Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/760/16470
Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, as she will always be remembered, cartoon by Alan Hardman
Now let's bury Thatcher's legacy
TUC call a 24-hour general strike!
Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary
It is a human response to be sad when somebody dies. But many working class people will be celebrating Margaret Thatcher's death because of the absolutely destructive and long lasting effect she had on the lives of millions of working class and poor people.
She is seen by many as a kind of modern day Genghis Khan. Elected into office in 1979 she unleashed a ferocious assault on the living standards and democratic rights of working class people. Trade unions were attacked in order to clear the way for the destruction of publicly owned industries and the driving down of wages and conditions.
The Socialist Party's forerunner, the Militant Tendency, was at the forefront of fighting her rotten policies. We led the famous struggle in Liverpool from 1983-87 as part of the Labour council that refused to implement cuts. Liverpool council mobilised a mass campaign of trade unionists and working class people in support of the council's needs budget.
That campaign won £60 million from the government which was spent on building thousands of new council homes and new facilities for working class communities and creating jobs. One commentator lamented that Militant had given Thatcher a "bloody nose".
In the late 80s and early 90s we led the struggle against the hated poll tax. This tax would have seen a duke paying the same as a dustman. We initiated the All Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation which organised a demo of a quarter of a million people and led to the mass campaign of 18 million non-payers of the tax. As a result the tax was revoked and the 'Iron Lady' reduced to iron filings.
But Thatcher created a number of "mini Thatchers", not just in the Tory party. Tony Blair was her heir just as Cameron and Clegg are now. In fact she claimed New Labour and Blair as her greatest achievement. The Con-Dems are carrying on her work and are in fact going even further than even she dared to go in the savaging of public sector jobs and services.
Her true legacy is clear to see today in the policies of the Con-Dem government. They are today's standard bearers of her neoliberal ideas. On 8 April 2013, the day Thatcher died, the rich were about to receive a tax cut while working class people face an unprecedented assault on jobs and services.
Build mass resistance to Con-Dem Thatcherism
- No to all cuts and privatisation
- Prepare for a 24-hour general strike, mobilising the massive potential power of the trade unions, to launch a determined anti-cuts battle
- Build a new mass party to represent workers and all suffering under austerity and to provide a fighting, political alternative to the pro-big business, pro-cuts parties
- For a socialist alternative to cuts and capitalism with a democratic socialist plan of production based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of people - not the 1%
Lobby the TUC to demand the General Council sets a date for a 24-hour general strike
Called by the National Shop Stewards Network:
Wednesday 24 April, from 8.30am outside TUC Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
In The Socialist 10 April 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
The bedroom tax
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party review