RIP Margaret Thatcher

April 9th, 2013 at 6:37 am by David Farrar

has died, aged 87.

I was fortunate enough to meet Margaret Thatcher around a decade ago. It was an incredible privilege to meet the woman who I regard as the best post-war Prime Minister we have seen.

But what I remember most about that function, was all the young Eastern European politicians who got to meet her. Words can’t describe their emotions as they met one of the people they regarded as having been crucial in helping secure them their freedom.  She was to them, what George Washington was to early Americans.

Of course her respect and popularity was far from universal. She would be disappointed if she ever traded popularity for doing the right thing. There are many who battled against her policies. But people go into politics to make a difference, and Thatcher was proof that one person with conviction and strength can make a huge difference.

People forget how crippled the was economically when she took over. She put the Great back into Great Britain. Her greatest legacy is that after 18 years of Conservative Governments, the new Labour Government basically retained most of her policies – and in some cases Tony Blair pushed her reform agenda further. She forced UK Labour to abandon socialism and embrace the free market. ironically she helped make Labour electable.

She wouldn’t surrender to the Soviet Empire, the IRA, Argentina or the Mining unions. If she thought her cause was just, she stood by it.

Her legacy is not just what she did as Prime Minister, but getting there. She was the daughter of a shop keeper from Grantham. To rise to the leadership of her party and country was an extraordinary achievement for the 1970s.

The Daily Telegraph has a collection of quotes and reactions. A few to highlight:

Paddy Ashdown

If politics is defined as having views, holding to them and driving them through to success, she was undoubtedly the greatest PM of our age.

Lech Walesa

She was a great person. She did a great deal for the world, along with Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Solidarity, she contributed to the demise of communism in Poland and Central Europe.

Vaclav Klaus

Thatcher was one of the greatest politicians of our time, in the Czech Republic she was our hero.

Tony Blair

Margaret Thatcher was a towering political figure. Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader. Her global impact was vast. And some of the changes she made in Britain were, in certain respects at least, retained by the 1997 Labour Government, and came to be implemented by governments around the world.

As a person she was kind and generous spirited and was always immensely supportive to me as Prime Minister although we came from opposite sides of politics.

Even if you disagreed with her as I did on certain issues and occasionally strongly, you could not disrespect her character or her contribution to Britain’s national life. She will be sadly missed.

Ed Milliband

She will be remembered as a unique figure. She reshaped the politics of a whole generation. She was Britain’s first woman Prime Minister. She moved the centre ground of British politics and was a huge figure on the world stage.

The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength.

She also defined the politics of the 1980s. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and I all grew up in a politics shaped by Lady Thatcher. We took different paths but with her as the crucial figure of that era.

She coped with her final, difficult years with dignity and courage. Critics and supporters will remember her in her prime.

David Cameron

She didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country.

I think she will come to be seen as the greatest Prime Minister our country has ever seen.

Her legacy will be the fact she served her country so well.. She showed immense courage.

People will be learning about her for decades and centuries to come.

Boris Johnson

Very sad to hear of death of Baroness Thatcher. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today’s politics.

Her final years were very tough. May she indeed now rest in peace, secure in the knowledge she will never be forgotten for what she achieved.

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118 Responses to “RIP Margaret Thatcher”

  1. big bruv (13,932 comments) says:

    Well said DPF. She was indeed a great lady and will be very much missed.

    Of course her greatest achievement was the way she destroyed the union movement, for that alone she deserves to go down in history as one of the greatest.

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  2. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    A great woman, indeed. A giant of British and world politics.

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  3. MT_Tinman (3,204 comments) says:

    Great post about a truly great lady DPF.

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  4. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    “If politics is defined as having views, holding to them and driving them through to success, she was undoubtedly the greatest PM of our age.”

    Yes. That is what made her great.

    Having views and holding to them.

    Something held in complete disdain by the “pragmatists” who rule today.

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  5. Simon (728 comments) says:

    Thatcher ran a genuine right wing government which as a result UK living standards increased greatly. The left hated her for it as we will see in the coming days.

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  6. Akaroa (558 comments) says:

    She was Great Britain’s last Prime Minister of any intellectual stature and moral courage.

    She was succeeded by moral pygmies and political shysters.

    (And, yes, I do mean Tony Blair)

    RIP Margaret Thatcher.

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  7. johnbc (16 comments) says:

    Best of all she prevailed over the nasty hard left haters – like Malcolm Habrow for instance.

    No tears for Margaret Thatcher

    Margaret Thatcher is dead. Around the world tories will be weeping, and demanding that others share their grief. Fuck them. Thatcher was a horrible person who inflicted terrible suffering on the UK, and her victims will rightly be lining up to piss on her grave. But while the woman is dead, her political project lives on – and its that we have to kill.

    Meanwhile, we can rejoice in the final irony: the woman who declared that there was “no such thing as society” died a hypocrite, receiving an enormous state pension and £100,000-plus a year in “expenses”. And she’ll be getting an enormous state-funded funeral. If she stood by her beliefs, rather than just espousing them as a mask for hating the poor, she’d be paying for it all herself.

    Posted by Idiot/Savant at 4/09/2013 01:31:00 AM

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  8. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    Margaret Thatcher was a giant among international politicians. She will be remembered for her strength of character and holding fast to her convictions which is more than we can say for many today. RIP

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  9. toms (299 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  10. Tauhei Notts (1,724 comments) says:

    Coincidence
    Akaroa writes about moral pygmies and political shysters, just minutes after Radio Live sought comment from Bryan Gould on Baroness Thatcher.

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  11. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    A political colossus has fallen; rest peacefully Baroness Thatcher.

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  12. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    I don’t see why anybody should be wailing except the Left. She lived to be 87, and lived a fuller life than any of us could hope to. No tears necessary on that count. Today I am celebrating her existence and her many victories over socialism and collectivism. She has left an amazing legacy which has not been reversed. The fact that the Left think merely outliving her is some sort of achievement is sad, but frankly just proves that Thatcher was on the side of Right.

    God bless Margaret Thatcher!

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  13. EAD (1,128 comments) says:

    The left hate Mrs. T. because she blew the gaff on their big lie. Their big lie is that they desire is a society in which everyone gets their fair share. They don’t. They want a society where insiders prosper at the expense of outsiders.

    Mrs. T. on the other hand was a meritocrat. She wanted the marketplace to be as unrigged as possible so that everyone had a fair go. In this she championed the individual against the big battalions (something the left claim to do, but in fact do the exact opposite). She wanted workers to be able to go to work and earn good money for the benefit of their families, rather than being laid off repeatedly because Red Robbo had staged another politically inspired strike in the body shop of British Leyland Motors, and the entire supply chain had had to shut down.

    The left hate her because she was the champion of the low paid. In the 23 years since the miners’ strike I have yet to hear an explanation of why the standard of living of the lowest paid in the country should have to be depressed to keep more highly paid miners in jobs where it was impossible for them to be economic. Why should the cleaner, the dustman, the security guard have to pay more in tax, so that a miner can toil in a pit with insurmountable geological problems?

    The Labour party (so called although they stopped representing the interests of labour over 30 years ago), its acolytes and its apologists hate her because she threatened to make the Labour party irrelevant. She lowered the ladder so that those at the bottom could get on by their own efforts. The Labour party requires that there be a bipolar society of “haves” and “have nots” with a large gap between them to justify its very existence. Without this condition there is no role for a party which claims to be the tribune of the poor and the disadvantaged. It is no coincidence that in the 13 years of a Labour government social mobility declined, Labour were pulling up the ladder.

    RIP Maggie

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  14. Dirty Rat (383 comments) says:

    The Princess of our Hearts

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  15. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    And look at the reaction from those who would destroy us.

    A picture paints a thousand words,look at the state dependant,totalitarian losers.Like the Arabs who danced at the Twin Towers outrage.Disgusting.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305760/Margaret-Thatcher-dead-George-Galloway-leads-chorus-celebration-left.html

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  16. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    What a politician, what an MP, what a Prime Minister… what a woman!

    What a shame the movie ‘The Iron Lady’ had such an… undertone (IMHO)

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  17. Longknives (4,767 comments) says:

    Kowtow those pictures made my stomach churn- ‘Impromptu Street party’ after the death of an 87 year old woman? The left really should be ashamed of their pathetic selves…

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  18. EAD (1,128 comments) says:

    James Delingpole wrote a great tribute to Mrs T in todays Telegraph. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100211088/lady-thatcher-was-a-statesman-blair-and-cameron-are-mere-politicians/

    Some excerpts below:
    “For me the essential distinction is that between being a statesman and being a politician. Maggie was the former, Dave is evidently the latter – as, I think was Tony Blair. One of the key differences between the two lies in their attitude to personal popularity. To the politician it matters greatly, for the primary aim of the politician is to gain and maintain power at regardless of what cost to his principles. To the statesman, however, the political process is little more than a necessary evil. What matters to the statesman is striving to do what they believe is right rather than what is merely popular or expedient – even if, as in Maggie’s eventually defenestration by the Tory wets led by Heseltine, this results in being kicked out of office.”

    “Time and again there were moments in Margaret Thatcher’s career when political expediency would have demanded that she soften her position…….She was proved right every time, of course,……why….what she believed in was old-fashioned commonsense. Or, what you might more sophisticatedly call “first principles”. So, for example, if thrift and hard work and self-discipline and honest aspiration work well on a household level, then the likelihood is that they’re going to work on a national level…..The Lady was not for turning because the lady had the courage of her convictions.”

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  19. Pongo (372 comments) says:

    I was privileged to have my formative years when she was elected. Also remember what Britain was like before her, Dad was only allowed to work 3 days a week and his marginal tax rate was 98%, constant power cuts, rubbish piles 20 foot high and half the country on strike.
    Aside from the truly amazing job she did with the economy it was her ending of the Cold War which was one of her greatest achievements, we lived two miles away from British Aerospaces biggest research facility which would have been ground zero for missile strikes, hard to get your head around from a NZ perspective but it was a very real worry for us Poms.

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  20. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    She was to them, what George Washington was to early Americans.

    Sort of. Not really. We now know that Thatcher worked hard to try and prevent the breakup of the Soviet Empire because she feared the destabilisation it would bring to Europe. So kind of like George Washington if it turned out Washington secretly tried to keep the US as a British Colony.

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  21. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    Malcolm Harbrow and other such mental pygmies hate Margaret Thatcher because like Lee Kwan Yew, she showed the world that socialism is a fraud, promoted by cowards and hucksters.

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  22. Swifty (26 comments) says:

    A sad day indeed. Rest in peace dear lady. We will never forget you and all you stood for.

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  23. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Many of Thatcher’s opponents have the intelligence, maturity, and charity of spirit to recognise her strengths, while strongly disagreeing with her politics. And, of course, there are her other opponents (like toms and johnbc) who seem capable of nothing more than indecent, spiteful hostility. What will be hear from them next – a suggestion that she be buried at sea next to bin Laden?

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  24. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I loved the special look she gave that was able to make a person crumble. She often turned the strongest opponent into a blithering mess without saying one word.

    A fantastic role model for all females – a symbol that woman can, with the right attitude achieve anything they aspire to.

    She is fortunate, she will never be forgotten. A great lady that will go down in history as one of the best.

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  25. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Like David, I also met, and worked, with Baroness Thatcher in London (1992). Here’s my personal reflections…

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/rip-baronesss-thatcher-my-personal-experience-of-her/

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  26. adaman (41 comments) says:

    RIP Maggie Thatcher.

    But I am lolling hard at the amateur mistake made by Stuff where their headline title is Iron Curtain Falls. Major fail by the loony lefties who run that place.

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  27. lazza (381 comments) says:

    Tony Blair (Lab) of Maggie (Con) …

    Says: “As a person she was kind and generous spirited and was always immensely supportive to me as Prime Minister although we came from opposite sides of politics.

    Even if you disagreed with her as I did on certain issues and occasionally strongly, you could not disrespect her character or her contribution to Britain’s national life. She will be sadly missed”.

    Says it all for me really … generous praise … accurate retrospective. More of the same from “us” on Kiwiblog please maybe?

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  28. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Morning report a few minutes ago had a number of verbatim comments from people in the BBC. Most sad for her passing & praising her staunch convictions. Then also referenced the trade unionists and miners, who were … err… not quite so charitable. The new reader’s comments: “So equal views on both sides.”

    No, not really, you can’t equate the Unions & Miners on one side with the entire remainder of the UK populace.

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  29. CHFR (229 comments) says:

    I have been quite stunned by the reaction of some, now former, friends to the death of an 87 year old lady. Love her or hate her you knew where she stood and what her principals were and the fact she would stand by those principals no matter how much the polsters tried to make her change.

    We have recently had the death of that great socialist Chavez and I am fairly sure I didn’t see right wingers the world over dancing and partying I guess maybe we take a more grown up view.

    Brendan Oneil, not a noted right winger sums it up best I thunk.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100211120/anti-thatcher-animus-speaks-volumes-about-the-isolation-and-insignificance-of-the-modern-left/

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

    Don’t usually speak ill of the dead, but I’ll make an exception in this case.

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  31. mandk (998 comments) says:

    Pongo
    I was also in my formative years when she was elected.
    Before she came to power, Britain was a dreadful place, run by clueless socialist politicians and union bullies. Economically and politically Britain was a complete basket case.
    She completley trasnformed the country in a little more than a decade.
    Unfortunately, however, the vermin who are now celebrating her death are still there, and they emerged from the sewers right on cue (see Tom Jackson above).

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  32. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    In her convalescence and death, I hope she experienced a little of the fear and pain that her policies wrought upon the millions of “uncompetetive” working people left permanently out of work, those who paid the price of her ideas about what utopia should look like.

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  33. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    When the Falklands War broke out a NZ dive suit manufacturer on the Kapiti Coast cancelled a pre-existing order of suits that the Argentinian navy had ordered. Thatcher was always fulsome in her public praise of the NZ company for doing this.

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  34. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Danyl,…NIT.PICK

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  35. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    It comes as no surprise that the card carrying socialists have emerged from the swamp to reveal their true colours.

    One of the most influential British Prime Ministers of all time has died and yet they attempt to turn an Obituary into a political points scoring exercise.

    But all they’ve managed to achieve is confirm their lifetime status as total morons.

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  36. James Stephenson (2,191 comments) says:

    I think I’m probably the only “Thatcher’s Child” on here (?), her first election was the first General Election I remember and the first post-Thatcher General Election was the first time I voted.

    If you didn’t grow up in the UK in the 70’s and 80’s, it’s probably difficult to grasp the extent to which my generation has been conditioned to despise Maggie, from the BBC-dominated MSM (hell we didn’t get Channel 4 until 1982) to the “Alternative” comedy of Ben Elton et al, there really was no dissenting voice and judging by my Facebook feed this morning I seem to be almost unique in having grown up and got some accurate perspective.

    How some people continue to believe that Britain would have been a better place with policies that the likes of Arthur Scargill and Derek Hatton approved of, just plain bemuses me.

    I won’t say RIP, because I’m an Atheist and it makes no sense, but Maggie, thankyou.

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  37. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Pongo: Great comment. No-one younger than about 45 can really understand what the economy was like – as much here as in Britain – in the late 70’s, when union power was at its height. In Britain, the print unions effectively controlled the newspaper industry; the miners the coal mining industry; the railwaymen the railways. The stories about print “workers” spelling each other so each could have a two hour sleep during their shift, and phantom workers whose pay was divided among the rest are not legends, they are true. That is why Wapping in the Isle of Dogs is the heart of newspaper production now, and not Fleet street.

    Thatcher – largely single handedly – broke the domination of British unions who didnt give a rats about the effect of their strike action. I recall, as does Pongo, see rubbish piles 20 feet high (about 6 metres for those too young to have seen them), with rats running around them in daylight, in British streets in 1976.

    Sadly, dismantling the disgraceful economic edifice created by unbridled union power led to some painful side effects. But then so did amputating a gangrenous leg in the days before antibiotics and anesthetics. It also saved the patient’s life. It was that bad in Britain in the 70’s, and not much better here. Well done Mrs T.

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  38. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    wineoh

    If the BBC claim “equal views on both sides ” it’s only because they present the “news” in the manner their particular (left) ideology demands.

    The “News” is no longer news ,it perhaps should be renamed “Views”.

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  39. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Here here James.

    I think DPF actually downplayed the GB Maggie inherited – it was falling apart at the seams, quite literally. The fact that in 3 terms she managed to not only stop that but to make them great again is testament to her ability. She was, IMHO, the finest PM ever in the history of GB, bar none. Cometh the hour, cometh the (wo)man.

    I happened to be staying at the Grand about 6 months after the bombing in Brighton, and got talking to the doorman who was there when it all happened. He had nothing but praise for her.

    One of my employees is a young – 23 – Irishman. His comment this morning made me laugh – “hope she rots in hell”. Hes too young and stupid to realise that without Maggie and what she did, he wouldnt be here in NZ, by choice, doing what he does. And given he was a baby when she was doing it, the fact that he holds that opinion amazed me.

    I shall be dusting off the book tonight and reading it again. The woman was truly a giant amongst men, many of whom were not good enough to carry her handbag.

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  40. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    Like you David I met her once, a lifetime ago, when I was involved as Electorate Chairman in one of the shires.
    It is her brilliant grey/blue eyes that I will forever remember – she could look right through, you if she wanted, as she did with many who opposed her.
    Very sad day – a great Prime Minister

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  41. Sector 7g (242 comments) says:

    Her greatest legacy is that after 9 years of Labour Governments, the new National Government basically retained most of her policies – and in some cases John Key pushed her reform agenda further. She forced NZ’s Nationals to abandon capitalism and embrace Socialism. Ironically she helped make National electable. RIP- Helen Clarke.

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  42. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    hmmok –

    Yes she put the country on economically the right track, and when I look at how strident the unions are even here today I am in no doubt that it took someone exceptional strength and dedication to do what she did. But it did not all come at no price. And the price of her “heroism” was borne by others, not her.

    That “gangrenous leg” she cut (as David Garrett delightfully described it above) was actually millions of *people* who lost a hell of a lot of what they had.

    If their children are still carrying bitterness about it, maybe that says something about them, but maybe it also says something about the impact of Thatcher’s ideas on people’s lives?

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  43. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    One of my employees is a young – 23 – Irishman. His comment this morning made me laugh – “hope she rots in hell”.

    Fire the young and stupid bastard. Immediately.

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  44. James Stephenson (2,191 comments) says:

    If their children are still carrying bitterness about it, maybe that says something about them, but maybe it also says something about the impact of Thatcher’s ideas on people’s lives?

    One wonders if those children are also still bearing grudges against their mums for being made to take bad-tasting medicine when they were little…

    Thatcher gets the blame for “killing” the coal and steel industries, but in actual fact she just switched off a life support system the country could no longer afford.

    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/1497/thatcher_s_achievements_will_long_outlive_the_spite_of_sheffield_s_sons_and_daughters

    Oh, and I have two words for anyone who thinks what she did to the Unions was a bad thing: British Leyland

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  45. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    RRM, we saw similar here under Roger Douglas. It was a pity that the enfeebled Lange was thinking with his cock that he hadnt seen for 30 years and had a cup of tea.

    Hell, I lost jobs during that time, and ended up buggering off to the US and Europe, best thing I ever did. The GB economy was a view of where NZ was going, and thankfully we never got there. When the rot sets in, its best to enforce a rapid turnaround, otherwise the patient will slowly and happily rot to death.

    Manolo, I keep him on because he makes a bloody great coffee and my female customers swoon over him. Nuff said really :)

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  46. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Her greatest legacy is that after 9 years of Labour Governments, the new National Government basically retained most of her policies.

    Key Difference© 1
    National made it a policy pledge not to do too much in the first term. UK Labour did not.

    Key Difference© 2
    The policies NZ Labour instituted were easy; free money and government jobs for ALL. The policy the Tories put in place were HARD.

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  47. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    That “gangrenous leg” she cut (as David Garrett delightfully described it above) was actually millions of *people* who lost a hell of a lot of what they had.

    I notice that these “millions of *people*” also voted in their millions to return her to office twice, then voted to return her successor. If Thatcher was so terrible and hurt so many people, why did they keep voting for her? The answer was that she actually improved so many people’s lives. The ones whose lives weren’t improved were the Leftists, the trade unionists, and the special interests. Unfortunately they were the ones screaming the loudest.

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  48. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    Harold Wilson’s Labour government closed one mine a week. Thatcher increased the subsidy and then accepted coal was finished even though Scargill told Parliament the losses should be limitless!
    Under Thatcher the UK saw growth, increased wages and a higher standard of living. No wonder they kept voting for her.
    But the Left propaganda machine is relentless and has the media in its thrall. Lazy thinking controlled by a ruthless machine of lies and rewritng of history. We see it here in NZ and our Labour propagandists are unblushing in their lies.
    Yet in the truly socialist countries of the former Soviet Union she is seen as a hero for helping to liberate them.

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  49. Craig (22 comments) says:

    What would have Great Britten been like today without her? Greece/Cypress, except drizzly.

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  50. mandk (998 comments) says:

    You just don’t get it, do you RRM?
    When Thatcher came to power, the UK economy was hopelessly uncompetitive, because of the likes of Wilson, Callaghan, Feather and Scargill.
    There had been successive devaluations to try to fix things, but they didn’t work.
    Sooner or later there would have been economic collapse and many more millions of people would have been unemployed than was actually the case.
    Relative to the rest of Europe, the UK economy then was in a worse postion than Greece is now.
    At the time, the UK economy was in a hopeless mess, while the rest of Europe was flourishing.
    Greece is in a mess now, but so is much of the rest of Europe.
    Thatcher saved the UK economy and, in doing so, she gave millions of people propserity and opportunities they would not otherwise have had.

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  51. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    That “gangrenous leg” she cut (as David Garrett delightfully described it above) was actually millions of *people* who lost a hell of a lot of what they had.

    That’s what happens when the Government props up an unprofitable business or industry; people assume it will last forever, they build their lives around it, rationally ignore all opportunities to cross- or up-skill, and then try to use force (political and physical) to ensure the industry keeps getting propped up. But at some point someone has to pay the piper.

    The only reason MILLIONS of people were affected, instead of thousands or hundreds is because of the previous government deceptive practices. They told all those people that this industry was growing, that it was safe. They are the ones to blame for the gross mis-allocation of resources.

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  52. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    Some of the comments here are making me cringe.

    I think its dangerous to lionise politicians in death. They aren’t saints.

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  53. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ‘But people go into politics to make a difference, and Thatcher was proof that one person with conviction and strength can make a huge difference’

    The main difference she made was to drive a deep division down the middle of British society.

    She was sadly out of touch over the reunification of Europe and she greatly hindered the Irish peace process.

    Thatcher is a great argument for a proportional election system, without the FPP system she would never have been elected, in 1979, 1983 & 1987 the Conservatives were about 5-10% behind the combine Labour/Liberal percentage of the vote.

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  54. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    RRM: Whether or not you like my “gangrenous leg” analogy, You are old enough and smart enough to know that the things I outlined are all true – and much worse. Union leaders of the time – like Scargill – had a much bigger agenda than advancement of their members’ interests; in fact you could argue that they didn’t give a damn about the membership. Except of course as a source of funding.

    Can you imagine what unilateral nuclear disarmament in Britain might have led to in the 70’s, at a time when Breshnev and Andropov – former director of the KGB – were in charge at the Politburo? Among other disastrous policies, that’s what Scargill and his mates supported. It literally doesn’t bear thinking about…and I write as a former (and unrepentant) anti nuclear protestor in this country.

    Those aresholes wanted nothing less that the fall and subjugation of Britain, either by communist revolution from within, or much worse from without. Thatcher fronted up to them and defeated them.

    gump: Quite right, neither she nor any other politican was a saint. Perhaps that is why she declined the full state funeral she was offered, and opted instead for one with military honours.

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  55. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Then dont read them gump. Dont think anyone has said she was a saint. Hell, the poll tax had me out on the streets along with a great many of others. A clusterfuck of the first degree.

    But as noted here, she turned the ship around. If Scargill had had his way, a new Marxist dawn would have arisen. It took Maggie to front him and what a great job she did.

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  56. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    mandk (63) Says:

    You just don’t get it, do you RRM?
    When Thatcher came to power, the UK economy was hopelessly uncompetitive

    mandk, DG – no, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely get that! As an owner of a British Leyland product and an enthusiastic student of their history, I am well aware of what the unions were like there.

    And you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette. Or in this case, break a few factory workers.

    But if you are any sort of humanist at all, then you can’t break them and then expect them to sing your praises at your funeral.

    “Thank you, Saint Margaret, for getting rid of the only industry I’ve ever known, so that others may prosper…” not going to happen, is it? ;-)

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  57. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    The main difference she made was to drive a deep division down the middle of British society.

    Because British society up to that point was the picture of togetherness and harmony. BULLSHIT.

    And the subsequent re-elections prove that it wasnt “down the middle”. The split division was between special interests and the rest of society.

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  58. James Stephenson (2,191 comments) says:

    On the other hand we can probably lay the blame for UB40 at her feet :D

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  59. Ross12 (1,432 comments) says:

    CHFR —“We have recently had the death of that great socialist Chavez and I am fairly sure I didn’t see right wingers the world over dancing and partying ….”
    Very good point !!!

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  60. Ross12 (1,432 comments) says:

    Andrew Bolt has a series of videos on his thread about the death of Margaret Thatcher. Have a look at the one near the bottom –an interview with the Aussie journalist George Negus. That is how you pull up a journalist who is obviously stretching a point ( to put it mildly). A few of our polis should take note.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/thatcher_dies/

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  61. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    Hey, I celebrated the demise of the tyrant Chavez with a few single malts! :-)

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  62. Harriet (4,979 comments) says:

    “….A fantastic role model for all females – a symbol that woman can, with the right attitude achieve anything they aspire to…

    And a bloody solid inspiration to some males too…..

    …….her only son Mark went out and hired a merchant army to invade a Soveriegn State – and for his own financial gain! :cool:

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  63. mandk (998 comments) says:

    thanks for the clarification RRM
    apologies for reading you wrong

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  64. Harriet (4,979 comments) says:

    Just look at the state that England is in!

    And then look at what that useless prick Cameron is doing as the leader of Maggies old party!

    She died of shame! :cool:

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  65. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    A fitting tribute: http://michellemalkin.com/2013/04/08/the-iron-lady-passes-margaret-thatcher-r-i-p/

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  66. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    @ kowtow, Actually it was the Radio NZ news reader that said that, but absolutely I get your point around the evolution of news media. It is hard to pick an absolute point where it transformed into opinions and rhetoric, but has been a steady decline. Radio NZ actually tends to be one of the most neutral when it comes to the news (not necessarily other content though) reporting actual facts and quotes rather than innuendo.

    This morning they also had a case of (possibly accidental) unbalanced reporting with an interview with one a “QC about how the proposed laws breach international law” which turned out to be an activist protester who was part of the Mururoa Atol contingent, full of fire & brimstone about how it is against natural justice. They since put the link on the online sound bite to read ‘veteran protester says law change not needed’ but that wasn’t how it was presented on-air:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2551426/veteran-protester-says-law-change-not-needed.asx

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  67. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    Margaret Thatcher was the greatest Prime Minister Great Britain ever had.

    Don’t forget the loose New Zealand connection through Denis Thatcher.

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  68. Carlos (683 comments) says:

    It took Margaret Thatcher’s death to show me how many of my Facebook friends are classless, left wing scum. :(

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  69. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    hmokr

    I hope your rude Mick stays long enough and applies to become a NewZealand citizen.

    The prick will have to take an Oath Of Allegiance to our Queen.

    that’d be a sight.

    bwahahahahahaha

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  70. Dirty Rat (383 comments) says:

    James Stephenson (1,406) Says:

    April 9th, 2013 at 10:09 am
    On the other hand we can probably lay the blame for UB40 at her feet

    On the other other hand, we can celebrate Ghost Town by The Specials.

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  71. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Carlos: A young chap, are you?

    The closest event to this here in NZ is the recent death of Dr Peter Tapsell, a former Speaker of the NZ Parliament, and as I recall, a damn good one. He was elected Speaker from the ranks of the opposition – a most unusual move. When he died there was not one word of condolence from his fomer socialist colleagues, either in or outside the House. He had become a “class traitor” you see, so was down there with “scabs”.

    I recall getting the loudest hissing and booing in the House – and that is saying something – from my former brothers on the left when I mentioned in speeches being a former union official and worker. On the left, no-one is allowed to grow up, to evolve, to change ones views, or heaven forbid, no longer espouse the leftist ideology.

    To do any of those things leads to bitter opprobrium – no matter what else you might have done.

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  72. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    Maggie T’s impact both on Britain and on the world was undeniably huge however many of her convictions and policies that were partly derived from the thinking of Friedrich Hayek, have not survived her as evidenced by the panicked rush towards the ideas of Maynard Keynes in the wake of the financial crisis. Would a politician like she was be elected today? Probably not.

    I do have one question: When Deng Xiaoping died in 1997 many government buildings and even regional and district councils in NZ put the flag at half mast. Will we be doing the same for Margret?? We did it for a communist dictator, why not for an outstanding democratically elected parliamentarian and Prime Minister especially one that was the PM of the home country of our sovereign

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  73. Jinky (185 comments) says:

    I was another child of Thatcher’s time. as stated above she did divide the country but not so much along class lines but along national ones. Scotland NEVER voted for her and this failure of democracy is a leading reason for the rise of the SNP. Her refusal to even discuss Northern Ireland with Sinn Fein continued the troubles for at least a decade longer than necessary. The Falklands “war” which revived her popularity in time to have her elected for a second term could have been prevented by diplomacy rather than aggressive rhetoric by Britain and Argentina. Her defence of the fascist Pinochet showed her true colours. As for her war on the “enemy within” and appointment of McGegor to the NCB in a bid to “smash the miners”. An honest inquiry into that period of police brutality, illegal wire tapping, false evidence etc would be as productive of scandals as the Saville story of today. I’m proud to say I stood on a picket line alongside miners in support of their legitimate protest against being locked out. It WAS NOT A STRIKE.

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  74. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Jinky, a little bitter at how all your choices were rotten ones are we ? Of course Scotland has NEVER voted conservative in the modern era, Labour only gets elected because of the disproportionate scottish votes.

    But it’s worth remembering what it was about Jinky’s Britain that Thatcher came to power to surmount:

    By the mid-1970s, Britain was widely regarded – choose your favourite cliché – as the Sick Man of Europe, an economic basket case, ungovernable… In [1978] the year before Thatcher came to power, Britain, upon whose empire the sun never set, endured the Winter of Discontent. Labour unrest shut down public services, paralysing the nation for months on end… Rubbish was piled high on the streets of Britain that winter, and so, at one point, were human corpses. The Soviet trade minister told his British counterpart, “We don’t want to increase our trade with you. Your goods are unreliable, you’re always on strike, you never deliver.” This was what had become of the world’s greatest trading power.

    From Claire Berlinski’s “There Is No Alternative”: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters

    So of course before Thatcher, it was all “sweetness and light”, key evil but hysterical laugh,

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  75. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Add this to, something worth watching is the series Tory! Tory! Tory!, I believe it’s available on teh interwebs if you search.

    And I’d add that most people seem to have forgotten what Arthur Scargill was really like. Quoting from David Thompson (great blog !), who is the source for the previous post as well:

    “For instance, some people seem to have forgotten just how despicable, delusional – and dangerous – Mr Scargill was. This is a man who repeatedly advocated violence and coercion (even against his own union’s members), who approved of the Soviet invasion of Hungary, who fawned over Stalin, who aimed to position the unions, not the electorate, as the country’s preeminent political force, and who thought himself entitled to “abolish capitalism.” Having previously toppled the Heath government, Scargill didn’t hesitate to attempt a repeat performance. Toppling elected governments by force was, apparently, his prerogative.

    At the time of the 1984 miners’ strike, Scargill made his ambitions for Britain clear in the pages of the communist newspaper, The Morning Star: “Capitalism is an obscene system that deserves to be overthrown.” And Scargill thought himself just the man for the job, which would entail “the nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange” and state control of the media. This would all be part of an “irreversible shift towards a socialist system.” Scargill was very fond of the word “irreversible” and used it frequently. As Berlinski notes, “irreversible” is often a far left euphemism for “no more elections.” ”

    Scargill also accepted money from the USSR to support his political campaign, and denied it for years.

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  76. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Willie racist Jackson celebrating her passing. On radio. My god.

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  77. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    union hack and well known racist jackson blah blahing on the radio about the evil Thatcher..gawd he’s a tool..

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  78. pseudonymous (74 comments) says:

    Am I the only “Jackson” with taste.
    I know I’m not related to the Mother******, and I hope I’m not to the other one.
    The UK was stuffed and mounted before she came along-gave them some pride and a better future.
    Tom Jackson-you sully the name of my great grandfather-you prick!!

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  79. MaxG (7 comments) says:

    Jinky has misremembered. It was indeed a strike, not a lock out. The Falklands war was a real war – no need for scare quotes – and it was started by the Argentine military junta for domestic political reasons. But never let facts get in the way of such a long-nursed hatred.

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  80. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Some small people have revealed themselves to be even smaller than we thought
    with their comments regarding the passing of Margaret Thatcher.

    One of these small people would be Clare Curran, Labour MP, from Dunedin.

    (who took over the seat from Panty Slut Boy)

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  81. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    What did she say?

    Although it’s hard to imagine Clare Curran being any smaller than I think of her, no matter what she says. She’s not fit to be stuck to the bottom of Thatcher’s shoes.

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  82. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    By the way, where is Panty Boy these days? Overseas biding time and awaiting the next election?

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  83. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    Not unexpected: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305760/Lefts-chorus-hatred-Champagne-streets-students-union-cheers-vile-internet-taunts.html

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  84. Ross12 (1,432 comments) says:

    The Greens are normally firing out press releases by the minute –I may have missed it but I haven’t seen anything about the passing of Maggie Thatcher. The other day Norman was trying tell John Key about diplomacy !!!

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  85. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    For all of those people voting my comments down, I say again that Thatcher wasn’t a saint. No politician ever is.

    Her public defense of Pinochet after his arrest in the UK was particularly galling.

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

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  86. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    Wow Jinky we must have been living in different countries.

    Unions which had been a huge force for good became branches of the communist party. My parents, uncles and to a lesser extent aunts all worked in union closed shops. Comrade was uniformly used by the officials. Strikes were called against the wishes of the workforce most of whom were more scared of the unions than any fear of the employer. Union officials were often those who had an eye for themselves and typically were the lazy b****ds.

    One of my many uncles worked for the Merseyside Docks & Harbour Board and received amazing pay for very little work – he used to talk about how it had gotten silly and that it would all end in disaster. He was right. There were lots of similar situations.

    I once got physically threatened by a union employee as I did a semi-skilled job (took about a week to learn it) when I was a student that previously was filled by union members. They got moved on in to more managed roles in associated company as they used to sleep in the equivalent of a giant warming cupboard and drink all day while operating power tools. They boasted of this to me,

    Factories were already closing prior to Thatcher getting in. It was often cheaper to close the factory and ship the machinery to Germany of all places.

    Thatcher got voted in because enough people had had enough of the unions mainly. I knew an awful lot of working class people who voted for her or not for Labour for the 1st time in their lives.

    I don’t appreciate the way she went about it as she pretty much gutted the North of England in a very short time. Something needed to happen, obviously, but I always believed it could have been done in a less destructive manner. But she did have the gumption to address it.

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  87. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Manolo,

    it appears that those on the left will happily cry “misogyny” when it suits them, but are happy to indulge in it when it suits.

    Those on the left like to lecture us on showing compassion, being respectful of others, and about being ‘adult’ in political discourse. It appears, however, that those on the left are hypocrites.

    The next time a lefty says that someone like Gillard is being attacked because she is a woman, or Obama because he is black, point to this day. On this day, the left revealed its true self.

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  88. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Slijm: (Where do they get these names?) I used to believe – and probably still do to an extent – that the Rogernomics reforms of the 80’s, which followed “Thatcherism” to a large extent, were more brutal in human terms than they needed to be, and perhaps could have been done more slowly. I used to discuss this with Roger Douglas often. Roger told me that if anything, if he had his time again, he would have moved more quickly. His reason for that was, he said, that he always knew there would be great disruption and pain for people in the short term, and the best way to deal with the casualties – railway workers for example – was to give them generous payouts and a DCM so they could get on with their lives as quickly as possible. He told a couple of good stories about guys who had physically threatened him at meetings when things were hot who later came up to him in the street and shook his hand, saying they had established businesses or retrained using the payout money, and they were happy as Larry.

    I dont know if Thatcher’s reforms – e.g. mine closures – were accompanied by generous redundancy payments, but the fact remains, as you say, the place was f…ed unless drastic action was taken. History – how things could have been done better – is always a great teacher.

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  89. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    TVNZ Six News.Those tossers at TVNZ must have had a real laugh deciding to run the death of MrsT after a non story about brutality in 2011 in a Tongan boarding school.

    They also managed to miss out her late husband’s NZ connection,either they didn’t know (not a surprise ,as they are shit) or it’s another snub as anything marginally connected to NZ gets the biggest beatup those mental midgets can muster.

    They hate conservatives.Long past time to sell shithouse TVNZ.

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  90. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Very balanced coverage on TV1 6pm news tonight.

    Going to see what TV3 has to say at 7pm on the one hour delay.

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  91. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Balanced coverage on TV3 too.

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  92. Longknives (4,767 comments) says:

    TV1’s coverage was disgraceful. The biggest news story in the World and they relegate it to a minor interest piece on how Britain is “Divided” over her legacy…
    Compare this to the fuss they will make when Mandela passes away- I predict now that Wendy Petrie will be wiping the tears as she reads…

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  93. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Longknives – I thought the article was appropriately placed within the context of what New Zealanders feel is important.

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  94. Longknives (4,767 comments) says:

    Hamnida- A World leader and legendary political figure died today. Regardless of your political affiliations or what you thought of her this is pretty big news. Slightly bigger than the hardly earth-shattering revelation that Tongans like to bash their kids around..

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  95. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Longknives – I see New Zealand as a member of the South Pacific, not Europe.

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  96. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    So, Hamfisted…since South Africa is almost as far away from the Pacific as England, I presume when Mandela goes you will expect the item to be somewhat down the order on One News, Your News?

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  97. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    Longknives – yes as expected TV1 news ran the line ‘divided the country’. She didn’t divide the country; she won by a land slide in her first election and the Poms soon saw that the country was better off with Thatcher, and it was, for years. She modernized the economy, arguably making the worst off better off. Why they ran this after the Tongan school-who-gives-a-fuck story I don’t know.

    Yes there was a growing disparity between rich and poor, just like right here right now but that’s what you get when the State starts turning the oxygen down on the bludgers a bit before everyone suffocates.

    Jinky, no shit Scotland never voted for her; the Scots were all on the dole then as now.

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  98. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    When Saint Nelson goes it will lead what passes for the news on TV1.
    They’ll get Irene fan Dyke to reminisce and we’ll be treated to NZ’s unique roll in ending apartheid(all by itself) with a guest appearnce from Comrade Minto.

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  99. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    David Garrett – I think we all know Mandela’s passing will lead on news stations at home and across the World.

    It’s a bit insulting to compare Mandela to Thatcher don’t you think?

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  100. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Manolo 3.44

    There is only one thing that would bring Panty Slut Boy back.
    If he ever heard that someone had beat his record for enduring having the heavyest weight suspended
    from his scrotum.
    His greatest acheivement, set some years ago at the Dunedin BDSM club and one he would be most
    keen to defend.

    Unlikely to be supassed, therefore unlikely we will see him again.

    (By the way, this is not a joke, he does hold that record.)

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  101. Nostalgia-NZ (5,221 comments) says:

    I’m sure your kind comments about somebody’s balls in Dunners will go down a treat at Maggie’s shove off bereal. Good work.

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  102. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    OK Nostalgia, fair point, wrong time, wrong place, sorry.

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  103. big bruv (13,932 comments) says:

    Speaking of terrorists….

    I near kicked the TV this morning when I saw that murdering Irish Catholic bastard Gerry Adams saying that Thatcher caused the deaths of innocent people.

    If there is one grave in the world that I would love to piss on one day it will be Gerry Adams.

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  104. Reid (16,513 comments) says:

    We’re all stunned, bereal.

    So many questions.

    Anyway, Thatcher was onto Hayeck even before Douglas was. She used to visit him at his research institute in London, and her Hayeckian policies were responsible for the world economy as we know it today because the whole of Europe watched as she took on the unions and won, and the rest is history.

    Would we ever go back?

    If Keynes is so great, how come China doesn’t use them? How come China uses Hayeck?

    If you want a leader who showed the world how to be gracious and humane but left untouched the dysfunctional disaster surrounding him which has condemned millions of his brethren to unending crime and grinding poverty, look to Mandela.

    If you want a leader who took the world by the scruff of the neck and showed by example what real change is all about which left a legacy of countless millions better off, look to Thatcher. Some leaders say their job was to leave the job with the country no worse off than when they left it. Maggie had none of that timidity. She had more guts and more drive than anyone else in the world who make their way to the top table of their respective countries when she was there. She had more energy than Reagan and more perspicacity than Mandela.

    She was a great, not a good, but a great leader. And very very very few, ever make that grade.

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  105. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Ham Sandwich: NO, as a matter of fact I don’t…but just for the record, I think Mandela is a hugely important political figure whose passing will rightly be well noted…For those of us old enough to remember – and I suspect you are only just – pretty much everyone expected a blood bath when the blacks took over in SA…that there wasn’t was probably largely down to his mana…whether that calm will survive his death, we will soon know.

    But Thatcher is no less important, albeit in a quite different way. If as I suspect, you are some undergraduate whose just got on top of the pimples, it won’t mean much to you. But glance back through the comments today on just what the UK was like in the 70’s…I have done that, and none of those comments are in any way exaggerated…what was once the leader of an empire upon which the sun never set, reduced to “the sick man of Europe”; an international bad joke, where unelected communists like Scargill called the shots, and dreamed of making the place a vassal of the soviet union….to turn all that around, albeit with some considerable pain; I think that puts her up there at least with Mandela….but I am intrigued to know why you think differently..

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  106. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @DG

    already explained the name as you made practically the same comment before about it – it is a real word – your memory is going

    Redundancy based on tenure was pretty much the norm in the 70s and early 80s – the issue would be worse than that as closing down a mine for instance was pretty much the death knell of any village built around it. Liverpool lost hundreds of thousands moving for jobs (and to get away from the crime), which meant house prices were deflated with corresponding loss in ‘wealth’. Of course house prices where the jobs where were always greater anyway before any deflation. Many of the working class suburbs of places like Liverpool would have frequently had 5 or more generations of a family most of whom lived within a mile of each other. A lot was destroyed. Yes it needed to be fixed but no real attempt was made to facilitate any transition.

    What is rarely mentioned in economics where the examples of efficiency never include transitional, failed transitional costs or sunk costs. This is a gaping hole and hides an awful lot of costs. To me this implies that there is value of attempting to facilitate transitions rather than dump in deep end and being asked to hold on to a bunch of rubber bricks.

    So, no, I think an approach that tried to deflect some of the pain would have been better – not that she may have had the chance of course because of the election cycle – plus she did not really need Liverpool, Manchester et al to vote for her to get back in.

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  107. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    slime: (sorry the other version is too hard to type)…that’s very interesting, and makes a lot of sense…add to that I guess the fact that Britain – or at least the Britain I lived and worked in during the late seventies – was a much less mobile society…meeting guys who had never left Scotland, and for whom going to London was as daunting as a trip to Australia was an eye opener…uprooting guys like that and telling them there were plenty of jobs to be had 500 miles away if they did a year’s retraining must have been very daunting…

    I dont know anything about economics, or “transitional costs”, much less “failed transitional costs”, so perhaps for those of us less knowledgable on such matters you could opine how Britain could have been reformed less painfully?

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  108. Reid (16,513 comments) says:

    For those who haven’t seen it, Commanding Heights has a section on Thatcher’s visit to Lech Walesa of the Solidarity Movement in Poland at the time they were teetering on the edge of being arrested by the authorities. Thatcher’s visit was a critical element in giving them credentials that avoided that fate. Of course, to the lefties, this means nothing, does it. No, Hamnida would no doubt have preferred his Soviet mates to have thrown Walesa into the cells, which shows how much lefties care about fweedom, doesn’t it.

    INTERVIEWER: We interviewed Margaret Thatcher and her officials, and she told us that when she came to Gdansk, she met you. It was the high point of her entire time in office. I was wondering if you could tell us your memory of her visit, how you first met her, and where you took her around Gdansk….

    INTERVIEWER: She said that when you met with her and Father Jankowski at the church, that was very moving, and people were lighting candles and singing the national hymn. Why do you think that other members of Solidarity were so moved by her visit? What did she represent?

    LECH WALESA: I must say that without that meeting with us, with me, without this visit of Mrs. Thatcher’s, it would have been very difficult to do anything at all, and I don’t even know if we would have won. Thus it was, among other things, that this visit was the link in our whole chain carrying us to our victory. Without one link there is no chain. Mrs. Thatcher is a big link, and she certainly, if we were to count it up, helped us very much in our struggle. But how can one calculate it? That is very difficult, but it is necessary to remember that without this visit there would be no chain leading to victory.

    INTERVIEWER: Why was it such a link, such a nucleus?

    LECH WALESA: You cannot say a nucleus, but an important chain. There is no chain without a link. Mrs. Thatcher was highly respected in Europe at that time and in the world and also in Poland. You did not refuse Mrs. Thatcher. Nobody refused her; therefore noticing us, forcing a meeting with others and me was a very important thing. However, as I have already said, it is impossible to count or calculate this into percentages. It is like [this]: I presume that you, just like us, do not ponder about the fact where the bones of your four-times great-great-great-grandfather lie buried, but without him you would not be here. I would not be here if it wasn’t for those five-times great-great-grandfathers. He was so important for you to be here, but do you think about it? No. The same here. There would not have been a victory if it were not for this meeting, because there would be a pause, greater difficulties, or our destruction. But as I say, to calculate this is not possible today; however, it cannot be forgotten.

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  109. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    I’m just glad Cher’s ok.

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  110. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @DG

    Try SB if that works for you

    The standard efficiency example in economics is that if it costs nation 1 $20 to make a carpet but $15 to make chair and nation 2 $15 to make a carpet but $20 to make a chair we are both better off if 1 make chairs and 2 carpets i.e specialisation works

    This has several assumptions such as being based on a static and not changing environment, that I can make 2 things and switch between the 2 etc etc

    In reality people make the carpets and a carpet maker normally has to retrain to become a chair maker – he will have reduced earnings while retraining – there may be no chair jobs within travel distance of where he currently resides (with a mortgage) – he may be getting on a bit and he will struggle to get employment etc etc – there are so many complexities this example does not even touch the real world other than being a good rule of thumb as a state to aim at.

    If someone succeeds in transitioning jobs it will almost certainly have a load of transitional costs involved.

    If he never transitions then he’s the dole for an awful long time especially at that time in the UK.

    Less painfully? focus on jobs – lots of jobs disappeared – lots of people needed to reskill – make that cheaper – there aren’t enough chippies? Make chippy apprenticeships cheaper – if I need to move to get off the dole – help me move – provide a hire van – there are so many opportunities to make it easier and therefore more likely – I am sure many are unworkable but no attempt was made that I saw when I lived there.

    Thatcher did see this as much a war as the likes as Scargill did and tended to focus on winning the war and not what to do about the survivors once the war was won.

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  111. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    What is rarely mentioned in economics where the examples of efficiency never include transitional, failed transitional costs or sunk costs.

    Replace “What is rarely mentioned” with “What I rarely hear” and you would be more accurate. Its almost as silly as the people who say, “Economics is fine in a perfect world, but it doesn’t deal with externalities*”.

    Sunk costs don’t matter. They are sunk. There is no point throwing good money after bad. If your dog drowned in the flooded river you dont send your kid in to retrieve the body.

    Transitional costs (which includes failed transitional costs) would have to be VERY significant to overcome the money being wasted at an accelerating rate at that time in the UK. But there is also a question of equity; why should the teacher in Manchester pay for the people in Sheffield to live an unchanged lifestyle?

    The industry was dead, there was no saving it. That’s sad for the people in that industry, but thats life. You are acting as if there wasnt any social welfare in the UK, or no jobs centre, or no training available. That stuff was all there as standard. You dont need to reinvent the wheel.

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  112. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    The standard efficiency example in economics is that if it costs nation 1 $20 to make a carpet but $15 to make chair and nation 2 $15 to make a carpet but $20 to make a chair we are both better off if 1 make chairs and 2 carpets i.e specialisation works.

    That is how it is how comparative advantage is explained to children.

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  113. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @Kimble

    You miss the point I feel

    actually the transitional costs were very large – there were several hundred thousand extra people receiving the dole for an AWFUL long time – that’s not cheap – as I agree were the costs of the various uneconomic industries – coal being the prime example. No-one other then true left wingers are suggesting keeping dead industries going.

    However, outside of some exemplars such as coal it is more likely that a number of the other industrial jobs lost were more likely to be uneconomic because of other factors such as stupid union remuneration agreements, a culture of being work shy – these would not be anywhere near as fundamental as the fact that coal was basically f**d.

    Sunk costs do matter as there are sunk costs in associated matters that have some relationship to the industry but still have some value – e.g. the sunk cost (one of many) individuals have in houses that have value still as they still keep you warm and dry etc. Not all sunk costs are dead.

    All I am saying if you bother to read it a little more carefully is there is a difference between burning down the building and getting the furniture out 1st.

    “We I rarely hear” is true as they do not know how to address them and it gets in the way of one of the fundamentals.

    Try Home Counties and Manchester – Sheffield was better off than Manchester and Sheffield would be contributing more than Manchester.

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  114. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    “That is how it is how comparative advantage is explained to children”

    I got the level right then….

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  115. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Not all sunk costs are dead.

    Yes, they are. That’s the definition of sunk cost. They’re costs that can’t be recovered.

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  116. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    For all of those people voting my comments down, I say again that Thatcher wasn’t a saint. No politician ever is.

    Her public defense of Pinochet after his arrest in the UK was particularly galling.

    Pinochet is a hero. He made Chile the most prosperous country in South America, disappeared a bunch of commies (who mostly deserved it by the way) and voluntarily relinquished power once he had done his work. Why shouldn’t she defend him? Without Pinochet, Chile would be Venezuela without the oil.

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  117. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    Obviously, due to Clause 28 of the Local Government Act, I disagree with the comments made about Mrs Thatcher above. That’s probably why I’m more sympathetic to poor old John Major than many of the rest of your thread contributors- at least he reduced the gay male age of consent from twenty one to eighteen, thanks to the sterling work of reformist Tory MP Edwina Currie. I think Major’s contribution to British politics has been sadly undervalued. He didn’t deserve the amount of destructive white-anting within his caucus and party organisation that ensued after Thatcher’s resignation and I hope that when his time comes, the positive aspects of his contribution to his party under arduous and trying circumstances are recognised.

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  118. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @Kimble

    “Not all sunk costs are dead.

    Yes, they are. That’s the definition of sunk cost. They’re costs that can’t be recovered”

    no the definition of sunk costs is that they can’t be recovered – they are only dead if they are not productive.

    “e.g. the sunk cost (one of many) individuals have in houses that have value still as they still keep you warm and dry etc. Not all sunk costs are dead.”

    Please read what I write and try to avoid the little voices in your head.

    I feel like I am in the Monty Python argument sketch

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