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A soundbite on Thatcher...

by Metatone Tue Apr 16th, 2013 at 12:20:18 PM EST

In The Guardian, Lucy Mangan has a good column on her personal experience of growing up in the Thatcher era. It's worth reading in full, but I'd like to draw attention to one little section:

Lucy Mangan: why I won't forget Margaret Thatcher in a hurry | Life and style | The Guardian

At school, things started disappearing. Milk, obviously. Playing fields. Sports and science equipment, overhead projectors, art materials broke, wore out, got used up and weren't replaced. When I started school, there was a textbook per pupil. By the time I left, we were down to one for every two or three.

It feels to me that this is the essential soundbite truth about the Thatcher era, stepping away from complex calculations about the speed of change in various industries and policies:

Thatcher's governments mortgaged Britain's future to buy electoral success.

  • Cutbacks in education damaged the long term prospects of people and the country as a whole.

  • North Sea oil and gas were frittered away on political projects and tax cuts.

  • Add your own examples below.

  • Privatisation at cut rates brought in money for now, but left the country held at ransom by private companies who could charge and charge.

  • NHS reforms killed and maimed people, imposing costs in the future. And more complexly, undermined the pathways of care, saving money in the short term, but storing up long term problems.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 16th, 2013 at 12:22:30 PM EST
She made it possible to unleash the torrent of selfishness that we are all enduring now.

I only have very little memories of the times before her of course (my first datable memory is of the first week of September 1978), but from what I read and hear, the current set of values was certainly not mainstream in the 60s and 70s. Selfishness has gone to such extremes that I struggle to find words to describe it.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Apr 16th, 2013 at 02:11:19 PM EST
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 16th, 2013 at 02:32:51 PM EST

    Here richly, with ridiculous display,
    The Politician's corpse was laid away.
    While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
    I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.

    Hilaire Belloc

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Apr 17th, 2013 at 08:13:24 AM EST
A very good essay actually

Guardian - Russel Brand - 'I always felt sorry for her children'

One Sunday recently while staying in London, I took a stroll in the gardens of Temple, the insular clod of quads and offices between the Strand and the Embankment. It's kind of a luxury rent-controlled ghetto for lawyers and barristers, and there is a beautiful tailors, a fine chapel, established by the Knights Templar (from which the compound takes its name), a twee cottage designed by Sir Christopher Wren and a rose garden; which I never promised you.

My mate John and I were wandering there together, he expertly proselytising on the architecture and the history of the place, me pretending to be Rumpole of the Bailey (quietly in my mind), when we spied in the distant garden a hunched and frail figure, in a raincoat, scarf about her head, watering the roses under the breezy supervision of a masticating copper. "What's going on there, mate?" John asked a nearby chippy loading his white van. "Maggie Thatcher," he said. "Comes here every week to water them flowers." The three of us watched as the gentle horticultural ritual was feebly enacted, then regarded the Iron Lady being helped into the back of a car and trundling off. In this moment she inspired only curiosity, a pale phantom, dumbly filling her day. None present eyed her meanly or spoke with vitriol and it wasn't until an hour later that I dreamt up an Ealing comedy-style caper in which two inept crooks kidnap Thatcher from the garden but are unable to cope with the demands of dealing with her, and finally give her back. This reverie only occurred when the car was out of view. In her diminished presence I stared like an amateur astronomer unable to describe my awe at this distant phenomenon.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Apr 17th, 2013 at 01:19:19 PM EST
Damn that's good stuff:
"We didn't just break the strike, we broke the spell." The spell he was referring to is the unseen bond that connects us all and prevents us from being subjugated by tyranny. The spell of community.
It always irks when rightwing folk demonstrate in a familial or exclusive setting the values that they deny in a broader social context. [...] Thatcher's time in power was solely spent diminishing the resources of those who had least for the advancement of those who had most.
Is that what made her so formidable, her ability to ignore the suffering of others?

by Number 6 on Mon Apr 29th, 2013 at 04:56:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cancer in human form ... this is what happens when it metastasizes. Never good for the host.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Apr 18th, 2013 at 03:43:02 PM EST
I remember that - sharing textbooks. And then tatty photocopies. And then sharing photocopies because photocopying was restricted. Things just being generally broken.
by TYR (a.harrowellNOSPAM@gmail.com) on Mon Apr 29th, 2013 at 07:25:18 AM EST

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