Margaret Thatcher: the Iron Lady

The Iron Lady


Lady Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to lead a political party of Britain in 1975. Four years later, she would become the only female Prime Minister in the history of her country.


Margaret Thatcher was re-elected by a huge majority in 1983, and again by a landslide in 1987. This made her the first Prime Minister of Britain to win three straight elections in over 150 years. Thatcher was elected by the British People to serve as the head of their country for a longer period of continuous time than any of her predecessors since 1812.


Lady Margaret Thatcher was eventually forced out of office by her own party in 1990. To Americans, this would mean she lost the primary.


Margaret Thatcher was nicknamed 'the Iron Lady' by the Soviets, a title she relished. Despite a concerted smear campaign by hateful Leftists that has been a non-stop barrage lasting thirty years, Thatcher was voted by the British people in 2008 to have been the best Prime Minister since the Second World War by a three to one margin.


MARGARET THATCHER
MARGARET THATCHER

Margaret Thatcher


Margaret Thatcher was born in 1925. Her father was a grocer and a Methodist preacher. Margaret Thatcher graduated from Oxford in 1947 and became a chemist. Four years later, she married a successful businessman named Denis Thatcher, a marriage that would last until his death in 2003.


Margaret Thatcher passed the bar exam to become a tax lawyer in 1953, the same year she gave birth to twins. In 1959, she was elected to Parliament. From 1970 to 1974, Thatcher served as Britain's Secretary of State for Education and Science.


Though from humble origins in a nation that was very class conscious, Lady Margaret Thatcher would become a heroine for the ages. She was voted the 5th most admired woman in the world of the 20th Century, behind only Mother Theresa, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


A YOUNG IRON LADY
A YOUNG IRON LADY
TRASH PILES DURING THE WINTER OF DISCONTENT (1978-1979) AS REFUSE WORKERS REFUSE TO WORK
TRASH PILES DURING THE WINTER OF DISCONTENT (1978-1979) AS REFUSE WORKERS REFUSE TO WORK
MARGARET THATCHER WITH HER HUSBAND AND CHILDREN
MARGARET THATCHER WITH HER HUSBAND AND CHILDREN

The Condition of Britain Before Thatcher


In order to appreciate the heroic accomplishments of Margaret Thatcher, first one must comprehend the condition that Britain was in before she came to power in 1979: it was an international laughingstock. By the time Thatcher left office in 1990, Britain was admired around the world.


In 1977, a humiliated Britain was bankrupt and forced to beg the International Monetary Fund for an enormous loan. British business was woefully uncompetitive in the global marketplace. The Civil Service had resigned itself to managing the decline of their nation—once the most powerful on earth. Everyone thought an economic and social collapse was inevitable. There seemed to be no hope.


The winter of 1978-1979 is known as Britain's "Winter of Discontent." Labor unions had a stranglehold on the economy and society. Unions blocked any new technologies. Unions blocked any downsizing of the labor force of old industries in terminal decline. Many labor union leaders were in fact quietly communists, loyal to the Soviet Union, determined to destroy Britain.


1979 was the year in which labor unions tried to overthrow democracy in Britain. Widespread labor strikes capped thirty years of disrupting the British economy. In 1979 alone, labor strikes resulted in thirty million lost work days. Imagine how much wealth would be permanently lost and how much damage it would do to the commonweal of any country to lose 30,000,000 days of work in one year. The demands of labor unions were for an immediate and incredible increase in wages of 15 to 25 percent.


Train drivers and nurses went on strike. Ambulance drivers refused to answer calls to help the ill and injured. Ancillary hospital workers blocked the entrances to hospitals. Refuse collectors let garbage pile up for weeks. Gravediggers refused to bury the dead.


Truck drivers disrupted oil supplies and closed refineries. 1,000,000 non-union workers lost jobs that were connected to these industries. Countless petrol stations went bankrupt. Violent union picket lines made it impossible for anyone to do the work that union members refused to do.


Britain was on the verge of complete collapse when it turned to Margaret Thatcher to save it from disintegration.


MARGARET THATCHER (1965)
MARGARET THATCHER (1965)
INFLATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1960-1982
INFLATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1960-1982

INFLATION


Before we turn to the rescue of Britain by Margaret Thatcher, we must look briefly at inflation. The power of labor unions to extort higher and higher wages every year—combined with meddling by the British Government in wages and prices—had created a 22 percent rate of inflation rate in the late 1970s. This means if you have a dollar on New Years Day, by the following New Years Eve it has diminished in value (purchasing power) to 78 cents.


It may be difficult for anyone who has never experienced such inflation to appreciate its significance. Massive inflation is often a prelude to political revolution, such as in NAZI Germany. It was inflation that brought Hitler to power, and it was inflation that was the catalyst to the French Revolution.


With huge rates of inflation, to let money sit in a savings account is a losing proposition. Decades of hard-earned savings become nearly worthless. To save money means to pay for tomorrow's higher-priced goods with yesterday's diminished dollars. Instead, people learn the bad habit (in the long-run) of buying today on credit what they can pay for later with inflated dollars before the price of the goods goes up again.


The economist Alfred Khan said, "Inflation was not just an economic problem but a profoundly social problem—a sign of a society is some degree of dissolution, in which individuals and groups seek their self-interest and demand more money and government programs that simply add up to more than the economy is capable of supplying."


LADY MARGARET THATCHER
LADY MARGARET THATCHER

Margaret Thatcher Elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom


Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of Britain in 1979. In her campaign for the office she promised to reverse the long national decline by curbing the outrageous power of labor unions to cripple the country; deregulating business; privatizing nationalized industries; ending the taxpayer provided subsidy of failing industries; lowering taxes; and giving the citizens more freedom.


Margaret Thatcher delivered on that promise. But it was not to be an easy road. Besides the labor unions, Thatcher faced fierce opposition to nearly everything she tried to do from the entrenched British Establishment—the Press; the Universities; the Bureaucracy.


Her support came from the Middle Class—the ordinary, decent, hard-working British men and women. They sensed that Margaret Thatcher was a courageous, no-nonsense, dedicated, hard worker who had high expectations of the British People.


ARTHUR SCARGILL T-SHIRT
ARTHUR SCARGILL T-SHIRT

Every Story Needs a Villain


Arthur Scargill is a communist who was elected president of the National Union of Mineworkers in 1981. Today he heads the Socialist Labour Party. Scargill has been quite public about his admiration of Joseph Stalin, that mass murderer of tens of millions of helpless human souls. Arthur Scargill says, "the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin" explain the 'real world'."


In 1984, the National Coal Board of Britain announced the closure of twenty coal pits that were losing money heavily. The coal industry was in fact losing more than one hundred million pounds each year. Scargill called for a union strike in protest but failed to get the required majority vote of coal miners.


This did not deter Arthur Scargill. He and his more militant henchmen set about closing coal mines undemocratically through pressure, force, and intimidation. Scargill succeeded in closing down 131 out of the 174 pits. He then planned to bus goon squads to the open pits to stop non-striking miners from working. The police halted the union goon buses for the first time in decades.


The Scargill Strike was horrifically expensive for the British Public. The total cost? Over 7.5 billion pounds. More than 7,000 miners were arrested for violent acts and five men were killed. Scargill paid striking miners with funds provided by the terrorist Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.


The strike failed, and because of the financial damage to Britain's coal industry this meant that instead of 10,000 miners let go, as was planned before the strike; 30,700 lost their jobs permanently.


LADY MARGARET THATCHER
LADY MARGARET THATCHER

Margaret Thatcher As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom


The decline of labor union power revitalized many industries because no longer did people merely pretend to work. Real productivity per worker rose during the Thatcher years at a higher rate than in any other European country. The British economy as a whole grew by 4 percent per year during the 1980s—a post-WWII record.


In Britain, unlike in America, whole industries were owned and operated by the government. Even in a relatively small country, this proved, of course, to be an utter disaster. Margaret Thatcher privatized most of these, which was an absolute success. No longer did three workers stand around and watch one work; no longer did unions stymie technological innovation; no longer would a horse and buggy factory be kept open at taxpayer expense long after the invention of the automobile.


The year before it was privatized by Margaret Thatcher, British Steel set an all-time record for the one year loss of money by any entity in world history outside the Soviet Union: Five Hundred Million Pounds. Within seven years, British Steel had the highest productivity rates in Europe and had become the most profitable steel company on Planet Earth. British Airways experienced a similar turnaround.


Because Margaret Thatcher cut tax rates nearly in half, Britain ran big budget surpluses in the 1980s and retired 20 percent of its national debt as tax revenues actually went up! She had restored self-confidence and pride to her nation. It is hard to imagine that Britain would ever have stopped its decline into the ash heap of history without the miracle that was Margaret Thatcher.


LADY MARGARET THATCHER POSES WITH HER STATUE IN PARLIAMENT
LADY MARGARET THATCHER POSES WITH HER STATUE IN PARLIAMENT

The Legacy of Lady Margaret Thatcher


In 2007, Margaret Thatcher became the first living former Prime Minister to be honored with a statue in Parliament. And with good reason.


The total personal wealth of British subjects increased 80 percent during her leadership. She slashed inflation from 22 percent to 4 percent. The British People all benefitted from lower prices and increased efficiency from privatized industries. Home ownership increased 65 percent. Unemployment fell drastically. The economy grew strong and stable.


And she was no miser. Government spending on health care, social security, and job training increased 33 percent in the Thatcher years. Public safety spending went up 53 percent and lawlessness went down. And despite breaking the labor union stranglehold on Britain that threatened to choke it to death, only 39 percent of labor union members voted against her in the 1983 election.


The increases in labor productivity and the change from night to day in the British economy were literally amazing. And to top it all off, Lady Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, was instrumental in bringing down the Iron Curtain—freeing hundreds of millions of human beings from literal slavery under socialism.

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Comments 925 comments

Penny Sworth 16 months ago

Hi John

The problem with ‘The Poll Tax’ was not in the scheme itself but with the fact that The Brits could not see what’s in it for themselves - them as individuals. Margaret Thatcher’s focus was to ‘upgrade’ Britain or give Britain a ‘make-over’. Human nature is such that we wanna see what we’re paying for, we wanna see the value and worth of what we’re paying for. We want to see a tangible substance that reflects our moods, needs and wants. We know that when we play the lottery, a percentage goes to various charities/charitable organisations - but that’s not our focus, we don’t care what the names of the charities and organisations are. We trust the Camelot - The Lotto organisation that whatever charity they choose to fund - it’s all in a Good cause. Our focus is on ‘the returns’ - how much money we as individuals stand to win from The Lotto.

The Poll Tax had ‘no returns’, especially as many of us are living in areas and buildings that are not of our choosing but more to do with our income brackets.

Had The Poll Tax been ‘revised’ to include incentives or options such as:

Pay your Poll Tax and have the government pay for your Lease Extension;

Pay your Poll Tax and have the government pay your Service Charges and/or your Ground Rent for the year;

Pay your Poll Tax and let the government pay for you to have a new bathroom and kitchen installed;

Pay your Poll Tax and have the government pay for your new boiler and central heating installations, - or something like that - something where the individual household can benefit, then I Am 100% sure your Conservative businessman employer/friend would not have been so outraged.

And what was he so outraged at - a system he see as an’ unfair system’ or a system that sees him paying the same rate as someone with a bigger house than his or even a mansion? I doubt very much whether he was outraged at paying the same Poll Tax as a tramp living in a caravan? Besides there’s nothing to stop him from sponsoring someone less well off than him - No! He’s a self preservationist whose concern was for himself and the fact that he’d have to pay the same Poll tax as someone with a larger estate than his.

Where would the mobile phone networks be if they treated The Brits on the same principles as MT’s Poll Tax - and made The Brits pay the full price for their gadgets, or forced us to upgrade at the end of each contract - with no deals/incentives/offers? They’d be in the same place that MT’s Poll Tax went, but the reason for their success is because they made us a deal that The Brits as individuals can benefit from.

MT’s Poll Tax made ‘no deals’ with The Brits and that is why it was unpopular on all sides of society, but not as you would have me think that it was just so 'unpopular' or that it was unpopular because it was unfair to the poor.

Research shows that in business and marketing, when you want to sell an idea you have to select your audience and make the idea appealing and attractive - highlighting the benefits of the idea. When you're dealing with human nature you have to make 'the odds' look appealing and attractive, highlighting the personal benefits, and that's what MT's Poll Tax didn't do.

Thank You!


John Holden profile image

John Holden 16 months ago

No penny, Thatcher "ruled" for eleven years. During that tme she decimated society only being brought down when she tried to introduce the poll tax which was unpopular with all sides of society.

Remember the unions had virtually gone, public utilities had gone. Industry had gone. All with no practical opposition. On;y when she tried to introduce a poll tax did she manage to upset enough people on all sides of the political spectrum.

Take the reaction of a Conservative I worked for at the time. He was outraged that as a very successful businessman with a large "posh" house he would only be expected to pay the same as a tramp living in a caravan.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 16 months ago

Of course, call me John, it is my name.

We aren't yet ruled by media opinion polls, thank goodness.

It doesn't matter what we want, even less since Cameron passed a law in 2010 making it virtually impossible to unseat him between elections.

We have seen many new laws passed by Thatcher and her successors, very few of them beneficial to the majority. Very few of the laws in place now stretch back more than a few hundred years and those that do have been radically changed.

The suggestion that Thatcher sought to preserve Britain is frankly laughable. She hated the vast majority of the inhabitants and demonised us. She sought to destroy the very foundations of our wealth putting all her hopes (and ours) on the financial sector-and look where that got us!


Penny Sworth 16 months ago

In other words John, it was OK to have MT serve her time as PM - even if it wasn’t OK, you know that for a relatively short period of time MT has to be tolerated as the British PM - even if she serves the minimum amount of time. But ’24 little hours’ can have a massive impact, as in ‘what a difference a day makes’.

The moment MT’s policies started to effect the kind of change that closes the loop holes in the British economy by way of de-regulating social power, dismantling the funding of the institutions and dissecting the livelihoods of the self-preservationists for the capitol gains that preserves and presents ‘the niceties’ of British society as a whole and the solidarity of British society at large - as a ‘right’ angled form of socialism - an angle that has everyone/the whole nation on board, instead of ‘pockets’ of socialism here and there - all hell let loose.

Thank You!


Penny Sworth 16 months ago

John, (Since this is currently a two-way conversation, I hope you don’t mind if I just call you John),

Climate is everything. Whilst it may not be necessary to call a general election when a PM resigns, the climate is everything. I do recall that when Margaret Thatcher resigned, there was such an overwhelming sense of joyous relief - (for those Brits who disliked her policies) - and despair and shock - (for those Brits who loved her), - the immediate focus was on what her resignation means for Britain.

If my memory serves me correctly, I do recall that when Blair resigned the media public opinion polls acclimatised that The Brits are calling out for a general election or are ready for a general election.

As for the rest of names you mentioned, no, I don’t recall what The Climate was like - (the mood of The Brits) - I weren't interested then.

By comparison Thatcherism is only a few years old. Much of Britain is governed by laws that are thousands of years old, which are only modified by clauses and subsections. New Acts/Laws that have been passed recently seek only to strengthen the old one rather than change it completely.

Domestic Brits in positions of authority and power tend to be the products of an institutionalised society living to preserve the acts of the institute whilst upholding the laws of the self-preservation society.

Margaret Thatcher was advocate who sought the preservation of Britain as a whole.

Thank You!


John Holden profile image

John Holden 16 months ago

We don't elect our prime ministers so there is no requirement for a general election when the PM wants to resign.

When Thatcher resigned we did not have a general election, when Wilson stepped down, we did not have a general election.

Can you actually think of an occasion where a change of prime minister has triggered a general election?

We still carry the scars of Thatcher and her divisive policies.


Penny Sworth 16 months ago

Hi John Holden

Of course Thatcher claimed Blair and The New Labour as one of her greatest achievements - because she’s got Labour ‘eating out of her hand’ and continuing her work. But of course ‘we know’ that Blair is a Thatcherite masquerading as a Labour politician - so yes, I suppose he would have to ‘step down’. My argument on that point was not the he ‘did’ step down, but that the way in which he stepped down - without a general election - leaving Gordon Brown to ‘carry the can’ - was distasteful, treacherous and 'uncaring,' because that was not what The Brits wanted at the time. My reference to Blair’s poor standards of education was a tongue in cheek way of referring to Blair’s ’self-absorbed, self-indulgent’ school boy gimmick of remaining in office even though he’s no longer the PM is the actions of a 5 year old determined to play with one toy.

The ‘New’ Labour? Isn’t that the point - it’s not Labour at all, it’s just a ‘newer’ version of Labour, which consists of ‘the left’ angled ‘sides’ - (views) - of Thatcherism, and a mellow version of Conservatives.

My original point was that Margaret Thatcher was a Great Lady who tried to change the Attitudes of The Brits. What I didn’t say was that my motives for raising the point was that I’m sick of all ‘the complainers’, which Margaret Thatcher called them ‘Moaning Minnies’, and I’m sick of the poor standards of living we Brits accept for ourselves.

The privatisation of public services which are now privately owned - (that’s one of my areas of interest) - is steeped in so’ much the old ways’ of thought and the old ways of the civil service that even if they return to public ownership, I doubt very much if things get better.

Margaret Thatcher raised the bar in British politics and you can only but ‘admire’ her for that.

Before Margaret Thatcher came along, Britain was an ‘International Laughingstock’ (Hub Author’s words that I agree with). After Margaret Thatcher left office Britain is on the map of one of the most desirable places to live and work.

Thank You!


John Holden profile image

John Holden 16 months ago

Penny Sworth, your argument falls at the first hurdle. Blair was (is) a Thatcherite. When elected he swore his admiration for Thatcher and her policies and promised to keep going with them. Why do you think Thatcher claimed Blair and New labour as one of her greatest achievements?


Penny Sworth 16 months ago

Hi John Holden

Margaret Thatcher (the once-upon-a-time Secretary for Education) did for Britain what her two predecessors - two Labour ministers couldn't do.

Thatcherism has got people caring about what happens to Britain. Thatcherism has got people interested Britain and British politics, whereas Blairism? Well, wasn’t Tony Blair the PM that performed an action synonymous with ‘abdication’ and showed the people of Britain what disregard he has for the systematic order of things? Can you imagine Edward the VIII abdicating from the throne (but with less serious consequences), telling both The Brits and Parliament ‘I shall still serve the country as King, and represent The Monarchy as King - until an heir succeeds me’. Staying in office after abdication wasn’t the done thing, but it was dumbed down and graciously labelled as a ’step down’.

So it’s Tony Blair that showed disdain for The Brits, the fabric of British culture and the foundations of British establishments and lead the way in ‘treachery’. He revealed ‘his’ own ‘poor’ ‘standards’ of ‘education’, and set trend for Brits ‘not to care’.

Of course people want public transport to return to public ownership - it’s time for a change of ownership - that’s all. Given the fact that school age starts from 5 years old, the secondary school child spends 5 years in preparation for exams, and a prime minister’s time in office in the UK is 5 years, 5 years is time enough to implement change, show growth and prove one’s worth or value but I’m sure you’re gonna tell me it’s not as simple as that? We’ve had more than 5 years of private ownership of public transport, and more than enough of inefficient and costly services - it’s just time for a change. In cases where ‘the people’ call for public enquiries on gross misconduct of public enterprise/s, an ‘inconclusive’ verdict is returned, so public ownership of public transport does not necessarily mean that things’ll get better. Besides market research, statistics, and surveys can be manipulated to show bias - it depends on who’s telling the story, what results is needed, and what ‘they’ want you to know.

I still say nobody cares who owns the business/public transport The Brits just want ‘efficient’ services at ‘next to nothing prices’, and public ownership of public transport seems like the way to go.

Thank You!


John Holden profile image

John Holden 16 months ago

Penny Sworth, you talk about the poor education of children under an education system still reeling from the attack of Thatcher!

I would not agree that nobody cares about who owns public transport. A recent survey showed very strong support for returning public transport to public ownership.

Thatcher was not building infrastructure, she was destroying it! To say that we didn't have the time to catch up is wrong, we lead the way until she decided that our future was with financial services and everything else could go!

It doesn't matter how people regard HP sauce or Harrods or any other foreign owned company, the fact is that they are foreign owned and benefit their foreign owners and not us.

In the 1970s teenage pregnancies were at the lowest rate since the mid 1950s.

The thing about people mistreating public transport, putting feet on seats and the like is partly a facto of Thatcherism, she taught us not to give a damn for our fellow men.

Thatcher never had the support of the people, her largest majority was still a minority of the electorate.


Penny Sworth 16 months ago

Hi John Holden

Sorry for the delayed response, I couldn’t decide which item I wanted to follow up on.

I shall continue...

You say; “We have no free services and never have had”, it's all about insurance? I say tell that to a London 11-18 year old, who thinks their ‘entitled’ to ‘Free' Travel on London's public transport. Their 'poor education' has 'not' taught them the concepts of business nor about the concepts of 'Free' Travel - which I presume their parents have paid into this 'Insurance' scheme.

Yes, sometimes when I Am talking I do confuse public and private ventures because sometimes I forget that public transport is actually owned by private businesses, but nobody really cares who owns the business. Nobody cares who owns the product - supplies on demand is what we want, supplies on demand is what we care about. When I go on the internet and ‘click’ to buy a product, ‘I don’t care’ where the product comes from I just want it. However, I have found that for deliveries, import duty tax purposes and if necessary, returns, life is much simpler when both the buyer and seller transactions are within the UK.

It’s the subliminal consciousness that matters.

HP Sauce still comes with the Royal Crest and is still regarded as British. Harrods is still in the same location and is still considered a British entity.

Most countries have built their systems of infrastructure based upon the system that exists in Great Britain, but they’ve had time and money to perfect theirs. With age and time in office against her, MT was never given the proper funding, opportunity and support she needed to perfect the infrastructure in Great Britain, so I agree that what we have is an inefficient transport system - where commuters/passengers across the board (age group/class/income brackets) think it’s OK to let their dogs sit on the seats, or they themselves think it’s OK to put their feet on the seats, leave their rubbish, their newspapers etc lying around for someone else to clean/collect/pick up - for a first world country with 'supposedly' high morals and high standards of education.

Britain did have a high rate of teen pregnancies and a high rate of illiteracy.

Yes. Britain certainly is/was the most inventive country in the world, but most of the creatives have had to travel to other continents to prove themselves, their worth and their value by getting the financial help, support, recognition they deserve and training they needed in/from those other lands - and then they come back to Britain to show their skills or wares. That's when Britain becomes proud of their own.

The mistake MT made is that by being voted into office twice, she thought that she had the support of the people to facilitate change.

Thank You!


John Holden profile image

John Holden 16 months ago

Penny Sworth, where do I start!

We have no free services and never have had. We have universal insurance in that everybody who can pay does pay.

Private sector housing in the UK has now become so expensive that very few can actually afford it, instead many are forced back on to the private rented sector with its unaffordable rent and reliance on the government to be able to afford to pay private landlords their inflated profits.

Britain did have the best systems in the world but Thatcher and Thatcherism destroyed them. The myth that Labour governments spend excessively is no more than a myth. The last Conservative government borrowed more in five years than every other Labour government combined ever did.

I think you confuse public and private.

How can foreign owned businesses and services be keeping it British? We have private and foreign owned railways that are the most expensive and most inefficient in the western world but are actually owned by foreign states.

Before Thatcher the UK did not have the worst record in everything. We were the most inventive country in the world. We did not have high teenage pregnancy rates neither did we have high rates of illiteracy.

I take it that you weren't actually alive when Thatcher was in power.


Penny Sworth 16 months ago

It’s my day off today (Tues 19th May 2015).

The previous day I start planning what I’m going to do, what I’d like to do and what I have to do, but something happened at work this week - (nothing serious - trivia really), but it’s stuff that I must simply get off my chest, so-much-so that I had to make an unplanned visit to HP website to see if anyone else shares my sentiments. I picked your Hub because I liked your sense of humour on using terms like ‘International Laughingstock’, and was encouraged by your recent updated dates, but I do hope this doesn’t turn out to be a monologue as so very often happens to me when I try to ‘revive ‘ conversations or Hubs where the last comments are over 6 months old.

The thing that got me so mad caused me to reflect on ‘Thatcher’s Britain’ - the Attitudes of The Brits towards ‘fre’-’dom’ . What I mean is that the Attitudes of The Brits towards its ‘free’ services, the ‘frequency’ levels for the provision of services and the nature with which ‘all’ services dominate our existence/our society - The Brits have quite a disgusting ‘Attitude’ towards it all. Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m the only one in the world thinks that ownership or private sector housing gives me a sense of pride - knowing that I Am resting on my laurels/standing on my own two feet’ and using more than that 10% of brain power that scientists say that the average human uses.

Margaret Thatcher was a Great Lady who tried to change the Attitudes of The Brits via Privatisation.

Thatcherism has taught ‘me’ that The Brits has ‘the best’ ‘system of systems’ in the world but rather than ‘pay’ to keep it that way, they are too lazy and too stupid. They’d rather settle for a minor league ‘freer’ version of ‘it’ll do’. When problems occur in the ‘it’ll do’ system, labour governments spend loads more money trying to ‘fix’ it or ‘modify’ it. Margaret Thatcher set about changing the system completely. Today we celebrate what she achieved. It's only a shame that her time in office was cut short due to the ignorance of The Brits, but change happens.

In ancient times the King/Queen's rule was sovereign, now it's shared with Parliament. Change happens.

When I speak of The Brits I don’t just mean the people, I also mean ‘The Media’ and both public and private sector companies. Public companies don’t want to pay the workers their worth, because they have to make profits for themselves and their shareholders. Private companies can’t afford to pay their staff their worth but tend to ‘make-up-for-it’ with either ’perks’ or ‘in-house’ social activities and/or further training or higher studies. No-one wants to pay for high standards of care, improvements, maintenance and upgrades etc, and no-one wants to make sacrifices ‘to pay’ for better, so a lot falls on the shoulder’s of ‘taxpayers’, because the average annual income/salary/wage, bonus schemes and pay rise is so far below the rate of inflation, that understandably no-one ‘can’ pay. Those that ‘can’ pay are ‘exempted’ from paying with 'Acts' laws, rules and rituals dating back to ancient history.

By Privatising everything Margaret Thatcher allowed foreign investments to infiltrate British businesses so The Brits can have ‘more’ - more choice and a better record of achievement - (other than the First and Second World War years, and the 1966 World Cup.

Before Margaret Thatcher Britain had the worst record in everything - from domestic things like high rate teen pregnancies, a high illiteracy rate, the lowest rate of graduates, to a successful 'internal' trade and industry - like the car industry (Austin, Mini, Morris, Rolls Royce, Rover, Triumph), rather than an internationally renowned company - like much of Britain’s infrastructure today - which are now owned by foreign businesses and investments - keeping it British - like Harrods and HP Sauce.

Before Margaret Thatcher, Britain had a flourishing trade and industry in minerals such as coal, steel - but British families couldn’t afford to buy it for themselves for their own personal uses or pay for it to remain in British hands, and foreigners didn’t want to ‘invest’ in an industry that they can’t have a piece of - where their migrants didn’t stand a chance of getting a job because they don’t speak the right kind of English. Privatisation allowed change to happen, so that the ‘Great’ in ‘Great Britain’ can remain intact - and that’s the point that so many ‘labourites’ and socialists miss.

Not wanting to hog the show or end up writing a mini Hub on your HP space, once my comments become a two-way conversation, I shall tell you the thing that got me so mad, because it’s not going to go away…

Thank You for listening/reading my comments.


Deacon 3 years ago

That's a smart way of thinnikg about it.


Liberty 3 years ago

Great inhisgt. Relieved I'm on the same side as you.


Nekit 3 years ago

Its politicians in geranel I don't trust. Theres no such thing as a working peoples party anymore. Thanks the the daily fail and the renamed news of the screws joe bloggs things he has to vote BMP or UKIP. As for the coalition, I can't see all the dissolution voters tick liberal again. Once bitten twice shy. Basically camerwrong will be remembered as the king who presided over the worst cuts and riots since mankey snatcher. Good luck with that one!


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John Holden 3 years ago

Tamarajo , perhaps you can explain to me why when Americans so much seem to love freedom and hate big government, they adore Thatcher who did more to restrict personal freedom and increase the power of central government than any other leader in the UK?


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Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Thought this was a fitting read in light of her recent death. How interesting that you posted this article so recently. What an admirable woman.

A thought provoking portion of the article was about inflation that leads to political revolution many times in some not so beneficial ways which we all should be mindful of in the times we live.

Glad to have learned about this memorable woman today.


PAUL BAKER WINSFORD UK 3 years ago

THATCHER THE SONG JUDY GARLAND SANG IN THE WIZARD OF OZ DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD IS GOING TO BE A NO.1 HIT IN THE UK


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jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Well that is very good news that people like here(Maggie)are very rare and not many around says oceansunetes. Yes James the World is a better place today. I can breathe easier but still people are being upset by the memories she has stirred up. I have done nothing wonderful in my life but I know I have never hurt anybody. Even planted some magnificent trees,

best to you from jandee


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oceansnsunsets 3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

It is a true loss to us all, that Margaret Thatcher passed away. I hope people never forget what we learned from her. People like her are more and more rare, I mean people that hold similar values. The cause and effect that is seen in her life is undeniable. Thanks for sharing this great information on a wonderful woman. Enjoyed the photos as well.


PAUL BAKER UK 3 years ago

VW A STATE OWNED CAR COMPANY THE MOST SUCCESSFUL IN THE WORLD WHERE IS DETRIOT NOW?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Bibowen— What a pleasure it is to hear from you again! Thank you very much for taking the time to come over and read my article about Margaret Thatcher. I surely appreciate your kind compliments and thoughtful comments. I certainly agree with you that the Iron Lady is one of the towering figures of the 20th Century, second only to Wnston Churchill among all Brits.

James :D


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jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

James my boy !! How the hell would I ever have the time to read your German book when I am spending all my time on trying to figure out what you are saying -very confusing!


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John Holden 3 years ago

James, not that men have forsaken God, more that some worship a new God - the dollar!


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

PAUL BAKER UK--- Yes, kind sir. Something is out of order in America. All of the social pathologies you mentioned have only become widespread since the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

Why are things so bad now? I will let Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn tell you:

"Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. "


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John Holden 3 years ago

James, what was socialist about the German Democratic Republic?

It was neither democratic nor a republic, why should you imagine that it was socialist?


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Jandee--- I wonder if you have seen the German film, "The Lives of Others?" It goes a long way to showing the nightmare reality that truly is your socialist dream.


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Bibowen 3 years ago

Another great article and a worthy subject, especially in pointing out the role that inflation has played in the advancing of tyrants. Thatcher was one of the greats of the 20th century.


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Thank you for all of your most excellent comments. I appreciate your participation in this discussion and your contributions to our illumination.

I suppose Tony Blair strikes me as a Centrist, one of the few politicians who it seems to me is right about in the middle of the current spectrum.

I am glad you are feeling well these days.

James


PAUL BAKER UK 3 years ago

DOE'S NOT AMERICA HAVE THE BIGGEST PRISON POPULATION IN THE WORLD THE HIGHEST HOMICIDE RATE AND THE HIGHEST INFANT MORTALITY RATE IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD

SOMETHING MUST BE OUT OF ORDER


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jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

James I do hope you are feeling okay ! Over here the 'London Review of books' is commonly known for it's lonely hearts column and now that same sex marriage is the law well who knows what else ?

Off on a Gig now or would write more ,see you,

jandee


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John Holden 3 years ago

Lenin - "Left wing communism is an infantile delusion"

Wikipedia also says of co-founder Mary Kay Wilmers "Politically the review is not known for following a consistent party political line,[7] although Wilmers described herself as being “captivated by the left but not of it”.

You are in one case one up on me, though I recognise many of the names in the list of notable contributors, I do not know them well enough to be sure of their religious and political persuasions and following the links in most cases did not make the question any clearer.

Although I did spot Tony Blair in amongst them who is a Christian and isn't averse to letting everybody know it. There are many of us who would also argue that he is neither left wing or a socialist either.


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— The London Review of Books is described as "Left Wing" and "reliably radical" and was co-founded by well known Leftist Radical Feminist. Wikipedia has a list of 65 "notable contributors" to the magazine and on that list I cannot find ONE Christian or ANY Conservative writers. But there are plenty of Atheists, Socialists, and Communists.

I have a pretty good idea of what Socialism is. But I defer to the masters:

"I also made it quite clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that under socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well."

George Bernard Shaw

"The goal of socialism is communism."

" The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses."

"Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism."

"Whoever expects that socialism will be achieved without a social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a socialist. Dictatorship is state power based directly on violence."

"No mercy for these enemies of the people, the enemies of socialism, the enemies of the working people! War to the death against the rich and their hangers-on, the bourgeois intellectuals"

"We must not depict socialism as if socialists will bring it to us on a plate all nicely dressed. That will never happen. Not a single problem of the class struggle has ever been solved in history except by violence. When violence is exercised by the working people, by the mass of exploited against the exploiters — then we are for it!"

Vladimir Lenin


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee--- Thank you! Thank you very much. :)


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John Holden 3 years ago

James, the London Review of Books is not a left wing magazine.

No I do not consider the USSR, Red China, Cuba, and North Korea to be on the Left! I have argued that before but you obviously overlooked that.

If,as you claim, social liberalism is of the left, how do you explain the coalition government in the UK - Conservative and Liberal?

There is really no need to go on proving that you do not understand left and right or even socialism.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Thank you for both of your most recent comments.

The Left Wing magazine to which I referred was the London Review of Books.

You wrote: "Nothing of the left is totalitarian"

What!? You do not consider the USSR, Red China, Cuba, and North Korea to be on the Left?

Massive control of people by the government is the main idea of the Left. "Leave us alone in freedom" is the cry of the Right.

You write: "By the way, have you ever considered liberty, libertarian and liberal? They all have the same root and the same meaning."

Yes, that is a good call. As for Social Liberalism, I will take you right to the Social Liberal Party and let them explain themselves to you—as well as Classical Liberalism such as yours truly loves:

"Sometime in the late nineteenth century, liberalism began to divide into two different streams. One stream, which came to be called ‘classical liberalism’, confined liberalism’s ambitions to establishing a robust framework to protect individuals from a rapacious and power-hungry state. It aimed to control the size of the state. . . . Its ideal was a state that left us alone to get on with our lives. It valued political freedoms – especially of speech and of belief – but also tended to see property rights in themselves as an important bulwark against oppression."

This is Conservative, this is Right.

"The other stream, which has come to be called ‘social liberalism’ (but which might better be called ‘social justice liberalism’ ) . . . believed in addition that liberalism required a commitment to a fair distribution of wealth and power, which in turn led to support for redistributive taxation and public services as ways of fairly distributing wealth . . . Fairness [WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?] is seen as a condition for the legitimacy of the state itself . . . In contrast to the views of libertarians and Classical liberals, rights of property came to be seen by social liberals as instruments of state policy that had to contribute to broader political goals rather than as goals in themselves. . . . In Britain, and in a different way in the United States, ‘liberalism’ has come simply to mean social liberalism. British and American liberals believe not just in political freedom but also in social justice"

This is NOT Conservative, and NOT Right but Left.


jandee 3 years ago

James just go back to never never land.


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John Holden 3 years ago

Nothing of the left is totalitarian - we leave that to the right. Totalitarian communism was not communism. The USSR started out as communist but with the rising of Stalin and the New Economic Plan quickly reverted to capitalism. Notwithstanding that it did maintain some socialist ideals - the people weren't overfed, but they didn't starve either, and you have to remember that pre revolution they were still a feudal state complete with poverty and starvation.

Have a look at post communist Russia and compare. I heard a Russian recently say that before capitalism there might have been little choice of food but everybody ate, now that had a wide selection of food, but many could not afford it.

Do you not realise how much suppression there is in the right wing press? No, it is so good you wouldn't know about it!

But as an example you only have to look at your misunderstanding of right and left.

Social liberalism still believes in a market economy and is generally said to inhabit your empty centre ground (halfwaybetween socialism and capitalism) and its principles have been adopted by much of the capitalist world.

Although originally fascism took its ideas from both the left and the right by the time of Franco and Mussolini it had become decidedly right wing - kow towing to the capitalists and oppressing the proletariat. The UKs anti fascist league is made up mainly of left wingers and UK fascists are right wingers.

By the way, have you ever considered liberty, libertarian and liberal? They all have the same root and the same meaning.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Well sir, you say that I fail understand what socialism is; and that I fail to understand what is Right and what is Left.

To the farthest Left is Totalitarian Communism—total control over every aspect of human life by the all powerful State. Next to that, just to the right of it, is Socialism, which usually appears along with Authoritarianism or Fascism because it requires force to be implemented and force to work and force to remain in control—and suppression of Free Press to keep the public from realizing that the USA has a higher standing of living than the USSR. Just to the right of that, but still Left of Center is Social Liberalism or Progressivism, which involves a humungous State bureaucracy to distribute goodies and enforce hundreds of thousands of "regulations" which are "laws" in every way except they are implemented outside of representative democracy (rule by experts, by social science); Free Press and Free Speech are allowed but curtailed by Political Correctness.

In the center is, well, generally nothing and nobody.

To the farthest Right we would find no government at all—Anarchy. That is, after all, the opposite of total government. Just to the left and next to the extreme right are the Libertarians, who believe in the least government humanly possible. To the left of them would be Conservatives, who represent what is best defined as Classical Liberalism—Liberalism as it would have been understood and favored by say, the Founding Fathers of the United States.

To the Left of Conservatives would be that lonely Center again.

There you have it: Understanding Left and Right in only seven easy steps—from total government to no government.


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John Holden 3 years ago

James, there must be something amiss with the forums, I can't find anything about a left wing magazine anywhere!


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee---Well, you may be mad, and I am sure you are a Lefty, but I didn't think I ever called you a liar. Did I?

James


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

PAUL BAKER WINSFORD---- Welcome to the discussion. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your remarks.

James :)


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden--- I see that you added another pair of posts 6 days ago. Thank you for your contributions to our understanding of these issues. I appreciate your input. I followed the link you provided and I read it.


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee— Thank you for your additional remarks posted here 6 days ago.

I am sorry if I was rude and vulgar. If I was, it was unintentional.

You also wrote: "If you must insist in trying to understand our system in UK at least respond in your own words. . . . If you do have any more to say on this Subject I would beg you to use your own words"

Well, I have used almost all of my own words. And then I was accused of not understanding because I do not live in Britain. So I found a LEFT WING British magazine to quote from. Then you lambast me for not using my own words!

I just can't win, jandee. Golly.

Faithfully Yours,

James :-)


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— I do appreciate you coming over again 6 days back with your additional comments. Thank you for your participation in this debate.

You write, "Thatcher was a fascist, terrorist, censoring dictator"

I have to wonder if you don't have a dictionary lying around someplace, John. A Fascist puts the central government in charge of the socioeconomic system of a nation and since you have already persistently bemoaned Lady Thatcher's privatization of formerly nationalized industries you must not understand that fascism and privatization of what was nationalized are opposites. Fascists do not privatize whole industries, they nationalize whole industries or even ALL industries.

A terrorist is a person who uses violence to overwhelm people with fear. While I detect a lot of hatred in your writings I have detected zero evidence that you "feared" Margaret Thatcher. Closing a mine that is losing millions of dollars of taxpayer's money, that should have been done long before it was, is not violence in the mind of any sober person. Violence is physical force and I do not think the former prime minister committed any acts of violence. If you are talking about dispatching the police to stop violence by strikers during an illegal strike then you are misusing the word "terrorist" John. I find no record of anybody being physically afraid of that little woman. Not even you.

As far as censorship goes, it means to use authority to remove or suppress material. Are you telling me that the Free Press in Britain was suspended during Thatcher's years? Do you mean the press was free both before and after her but during her time all you had to read, see, and hear was official government publications? Like Pravda? I have never heard of that in any society except socialist ones.

A dictator is a person that rules with absolute authority. Do you mean to say that Parliament and the Supreme Court were disbanded during the Thatcher years?

John, I like you, but words have meanings, definitions. And being English and all, I am surprised you abuse the mother tongue so. I know you probably figure you are paying me back for calling Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot Socialists when they do not fit your definition of a socialist. I understand that. But there is a big difference, John. Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot DEFINED THEMSELVES as Socialists, rightly or wrongly. Lady Thatcher surely never defined herself as a fascist, terrorist, censor and dictator. I get what you are trying to do but it doesn't work.


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John Holden 3 years ago

As I said James, you fail to understand socialism!

Neville Chamberlain was never a socialist, he was a liberal and to remove confusion, in the UK liberals are right wing with some of the greed knocked out of them. They still believe in the free market, nationalism with a laissez-faire economic policy.

I think if you look into the matter you will find that though socialists are liberal, Liberals are right wing. Hence the Conservative/Liberal coalition that supposedly governs this country at the moment.

You also say that "Thatcher is responsible for leaving her nation far stronger internally and on the world stage than she found it;"

Really! Without any help from the millions she threw on the scrap heap, the businesses and utilities that she sold overseas. The oil that she promptly sold off to finance tax cuts for the wealthy?

Yup, you fail to understand socialism, and you fail to understand the UK and Thatcher.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Thank you for the trio of additional comments you posted 6 days back. You wrote that my "basic understanding of socialism is sadly lacking."

Well sir, I gave you links to several of my other articles in which I fully explicate what socialism is, its theories, and its experiments, its working in real life. You either didn't read them or decided not to comment on them. In fact, I talk about Robert Owen in one of them:

http://hubpages.com/education/Define-Socialism...

You seem to be giving some credit to the prosperity of Britain before the Second World War to socialism and/or trade unions. I would like you tell me how trade unions or socialism ever added one cent to the Gross National Product of Britain.

I never heard of Chamberlain but his biography says he moved further to the right and to conservatism as he aged. Of course, this makes sense. As the adage goes: "If you are a young conservative, you have no heart; if you are an old liberal, you have no brain."

I have no beef with the Levellers. And as far as the Diggers go, who is stopping you and a dozen of your comrades from pitching in together, buying a few acres, and living communally?

I lived in a hippie commune for a summer. It fell apart because some people were resentful that they were doing all the work while others were lazy, did little or nothing, but shared equally in the commune's resources. That is nearly always how it ends up. You cannot force people to work—well, unless you are a socialist. And if you guarantee everybody an equal income regardless of effort, guess what? You get no effort! Hell, that is basic human nature. In fact, that is the real problem with Marxism—it denies fundamental human nature.

All I need to know about Robert Owen is that he said this: "All religions are based on the same ridiculous imagination, that make man a weak, imbecile animal; a furious bigot and fanatic; or a miserable hypocrite."

But get this, in his later years he embraced spiritualism—which is Devil Worship. In fact, many atheists end up serving Satan—what you would call the Occult. Their atheism opens the portal to demonic influence.

Robert Owen tried and failed to plant socialist communities. In 1825, such an experiment was attempted under the direction of his disciple, Abram Combe, at Orbiston near Glasgow; and in the next year Owen himself began another at New Harmony, Indiana, U.S., sold to him by George Rapp. After a trial of about two years both failed completely. Josiah Warren, who was one of the participants in the New Harmony Society, asserted that community was doomed to failure due to a lack of individual sovereignty and private property.

No shit! You mean a lack of individual freedom and private property is bad!? And both are bulwarks of socialism?!

Most of his means having been sunk in the New Harmony experiment, Robert Owen was no longer a flourishing capitalist but the head of a vigorous propaganda machine, in which socialism and secularism combined—as they always do. Socialism and godlessness are bedfellows.

On a different note, you write: "And James you cannot have it both ways. You cannot have Thatcher responsible for the good things that have supposedly happened to us but blame others for the bad things. Either she is responsible for the whole post-Thatcher state of the country or none of it."

Yes I can have it both ways. I will put it to you simply: Thatcher is responsible for leaving her nation far stronger internally and on the world stage than she found it; far more prosperous when she left office than she found it. And if it has gone downhill since then, that is on the plate of her successors.


jandee profile image

jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Get labelled a mad leftie by James ' if you speak for a World that is saner.'

get called a liar by James 'if you see a news vendor get his spleen ruptured by a U.K Bobby in London,on a peaceful protest.' open your eyes James....................


PAUL BAKER WINSFORD 3 years ago

IN REPLY TO NICK BEACH WORK AND EARN ARE NOT REARLY

THE SAME THING SINCE 1979 A DOCTORS ANNUAL SALARY

HAS GONE UP 5 TIMES WANKER BANKERS WHO HAVE CAUSED THIS MESS HAVE GONE UP 500 TIMES!!!! FOR DOING WHAT

FOR DECEIT CORRUPTION AND CONIVING PRACTICES .


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John Holden 3 years ago

Jandee, you do realise that we are just hateful lefties without the great insight into the working of government in the UK that James has?

We should realise that the unemployed, the homeless and the dead didn't really happen outside our imaginations and I'll do the decent thing and get myself committed forthwith for my madness in thinking that Thatcher was in anyway responsible for all the evil that James insists never happened.

'sfunny how the left wing press is full of lies about her and the right wing press speaks only the truth.


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John Holden 3 years ago

I tried, unsuccessfully to find a direct quote from Scargill re "Mr Scargill argues that no pit should be closed until its reserves of coal are exhausted, no matter how expensive it is to extract the coal from it, and that there should be no job losses in the industry." instead found this in Hansard, which is the official record of government business.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1984/ju...

Quoted from your article -

"The community as a whole, which benefits from economic growth and progress, has a responsibility to help those on whom the costs of economic progress fall most heavily: miners made redundant at uneconomic pits must be given every assistance in travelling to, or being relocated at, viable pits, or in being retrained for new jobs, or being aided financially in setting up their own small businesses."

And that is exactly what Thatcher didn't want to do. There were far too many miners to be relocated to "viable pits" and not enough jobs for them to be retrained for!


jandee profile image

jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

James you are a Waffler. If you must insist in trying to understand our system in UK at least respond in your own words. I find that you are rude and the vulgarity that you display must inform your followers more about you than you would wish. If you do have any more to say on this Subject I would beg you to use your own words and not that of the Right Wing Media and others . I would also ask you to stop putting people in Boxes,labelling !How can you possibly think that you would ever know which political party ,if any, that I belong to when you cannot understand the difference in the many political parties,

jandee


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Jandee-- Thank you for both of your latest comments. I do appreciate your contributions to our conversation.

Very Truly Yours,

James :D


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— You write: "The mining industry and the NUM were well aware that some pits were unprofitable and had agreed a system of planned closures with the Labour government. This took the form of a gradual closure with voluntary redundancy and natural wastage with redevelopment grants for displaced workers. Thatcher threw out this agreement without consultation and demanded immediate closure with no compensation."

First of all—compensation? Compensation to whom and for what? I have to pay you close an unprofitable business? That in and of itself is asinine. No wonder you don't live in the real world.

Aside from that, your comments do not match the facts. I quote here from a neutral source— British at that—from back when it happened:

"The economics of the dispute are relatively straightforward. The 1974 ‘Plan for Coal’ – endorsed by the Labour Government though drawn up under its Conservative predecessor – was a deal according to which the Government and the Coal Board would invest heavily in new and efficient productive capacity, so ensuring a flourishing industry far into the future, in return for which the union would agree to the phasing-out of the long tail of uneconomic pits. Broadly speaking, the first part of the deal has been honoured; the second part has not. The industry still has a high-cost tail: according to last year’s Monopolies and Mergers Commission report, 15 per cent of coal output involves colliery operating losses of £330 million. The closure of this loss-making capacity would significantly improve the industry’s productivity and financial position. In spite of this, Mr Scargill argues that no pit should be closed until its reserves of coal are exhausted, no matter how expensive it is to extract the coal from it, and that there should be no job losses in the industry."

It goes on to say: "While the argument in this extreme form is patently absurd . . . "

Patently absurd.

Further it is written: "A country should concentrate on producing the goods and services in which it has a comparative advantage, selling these abroad in exchange for the products in which it has a comparative disadvantage. By the end of the century, Britain ought to be exporting knowledge-intensive goods and services in exchange for cheap coal from Australia and South Africa . . . "

It goes on: "The second proposition on which the case for subsidising uneconomic pits rests is that there is no alternative employment in many of the mining areas: better that the men produce coal uneconomically than that they produce nothing at all and live on the dole. In all but the very short run, such an attitude is a recipe for industrial ossification and decay. The community as a whole, which benefits from economic growth and progress, has a responsibility to help those on whom the costs of economic progress fall most heavily: miners made redundant at uneconomic pits must be given every assistance in travelling to, or being relocated at, viable pits, or in being retrained for new jobs, or being aided financially in setting up their own small businesses. But they cannot be employed indefinitely in producing a product for which there is no market. And if that means that some of the remoter mining villages cease to be viable communities, that is a cost of progress which, however sad, has to be accepted."

"market forces are the only true progenitor of economic progress, and that in Britain particularly much the biggest impediment to the operation of market forces is the monopoly power of the trade unions. . . . nationalised industries whose restrictive practices and excessive wage demands had been sabotaging the economy for thirty years or more."

"It is difficult to believe that, in the absence of Arthur Scargill, the present strike would have followed anything like the course it has – or even, perhaps, that there would have been a strike at all. He is a mob orator of genius. And he is completely unscrupulous. He is, in fact, in the mould of demagogues and would-be dictators down the ages, from those who threatened the Athenian city-state to those who have wrought havoc in our own century. There is the same dedication to the cause, the same disregard for the truth, the same mesmerising oratory, the same repetition of emotive phrases (‘American butcher’, ‘police violence’), the same identification of scapegoats (in Scargill’s case the media), the same adulation by mobs of muscular young men looking for a leader and a punch-up, and the same tacit approval of the violence they indulge in."

"For what is the cause in which Mr Scargill so fervently believes? What makes Arthur run? It is very hard to believe that it is the welfare of the miners and their families. It strains credulity that a man of Scargill’s intelligence is leading his members down the present road in the firm belief that at the end of the day they are going to be better-off. He has a different objective from the one he claims; he is playing a different game from the one he appears to be. It is difficult to resist the conclusion, whatever the instinctive reluctance to draw it of those whose earliest political memories include the disgraceful McCarthy period in America, that the name of Mr Scargill’s game is revolution. Mr Scargill does not like the present dispositions of British society, and sees no prospect of securing the election of a Parliament that will significantly change them. Therefore, change must come by some extra-Parliamentary route. The answer, proposed by Marx and adopted by Lenin, lies in the hands of the organised working class. It is the miners’ historic role to be in the vanguard of this great movement, and it is the role – nay, the destiny – of Arthur Scargill to be at the head of the vanguard, at the very tip of the spearhead of revolution."

"The conclusion must be, then, that Mr Scargill has organised a strike which has no basis in the democratic procedures of his union, which is probably opposed by a majority of its membership, which is employing mass picketing of a kind that is now illegal, and which involves violence and intimidation on a scale quite alien to British traditions, in an attempt to force a democratically-elected government to abandon some of its policies. "

"If the Government surrenders to the miners, agreeing to subsidise uneconomic pits indefinitely and to prevent any job losses in the industry, it will be a conclusive demonstration to other unions of the political effectiveness of industrial action. Mr Scargill will encourage union activists to raise their sights. Other government policies which Mr Scargill does not like will come into the line of fire: the level of public expenditure, the tax structure, defence policy. If the Government does not suitably change these policies, Mr Scargill and his friends will bring the country to a halt. Parliamentary democracy will have become a sham."

"Scargill must certainly be fought and defeated. This calls for those who believe in democracy, the rule of law, and the traditional British practice of settling disputes by peaceful negotiation and compromise, to support the Government in the stand it is taking."

LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS, described as "consistently radical"


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

Firstly, I never said that she increased control over industry. She increased control over the people whilst removing constraints on industry designed to protect the workers.

Secondly, I'm not a communist and my impressions of living in a country split asunder are not delusions.

Thirdly, Hitler was not a socialist, neither was Mussolini, though he might have started off as one. They certainly are no heroes of mine.

Is your definition of a terrorist one who kills millions? I take it that a few hundred don't count then.

You try to humour me! You present your sick fantasy of this wonderful benign woman who never had a bad thought or did an evil deed and you think I am possessed and prevented from telling the truth! My whole involvement with this hub is to counter the lies it propagates and spread some truth!

Thatcher was a fascist, terrorist, censoring dictator, fact.

Go away and read some of her comments on consensus government and people in general and then come back and tell me that she wasn't divisive, fascist, censoring and a dictator and then step out of your fantasy.

Stop telling us that we don't know what we do know, that it is purely political bias. It isn't Ted Heath was OK as a PM, Harold Macmillan deserved his sobriquet of super-mac, even John Major had some humanity, humanity which earned him Thatchers hatred.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— I appreciate the pair of additional comments you posted here a couple days back. Thank you for your participation in our discussion.

You ask: "Would you describe love between a man and a woman as a man lusting after a woman's vagina?"

Love? As in the true meaning of the word "love?" No, I would not. But does lust for vaginas abound in our world? Hell yes! Pornography is by far the number one business of the internet and "hooking-up" the chief preoccupation of the young, in the West at least.

I reiterate in different terms, I could not care less if my neighbors love to beat each other up wearing latex or leather; if one loves to be a sadist and another loves to be a masochist. I do not care if my neighbor is screwing his own mama, or if the lady down the block is copulating with her grandson, or if a brother is nailing his sister on occasion. I do not want to know about it, or hear about it. Keep it to yourself, keep it in private, and never tell children about it, and never force any person who believes in God to declare it normal and natural—which it is not.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— I am in "Fantasy land"? YOU are saying that Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Britain, was a Fascist; a Dictator; and a Terrorist who censored the press and, by the way, who could not have privatized any industries as you claimed earlier because now you say she increased control over industry by the central government.

And I am in fantasyland?

Your hatred for the woman personally, and your hatred for the historical fact that she proved your communist ideas to be nothing more than worthless at best and the most sinister evil ever heard of by mankind at worst, has you spouting delusion after delusion.

A Fascist is a form of Socialist: Hitler and Mussolini—both Fascist Socialists. A Dictator? Where is the Gulag in Britain? Censorship? Where is Pravda in Britain? A Terrorist? Where are the tens of millions murdered as we can clearly see murdered by your socialist heroes in the USSR?

You sir are inhabited by the Lord of the Flies. I have tried to humor you but this comment about Lady Thatcher being a fascist, terrorist, censoring dictator has me thinking you are either possessed by a demon that prevents you from telling the truth or you are a lunatic who needs to be committed. And then you top it off by saying I AM IN fantasy land. Lord have mercy!


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John Holden 3 years ago

Jandee, I'd say that great minds think alike, but then somebody would come along and complete the line :)


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John Holden 3 years ago

By the way James, your continued insistence that Hitler et al were socialists doesn't strengthen your argument, it diminishes it.

It proves that your basic understanding of socialism is sadly lacking.


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John Holden 3 years ago

James, you said - "I didn't think there was hardly any socialist influence until the late 40s."

You forget where the trade unions were born. You forget Robert Owen, Joseph Chamberlain, the Cooperative movement, the Diggers and the Levellers.

In fact socialism has a long tradition in the UK.

And James you can not have it both ways. You can not have Thatcher responsible for the good things that have supposedly happened to us but blame others for the bad things. Either she is responsible for the whole post-Thatcher state of the country or none of it. She was the one who instigated such radical reforms, changed the face of industry, of banking, of everyday life even.


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jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

John are you a mind reader? Remember the time I mentioned Jack Collins of the kent miners? The ,almost,last conversation I had with him and others in committee rooms were the words exactly as you said to James re. gays ! He said the same words as you re. straight men..

John I am proud of you ,

best from jandee


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— I appreciate you coming back by yesterday to post another comment.

You wrote of Paul Johnson: "Yes James, he did live through those times - as one of Thatchers closest advisers! Hardly prime for an unbiased opinion."

Paul Johnson was a Lefty until the 1970s. What happened was the growing hard-core radical Lefties didn't like him because he had some Conservative friends; he sometimes said positive things about certain things done by a Conservative person; but mostly because he was a committed Christian, which the Atheist/Marxist wing abhors. They shunned him, got him taken of the invite lists to cocktail parties, etc. From these experiences he began to see how nasty these people really are, up close and personal. Then he began to see how the leaders of the Socialists, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, were all also quite nasty people who put ideology above human beings. As one famous Lefty said about the one hundred million dead human beings killed by Atheist/Marxists in the 20th century: "If you want to make an omelet, you got to break some eggs." The problem is of course that no omelet was made that anyone thought worth eating. So Johnson gradually moved to the right in the 1970s.

In his Enemies of Society (1977), following a series of articles in the British press, he opposed the trade union movement, perceiving it as violent and intolerant, terming trade unionists "fascists".

Johnson wrote: “In the 1970s Britain was on its knees. The Left had no answers. I became disgusted by the over-powerful trade unions which were destroying Britain,” he recalled in 2004.

I did not know he advised Thatcher until you told me so. Thank you for that. I have read quite a few of his books, which are awesome, but I never knew he dabbled in politics.

I found this, which confirms what you said: “I was instantly drawn to her," he recalls. "I’d known Margaret at Oxford. She was not a party person. She was an individual who made up her own mind. People would say that she was much influenced by Karl Popper or Frederick Hayek. The result was that Thatcher followed three guiding principles: truthfulness, honesty and never borrowing money,” Johnson said in 2004.

You wrote: "The effects of Thatcher's decimation of the country are still with us today"

Really? The cause of economic woes are to be laid at the doorstep of a politician from nearly 30 years ago and not the dozens who came before her and all the ones who came since? Not the trillions of individual decisions about matters that impact economics made by British people in the last 65 years? Not the banks, corporations, labor unions, schools, economists, Parliament—Just Lady Thatcher ruined Britain all by herself.

Just when I start taking you seriously, you write: "It wasn't free enterprise that had made us prosperous, it was a mixture of free enterprise and socialism."

Yea? So in 1940, when Britain was the 1st or 2nd most prosperous nation of all the 150 or so on this planet, it had something to do with Socialism? I didn't think there was hardly any socialist influence until the late 40s.

And the fortunes of the nation have gone down ever since.


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John Holden 3 years ago

James, you write that in the USA about 40% of the people vote for the losing candidate. Such is the electoral system in the UK that about 60% of the people vote for the losing candidate. Thatcher was elected with about 36% of the vote at one election and even at her highest never received 50% of the votes cast.

I have to disagree with you about typewriter factories and buggy whip manufacturers as well. Ever since before the industrial revolution fashions have changed and high demand has turned into no demand. The workforce generally adapts.

"But what about the miners," I hear you say.

The mining industry and the NUM were well aware that some pits were unprofitable and had agreed a system of planned closures with the Labour government. This took the form of a gradual closure with voluntary redundancy and natural wastage with redevelopment grants for displaced workers. All this over a period of ten years or so. Thatcher threw out this agreement without consultation and demanded immediate closure with no compensation.

As I have said many times, she was divisive.

I wouldn't really call telling the truth about somebody "smearing them". And as for history revisers, I'm afraid you are one.


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee--- Thank you for the trio of additional comments you made here a few days ago.

In one you said, "I was attempting to make the point that the terrible sacrifice the miners have made causing them in many cases to get leukaemia,asbestosis"

Point taken. I understand. Well put.

Faithfully Yours,

James :-)


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Looking back, I see that you posted another pair of comments here a few days ago.

You wrote: "What you did was to deny the experiences of millions of people and do it in a less than sympathetic way."

I never meant to do that, John. Unless you live in a socialist country, no candidate for office ever gets 99 of the vote as did Comrade Stalin, Comrade Mao, Comrade Castro, Comrade Il Poo Young or whatever that North Korean nut's name is. In the USA for instance, about 40% of the people at minimum vote for the losing candidate in most major elections. I am sure that those on the losing side see things differently than the winners.

Furthermore, I am sure the people who worked at a typewriter factory when computers became mass produced probably think computers were a terrible invention. After all, it ended their jobs. Same with producers of land-line telephones and buggy whip manufacturers. There will always be people who think they are OWED a living by other people just because they live in their town, county, nation, or world. I am all for Christian Charity, but it should be given with a gracious heart and received with a grateful heart; not confiscated at the barrel of a gun and received with a glum and snotty "It's about time my check got here!"

You wrote: '"hateful leftists" is bias and totally incorrect.'

I was not referring to you John, or even to voters at the time or ordinary folks looking back now. I refer to the media, the so-called journalists, the history revisers, professions well known to be occupied by Leftists—for instance, only 8% of people in Media voted for Romney—have for thirty years worked on smearing Lady Thatcher.


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John Holden 3 years ago

"If you are referring to men lusting after the exit hole for feces of other men, and in fact identifying their person by this one perverse facet of their personality, I think they should keep it to themselves."

Actually James, it is you doing the identifying.

Would you describe love between a man and a woman as a man lusting after a woman's vagina?

The fact is that while some gay men do indulge in anal intercourse, so do many straight men with their female partners.

An awful lot of gay couples lead celibate lives, the bum thing is a distraction.


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jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

James I sent you a long reply and it has gone elsewhere,maybe for the best,

jandee


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John Holden 3 years ago

"So Lady Thatcher could not have been a Fascist. She was elected, not a dictator; she never used terror on the British people nor censorship; and she loosed not tightened socioeconomic controls, and decentralized not centralized authority. She was the opposite of a Fascist."

WHAT!

James, reread your books, she used terror, maybe not in the way of guns and bombs but she terrorised countless of her own. Ask the miners whether they felt terrorised by her and her tame police force.

Ask the countless unemployed whether they felt terrorised by her.

She exercised censorship, many of the controls on government information are traceable back to her.

She tightened socio-economic controls and centralised authority, big time!

Many aspects of government that were vested in local authorities were taken under the umbrella of central government by Thatcher.

Oh, and she was elected always by a minority. Many dictators assumed power through election.

I'm sorry James but you really are straying into fantasy land here.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee— Hello! Yes, you can say anything you want. And as far as spelling goes, I say, "No Worries." But when you said, "I have after all been called some pretty undesirable names by you in the past." I am thrown for a loop. If I called you undesirable names ever, I am sorry. I was not aware that I had. I apologize. I certainly do not mean to be vitriolic either.

You wrote: "What do you think you are saying when you insist that the left got rid of Thatcher ? People in her own party couldn't stomach her any longer and feared the anger of the electorate who couldn't take any more of the fascism from her."

I never did say that the Left got rid of Thatcher, though. In fact, the third paragraph of my article says: "Lady Margaret Thatcher was eventually forced out of office by her own party in 1990. To Americans, this would mean she lost the primary."

And in all accounts of WHY that happened I find none except yours that even uses the word "Fascism." Now words have meanings, Madam. Fascism means: A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship.

So Lady Thatcher could not have been a Fascist. She was elected, not a dictator; she never used terror on the British people nor censorship; and she loosed not tightened socioeconomic controls, and decentralized not centralized authority. She was the opposite of a Fascist.

Although I agree with you that the Conservative Party voted Thatcher out, your own party, the Socialists, still brag today that THEY brought her down, such as in this prominent article by the Socialist Party of the UK entitled: "THE BATTLE THAT BROUGHT DOWN THATCHER"; meaning the battle over the Poll Tax:

http://www.militant.org.uk/PollTax.html

I am not anti-gay. I think everybody should be happy and gay. If you are referring to men lusting after the exit hole for feces of other men, and in fact identifying their person by this one perverse facet of their personality, I think they should keep it to themselves. I could not care less if right now my next door neighbors are fisting each other, pooping in each other's mouths, drinking each other's piss, or having a huge orgy with fifty people involved, or even if a woman is getting humped by her Doberman. I do not care at all. But I do care if these folks want to parade their evil practices in public, force me by legislation to publicly applaud their perversions, demand special rights because of their sick ways, and teach my children in school that their weird sexual habits are "normal" "natural" and healthy"—which is a satanic lie.

That may not be the view that you consider "sophisticated." I care not one whit.

God Bless You!

James


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John Holden 3 years ago

"As far as my line "Despite a concerted smear campaign by hateful Leftists that has been a non-stop barrage lasting thirty years," I lifted that from—I paraphrased it from—Paul Johnson, who in fact IS British and DID live through the times we are discussing."

Yes James, he did live through those times - as one of Thatchers closest advisers! Hardly prime for an unbiased opinion.

As I have said countless times, she was divisive. She did not "rule" all equally, those who she thought of as "one of us" she dealt with a Kidd glove, those who weren't "one of us" got the iron fist.

I'm not disputing that we were in a mess in the 70s, but we were climbing out of it.

I'm saying that the solution wasn't Margaret Thatcher, it might have been another Conservative, but one with some humanity and humility.

The effects of Thatchers decimation of the country are still with us today in the form of unemployment, high taxes and large central government control, incidentally three things that she claimed to be opposed to!

It wasn't free enterprise that had made us prosperous, it was a mixture of free enterprise and socialism. The millions in this country lifted out of drudgery had socialism and liberalism to thank, not free enterprise!


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Thank you for coming back by with the additional trio of comments several days back.

I agree with you that an outsider will not have the same perspective as an insider. Usually eyewitnesses are more reliable.

But sometimes an objective view from an outsider is also of some value. I really thought Britain might collapse in the late 1970s. The news coming out of your land was not good. The commies were trying to take over and ruin what had made the country prosperous in the first place—Free Enterprise, et al.

The British system worked, and not only in Britain. People excoriate Colonialism but British Colonialism was the best. America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India were all British colonies and they are all some of the greatest countries in the world now.

How would I feel if you told me I was wrong about the history of America, particularly in the 1970s or 1980s? I gave you the chance to do just that; I gave you a link to my article on Jimmy Carter, which shows why the policies of the Progressive Left had America on the ropes about 1980, too—not just Britain. I remember 1980 well and there was article after article about how America was done for, cooked, its good days all gone. People really felt that way. Then Reagan brought the country back to greatness—believe me, by 1988 you never heard anybody saying America was done for anymore, that talk was all over—and in my view Thatcher did the same thing over there.

I may not have a vested interest in Britain but I care very much about it. I love Britain, and most of my ancestors are from there. Most of my beliefs about law and other things come from British thought. I thank Britain for the free enterprise revolution which has been the only revolution to lift a billion people out of daily drudgery into a level of prosperity that no humans dreamed possible 200 years ago and I think anyone who does not thank it is an ingrate.

But I apologize if I have, as you say, treated those who disagree with me with contempt. If I have, I am truly sorry. That is not my intention; to treat anyone with contempt for any reason.

As far as my line "Despite a concerted smear campaign by hateful Leftists that has been a non-stop barrage lasting thirty years," I lifted that from—I paraphrased it from—Paul Johnson, who in fact IS British and DID live through the times we are discussing.


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jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

James you are kind in your intent to educate me with reference to your advice for me to read of the Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl.

Too late ! read him! Even so, I have my own Holocaust Survivors. Wonderful people who I had the privilege of calling personal friends. They were -LITERALLY dragged though Europe to the Channel Isles in order to work and toil in inhumane conditions ,

jandee


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jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

James I could just say that Christopher Hitchens was a turncoat but that is too easy and cheap. Was he a reactionary ? I don't know. Maybe he just gave in after the 70s, wasn't strong enough to stand up for his original beliefs, so I am not prepared to vilify him. Some of his earlier writings were worthwhile such as "The trial of Henry Kissinger ." He is sometimes called a "Political Poacher ." In his speech at Kenyon College,Ohio 2004 on the destruction of Fallujah he said "The death toll is not nearly high enough........too many escaped ."

He admitted to being a supporter of Paul Wolfowitz,

jandee


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jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

James I wasn't just 'whingeing' about the death of a comrade. I was attempting to make the point that the terrible sacrifice the miners have made causing them in many cases to get leukaemia,asbestosis . Of course they are not alone in the many illnesses that industrial workers are open to. When these illnesses strike ! May your God help them because your philosophy wont.

best from jandee


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John Holden 3 years ago

Still no straight answer I see!

What you did was not to comment on Thatcher and the opinions of those who do not think she is the best thing since sliced bread, I have no problem with comments. What you did was to deny the experiences of millions of people and do it in a less than sympathetic way.

"I find it hard to believe . . . " would have been a fair comment. "hateful leftists" is bias and totally incorrect.

You haven't touched on how it was her own party that threw her out as an election liability instead making it look like some leftist overthrow of our beloved leader. Do you really think that the Conservative party is full of hateful leftists, all holding high position?

Anyway, enough for now, I have to go to work but just let me reiterate that fair comment is fine, telling me my own very real and painful experiences are just down to me being a hateful leftist is not fine and not fair comment.


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee--- That is a very sad tale of Mr. Collins as well. Life is sad. Death is sad. There is much to lament about this world, to be sure. Glorifying a political system that led to the killing of one hundred million souls just as valuable as Mr. Collins is surely no answer.


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden--- Please! Do not imply that I do not "understand" human suffering, pain, loss, despair, or despondency. I have had people I cared about kill themselves. I have had people I loved die of overdose, doing heroin to try to forget how miserable they were. I have been suicidal myself, though it was a long time ago. I have family members right now who are utterly miserable and at least one who is definitely suicidal--my sister. I have lost many people in the last ten years to cancer that I loved.


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee— Naturally, I feel sorry for any individual who is desperate enough to kill himself. And I have enormous compassion for those left behind.

But I am not impressed by John Pilger. Believe me, if an atheist and socialist like Christopher Hitchens thinks you are over the moon with Left-Wing Bias you must really be out there. Mr. Pilger clearly HATES Western Civilization and believes in the Noble Savage myth. He hates what has brought him a life of privilege, probably because he hasn't earned it and therefore is envious of those who built the most, by far, incredible civilization in world history before he was born. Two, he probably hates Jesus and therefore is inhabited by demons that tell him to hate the West because it is, or was, Christendom.

I just finished reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor. He explains why and how, better than I can, it is that each individual human being is responsible for making his own decisions, what values he will believe in, and what moral behavior he will follow. Each person is responsible for his individual attitude, regardless of external events that happen to him. As Frankl says, "Man does not simply exist, but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment." "A man may remain brave, dignified and unselfish . . . or he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal." "Man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life" no matter what his circumstances. Including unemployment. If a man can survive Auschwitz, I think a man can survive being on the dole.

I do not mean to diminish the terrible sadness of the man's story you wrote to me about in regard to him, his family, and his friends. I only mean that if you are presenting this as some sort of archetype I kindly refer you to Mr. Frankl.


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Thank you for the pair of comments you posted here 4 days back.

You wrote: "Nope, absolutely no relevance at all to British trade unions!"

Well, trade unions are an international idea and international movement. The way you describe yours, they were MORE radical than the American unions, not less. At least that is my impression.

You wrote: "So, America would have been just as great if all the workers had stayed at home drinking tea. No, sorry, I don't buy that!"

That is fine because I never said any such thing. I must not have articulated what I was trying to say very well.

If you have two countries and one becomes 100 times more prosperous than the other, and they both had 100 million common laborers, then that feature was a constant not a variable, therefore you cannot say they were 100 times more prosperous BECAUSE they had common laborers—so did the not prosperous country.

But if the prosperous country has the Rule of Law, Strong Property Rights, Economic Freedom, Free Enterprise, and THEREFORE the most incredibly high level of invention and innovation in human history, and the other country has none of those positive advantages, that is a variable and one can safely say that THAT was the difference and that the prosperity of Country # 1 was built on the variable not on the constant or both countries would have ended up equally prosperous.

You wrote: "By the way, when can I expect a straight answer to my question? You know, the one where I asked how you would react if the roles were reversed."

I write many articles about America and American society and American culture and American politics and famous Americans. I do get comments from foreigners and it never bothered me one bit that they are commenting but don't live here. Here is one that I invite you to read and comment on. It is about an American President that I assume matches up far closer to your ideology than Lady Thatcher.

http://hubpages.com/education/The-Presidency-of-Ji...


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee--- It sounds to me as if you have had an extraordinarily interesting life of incredible variety. As have I, I think. Your children are awesomely talented. That must make you quite proud indeed. But you have friends trying to push the Lord on you!? I don't think I have been doing that, have I?

So you were a Roady? Very cool, Jandee.

Actually, I am blessed to have parents who are still living, though both are approaching 80. They had me young.

I wish you the best in 2013.

James :-)


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John Holden 3 years ago

In fact Jan, at this very minute the right wing conservative party are putting an act through parliament almost forcing churches to perform gay marriages.

Some left wing plot!


jandee 3 years ago

James I have earned the right to tell a few home truths about you I think ! I have after all been called some pretty undesirable names by you in the past. John is so correct when he says how you skirt around a question and give out a lot of vitriol. What do you think you are saying when you insist that the left got rid of Thatcher ? People in her own party couldn't stomach her any longer and feared the anger of the electorate who couldn't take any more of the fascism from her.

Then you tell us how the left ONLY are encouraging gay marriage! Where do you get that from when many of the MPs are gay__in most parties_I don't care what any one does personally but think you should realise that fact. Facts---Arthur Scargill never was present re vote on strike.. Read Johns hub and really read it this time. I have memories of the poll tax time in my head for ever as I had a prominent business in liverpool at the time which I only mention since you seem to have a divine and high regard for the ones who ,in your definition,are successful. Therefore I could not be accused of any kind of, heaven forbid,jealousy. My memories are this. In the very centre of Liverpool is Dale st. in which is situated a very beautiful building and in this gorgeous Victorian building one had to go to pay this dreadful poll tax the queue would daily(all day) wind and wind and wind all around the city streets around the town hall , around Mathew street (Beatles) on which the famous Eleanor Rigby sits so forlorn in adjoining Stanley Street . I am not going to mention boundary changes . I am not going to mention the fact that proudly for us there was not one Tory MP elected Oh no! as you probably know anyone who is elected by the people and honestly to, are, almost without exception, vilified by the right wing gutter press. In Liverpool as in most of the UK we are a mix of everything and you know what we don't even notice because we are all too busy getting it together to fight off the dreaded scourge that is daily invading our lives ,the scourge on the Majority of Britain ! The Tories! who are the The minority We never thought we would have to tolerate them any more but so be it they slimed their way in by an utter fluke. Can you possibly imagine the wonderful feeling of a hall full of Miners supporters in "The Free Trade hall"(think it was TFTH) Manchester,my hometown, the City where the "Peterloo Massacre" took place. So! We ,from Manchester don't really appreciate any Working class fellow from a humble background ,who has spent all his life attempting to deny his background in order to live in the Big house-(EH! I have a big house ! )most putting what they could afford,in order to help the miners fund, but believe me I saw plenty of fivers even in those days. The spite was unbelievable of the Tories . No Matter these miners had paid years and years of insurance they still got penalised for taking legal action in their fight for work. You James may feel pretty secure in your home town in US with your loose terminology which is more than bordering on Racism and anti-gay . It is not acceptable in this country by the sophisticated. I find it sickening and you should withdraw much of the stuff you have written which falls into that.

category,

regards jandee. Sorry for any spelling mistakes .....


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John Holden 3 years ago

On the contrary James, you demonstrate just how little you know of British socialism and British trade unions. You've admitted several times that there is little in common between the trade unions of our respective countries!

I most certainly don't hate you, love you, in a manly way of course :)

BTW, are you ever going to answer my question?


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James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden--- I do appreciate what you are saying. I do not think our disagreements have a lot to do with how much I know or don't know about the history of Britain. Beyond that, I know plenty about the history of Socialism and the history of Labor Unions. I think they are both terrible in their results for human beings and countries and you think they are great for people and countries. Thatcher agrees with my point of view and strongly disagrees with yours. So, you hate her and dislike me. But I love you John! God Bless You!

James :)


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John Holden 3 years ago

James, I think what is really p'ing me off about this is the fact that you are not British and have no vested interest in the British political system. You are intelligent and articulate and you could have done something which neither I nor Jandee or Nickbeach could ever have done and that is to write a totally unbiased piece on Thatcher.

Instead we got a sycophantic rant worthy of the most right wing conservative back bencher here in the UK and those of us who disagree are treated with contempt.

You state - "Despite a concerted smear campaign by hateful Leftists that has been a non-stop barrage lasting thirty years," and yet did not pause to wonder why this number included a good number of "hateful rightists" or why indeed this hatred lasted for thirty years. No other PM in British history has earned so much aprobium but you did not bother to find out why, just cast the blame on hateful leftists!


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John Holden 3 years ago

James said - "But are you saying I have no business commenting on happenings on my planet unless they are in the USA?"

I am not saying anything of the sort. What I am saying is that your reading can not give you more extensive knowledge of the UK than somebody who lived through the events you wrote about.

It is interesting to see a foreigners take on a situation, but slightly less when that person tells me that I was wrong about what I lived through.

Being told that I hold my opinions only because I hold to a different branch of politics adds weight to the insult.

In your long and extensive reply you still failed to tell me how you would feel if I told you you were wrong about some of the events you'd lived through, I am still interested in your reply.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Thank you for the 4 sets of comments you posted here about 5 days back. I very much appreciate your participation in this conversation.

You wrote: "I was just wondering how James would react if, on the strength of a bit of reading, we set ourselves up as experts on his country and on the strength of that denied that which he had direct experience of? . . . He doesn't even have the grace to accept that there may be two sides to the Thatcher story."

I am not saying I am an expert of British affairs or life. I must confess I have read thousands of hours of British history. Some of my favorites are Winston Churchill's "History of English Speaking Peoples" and the very witty "Great Tales from English History" by Robert Lacey. I have probably watched every documentary ever produced on the subject. I like Simon Schama's books and DVDs as well. I probably have read thirty books on British history.

I am keenly interested in the 1980s as a decade and have surely spent a mountain of hours studying it. I am fully aware that there are more than two sides to every story. Hell, some people didn't like George Washington! Jesus was crucified! No matter who you are, people will hate you I suppose. But are you saying I have no business commenting on happenings on my planet unless they are in the USA?


jandee profile image

jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

John My husband and I had a wonderful friend. It was in the very late seventies. The place was Jersey the occasion was the Miners conference and Arthur Scargill was the president ,he was with his friend,our friend who was Jack Collins leader of the Kent miners . When we left him we waived bye and arranged to see them later,we were greeted later by Jack and he told us he had sad news for us . He took our hands and handed me a book, a book written by him called 'The World on our backs' by Jack Collins. We had a few more drinks Arthur and the others had gone and that was when Jack told us both he had just been diagnosed with Luekemia ! Very tragic time,he died quite soon after, a giant of a man a very gentle man with a million stories to tell,

best to you,jandee


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

Jan, that brought a tear to my eyes as I remembered friends and others who gave up on being humiliated by her.

James will never understand, I don't await his glib answer either.


jandee profile image

jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

This is a snippet from a book I am presently reading by John Pilger called Heroes.( John is taking snippets of letters from the Daily mail Newspaper where he is a Journalist)

John is describing a letter from the father of a young man of 26 who committed suicide. When the Daily Mail(newspaper) printed the letter John Pilger received some seventy letters,most suffering from the loss of a loved one. A widow wrote that unemployment suicides are so common that they are almost a joke around here,she had lost her husband and brother- in -law . ---------------------- Another said.

"I have recently experienced a different kind of death on the dole,the death of a once happy relationship. I have lived with my man for eleven years. He has been out of work for three of those eleven years,and slowly,painfully,our relationship has deteriorated. It was once full of happiness,of planning and looking forward to a good future together,now it is dead because my husband couldn't get a job. he is unskilled and at 35 nobody wants him. he couldn't stand the humiliation of not being able to provide for me and our 2 children. We clung to every straw,desperately trying to keep our small family a happy one,but then we could fight no longer. He's gone now and I am left with only the pain. Our love never died,but the struggle,with no end in sight,was too much for him to bear. Being unemployed destroyed not one,but four lives. I hope the people responsible for this can rest easy in their beds at night. I know I cannot."

I won't bore you with any more unhappy tales James as there are far too many all due to the crippling of Britain in the THatcher years.

regards jandee.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

"What made America great was not the backs of laborers"

So, America would have been just as great if all the workers had stayed at home drinking tea.

No, sorry, I don't buy that!

By the way, when can I expect a straight answer to my question? You know, the one where I asked how you would react if the roles were reversed.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

James - "I thought this might have some relevance."

Nope, absolutely no relevance at all to British trade unions!


jandee profile image

jandee 3 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

James! You do make me smile with your Blah!blah........

Not very unlike you I S'pose!

I was secretary for years for 'Medical aid for Vietnam'

Was 'Roady' for husband and Bands for years.

Sold communist papers on the streets of London,

Son who is world renowned Musician -played in New York many times

Son who is talented Golfer semi-pro

Daughter who is too,too Talented ,in Education/ex Ballet dancer.

Grandson who of mixed parentage Omani/Jersey/Uk/African/Us/.

what a wonderful mix to create a talented and handsome 13 year old,

my only regret is that my Mother and Father died before all this happened,same for us all eh?

Wonderful friends who are trying -like you !to push religion on to everyone Ha,ha Jehovias.

keep well,

jandee


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee--- Good question: What is my contribution to America? Nothing special, I suppose. I made a lot of people happy playing music for 20 years. I have made lots of people laugh in my lifetime with my wit. I have taught a multitude of people various things, folks who were either too busy to or just not inclined to read much. I have told many people about the beauty of the Lord Jesus. Well over a million people have enjoyed reading my Hubs, and learned much from them, and at least been made to think about things a bit. Back when I had wealth, I gave maybe 30 percent of it away to people I knew who were in need and to a boatload of charitable causes and volunteered many moons of my time to help the unfortunate. I have, at various times, supplied employment for hundreds of people, and provided valuable job training for just as many. I have mentored many young men and some women. I have been involved in civic issues and for a decade or so was heavily involved in politics. I have been a good friend to dozens of people. I have been loving to hundreds of individuals. I have given the world three lovely daughters and one fine son. I guess that is about it. But it ain't over til the fat lady sings.

How about you? What has your stay on earth produced of lasting value for others?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

jandee--- I appreciate both of the comments you posted here yesterday. I love music too.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— I appreciate your contributions to this discussion. You wrote: So all those films we saw depicting men working in lousy conditions and going home to their squalid apartments were just myths were they? Woody Guthrie singing about the dust bowls was just perpetuating myths was he?"

No, but that is besides the point I was making. What made America great was not the backs of laborers—it had far fewer of them than China, India, Africa, Russia, and South America, places that had far more backs for manual labor but only achieved a tenth the prosperity of the United States. So, in other words, that is not the variable. The variable, as always, is ingenuity, brains, innovation, invention, motivation, hustle, the Rule of Law, secure property rights, low levels of corruption, et al.

I only wrote about Lady Thatcher because I have great admiration for her. I also write about other outsized personalities, even though they may not be Americans. For instance, Vaclav Havel:

http://hubpages.com/literature/Vaclav-Havel...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— I appreciate your participation our in little debate here, friend.

I thought you made an interesting observation with this statement: "Nick has discernment and wisdom because he lived in the Thatcher heartlands while I'm a vindictive old bugger who just happened to live in her hated north country where people got their hands dirty working! "


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

John Holden— Thank you very much for the one dozen sets of comments you made here a couple days back.

You asked me: "Do you think it right that somebody should be denied work because they want to belong to a trade union?"

Absolutely not. I see no reason why workers should not be able to collective bargain if, without intimidation and by secret ballot, they express their desire to do so. Here in the USA, in our northern states, what we call the Rust Belt because the manufacturing fled, there is a whole list of jobs that you cannot get without joining the union FIRST. In fact, it is actually the union that hires you, not the employer. The employer can tell the union, "I would like five new men," but they have no idea what five men they are hiring—that is up to the union.

You then ask a question that begins this way, "if unions limit the number of workers . . . "

But there is no question that they do. There is no "if" involved. If 300 men in my home town belong to the Carpenters union then they are the ONLY 300 men allowed to do any carpentry in my city. That's that. Even if I am an expert carpenter, I cannot earn a living doing it because the union has all non-union persons boxed out.

You must join the union to work, as a teacher, policeman, firefighter, on and on and on. Then money is taken from you and used to support political causes that you might abhor, in my case killing babies or extra privileges for fudgepackers. You may think that is alright because unions support your particular beliefs, but how about if the shoe were on the other foot? How about if your labor union decided to spend a million pounds of your wages on a 300 foot high statue of Margaret Thatcher?

You ask: "what then becomes of the unwanted workers?"

That is up to them. It is up to each individual to make himself a "WANTED WORKER." There are billions of people employed in the world. It is not like it is an exclusive club or something.

You write, "this hub is about Thatcher and by extension, the UK and not the USA we must keep to the topic of British unions and not American unions."

Well, yes, you are right. I was only relating to you my up close and personal experiences with unions, what with being from the most pro-union state in American history, Michigan, and having had several family members in unions, I thought this might have some relevance.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

"I especially love this piercing insight: "I suspect that one of the reasons why Thatcher is so hated by the left is that they see her as a traitor to her class. The fact that a working class woman can rise to become the most powerful person in the country goes against everything they have been brainwashed to believe. They imagine that anyone who has been that successful in their career must have somehow cheated.""

The trouble is it isn't a piercing insight, it's a load of BS.

As I explained, we've had working class PMs before and being of the left have no problems with women in power, unlike Thatcher.

And, Thatcher was not only hated by the left, she was hated by many of her own.

If you knew a bit more about our country you would not be so quick to make such crass comments, or agree with them.


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