Jump to content
The Education Forum

Thatcher, 30 years on.


Guest Stephen Turner
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Stephen Turner

It is almost thirty years to the day since Margaret Thatcher was voted into Downing Street as Prime Minister for the first time. what better time to start a thread on all her shenanigans, The Falklands war, mass privatisation, the Miners and print workers srikes, Northern Ireland and the hunger strikes, westmorelands and so on. Before we start here is a good article by Germaine Greer to set the stage.30 years of Thatcherism?

Typical, damn link is broken. Google either scoopit germaine greer, or Guardian greer thatcher.

Edited by Stephen Turner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is almost thirty years to the day since Margaret Thatcher was voted into Downing Street as Prime Minister for the first time. what better time to start a thread on all her shenanigans, The Falklands war, mass privatisation, the Miners and print workers srikes, Northern Ireland and the hunger strikes, westmorelands and so on. Before we start here is a good article by Germaine Greer to set the stage.30 years of Thatcherism?

Typical, damn link is broken. Google either scoopit germaine greer, or Guardian greer thatcher.

The most important thing she did to destroy socialism was to create New Labour. The great irony of British political history is that in 1997 Labour could have won for the first time with a left-wing leader, instead we selected a Neo-Con, Tony Blair.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner
It is almost thirty years to the day since Margaret Thatcher was voted into Downing Street as Prime Minister for the first time. what better time to start a thread on all her shenanigans, The Falklands war, mass privatisation, the Miners and print workers srikes, Northern Ireland and the hunger strikes, westmorelands and so on. Before we start here is a good article by Germaine Greer to set the stage.30 years of Thatcherism?

Typical, damn link is broken. Google either scoopit germaine greer, or Guardian greer thatcher.

The most important thing she did to destroy socialism was to create New Labour. The great irony of British political history is that in 1997 Labour could have won for the first time with a left-wing leader, instead we selected a Neo-Con, Tony Blair.

Tony Benns description of Labour as "Not a Socialist party, but rather a party with a few Socialists in it" is aposite in the extreme. After John Smiths death who would you have rather seen as Party leader John?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner

The first test of resolve.

Strikes that took place during Thatchers eleven years in power could, and should, have broken her Government. They failed to do so not because of Thatchers strength, but because of the terminal cowadice of Labour, and the Union leaders. In 1980, a steel workers strike threw the Government into crisis.

The steel workers sent out thousands of flying pickets which stoped the movement of steel across the Country, there was talk of a general strike throughout Wales, and the Midlands. Half of hr Government wanted to retreat. the Sunday Times panicked. " After a mere nine months in power the Government is in a crisis from which there is no obvious escape. But union leaders came to her aid, and after thirteen weeks, and for no obvious reason, called the strike off.

This was to become a recurring theme during her time in number ten. Once the strike was over the redundancies and mass closures began, further action was forstalled by hugh redundacy payments ( some as much as £100,000 by todays standards) payed for from North sea oil and gas revinues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner

The Falklands, a war made to order.

On 19th March, 1982, the Argentinian military Junta seized control of the Falkland Islands- plunging the Tories into crisis- the Government had precipitated the attack, by ending Britians already minimal military commitment to the Islands. Nobody in Britain was remotely interested in the Falklands, (an anacronistic throwback to the days of Empire) before the war. Two years before hardline Thatcherite,Nicolas Ridley, had even proposed a deal to share control of the Islands with Argentina.

But for Thatcher this was a chance to reverse her own declining Political fortunes. The decision to go to war was never in doubt. Cheered on by the Labour leader Micheal Foot, a task force was sent to "liberate" the British settlers.

By the time the Argentinians had surrendered on 12th June, over two hundred and fifty British troops had, along with one thousand (mainly conscipted Argentinians) died to keep Thatcher in power.

The Government lied at every stage of the proceedings, most infamously over the sinking of the Belgrano on 2nd May, when it was sailing away from the British imposed exclusion zone.

While this was only a small scale war, it had a huge Political impact. the conflict was amplified by a jingoistic media, led, predictably, by Murdochs tabloid guard dog the Sun. The war played a significant part in the Tories election victory the following year. It also made Thatchers personel postion within the Party unassailable for the best part of a decade.

Peace process shattered

It was on the 2nd May that the war, a war Thatcher needed, became inevitable.

2nd May, 1982. - UN, and Peru both try to initiate peace talks.

Peruvian President, Beluano Terry, presents a peace proposal to Galtieri who gives preliminary acceptance, with some modifications.

The General Belgrano is sunk thirty miles outside the eclusion zone, by the Submarine Conqueror on the orders of the war cabinet who claim self defense. 368 Argentinian sailors die, and any hopes for a peaceful settlement are sunk with the Belgrano.

Edited by Stephen Turner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner

The Ridley plan.

In 1974 the Tories drew up a plan as to how they might take on and defeat the Trade Union movement. The plan was quite thorough, and top secret, indeed it only became public when it was leaked to the Economist in 1978. It formed one of the major planks for Thatchers assualt on the British working class in an attempt to make them pay for the crisis in Capitalism that had been brewing since the late 1960s.

-The Governmemt should choose who, and when to fight.

-Group industries together based on assessments of how easy they might be to beat.

-Coal stocks should be built up at all Power stations.

-Supplies should be arranged via non union, foreign ports.

-Non union lorry drivers should be recruited.

-Coal/ oil duel fuel generators should be built at what ever cost.

-The State must cut of any supply of money to the strikers.

-Organise, and equip a squad of mobile Police to use riot tactics and snatch squads against the pickets.

When Thatcher came to power in 1979, far from as she claimed seeking a workable consensis, she was begging for a fight. ASnd by God she got one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...