What's wrong with Thatcher?

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,143
South of the barcodes
The trouble is that people like simple arguments and sooner or later the finer points get lost in the bad examples.

The perfect case is privatisation. British Rail was appalingly bad, confusing as they are the current companies are better but the decison to split rail management and ownership from train operators just put in too much competition.

Telephone privatisation has been one of the success tories of the past three decades, phones are cheaper, technologically more able and for a long time due to commercial pressure and a good technology base British companies have been among the world leaders although we still can't manufacture the **** things.

Gas. Dont even go there, yet another mixed bag where technological advance has been good but the pricing structure has become a nightmare.

Mrs T has become the poster girl for every fault a company has made over the past 20 years and for every good point depending on your political persuasion.
 
Jun 2012
779
If you choose to use oil, you destroy coal, obviously
And you believe the switch from coal to oil (and gas) is something to do with a deliberate Tory policy against the miners?

So most foreign commercial and warships still run on coal? First world railways still use steam trains? Europeans heat their houses by burning coal? Europe still has large numbers of gas works turning coal in to gas?

The switch to oil and gas happened around the world. It happened because oil and gas are cheaper and easier and more convenient.

as you do if you insist on destructive reparations in cheap coal from Germany
Britain didn't get coal from Germany, as reparations or otherwise. Some other European countries did, France for example, which hit British exports, but it's not something Britain did. Coal imports in to Britain didn't begin until we joined the EEC in the 70s.

Who is talking about 'industrial production'? If you sell off everything to thieves they will make money fast as they run it down and then get out, as you know, and as they did, which ends production.
OK. Only production didn't end, did it? It continued to increase. It wasn't until the disastrous policies of the New Labour government (borrow vast amounts of money, take on vast numbers of public sector workers, pay them more than the private sector could afford) that manufacturing started to decline in Britain.

As you also know, the tories built up the City, because that wasn't dependent on democracy,
The Tories built up the whole economy. Manufacturing and services both increased sharply. In 1997 manufacturing accounted for more than 20% of UK GDP, financial services 5%.

By 2009 manufacturing was down to around 11% of GDP, financial services was around 10%.

You are blaming Thatcher for the policies of Blair and Brown, not for what her government did.

It's a real pity that some people can't or won't see that this is NOT Tories good (or bad) and Labour bad (or good), but a political monoculture. And one which is corrupt from end to end.
OK. All politicians are corrupt. But your description of all things bad as Thatcherite makes no sense. It's tautology.

The defining policy of Thatcher was to shrink the state and reduce government spending. The defining policy of New Labour was to expand the state and increase government spending. How you can argue those are the same thing is utterly beyond me.
 

funakison

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,370
Between a rock and a hard place
I am worse at economics than i am at history, so i am not going to debate GDP, industrial output or the growth of the service industries.
All i will say is that the huge amounts of monies dervied from the sale of nationalised industries together with the revenues of north sea oil gave this country a one off opportunity to invest in its future and that golden opportunity was missed, the wealth of the nation was frittered away on unsustainable tax cuts.
 
Jun 2012
779
Taxes as a percentage of GDP:

1977/78 - 34.1%
1978/79 - 33.1%

1990/91 - 34.9%

1997/98 - 35.1%

Where are these huge tax cuts?

UK government spending as a percentage of GDP:

1977/78 - 45.6%
1978/79 - 45.1%

1990/91 - 38.9%

1997/98 - 38.2%

Thatcher didn't cut taxes, she cut borrowing.

(all figures from the Guardian)

And just to show how silly it is to compare New Labour to Thatcher:

Taxes
2005/06 - 35.9%
2009/10 - 34%

Spending
2005/06 - 41.2%
2009/10 - 47.7%

The gap between spending and income grew again under New Labour, even at the height of the boom. When the recession hit the government had spent so long on a debt binge they had no way of recovering. Britain had the 3rd highest deficit in the EU (Greece and Ireland were in a worse position, Spain and Portugal were actually better placed than the UK to weather the recession. All needed bailouts, apart from the UK)
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
Quoting statistics instead of understanding the impact and ideology of such policies is like impersonating a squid. You're just squirting ink.

When will your type understand that the job of Government is NOT JUST to run the economy, regardless of the impact. They are there to represent US- the MASSES. A country is not a balance book, it is made up of real human beings who suffer when Government screws up. When it becomes Government policy to make the majority, or even a sizeable minority suffer, then there's something very wrong.

And kindly drop the "Tories good, Labour bad" childishness. You're fooling no-one here.
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
The defining policy of Thatcher was to shrink the state and reduce government spending.
Wrong. The defining policy of Thatcherism was redistribution of wealth upwards, destruction of industry, trade unionism, the working class the increasing Government centralisation and the mightily mistaken belief that Britain can be the world's middle man.

The defining policy of New Labour was to expand the state and increase government spending. How you can argue those are the same thing is utterly beyond me.
Wrong. New Labour continued where Thatcher and Major left off. They created Government jobs in order to create employment lost due to Thatcher's ideology. Only a fool would believe that service industries could employ on the scale industry did.

 America the Third-World Nation in Just 4 Easy Steps

That article refers to America, but holds even more truth here in the UK. THAT is what successive US Governments are "defined" by and that is what "Thatcherism" is defined by and - do try to understand this, it's not difficult- those of us with brains rather than pointless statistics regard New Labour as Thatcherite.

A kick in the balls is marginally better than a kick in the throat. I'd sooner have neither.

As for statistics- what kind of fool gives them much credence? They're manipulated, squeezed and just plain wrong. Using statistics, we can "prove" than the average human has just one leg: the most we can have is 2 legs. The least, no legs. The mean is therefore 1. Pure nonsense, no?

No, Governments are more than just a balance book. If you want me to "fix" the economy, I could do it tomorrow:

1. Execute all people who are retired, disabled or not working.
2. Execute all those who dodge tax (not a bad idea, actually)
3. Seize all assets of those who attempt to leave the UK in a sulk over these measures. (Why not? The Nazis did this)
4. Shoot the Royals and all others on the civil list.
5. Start using our armed forces only for defence of the UK and avoid getting caught up in other people's wars.
6. Enforce all tax laws to include everyone.

Vote Black Dog! Off to the Gulag, the skis are over there!
 
May 2012
506
Thatcher cut the income tax for the rich, from 80% to 60%, and increased indirect taxes for everyone(VAT went to 15%). She cut spending to education and increased university tuition fee's . Punishing people who couldn't afford it ,as well as ruining public education. She decreased expenditure on housing(selling off council houses) which has dramatically driven up the cost for buying(and renting) and made it harder for people to find a house without borrowing massive amounts of money from banks. She also destroyed millions of jobs when she commenced her ideological privatization/destruction of all nationalized industries and mines.

Her legacy is a massive amount of social problems, that will take years or even decades to remedy. But there is no hope in sight, the leader of new Labour can now openly agree with Thatcher with no repercussions. Ah well, the rate of borrowing went down at least.
 
Last edited:
May 2012
506
Quoting statistics instead of understanding the impact and ideology of such policies is like impersonating a squid. You're just squirting ink.

When will your type understand that the job of Government is NOT JUST to run the economy, regardless of the impact. They are there to represent US- the MASSES. A country is not a balance book, it is made up of real human beings who suffer when Government screws up. When it becomes Government policy to make the majority, or even a sizeable minority suffer, then there's something very wrong.

And kindly drop the "Tories good, Labour bad" childishness. You're fooling no-one here.
I thought you were leaving us? :lol:
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
I thought you were leaving us?
My ranting muscles were getting flabby :) I did say it was just a month or three, but this is a break in my work schedule. Nose back to the grindstone for the weekend. If Photoshop is a grindstone.
 

Similar History Discussions