Compassionate And Caring

IN ANSWER TO: Thatcher was NOT compassionate and caring – a fact even accepted by her own party who subsequent to her departure spent over a decade trying to rid themselves of her toxic legacy as the ‘nasty party’ and even at the last election couldn’t summon up a majority.

In 1979, when Margaret Thatcher came to power following The Winter of Discontent,Britainwas effectively ruled by, and in the grip of the Trades Unions; who were out of the control even of the Labour government to whom most were affiliated.

The country was in decline, over regulated and over taxed. Industry was inefficient, over manned, and uncompetitive, with large chunks nationalised, loss making and riddled with restrictive practices and a closed shop mentality.

Investment was low or non-existent, education and training was of a low standard and inflation was high:

Britainwere rightly epitomised as The Sick Man of Europe.

Against this background, Margaret Thatcher’s policies centred round the need to restore national pride by:

Neutralising the strength of the unions;

Reducing the size of government with its nanny-type status;

Privatising loss making nationalised industries – so they would end the drain on the public purse (slanted particularly to be attractive to ordinary people to encourage their acquisition of shares);

Reducing taxation (which under an earlier Labour government had peaked once with a marginal rate of 97.5%);

Improving education;

Reducing crime with tougher action;

Reducing inflation (which had peaked at 22%);

Ending the benefits culture (under which, taxes paid even by poorer working people were (and still are) used to allow the work shy to sit at home rather than attempt to seek gainful employment);

Empowering the the poorest in society who lived in social (council) housing) with the right to purchase their own rented homes (offering hefty discounts, minimal deposits and low interest rates to sitting tenants.) One benefit which accrued from this was the ability for some, otherwise trapped for life, to be able to sell, and move away, from the many crime-ridden, violent, ghetto housing estates.

She promoted the prospect of an asset owning, self-reliant, democratic nation.

Finally, making a substantial contribution to the downfall of communism inEastern Europeand the end of the cold war.

This philosophy clearly is one which indicates a compassionate and caring person. However the truth may not always match the perception; though it is always the truth that matters if a person is to be judged.

The method adopted to handle benefits during the large scale unemployment, caused partially as a result of the global recession in the 1980s (which the UK economy was particular ill-equipped to handle in view of the series of crises occurring during the 1970s), was the one most efficient to the tax payer: not to employ people in artificial jobs created by governments, (or allowing them to remain at work in loss making, public industries), but instead, to provide the basic unemployment benefit required for subsistence purposes, putting the onus on individuals to find their own jobs and entertainment.

Those made to become self-reliant, perhaps for the first time, might very well have thought the policy to be nasty!

I expectAmericawould act in a similar manner, employed to remove the invaders of the Falkland Islands, if, say, Hawaii was ever seized by a foreign power.

A Very Potted History

IN ANSWER TO: So what say you, people? Are we in favor or against Margaret Thatcher and why?
It was necessary to have lived through the effects that pernicious socialism was having on day-to-day life in Britain, in the 1970s, to fully understand the achievements of Margaret Thatcher who turned the country around, almost single handedly – very often in spite, rather than because, of her colleagues (often termed wets as many did not always have the necessary stomach or stamina for the fight).
                                                                                                                                        Her anti-union stance was not likely to draw support from trade unionist members representing, with the endemic over-manning, a sizeable proportion of the UK population: that group of our society was hardly likely to applaud the termination of their own gravy train which had brought British manufacturing industry to its knees, with spiralling wage inflation, holding both employers and the country to ransom over many years. Wage demands in those days, for perfunctory performances at best, had routinely been in double figures so Britain, being uncompetitive, had lost its manufacturing base to the Far East.
                                                                                                                                       The Poll Tax, which was to replace the general rates, would have been a very good method of collecting local taxation as it makes local government equally accountable to ALL citizens. It failed in the UK simply because the contribution from national government was set too low and simply needed a little tweaking.
                                                                                                                                    Many of her quotations are taken out of context as Margaret Thatcher was compassionate, caring as well as being pragmatic; as is clear from her autobiographies:The Path To Power and The Downing Street Years.
                                                                                                                                      She was one of the best Prime Ministers the UK ever had.
                                                                                                                                           It has unfortunately become fashionable to hold her in poor esteem, but history will judge her greatness when comparisons are made with her bland contemporaries and some of her under achieving successors