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The witch is dead!


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Ok, I do not normally celebrate when someone dies... but today I will make an exception.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure and deep satisfaction that I bring you this news: The mother of neoliberalism, the destroyer of the British welfare state, the despoiler of mining towns and gravedigger of British industry, the wrecker of low-income housing, the steadfast ally of military dictators, the champion of the rich and the bane of the poor, the loyal servant of banks and corporations, the implacable enemy of the working class, the herald of inequality and prophet of austerity, the cruel, despicable, sadistic Baronness Margaret Thatcher... IS DEAD.

 

Let the whole world rejoice!

 

http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/

 

Oh, and also, discuss. :)

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Of course, but who said anything about Eastern Europe being "socialist"? Over the past 20 years, Eastern Europe has embraced neoliberalism to a greater extent than almost any other part of the world (well, Latin America initially went further in the 80s and 90s, but they've changed course since 2000).

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Well, I didn't know about her. Never had history lessons about her. And I live in the Netherlands where in my time international politics was part of history lessons.

So I never learned anything related to her? Until today....

 

Seems she was hated very much by 50% and loved very much by another 50%.

Some say she destroyed (lives in) the UK, others say she saved the UK?

 

So what will it be?

Was she really worth hating, for what? (Probably the things you mentioned)

Or was she worth loving? But what did she do to be loved? (I didn't get that part on the radio :D )

 

I am bad at discussions. But try to convince me why she was supposed to be hated/loved ^^.

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Well she had a very strong and clear stance regarding the Falklands. No negociation, attack and get them back. So maybe a lot of brits were feeling like back in the good ol' days of the Empire. On the other hand she privatised a lot of things which crippled the UK economy on the short term but made it come back with a boost in the '90s. Especially the coal mines. There were huge riots and street fighting in the '80s.

 

Also, Edric, did you notice that Germany voted to privatise the water supply? There was a title in the newspapres saying "Germany does not consider water access to be a right" ahahahahahahahah. It's like Bolivia and Bechtel when they started chargeing people for the rainwater going down the drains. I'm curious what will happend next. Europeans seem to be very eager to protest for very abstract things, but for real sh*t they're very idle. 

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She didn't destroyed welfare state, she just closed some depleted mines but instead using well the money she increased government spending in some welfare (more health but less housing) and many in military spending, police state spending (police was already strong, she enforced even more), butchering irish spending and presents to incompetent friends spending. Never understood why she is praised as a milestone when she just did the same of Berlusconi. I mean even uber-soft liberalism of XIX century has the rule of a balance drawing....she didn't accompliced even that, she was just a fraud.

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Calling her a witch is a reference to the song "

", from "The Wizard of Oz". For whatever reason, this song has become a sort of unofficial motto of the celebrations that people had when they got the news that Thatcher died (look at the comments on the video I just linked, and you'll see that they are all about Thatcher, even though the video has nothing to do with her). For example, here is another video that shows some of those celebrations - and yes, this video is also called "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead".

 

Now, to answer the question of what was so bad about Thatcher... hmmm, where do I start? Let me try to make a list, in no particular order:

 

1. Thatcher privatized most of the state-owned industries in the United Kingdom: British Telecom, British Gas, British Steel, British Airways, and public electricity, water, and coal mining companies. First of all, this caused massive unemployment. The unemployment rate went from 4% to 12% in Thatcher's first five years in office, and it took until the year 2000 (ten years after Thatcher left office) to get back down to pre-Thatcher levels. Scotland was particularly hard-hit, reaching 20% unemployment under Thatcher. Besides all this, Thatcher's privatization drive also caused utilities and formerly-public services to get more expensive for consumers, as their new private owners cared about profits and not about public service.

 

2. Thatcher destroyed Britain's system of cheap public housing for poor and working-class families (known as "council housing"). Under Thatcher, most council housing was sold off to private owners, and no new council housing was built. This caused a huge increase in home prices (they went from £ 12,000 to £ 60,000), making a lot of poor people homeless, and throwing a lot of working-class families into poverty. In turn, this led to an increase in broken families, organized crime, and street violence.

 

3. Thatcher's great privatization of council housing led to those newly-private homes being sold on the stock market, which set the stage for housing-driven stock market bubbles that have plagued the world economy ever since. Many stock market crashes and economic crises since the 80s have been caused by such "housing bubbles."

 

4. Thatcher was a ruthless enemy of labour unions and resorted to any means necessary to destroy them, even if it also meant destroying British industry in the process. For example, Thatcher decimated the coal mining industry, which had the best organized and most militant workers. There were 174 coal mines in the UK in 1983; then Thatcher started closing them down rapidly, and the trend continued after she left office. Today, there are only 6 mines remaining. Thatcher also passed a multitude of restrictive laws to reduce unions' freedom of action.

 

5. Thatcher lowered taxes for the rich (especially income taxes) and increased them for the poor (by raising the Value Added Tax). She also introduced one of the most regressive taxes in modern history, the Poll Tax, which seemed designed to cause maximum hardship for poor families. I believe the Poll Tax was illegal, too, but I'm not quite sure. In any case, because of this and Thatcher's other policies, inequality and poverty rose immensely. 13.4% of the population was below the poverty line when Thatcher took office, in 1979. When she left office in 1990, 22.2% of the population was below the poverty line.

 

6. Thatcher acted like a dictator against those who opposed her. The coal miners went on strike in 1984-85, in response to her attacks on them, mentioned above. She called them (and other workers) "the enemy within", and sent in the police to violently suppress the miners' strike through beatings and mass arrests. 11,000 miners were arrested over the course of the strike. Many more were beaten. Also, she did not tolerate dissent from local authorities who disagreed with her plans to privatize council housing. When the Greater London Council went against her, and her conservative candidates could not win elections for it, she simply abolished the Council entirely - leaving London without any kind of unified local administration - to ensure that no one got in her way.

 

7. Thatcher was also a great friend of murderous right-wing dictators in other countries, and an enemy of left-wing pro-democracy movements. She was a personal friend and close ally of the fascist Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, and even after leaving office she worked really hard to save him from being put on trial for his crimes. She called General Suharto of Indonesia - responsible for slaughtering at least a million people, and probably a lot more - "one of our very best and most valuable friends." At the same time, Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, fighting for racial equality in South Africa, were "a typical terrorist organization" according to Thatcher.

And that's not everything... but I think it's enough to show you the general picture. Margaret Thatcher was an extremely evil individual, an enemy of working people in Britain and across the world. Good riddance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Since I work in a sales industry most of my coworkers are Thatcherites, one even going as far as saying "greatest post war PM". Good to see you are still taking down the right wingers Edrico!

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