Even from beyond the grave ‘the Iron Lady’ still retains her grip on British politics. Nothing much has changed: well nothing radical in politics since the days of Margaret Thatcher and Britain seems either unwilling or unable to move on from the grip of Thatcher’s snatch and grab politics. Nothing much has changed even despite the interim Labour Government that ended her reign. Despite this her legacy lives on which was the end of socialism in Britain. This position was aided and abetted somewhat by the weak, poor excuse for a Labour Government of Blair/ Brown whose government actually changed very little because it had sold out on the Labour’s Party’s principles well before it actually got elected.
So why has the face of British Politics changed so little since the reign of Margaret Thatcher and in whose interests is this? Why do I get the feeling that she is still in control even from her grave? To my mind Margaret Thatcher and Adolf Hitler have got a lot in common. They have been the most divisive and right wing politicians in Europe of the last century but there the similarities end because The German Nation was quick to understand that after defeat in the War and the demise of Adolf Hitler it realised that it needed a new set of guiding values, principles and legislation. The old Germany of Hitler did not persist under new subsequent regimes. Germany had to re-invent itself and put right the wrong doing of those times and move forward. Conversely so for the U.K where the policies of a much despised premier have persisted outside her time in office through; a change in Tory Prime Minister, throughout a so called Opposition Government in office and well into the David Cameron years. In fact with Theresa May we can virtually guarantee that we basically get more of the same Thatcherite Policies. So what is it about our nation that makes us such suckers for this kind of grotesque punishment. Why can’t we learn harsh lessons from the past and move on in the same way the German’s did revoking the legislation that was immoral, covetous, harmful and divisive.
So why do we in Britain persist in with a model of government that is outdated and has failed to undo the harm that a distorted, twisted, mean and grotesque politician like Margaret Thatcher has done and is still doing to this nation. Why do we continue to endure legislation that was divisive, deceitful, greedy and grasping. Why are we still enduring and suffering through a model of politics / political system that has demonstrated time and again over successive decades and through numerous changes in governments an inability to work for the good of the country and for the benefit of all. Thatcher’s snatch and grab political philosophies still persist even today and her snatch and grab policies have remained unchallenged to date This is a great indignation and a shame on our political parties (in particular the Labour Party) because of so much lost opportunity to put to right the wrong doing of this evil politician.
Why It should be lawful & legitimate to take back control and ownership of the railways and Utilities
Here I am going to put forward a case for change and to suggest that a great wrong doing was instigated and overseen by Margaret Thatcher that cheated the Nation of the true value of the railways and the utilities and that it is the interests of the public and a Labour Government in particular to address these wrong doings and to put them right in the interests of the nation and for the public good.
It is within the bounds of reason to suggest that the office of Prime Minister holds a set of duties and responsibilities which are implicitly associated with such an office. It is the duty of the Prime Minister to act in the interests of the public and to be honest with the public. It is not a responsibility of a Prime Minister to deceive the public or to mislead the public or act in the interests of any other part than to represent truthfully and honestly the interests of the general public of the nation that they have been elected to serve. anything less than this is in effect a dereliction of duty and responsibility as a Prime Minister. I believe therefore that Margaret Thatcher acted outside the boundaries and responsibilities of her office in pursuit of her own agenda to persecute the working class and to defeat the unions and also acted in a way which showed a dereliction of her public duty because she attempted to deceive the public about the true value of the then publicly owned railways and energy companies.
It is my opinion that Margaret Thatcher artificially devalued these industries by cuts in public spending and small but consistent sell offs of these companies assets and imposed cuts to services. She was dis-honest with the public about the future profitability and viability of these companies in order to produce a mass sell off. This was not in the public interests as time has shown that these were and remain highly profitable industries of national importance. This was a complete and utter dereliction of duty as a head of State and Prime Minister for the U.K.. She steered and employed artificial forces outside mere market and economic requirements in order to manipulate public opinion in preparation to sell off these assets to private enterprise and the consequent profiteering that occurred as a result. She misled the public into believing that these were non profitable industries and a tax burden which has not proved to have been true. She actively went about deceiving the public as to the true value of these assets in order to sell them off cheap to those that could afford a share in these industries. This equates to deliberately misleading the public as to the future profitability and true value of these companies. She then led the public to believe that market forces and competition would ensure the best or better deals for the public. Despite such reassurances this never happened and these industries continue now to extort the highest prices for the poorest value. ‘Fuel Poverty’ is now a major symptom of the changes that were made by Margaret Thatchers successive governments. One of the symptoms of overpricing in the fuel market has been ‘Fuel Poverty’ which results in further exploitation by these utility providers because it then makes the recipients pay an additional charge to further cover the costs of providing a meter in a property. So how can that be fair when someone is in difficulty paying for fuel and the providers then slap on an extra tariff. Its downright immoral!
Now for some history of Thatcher’s Privations.
In as early as 1979 it was evident that Margaret Thatcher and her government had an agenda to run down investment in the railways as she went about asset stripping this industry in a stranglehold move to ensure that the railways became non profitable and a public burden. But Since Privatisation in 1993 we have seen the railways turning in profits because they are again able to invest in a portfolio of associated or non associated businesses. This is something that Thatcher prohibited them from doing prior to privatisation in an attempt to prevent them being successful and competitive. She was attempting to take away their means by which they generated extra capital. From this we can assume that Thatcher already had an agenda to privatise the Railways. However there was another motivation for doing this as well which stemmed from her hatred and fear of unions. The Union of Railway Workers that provided transport to the country was an important and strong union which she ultimately feared if if got involved with any other union. This could weaken a governments position and resolve and could have a much broader effect to the general public. This could weaken her resolve when battling other unions such as the Miners unions. Thatcher was probably mindful of the history of association between the NUR and ASLEF in support of her most hated Union the NUM (National Union of Mineworkers).
In 1979 both ASLEF (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen) and the NUR (National Union of Railworkers) had taken part in strikes associated with other transport organizations such as the TGWU (Transsport & general Workers Union) of Lorry Drivers. Fear was that her persistent persecution of Unions like the NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) Miners Union could result in associated affiliations amongst various unions such as transport unions. But the reality was that Thatcher’s plans could be upset by Unions so the best way to deal with threat was to seek to privatise all these industries – take away jobs, run the industries down in the run up to & in preparation for privatisation and make workers generally more vulnerable. Her ethos was that with less available jobs it makes those in work less willing to step out of line to help and assist others thus weakening Trade Union support. Thatcher was also extremely unforgiving of any previous strike action taken by any of the big unions and she wanted revenge. This revenge dated back as far as 1972 possible even earlier such was her hatred of Unions. Thatcher was mindful that of any strike action that could have a direct effect on the General Public because she understood that this could break a governments resolve if necessary services were withdrawn. Thatcher enlisted the police and made them readily available to her to carry out action in the event of such a catastrophe. In effect she made the UK a Police State where the force could be deployed by her at will to crush political opposition and deal swiftly with any social upset.
Historically, the British railways had been in state ownership since 1948, with the operating arm BR controlled by the British Railways Board (BRB). Under the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher elected in 1979, various state-owned businesses were sold off, including various functions related to the railways – Sealink ferries and British Transport Hotels by 1984, Travellers Fare catering by 1988 and British Rail Engineering (train building) by 1989.
Following the election of the Thatcher government in 1979, and the deteriorating economic situation, pressure was put on nationalised industries such as British Rail to consider asset disposal. It was not long before the BTH Hotels were under review. The management at the time, led by Peter Land, tried to establish a viable structure for a management buyout, which would have kept the group more or less intact and would have delivered a smooth transfer to the private sector. As Peter Land notes in his book Sauce Supreme, politics rendered this plan impossible and the hotels were sold by open tender, realising a much lower value for the UK taxpayer than the management buyout would have done.By 1984 the disposal was complete and the history of BTH was at an end.
All this was in preparation for the full privatisation which occurred in 1993 under Thatcher’s successor. However it appears that a lot of preparation was required to set up the railways for privatisation. So Thatcher’s deceit was extended and prolonged and the final resulting Privatisation did not occur until 1993 when John Major had assumed control of the Conservative Party.
Not so in case of the utilities like water and gas
Amid the early 80s recession, the Tories had begun to propose privatisation as a potential panacea. Conservative MP Geoffrey Howe extolled the “discipline” of the marketplace. The emerging doctrine was that privatisation would make the large utilities more efficient and productive, and thus make British capitalism competitive relative to its continental rivals. In this period, the government sold off Jaguar, British Telecom, the remainder of Cable & Wireless and British Aerospace, Britoil and British Gas. The focus had shifted to privatising core utilities.
This policy did not emerge out of nowhere; it was fully embedded in the Hayekianideas that had guided Thatcher and her cohort in opposition. But it did develop in relation to specific policy objectives. It was not just a question of stimulating private sector investment, but also of culture war intended to re-engineer the electorate along the lines of the “popular capitalism” vaunted by Thatcher, and announced in the infamous “Tell Sid” campaign.
Following the Tories’ third election victory, they were sufficiently confident to roll out their most aggressive privatisation programme yet. British Steel, British Petroleum, Rolls Royce, British Airways, water and electricity were among the major utilities for sale. These privatisations provoked serious opposition, perhaps sufficient to curb any tendency toward privatisation in the NHS. Nonetheless, market-driven measures continued to be imposed in the public sector, from the “internal market” in the health service to Major’s ill-fated citizen’s charter.
Thatcher Waged War on the Working Class
So instead of acting for the public good Thatcher used political office as Prime Minister to wage war on the working classes. This was her agenda and she was going to use all the means including necessary force by the police to get her way and wreak revenge on the Unions. She achieved this through a carefully considered plan to destroy unions and union power, to take away safety nets for the working classes (such as the benefits systems and other such parachutes such as workers rights – she achieved this mainly through the assistance of certain right-wing Newspaper Giants and their newspapers)’ through a system of privatisations and through a set of divisive policies designed to fracture and weaken the cohesiveness of working class and their loyalties to a Labour Party Movement in general. Margaret Thatcher pursued a system designed to provide her with the highest levels of unemployment in order to wage bargain the working classes towards the lowest rates of pay she claimed that this was necessary to fight inflation rates but in reality the position suited her admirably as she created a situation whereby jobs were scarce , traditional industries were being scaled-down, run- down or sold off. Her idea was turn the working classes into a cheap labour source willing to work for low rates of pay and while she did this she ensured that the national press was attacking the most vulnerable by using language such as ‘Benefit Cheats’ , ‘Benefit Scams’ etc which allowed her to erode the safety net of a decent and effective benefits System.
All this helped to her to divide the working classes as a cohesive unit as people were basically forced to climb over one another to find an escape route or safe haven. It became a egotistic society where you could only to look after yourself and your basic needs. She dangled carrots in front of elements of the working classes to buy their votes and further divide. She actively pursued to divide and fracture the working classes with a series of divisive policies and introduced a system to steal assets from the working class and the poorest in society. Her intentions were to deprive the working classes of a true stake in society and the assets of the country. She stripped the working classes and deceitfully devalued assets encouraging a sell of in these useful money generating assets which could have assisted in providing a useful welfare and benefits system and a 1st rate health service for those in need. Despite this she trashed the need for such things and encouraged the right wing press to turn on the poorest and most vulnerable in society. This was a level of evil almost equal to Hitler’s persecution of the Jews and employed in almost the same manner of expression & employed similar methods. Her ideas were to persecute the working classes and deprive them of any means of self-support and bargaining power and to commit them to a mere source of cheap labour at the disposal of market forces.
Laughter from Beyond the Grave
The final part of her agenda was to restrict political choice and kill off socialism or at least to create a political climate where it would struggle to exist. This she achieved through a mass sell off of state owned assets (companies such as the British Gas, the water companies, the electricity companies) in fact almost the whole infrastructure of the Nation. The ambition was to make it very difficult for any incoming Socialist Government to generate capital for other public projects such as; the Health Service, a viable and efficient Benefits System, or any other form of public investment or local council initiative. By selling off these already State owned assets Thatcher realised how complicated and expensive any buy back would be for any government that intended to try to offer the public any form of socialism so she cheated the general voting public out of any choice other than that based on Adam Smith’s interpretation of capitalism. Margaret Thatcher so totally stitched up the voters and the general public by limiting their voting choices available to them. Have you ever wondered why there seems to be so little difference between political parties these days: well that’s why and Margaret Thatcher is to blame. The Labour Party, to date, have not found a working solution around this problem. They have been unable to offer the voters a manifesto with any true socialist meaning. In fact Tony Blair gave up with this entirely when he convinced the Party to scrap it’s commitment to Clause IV of the constitution. At that point the Labour Party became just another political party cluttering up to the right of the political spectrum.
Limiting political choice or setting out policies and pursuing an agenda to limit or eliminate political choice is traditionally the behaviour of a Dictator or Totalitarian. That is how they operate and suppress choice and then they use the Army and Police to enforce the will of the Dictator. They then suppress the freedom of press and there you have it all stitched up. Sounds familiar!
The Foul Stench of Thatcher hangs over this Country still
Margaret Thatcher should have been vilified by now and her evil policies revoked for what they were. Instead many of her ideas persist even today. We have been left with her evil legacy which is now difficult to shift: so tangled is the web that this Spider Woman cast. The working classes still suffer as a result of her policies. This type of attrition still continues even today through a right wing press that was tolerated and encouraged by Thatcher for her own ends seeing the right wing picking on the weakest and the vulnerable in order to reduce the cost of the provision of benefits. Her asset stripping privatisations were not an attempt to deliver a fairer society it was a means to robbing the ordinary working classes of a proper share in society. To rob them of their assets and means of generating capital for public good or to provide good services (locally and nationally) and a useful Benefits System to help those with the greatest need. The aim of Thatcher was also to undermine any successive Socialist Governments and deprive them of a means to generate capital for public benefit. It was a way of imposing her system of government on the country forever and ensuring that Socialism could not be successful. Forever saddling us with this system of government in order to kill off socialism this was a part of Thatcher’s Agenda and this is still what prevails today. I can almost hear her laughing at us from beyond the grave. She has cheated the general public out of true and broad political choice. She has imposed upon us her systems of capitalism and she has created a huge financial hole in the economy which we are struggling to repair year upon year. She has saddled the tax payer with a huge tax burden which is like a One Way Street whereby we pay in but receive very little in return because there are no state owned industries or companies to make us any capital anymore. So we pay in but this is dead money that simply leaks out again and does nothing for us. Instead the money that we should still be making from these companies & industries just goes to a small amount of shareholders and fat cats.
Was it legal well no because I believe that she deceived and falsely manipulated market forces and investment in these publicly owned industries (or those under local authority control) to exert a level of control in order to manipulate public opinion. It was therefore a dereliction of her duty as Prime Minister to act outside what was in the public’s interests and instead to seek to establish and force her own agenda. It also deprives voters of a proper political choice and system of politics. It has constricted the ability of any government to make be able to form a choice of government based on the principles of socialism or incorporating elements of socialism. Thatcher has quite simply taken away choice in politics other than being forced to accept right wing political ideology and being subject to extreme forms of capitalism and market forces. Voters need to be offered other choices and ideologies other than Adam Smith’s idea about capitalism. Thatcher pressed ahead with an agenda to impose her will on political affairs and to eliminate anyone and anything that stood in her way which meant the working classes, the unions and socialist thinking. In many ways she succeeded in what she set out to do but its time that we came to our senses and came out of this coma to realise what she did was to eliminate choice and suppress the working class. Unfortunately even today this far on the foul stench of Thatcher hangs over this country still.
Thatcher’s Own Agenda was in direct conflict with her Duty as a Public Servant
Instead Thatcher’s Agenda was that she would use whatever means she had at her disposal to wage a war on the working classes and their affiliations through Trade Union memberships. Whatever means neccessary would include mis-representation and false accounting. Devaluing and running down industries and the creation of extremely high levels of unemployment. imposition of a system designed to favour outside investment and those with disposable capital (ie; the wealthiest in society) were allowed to gain strong political and monetary advantage to allow further exploitation of the working classes. All this facilitated by this vile, wicked and corrupt woman.
She also waged war on the classic institutions of the working classes such as trade unions and parachute systems designed to help the poorest in society such as the Benefits System.. Completely paranoid about her own power and those of the Unions she seeked to destroy workers rights and the Trade Union rights she used all means at her disposal to do this including the Judicial system, the Legislative System and the Police to enforce her will to break the power of the unions. The Police and became her private army at her disposal to break strikes. Ultimate Power, revenge and to bring the working classes to their knees were all a part of Thatcher’s Agenda
The Irony of Brexit
Perhaps one of the biggest ironies of Brexit is that the Brexit vote was in order that The U.K can have more control over its affairs yet the irony is that Margaret Thatcher’s policies have led to the largest amount of overseas ownership that we have ever witnessed. The UK and it’s facilities, utilities, housing and buildings & real estate and public corporations are largely now owned through overseas investment. So getting the foreigners out of the U.K has been made even more complicated and unrealistic than we have perhaps been led to believe by the straightforward simplistic view of the Brexit Campaigners. Perhaps voters that filled in the form with a tick to leave the European Union were not aware of this and even if Brexit leads to the result of less cross border immigration we still may be left with the legacy of Thatcher that a great proportion of our traditional industries and real estate is and will continue to be owned by foreigners. Follow this link to read more about this subject.>
Another irony of Brexit is that voters went to the polls believing that they were voting for real change. The number of people that attended the polling stations was staggering and much more than a general election. Some were voting because they just didn’t like foreigners some because they did not like the immigration policies and some simply because they saw it as an opportunity to make a choice or a political statement. I had the opportunity to speak to some and asked why they were voting some said that they wanted to make a statement of dissatisfaction with politics and that they were voting in this to do just that. When asked if they had voted in the general election they said no because they saw no political differences between the parties and it was pointless to vote because nothing much changes. Yet on this single issue they decided that they could make a difference by voting and that they were being listened to. So it is as I mentioned earlier voters see no differences between the various political parties because there is no difference or very little difference and this is a direct result of Margaret Thatcher and her policies. Due to Thatcher and with a contribution by Tony Blair as well, the choice for voters has been right-wing politics, far right or centre right. There is no left-wing choices available to voters anymore and as a result the voters have expressed dissatisfaction that there is no difference between the parties: whoever you vote for it’s all the same- so why bother to vote in general election at all and this is the attitude we see. Well basically and unfortunately they are right. There is no left-wing choices available because Margaret Thatcher has made it so impossible for any incoming government to adopt any effective forms of socialist policy. Margaret Thatcher put an end to democracy and political choice and expression with her privatising policies denying voters any political choices. Political choice became myopic.
My case rests with the opinion and conviction that Margaret Thatcher deliberately set out to mislead the general public and she actively pursued an agenda to wreak revenge on the unions and to divide the working classes by any means necessary. This involved selling off cheaply and without due regard assets that held future worth and profitability to the general public as a whole. This became just co-lateral damage on her crusade to wage a war against the working classes and the trade unions. This is in direct conflict with her duties and responsibilities whilst holding Public Office as a Public Servant because most of these actions can be seen to be in direct conflict with her duties and responsibilities towards the general public and the need to be fully accountable as a Public Servant. I am of the opinion that it was dereliction of duty as a Prime Minister to act in the way she did and a neglect of the duty of public office to have done so. The undervaluing or deliberate devaluing of assets belonging to the public was either done out of false accounting or as an act of gross negligence by her and her government ministers. Basically though neither of these are acceptable for a Prime Minister holding public office or an incumbent government. By holding public office and in Government there is a basic duty to ensure that the public are given all the facts and not misled, that said facts are truthful facts are not manipulated and that actions of the government and the Prime Minister are accountable. Therefore the subsequent action that took place was that the public was not given a proper information or indications as to the true value of the companies that were subsequently privatised by Margaret Thatcher and her Governments. There was a failure to audit these companies honestly and to provide evidence as to their true worth and future profitability. Whether this was manipulation, false-accounting or just a misguided ill thought out action( basically an act of incompetence then) it really does not matter. It may appear that it was a conscious act of deceitfulness by a government willing to force through an agenda at any cost and without regard to what was actually in the interests of the general public. Irrespective of what it was it appears that the act was not in the interests of the general public so could be considered an act of either incompetence, negligence or false accounting, or deceit , none of which are acceptable from a Prime Minister nor a government.
Also as a direct result of Margaret Thatcher’s policies voters have been denied any real political choices other than choosing some form of interpretation or manifestation of right-wing ideology, thinking and practices. No Prime Minister has the right to suppress political choice or political expression because to be seen to do so or to pursue a strategy to achieve such aims could only be interpreted as the act of a Dictator or Totalitarian. Margaret Thatcher through her policies has denied voters proper political choice and this is a state of affairs which must be addressed. In all respects there is surely a case now for the revoking and review of these major decisions that were taken by Margaret Thatcher and her successive Conservative Governments. Now more than ever before do we need to untangle ourselves from the restrictive policies and legislation that Thatcher cast as part of her evil spell.