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Old 05-17-2014, 05:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
Funny she is one of the most hated people in England.
Originally Posted by mhgaffney View Post
For good reason.
That would explain her landslide 2nd term........and a 3rd.

The union members hated Thatcher, she broke their stranglehold on the Labor party and the rest of the country.

She was divisive at a time the UK need radical change....away from the socialist policies of Labor and the incessant strikes of the unions. Unless you have lived in the period of dreary unelected yahoos controlling your economy through petty and repeated utility and transport strikes, you have no idea what Thatcher accomplished.

She was exactly what the UK needed at that time.

From the Economists obit:

A long shadow

Judged from the grand historical perspective, Mrs Thatcher’s biggest legacy was the spread of freedom—with the defeat of totalitarianism in its most vicious form in the Soviet Union, and with the revival of a liberal economic tradition that had gone into retreat after 1945.

Her combination of ideological certainty and global prominence ensured that Britain played a role in the collapse of the Soviet Union that was disproportionate to its weight in the world. Mrs Thatcher was the first British politician since Winston Churchill to be taken seriously by the leaders of all the big powers. She was a heroine to opposition politicians in eastern Europe. Her willingness to stand shoulder to shoulder with “dear Ronnie” to block Soviet expansionism helped to promote new thinking in the Kremlin. But her readiness to work with Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, also helped to end the cold war.

Mrs Thatcher’s privatisation revolution spread around the world. Other EU countries followed her example, if not her rhetoric: in 1985-2000 European governments sold off some $100 billion-worth of state assets, including national champions such as Lufthansa, Volkswagen and Renault. The post-communist countries embraced it heartily: by 1996 Russia had privatised some 18,000 industrial enterprises. India part-dismantled the licence Raj, and unleashed a cavalcade of successful companies. Across Latin America governments embraced market liberalisation. Whether they did this well or badly, all of them looked to the British example.

At home, her legacy was more complicated. Paradoxes abound. She was a true-blue Tory who marginalised the Tory Party for a generation. The Tories ceased to be a national party, retreating to the south and the suburbs and all but dying off in Scotland, Wales and the northern cities. Tony Blair profited more from the Thatcher revolution than John Major, her successor: with the trade unions emasculated and the left discredited, he was able to remodel his party and sell it triumphantly to Middle England. His huge majority in 1997 ushered in 13 years of New Labour rule.

She was also an enemy of big government who presided over a huge expansion of it. Her dislike of the left-wing councils that dominated many British cities was so great that she did more than any other post-war prime minister to bind local governments into an ever tighter net of restrictions. She had no time for the idea of elected mayors who united real power with real responsibility. Britain became much more like highly centralised France than gloriously decentralised America.

Yet her achievements cannot be gainsaid. She reversed what her mentor, Keith Joseph, called “the ratchet effect”, whereby the state was rewarded for its failures with yet more power. With the exception of the emergency measures taken after the financial crisis of 2007-08, there have been no moves to renationalise industries or to resume a policy of picking winners.
Thanks to her, the centre of gravity of British politics moved dramatically to the right. The New Labourites of the 1990s concluded that they could rescue the Labour Party from ruin only by adopting the central tenets of Thatcherism. “The presumption should be that economic activity is best left to the private sector,” declared Mr Blair. Neither he nor his successors would dream of reverting to the days of nationalisation and unfettered union power.

The Lady still casts a long shadow. She was a divisive figure, and the issues that she addressed continue to confront and divide. The British state has gone on expanding after a period of continence. Deficits have exploded. The relationship between some companies (this time banks rather than manufacturers) and government has become too close. Margaret Thatcher and the -ism that she coined remain as relevant today as they were in the 1980s.
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