More on Thatcher

April 12th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

A reader writes in:

I was a journalist in London in 1973 when the IRA bombing started.

We had continual strikes, three working weeks, power strikes and just about everything you could think.   I well recall an article by the central union leader, Vic Feather I think, which blamed the UKs poor position on the fact it did not get Marshall Plan aid like some in Europe did.   The unions were in a state of denial and biz leaders and conservative MPs lacked the wit and guts to sort things out.

It is true Thatchers reforms were very harsh on some areas and people and more could have been done to help them thru the transition, but without Margaret the UK would have slid away, just as NZ would have moved closer to South America without Roger Douglas.

Can you believe it? The UK was so badly off, they were blaming the lack of aid under the Marshall Plan!

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21 Responses to “More on Thatcher”

  1. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Would a journalist really use “Thru”??
    Just saying…

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  2. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    sure i can believe it it was 1973. 5 years before I was born. sure I can laugh that off here in 2013 but it may have thought differently 40 years ago!

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  3. hj (6,866 comments) says:

    Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr has described comments made by Baroness Thatcher as “unabashedly racist”.

    In a conversation with her “in her retirement”, Mr Carr said the former UK prime minister had warned Australia against Asian immigration.

    She said “if we allowed too much of it we’d see the natives of the land, the European settlers, overtaken by migrants”, he said.

    Lady Thatcher, 87, died on Monday after suffering a series of strokes.

    Mr Carr made his comments on the Australian broadcaster ABC’s Lateline programme.

    He said he had been “astonished” at the comments by Lady Thatcher, which were made while his Malaysian-born wife Helena was “standing not far away” but was “fortunately out of earshot”.

    But he said he retained respect for the “boldness of her political leadership”.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22087702
    ………
    demonstrates a strong ideological position which can’t see the wood for the trees; the Australian productivity Commission concluded there was little or no discernible benefit to Australians from immigration (it had all been captured by the migrants). Meanwhile (like here) we have growing pains which are looked on as “a great opportunity”- John Banks.

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  4. Reid (16,227 comments) says:

    It’s a shame most people forget the situation that Keynesian economics when applied globally had bought the world to and which Hayeck’s economics were designed to address, and did address.

    The moribund economies all over the world both East and West, were stifled. They were like a body with frozen joints which just couldn’t move a muscle. But instead of looking at that, all most people focus on when they do look at it, is the transition pain. They don’t take a before and after approach which is what sensible people looking for the truth do when examining history for its lessons.

    Sadly the journalists have been the leaders in this fallacious approach and it’s got to the point now where today’s journalists believe their own bs and whenever they refer to those days that’s the angle taken.

    It’s a shame, for it leaves a very small fraction of people who know and recognise the truth of the matter, while the vast majority operate under a great cloud of journalist-induced delusion.

    One of things conservative administrations when in power should have been doing over the decades, is using their access to the media granted to the govt of the day to correct that delusion. But they haven’t. Not here and not overseas either. Meanwhile when the lefties got into power they did nothing but reinforce that delusion.

    Consequently you have a manufactured reality operating amongst the population, which is now, 30 years on, probably impossible to correct. Which wouldn’t be a problem, if that manufactured reality wasn’t so detrimental to the operations of a well functioning economy.

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  5. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    The UK did get about 25% of the Marshall Plan aid and other US loans. Most of the Marshall Plan money was in the form of loans. Was it paying it back that was the problem?

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  6. Paulus (2,603 comments) says:

    The only real reason for the Marshall Plan was to indebt UK to USA, and have tried ever since – see BP curently whereby US legislators will do all they can to destroy BP financially, albeit that a US company Halliburton and a few subsidiaries were substantially to blame, but they are American so…………
    Normal US practic,e burn out the opposition to reduce the share price, so US companies can takeover cheaply ………….nothing new.

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  7. ChardonnayGuy (1,197 comments) says:

    And yet, David, she also colluded with the right-wing dictatorships in South Africa, Iraq, Pakistan, Chile, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Indonesia and the Philippines. Fortunately, apartheid is no more, but at the time, Saddam Hussein was using chemical warfare against Iranian troops and massacred countless Kurds in the cities of Halabja and Salamanniya, including the infirm, elderly and children- to say nothing of what later happened in Kuwait in 1990-91. Or Pakistan’s assistance to the Taliban and other anti-Western Islamists during this period, resulting in the mass murder of Northern Afghan Hazara Shiites and the obscenity of September 11, 2001 years later. Or Pinochet’s murderous record. Or that of Suharto in Indonesia.

    Thatcher’s legacy is by no means unilaterally positive, viewed objectively. In some cases, poor eighties foreign policy decisions based on simplistic Cold War ‘anticommunism’ had some hideous consequences later.

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  8. metcalph (1,426 comments) says:

    Thatcher did not collude with Saddam Hussein. The UK took a position of neutrality and refused to aid either side in the Iran/Iraq war. The supergun affair involved her successor and involved the tricky question of whether the arms embargo had been lifted on Iraq after the end of the war (but before the invasion of Kuwait). The emargo remained on Iran because they had threatened Salman Rushdie.

    It would also be extremely difficult for Thatcher to aid Pakistan while they were arming the Taliban because the latter was set up in civil war phase of the 90s after Thatcher had left power.

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  9. hmmokrightitis (1,585 comments) says:

    The IRA bombings were a scary bloody time. Id been in London a week, was standing in Waterloo Station when a cop, armed to the teeth, flak jacket etc came sprinting across the concourse, screaming for everyone to get out; I ran faster then than I ever have since. Fucking scary shit. Mate of mine was nearly killed by flying glass, working in the City one weekend when a bomb went off in the building next door. The glass from the windows in his building blew in, and the partition between him and the window was like a pin cushion, studded with great big shards of glass.

    I also remember when the so-called Ring of Steel was put up in central London. I was working close by St Pauls at the time, and was walking to lunch at Barbican with friends. Went past the barrier where paratroopers were standing guard, and a van went straight through without stopping. Two of the para’s charged after the van, weapons raised, charging down the road, shouting at him to stop. We were transfixed, waiting for the firing to start. People hit the ground. The van stopped about 50 metres up the road, driver and passenger hauled out. Two young Irish guys, painters. Turns out the brakes in the bosses truck were fucked. Nearly cost them their lives.

    Cool time and place it was :)

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  10. Kleva Kiwi (286 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis (1,137) Says:
    April 12th, 2013 at 11:29 am

    “And yet, David, she also colluded with the right-wing dictatorships in South Africa, Iraq, Pakistan, Chile, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Indonesia and the Philippines.”

    How the hell are these ‘right wing’??? Is it because you don’t want to associate the left with dictatorships? Interestingly enough most dictatorships have far more in common with the left than the right.

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  11. hmmokrightitis (1,585 comments) says:

    LMAO, no I didnt!! :)

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  12. scrubone (3,091 comments) says:

    If a left-wing government fixes an economy, that’s a sign of a successful government.

    If a right-wing government fixes an economy, that’s just because of the previous administration, luck, or uncontrollable factors – their policies are just a concidence.

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  13. emmess (1,422 comments) says:

    “And yet, David, she also colluded with the right-wing dictatorships in South Africa, Iraq, Pakistan, Chile, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Indonesia and the Philippines.”

    If I accept that premise that Britain ‘colluded’ with those countries
    It was a totally different time.
    She came to power 34 years ago, 34 years before that Britain was in an alliance with Soviet Union. Does that make Churchill a bad guy?

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  14. JMS (314 comments) says:

    Vic Feather I think, which blamed the UKs poor position on the fact it did not get Marshall Plan aid like some in Europe did. The unions were in a state of denial

    Total denial.
    The UK received over twice as much Marshall Plan money as West Germany did.

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  15. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    The left remain delusional in that they park the unemployment and upheaval at the door of Thatcher rather than the decades of non productivity driven by the left and, in particular, the unions. Inflation at 25% and increasingly unrealistic demands by a work force that was LOSING MONEY. Dear oh dear.

    I wonder what the Thatcher opponents hate the most? Was it:
    * making unions have to have a vote of THEIR MEMBERS before striking?
    * allowing home ownership?
    * opening up higher education to working classes?
    * winning in the Falklands?
    * winning (with Reagan) the Cold War?

    Or was it having the temerity to rule Britain as her democratically elected leader in place of Arthur Scarhill that really grated?

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  16. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    Total denial.
    The UK received over twice as much Marshall Plan money as West Germany did.

    Thanks JMS I hadn’t realised the UK received Marshall Aid – the common theme is that Britain had rationing through the 1950s as they assisted Europe to get back on her feet (in fact, I understand rationing was more severe post war, for a period, than during)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/marshall_01.shtml

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  17. tvb (4,327 comments) says:

    Saving the British economy is a limited interest to NZ though Gordon Brown has nearly wreaked it. But Margaret Thatchers legacy to NZ is her role in ending the Cold War. Now that is big.

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  18. Reid (16,227 comments) says:

    the common theme is that Britain had rationing through the 1950s as they assisted Europe to get back on her feet (in fact, I understand rationing was more severe post war, for a period, than during)

    The victors write the story and at that time, the Empire was in full force, in people’s minds. Only in the 50’s did the perception of reality amongst the people (which is where memes live) start to match the reality which had been readily apparent for years but denied by wishful thinking. That’s where that meme came from. The victors don’t notice it when it’s fed to them. The vanquished do, but who cares about them. :) But that’s how it works.

    But it also shows the total destruction through exhaustion of the old Empire and the rise of the new, the US. Now we are witnessing the beginnings of that same phase in US history. It’s 50/50 how things are going to play out for the good or the bad and there are a lot of miles to run, it has barely even started. But it’s started.

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  19. OneTrack (2,985 comments) says:

    “How the hell are these ‘right wing’??? Is it because you don’t want to associate the left with dictatorships? ”

    Yes, it is. And many people seem to be sucked in.

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  20. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    Didn’t Britain use its Marshall Plan money to nationalise industries? Great move that was!

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  21. Warren Murray (299 comments) says:

    Trotters piece made me laugh. He argues thatcher exploited divisions in the left to win. More people voted for Labour, the Liberals and SDP than Conservatives. he believes that if the left stood firm it would have prevailed. Funny considering the Libs are in coalition with the Cons at the moment.

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