Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/761/16512

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 April 2013

Thatcher... and us

Unemployment

We're told that Thatcher 'saved the country'. But unemployment skyrocketed under her governments - from 1.09 million in May 1979 to 3.13 million in July 1986. And these figures were probably an underestimate as Thatcher's ministers tried everything to improve the figures (other than protecting and creating jobs of course) - during the 1980s there were 28 revisions in how the figures were calculated.


Living standards

Thatcher's policies did improve things for some people. Corporation tax was cut from 52% to 35% and the top rate of inheritance tax was reduced from 75% to 40%. And it was cuts all round as public spending was reduced to its lowest level for 20 years by the end of the 1980s. The Family Expenditures Survey showed that real incomes of the bottom 10% fell by 9.7% between 1979 and 1985.


Election results

The right-wing media and politicians alike keep pointing out what a popular leader Thatcher was. Her election results tell a different story. The Tory vote in 1979 was 43.9%, the highest under Thatcher's leadership. In fact the only significant increase in Tory vote (but not percentage) came once John Major took over! Now her descendants in the Con-Dem government want to impose rules on union ballots meaning that 50% support would be needed.


Friends and family

A lot can be determined about Thatcher by the company she kept - both friends and family. Chilean dictator Pinochet, whose regime murdered thousands, went to the Thatchers' for tea several times. She lent heavily on US president of the time Ronald Reagan, who mirrored her attacks on welfare, jobs and the trade unions on the other side of the Atlantic. Her son, Mark, was infamously arrested by South African police in 2004 for financing a coup in Equatorial Guinea. Her daughter, Carol, was sacked from The One Show for racism in 2009.


Join a union

One of the things Thatcher is most hated for is her attacks on trade union rights, including limiting the grounds for a dispute and restricting the numbers allowed to picket.

The RMT transport union is backing an initiative asking people to "bury Thatcherism - join a union". General secretary Bob Crowe said: "Margaret Thatcher, and the class interests she represented, hated trade unions for one very good reason - the organised working class, against a backdrop of a Labour Party bought and sold by Thatcherism, is the only effective point of resistance to greed, exploitation and corruption. That's why she sought to destroy us and that's why her legacy has to be a resurgent trade union movement prepared to pick up the cudgels and turn back the tide."


Celebration

One bloke in Trafalgar Square the Saturday after Thatcher's death used to live in Scotland, which he now described as an industrial desert with shipbuilding gone, steel mills shut and pits closed during Thatcher's reign in the 1980s. He'd been forced to live in London and now worked as a van driver. When he heard the news on 8 April, he nearly punched the windscreen out.

Another guy said he just wished she had died 40 years earlier as he had served in the army and 200 of his comrades had died in the Falklands war.

Thatcher effigy, complete with handbag, swirled through the throng of thousands, some with party hats and witch hats, and the occasional popping bottle of champagne.

Even the continuous rain could not dampen the spirits of the thousands there to celebrate Thatcher's demise.

It was definitely not a night to be missed. Complete strangers would just start talking to you about why they were there and how glad they were that she had gone. Four Socialist Party members from Hackney sold 26 copies of the Socialist reflecting the mood.

Brian Debus

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 17 April 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NUS conference votes against free education and EMA

Class survey diverts focus away from power of working class to change society

Widespread caste discrimination ignored in the UK


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Doncaster: fighting for a working class mayor on a workers' wage

Maltby pit closure: TUSC councillor speaks out

Ineffectual Ed visits South West

Warrington council rebel builds fight against cuts

Meeting and exhibition marking 30 years since the election of Liverpool's socialist council

Letters to The Socialist


Socialist Party feature

We can beat bedroom tax


Thatcher funeral

Thatcher's funeral costs: Insulting the lives she ruined

Thatcher... and us

Support the paper that beat Thatcher - twice!


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS cost-cutting is damaging patient care

New phase of campaign against Dewsbury NHS cuts

Welsh NHS cuts - no change of heart from Labour


Socialist Party workplace feature

Time to name the day for a 24-hour general strike

We say to the TUC: Time to fight back


International socialist news and analysis

Brutal Saudi regime supported by UK government


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison health conference: Time to fight back against attacks

Unison elections: Vote for Socialist Party and Reclaim the Union candidates

Thera workers on strike

In Brief


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 April 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Margaret Thatcher:

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

triangleSupport Corbyn's call to renationalise Royal Mail

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangle1987 Zeebrugge disaster

Election:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

triangleGermany: Election results in political earthquake

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

Family:

triangleProblem gambling soars by 33%

triangleCoventry: march following racist police killing

trianglePostie paper sale

Union:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

Unemployment:

triangleCapitalism and human progress

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2