by Pseud O'Nym
In my last post I made the bold claim that most of the ills that beset our country now have their origins in the pursuit of free market economics, not just pursued by Mrs Thatchers Conservative governments, but caught and accelerated past easily. Here, I’ll try and convince of that proposition. Successive governments have, to varying degree’s followed her example, but without her example would they have?
Or, if Thatcher had lost the Falklands War and then the 1983 general election, would Britain have been a less divisive place? Not just rich/poor, but North/South, black/white, a country where everyone felt that they were part of a much larger whole, not merely stuck in a hole that was not only getting deeper but fuller with people just like them.
In his magisterial biography of Hitler, “ Hitler: A Study in Tyranny”, Alan Bullock used a line to describe Hitler, which I’ve never forgotten because it neatly summed up what Thatcher was doing to the unions in the 1980’s. “He used the letter of the law to subvert the law’. Thatcher changed laws to better suit her political aims, then engineered a situation – the miners strike of 1984 – where she could use them. Anyway, here are but two of the ills that plague modern Britain, and I’ve used them to illustrate how Thatcherism has lead to this sorry state.
Higher fuel prices? The crushing of the miners, de-regulation of the energy market under the Conservative chimera of ‘competition’ which lead inexorably to the privatisation of energy companies eventually resulting in foreign ownership, increased bills and ever increasing profits. OK, a war in Ukraine didn’t exactly help matters, but the groundwork, the heavy lifting, had been done under Thatcher decades earlier.
Low wages, zero hour contracts and the gig economy? Using legislation to not only weaken the power of the unions but also strengthen the hand of the employers, using the fear of unemployment to induce workers to accept lower wages, longer hours, and worse conditions. Again, Thatcher.
Are you beginning to spot a pattern here? Change the law – especially labour laws – in favour of business by suggesting that the government is ‘cutting red tape and encouraging innovation’. Or ‘giving businesses the best possible chance to succeed’ Minimise state participation while extending the involvement of the private sector. Proof that Mrs. Thatcher was the worst thing to happen to Britain since the creation of the workhouse.
In my last post I I called Rishi Sunak ‘Richie Sunak’ This was my mistake and I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.
It should, of course, have been Stinking Richy.