Why the left hate Thatcher?

February 21st, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Cristina Odone blogs at the Telegraph:

John O’Farrell, Labour’s candidate in the Eastleigh by-election, used to contribute amusing articles to the New Statesman when I was the magazine’s deputy editor. The comedian was unfailingly polite in his dealings with me. Our contact was by telephone only and I remember picturing a mild-mannered soul clad in regulation socks and sandals.

But mention and gentle O’Farrell starts foaming at the mouth and spewing bile. In a book he wrote about his support for Labour, he revealed his “disappointment” when the IRA failed to kill the then prime minister in Brighton, in 1984. “Why did she have to leave the bathroom two minutes earlier?” he asked himself when Mrs Thatcher survived the bomb blast that destroyed her bathroom in the Grand Hotel.

So Labour’s candidate is someone who supported the IRA attempted assassination of the UK Prime Minister. Charming, and not surprising.

Given the venom with which Labour supporters attack the former PM, you’d think that when their party finally came to power in 1997, it reversed every one of her hateful policies. In fact, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown guarded the Thatcher legacy as lovingly as if she’d been a grocer’s daughter born and bred in Islington. Her successors kept the privatisation and kept at bay the trade unions.

Smart men.

This makes me suspicious. If Labour can live with Margaret Thatcher’s policies, what is it about her that they find so unacceptable? …

Secondly, she’s a woman. The party that pays lip service to equality and feminism is, behind the scenes, deeply misogynist. Labour historians like to claim that Barbara Castle could have beaten Thatcher to be the first woman prime minister. But Castle was only allowed to rise to Cabinet ministerial level; and her biography, Red Queen, revealed that Wilson, Healey, Jenkins and Crosland kept her firmly in her place by reminding her that her female brain had scraped a third‑class degree. …

Harriet Harman and Diane Abbott are tolerated as noisy sisters; but the minute they aspire to higher office, the sniping starts. Labour women must not get ideas above their station. A woman who climbs to the very top wrongfoots the party’s apparatchiks. Working mothers are fine, as long as they are drones who contribute to the economy. Tokenism in the board room is also acceptable, as a female non-exec has little real bearing on what happens in the company.

But don’t let some uppity woman start bossing everyone about. Margaret Thatcher, née Roberts, did. Her extraordinary career has exposed Labour as the party of men.

Will the Party ever have a female leader? I doubt it. The unions are so male dominated, and now get a third of the vote for leader.

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38 Responses to “Why the left hate Thatcher?”

  1. Manolo (14,045 comments) says:

    Long live Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady!

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  2. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    I’ve always found left wing politics to be very cynical. Of cousre, a similar thing happened here with the 90’s benefit cuts – Labour made great hay bashing them (in pretty much every statement they made for a decade) and other reforms, but behind the scences they recoginsed (for the most part) the benefits and were very careful about what they reversed.

    I always chuckle at the standard, who put up a graph showing that it was National who reversed the failing 90’s economy, leaving a growing economy for Labour to not screw up – which of course eventually they did.

    And then there’s Obama’s “Change” foreign policy which has strangly looked a whole lot like Bush’s policy but without the successes with AIDS.

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  3. James Stephenson (2,223 comments) says:

    It’s not just “the left” either. I’m constantly amazed by the number of my contempories (40-ish) who have failed to outgrow the influence of “alternative” comedy types like Ben Elton in their youth.

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  4. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    And of course there’s the Obama administration’s treatment of women.
    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/161524/
    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/154449/
    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/140873/
    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/140342/

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  5. BeaB (2,144 comments) says:

    The Left always wins the propaganda game because their MPs are professional politicians and usually from backgrounds that involve a lot of reading and writing so they love doing it. The Left also have much of the media on its side.
    The Left are usually haters too. Just look at the nasty personal attacks on John Key. Meteria Turei practically spits his name out.
    National Radio right through this morning has solidly attacked the governnment on every issue and given Labour and the Left a free pass.

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  6. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    That’s right take a throw away line from one person and imply that the whole ‘left’ wanted thatcher dead. Stay classy dpf or should that be Carl rove ?

    Here another one for you I wish that her had never been born… LEFT WANT OPPONENTS ABORTED!!!

    Stay classy dpf

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  7. Harriet (5,121 comments) says:

    Labour have always been cynical towards women – and moreso Maori women.

    You see this in NZ with regard to Maori women and children. Labour takes great pain to show that they support women and their rights, well they do, Maori women have the highest abortion rate in the world, and the lowest Marriage/defacto rate in a ‘natural mother, father, child’ relationship. Maori women have ‘independance’ according to Labour, and so, the kids get beaten, or worse, killed, by mums ‘boyfriend’.

    Maori as we know, are now mostly less than 50% Maori, infact, most Maori are more of something else than Maori. Abortion has more than helped here. Sometimes I wonder if living life as a Maori is worth it at all – going by the attitudes of Maori women – you would think not!

    However, statistics show that children are far better off living with both their natural mothers and fathers, preferably cemented in Marriage. Those kids that arn’t, have a far better chance of jail, drugs, unemployment, and low self asteem.

    If Marriage is supported financaly, Maori would not see the high abortion rates that they have, nor the low ‘population rates’ that stem from that.Nor the prison rates. Nor the poor health rates.

    Yet will Labour support Marriage to help Maori? No, never. Why? :

    Because Labours women don’t really care about women – just their rights! :cool:

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  8. ChardonnayGuy (1,213 comments) says:

    Er, Clause 28 of the Local Government Act 1988? And is it only leftists? Don’t forget what happened to the Tories after Thatcher fell from power in 1990 and her treacherous destabilisation of John Major during the ensuing decade, which kept the Tories out of power for thirteen years thereafter. Could I suggest Tim Bales’ excellent “The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron” as a corrective to uncritical lionisation of Mrs T? Interestingly enough, Jenny Shipley doesn’t receive nearly as much flak over here.

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  9. Manolo (14,045 comments) says:

    Jennie Shipley, a former PM of dismal performance.
    She’s unfit to even wash Thatcher’s socks.

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  10. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    “That’s right take a throw away line from one person and imply that the whole ‘left’ wanted thatcher dead”

    Tristan, can you quote where DPF said “the whole ‘left’ wanted thatcher dead”?

    Take your time.

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  11. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    imply
    /imˈplī/
    Verb
    Strongly suggest the truth or existence of (something not expressly stated): “the report implies that two million jobs might be lost”.
    Synonyms
    mean – hint – signify – involve – suggest – insinuate

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  12. James Stephenson (2,223 comments) says:

    That’s right take a throw away line from one person and imply that the whole ‘left’ wanted thatcher dead. Stay classy dpf

    Just one more example of Thatcher Derangement Syndrome

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9533863/TUC-Congress-T-shirts-rejoicing-over-Thatchers-death-sold-at-trades-union-gathering.html

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  13. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    Thank you for not answering the question which confirms your lie.

    I expect your next post to be along the lines of “Zapper implies the whole left are liars”.

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  14. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    im·ag·i·na·tion/ɪˌmædʒəˈneɪʃən/ Show Spelled [ih-maj-uh-ney-shuhn] Show IPA
    noun
    1. the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.

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  15. OneTrack (3,221 comments) says:

    “It’s not just “the left” either. ”

    But it usually is. If someone on the right disagrees with you, then they will say they think you are wrong. If someone on the left disagrees with you, then you are the enemy and evil. And then all options are acceptable in order to suppress you. I am thinking the Mad Butcher incident as a good example. Others spring to mind. It’s scary.

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  16. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    And in march the Greek chorus…

    a few more dick jokes and I’ll start calling you Aristophanes DPF

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  17. Ed Snack (1,926 comments) says:

    This is an example of the very successful political strategy implemented largely by the left; “The Political is Personal”. Turn the argument personal and destroy the person; it takes a very strong minded and capable person to firstly personally withstand the venom and hatred, and secondly to craft an effective response. Part and parcel with this strategy is hatred, it isn’t enough to oppose ones opponent, from the left one must despise, hate and therefore vilify that person.

    It is dehumanizing and destructive, but that is a feature not a bug to the left as it mirrors their general approach to politics, economics, and life in general (at least in my exposure to those solidly of the left, the poseurs can often separate that strategy from their personal relationships).

    Examples are the vituperative campaign to bag Tony Abbott in Australia, that “spontaneous” misogyny speech of Gillard’s (actually pre-prepared and written by McTernan) was a deliberate tactic and not a reaction to the day’s debate. The Romney campaign in the US signally failed to grasp the nature of the campaign being waged by the Obama campaign against him, and in the end Obama won by running against the caricature of Romney that his campaign strategy created, not against the actual candidate. Thatcher as above was another example, amplified of course because she threatened to expose the fiction that women are oppressed by the right.

    The right of politics certainly can generate extreme personal dislike, I would suggest that the attitudes to Helen Clark crossed into hatred for many (including myself I’d have to say), but not in an organized and systematic campaigning sense. But I suggest that this arises more from a deep disgust with the person’s (Clark in this case) actions and especially their hypocrisy, and isn’t a core political strategy. I don’t think there was ever a “don’t vote for Helen Clark (or for that matter Obama) because they’re a despicable horrible person who…” campaign, whereas there certainly were attempts to paint John Key in that manner, and Romney, Abbott, and Thatcher were also targeted personally as a campaign basis.

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  18. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Want to know why some people hated Thatcher? Watch Alan Bleasdale’s “Boys from the Black Stuff”.

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  19. tvb (4,501 comments) says:

    Helen Clark is the only female labour leader that actually won elections unlike Australia where labour ladies find it hard to win.

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  20. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    This is an example of the very successful political strategy implemented largely by the left; “The Political is Personal”. Turn the argument personal and destroy the person; it takes a very strong minded and capable person to firstly personally withstand the venom and hatred, and secondly to craft an effective response. Part and parcel with this strategy is hatred, it isn’t enough to oppose ones opponent, from the left one must despise, hate and therefore vilify that person.

    This is a load of horse shit. Cases in point Obama and Clinton, who have both been the objects of endless vilification by the far right.

    Most people on the left hate Blair about the same as Thatcher to be honest. I personally, think he’s far worse. At least Thatcher was honest about what she stood for and what she wanted to do.

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  21. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    ***Harriet Harman and Diane Abbott are tolerated as noisy sisters; but the minute they aspire to higher office, the sniping starts***

    Perhaps, because they aren’t much good? Also, they’re heavily into identity politics.

    I was interested to read Christopher Hitchen’s autobiography Hitch-22 and find that he liked Thatcher and thought she was an impressive individual (note this was in 1979 when he was firmly a leftwing figure).

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  22. markm (114 comments) says:

    Tristan

    You have failed to notice that O Farrell is a Labour candidate.
    Presumably his comments that he is upset a then sitting Prime Minister , wasn’t blown to bits in a terrorist attack , which clearly are public and widely published, implies that the leadership of Labour are happy with these comments.

    I am assuming that Labour in the UK are representative of a large portion of the left , or do you mean to imply Labour or their leadership aren’t representative of the left.

    Another commenter has noted that the left are better read than the right.
    I would argue that is correct , however reading the Truth or Marvel comics dosent give skills that are of any value to this country

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  23. Allyson (47 comments) says:

    The left hate Thatcher because she was given an electoral mandate to destroy the political power of Trade Unions, a mandate she used skilfully and successfully.

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  24. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    “This is a load of horse shit. Cases in point Obama and Clinton, who have both been the objects of endless vilification by the far right.”

    yes i don’t remember the ‘left’ being so good at this kind of thing that new words like ‘swiftboating’ had to be invented. such was the clarity of the strategy

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  25. Ed Snack (1,926 comments) says:

    Tom, I agree that both Clinton and Obama have endured considerable animosity, however not in the context of a specific political election campaign. It’s not organized but certainly doesn’t have to be totally spontaneous. But the campaign against Romney was certainly a very deliberate and highly organized democratic party initiative, with numerous pols playing their part. I’d also say that Obama is largely insulated from such a campaign because he has the the widely used defence…RACISMMMMM, plus the tremendous advantage of a virtual blanket media lock-in.

    Clinton especially was targeted over Whitewater (which was a beat-up…probably) and then Lewinsky. But more than, say, Nixon ? Remember Clinton’s fall from grace was not his having sex with Lewinsky, as awkward as that might, it was lying under oath about it that caused the major trouble. Similarly Nixon was not really involved in the original Watergate crimes, but by covering it up (or rather attempting to cover it up) he was indeed brought low. Not that he wasn’t a pretty dirty campaign operator either and members of his staff definitely has links to the Watergate burglars.

    And Blair, yes, hated by the left mind you ! And the Conservatives never ran a campaign to portray Blair as personally hateful and an object of contempt, but that’s certainly what Labour tried to do with Thatcher.

    This is however a tactic that the “right” in general may well adopt, it has proven to be very successful in many cases, and politics is nothing if it isn’t about success.

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  26. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    @Ed

    if you are right about Romney (I don’t think you are I think the flaws in his campaign were mostly of his own making) the democrats learnt all they needed to know from the john kerry campaign and the swift-boat strategy

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  27. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    Tristan: when you talk about “swiftboating” are you talking about the campaign to stop Kerry becoming president (and let’s face it, even the dems admitted he was utterly hopless) or the campaign to vilify the veterans?

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  28. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiftboating

    I am talking about the campaign to vilify one veteran to stop him becoming president..so err both?

    (for the record i dont know what people see in him either, now we are on the subject he reminds me of romney tall, rich, cardboard)

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  29. Ed Snack (1,926 comments) says:

    Tristan, that reads as a pretty one-sided Wiki article; the links between the Republican party and the SBVT group are nebulous, and Kerry has been shown to have quite definitely “gilded the Lily” with respect to his service in Vietnam including it would seem improperly claiming Purple Heart medals. Id he’d stuck to the truth about his service and not also vilified other veterans subsequently in his anti-war campaigning he might not have been targeted.

    But apart from that, the “Swiftboat” campaign could well have qualified as a specific personally targeted campaign; the essence of such a campaign I assert is that the allegations must be essentially untrue. Telling the truth, or at least revealing inconvenient facts alone is not a hate campaign, it is important, at least I would say so, that the alleged actions must be intended to induce a real hatred of the person so targeted. It helps too if similar actions by others on your side are acceptable and somehow different, and here the attacks on Romney over his Cayman’s bank accounts is an example since one of Obama’s nominees for a cabinet post is being defended by the Democrats over his use of, wait for it, Cayman’s Islands bank accounts.

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  30. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    Tristan, you’re trying to prove that the left isn’t the master of the smeer. Pointing to a one-sided wikipedia article on Swiftboating proves just the opposite.

    See also: borking.

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  31. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    I can”t comment on the NZ Govt fiscal situation at the time but National in the90 ‘s made it very easy for Labour to cast National as the bad guys. Richardson was brutal, Bolger recognized this and shitcanned her. The cuts came far too soon after 1984. Massive social changes meant women who left fuck ups were brutally stranded without any avenue to get back in the workforce. Nothing has changed 22 years later. it’s still all misogyny and mangled fiscal policy.
    Richardson provided the fertile grounds for socialism. So standing around bleating about how naasty Labour is doesn’t reverse the tide. National set up the game and provided the nets but Labour wrote the rules.
    I have the utmost contempt for all of National except for a few individuals. Why? Because to counter the Doc Marten spin doctors, National went further left. What a bunch of dumb fuckers. You get a shot to scrap student loans and reform WFF and Super and what do they do? SFA.

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  32. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    “And in march the Greek chorus…

    a few more dick jokes and I’ll start calling you Aristophanes DPF”

    Tristan illustrates quality discourse from the “whole left”.

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  33. SPC (5,772 comments) says:

    The idea that UK Labour is anti women in leadership because their only women PM was Tory is a hoot.

    Here, because Clark won elections for Labour, the right hate her.

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  34. Reid (16,632 comments) says:

    Here, because Clark won elections for Labour, the right hate her.

    Well I can’t speak for the rest of my fellow conservatives SPC but personally I don’t hate Clark because she won elections, I hate her because she was (and is) a dishonest, disingenuous, evil, ruthless, cantankerous ice queen who had no place in our national politics, she wasn’t even fit to be a toilet attendant at Sky City.

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  35. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    The idea that UK Labour is anti women in leadership because their only women PM was Tory is a hoot.

    Of course it is. And that’s why the post also points out that a number of those on the UK left hate their only woman PM with a passion.

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  36. scrubone (3,104 comments) says:

    Reid: you forgot controlling, thieving, entitled and corrupt.

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  37. SPC (5,772 comments) says:

    Reid, one can read between the lines – people would rather attempt to justify their prejudice than admit they have any.

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  38. SPC (5,772 comments) says:

    scrubone, their political dislike for Thatcher has nothing to do with her being a woman and they do not state it in those terms.

    Whereas dislike for Clark was expressed in the terms of abuse for not just her but also those in “her” Cabinet, Cullen etc.

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