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OfflinePhred
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Ah, good ole Maggie.
    #2635902 - 05/04/04 06:22 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I started out excerpting particular glittering gems of prose for this one to whet the appetite, but gave up on it. Then I decided to just provide the bare link, but that didn't seem fair either. So I gave up and cut and pasted the entire thing. Sorry for the use of Shroomery resources, folks. It's not something I do on a regular basis.

Thatcher's revolution needs completing
By Mark Steyn
(Filed: 04/05/2004)

Just after the Fall of Thatcher, I was in the pub enjoying a drink with her daughter Carol after a little light radio work. A fellow patron, a "radical" "poet", decided to have a go at her in loco parentis, which is Latin for "in the absence of her loco parent". After reciting a long catalogue of Mrs Thatcher's various crimes, he leant into Carol, nose to nose, and summed it all up: "Basically, your mum just totally smashed the working classes."

Carol was a jolly good sport about it, as always. And it has to be said that this terrible indictment loses a lot of its force when you replace "Vatcher" - a word the snarling tribunes of the masses could effortlessly spit down the length of the bar - with "your mum".

On the other hand, he had a point: basically, her mum did just totally smash the working classes. Today, if one hears the term "working class", one assumes the speaker is Billy Bragg or some other celebrity nostalgic speaking for himself and a handful of other firebrand romantics. But 25 years ago the "working class" still had the numbers, and nary a day went by when the evening news didn't include some menacing scene of big burly blokes striking for their right to continue enjoying the soft pampered working week of the more effete Ottoman sultans.

All aspects of life, from cars to newspapers, seemed at the mercy of this demographic. If one heard that, say, Teabags (the Technical and Engineering Association of Beverage Administrators and Grumpy Servers) were shutting down every British tea room, one would expect to switch on the news (assuming that the news wasn't on strike) and see big burly blokes in Lyons Corner House pinnies jostling with coppers outside ye olde tea shoppe in the Cotswolds.

All gone. The "working class" has itself been largely privatised, and thus dispersed - or, if you prefer, liberated. In Saturday's Telegraph, the various commentators on Mrs T's silver jubilee took it as read that Carol's mum had totally smashed the working class. The point of dispute was whether this was a good thing. Some thought it was: Lord King was happy to be free of a country run by the now forgotten Longbridge shop-floor colossus "Red Robbo". Some thought it a tragedy: Billy Bragg felt Thatch had destroyed "the feeling that we were all fighting together to make our society a better place". And some thought it was a ghastly social faux pas: Philip Pullman bemoaned contemporary Britain's "moral anarchy, a public life of profound vulgarity, a morally squalid press", etc.

I hear quite a bit of that these days - almost like a local version of East German "ostalgie". Old British friends say to me, well, say what you like about the 1970s - nothing worked; if you wanted to buy a new car, it was as if post-war rationing was still in effect - but all the same life in the village seemed a lot more pleasant back then. There's something to this: the benign side of oppressive statism is often a kind of public restraint. And more than a few folks seem to feel, with the benefit of hindsight, that it's better to have unionised thugs nutting scabs on the picket line than freelance yobs in hideous leisurewear infesting ersatz-American high streets catering to their every frightful whim from one end to the other. For the modern liberal, this is a new dilemma: an underclass that's too rich.

No society stands still. Forget all the strikes in that "winter of discontent", and try to remember how well Britain worked when things were going well. In a "globalised economy", would you still want to be trying to get an extra phone line from the old GPO? Would you want them regulating your access to the internet? The things that don't work in post-Thatcher Britain are not in those areas where she followed her market instincts, but in those where she didn't. Not her fault, of course. She had a lot else to worry about - the Cold War, the Argies - and she had a cabinet which, whether as manifested by grandees such as Ian Gilmour or bruisers like Ken Clarke, was always at least two thirds unsound.

But the result is that the Thatcher revolution is uncompleted. Nobody in 2004 seriously thinks the Government should run airlines or that working people should live their entire lives in state housing - though what now seems obvious to all required extraordinary political will by a few 25 years ago. And, on any honest account of 21st-century Britain, most of the problems derive from the unThatcherised sectors, in which the post-war, centralised, bureaucratic conventional wisdom still holds.

By the 1990s, for example, the most prominent and enduring example of a pre-Thatcher, bloated, useless, unproductive, overpaid, closed-shop state monopoly was the British police. They're the Red Robbos of the age, in terms of both their willingness to take umbrage at constructive suggestion and the zealousness with which they guard their turf. Localised policing accountable to local electorates would be a logical extension of Thatcherite economic policy - a recognition that giving citizens more personal responsibility isn't something that applies just to their housing and consumer choices but also to their civic life. If you have one without the other, you end up with the sad state of affairs in so many crime-ridden leafy villages and middle-class suburbs: a materially wealthy society of frustrated and impotent citizens.

Mrs Thatcher privatised British Telecom, British Airways, British Leyland. But we still have a nationalised British political culture: the reflexive gripe that, if something's wrong with your local hospital or your local school, it ought to be fixed by some secretary of state in a Whitehall department. It never will be. But the way to get some dynamism and creativity into the system is to denationalise the problems, and make them local issues to be solved locally, in a thousand different ways. As Mrs Thatcher recognised, the British are an inventive people. Unfortunately, though she freed them to apply that inventiveness to their economic life, they're artificially prevented from applying it to everything else. It's time to complete the revolution.

? Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2004






pinky


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: Phred]
    #2636021 - 05/04/04 08:24 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I suppose it depends how you define working class. This wordy little fellow seems to be implying that membership of the working class was gained by being a member of a union and going on strike. So by that definition, yes Thatcher did destroy the working class as she pretty much made the unions impotent.
If however you take the working class as those who carry out the more menial jobs and earn below average wages then I would have to say the working class is alive and well and probabaly larger than it was under Thatcher.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: GazzBut]
    #2636435 - 05/04/04 12:18 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

When Thatcher dies the North of England and Wales is going to have a bigger party than the millenium  :smile:

To say the working class hates her is an understatement. Vast areas of the North and Wales are still devastated.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: Phred]
    #2637352 - 05/04/04 05:11 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Maggie and Ronnie. Two of the finest politicians the world has ever known.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2637369 - 05/04/04 05:13 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
Maggie and Ronnie. Two of the finest politicians the world has ever known.



If you happen to be the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar corporation.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2637397 - 05/04/04 05:19 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

If you hated the World trade center.

Reagan's actions led to that far far more than did Bush's.

For example, would 9/11 have happened if the Soviet Union were still in business and occupying Afghanistan?


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2637423 - 05/04/04 05:23 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Reagan's actions led to that far far more than did Bush's.



Bush's contribution to 9/11 wasn't action but rather inaction at a time when he should have been acting.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: Xlea321]
    #2637434 - 05/04/04 05:26 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

To say the working class hates her is an understatement. 




How can the working class hate her Alex? They dont exist anymore!!  :smirk:


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OfflineMetaShroom
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2637532 - 05/04/04 05:51 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
Maggie and Ronnie. Two of the finest politicians the world has ever known.




If you didn't live through it, you can't really appreciate just how bad she was for this country. Unluckily for her she tried to introduce a new poll tax which led to violent rioting in London and her ultimate demise (the last time somone tried to introduce a poll tax was 1381 which led to the Peasant's Revolt). It won't be long until she snuffs it, I know many people who are planning various festivities for the day  :biggrin:

I remember her saying how we should "rejoice" after the sinking of the Belgrano during the Falklands war  :enraged:


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,720
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: MetaShroom]
    #2637562 - 05/04/04 06:01 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I'm not sure I'd have a problem with a poll tax.

Those who pay, should have the say.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: MetaShroom]
    #2637565 - 05/04/04 06:04 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

WTF's a poll tax?


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2637573 - 05/04/04 06:07 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Then those that don't pay shouldn't have to obey any laws.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,720
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2637575 - 05/04/04 06:09 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Nah. The way I wrote it is correct. Unless those who don't pay agree to give up any and all taxpayer funded services.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineMetaShroom
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2637580 - 05/04/04 06:12 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

A poll tax means a head tax. Everyone has to pay the same ammount regardless of anything.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,720
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2637601 - 05/04/04 06:19 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Baby_Hitler said:
WTF's a poll tax?



Poll tax


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: GazzBut]
    #2640982 - 05/05/04 11:46 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

How can the working class hate her Alex? They dont exist anymore!!

Oh yes, forgot about that... :grin:


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: MetaShroom]
    #2640984 - 05/05/04 11:48 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

It won't be long until she snuffs it, I know many people who are planning various festivities for the day

It's to be hoped her grave is indoors somewhere otherwise the queue lining up to piss on her grave is going to be immense  :grin:


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OfflineMetaShroom
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: Xlea321]
    #2641261 - 05/05/04 01:12 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:
It won't be long until she snuffs it, I know many people who are planning various festivities for the day

It's to be hoped her grave is indoors somewhere otherwise the queue lining up to piss on her grave is going to be immense  :grin:




Unfortunately I suspect they will bury her at sea  :bitch:


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Offlineruskifile
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Re: Ah, good ole Maggie. [Re: Phred]
    #2643853 - 05/06/04 01:21 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

...or at the crossroads on a full moon LOL


But I love ex-NZ PM David Lange's description of Tony Blair as "just Maggie Thatcher in drag"  :tongue2:


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