Maggie Thatcher is Dead and I for one will not be mourning. In my opinion she is responsible for todays need for greed, a society of must haves, where the ownership of material items says more about an individual that that persons character. There are currently hundreds of articles, statements and eulogies on the net and I encourage anyone who is under the age of 35 to go and read them and form their own opinion.
My observation is one on todays politics, particularly as I have stated in previous posts that there are huge similarities in todays governments policies and those from the Thatcher era. The major difference is that society as it was in Thatchers days is no longer relevant today – as she destroyed it.
In her day the enemy of government were the Unions, and in my opinion the unions were too powerful, run by people who were content to take rather than compromise, with leaders who seemed to revel in their TV exposure and infamy…..a bit like a certain Mr Rotten J. However the manner in which she defeated them was to close their industries down, affecting not just a few activists but entire communities and the other surrounding businesses that relied on income from their local mine/steelworks/factory. She was ruthless.
So while she was raping the militants instead of managing them she appeased the rest of the country by allowing them to buy shares in British Gas and British Telecom. The great sell off began and those lucky enough to have enough cash to buy shares started to make money. More and more businesses got sold and more and more people were put on the dole queues. That didn’t matter because we were buying our social housing, our new imported cars and our shares. We made so much money through the profit made selling our council house that the fact that interest rates were between 6.5 and 17% during her reign didn’t matter…unless you were less well off of course.
Thatcher once said –
“They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. ” – in an interview in Women’s Own in 1987
This ‘people must look after themselves first’ philosophy was the driver to the self promotion we have in society today. This is the philosophy that drives us to the race to the top, to the endless need for greed, for self promotion and the complete disregard for others. In the 70’s there were no injurylawyersforU, suburban ghetto’s or big brother reality TV. But this is its legacy.
Todays Tories –
“The Big Society was the flagship policy idea of the 2010 UK Conservative Party general election manifesto. It now forms part of the legislative programme of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement. The stated aim is to create a climate that empowers local people and communities, building a “big society” that will take power away from politicians and give it to people. While some have responded to the policy favourably, its aims have been queried and disputed by other commentators”. – wikipedia
It would appear through the above statement that todays Tories are the opposite of the Tories of Thatchers day, but reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Its true that the unions are no longer a soft target, and there are no nationalised industries to sell off or close down, so how do they become the voice of the nation once more? By proclaiming that we need a Big Society where people have more power – while at the same time support the Bankers and attack the only people left that they can, those on benefits and public sector workers, oh, and while we’re at it we’ll blame the immigrants.
It is likely that if the Tories manage to stay in power then the NHS, all council services, emergency services and maybe even the Armed Forces will be privatised in one form or another. It is also highly likely that those in powerful positions will prosper in financial and status terms, and the poorer people in society will go back 100 years to the days of landlords and slums. Not the squalid twenty people in one room with no running water slums, but an expansion of the modern day equivalent of tower blocks, rubbish strewn streets and gangs of youths on every corner.
So where is this Big Society? How much money is being spent to encourage it, how much resource is being provided, exactly what is happening? ….. Ah yes, its up to the people not the government as Thatcher said ‘people must look after themselves first’. Thatcher may be dead but her legacy lives on.