21st August 2018
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Politicians react to Thatcher death

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Politicians and union leaders have responded to the news of Baroness Margaret Thatcher’s death.

The former Conservative Prime Minister, who was first elected in 1979, died today at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke.

The “dominant” political leader led the Conservative party until standing down following a coup within her own party in 1990.

As well as being Britain’s first female Prime Minister, she was also the only PM to visit Shetland.

Commercial Street in Lerwick rapidly filled with large crowds of people during a walk-about by Mrs Thatcher in September 1980.

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But even then banners were raised in protest over the deeply divisive leader who challenged the trade union movement head on and privatised industries.

Today the MP for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, said Baroness Thatcher’s remarkable achievement deserved recognition.

“Margaret Thatcher was the dominant force in my formative political years in the 1980s. There was little that I found to be attractive about her politics, but there is no denying that she made an enormous impact on our nation.

“To win three successive general elections, and to serve as our country’s first and still only ever female Prime Minister, is a remarkable achievement for which recognition is deserved.”

The former PM – dubbed “the Iron Lady” – was, of course, not widely held as a popular figure within British politics during her Premiership, particularly north of the border.

Local Unison representative, Brian Smith, was more complimenatary than he may have been, given Baroness Thatcher’s strained relationship with the trade union movement – but only because he believed the current incumbent at Number 10 was even worse.

“In the 1980s Thatcher, and those who followed her, made life miserable for large numbers of people because of her attacks on the public sector,” he said.

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“I have thought recently however that, by contrast with the modern party and their Lib Dem hangers on, that Thatcher in hindsight looks like a bit of a moderate.”

Council convener Malcolm Bell tweeted today: “Whether adored or loathed Thatcher could never be ignored. Regardless of your politics she was a remarkable woman.”

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About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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38 comments

  1. Peter Dodge

    I wasn’t complimentary in September 1980 and have no intention of being complimentary now. She and her ilk are remarkable for having devastated our Nation and used the oil income to sponsor the destruction. Oil retrieved using foreign steel which should have been produced here.
    And lest we forget, she never considered herself British, (if such a thing exists); ” We English, who are a marvellous people, are really very generous to Scotland.” Margaret Hilda Thatcher 1990.
    Now sadly, another generation have to put up with her Westminster disciples and their Lib /Dem sycophants. Moderation is not in their vocabulary, their cultural mindset remains alien and a complete anathema to most of us.

  2. Joe johnson

    Whatever your political views are or weather you agreed or disagreed with what she did during her time as Prime Minister, there is no denying she was a great leader and achieved so much. I know many disagreed with her policies and I think the poll tax was her biggest mistake but she did save this country (The U.K) and made it great again. thoughts and prayers are with her family. at this sad time. Im disgusted to see on the news people celebrating her death. Whatever your opinion of her is, celebrating the death of a human being who was a mother and a grandmother is appalling and insensitive to her family. R.I.P Magaret Thatcher

  3. I believe Mr.Dodge’s commentary details Thatchers opinion of the Celtic people of Scotland and Ireland. Had it not been for the people of Scotland and Ireland its peoples self-reliance and industrious ethos America would not be as great as it is today.

  4. Harry Dent

    Once again we hear the risible claim that Thatcher saved the country, you have to ask what she saved, and for whom? From my point of view, as a working class lad, leaving higher education for many wasted months on the dole during the early years of her regime, it felt more like I’d lost everything that I’d spent years working towards.

    Unemployment and poverty soared as she encouraged the super-rich to grab a bigger slice of the cake for themselves.

    I certainly dont go along with the idea that, whatever your politics, you have to accept Thatcher was a Great Leader. She was nothing of the sort.

    She was a vicious class warrior who tried to create a myth of invincibility about herself, but who ultimately failed to achieve the transformation of Britain that she craved, and was driven out of office as a result of the mass resistance that smashed her flagship poll tax.

  5. Ali Inkster

    3 day week, rubbish piling up in the streets, bodies piling up in the mortuaries, unions holding the country to ransom. Then along came Maggie. When I left education in the mid eighties many who today are celebrating her death were lying about the pub on the dole blaming Maggie for their woes. I on the other hand followed government advice got on me bike and got a job. She encouraged ordinary people to grab a slice for themselves Harry through hard work and perseverance. The vile displays by certain cretinous members of society should be seen for what they are the sad rumblings of sad people that will blame all their woes on anyone other than themselves.

  6. Joe johnson

    Harry, I respect your opinion, in my post when I said she saved this country, Im referring to the time when she came to power in 1979 when the UK was in a state, she made Britain great again. I will say though that the poll tax was a big mistake and why Scotland had to pay it first I dont know. But she did so much for this country and she won 3 elections so she must have done something right! but now thoughts should be with her family at this sad time.

  7. Brian Smith

    It’s all fantasy, Ali. She was a failure. Have a look at Will Hutton’s measured piece in today’s Observer:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/14/thatcher-economy-talk-based-fraud

  8. Gordon Harmer

    Heath was a failure, Wilson was a failure, Callaghan was a failure and Kinnock was a bigger failure. Kinnock and his wife ran off to Europe to earn a fortune among the corrupt Eurocrats. The others where afraid of the unions, who brought this country to its knees, with inflation in double figures rubbish piled up in the streets. Bereaved families unable to bury the dead, shop stewards in hospitals dictating who got beds and operations.

    Then along came Maggie, with more balls than the other four put together, she crushed the unions who were leading us down the path of a Procrustean left wing lead society. Then with her revolutionary radical policies she put this country back on its feet again.

    Only to be scuppered by Blair, Brown, Clegg and Cameron.

  9. Sandy McMillan

    Gordon what did Thatcher do for Scotland, I tell you she closed RAVENSCRAIG in Motherwell one of the largest steel smelter plants in Europe, she introduced the Poll tax to be tried out in Scotland, she hated the Scotch unless she was drinking it or was that Dennis! and for the Tory LibDems to give her a state funeral costing
    £10 million which the tax payer will have to foot the bill is nothing more than ridiculous, Thatchers was nothing more than a tyrant

  10. Ali Inkster

    Brian the headline asks why are we in such a mess today? Answer Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, it’s simple really Brian if you spend what you don’t have in order to buy votes sooner or later it will have to be paid back, you can blame the bankers all you want but it was Brown who borrowed way beyond our means (he even tried to blame Alistair Darling for the mess) and Blair that took us into 2 wars. You and yours will shout out that they were not really labour but the only difference between them and Foot and Kinnock was the 3 piece suits. Instead of rampant unionism we now have every minority/special interest group demanding and getting their own way. The majority of folk who are honest and hard working are ignored at best and shouted down as bigots/racists/facists or whatever buzz word the left decide is suitably repugnant to smear them with. 200,000 immigrants per year and that is just the ones we know about. How many illegals that can not be deported because it breaches their human rights, human rights laws that were only brought in to save Cherrie’s law career. yes Maggie may not of been perfect but she was a damn sight better than those that went before her or have emerged since.

  11. John Tulloch

    Yes, Ali, Maggie Thatcher came to prominence in a time when “what you saw from politicians became (pretty much) what you got.” I often say while watching present day politicians, “what happened to all the old character politicians of the 1980s, the Thatchers, the Tebbits, the Scargills, the Heffers, the Skinners, the Benns” ?

    Ian Paisley’s eventual retirement was reminiscent of the recent demise of “Lonesome George,” last of the great Galapagos “Pinta” giant tortoises.

    And all of them taken to task from time to time by Grand Inquisitors Brian Walden, Bob MacKenzie and Robin Day!

    What do we have now? A great homogeneous blancmange of “sound-bite” politicians between whom it’s incredibly difficult to tell the difference with one or two notable exceptions like, say, Eric Pickles – at least, we have Andrew Neill to dissect their pre-processed pap and be suitably rude to them, thank God!.

    In this respect – ONLY – do I “tink lang” for the “Good old days.”

  12. Ali Inkster

    A lot of the debt can be allocated to the more than 1 million non jobs created in the civil service by Blair (and joyusly aided up here by the SIC) at an average wage of £30.000 for 15 years this comes to £450,000,000,000 half the national debt. Yet some would claim it was the bankers that got us where we are today.
    And now that we have to bite the bullet and get rid of these non jobs certain union leaders will have none of it. But I would put it to you Brian that if the government had created the conditions to help get these folks jobs in the private sector then their taxes would of helped keep the country above water financially. Instead labour created so much red tape and increased the tax burden to the point that a lot of the entrepeneurs left the UK and private sector jobs dried up, the tax take went down and the bills just kept rising. It does not need much wit to see that it was unsustainable either at a national level or local. I’ve put it to you before Brian and I will do so again what is more important services to the public or jobs for the boys.

  13. Gordon Harmer

    Sandy, get your history right, it was the unions who closed Ravenscraig. First the national steel strike of 1979 triggered the loss of many customers for Ravenscraig. clients were difficult to coax back and the works’ credibility had taken a massive hit.

    Then in 1982 when the plant was loosing millions another strike causing the slab mill to close with the loss of 700 jobs.

    The final straw was the miners strike which starved Ravenscraig of coal just after the steel workers reached record production levels, which incidentally could have saved the mill. So in my book the final nail in Ravenscraig’s coffin was driven in by Arthur Scargil who (without a mandate) used the miners as political pawns to try (unsuccessfully) to bring down a democratically elected government.

  14. ian tinkler

    Sandy, Without Thatcher, Scotland my well have become another bankrupt socialist satellite of communism under the leadership of brother Scargill and his like. Which Gulag would you be in?

  15. Brian Smith

    I love Tinkler’s understated contributions.

  16. Peter Dodge

    Nobody mentioning Pinochet, the support for apartheid, the TSB (illegal?) sell-off, deregulation of the banks, the Zircon affair and the 1001 other scandalous events which we witnessed in the 80’s.
    All credit to Ali Inkster’s zeal for efficiency and reward for effort.
    But…. there are too many buts come to mind so to provide a personal viewpoint in relation solely to Ravenscraig plus the strip mill. I was made well aware when biding sooth how the Scottish plants were atrociously managed. It was even stated to me that the night shift arrived to sleep and the whole enterprise was overstaffed, perhaps by a factor of five.. However, the Government brought in MacGregor from over the Atlantic, possibly commissioned with several agendas but mostly hatchet work. The outcome in Strath Clyde was that management, productivity and efficiency in all sectors rose to the challenge and surpassed all expectations to reach top spot. Result Ali, they immediately shut it down!
    So where was the investment in state of the art furnaces plus roller/strip mills using the North sea oil money to capitilise the Nation’s steel needs? Answer, squandered in the Square Mile, London and the Far East. So who owns the steel production now? India.
    I learnt a fair bit too about Scottish coal production and the typical inability of Britain to follow Germany’s lead in efficient management incorporating worker participation in all aspects of production. For Mr Tinkler’s information, sensible government could have worked in harmony with Mick McGeachy relatively easily instead of confronting Scargill, with the result Scotland’s low sulphur coal could still be in production.
    I rarely enjoy participating in polarised discussions but in this case the history of North Britain would be incomplete without pointing out that in overall terms Margaret Thatcher served Westminster well and humanity badly.

  17. Gordon Harmer

    Why should anyone mention Pinochet, unless of course you want to bring up the fact that he overthrew a Procrustean socialist regime and introduced democracy to Chile. Maggie had no part in the alleged crimes attached to him, in fact she and British forces owed a debt of thanks for being allowed to use Chile as a radar base during the Falklands war.

    As for Ian MacGregor, he was Scottish born and brought up in Kinlochleven and later moved to the States, not as implied, someone brought in from over the Atlantic to do a hatchet job on British Steel.

    It would be accurate to say Mrs Thatcher did not close Ravenscraig; it actually shut in 1992), but that owed more to an international recession and cheap foreign imports than the actions of her governments. Strikes in 1979 and 1982 along with the miners strike put the biggest nails in Ravenscraig’s coffin and that’s where the blame should firmly lie.

  18. ian tinkler

    “I love Tinkler’s understated contributions.” Good to see Brian Smith at his intellectual best, what a needle edge comment from such a sharp mind. My toes are curling up with laughter

  19. Robert Sim

    If I may chip in with my thoughts, informed only by my experience of living through the Thatcher era (I finished higher education and starting my working life more or less as she started her first premiership), it seems to me on reflection that the problem with Thatcher as a prime minister was that she was an ideologue, who was fanatically (and I use the word advisedly) driven to apply her one approach (her interpretation of monetarism) to every aspect of life, whether appropriate or not. Prime Ministers before her, of whatever hue, had tempered their approach with pragmatism and compromise. That did not move the UK on very fast; but it did not destroy people’s lives in the service of an ideology either.

    Like any blunt instrument, of course, Thatcher’s approach could be useful when it hit the right target, such as the overweening power of the big trade unions in the 70s, who seemed to me at the time to have moved away from their original role of protecting the rights of working people. However she hit far more wrong targets – or, to mix my metaphors, opened far more Pandora’s boxes – than she did right ones.

    Privatisation is a very good example of that. It was seen by Thatcher as the answer to everything; and so good, if not perfect, systems were dismantled and distributed to multiple companies as a result. I well remember the farce of bus privatisation when, in the early days in Glasgow or even in my part of Argyll, several different providers’ buses would be queued up pointlessly, with bemused “consumers” not knowing which way to turn. We are still living with the legacy of that in the multiple organisations which run the rail system and the trains themselves. And that is where farce turns to tragedy: think of the railway accidents which have occurred since prviatisation which are attributable to poor maintenance because profit is the key motive.

    Another good example, nearer to home, was the privatisation of the electricity industry. My father worked for the old Hydro-Board for 40-odd years when the sole motive of those in charge and their employees was to provide the best service possible to their customers. I well remember him telling me, just before he retired, how the early days of privatisation meant that cost was now the main factor and, by implication, the needs of the consumer a poor second. He was glad to retire, I think, before that took even greater hold. He was proud to have worked for the Hydro in its heyday. I do not see how one could feel that about the modern organisations run as they are by the need to please the shareholders.

    Profit is an appropriate motive in the private sector. But it is no way to organise society. But of course Lady Thatcher didn’t believe in society, did she?

  20. Ali Inkster

    Ian you can’t really expect Brian to enter into a debate for surely you know he is above such dealings with the common rabble. just like his dealings with his unison collegues it is his way or the highway.

  21. Jonathan Wills

    Gordon Harmer might like to check his facts with more reliable authorities than the CIA before he makes a fool of himself with statements such as “[General Augusto] Pinochet … overthrew a Procrustean socialist regime and introduced democracy to Chile.”

    The democratically elected, social democratic coalition government led by the Marxist Salvador Allende was in fact somewhat to the right of Clement Attlee’s Labour government of 1945-51, which nationalised far more industries than Allende did and also founded a National Health Service (which Allende did not have time to do).

    In 1973 Pinochet, backed by the CIA and the owners of Chile’s main industries, overthrew the Allende government in a very bloody coup d’etat. How this “introduced democracy to Chile” I do not understand. Democracy was only restored to Chile following a referendum, after 17 years of brutal dictatorship during which thousands of people were imprisoned, tortured and killed. Many of their relatives are still trying to find out what happened to their loved ones, 40 years after these atrocities, committed by Margaret Thatcher’s beloved henchman.

    The recent film ‘No!’, shown at Mareel, described how the referendum campaign in Chile was won. Pinochet did his damnedest to resist the refendum, and democracy was only restored when his fellow generals deserted him after he lost the popular vote.

    Gordon Harmer is welcome to his fantasies but it is necessary to refute them, in case some other puir sowl should believe this nonsense.

    Jonathan Wills
    Bressay

  22. Johan Adamson

    I feel aggrieved that I have lived with Thatcherism all my adult life. I have never known true economic growth in this country, only the 30 years or so bubble created by Thatcher through privatisation, the selling of council houses and the encouragement of debt and mortgages. Maybe some think we never had it so good but it was all false and we are living with the consequences now. Can we go back to real wealth creation and saving instead of borrowing? Blair and Brown did nothing to halt Thatcherism, ergo they believed it to work too, so we are left with no social housing, public buildings still financed by PFI, public services still governed by costs and budgets, etc, etc.

    I am so thankful that we are in recession which gives people the greatest excuse not to get into debt keeping up with the Joneses and having to buy the latest car, which is surely wasteful for the planet as well. People need to know that material wealth does not equal happiness and fulfillment.

  23. Peter Dodge

    Thank you, Dr. Wills, a personification of succinctness.

    Mr Harmer does indeed appear to reside in a realm of fantasy, spin and revisionism.

    Perhaps for the benefit of those under the age of 50, his contributions should now come with some form of variation on a health warning.

    Truth will always out, unfortunately too late for so many.

  24. Gordon Harmer

    Peter Doge and Jonathan Wills seem to be suffering from a bad dose of political mythology; this however is a difficult thing to counteract if not impossible.

    How on earth can Jonathan can put the words Marxist and democracy in the same sentence makes me wonder; well actually no it doesn’t as I have just done it but in a believable context.

    So Doctor Jonathan recons Margaret Thatcher was Pinochet’s beloved henchman. Johnathan, a henchman is someone who is a loyal and trusted follower or subordinate, Thatcher was not a follower or subordinate to anyone. Or a person who supports a political figure, she did not support Pinochet; she used him to get a foothold in Chile to protect our troops in the Falklands. Hitler had “henchmen” in Himmler, Heydrich, and Mengele, hardly comparable to Thatcher and her relationship with Pinochet.

    Salvador Allende only had a plurality, not a majority, in the popular vote when he came to power, hardly democratic even for you Jonathan. You say Allende, the Marxist president of Chile who topped himself during a coup in 1973 did not have time to develop a national health service. No but he had time to nationalise anything that moved and bring Chile to its knees. He was an anti-Semite who held fascist views about race and crime, not quite an angel when compared to Pinochet then.

    None of the above had anything to do with Thatcher she got what she wanted from Pinochet and saved hundreds of British troop’s lives in the process. All she did was have tea with him on occasions to say thank you. It was the erroneous leftists who latched on to this and embellished a lie to “try” and discredit her.

    So not a fantasist but a realist living in a real world, where I live alongside those who live in cloud cuckoo land.

  25. Gordon Harmer

    Oh and Peter, revisionism is a recurrent tendency within the Communist movement to revise Marxist theory in such a way as to provide justification for a retreat from the revolutionary to the reformist position.

    I would not be seen dead in a communist movement not even in your fantasy land where sesquipedalian’s rule, or think they do.

  26. On reading thru the various comments above I have to correct Ali Inkster’s recollection of the 3 day week. The 3 day week happened during the Ted Heath era as PM.
    Dr J Wills is correct with regards to Pinochet over throwing an elected government.
    If Margaret Thatcher had acted on the information provided to her by the british security services and taken the necessary action to protect the Falklands she would not have had to go to war to recapture them. We all know that is the main reason that she was elected again.
    All the SNP and Salmond supporters should also be reminded that the SNP voted with the tories in 1979 to bring down the Labour government. 19 years of tory rule followed.
    If Scotland gains a yes vote next year Shetland and Orkney will have to put up with more wind turbines at the behest of a central belt government with no interest in the north isles. It will be more of a larger free for all.

    Raymond Smith
    Kirkwall

  27. Robert Lowes

    “…40 years after these atrocities, committed by Margaret Thatcher’s beloved henchman (Pinochet).” – Jonathan Wills

    So Doctor Jonathan recons Margaret Thatcher was Pinochet’s beloved henchman.” – Gordon Harmer

    Er, who’s revising what, Gordon?

  28. Ian Tinkler

    Winston Churchill “If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Does this rather well explain Thatcher’s tolerance of Pinochet as an ally? Pinochet was without doubt of dubious character, however in comparison to Galtieri and the Argentine Junta (Dirty war 10,000 at least, disappeared!) he was a saint. When British citizens were being held literally at gun point no sane person would reject help from any quarter that is apart from the extream left wingers in the UK. It is notable that Wills should jump on this bandwagon. Wills has at every opportunity supported council cut backs and Trust axing funds to all the vulnerable and needy (this mirrors Thatcher’s at her worst)… At the same time Wills has supported £millions of Trust Funds going to profit hungry businessmen, Viking Energy, and SSE. Further £millions to Mareel whilst advocating savage cuts for our elderly, young and infirm. Strange Wills supporting Mareel as he was earlier so publicly against this project!!. “The lady may not be for turning” Wills spins like a top, poor comparison Wills and Thatcher. Only one had conviction, determination and honor.

  29. Martin Tregonning

    I sit back and watch bemused as a variety of people describe Margaret Thatcher as either a saint personified or the devil incarnate – and not much in between, and there will be debate for years to come about what she achieved as Prime Minister and her legacy.

    The only letter here which has left me truly shocked and spurring me into type is Mr Harmer’s letter justifying the Chilean dictatorship.

    I had a friend who was in his early 50’s when the Pinochet coup happend. He once showed me his mouth where his military interogators had pulled out all of his teeth and then he lifted his shirt to show me all the scars on his body from the torture. He was born in Chile. He had a Chilean passport with the words “Not Valid for Chile” stamped in it – he was only allowed to live if he promised to leave the country and never return.

    His “crime” was that he was a prodestant pastor, with no links to any left wing or subversive groups, but he was on a long list of groups that Pincochet deemed to be “un-Chilean” and had to be eliminated as he “cleansed” the country.

    Mrs Thatcher may have had reasons for supporting the Pinochet regime (probably to do with the help Chile gave over the Falklands), but that must NEVER be used as an excuse for justifying the viscious and criminal Pinochet regime.

  30. JohnTulloch

    Gordon, Ian, be reasonable, Pinochet wisna muckle wirt an you cudna expect da boys ta tak in wi someen at wis supportin Breetan whin da Soviet Union wis supportin Argentina, cud you?

  31. Brian Smith

    If I was G. Harmer I would be crawling under the table.

  32. Gordon Harmer

    @ Martin Tregonning, no where in my last comments have I justified Pinochet’s dictatorship, he was a despot who should have been tried for his crimes. But he did three decent things, the first was to oust a Marxist who was little better than himself. Second he rescued Chile and to such an extent that Chile was globally known as the miracle that is Chile. Third after 17 years of tyranny he accepted the 56% vote that ousted him and he went peacefully and returned Chile to democracy.

    I despise the vitriol, hate and lies that are leveled at Thatcher for any small irreverent misdemeanor on her part. There were 170 foreign representatives at her funeral today that in my book puts those who level this vitriol at her in a minority.

    Finally thanks Robert Lowes for pointing that out I totally miss read Jonathan’s words, so sincere apologies to Jonathan for having a go at him for saying something he did not.

  33. ian tinkler

    Brian, Gordon would have to go under a stone to reach your level. He may not always be politically correct but unlike you, he has the courage to state his views in the first person, not endlessly quoting others or making no point at all.

  34. Gordon Harmer

    Yes you probably would Brian, because you are not big enough to stand by your convictions and argue them out. Does crawling under the table give you inspiration for your sarcastic one liners.

  35. Sandy McDonald

    Unfortunately there are those that like to sit at the back of the hall and sneer. Others prefer to be at the front and make their opinions known. A few like to be on the stage and make the final decision.

    Without detracting or supporting Thatcher I would like to challenge those commentators to sit back and think how they would make the final decision. Do you back a white paper that will benefit 30 million people whilst making life harder for 2 million people? How do you weigh the balance of an entire countries well being, should it be a purely scientific/numbers approach (game theory)? Or would you go with a “gut feeling” on the matter. Would you be comfortable saying “you can’t please all of the people all of the time”?

    I know that this kind of responsibility would keep me awake at nights.

  36. Gordon Harmer

    @ Raymond Smith, you are right the three day week was under Heath’s watch, but as with all the other problems of Britain in the 70s it was caused by the unions. Another miners strike was to blame for the rest of Britain suffering loss of earnings and hardship.

    Does this not make you ashamed Brian Smith, who’s turn to hide under the table now, or to make it more fitting hide under the bed as one of Maggie’s red’s.

  37. Brian Smith

    Gordon, you need to lie down.

  38. Robert Lowes

    I find this continual virtual elevation to sainthood of Thatcher completely nauseating. Yes, she did some good things, but there were just as many (if not more) aspects of her premiership that were badly thought through and cruelly enacted upon – seemingly without any regard to how it might affect entire communities, if not regions. She divided the country as never before.

    The Tory faithful appearing before the cameras, sycophantically describing her as a ‘great Prime Minister’ (perhaps they think if they say it often enough, it’ll come true?) seem to have forgotten how her own party – never mind the rest of the country – finally had enough of her dogmatic and cruel leadership and stabbed her in the back. Something she found unforgivable, despite doing the same thing herself to Ted Heath. But that’s the Tories for you – smarmy hypocrisy is practically a prerequisite to join the party.

    There is something ironic about the way Thatcher’s government imposed policy and radical changes in parts of the UK despite her leadership and her party having been soundly rejected at the ballot box in many of those areas (and in effect, having no mandate in them) – yet when it’s the will of the people (however small a group) to vote with their wallets and put a song from The Wizard of OZ into the top ten, the same Thatcherite’s froth at the mouth with barely concealed indignation.

    I wish I could say Thatcherite politics and ideals died with her. But it’s clear that David Cameron and his cronies are very much keeping them alive. Whether anyone will be describing him as a ‘great Prime Minister’ 30-odd years from now, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t place bets on it. Most likely though, it will be equally untrue of him as it is his idolised forebear.