Local newspapers across UK less glowing about Thatcher


8:30 am - April 9th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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While the national press has mostly been over-the-top glowing about Margaret Thatcher, apart from the honourable exception of the Mirror, local newspapers are less flowery today.

While not exactly negative, they do a better job of reflecting that Thatcher’s legacy was not welcomed by a significant portion of the population.

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(ht Sands Media Services)

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


She did more for the country than you or any socialist will ever do Sunny.

She also befriended more fascist regimes than any socialist will ever do.

Tyler go to Chilie to the memorials for those who disappeared during Pinoche’s reign of terror. At the time that this was happening he was friends with your dear Maggie and as for doing more for this country, have you opened your recent energy bill yet?

@ 2 Bohemian

I suppose you’ll forgive Blair sucking up to Gaddaffi and Livingstones overtures to Chavez then….

@ 3 Chris

Energy prices have gone up thanks to a combination of higher input costs, taxes (increased massively under Labour) and subsidies (for things like Green energy).

You seem to forget that in the 70’s the UK regularly had fuel shortages and power cuts, and costs (inflation and tax adjusted) weren’t much loewr than they are today.

I’ll leave you with a piece borrowed from Brendan O’Neill:

“Time and again, the failures of the Left – to convince the public of its agenda, to win the working classes to its cause – is projected on to Thatcher. She and her ideology are transformed into an all-powerful force that corrupted the little people’s minds and singlehandedly finished off Socialism. That is why Thatcher became, if anything, even more hated in recent years, long after she left office, including among new radical Leftist who weren’t even born when she was PM: because Thatcher-bashing is fundamentally an expression of Leftists’ fury and frustration at their own increasing insignificance in public debate and among the demos. How much easier it is to claim that the public have being mentally kidnapped by an awesomely powerful leader than to have a serious think about why latter-day Leftism failed. The question is: now that Thatcher is dead, who will the Left blame for the indifference and even hostility it is met with in communities up and down the country?”

5. DumbToryNarrative

Tyler the far-right nutjob would fit right in with Thatcher’s friends.

Half of these are Trinity Mirror titles aren’t they? No great surprise that they aren’t so keen on her.

“How much easier it is to claim that the public have being mentally kidnapped by an awesomely powerful leader than to have a serious think about why latter-day Leftism failed. The question is: now that Thatcher is dead, who will the Left blame for the indifference and even hostility it is met with in communities up and down the country?””

So true and today the nation sees the true face of the left once again, dancing over the death of an old lady, beyond revolting, their perpetual immaturity and thought processes lower than that of a dog wide open for all to see.

8. Shatterface

She also befriended more fascist regimes than any socialist will ever do.

In fairness, I don’t recall her saluting Saddam Hussein’s indefatigability.

Politics attracts the kind of people who worship power. Thatcher worshipped right-wing dictatorships in South America who had the freedom to murder with impunity, socialists worship anyone who hates America enough no matter how many of their own people they butcher.

In fairness, I don’t recall her saluting Saddam Hussein’s indefatigability.

No, she just sold him weapons.

Is she really that important in the UK now?
In 50 years time a more objective look will say she had no difference either positively or negatively. I was watching the long Good Friday and the scene in the docklands and the change in the economy. It looks like the typical greed is a good philosophy and a look at the eighties in the UK. It was made in 1978. The eighties /nineties would have been the same with or without her.
I have never look at her as the princess of darkness. Her bark was worst than her bite.
She was right with the union laws, in fact if Labour would have introduced the ideas of the Mrs Castle they would have been in power the eighties.
The Falklands was a mistake from the start, she mothballed the Endurance and gave the Argies the go ahead, and serviceman got her out of the mess.
She was lucky that she was only interviewed correctly once in her career and that was by an old lady from Devon. The rest of the right wing fawning creeps who broadcast or write articles in this country let her off many times.
I have been fearing this day, the endless programmes with politicos wetting themselves. Just let us get it over. Give her expensive state paid funeral she wanted. Let the tory boys like tyler ,cjcj, tim J. SMFS, Tone and DTp and many others have their moment in the sun. They can say good bye to Nanny. She tucks them in for last time and gives them their last portion of spotted dick and then we can get on with rest of the century.

No Tyler, I equally condemn the Blair government.

I don’t have myopia dependent on my political views.

“Politics attracts the kind of people who worship power. Thatcher worshipped right-wing dictatorships in South America who had the freedom to murder with impunity, socialists worship anyone who hates America enough no matter how many of their own people they butcher.”
Great point.
Although read John Farrell’s, a pinko, last book and the last chapter on the US. He quite rightly says the US has been the superpower that is the least repugnant and has been a instrument of good. In fact Brown and Blair were very pro US.

Sorry add Kojak to the list

“Energy prices have gone up thanks to a combination of higher input costs, taxes (increased massively under Labour) and subsidies (for things like Green energy).”
Nothing to do with the massive profits eh.

These naughty newspapers are disrupting the hagiography!

16. Keith Reeder

“She did more for the country than you or any socialist will ever do Sunny.”

She certainly FUCKED UP more of the country than anyone else.

17. Keith Reeder

“Is she really that important in the UK now?”

I just need to look at my local town centre of Blyth – starved of investment, shops closed, locals standing around on street corners with nowhere to go and no money to spend – to say “yes” to that question: the wastelands she left behind her are STILL wastelands because of ideologies and policies she created or embraced.

p.diddy re comment 13:

Thanks for thinking of me.

Not sure why you are adding me to the list. I had the opportunity to vote for her throughout the 1980’s and chose not to. However my dislike for her policies was a youthful knee-jerk reaction as I went along with the opposition / lets blame nanny approach. Fortunately I grew up and saw the folly in accusing politicians for events which were reshaping the world at the time. Much heavy industry was already on it’s way out and manufacturing was at least 10 years behind competitors. Margaret Thatcher at least had the foresight to help develop the financial services sector of the UK which until 2008/9 funded so much of the economy.

An anecdote:
When I was at college up north the miners strike was in full swing. Sentiment was 100% behind them. A group of miners marching to protest in London were hosted by the Student’s Union for an evening and stayed over for the night which coincided with the regular disco (DJ’d by Mick Hucknell if I remember correctly). It was a bit like a scene from Life on Mars with the normal bloke miners drinking cheap beer suggesting some girls ‘get their tits out’, a bit of bum pinching and other standard banter which was much looked down on by pre-PC students. I hope they had better luck at the next Student’s Union because they left empty handed (except for the kindly donated Student’s Union coffers) and didn’t think much of the Nina Simone, Jackie Wilson and other stuff they had been subjected to.

Thanks for thinking of me.
No probs
Not sure why you are adding me to the list. I had the opportunity to vote for her throughout the 1980?s and chose not to.
Only your word for that and you sound like a lying cove
“However my dislike for her policies was a youthful knee-jerk reaction as I went along with the opposition / lets blame nanny approach.”
I think it is you and our like with the nanny complex. Weak men always need a strong women to help them wipe
their bums and argue their case.

Fortunately I grew up and saw the folly in accusing politicians for events which were reshaping the world at the time.
My own point, at the start of my comment.
” Much heavy industry was already on it’s way out and manufacturing was at least 10 years behind competitors. Margaret Thatcher at least had the foresight to help develop the financial services sector of the UK which until 2008/9 funded so much of the economy.”
That is the point, that would havehappened to the UK with or without Thatcher. The Docklands were been developed in the late 70’s.
Although deregulation didn’t help us in the long run.

Sorry your like

“normal bloke miners drinking cheap beer suggesting some girls ‘get their tits out’, a bit of bum pinching and other standard banter which was much looked down on by pre-PC students. I hope they had better luck at the next Student’s Union because they left empty handed (except for the kindly donated Student’s Union coffers) and didn’t think much of the Nina Simone, Jackie Wilson and other stuff they had been subjected to.”
The point is that working men are oiks.
Well never.
Sad little fellah aren’t u.

“Much heavy industry was already on it’s way out and manufacturing was at least 10 years behind competitors”
Your probably right but evidence please.

@ 14 p.diddy

Right…let’s just look at the facts shall we?

http://www.petrolprices.com/the-price-of-fuel.html

The increase in prices are due to input costs and tax – not profiteering. You’ll notice that only about 5p of petrol retail prices goes to the retailer and delivery companies.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/48195/3224-great-britains-housing-energy-fact-file-2011.pdf

Have a look at page 12 of this pdf (note inflation adjusted, government source). You’ll see that electricity prices came *down* during Thatcher’s years, as did gas prices after a brief pickup after the late 70’s oil price shock.

They’ve kicked up more recently thanks to policies such as green energy, and as I mentioned before, Labour’s propensity to increase taxation.

It’s a shame the reality doesn’t fit your preconception isn’t it?

@ 16 Keith Reeder

I suppose you think the 3 day week and winter of discontent, all enabled by Labour and the Unions was better right? The UK was in a terrible state in 1979 but by 1990 was economically strong. By the times the Tories left power in 1997 they had bequeathed a good economic legacy for Labour.

p.diddy re comment 21:

I said ‘normal bloke’.
I didn’t say ‘oik’ you did.

And that reveals how your mind works.

I said ‘normal bloke’.
I didn’t say ‘oik’ you did.

And that reveals how your mind works.
True but you felt like saying oik.
Two hate figures for the price of one for you lollipop man.
Horrible loutish miners who deserve their fate.
Stupid leftie students who when they get to their forties will vote Tory, a little like yourself

p.Diddy re comment 19:

“That is the point, that would havehappened to the UK with or without Thatcher. The Docklands were been developed in the late 70?s.
Although deregulation didn’t help us in the long run.”

The LDDC which was set up to oversee the redevelopment of the Docklands was set up in 1980 – please see the wiki page linked below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Docklands_Development_Corporation

Early on on in the Long Good Friday Harold Shand returns to his boat and the camera position (at the Tower Hotel I think) pans across St Katherine’s Dock towards Butler’s Wharf and the white building which later housed the LDDC on St. Ketherine’s Way has yet to be built.
When I last saw the film I was much taken by the conversation between Shand and policeman anticipating a future Olympics games on the site. But thats not to say it was likely to happen with or without Margaret Thatcher. Livingstone/Blair/Coe would not have been able to convincingly argue present a case for London without Docklands.

p.diddy re comment 24:

Possibly I wasn’t clear enough earlier on as I failed to provide a manual.

The point of the anecdote was to demonstrate that the sentiment was solidly behind the miners who were given an easy ride and celebrating for what they were perceived to represent. Seen in the flesh, instead of being angels incarnate they were just like normal guys in a nightclub surrounded by young women and beer.

Perhaps that”s what you consider to be horrible + loutish.

Kojak:

When I last saw the film I was much taken by the conversation between Shand and policeman anticipating a future Olympics games on the site. But thats not to say it was likely to happen with or without Margaret Thatcher.

If I recall correctly there was an Olympic bid for London during Thatcher’s time in office…mainly because Manchester had put in its own bid (along with, I think, Birmingham). Thatcher had nothing to do with it on the grounds that ‘the private sector would provide’ – which it didn’t: the bid was a shambles.

By contrast, Manchester’s bid led to the creation of the Commonwealth Games stadium, which became Manchester City’s new home (which may in turn have led to the new owners and last year’s Premiership title).

On the other hand, I think the UK was told that any Olympic bid had to be for London, and had to have government support. Since Thatcher didn’t see that kind of thing as the role of the state and didn’t ‘get’ sport into the bargain, I doubt a London Olympics would have happened on her watch.

Kojak, my little rightie friend
Do you not think a Labour government would not have implemented the same policy. Harold Shand saying in 1978 this area will be redeveloped, how do the author know that unless in 1978 there were plans to develop the site
Also the project was funded by massive public capital, surely the opposite to the view of so called Thatcherism economics.
I get tired of the demonisation and adoration of Thatcher. The high growth and unemployment of the eighties would have happened with or without Thatcher because of the influx of North sea oil money and natural decline of manufacturing industry.
If you want a real Thatcherite government, one that brings down the public debt in real terms, try the Labour Government of 78-79.
“Seen in the flesh, instead of being angels incarnate they were just like normal guys in a nightclub surrounded by young women and beer.”
So you thought they were louts or that was the implication unless you thinking pinching girls arses is normal behaviour

30. Matin Meadows

While the national press has mostly been over-the-top glowing about Margaret Thatcher, apart from the honourable exception of the Mirror, local newspapers are less flowery today.

Yes you have got it : Politicians seem to forget there is life outside of Parliament and London !

The only time politicians care about their constituencies is when elections are in sight.

What I want to know who is footing the bill for this funeral ? No doubt the British tax payer will end up paying for most of it whilst her wealthy children keep their hands on their wallet & purse.

“She also befriended more fascist regimes than any socialist will ever do.”

Compare this:

Tony Blair’s six secret visits to Col Gaddafi

Tony Blair’s close relationship to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has come under fresh scrutiny after it emerged he had six private meetings with the dictator in the three years after he left Downing Street.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/8787074/Tony-Blairs-six-secret-visits-to-Col-Gaddafi.html

redpesto re comment 27:

Thanks for your message.

If I recall correctly Horace Cutler the Tory leader of the GLC prior to Ken in 181 (a curious looking guy with bow ties who resembled Fyfe Robertson) heavily promoted London’s bid for the 1992 Olympics. However, rather than select a vast semi derelict railway sidings between Neasden and Wembley Stadium the IOC chose Barcelona instead. The site is now home for IKEA. So when I saw The Long Good Friday at the pictures the following year there was some credibility for the idea of the Olympics coming to London.

Like you I think Thatcher didn’t really get sport or believe in it’s potency as an agent for redevelopment. She would I’m sure have been only too happy to bask in the limelight is she had managed to arrange for Olympia and York (or and other Developer) to pay for it instead – though I’m not certain how she’d react to them going under as they did in 91.

With regard to Manchester – I hadn’t thought that the ending of ’40 years of pain’ (excuse my mangling the City phrase) could be attributed to Mrs T in any way.

p.diddy re comment 28:

“Do you not think a Labour government would not have implemented the same policy.”

Simple answer – no.
Longer answer – no chance they wouldn’t dream of entrusting so much authority into a body such as the LDDC and completely relaxing planning controls or taxation. Thatcher trusted market forces to sort it out.

As far as the miner go you seem to be confusing yourself. One post you accuse me of suggesting they were louts when I didn’t and in this post you suggest I condone bum pinching. It might not be normal behavior nowadays but 30 years ago it wasn’t that uncommon beyond the walls of a student’s union bar. At that time The Macc Lads could tour performing amusingly obscene lyrics about sex, beer, chips n gravy in a way that would be quite unthinkable now.
Here’s a tame one:
http://www.macclads.co.uk/hectic_house/lyrics/lyrics_alpha/buen.html

All stand for two minutes of hate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vvvPZd6_D8

the real issue isnt that coal mines shut or that industry was wound down its that support wasn’t there to retrain people

decline of industry is inevitable

throwing hard working people on the scrapheap isn’t

Increasing the support from taxpayers for a state-owned coal industry that was very obviously producing more coal than was being used to generate electricity didn’t make any sense. Prior to the 1984/85 strike, coal stocks at power stations and pit heads were at record levels. In addition to that, the world oil price about halved over 1985/86. That mattered because the price for coal paid by electricity generators was derived from the world oil price. Even more pits became uneconomic to keep running.

Regardless of the coal industry, a recurring failing of Conservatives and their governments, Thatcherite and now, is a persisting belief that a job will soon spring up to replace any one that is lost.

Conservatives have only recently come to start to realise that aggregate demand matters – hence government support for the Bank of England’s initiatives for “Quanitative Easing” and “Funding for Lending”, both of which are intended to boost aggregate demand. The trouble is that these initiatives don’t appear to be working well so Britain’s economy is continuing to flag. With the report that business investment in the final quarter of 2012 fell by £400n, it is clear that business didn’t have much confidence that business prospects are getting better.

““Do you not think a Labour government would not have implemented the same policy.”

Simple answer – no.
Longer answer – no chance they wouldn’t dream of entrusting so much authority into a body such as the LDDC and completely relaxing planning controls or taxation. Thatcher trusted market forces to sort it out.”
They did it with the Olympics; they did in the 1970’s with the oil companies looking for North Sea oil. Also Thatcher pumped millions of public money into LDDC. I would have thought spending public money on grandiose -projects would have been a very lefty thing to do. She didn’t trust market forces or she wouldn’t have pumped millions of public money into the project. She would have let the LDDC be fully privately funded.

As far as the miner go you seem to be confusing yourself. One post you accuse me of suggesting they were louts when I didn’t and in this post you suggest I condone bum pinching. It might not be normal behaviour nowadays but 30 years ago it wasn’t that uncommon beyond the walls of a student’s union bar. At that time The Macc Lads could tour performing amusingly obscene lyrics about sex, beer, chips n gravy in a way that would be quite unthinkable now.
Here’s a tame one:
http://www.macclads.co.uk/hectic_house/lyrics/lyrics_alpha/buen.html
Even by your own admission the girls didn’t like it, so to them they were louts. That was your point. Also I am working class, ex serviceman and had my salad days in the 70’s . I cannot remember the practice of pinching girl’s arses been acceptable.
Using a band to make your point is farcical . The Pistols use spit in people’s faces. Using your logic a band did it and so therefore we all spat in peoples faces in the 70’s.

p.diddy re comment 37:

I said bum pinching was not that uncommon not that it was acceptable.

I remember as a child sitting in the passenger seat turning my toy steering wheel in time with dad – neither of us wearing seatbelts. Behaviour which at the time wasn’t uncommon but would not have been considered unacceptable.

Spitting – I had almost forgotten the joys of going to see a band and returning home covered in and smelling of gob. Thank goodness the stench of people smoking covered it up.

“Lord Browne, the former BP boss, who has revealed himself as a fan of Benn’s 1970s policies, at least when it came to the former Industry Secretary’s willingness to use targeted grants and tax breaks to foster the industrial exploitation of North Sea oil.”
Seems a similar model to the LDDC eh lollypop boy.

Was not that uncommon, so why were the girl students in your company shocked.
Surely even angels were bottom pinchers, if it didn’t go against the norm.
Also I don’t know what circles you went round in but if you touched the arse of a lass in pompey in the 70’s you would have had a good chance of been kicked in the nuts.
Common practice, are you real.

…a very important reason for LC to look well beyond London (or rather the south east) for its coverage.

a national view of the Tories is really important to make south eastern waverers realise just how lacking in widespread support they have in this country.


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