there in Britain and how can we tell?

@88 Fungus

See also, which hardly support your contention that Callaghan lied do they?

http://www.hms-exeter.co.uk/Passed_Over.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4597581.stm

96
You don’t seem to have got up to speed, that great Thatcherite, Norman Tebbit, upon reaching the age of 64, reflected that ageism in society was responsible for talented people being unable to find a job in their 50s. The wonderful comments which followed were worth every penny of the cost of a daily newspaper. Seems that ‘have bike will travel’ was as much of a travesty as the market theory he espoused
96
And to extrapolate from a quote of Bob B, one sociologist making a claim does not establish a universal principle.

Steveb:

Sorry, no cigar. What matters is showing how Sprott’s analytical argument is flawed – besides you’ve not answered that crucial question about how do we tell how many societies are there in Britain?

Rather than continue with the infantile stuff about whether or not there are “X” many societies, what is far more telling is to notice that in 2004, the Conservatives disbanded the Primrose League, which had been founded in 1883 to commemorative and promote Disraeli’s notion of One Nation Conservatism.

By reports, membership and activities of the League – Kenneth Clarke was an active member at one time – had dwindled and it was reckoned that there was no point in keeping it going. IMO that tells us much more about the Conservatives than whether “society” or “societies” is a figment of imagination as Sprott argued back in 1967.

98
Bob, you brought-up the subject of how many societies there are, not me.
And as for the actions of conservatives, I really would not use them as a yardstick for establishing anything.
Was Sprogg’s analysis flawed, well it seems that Norman Tebbit would think so.

Steveb:

“Bob, you brought-up the subject of how many societies there are, not me.”

Sure, and it’s an important question to know how many “societies” there are – if there are such entities – and about how can we tell.

If we can’t tell then Sprott was right in saying in 1967 that they are a figment of imagination. Very likely, Mrs T was just trying to recap on what Sprott had wrote decades before. The disbanding of the Primrose League in 2004 is a much clearer sign about what the Conservatives stand for than a footling discussion about how many societies there are when we don’t even know how to decide.

102. Tax Obesity, Not Business

Blackwillow1 @ 87:

Mrs Thatcher was talking about Guardian-speak — the sloppy claim that ‘society’ is to blame or ‘society’ should do something, as if society had agency. Essentially, she was denying the personification of society and the attribution of agency to it. Indeed, it is quite clear from her talk of reciprocal obligations that she knows that there are communities. Here is the quote:

“[Many people] are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation…”

See: http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689

103. the a&e charge nurse

[101] “there is no such thing as an entitlement” – trying telling the bankers that during the bonus season!

Thanks for that detailed quote of what Mrs T actually said.

The essential point I’m trying to make is that the detached witness has absolutely no idea whether one person’s reference to “society” has the same connotations as another person’s reference short of lengthy specifications and observations.

The difficulty that most have in deciding how to decide how many “societies” there are in Britain is illuminating. Suppose someone pops up and says there are 3½ societies. How do we show that is correct, incorrect or even meaningful?

Cameron has invoked the notion of the “Big Society” but I keep asking when did it historically start, do other countries have “big societies” too, does it make sense to claim that one country has a “bigger society” than another? IMO the whole notion just amounts to verbal diarrhoea.

@ 95 Galen

The book doesn’t blame specific actions of the Thatcher Government, it blames years of British policy. Some quotes from the book:

“it becomes clear that the war was a product of a clash of cultures and consequently far less easily avoidable than many profess to believe’

‘What mattered to Massera and Anaya was that Foreign Secretary Anthony Crosland and upon his death in 1977 his successor David Owen, resumed negotiations on the sovereignty of the islands without insisting on the removal of the Southern Thule base, while feebly begging for the usurpation to be kept out of the public domain’

‘the virtual exclusion of the Argentine dimension nutured a facile judgement that the war was unnecessary’

‘the Argentines had no reason to suspect Thatcher’s administration was any more princilpled than its predecessors’

’1980-82 was a period during which the Argentine government was suddenly more important to Washington than at any time before or since’ (i.e. they felt the US would side with them rather than the UK)

‘Furthermore, any government elected in 1979 would have been compelled to continue the process of cutting public expenditure begun by Callaghan. If , as some have argued, the defence cuts announced in 1982 were a ‘signal’ that precipitated the Argentine invasion, a re-elected Labour government would certainly have made them earlier… if a Labour government had been in power , it would have been humiliated in 1982′

I think you need to reread the book. It does not blame any actions specific to the Thatcher Government for the war and Thatcher is clearly seen as the hero of the war.

106. Tax Obesity, Not Enterprise

Looking back over this thread (and the other one concerning Mrs Thatcher), we have seen lefties displaying grotesquely venomous, vindictive and hate-filled language against the former PM. The lack of decency (particularly at this season of goodwill to all) and proportion has been staggering, showing the left in a very nasty light.

I can only assume that the hatred for Mrs Thatcher results from the way she exposed the illusions of socialism and the profound challenge she embodies to it. (The left’s irrational hatred of the USA seems to have a similar motivation.) The fact is that from 1945-1979 the UK gave democratic socialism the longest and most sustained trial in the world; and democratic socialism failed miserably, which is why Mandelson presumably said that we are all Thatcherites now, because she drew attention to economic reality and moved the centre of democratic politics to the right.

In these threads,

1. no leftist has provided any positive and concrete suggestion as to what policies could have been followed post-1979 to get the country back on its feet. The only suggestions are of what should not have been done; and these vague bleats amount to no more than ‘something nicer would have been better’.

2. the leftist illusion that Thatcher devastated the UK’s industrial base has been shown to be false – it having expanded under her leadership

3. claims that UK coal mines were among the most productive in the world have been refuted and attention drawn to the fact that Germany has wound down its own coal industry

4. Privatisation has been feebly criticised, and its undoubted benefits have been implausibly attributed to other factors ( technological innovation in telecoms) and denied outright (the railways).

5. Unable to suggest credible alternative policies for 1979 onwards, and with their criticisms of her industrial policies refuted, the left on here can only criticise her for the Falklands War – the claim @15 that she “precipitated” the conflict is memorably ludicrous! – and for her tenuous connexions with Pinochet and apartheid South Africa (which ignore the context of the Cold War).

Not that facts and sound arguments will penetrate the left’s emotional carapace of emotional resistance to reality. The attitude here towards Mrs Thatcher reminds me of the absurd and unsubstantiated conviction, also on here, that Melanie Phillips had in some unspecified way encouraged, and so was partly responsible for, Breivik’s killing spree. Reading those threads now, it is clear that the Breivik-Phillips connexion was a matter of faith for many on here.

Anyway, Merry Christmas one and all!

107. cripplekicker

@ 102:

“there is no such thing as an entitlement” – trying telling the bankers that during the bonus season!

By truncating the quotation you (deliberately?) distort it. She said: “there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation”. Which is true.

And, having fulfilled their contractual obligations, bankers are entitled to whatever bonuses their contracts entitle them to. (Perhaps the bonus entitlements need some regulation…but that is another point entirely.)

Meanwhile, the behaviour and attitude of benefit junkies (such as the self-righteous disabled lobby) and feather-bedded public sector employees (with their generous terms and conditions) suggest that they believe they have no obligations to fulfill – not even to prove they are disabled or to reduce absenteeism at work – in return for their entitlements.

108. the a&e charge nurse

[106] err, don’t you mean whatever bonuses they are entitled to after receiving a bail out costing billions subsidised by the poor old tax payer?

Even the self-righteous disabled lobby and feather-bedded public sector employees with their generous terms and conditions pay tax, yet few ever receive the sort of numbers paid out to the bankers in bonuses.

By the way ‘cripplekicker’ are you a banker or just a twat?

109. cripplekicker

@107:

“don’t you mean whatever bonuses they are entitled to after receiving a bail out costing billions subsidised by the poor old tax payer?”

This is a separate issue. If their contracts are legal and unregulated in the public interest, then they are entitled to their bonuses

“Even the self-righteous disabled lobby and feather-bedded public sector employees with their generous terms and conditions pay tax, yet few ever receive the sort of numbers paid out to the bankers in bonuses.”

Collectively, welfare payments dwarf bankers’ bonuses. And the paying of tax does not entitle you to any payments in return, for the taxation system is not an insurance scheme.

.

It doesn’t matter whether people love her or hate her, Margaret Thatcher WILL get her state funeral. She is probably the most well known of recent British PMs, and one who always stuck to her principles. She knew what she believed in, and so did many people at the time. What do we have now? Major, Blair, and Brown…political pygmies, the lot of them. They will be forgotten within ten years, but the British people will always remember Thatcher.

In the FT, Bob Diamond, head of Barclays Bank, was reported as saying in a BBC Today interview on 4 November that the Banks must accept responsibility for what went wrong. In the interview – which I listened to – he repeatedly said that banks must work towards a situation where banks could be allowed to fail without taxpayer support and without causing systemic instability if they did fail:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/292c4e48-0658-11e1-8a16-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1cmIopk8y

112. So Much For Subtlety

71. Bob B

Alan Walters, who was Mrs T’s personal economic adviser, reportedly made a rather more intelligent comment in a conversation at a dinner to celebrate the recovery of the Falklands. For the cost of the war – about £6bn – each resident could have been offered a £1m to resettle somewhere else, the war would have been unnecessary and lives would have been saved. But he was only an economist.

Sure. You should never resist a mugger. Or to use a more common analogy around here, a rapist. You just give up your wallet and get on with your life. Because there is no chance he will come back for more. No chance he will do it again. No chance the next mugger will figure out you’re an easy mark and try it himself.

If anyone offered such advice the only sensible thing to do is smack him across the head and offer him a fiver as compensation.

72. the a&e charge nurse

Don’t be too hard on Thatch – if you want to be angry at something then why not that little bit of Thatch in everybody who thought her policies were such a good idea?

Because that is pretty much the entire British population you’re talking about.

Without an army of ass kissing minions she would otherwise have remained a bossy women perhaps running a chain of shops in somewhere like Heckington or Bottesford?

So on LC today we learn what a democracy is and why Thatcher was not an autocrat. While at the same time learning that women should keep quite and stay in the kitchen making me a sandwich, bare-foot and pregnant too no doubt. The things you learn.

75. Shatterface

Wow, shutting down the mines was a way of preserving our own resources while burning up our competitors’. Genius.

Thank you. It is always nice to have a fan.

76. Shatterface

How the hell do you get from me calling the Falklands War ‘unnecessary’ to ‘we should have spent more on it’?

Not on it. On the Navy. As I said. People who criticise others for defence cuts usually want more money spent on defence. At least they do if they are not on the Left. It seems the Left will sell out any principle to criticise Thatcher.

113. So Much For Subtlety

79. Galen10

Thatchers’s government DID precipitate the war, as pointed out by Erchie @64 above by taking a number of decisions which directly encouraged the junta in Buenos Aires to gamble that an invasion was likely to be successful. All of these decisions went way beyond anything previous governments of either right or left had done. The evidence is therefore quite clearly against you in this regard.

The evidence is not on your side. Because I believe that girls have the right to wear what they like without being raped. I also think the people of the Falklands have the right to live under the government they choose without being invaded. You do not it seems. You seem to think the Argentinians are savage beats full of untamed animal power who need to be kept on a leash for everyone else’s own safety. Offensive, but predictable. Thatcher did nothing that would have even come close to suggesting they were going to give the Islands up. What she did do was follow the advice of the Joint Intelligence Committee and continue to talk to the Argentinians. No more. Stop blaming the victims. You have no evidence.

The only reason she didn’t sell the islanders out was because she got lucky and the junta invaded.

There being no evidence a sell out was ever contemplated. You’re making it up.

The fact that she managed to come up smelling of roses is attributable to luck as much as good judgement.

On the contrary, this was one case where only Thatcher could have done as well. She had spine. She had more balls than the rest of Parliament put together. For once there was not going to be a back down and a sell out. Only Thatcher could have made that decision.

The fact that we only barely had the capacity to mount the task force and retake the islands is an indictment of decades of mismanagement and failures in defence procurement and successive defence reviews. You need to get over your naive assumption that “all” people on the left oppose defence spending.

It is not naive. It has been proven over the decades. It is not an indictment of Thatcher however. Just of the 1970s.

You still haven’t answered the charge of why Thatcher’s government took the actions Erchie mentioned above, and failed to warn the Argies off in ways that had previously been done. This is a direct failing on their part.. it has nothing to do with the left, or the advice of the JCS… they just got it wrong. The war was avoidable.

I don’t need to. Nor was it done previously. Even if it had, does a girl in a mini skirt need to tell everyone that she will sue? She has a reasonable expectation of not being raped. The only person to blame for rape is the rapist. Britain has a perfectly reasonable expectation of not being invaded. They did not get it wrong. The Argentinians behaved in an irrational and criminal way. Who could have known?

As for channeling “Colonel Blimp” you are obviously too ignorant and ill-informed about the issues to see that an ounce of prevention would have saved thousands of lives, and huge amounts of money. That wouldn’t have entailed huge additional expenditure, just a better allocation of resources, and decent defence reviews; not something Thatcher or indeed any other government before or since have done much about.

I totally agree. As it could now. As the Left has consistently refused to admit or acknowledge. Which is why we need to have Trident and more spending on the Army. The problem here is not Thatcher or the Tories. Well before Dave anyway. The problem is the Left.

Why are you so against the use of military preparedness in addition to negotiations?

I am not. But I know everyone else here is. We should be prepared. But given this is a site full of people dedicated to the idea that everyone else should win and we shouldn’t, I find this criticism hypocritical.

Thatcher didn’t consent to the invasion, but her policies and action directly encouraged and precipitated it. If she’d had a shred of decency (faint hope) she’d have resigned in ignominy like some of the fall guys in her cabinet. The debacle was avoidable, and she was ultimately responsible.

Damn those girls in their miniskirts!! If only they did not invite rape.

The American role particularly at the start was much more equivocal than you make out. Fitzpatrick and many others in the USA administration were quite happy to stay out of it, and didn’t want to get involved at all; par for the course given their role elsewhere in Latin America.

And yet they did. On our side. When it counted.

And thank you for the pointer. However the idea that you could teach me anything on this subject is laughable.

94. Galen10

They never would have invaded in the first place if Thatcher’s government had not given them the impression that we wouldn’t fight by dint of the crass decisions taken in the run up to the conflict.

Yes Your Honour, I wouldn’t have raped her if she weren’t asking for it!

In any crisis there is a series of decisions on both sides that precipitates the conflict. Was anything Thatcher did illegal? No. Was anything the Argentinians did illegal? Well obviously. Was it reasonable to predict that they would invade? No. End of discussion really.

Galen10

The book also makes it fairly plain that the Argentinian junta took the action they did on the basis of the decisions made by Thatcher’s government, in the belief that these signalled an unwillingness to fight; if thatcher and her government had had even a modicum of common sense, they would have realised that a desperate fascist dictatorship will be prone to wrap itself in the flag to try and distract the populace from domestic problems. Who does that remind us of I wonder….

It would have taken genius to predict the invasion and as far as I recall, no one did. Go figure. Most people don’t mess with nuclear powers. It is obvious that in any conflict both sides make decisions and both sides pay attention to each others decisions. So freakin’ what? They may have believed that a woman lacked the guts to fight. They were wrong. That is not Thatcher’s fault. Despite your pathetic attempts to blame her for it.

Yes. Damn Nelson and Churchill.
Read the comment about Churchill, clown. Honestly are your saying a overpaid civil servant should have a state funeral for winning an small war, Perhaps Healey should get one for Borneo.
Although weak sexually repressed right wing clowns perhaps need the ceremony to say good bye to your political mummy/nanny.

1. Khmer rouge. She lied that the SAS had not trained the little psychos under her watch.

She did not lie because she did not send the SAS to train the Khmer Rouge. Such claims have been tested in British Courts and the morons who made them have lost. They have had to pay damages. You think Sunny is going to risk you putting his site at risk indefinitely by libellous statements that are trivially proven wrong? You keep this up and you’re going to look foolish again.
Read the evidence from SAS officers, I think you’re the liar. I have given you a link.
I knew the SAS officers involved.

2. Mad Mullahs. Who she trained and armed in the 80?s. The little sods still hated Jews, women and gays at the time.

Actually Britain mainly trained the nicer Sufis.
But facts, who needs them right?
Like Osama. Are you saying we did not train any fundamentalists.

3. Pinochet’s death and torture squads.

Something that had nothing to do with Thatcher.
Still had him round for tea and approved off the record to their methods

4. Argentinean Junta officers who were trained from 1980-1982. They were not nasty fascists then but important allies.

Evidence. I won’t call that a lie but I bet you can’t prove it either. I was there dickhead. Ask anyone who was in the services at the time

7. The racist boers who she admired and her husband had many dealings with.

As we should have. Until the Soviet Union collapsed, there was no way any sane person could have supported the Stalinist South African Communist Party and its Front group, the ANC, taking power.
Are you real. There was no middle ground. So to support Nazis who were contemplating massive biological warfare? ANC have proven to be more capitalist than socialist unlike Mugabe’s regime. Both post cold war governments. Surely if they were Stalinist they would have remained Stalinist, like Mugabe’s regime.
You really are a racist little scum bag.
Also you’re worried about libel with many of the comments you spit out..
If your not state your name, coward

Ta mok
His death may also have spare several western governments, including the UK, much embarrassment. His Cambodian lawyer Benson Samay had predicted the court would hear details of how, between 1985 and 1989, the Special Air Service (SAS) ran a series of training camps for Khmer Rouge allies in Thailand close to the Cambodian border and created a “sabotage battalion” of 250 experts in explosives and ambushes. Intelligence experts in Singapore also ran training courses. Ta Mok had promise to reveal far more about this British complicity, with his lawyer declaring that he would call Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger as defence witnesses.

Luck he died eh SFMS

so much for lying
The Cambr dian training became an exclusively British operation after the “Irangate” arms-for-hostages scandal broke in Washington in 1986. “If Congress had found out that Americans were mixed up in clandestine training in Indo-China, let alone with Pol Pot,” a Ministry of Defence source told O’Dwyer-Russell, “the balloon would have gone right up. It was one of those classic Thatcher-Reagan arrangements.” Moreover, Margaret Thatcher had let slip, to the consternation of the Foreign Office, that “the more reasonable ones in the Khmer Rouge will have to play some part in a future government”. In 1991, I interviewed a member of “R” (reserve) Squadron of the SAS, who had served on the border. “We trained the KR in a lot of technical stuff – a lot about mines,” he said. “We used mines that came originally from Royal Ordnance in Britain, which we got by way of Egypt with marking changed . . . We even gave them psychological training. At first, they wanted to go into the villages and just chop people up. We told them how to go easy . . .”

The Foreign Office response was to lie. “Britain does not give military aid in any form to the Cambodian factions,” stated a parliamentary reply. The then prime minister, Thatcher, wrote to Neil Kinnock: “I confirm that there is no British government involvement of any kind in training, equipping or co-operating with Khmer Rouge forces or those allied to them.” On 25 June 1991, after two years of denials, the government finally admitted that the SAS had been secretly training the “resistance” since 1983. A report by Asia Watch filled in the detail: the SAS had taught “the use of improvised explosive devices, booby traps and the manufacture and use of time-delay devices”. The author of the report, Rae McGrath (who shared a joint Nobel Peace Prize for the international campaign on landmines), wrote in the Guardian that “the SAS training was a criminally irresponsible and cynical policy”.

On 25 June 1991, after two years of denials, the government finally admitted that the SAS had been secretly training the “resistance” since 1983.

This phrase is important because OUR government admitted we had trained the rouge.
Is that libel ?

118. the a&e charge nurse

[111] “if you want to be angry at something then why not that little bit of Thatch in everybody who thought her policies were such a good idea?” – “Because that is pretty much the entire British population you’re talking about”.

Isn’t this just a variation on Mandy’s “we are all thatcherites now” – because I think you will find this has already been strongly refuted? (see 1st sentence of OP).

100
How many societies are there? How many gravitys are there?
Both can only be assumed to exist by the power they exert, they are invisible, cannot be felt or heard but, like Norman Tebbit, he became aware of the presence of society by its’ affects.
105
The UK has never been a socialist society, it is, as it has been from 1945, a capitalist society with a welfare state. Socialism and capitalism are two different types of economic base. I totally agree (as did Tony Benn) that you cannot temper capitalism, whatever you do to attempt to address inequality, will fail within that system.
(1) Dennis Healey was the first monetarist chancellor.
(3) What has Germany’s mining reports got to do with the extent and availability of coal in the U.K., it’s rather akin to me saying that your car needs an oil change because mine does.
Finally, if you don’t believe that digital technology resulted in faster communications, there is nothing I can say to convince you, clearly you have a fixed mind-set.

@44 Richard, I live on the same planet with you, though a different country. Burning the coal you mined emits CO2 to the atmosphere, and it’s my atmosphere as much as your s. As this blog usually likes to remind.

Now, on the whole I am a little bit skeptic about that CO2 emission thing being responsible for every bit of bad weather we have these days. But I do find it interesting that people seem to be able to combine a hatred of Thatcher to a hatred of those who do not wholeheartedly accept the idea that CO2 emissions must be reduced, especially in Europe.

As said, Thatcher was the first major world leader who gave visibility to the global warming question. She did it even before Sid Meier of Civilization.

And she actually did something about it, although in reality it must be said that British coal mining wasn’t shut down by Thatcher, it was shut down by much bigger economical developments than what Thatcher could ever set in motion. The subsidies required to keep it up were simply unsustainable. This was due to developments in price of other forms of energy, and the needs of British industries.

A somewhat similar story is the British car industry. It was destroyed already well before Thatcher, by the company leaders and the unions together, both of whom just couldn’t see what was happening in the global market.

(It was evident soon enough for others, for instance my uncle who bought an Austin Princess and my father who bought a Sunbeam, after which our whole extended family was ready to vow never to buy a British car again.)

Steveb

Sprott’s analysis of whether the term “society” has any substantive meaning @96 is rather more credible IMO than any existential claims by Norman Tebbit and David Cameron.

I’ve no means of knowing whether your references to “society” relate to the same sort of entity or possess the same connotations as the references by Tebbit, Cameron or the Archbishop of Canterbury. I’m still wondering whether Britain ever had a “Big Society” and if so, when that was, and whether any other countries have or have had Big Societies. What’s more, I don’t even know how to go about answering such questions. What would I need to look for? Sprott seems to be right on the money when he writes in 1967 that “society” is a figment of imagination.

122. So Much For Subtlety

113. Angry dad

Honestly are your saying a overpaid civil servant should have a state funeral for winning an small war

No. I am saying that the woman who had the greatest influence on Britain since, well, Beveridge probably, is a significant figure.

Read the evidence from SAS officers, I think you’re the liar. I have given you a link. I knew the SAS officers involved.

Hey, look, it is the guy played by Sean Bean in Ronin. Cool. No you don’t. You just claim you do on the internet. Because there are no such officers.

Still had him round for tea and approved off the record to their methods

Off the record meaning you are making stuff up again. Pathetic.

I was there dickhead. Ask anyone who was in the services at the time

No you weren’t Walter Mitty. Name three people who were actually in the services who claim this.

Are you real. There was no middle ground. So to support Nazis who were contemplating massive biological warfare? ANC have proven to be more capitalist than socialist unlike Mugabe’s regime. Both post cold war governments. Surely if they were Stalinist they would have remained Stalinist, like Mugabe’s regime.

Either someone is in power or they are not. Hard for there to be a middle ground. So either the National Party or the SACP/ANC. Where is the third alternative? They were not Nazis and if they contemplated biological warfare they did not use it. A lot of people contemplated it. The ANC is following exactly the same path that Mugabe did. They are moderate while Whites continue to provide tax revenue they can loot. As soon as they start to lose they become nasty. So far they have not lost big but give them time. They are both post-Cold-War regimes and like the former Soviet Central Asian states you have a Soviet-educated kleptocracy with little interest in democracy. Mugabe’s regime was not Stalinist even if the leaders were and are. But not knowing a damn thing about the issue, not a new concept is it?

Angry dad

Ta mok
His death may also have spare several western governments, including the UK, much embarrassment.

May. In other words you’re making stuff up again.

His Cambodian lawyer Benson Samay had predicted the court would hear details of how, between 1985 and 1989, the Special Air Service (SAS) ran a series of training camps for Khmer Rouge allies in Thailand close to the Cambodian border and created a “sabotage battalion” of 250 experts in explosives and ambushes.

I am sure his lawyer would have said a lot of things. But he had plenty of time to do so and yet he didn’t. Because it is a lie.

Angry dad

Moreover, Margaret Thatcher had let slip, to the consternation of the Foreign Office, that “the more reasonable ones in the Khmer Rouge will have to play some part in a future government”.

Which is irrelevant but also true. This is precisely what has happened. With the President of Cambodia being a former KR member.

On 25 June 1991, after two years of denials, the government finally admitted that the SAS had been secretly training the “resistance” since 1983.

Yes. The Resistance. So not the Khmer Rouge then. As there were three main factions in the Resistance and the KR was only one. Your own source does not support your lies.

A report by Asia Watch filled in the detail: the SAS had taught “the use of improvised explosive devices, booby traps and the manufacture and use of time-delay devices”.

Yes. Interesting. Presumably this is for FUNCINPEC. As Lon Nol’s faction was made up of former soldiers and the Khmer Rouge had Chinese training – and had been laying mines since the early 1970s. They hardly needed training. A lot more experience than the SAS had.

On 25 June 1991, after two years of denials, the government finally admitted that the SAS had been secretly training the “resistance” since 1983.

So not the Khmer Rouge then.

This phrase is important because OUR government admitted we had trained the rouge.

No they did not. You are making it up.

Is that libel ?

It was when John Pilger said it.

120
Yep, she was so concerned about the carbon footprint left by coal she closed the local coalmines and then exported coal from other parts of the globe, as Sally would say, ‘priceless’
121
And yet the term ‘market’ and ‘market force’ are terms commonly used by economists, even Thatch had a propensity for making reference to it. Of course, even Hayek’s reference to ‘the market’ was actually a reference to the economic outcome and not the process, Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ brushed away the need to describe processes.. So too was Newton’s reference to gravity the outcome not process.
But you’ve just about hit on the right track when you mention existentialism, the idea that ‘the whole is more than the sum of its individual parts’, many individuals make-up society, that is true, but without shared understanding e.g. language, we would never be able to communicate.
I

123
Meant to say ‘imported’ not ‘exported’

Steveb: “Of course, even Hayek’s reference to ‘the market’ was actually a reference to the economic outcome and not the process, Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ brushed away the need to describe processes..”

Adam Smith produced a pioneering text in 1776 on the functioning of market economies: The Wealth of Nations. Nowadays, there are literally dozens of texts on industrial organisation and microeconomics as well as hundreds of academic papers which purport to describe market processes and assess the outcomes.

Some of this literature goes on to describe ways in which the outcomes of markets may be less than “optimal” – such as market dominance and the distorting presence of benign or harmful externalities – and assess means for resolving those issues like competition policy and the polluter-pays principle. In most advanced, affluent economies the costs of schooling are financed out of taxation.

Hayek and fellow “Austrians” have had little discernible influence on this literature as it has evolved. OTOH Adam Smith recognised the possibility of market failure by remarking on the opportunities for extortion created by market dominance and the potential benefits of some unprofitable public works:

“The third and last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth is that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which, though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it therefore cannot be expected that any individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain.”
Source: The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book 5, Chapter 1, Part III or p.590 in this link:
http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/adam-smith/Wealth-Nations.pdf

There is nothing particularly novel or radical about complaining that unfettered markets can lead to unsatisfactory social outcomes. 19th century Parliaments passed a long succession of factory acts to curb the exploitation of women and children in recognition of the compounding evidence that markets are insufficiently self-regulating to prevent socially unacceptable outcomes. The notion that free-market capitalism was necessarily beneficial was rejected by Parliaments in the 19th century as the result of a learning process.

As mentioned before, the industrial policies of New Labour governments were far more “dry” than the industrial policies of the Thatcher governments.

126. Robin Levett

@SMFS #61:

Mandela was a terrorist. He was convicted of it. At a trial where he loudly said he was a terrorist. You may think his terrorism was cool, but he was still in every way, a terrorist. And someone who condoned placing tyres around the necks of law abiding innocent people and setting them on fire.

Terrorist? Maybe he was before he went into Robben Island.- although for some terrorist/brave freedom fighter depend entirely on where you stand politically. I can see that you’d never consider Mandela a brave freedom fighter.

As for necklacing; have you any evidence whatsoever, apart from unfounded ravings on certain blogs that like to describe themselves as “politically incorrect”, that Nelson Mandela condoned it?

@123: Margaret Thatcher hardly imported much coal herself. Some people or companies in Britain have imported it, probably at a price that was less than the subsidies that would have been needed to mine it in Britain.

If the British mines had been able to produce that coal at a competitive price, I’m sure even Thatcher’s hatred of British mining and CO2 emissions would not have been enough to close them.

But the mines just couldn’t stay open without a lot of money taken from others in form of taxes.

128. So Much For Subtlety

125. Bob B

Hayek and fellow “Austrians” have had little discernible influence on this literature as it has evolved.

That is just nonsense. There is a vast field discussing how markets capture all available knowledge. Something central planners cannot possibly match. All of this comes down to a quick essay that Hayek tossed off in the 1940s. He has had a significant influence on the literature.

OTOH Adam Smith recognised the possibility of market failure by remarking on the opportunities for extortion created by market dominance and the potential benefits of some unprofitable public works:

“The third and last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth is that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which, though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it therefore cannot be expected that any individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain.”
Source: The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book 5, Chapter 1, Part III

In other words, nothing to do with markets at all. The failures of government is not a failure of markets.

There is nothing particularly novel or radical about complaining that unfettered markets can lead to unsatisfactory social outcomes. 19th century Parliaments passed a long succession of factory acts to curb the exploitation of women and children in recognition of the compounding evidence that markets are insufficiently self-regulating to prevent socially unacceptable outcomes.

As did Southern American states in an effort to impose segregation. Markets were firmly opposed, as with Apartheid, and in both cases legislation was needed to produce a more socially acceptable outcome.

Robin Levett

Terrorist? Maybe he was before he went into Robben Island.- although for some terrorist/brave freedom fighter depend entirely on where you stand politically. I can see that you’d never consider Mandela a brave freedom fighter.

Being a freedom fighter is incompatible with wanting to enslave mankind. Ho Chih-min may have fought the French, but he was not a freedom fighter because he did not want freedom. Just as Mandela did not and does not. No, it is not a matter of where you stand. That is about as morally bankrupt position as you can take. It is a matter of what you do. And what Mandela did was terrorism.

As for necklacing; have you any evidence whatsoever, apart from unfounded ravings on certain blogs that like to describe themselves as “politically incorrect”, that Nelson Mandela condoned it?

He could have stopped it with one word. He did not. He knew it was going on. His friends and relatives were doing it in the name of his political party. And he never once condemned it. Thus he condoned it.

@SMSF

That’s about up to your usual standard of ignorant rubbish. I’ve checked some regular academic texts on industrial organisation and microeconomics to hand and there are few if any citations to Hayek. Frankly, Hayek was more a political philosopher than an economist.

From the perspective of someone writing in 1776, the third duty of Adam Smith’s sovereign presents a coherent rationale for the sovereign to intervene in a market economy to fund what is considered by the sovereign to be a socially beneficial project “that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it therefore cannot be expected that any individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain.”

In terms of modern terminology, that could be a “public good” or the public financing of a project or service where it is not considered feasible or desirable to charge or charge a price that could recover costs.

After all, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are not charged directly for the amount of street lighting they individually consume as they travel along a road at night and almost all roads and bridges in Britain are toll free. As mentioned, primary and secondary schooling is provided free at the point of delivery in most countries with advanced economies. Use of public libraries is usually free. Smith’s third duty of a sovereign more or less covers these publicly funded services.

130. So Much For Subtlety

129. Bob B

That’s about up to your usual standard of ignorant rubbish. I’ve checked some regular academic texts on industrial organisation and microeconomics to hand and there are few if any citations to Hayek. Frankly, Hayek was more a political philosopher than an economist.

I have seen some arrogant tosh, but the claim that a two minute search on google somehow amounts to an argument takes the cake. Good for you Bob.

However, the Turtle moves if you like it or not:

“”The Use of Knowledge in Society” met with a poor reception from fellow economists because of the contemporary political climate and its perception as being overly trivial in its critiques. Partly as a result of this disappointing outcome, Hayek had by the end of the 1940s ceased to target his literature at the established economic community. Twenty years later these ideas had become more tolerable;[4] today several are accepted as basic economic tenets. Specifically, the essay’s central argument that market price fluctuations promote efficient distribution of resources is embraced by most modern economists.[6] In 2011 “The Use of Knowledge in Society” was selected as one of the top 20 articles published in the American Economic Review during its first 100 years.[7]”

After all, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are not charged directly for the amount of street lighting they individually consume as they travel along a road at night and almost all roads and bridges in Britain are toll free.

Although not for much longer one suspects. The roads are not completely failing in the way the NHS is, but they are failing. There is no reason why they should not all be toll roads and soon they probably will be.

SMFS: “I have seen some arrogant tosh, but the claim that a two minute search on google somehow amounts to an argument takes the cake. Good for you Bob.”

You clearly lack insight into how ignorant and unobservant you are.

The fact remains that Hayek has had little influence on mainstream academic texts on industrial organisation and microeconomics because he has little substantive analysis to contribute. If you doubt that, try looking through a spread of examples – including student texts on price theory by George Stigler and Milton Friedman – to see just how many citations there are of Hayek – or of the Austrians.

“Specifically, the essay’s central argument that market price fluctuations promote efficient distribution of resources is embraced by most modern economists”

That is entirely consistent with what Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall were saying but they also recognised – as increasingly did 19th century and later Parliaments – that markets were insufficiently self-regulating to prevent distortions, inefficiencies, extortionate practices as the result of market dominance, crises and socially unacceptable outcomes. Churchill, as trade minister, introduced the Trade Boards Act in 1909 to create administrative structures which could set legally enforceable minimum wages in sweated industries. This is where mainstream economics was on market failures about 50 years ago:

Francis Bator: The Anatomy of Market Failure
http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/econ335/out/bator_qje.pdf

For more recent perspectives, try: John Cassidy: How Markets Fail (Penguin 2009) and Reinhart and Rogoff: This time is different – 800 years of financial folly (Princeton UP 2009)

“Although not for much longer one suspects. The roads are not completely failing in the way the NHS is, but they are failing. There is no reason why they should not all be toll roads and soon they probably will be.”

We shall see whether the present government introduces road pricing. I’ve been a frequent critic of the NHS – not least as the result of personal experience and what friends tell me of their’s – but the important factor to notice is that governments of other west European countries run more-or-less comprehensive social insurance schemes to cover personal healthcare costs. Healthcare provision has not been left to the “free market”. State intervention in healthcare is so pervasive and extensive in western Europe that the only rational conclusion to be drawn is that electorates and their governments regard the consequences of free market healthcare as unacceptable.

@130 If the current Government introduces universal road tolls across the uk, I strongly suspect they won’t be the current government for much longer or ever again. You see your ‘free market’ is in direct competition with democracy there as well.

133. Robin Levett

@SMFS #128:

Terrorist? Maybe he was before he went into Robben Island.- although for some terrorist/brave freedom fighter depend entirely on where you stand politically. I can see that you’d never consider Mandela a brave freedom fighter.

Being a freedom fighter is incompatible with wanting to enslave mankind. Ho Chih-min may have fought the French, but he was not a freedom fighter because he did not want freedom. Just as Mandela did not and does not.

So one cannot be a freedom fighter if one has political views of which SMFS disapproves? (QED?)

No, it is not a matter of where you stand. That is about as morally bankrupt position as you can take.

I entirely agree – I don’t however know why you are arguing against your own stated position here.

It is a matter of what you do. And what Mandela did was terrorism.

Which bits of what he did were terrorism? You are aware of what was involved in the Rivonia trial?

As for necklacing; have you any evidence whatsoever, apart from unfounded ravings on certain blogs that like to describe themselves as “politically incorrect”, that Nelson Mandela condoned it?

He could have stopped it with one word.

An extraordinary claim that require extraordinary evidence to support it. Got any?

He did not. He knew it was going on. His friends and relatives were doing it in the name of his political party. And he never once condemned it. Thus he condoned it.

So even by your own terms any expression of condemnation of the practice by “his political party” would suffice to refute your claim?

@105

Thatcher’s government continued the policies of previous governments, and in many instances made them worse, vis as pointed out above their crass decisions relating to the withdrawal of the ice patrol vessels, downgrading of the military presence in the Falklands, and downgrading of the general force projection capabilities of the UK forces in general.

Thus, their policies (while not unique to them) made an already bad situation worse. To add insult to injury, this happened against the background of an increasingly desperate junta in Argentina looking for a way to distract its own people from the horrendous situation at home.

The fact that Thatcher’s government was following policies similar to those before is hardly an excuse.

@134

The foreign office had been working on the unjustified assumption that the military junta in Argentina wouldn’t be so stupid as to launch an invasion to capture the Falklands even though the residents had no wish to be absorbed into Argentina.

This sentiment was hardly surprising in the light of the continuing hostility of the Argentine authorities shown towards sea and air links with the Falklands which had the predictable effect of making the island residents increasingly fearful. In the event, Lord Carrington, the foreign office minister at the time of the invasion, did the honourable thing and resigned.

“Thatcher’s government continued the policies of previous governments, and in many instances made them worse, vis as pointed out above their crass decisions relating to the withdrawal of the ice patrol vessels, downgrading of the military presence in the Falklands, and downgrading of the general force projection capabilities of the UK forces in general.

Thus, their policies (while not unique to them) made an already bad situation worse. ”

What a joyous argument.

When Thatcher continued the policies of previous govts she was wrong, eveil even.

When she didn’t follow the policies of previous govts (asubsidising the miners etc) then she was evil too!

With change of government, I suppose policy continuity is most likely with the foreign office and defence for rather obvious reasons about maintaining Britain’s credibility in international affairs.

That apart, it’s pretty clear that some folk have such a pathological hatred of Mrs Thatcher that rational assessment of her time in government is virtually impossible.

The plain fact is that by the end of the 1970s before Mrs T’s election as PM in May 1979, Britain was widely regarded abroad as being deeply “sick”, especially in consequence of the annual inflation rate reaching 25 pc, having to seek a loan from the IMF in 1976 to prop up the Pound and then the “winter of discontent” in 1978/79 when the dead went unburied in Liverpool and Leicester Sq in central London became a “Temporary Refuse Reception Centre” complete with rodents running around:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/ilove/years/1979/gallery/rubbish.shtml

138. Chaise Guevara

@ 136 Tim

“What a joyous argument.

When Thatcher continued the policies of previous govts she was wrong, eveil even.

When she didn’t follow the policies of previous govts (asubsidising the miners etc) then she was evil too!”

One assumes that these policies are considered to have value, whether positive or negative, other than whether or not they were policies of previous governments. So, leaving evil out of it, where Thatcher followed good policies of previous governments, she was good; where she followed bad policies of previous governments, she was bad.

Your objection is akin to listening to me explain that car A is better than car B, then calling me a hypocrite and a liar because both cars are the same colour. Or insert any one of a million possible examples of people ascribing events to the wrong causes.

@ 134 Galen,

The Argentinians had come to the conclusion as early as 1968 that the UK would not defend the Falklands if invaded.

The only ‘military’ capability on the Falklands that was reduced at the time of the conflict was the planned withdrawl of the ice patrol vessel. As has been stated previously this ship was of negligble value and the armed forces on the Falklands had always only been token and never able to reisist an invasion.

In fact at the time of the attack the defences were unusually strong, having double the number of marines normally present and having marines recently installed on South Georgia which was normally undefended.

If the reduction in Britain’s military capacity was a factor in the Argentine decsion to invade then surely they would have waited until the following year when the carrier force would have been reduced?

The only action that the Thatcher Government could have done would be to introduce a much larger defense force on the islands themselves which would have required the building of a military airbase and been a substantial cost. With hindsight this would have been the senisble thing to do, but not realistic at a time when Britain was required to make massive defense cuts.

Read the book.

Also it was Hugh Bicheno who claimed that the Argentinians never knew of the nuclear submarine prescence in 1977, not me! Unfortunately he does not give his source but has put it in print. Just because British archives say the Argentines knew does not mean they did. It is clear that the Bicheno extensively used Argentinian sources (being 25% Argentinian helped) and surely it is only the Argentin9ans who know for sure whether they knew or not?

140. So Much For Subtlety

131. Bob B

i>The fact remains that Hayek has had little influence on mainstream academic texts on industrial organisation and microeconomics because he has little substantive analysis to contribute.

It simply is not a fact. No matter how much you assert it. And I notice how you are changing the discussion from Hayek having no discernible influence on the literature of markets to industrial organisation.

That is entirely consistent with what Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall were saying but they also recognised – as increasingly did 19th century and later Parliaments – that markets were insufficiently self-regulating to prevent distortions, inefficiencies, extortionate practices as the result of market dominance, crises and socially unacceptable outcomes.

I am not sure that is what Parliament did. Nor is women working a sign of market failure. Come to that, nor is a minimum wage.

We shall see whether the present government introduces road pricing. I’ve been a frequent critic of the NHS – not least as the result of personal experience and what friends tell me of their’s – but the important factor to notice is that governments of other west European countries run more-or-less comprehensive social insurance schemes to cover personal healthcare costs. Healthcare provision has not been left to the “free market”. State intervention in healthcare is so pervasive and extensive in western Europe that the only rational conclusion to be drawn is that electorates and their governments regard the consequences of free market healthcare as unacceptable.

In a democracy the majority will always want to take from the minority. But the point you miss is that in most of Europe healthcare is provided by the free market. It is paid for by the government but invariably delivered by a mixture of state and privately owned entities competing in a free market. They are social insurance schemes. Not like the NHS at all.

132. Cylux

If the current Government introduces universal road tolls across the uk, I strongly suspect they won’t be the current government for much longer or ever again. You see your ‘free market’ is in direct competition with democracy there as well.

Sooner or later they will not have a choice. And road tolls are sneaking in slowly. We have tollways. We pay the Congestion Charge. It is a slow change but it is happening before your eyes.

133. Robin Levett

So one cannot be a freedom fighter if one has political views of which SMFS disapproves? (QED?)

No, Robin cannot read. You can have views I disagree with and still fight for freedom. But Ho, Mao and Mandela were not fighting for freedom. QED.

I entirely agree – I don’t however know why you are arguing against your own stated position here.

I am not. Mandela was a terrorist because he was a terrorist. You cannot say that he wasn’t because you support his cause. My position. Not changed. What you’re trying to argue is your business but I do wish you would stop wasting my time.

Which bits of what he did were terrorism? You are aware of what was involved in the Rivonia trial?

Well he was too incompetent to be a good terrorist but what was involved was Mandela’s odd belief he was entitled to murder whomever he wanted to further pursue Soviet foreign policy.

So even by your own terms any expression of condemnation of the practice by “his political party” would suffice to refute your claim?

Well by him, depending on the time he said it, sure.

The fact remains – Mandela had more people killed, and more horribly, than Pinochet did. Yet the Left loves him – presumably precisely because he wanted to be the next Stalin. Unlike Pinochet.

141. unemployed and on crack

@140 lol…yeah…I also heard that SMFS does childrens partys and bar mitzvahs.

@139 Fungus

The fact that successive British governments had given the impression that they would eventually hand over the Falklands to Argentina doesn’t alter the fact the actual invasion happened under Thatcher’s leadership, and that the policies she followed directly contributed. It isn’t rocket science, and even the most avid Thatcher apologists and fan-boy’s like you should be able to admit where the blame is apportioned.

Whether the Argentinians “knew” about previous instances of nuclear subs being dispatched is also arguable (Bicheno doesn’t know for sure, anymore than you or I do, and absent any future “smoking gun” disclosure we may never know for sure), but in the end unimportant. The fact still remains that IF Thatcher’s government had been paying attention, they could have either stopped the invasion in it’s tracks or severely curtailed Argentine operations once they had landed.

The doubling of the Marine presence can’t be used as some indication of strength… it was accidental as they were “changing shifts” effectively; a poor argument even by your already low standards.

I HAVE read the book. It is (as I have previously said) a massive indictment of the policies of successive governments, not just Thatcher’s. She must however take a large measure of the blame for an avoidable conflict; the buck stopped with her, much as it pleases her acolytes that less senior minions fell on their swords to protect her reputation. Her subsequent actions and the success of the operation to recover the islands have blinded too many to the responsibility she personally and her government collectively bear for a conflict in which hundreds died.

Sooner or later they will not have a choice. And road tolls are sneaking in slowly. We have tollways. We pay the Congestion Charge. It is a slow change but it is happening before your eyes.

http://www.theaa.com/allaboutcars/overseas/european_tolls_results.jsp?country=Great%20Britain

So the M6 toll road, which was built specifically using a PPP, the congestion charge and various bridges and tunnels, some of which charged Tolls when I were a lad, indicate that all the roads in the UK will soon be privately owned and carry a toll. I think your extrapolation skills are under-par sir.

As for why it ain’t likely to happen, ever, I think a one Mr Clarkson might have something to say on the BBC about the matter, raging spart that he is.

144. Robin Levett

@SMFS #140:

You can have views I disagree with and still fight for freedom. But Ho, Mao and Mandela were not fighting for freedom. QED.

So what was Mandela fighting for, if not freedom?

Well he was too incompetent to be a good terrorist but what was involved was Mandela’s odd belief he was entitled to murder whomever he wanted to further pursue Soviet foreign policy.

Remember that you are claiming that he was a terrorist, and loudly proclaimed that he was a terrorist at his trial. You therefore have plenty of cites for his expressions of this belief at the Rivonia trial, I take it? Let’s see them. And you can explain how that equates to his being a terrorist.

So even by your own terms any expression of condemnation of the practice by “his political party” would suffice to refute your claim?

Well by him, depending on the time he said it, sure.

So necklacings by persons connected with the party are to be attributed personally to Mandela, but condemnations of the practice by the party (and there were plenty, as you are clearly aware) are not.. That looks awfully like a double standard. Do remember that you are defending a claim that he approved of the practice.

Mandela had more people killed, and more horribly, than Pinochet did.

Name some; and some evidence of his having ordered the killings (presumably from ANC HQ on Robben Island).

The Umkhonto we Sizwe, which Mandela helped found, was certainly a terrorist organisation–by design (for an example of a terrorist operation carried out by the Umkhonto we Sizwe, look up, e.g., the Church Street bombing on Wikipedia).

@SMFS: “It simply is not a fact. No matter how much you assert it. ”

That’s your usual rubbish – just try looking through a selection of regular mainstream modern texts on industrial organisation and microeconomics to check how few citations there are to Hayek. That’s because he had little of substance to say that hadn’t already been said previously by other economists. If you contend that isn’t so then post some examples of citations to Hayek saying something of such startling originality that the authors of mainstream texts felt impelled to quote it.

What caught attention was Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) which became standard recommended reading for economics undergrads before starting their first year but post-WW2 governments hardly took that seriously with fiscal demand management and extensive micro intervenions – hence Ted Heath’s abolition of retail price maintenance in 1964 to promote greater competition on high streets.

In 1961, Harold Macmillan as PM announced that great leap forward in the corporatist management of the British economy with the creation of the National Economic Development Office and the National Economic Development Council – and Macmillan properly acknowledged inspiration from France’s Planning Commission. Try reading about the hugely successful incomes policy in the Netherlands during the 1980s to restore competitiveness – Crafts + Toniolo (eds): Economics Growth if Europe Since 1945 (Cambridge UP)

The running topical issue nowadays is not about whether governments ought to intervene in markets but what kinds of intervention there ought to be – hence the coalition government set up the Independent Commission on Banking to make recommendations. So much for Hayek railing against intervention in market economies. Only a few eccentrics take that seriously.

@ Galen

Yes the doubling of the garrison was pure chance – I am aware of this. However you made the claim that a contributing cause of the Argentinian decision to invade was the Thatcher’s Government’s reduction in the Falklands defence capability. I am pointing out that actually the defence was stronger than normal and yet they still invaded!

What exactly could have been done to curtail the Argentinians once they had landed? That claim is just absurd.

Thatcher could have permanently increased the garrison – by a significant amount. That would have deterred the Argentinians, but not realistic at a time of required cuts to the defense budget.

@146

The amount of Marines was trivial, so of course they couldn’t have prevented a full blown invasion.

What could have prevented it was firstly a robust public stance that any attempt to use force would be met with an armed response (and I accept that successive govts of both sides had failed to do this), secondly not deciding to pull out the one remaining ship, the Endurance, which IS a decision the Tories were responsible for, and third, measures to ensure that Argentine forces going to the islands risked being welcomed by British surface ships and/or subs. the latter is something the Tory government could have done, but signally failed to act upon.

The amount required to protect the islands would have been money well spent… certainly a lot better than some of the ridiculous defence programmes the Tories (and others to their shame) carried on with.

The fact remains that no amount of special pleading will alter the fact that Thacher and her administration failed in many respects, and that these abject failures led to the deaths of hundreds of people. the fact she managed to wrap herself in the flag after the event doesn’t make up for the initial culpability.

@6

“Except of course, that Thatcher didn’t decimate Britain’s industry. It fell by 3.6% over the 79-97 Tory years. Under Labour between 97 and 2010 it fell over 11%”.#

Nice bit of sophistry there, fella. Got any more jokes from your Xmas crackers?

150. Robin Levett

@vimothy #144:

The Umkhonto we Sizwe, which Mandela helped found, was certainly a terrorist organisation–by design (for an example of a terrorist operation carried out by the Umkhonto we Sizwe, look up, e.g., the Church Street bombing on Wikipedia).

One of the oddities of the liberation struggle in South Africa is that the state was a formal signatory of the Geneva Convention, but failed to adhere to it, whereas the liberation movement (the ANC and MK, its armed wing) voluntarily submitted to that convention and accepted responsibility for MK’s actions before the TRC. It is true that MK committed terrorist acts; and that it killed more civilians than members of the security forces (although the SA government’s blurring of the lines between civilian and security forces had an effect here); but it was not founded – by Mandela, who is the subject here – as a terrorist organisation. If you know better, you’ll produce cites.

MK was created in 1960; Mandela was imprisoned after arrest in 1962; the Church Street bombing was in May 1983 (and the other major civilian-targeting operations were also in the 1980s). Was the RAF created as a terrorist organisation because Bomber Command bombed civilian targets in WWII, 20-odd years after its formation?

@144

“The Umkhonto we Sizwe, which Mandela helped found, was certainly a terrorist organisation–by design (for an example of a terrorist operation carried out by the Umkhonto we Sizwe, look up, e.g., the Church Street bombing on Wikipedia)”.

Yeah? So what? Given the brutality of the apartheid regime, I think whatever small military actions (and they were small) that were carried out by Umkhonto we Sizwe, were entirely justified. The trouble with right wingers is that they tend to ignore the legion examples of British state-sanctioned terrorism.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

@14. Tim Worstall:
Some other quote?: “My generation witnessed first hand her destruction of Britain’s industrial base,”

Worstall: “I know we keep being told that (as Tyler points out) but it just isn’t true.”

I think that we need another set of industrial/economic/crime stats for what happened in coal mining towns, for 1980 and for 1990 and for 2010. When mining stopped in many places, everything stopped. Coalfield community regeneration failed after that.

And industrial collapse and consequent social disruption occurred beyond the coalfields. No jobs for the adults and no jobs for the kids.

Tim and Tyler are correct that the UK industrial base was not destroyed *everywhere*. Strong industries survived and the UK is a country where you can make good products.

So we make good products to create the wealth to pay for the non-workers. And we do not have the imagination to get beyond that.

We need to explain how it was that British-Leyland, renamed the Rover Group, couldn’t make a successful go of motor manufacturing in Britain whereas the Japanese car makers – Nissan, Toyota and Honda – along with BMW and Tata are currently do very well:

British car manufacturing could reach an all-time high in the next decade following £4bn of investment from manufacturers in 2011, according to new research.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/engineering/8976103/UK-car-manufacturing-and-exports-head-for-records.html

Btw before the Rover Group was privatised in 1988, £3.4bn of taxpayers’ money had been put in as support. The fact is that the Thatcher governments in the 1980s ran a much wetter industrial policy than did New Labour. The coal industry was run down after the 1984/85 mining strike because the world price of oilk about halved during 1985 and since the price of coal paid by the elelctricity generators was derived from world oil prices that mean a big fall in Coal Board revenues. As a result, many more pits became uneconomic to run.

@152. Bob B: “We need to explain how it was that British-Leyland, renamed the Rover Group, couldn’t make a successful go of motor manufacturing in Britain…”

Sub judice. Pension plan management rather than man management. File under scum managers.

The point that I have repeatedly been making is that the decision to remove the patrol ship and reduce the carrier fleet clearly had no impact on the Argentinian decision to attack. They attacked before these cuts had been implemented! As has already been stated, the Endurance was even more of a token force than the marines.

Yes with hindsight off course it would have been better to fortify the islands as was done after the war. However life would be so much easier if you could look into the future. We will obviously disagree on what were reasonable precautions at the time. Your copy of Hugh Biceno’s book is also obviously very different to mine!

You still havn’t answered my question as to what could have been done to curtail the Argentinians once they had landed. Sybmarines were sent as soon as possible.

156. So Much For Subtlety

143. Robin Levett

So what was Mandela fighting for, if not freedom?

Stalinism.

Remember that you are claiming that he was a terrorist, and loudly proclaimed that he was a terrorist at his trial. You therefore have plenty of cites for his expressions of this belief at the Rivonia trial, I take it? Let’s see them. And you can explain how that equates to his being a terrorist.

I am sorry but if you want to waste everyone’s time, go play with someone else. This is not something that needs support. He confessed openly and freely to deciding to use violence at his trial. Read his opening statement. The only charge he denied at the trial was plotting a foreign invasion.

So necklacings by persons connected with the party are to be attributed personally to Mandela, but condemnations of the practice by the party (and there were plenty, as you are clearly aware) are not.. That looks awfully like a double standard. Do remember that you are defending a claim that he approved of the practice.

It doesn’t to me. Because you are making it up. The ANC was under his control, run by his friends and minions. They carried out his policy. He could have, at any time, condemned what the ANC was doing. He did not. If the ANC ever condemned necklacing, at least before they took power, it is merely hypocrisy. Given their members, after handing down sentences in their “People’s Courts”, carried out such attacks. And indeed you can see what they really think – Mandela’s wife openly praised such attacks. She was disciplined when the PR got too bad, but she is now in a leading position within the Party once more.

Name some; and some evidence of his having ordered the killings (presumably from ANC HQ on Robben Island).

You know no order from Hitler exists for the Holocaust, don’t you? Have you ever seen an order from Pinochet? Maki Skosana.

Bob B

That’s your usual rubbish – just try looking through a selection of regular mainstream modern texts on industrial organisation and microeconomics to check how few citations there are to Hayek.

Few? You have gone from none to a few? Progress. Hayek is controversial. Just because someone doesn’t want to cite him, doesn’t mean he has not been influential.

That’s because he had little of substance to say that hadn’t already been said previously by other economists.

Yeah. That must be why he won the Noble Prize. For a lack of substance.

The running topical issue nowadays is not about whether governments ought to intervene in markets but what kinds of intervention there ought to be – hence the coalition government set up the Independent Commission on Banking to make recommendations. So much for Hayek railing against intervention in market economies. Only a few eccentrics take that seriously.

For the last thirty years the argument has been whether governments should intervene. And on that Hayek and Friedman won. The banking crisis is another matter. What is likely to happen is that the Commission set up to be seen to be doing something will quietly recommending doing little if not nothing.

Galen10

third, measures to ensure that Argentine forces going to the islands risked being welcomed by British surface ships and/or subs. the latter is something the Tory government could have done, but signally failed to act upon.

Hindsight is so easy. The fact is no one saw the invasion coming. No one could have seen the invasion coming. No British government could have maintained a significant presence there – in the face of Leftist demands for budget cuts – without public awareness of the imminence of invasion.

Robin Levett

One of the oddities of the liberation struggle in South Africa is that the state was a formal signatory of the Geneva Convention, but failed to adhere to it,

Where and when? The Geneva convention applies to criminals, how?

whereas the liberation movement (the ANC and MK, its armed wing) voluntarily submitted to that convention and accepted responsibility for MK’s actions before the TRC.

And now Robin lies. No they did not. They did boast about their actions before the TRC, but they did not adhere to the Geneva Convention. Not in any way whatsoever. I mean let’s ignore the terrorist campaign with all its car bombs and necklacing – care to explain how any of this adheres to the GC? Let’s look at their landmine campaign. They tried to copy the Zimbabwean guerrilla groups and those in Mozambique and Angola by laying landmines mainly in northern Transvaal. By all means, tell me what the GC says about this. How about how they treated their own prisoners? The TRC said “torture was “routine” — even though it was not official policy— as were executions “without due process” at ANC detention camps particularly in the period of 1979—1989.[9]”

If you’re going to lie, try something at least mildly plausible.

It is true that MK committed terrorist acts; and that it killed more civilians than members of the security forces (although the SA government’s blurring of the lines between civilian and security forces had an effect here); but it was not founded – by Mandela, who is the subject here – as a terrorist organisation. If you know better, you’ll produce cites.

MK claimed not to be a terrorist organisation. But of course it was. That was its purpose. The rest is PR.

Was the RAF created as a terrorist organisation because Bomber Command bombed civilian targets in WWII, 20-odd years after its formation?

Bomber command’s campaign is routinely cited as terrorism, but let’s point out the obvious difference – Bomber Command was a legitimate military force engaged in legitimate military operations – its crews wore uniforms for instance – under the authority of a legitimate government. As where the South African security forces. The ANC had no more legitimacy than the KKK. Who also liked a good lynching.

buddyhell

Yeah? So what? Given the brutality of the apartheid regime, I think whatever small military actions (and they were small) that were carried out by Umkhonto we Sizwe, were entirely justified. The trouble with right wingers is that they tend to ignore the legion examples of British state-sanctioned terrorism.

In what way was South Africa’s apartheid regime brutal? Just because you don’t like their policies doesn’t mean you can throw around every insult in the book. South Africa was a rule-abiding (mostly) liberal democracy under apartheid. It was not that much different from other Western democracies – although its sad attempts to repress the ANC while retaining that liberalism was tragic. It was never like, say, Burundi. Or Congo. Or any country in the Soviet block for instance. You may think their actions were justified, but that is because you either are naive or you support Stalinism.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

No they are not. Not naive then.

@155 Fungus

1) “The point that I have repeatedly been making is that the decision to remove the patrol ship and reduce the carrier fleet clearly had no impact on the Argentinian decision to attack. They attacked before these cuts had been implemented! As has already been stated, the Endurance was even more of a token force than the marines.”

Your haven’t managed to make your point because it isn’t valid. The Argentinians came to their decision in the light of what was happening; the crass decisions of Thatcher’s government reinforced their view that an invasion of the islands was not only possible, but would be a success and be met by a decision on the part of the UK to throw in the towel. It wouldn’t have taken huge expense or militarisation of the islands to make it abundantly clear that any attempt to take them by force would be met with resistance.

2) “Yes with hindsight off course it would have been better to fortify the islands as was done after the war. However life would be so much easier if you could look into the future. We will obviously disagree on what were reasonable precautions at the time. Your copy of Hugh Biceno’s book is also obviously very different to mine!”

It didn’t take 20/20 vision…just a modicum of common sense; of course Thatcher’s over-riding priority was saving money, and trying to sell the islanders out and make them accept some cosy deal with a brutal fascist dictatorship… par for the course naturally since she saw nothing wrong with that nice Mr Pinochet either. My copy of Bicheno’s book is doubtless the same as yours; I agree with his assessment of the failings of successive UK governments. If you think it’s a ringing endorsement of Thatcher or her government, you weren’t paying attention or have reading difficulties.

3) “You still havn’t answered my question as to what could have been done to curtail the Argentinians once they had landed. Sybmarines were sent as soon as possible.”

Are you being wilfully ignorant, or just not paying attention? Once they had landed, there wasn’t much that could be done short of mounting a full scale invasion to re-take the islands; a task we would have been unable to undertake given the bonkers defence policies of successive UK governments. The whole issue is that they should never have been ALLOWED to land in the first place. Even a modicum of enhanced protection against Argentine landings from the air or sea would probably have made the mad junta think twice. Submarines were NOT sent as soon as possible, were they… they were sent too late, that’s rather the point!!

@156 SMFS

1) “Hindsight is so easy. The fact is no one saw the invasion coming. No one could have seen the invasion coming. No British government could have maintained a significant presence there – in the face of Leftist demands for budget cuts – without public awareness of the imminence of invasion.”

The buck has to stop with the people in place to make the decisions. Nobody expects perfect intelligence, but as has already been well rehearsed, the crass stupidity of the Thatcher administration reinforced the mad logic of the fascist junta to invade. It simply isn’t good enough to point out that the decision to invade was ultimately theirs alone; they acted partly in response to the wrong headed policy decisions of Thatcher and her cabinet. The fact that they were continuing the failed policies of yesteryear, or acting on Foreign Office or JCS advice does not somehow mean they can claim to have no responsibility.

ANY government could have maintained a presence in the Falklands sufficient to stop the Argentinians invading, which would have been a lot less than currently required; it would have cost a fraction of some of the amounts consistently squandered over decades in UK defence procurement by Tories and Labour due to poor choices and faulty strategic defence reviews…. just look at the most recent one for evidence that little has really changed.

Little more can be expected of ideological obscurantists like yourself of course, as your responses above amply demonstrate. Anyone who holds the apartheid regime up as a shining example of liberal democracy obviously lacks a moral compass… or is simply engaged in trolling for the sake of it.

@156

Have you ever been denied equal access to political power because of the colour of your skin? Have you been told that you have to live in certain areas and carry a pass card around with you at all time because of the colour of your skin?

I take it the names Sharpeville and Soweto mean nothing at all to you.

You presumably have a rather rose-tinted view of apartheid. But that shouldn’t surprise me or anyone else here.

@151

“South Africa was a rule-abiding (mostly) liberal democracy under apartheid. It was not that much different from other Western democracies”

Pure sophistry

161. Robin Levett

@SMFS #156:

Before you make any more crass mistakes, please read Mandela’s Rivonia trial speech – there’s a transcript here:

http://www.news24.com/NelsonMandela/Speeches/FULL-TEXT-Mandelas-Rivonia-Trial-Speech-20110124

So what was Mandela fighting for, if not freedom?

Stalinism.

Hardly. In 1949, he proposed the expulsion of communists from the ANC; by the time of the Rivonia trial, he had come to see that an alliance with the Communist Party of SA was expedient – but he was never a communist. Read the speech. This how it ends:

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Stalinism?

Remember that you are claiming that he was a terrorist, and loudly proclaimed that he was a terrorist at his trial. You therefore have plenty of cites for his expressions of this belief at the Rivonia trial, I take it? Let’s see them. And you can explain how that equates to his being a terrorist.

I am sorry but if you want to waste everyone’s time, go play with someone else. This is not something that needs support. He confessed openly and freely to deciding to use violence at his trial. Read his opening statement. The only charge he denied at the trial was plotting a foreign invasion.

Whodathunkit? The leader of the MK, the armed wing of the ANC, admits that MK was formed to use violence. Hold the presses.

But that wasn’t the claim you’re supposed to be defending. You said (#61) that:

Mandela was a terrorist. He was convicted of it. At a trial where he loudly said he was a terrorist.

Violence != terrorism. Here is (part of – see the link above for the rest) what he actually said at the Rivonia trial on the subject:

Four forms of violence were possible. There is sabotage, there is guerrilla warfare, there is terrorism, and there is open revolution. We chose to adopt the first method and to exhaust it before taking any other decision.

In the light of our political background the choice was a logical one. Sabotage did not involve loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Bitterness would be kept to a minimum and, if the policy bore fruit, democratic government could become a reality. This is what we felt at the time, and this is what we said in our Manifesto (Exhibit AD):

This then was the plan. Umkhonto was to perform sabotage, and strict instructions were given to its members right from the start, that on no account were they to injure or kill people in planning or carrying out operations.

Hardly a loud declaration that he was a terrorist. Indeed, some would say that viewed in the right light it might even be said to be a rejection of terrorism; which view is supported by the following passage from the speech, where he is discussing the reasons why MK was formed:

When some of us discussed this in May and June of 1961, it could not be denied that our policy to achieve a non-racial State by non-violence had achieved nothing, and that our followers were beginning to lose confidence in this policy and were developing disturbing ideas of terrorism.

Hardly a ringing endorsement of terrorism.

The ANC was under his control, run by his friends and minions. They carried out his policy. He could have, at any time, condemned what the ANC was doing. He did not. If the ANC ever condemned necklacing, at least before they took power, it is merely hypocrisy.

You are delusional. Mandela was held virtually incommunicado on Robben Island from 1964-82. Tambo led the ANC and MK while Mandela was on Robben island. He condemned the practice in Harare in 1987.

Name some; and some evidence of his having ordered the killings (presumably from ANC HQ on Robben Island).

You know no order from Hitler exists for the Holocaust, don’t you? Have you ever seen an order from Pinochet? Maki Skosana.

So Mandela had Maki Skosana killed (that is the claim you make)? Please provide chapter and verse of his involvement.

More generally; both Pinochet and Hitler were dictators in control of the political and military systems in their respective countries. Mandela was a prisoner in voluntary confinement, not even in control of his own life.

Are you really suggesting that the Wannsee conference was held without Hitler’s knowledge?

As for necklacing: the ANC and its leaders could have done more to condemn it – but that is not the same as them not only approving it but actually endorsing it as policy, which is your claim.

The TRC records 71 necklacings. The Chilean TRC records over 2,000 killings by the state during Pinochet’s rule. Your point isn’t made good even if every necklacing could be laid at Mandela’s door.

One of the oddities of the liberation struggle in South Africa is that the state was a formal signatory of the Geneva Convention, but failed to adhere to it,

Where and when? The Geneva convention applies to criminals, how?

(I assume, against you, that you consider ANC and MK members criminals, and not SADF members). It doesn’t – but legally the ANC and MK were engaged in a just war in two respects; firstly, in exercise of the right of self-determination of the South African people, and secondly against the crime against humanity that apartheid represented.

It is true that SA didn’t sign the 1977 protocols; but since they are considered to be part of customary international law, they remained bound by them.

whereas the liberation movement (the ANC and MK, its armed wing) voluntarily submitted to that convention and accepted responsibility for MK’s actions before the TRC.

And now Robin lies. No they did not…

Sorry, but both parts of my statement are true. On 28 November 1980 Tambo signed a declaration, thereafter deposited with the ICRC, that:

It is the conviction of the African National Congress of South Africa that international rules protecting the dignity of human beings must be upheld at all times. Therefore, and for humanitarian reasons, the African National Congress of South Africa hereby declares that, in the conduct of the struggle against apartheid and racism and for self-determination in South Africa, it intends to respect and be guided by the general principles of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts.

Wherever practically possible, the African National Congress of South Africa will
endeavour to respect the rules of the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949
for the victims of armed conflicts and the 1977 additional Protocol I relating to
the protection of victims of international armed conflicts.

The TRC recorded that:

<blockquoteThe ANC has accepted responsibility for all actions committed by members of MK under its command in the period 1961 to August 1990.

MK claimed not to be a terrorist organisation. But of course it was. That was its purpose. The rest is PR.

Not if you believe what Mandela said at the Rivonia trial; or are you changing your mind now?

Bomber command’s campaign is routinely cited as terrorism, but let’s point out the obvious difference – Bomber Command was a legitimate military force engaged in legitimate military operations

…for quite a lot of the time. But bombing civilian targets to induce terror and weaken the civilians’ will to resists of the very definition of terrorism. You make my point for me; that an organisation can commit acts of terrorism without thereby becoming at all times and for all purposes a “terrorist organisation”, and without terrorism becoming its raison d’etre.

…under the authority of a legitimate government. As where the South African security forces.

“legitimate”? In one sense true; but in any sense that implies that opposition to it was ipso facto illegal and morally reprehensible – no.

As for the SA security forces; in which category of those forces would you put the armed farmers; the Witdoeke; and the rest of the “third force”.

South Africa was a rule-abiding (mostly) liberal democracy under apartheid.

You have an odd concept of liberal democracy. Disenfranchisement of the majority population, torture, imprisonment without trial and extra-judicial killings of political opponents are not badges of liberal democracy.

Galen,

I am obviously wasting my time with you so this will be my last post.

The Argentinians had already concluded in 1968 that the UK would not defend the Falkland Islands – the decision to withdraw the patrol shop made no difference.

The Junta attacked when they did (before the cuts had been enacted) for political neccessity and also the fact that they believed the US would not intervene because the US needed their support in central America.

I suggest you reread the book. Some of Thatchers Ministers were criticised, but not Thatcher herself. We will no doubt disagree on who has reading difficults. I have quoted sections of the book to support my argument.

So in post 157 you quite rightly state the obvious – once they had landed only a full scale invasion could take back the islands. Now let me quote from your post 142:

“they could have either stopped the invasion in it’s tracks or severely curtailed Argentine operations once they had landed”

in that post you said they could somehow curtail Argentine operations once they had landed – see the contradiction??? I think even you can manage that.

@162 Fungus

1) “I am obviously wasting my time with you so this will be my last post.”

Ah yes, the refrain of those with no real answer through time… at least we won’t have to listen to any more of your pathetic apologias for your feckless heroine.

2) “The Argentinians had already concluded in 1968 that the UK would not defend the Falkland Islands – the decision to withdraw the patrol shop made no difference.”

They may indeed have made that judgement (although its unlikely to be as cut and dried as you present it) and they may even have been correct and simply mistimed their action…. however it is quite arguable that the decision to withdraw the patrol ship had a significance to Argentine minds out of all proportion to it’s limited capabilities; it sent a signal… and the signal can be laid directly at the feet of the Tories, not preceding governments; why do you find that so difficult to admit to, it’s a simple enough fact?

3) “The Junta attacked when they did (before the cuts had been enacted) for political neccessity and also the fact that they believed the US would not intervene because the US needed their support in central America.”

So much for the special relationship then eh? The factors you mention could equally be applied to previous years, so why did they choose that particular moment? Yes… they chose for many different reasons, but amongst those were the actions of Thatcher and her government. As usual your desperation to absolve Thatcher of any blame at all is as obvious as your lack of analytical ability.

4) “I suggest you reread the book. Some of Thatchers Ministers were criticised, but not Thatcher herself. We will no doubt disagree on who has reading difficults. I have quoted sections of the book to support my argument.”

Why would I need to re-read the book; just because he doesn’t criticise your esteemed Leaderene personally doesn’t mean the buck didn’t stop with her. The fact that she managed to come up smelling of roses and let her minions drown in the shit pile simply goes to show what an odious character she was.

5) “So in post 157 you quite rightly state the obvious – once they had landed only a full scale invasion could take back the islands. Now let me quote from your post 142:

“they could have either stopped the invasion in it’s tracks or severely curtailed Argentine operations once they had landed”

in that post you said they could somehow curtail Argentine operations once they had landed – see the contradiction??? I think even you can manage that.”

They could have curtailed it if Thatcher’s government, or any number of previous ones, had actually given the islands adequate defences, either for the long term or in the short term when they thought the Argentinians needed a shot across their bows to stop them walking in. Once they had secured the airport at Stanley, and were sure there were no RN submarines or surface ships to intercept their transports, of course the outcome was a foregone conclusion. If however our government had sent forces to the islands earlier then yes, their operations would have been curtailed; bear in mind much of their equipment was crap, and most of their conscript army undertrained and ill-led as was shown later on.

Stop trying to re-write history in a doomed attempt to defend Thatcher and her record.

164. Jimmy Glesga

I recall an interview with David Owen where he explained when in power he had sent a warship over the horizon as a warning to the Argies that Britain was serious. He also explained that Labour could not be seen to be weak. They would have been attacked by the Tories and the right wing press.
However the Thatcher government withdrew the navy and left a small garrison of Royal Marines which sent out a message to fascist Galtieri that the British did not care.
It was her governments weakness or perhaps arrogance that led to the invasion and the subsequent deaths to retake the Island.
Her rejoice rejoice crap was a disgrace. Our service people and Argentinians killed because of Tory incompetence.

Galen10 @ 163:

“They may indeed have made that judgement (although its unlikely to be as cut and dried as you present it) and they may even have been correct and simply mistimed their action…. however it is quite arguable that the decision to withdraw the patrol ship had a significance to Argentine minds out of all proportion to it’s limited capabilities; it sent a signal… and the signal can be laid directly at the feet of the Tories, not preceding governments; why do you find that so difficult to admit to, it’s a simple enough fact?”

It’s not “a simple enough fact”, it’s an arguable contention. Do you have any evidence that withdrawing the ship was what caused the invasion?

@165 XXX

Great, another obscurantist thatcher fan boy… just what we need!

You’re like one of these fundamentalist Xians who demands absolute proof… and you’re about as convincing. The withdrawal of the ship, amongst all the other actions and inactions, both by her administration and earlier ones, was part of the equation that the junta would have factored in to their decision making.

The fact that there (may) be no smoking gun memo in Buenos Aires that says “quick, they withdrew the ship, invade next Thursday!!”, or that there is no interview with a junta member that says “yes we did it in direct response to thins one small decision”, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a factor. It is a fact that the ship was withdrawn, and it is a fact that thatcher withdrew it, not earlier administrations.

It has been demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that the decisions of Thatcher’s government make them culpable; anyone pretending otherwise is being disingenuous.

Any reasonable person will look at the evidence and see that this decision (amongst any others) is very likely to have played a part

@ 166:

So basically no real evidence, just conjecture.

“The withdrawal of the ship, amongst all the other actions and inactions, both by her administration and earlier ones, was part of the equation that the junta would have factored in to their decision making.”

The junta had already decided that Britain wouldn’t fight. If it was “part of the equation”, it would have been a fairly insignificant part.

“It has been demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that the decisions of Thatcher’s government make them culpable;”

Given that the best you can come up with is “Look, even though there’s no evidence, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a factor (along with everything else)”, I don’t think it has.

@167 XXX

So your point is what exactly? Nothing in history can be regarded as a “fact” unless someone presents you with direct documentary evidence? It is to laugh.

It’s not difficult, even for someone as hard of thinking as you; do some actual research…even on the web; it’s pretty prolific. If you can come back with anything that “proves” your preferred version, then by all means provide it…. in the meantime, keep smoking whatever it is that you’re on.

All of the mainstream sources discussing the conflict refer to the withdrawal of the Endurance amongst other factors as contributing to the Argentinian decision to go ahead and invade. To pretend otherwise is pure sophistry…. which given the content of your posts is what we have come to expect of course.

Galen @ 168:

“So your point is what exactly? Nothing in history can be regarded as a “fact” unless someone presents you with direct documentary evidence? It is to laugh.”

Most historians wouldn’t regard conjecture as proof beyond all reasonable doubt, especially conjecture about the mental states of people you’ve never met.

(Also, since you haven’t disputed that the Argentines already thought Britain wouldn’t fight for the Falklands, I presume you agree? In which case, withdrawing the Endurance would be a minor factor, hardly enough to justify blaming Thatcher for the war.)

@169 & 170

No, so in the absence of a smoking gun, historians and researchers have to be guided by what information is in the public domain, and conjecture or best guesses about information which is not in the public domain, whether because it is classified, or because those involved are not inlined to disclose it (or indeed may be inclined to be economical with the truth).

Obviously in the case of the Falklands conflict, much of the information will be classified. However, the overwhelming body of evidence and the analysis of those who have written histories and reports concur that the decisions of Thatcher’s government in particular contributed directly to the Argentinian junta’s decision to invade at the time it did. Go and actually read the histories by Freeman, Hastings etc., peruse the Franks report (there are plenty of other resources)… virtually without exception all of them discuss the Endeavour decision and agree it was a factor.

And yes, I do agree that the Argentinians had decided to invade…. based on a whole range of reasons and signs as I’ve already discussed. Some of these were long standing, and cannot be attributed to Thatcher and her cronies. However MANY of the decisions can be attributed to them (withdrawing the Endeavour was only one.. there were others, e.g. withdrawing citizenship rights from the Falkland islanders, refusing to extend the runway at Stanley airport to allow wide bodied jets to land.. again there are lots of other crass penny pinching decisions that can be pointed at…).

As already stated, Endeavour had .. and was seen by the Argentines to have… a hugely symbolic value out of all proportion to it’s actual military competence.

Nobody is saying that Thatcher was solely responsible… but she and her cronies certainly bear a large measure of the culpability. To maintain otherwise simply displays your ignorance.

@ XXX

You might also like to refer to the Franks report (available as a PDF online) which states (paras. 116 & 117)

“116. In July 1981 the British Embassy in Buenos Aires reported, in a letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at official level, that several Argentine newspapers had carried prominently versions of a report of an article in The Daily Telegraph on the subject. The letter reported that all the newspaper articles highlighted the theme that Britain was “abandoning the protection of the Falkland Islands”. An intelligence report in September 1981 quoted an Argentine diplomatic view that the withdrawal of HMS Endurance had been construed by the Argentines as a deliberate political gesture; they did not see it as an inevitable economy in Britain’s defence budget since the implications for the Islands and for Britain’s position in the South Atlantic were fundamental.
117. Lord Carrington wrote again to Mr Nott on 22 January 1982 referring to the protests that the news of HMS Endurance’s withdrawal had aroused. He referred to an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons that had been signed by over 150 MPs, and to a debate in the House of Lords on 16 December 1981 that had centred on the decision.(1)Official Report, House of Lords, 16 December 1981, Cols. 209–237. Lord Carrington said that the decision was being interpreted as a stage in a deliberate British policy of reducing support for the Falkland Islands; and as demonstrating a lack of commitment to Britain’s sovereignty, and to the related economic potential, in Antarctica. ……”

So even the Franks report (which is widely seen as letting the government of the day, as well as previous administrations, off lightly) points to the importance of the Endeavour’s withdrawal.

Galen10:

Some of Thatcher’s decisions might have confirmed the Argentines’ belief that Britain wouldn’t fight; however, since they already believed this, it’s unconvincing to claim that Thatcher bears especial culpability. A more likely cause for the invasion is the junta’s unpopularity, which was getting more and more serious as time went by. That at least would explain why the invasion happened when it did, and not at any time over the previous thirteen years.

@173 XXX

You’ve already demonstrated that you aren’t open to being convinced by evidence, because your belief is faith based, and therefore irrational.

The weight of evidence suggests precisely the opposite; that Thatcher and her administration bear particular culpability by virtue of decisions they took which reinforced the impression that the UK would not fight. Whilst obviously not the only or even prime reason the invasion took place, they are important, and did contribute. What is more, by taking different decisions, the whole invasion could have been averted in the first place, so as well as sims of commission, there are sins of omission.

The invasion happened when it did for a variety of reasons as I’ve freely admitted above. Amongst those are actions and lack of actions attributable to Thatcher and her government. Your refusal to accept this simply makes you look odd.

175. So Much For Subtlety

158. Galen10

The buck has to stop with the people in place to make the decisions.

And it did. Lord Carrington resigned.

Nobody expects perfect intelligence, but as has already been well rehearsed, the crass stupidity of the Thatcher administration reinforced the mad logic of the fascist junta to invade.

Except the problem remains that this crass stupidity exists only in your mind. You have not been able to point to one unreasonable decision or one decision that would have made a reasonable regime think that invasion was sensible. Instead you choose to believe some fantasy in which the Argentinians are the only ones responding to signals rationally and Thatcher is to blame for everything. It is not merely childish, it is too absurd for that.

ANY government could have maintained a presence in the Falklands sufficient to stop the Argentinians invading, which would have been a lot less than currently required

Well that is not necessarily true. The Endeavour could not have stopped a group of determined penguins invading. You are extrapolating there. Once the irrational Junta made their decision, they made their decision. And there was nothing that anyone could have done to deter them. After all if Britain’s nuclear weapons didn’t, nothing else was likely to.

Anyone who holds the apartheid regime up as a shining example of liberal democracy obviously lacks a moral compass… or is simply engaged in trolling for the sake of it.</i.

Why do you feel the need to lie about what I said?

buddyhell

Have you ever been denied equal access to political power because of the colour of your skin? Have you been told that you have to live in certain areas and carry a pass card around with you at all time because of the colour of your skin?

No and no. So what? South Africa was vastly preferable to even the best Soviet puppet state – where people were also denied access to power and were not allowed to live or to work where they liked. Which is precisely the system that the ANC was trying to impose on South Africa. Thus freedom had nothing to do with what Mandela wanted.

Robin Levett

Hardly. In 1949, he proposed the expulsion of communists from the ANC;

The Freedom Charter was drawn up by five parties, each controlled, either openly or secretly, by General Secretaries from the South African Communist Party. He was a life time friend of people he met as a University student – like Oliver Tambo, Ruth First, Joe Slovo and Walter Sisulu. Communists all. Sisulu kept his own membership secret for years. So, presumably, did Mandela. In 1950 the South African government banned the Communist Party. That Mandela tried to save one of their Front organisations from sharing the ban is no surprise.

by the time of the Rivonia trial, he had come to see that an alliance with the Communist Party of SA was expedient – but he was never a communist.

Hardly expedient as the SACP controlled the ANC by then. But he was never an *open* Communist. But that defies belief.

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Communists are good at propaganda. I am sure he even believed it. But it was and is not true.

Remember that you are claiming that he was a terrorist, and loudly proclaimed that he was a terrorist at his trial. You therefore have plenty of cites for his expressions of this belief at the Rivonia trial, I take it? Let’s see them. And you can explain how that equates to his being a terrorist.

Let’s see. He stands trial for using armed force against the government. He openly admits that he was using armed force against the government. You continue to live in some fantasy land where blowing up cafes and planting land mines on roads is not terrorism? Each to their own.

Whodathunkit? The leader of the MK, the armed wing of the ANC, admits that MK was formed to use violence. Hold the presses.

As I said, big surprise that a terrorist admits to being a terrorist. Now we agree perhaps we can move on.

Violence != terrorism.

Sure. Wife beating is not terrorism. Blowing up cafes is.

Here is (part of – see the link above for the rest) what he actually said at the Rivonia trial on the subject:

Four forms of violence were possible. There is sabotage, there is guerrilla warfare, there is terrorism, and there is open revolution. We chose to adopt the first method and to exhaust it before taking any other decision.

He is splitting hairs and quibbling. Any other decision? He is holding the other options open. Even by his Jesuitical explanation.

In the light of our political background the choice was a logical one. Sabotage did not involve loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Bitterness would be kept to a minimum and, if the policy bore fruit, democratic government could become a reality.

Sabotage has not worked once. The choice was a logical one given he was a Marxist – hence the peaceful campaign by the ANC up to that point was not going to work. Because while it could, and did, end Apartheid, Mandela wanted a real revolution to create a Stalinist state and that could only be done by force. When you blow up pipelines and other objects you run the risk, at least, of killing people. There is no point saying planting a land mine does not kill people because they do. Blowing things up does as well. He just wasn’t very good at it before he got caught.

Hardly a ringing endorsement of terrorism.

More Stalinist lies. No big deal.

You are delusional. Mandela was held virtually incommunicado on Robben Island from 1964-82. Tambo led the ANC and MK while Mandela was on Robben island. He condemned the practice in Harare in 1987.

He was not held virtually incommunicado and if he had wanted to condemn necklacing, I am fairly sure the government would have let him. He did not.

Tambo was faced with a simple problem – how to keep international support from the usual Useful Idiots while carrying out “People’s War”. Their solution was to make general, vague, meaningless statements condoning the practice while appearing to condemn it, without doing a damn thing to stop their members from carrying out such attacks. A good example is found here in speaking in Britain’s Parliament:

http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?pid=S0259-01902010000100006&script=sci_arttext

It is not really [conflict between black and black], it is conflict between, on the one side, the victims of the apartheid system and the forces that represent and defend the apartheid system on the other. In the course of all this … there are excesses which we do not condone, but we understand the circumstances in which all this is happening. There has been such an onslaught on our people by the Pretoria regime, there has been so much killing and shooting – shooting of children who do not have to be killed … This enrages the people and makes them more angry and we can understand that they can go to excesses in the way that they respond to this unbridled violence by apartheid.

So he understands. Regretable, but understandable. Hypocrite.

More generally; both Pinochet and Hitler were dictators in control of the political and military systems in their respective countries. Mandela was a prisoner in voluntary confinement, not even in control of his own life.

And yet it was still his Party.

As for necklacing: the ANC and its leaders could have done more to condemn it – but that is not the same as them not only approving it but actually endorsing it as policy, which is your claim.

And yet their party carried it out, under explicit orders by the ANC to attack soft targets, in line with the political and military strategy – and numerous high ranking ANC members openly supported it. Such as, of course, Winnie Mandela. Who Mandela did not get around to divorcing, for various reasons, until 1996.

(I assume, against you, that you consider ANC and MK members criminals, and not SADF members). It doesn’t – but legally the ANC and MK were engaged in a just war in two respects; firstly, in exercise of the right of self-determination of the South African people, and secondly against the crime against humanity that apartheid represented.

Which is meaningless. That may condemn the South African government but it does not justify the ANC’s violence. By definition the ANC does not meet the main condition for a Just War. It is not a government. You may think their violence was justified but they have no standing in the law. They were criminals and terrorists. No more. No more than the KKK was.

Sorry, but both parts of my statement are true. On 28 November 1980 Tambo signed a declaration, thereafter deposited with the ICRC, that:

Then they are seriously lying little weasels given they had no intention of carrying out the terms and conditions thereof.

Not if you believe what Mandela said at the Rivonia trial; or are you changing your mind now?

Neither. Communists are like most people – they lie in predictable ways.

…for quite a lot of the time. But bombing civilian targets to induce terror and weaken the civilians’ will to resists of the very definition of terrorism. You make my point for me; that an organisation can commit acts of terrorism without thereby becoming at all times and for all purposes a “terrorist organisation”, and without terrorism becoming its raison d’etre.

For all the time. It was never other than a legitimate force. It may be such a definition – except that is not what Bomber Command said it was doing. The fact remains it was a legitimate armed force. Under the control of a legitimate State. The ANC was not. You can claim they were committing acts of terrorism. Good for you. It is irrelevant as we are talking about the ANC.

“legitimate”? In one sense true; but in any sense that implies that opposition to it was ipso facto illegal and morally reprehensible – no.

Now you are quibbling. If you want to insist that your personal sense of right and wrong defines international law, please feel free to do so. It doesn’t.

You have an odd concept of liberal democracy. Disenfranchisement of the majority population, torture, imprisonment without trial and extra-judicial killings of political opponents are not badges of liberal democracy.

No they are not. And yet Blacks in South Africa were vastly better off than, say, East Germans. Owned more cars than Soviet citizens. Were freer than both.

@175 SMFS

It shouldn’t have stopped with Carrington and Nott, they at least did the honourable thing. She was PM and ultimately responsible for the failings of her administration.

You are the one making things up; I’ve been careful to say that Thatcher and her administration were “to blame for everything” in your words. Do at least try to engage with what I actually said, not what the voices in your head tell you I said. There are a number of unreasonable and crass decisions which are directly attributable to thatcher’s government; the decision to withdraw Endeavour, the decision not to lengthen Stanley airport, the decision to withdraw British citizenship from the islanders, the decision that economic factors were more important than the long term defence of the islands. You and the hysterical thatcher fan boys haven’t addressed these points, still less refuted them.

As for withdrawing the Endeavour, of course I am extrapolating; the decision was and is widely regarded as a terrible one, and a signal to the Argentinian junta of Thatcher’s intent; even the supine Franks report accepts that! there were plenty of things that could and should have been done to deter the Argentinians… nuclear weapons were neither here nor there, as we were hardly likely to nuke Buenos Aires.

However irrational the junta was, it didn’t make decisions in a vacuum; the policy decisions of our government could and did influence what happened; your insistence that Thatcher and her government somehow bear no responsibility at all doesn’t stand up to even cursory scrutiny, and simply reveals you as another faintly hysterical Thatcher lover.

I have no need to lie about what you said; you are condemned by your own crass arguments with respect to the apartheid regime in S. Africa; cavilling at whether the SA regime killed fewer people than Pinochet, or provided its disenfranchised black citizens with more cars is somewhat besides the point…. but pretty symptomatic of your moral redundancy.

@175

“No and no. So what? South Africa was vastly preferable to even the best Soviet puppet state – where people were also denied access to power and were not allowed to live or to work where they liked. Which is precisely the system that the ANC was trying to impose on South Africa. Thus freedom had nothing to do with what Mandela wanted”.

Blatant troll is blatant. On yer bike, pal.

Thank you, Galen10, for your argument. For making me think.

I was a twenty year old when the Falklands conflict turned into battle. I mistakenly opposed Thatcher, because, well she must have been wrong.

I failed to observe the wishes of the Islanders. I was completely wrong on any scale of liberal values.

@178

No worries m8; good to see that some people on this site actually think about the issues.

I was at uni at the time of the war, studying Politics as it happens…so it was a hotly debated issue, particularly when the son of one of the lecturers died on HMS Sheffield. Like you I was totally opposed to Thatcher and her policies; I remember thinking when the war broke out that the only good thing to come of it would be her downfall…I was soooo convinced she’d be toast for her part in it!

Unlike you, I was always convinced we were right to fight however, and to ensure the islanders weren’t subjected to rule by a vile fascist dictatorship.

The tragic thing is that so many hundreds had to die in an unnecessary and avoidable conflict in the first place. In my book that alone should ensure Thatcher is not accorded a state funeral. When the time comes, I won’t be celebrating her death, but I will read her obituary with relish.

180. So Much For Subtlety

176. Galen10

It shouldn’t have stopped with Carrington and Nott, they at least did the honourable thing. She was PM and ultimately responsible for the failings of her administration.

Actually the Minister is responsible. Not the Prime Minister. Not that there was much to resign about. No rational person could have foreseen the invasion.

You are the one making things up; I’ve been careful to say that Thatcher and her administration were “to blame for everything” in your words.

I agree. Stop it.

There are a number of unreasonable and crass decisions which are directly attributable to thatcher’s government; the decision to withdraw Endeavour, the decision not to lengthen Stanley airport, the decision to withdraw British citizenship from the islanders, the decision that economic factors were more important than the long term defence of the islands. You and the hysterical thatcher fan boys haven’t addressed these points, still less refuted them.

I have repeatedly pointed out how absurd these claims were. The idea that the two 20 mm guns on the Endeavour – painted bright orange to help with search and rescue which was its only task – could deter anything is irrational beyond the point of sensible comment. If you think that claim hasn’t been refuted, well, so much for you. The British had been scaling back their Imperial commitments for decades. That doesn’t mean any rational person could have assumed they would not defend the Islands against invasion. No one foresaw it because it was so utterly irrational. You simply want to make a case to justify your hatred where none exists.

As for withdrawing the Endeavour, of course I am extrapolating; the decision was and is widely regarded as a terrible one, and a signal to the Argentinian junta of Thatcher’s intent; even the supine Franks report accepts that! there were plenty of things that could and should have been done to deter the Argentinians… nuclear weapons were neither here nor there, as we were hardly likely to nuke Buenos Aires.

That is the point – the Argentinians correctly understood that the British were ruled by such gutless people that they would not defend themselves much if at all. They were wrong about the character of Thatcher but only her. You are not so much extrapolating as making stuff up. Who at the time regarded it as a terrible decision? Name three. Even one. Lots could have been done, but that is not the point. If there was no rational way to foresee the invasion, why would anyone have done it? We could be invaded by aliens tomorrow and everyone would claim lots could have been done. But it won’t be because it is not a rational thing to prepare against.

However irrational the junta was, it didn’t make decisions in a vacuum;

So it is the fault of Boney M for disbanding? If you’re going to start to claim that any action provoked them, then you’re away with the fairies.

the policy decisions of our government could and did influence what happened; your insistence that Thatcher and her government somehow bear no responsibility at all doesn’t stand up to even cursory scrutiny, and simply reveals you as another faintly hysterical Thatcher lover.

You have yet to show anyone at the time opposed any policies on the basis it would provoke Argentina. You have yet to show any culpability. The fact that you have had to resort to what are to you personal smears proves that you do not have a case. Nowhere in this thread have I praised Thatcher except for having some spine. But you need to believe something of the sort because you need to believe you are right.

I have no need to lie about what you said;

I agree. And yet you do. Stop it.

you are condemned by your own crass arguments with respect to the apartheid regime in S. Africa; cavilling at whether the SA regime killed fewer people than Pinochet,

And you do so again. I have never said this. Why do you resort to such pathetic lies? I said Mandela’s men killed more people than Pinochet’s. A statement of fact that no one has tried to dispute.

or provided its disenfranchised black citizens with more cars is somewhat besides the point…. but pretty symptomatic of your moral redundancy.

It isn’t. It is an indicator that South Africa was better at providing for its own Black citizens than East Germany was. It is a product of a freer society where Black South Africans had more rights, more freedoms, than East Germans. And hence were richer. No m atter how much you might like to pretend otherwise.

buddyhell

Blatant troll is blatant. On yer bike, pal.

And yet it is true. South Africa did not recruit one in four of its citizens to spy on the rest. Black South Africans had greater freedom to travel and live where they liked than Soviet citizens did. They had greater freedom to read and think what they liked. They had greater freedom even to join organisations than anyone under the Soviet system did. They had greater freedom in virtually every single aspect of their lives than, say, Cubans do today. Just a lot less than White South Africans. These are not opinions up for debate. They are simple facts.

If you don’t like them, that’s your problem.

@ 180 SMFS

1) “Actually the Minister is responsible. Not the Prime Minister. Not that there was much to resign about. No rational person could have foreseen the invasion.”

Of course there was something to resign about; it wasn’t some minor crisis, it was the invasion of a British dependency caused in part by the incompetence and poor decision making of her administration. It is of course entirely symptomatic of the woman herself that she was prepared to see others sacrifice themselves so she could pretend she had nothing to be ashamed about. Of course, as any reasonable person (a description which obviously rules the likes of you out) can see, she shares in the collective responsibility of the cabinet for the disaster and the deaths it caused.

2) Ooops.. butter fingers- of course I meant to say that my posts were quite clear in saying that they were “not” to blame for everything; a simple typo – so as anyone following the argument could easily discern, you were lying.

3) I’m not making a case to justify the hatred you falsely attribute to me. As I have repeatedly said, I don’t hate her or her government, I’m simply holding them to account for their gross failures and incompetence. We’ve already dealt with your supposed knock out blow about the Endeavour being lightly armed; the fact you keep repeating it doesn’t make it any more convincing. You have already been provided with direct evidence from the Franks report quoting UK briefings which contradict your point; there is in addition ample evidence showing the Falklands Islands council, many westminster MP’s and the Foreign Office tried to have the decision to withdraw Endeavour overturned. If it was so unimportant, why did they do so? I think it is plain that you lack any evidence to support your view other than a manic desire to absolve Thatcher personally at any cost regardless of the facts.

4) Why is it away with the fairies to say that certain decisions provoked the junta’s decision to invade at that particular point? I agree that the junta did not act rationally, and got it’s decisions very wrong…. but the same can be said of Thatcher’s administration; the junta’s mind set isn’t some “get out of jail free” card for Thatcher’s administration and it’s obvious failings.

You continue to insist that Thatcher and her administration have absolutely no responsibility simply because nobody could have been expected to see how irrational the junta was? What arrant nonsense.

5) “You have yet to show anyone at the time opposed any policies on the basis it would provoke Argentina. You have yet to show any culpability.”

The culpability is obvious to anyone with an open mind who looks at the evidence, including the Franks report and much of the scholarly analyses of the war, none of which you seem to be aware of. The Falklands Island council, the islanders, many MP’s who spoke against the government’s decisions and signed motions to that effect, Carrington and the FO in their discussions with John Nott about defence cuts, and the security briefings referred to in the Franks report above all support the contention that the policies were opposed precisely on the grounds that they sent the wrong message to Argentina; it couldn’t be any plainer.

However, even if it wasn’t so obvious that the decisions DID inform the junta’s decision to invade, UK policy would still be wrong, and therefore be contributory factors to the invasion. Since these were decisions taken by the cabinet, they bear a collective responsibility for them.

6) You obviously know as much about SA and apartheid as you do about the Falklands conflict…. essentially nothing. The argument that black S Africans were better off than E Germans is simply risible; it’s not some game of Authoritarian Top Trumps! You’re obviously one of that (thankfully) diminishing band of libertarians who used to have “Hang Nelson Mandela and all ANC Terrorists) stickers on their cars; there was a particularly unpleasant nest of them at St Andrews in my student days – thankfully their tub thumping made them easy to spot and avoid, and somehow their petrol tanks often seemed to end up full of sugar.

I’m bored with you now. Feeding trolls gets tiresome after a while- especially one presenting such little challenge as you.

@180

“And yet it is true”.

Your trolling? Yes, we know you’re a troll.

“South Africa did not recruit one in four of its citizens to spy on the rest. Black South Africans had greater freedom to travel and live where they liked than Soviet citizens did. They had greater freedom to read and think what they liked. They had greater freedom even to join organisations than anyone under the Soviet system did. They had greater freedom in virtually every single aspect of their lives than, say, Cubans do today. Just a lot less than White South Africans. These are not opinions up for debate. They are simple facts”.

Perhaps you’ve never heard of BOSS? How about the censorship? Yeah, you’re a troll. Be off with you.

183. Geoffrey Bailey

‘Destruction of Britain’s industrial base’ – well that is quite simply a complete distortion of the truth. Today I read that Nissan produced 480,000 cars and mostly for export.This company arrived in Britain thanks to Thatcher providing subsidies to a deprived area of Britain and rules that stopped the industrial chaos caused by militant unionism. This was followed by other manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda.

The other pet subject that falls from the mouths of the Labour party is the demise of the coal industry under Thatcher. Again a complete fabrication as more tonnage was lost in the years before and after than during her period in office! And has anyone in the Labour party noticed that we don’t use coal in the domestic or transportation sector anymore!


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  9. maxlawsontin

    http://t.co/Di4a3MO6 Thatcher’s funeral: you mourn if you want to

  10. Stephen Carter

    Well written,Thatcher’s funeral: you mourn if you want to http://t.co/Sj6bq3rW

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    Thatcher's funeral: you mourn if you want to | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/EXJDFDVb





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