Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Wednesday 10 April 2013

Mrs. Thatcher

'Divisive' is the word most often used to describe the Prime Ministership of Margaret Thatcher. In the context of politics it is not a very apt adjective because by its very nature, Politics is about differeing points of view, about a conflict of ideas. Were it not so we would have the impossibility, if not the ennui, of harmony and a consensus. What people mean, I think, harps back to the miners strikes and Mrs. Thatcher's determination to succeeed where her predecessor Edward Heath failed, to curb the might of the Unions, particularly that of the miners under Scargill.
Scargill, empowered by previous success seemed determined to take on the Government with strikes which were not universally supported in the industry. The first divisiveness was therefore caused by wranglings amongst the Unions themselves. There was division within families; some supporting Scargill and his ideological stand for Socialist Republicanism and others who merely wanted to get on and earn a wage. This again was nothing to do with Mrs. Thatcher and everything to do with the mentality of Unions that bullied their members into acquiescing to the strike. It was their insisting on enforced solidarity rather than democratic process that caused inter-familial tension, not Mrs. Thatcher. Nobody likes to be called a 'scab'. It is worth pointing out that not one miner was forced to work in the pits. Each and every one was able to exercise their right to self determination and move like many people in the Country at that time, including the author.
The Prime Minister clearly felt that the Miners were holding the Country to ransom with their demands. Blackmail if you like. Scargill's attitude was, do as I say or we'll turn off the lights. As we know from the Falkland conflict, Mrs. Thatcher's first priority in office was to protect the interests of the Country. If she saw a threat from the Argentine she also saw it in the militant trade unionism of the NUM. Only a small minority of people will find fault with this attitude and it is for this reason that one can dismiss with contempt the accusation of 'divisiveness'.
Again, I find the orchestrated wailing against the so called 'Poll Tax' to be based on ideological rantings from the left, supercharged to dangerously 'divisive' levels, not by Mrs. Thatcher but by a purulent Socialist press. We have left and right politics which nobody calls 'divisive'; indeed since Mrs. Thatcher's disgraceful ousting from office by men not fit to wipe her arse, even the Labour party re-invented itself to appeal more to the electorate.
I, myself, find myself at odds with some of what she did. I do not like the sale of Utilities like water, energy etc to private companies, particularly when they are sold to 'foreign' interests. I do not like the greater freedom in banking regulations which encouraged greed and cupidity but I understand she needed to kick start the nation into changing course from being the 'sick man of Europe' to a modern industrial force.
History will show her to have been one of the most inspiring of British leaders and it reflects badly on those who for their own ideological reasons seek to denigrate her in death. Compared to Mrs. Thatcher they are worms.

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