There has been a hell of a lot of shite posted on the webs since the news that Maggie had died, as usual the Tory led press lapdogs are busy rewriting history to make her the reincarnation of Churchill and the Labour press are burning her in effigy and publicising the spontaneous street parties that sprung up on the news breaking.
As usual in these cases, the truth falls somewhere in between, as someone who lived through the Thatcher years and was one of "Maggies Millions" for 5 of them I had an understandable hatred of the woman, but as a fair minded individual (yes I am - so shut up, its just that the current set of Nazis get me annoyed) I reassessed my opinion and did my research....
So lets take a look at some of the myths, untruths and facts shall we ?
My comments as always in Yellow
1. She supported the retention of capital punishment - I dont have a problem with this one, in fact bring it back ....please
2. She destroyed the country's manufacturing industry - mmm as someone who worked in manufacturing before a factory closure, I remember the "Closed Shop", "Restrictive Practices" and petty abuse of power by the unions, I dont think the blame can be laid ENTIRELY at Maggies feet here ...
3. She voted against the relaxation of divorce laws - OK thats a bad one but then again on reflection, since then, how many men have been bankrupted and prevented from seeing their kids under the new laws, Legislation is a 2 edged sword - it cuts both ways
4. She abolished free milk for schoolchildren - this was an anachronism left over from the second world war when milk was not freely available, at the time of abolition you could walk into any corner shop and buy fresher milk than was served in my school, so on reflection this was a good call.
5. She supported more freedom for business (and look how that turned out) - I refer you to my answer to point 2, this point is just the flipside of that one.
6. She gained support from the National Front in the 1979 election by pandering to the fears of immigration - OMG so she was a politician then? Do I need to list the people that followed her into office who did exactly the same thing and continue to do it to this day ? (both in and out of power) ... a silly point methinks
7. She gerrymandered local authorities by forcing through council house sales, at the same time preventing councils from spending the money they got for selling houses on building new houses (spending on social housing dropped by 67% in her premiership) - a 50/50 one this, she gave people the right to buy their homes from the council - thats a good thing, but the money raised was not used to build more houses - thats a bad thing and led to the present situation... but again lets be fair, at the time it was a massive recession caused by multiple factors so where did this money go ? I would suggest it propped up various initiatives in leiu of the missing taxes (see point 8) .. this point needs more investigation and deserves a blog post on its own but lets put this down as a black mark, thats 1 out of 7 so far for those keeping count.
8. She was responsible for 3.6 million unemployed - the highest figure and the highest proportion of the workforce in history and three times the previous government. Massaging of the figures means that the figure was closer to 5 million - slippery slope here, cant argue with figures can we ? well yes we can and again this one deserves its own post, but lets rewrite the rewrite shall we first, massaging of figures only started towards the end of her last term and was one of the reasons she was ousted. and as for directly responsible, there was a long recession (ironically NOT caused by the government) which can be partially blamed for this as well, but in the interests of balance lets give her a black mark for this as well thats 2 out of 8
9. She ignored intelligence about Argentinian preparations for the invasion of the Falkland Islands and scrapped the only Royal Navy presence in the islands - a blatant untruth this time, HMS Endeavour, I believe the ship was called was the only Royal Navy presence in the area and she was a research ship with NO OFFENSIVE ARMAMENT !! - so why not save the lives of its crew by pulling them out of the line of fire once it became apparent it was all going down the shitter? and baring in mind that one set of FACTS this point is disproved, because if she was ignoring intelligence about the build up then why recall the ship ? - you cant have it both ways
10. The poll tax - YEP definate black mark thats 3
11. She presided over the closure of 150 coal mines; we are now crippled by the cost of energy, having to import expensive coal from abroad - for part 1 of this point, I think a certain Mr Scargill must share equal blame in this one or has the compiler of this list forgotten "Flying Pickets" of miners being sent to other industries to blockade them? and as for part 2 that is just a consequence of part 1, the real tragedy of this is the poor miners and their families caught in the middle, they were the only losers in the end, because I never saw a Union leader going hungry or signing on.
12. She compared her "fight" against the miners to the Falklands War - did she ? I dont remember this but I'm prepared to concede she said it, but why list this, its not a criticism ?
13. She privatised state monopolies and created the corporate greed culture that we've been railing against for the last 5 years - just like any Tory does, then old labour would come along and nationalise it
14. She introduced the gradual privatisation of the NHS - NO this one is a BLATANT untruth I should subtract a point here for such an obvious lie - lets not rewrite history OK ?
15. She introduced financial deregulation in a way that turned city institutions into avaricious money pits - she introduced financial deregulation, human greed did the rest, cant lay blame here
16. She pioneered the unfailing adoration and unquestioning support of the USA - NO NO and again NO, the person writing the initial list obviously has a problem with America, but forgets the "Cold War" the west was in at the time. and in fact there are documented cases where Maggie stood up to Reagan and forced him to change his policy, just as allies do then present a united front.
17. She allowed the US to place nuclear missiles on UK soil, under US control - Yes she did as part of the strategic defence of Europe
18. Section 28 - wow your really digging deep here, this was a bad piece of legislation granted. that makes it 4 out of 18
19. She opposed anti-apartheid sanctions against South Africa and described Nelson Mandela as "that grubby little terrorist" - another 50/50 one here, yes I believe sanctions imposed on South Africa caused the positive change we see today, but I also believe that Mandela WAS a terrorist he and his followers used the same playbook as the IRA and expanded upon it, however no side in that mess had clean hands.
20. She support the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and sent the SAS to train their soldiers - at the time EVERYBODY supported them and their fight against a communist government, the truth only percolated out later.
21. She allowed the US to bomb Libya in 1986, against the wishes of more than 2/3 of the population - and when TB and his cronies decided to invade Iraq against the same odds and Parliaments wishes ? how is that different ? ...this is what governments with a large majority do. as for the bombings they were retaliation for Lockerbie ... and as history proved, for once the US hit the correct target.
22. She opposed the reunification of Germany - an opinion, nothing more from someone who lived through one world war (WW2) and studied history,EVERYBODY was nervous about German reunification, this was a country remember that had plunged the entire world into war twice in less than 30 years
23. She invented Quangos - Jobs for the boys every political party does it and some quangos did good work, some bad just like any branch of the civil service.... I dont see the implied criticism in this point.
24. She increased VAT from 8% to 17.5% - Nope an untruth again heres the figures to prove it
25. She had the lowest approval rating of any post-war Prime Minister - what lower than Gordon Brown ? - I find that one hard to believe as well, but again its not a valid criticism so lets disregard this one as well
26. Her post-PM job? Consultant to Philip Morris tobacco at $250,000 a year, plus $50,000 per speech - Yep this ones true, but so what, why is it a criticism to bring up her job AFTER her political career ended ?
27. The Al Yamamah contract - The government offered "sweeteners" to a foreign country to order British aircraft rather than US ones and safeguard the future of British Aerospace ...mm now come on you cant have it both ways, you cant blame Maggie for the loss of industry on one hand and then criticise her for safeguarding one part of it on the other ...Pick ONE.
28. She opposed the indictment of Chile's General Pinochet - NO again a bending of the truth, she opposed the extraditon of Pinochet to Spain to face trial (as did old George W.) preferring that he face trial in his own country.
29. Social unrest under her leadership was higher than at any time since the General Strike - mm a massive recession, unions stirring the pot, 3 million + people with nothing to do and a reasonably free press to spread the word ... however a fair point I suppose ..that makes it 5 out of 29
30. She presided over interest rates increasing to 15% - actually they went up to 17% at one pont - go on I'll allow this one as well 6 out of 30
31. BSE - The first confirmed animal to fall ill with the disease occurred in 1986 in the United Kingdom, so you can have a point for that as well 8/31
32. She presided over 2 million manufacturing job losses in the 79-81 recession - it was a recession, places close but OK lets allow this one as well 9/32
33. She opposed the inclusion of Eire in the Northern Ireland peace process - a mistake to be sure 10/33
34. She supported sanctions-busting arms deals with South Africa - I refer you to my replies to points 19 and 27 as this point is just a rehash of them....
35. Cecil Parkinson, Alan Clark, David Mellor, Jeffrey Archer, Jonathan Aitkin - they are all lying scumbags, your point being ?
36. Crime rates doubled under Thatcher - gee 3 million unemployed and a recession wonder why this happened ... but OK lets allow it 11/36
37. Black Wednesday – Britain withdraws from the ERM and the pound is devalued. Cost to Britain - £3.5 billion; profit for George Soros - £1 billion - yep but history shows that withdrawing was the correct decision despite the short term pain it caused.
38. Poverty doubled while she opposed a minimum wage - it was a recession for christs sake I cant keep giving points for the same thing stated over and over again.
39. She privatised public services, claiming at the time it would increase public ownership. Most are now owned either by foreign governments (EDF) or major investment houses. The profits don’t now accrue to the taxpayer, but to foreign or institutional shareholders. - Another one that needs it own post, but lets be accurate she presided over the privatisation of Gas, Electricity and Water, but was opposed to Railway privatisation (that was John Majors doing) but you can have a point for the whole misguided policy 12/39
40. She cut 75% of funding to museums, galleries and other sources of education - better this than what the currect bunch of Nazis are doing .. but have a point for this one as well 13/40
41. In the Thatcher years the top 10% of earners received almost 50% of the tax remissions - and were taxed at 90% so fairs fair, no point here
42. 21.9% inflation - at the time nobody could control this ... but have a point 14/42
So out of 42 criticisms raised on this list only 14 are valid really, not a bad result for the Iron Lady
I still hate what she did to me and many others during those years, but I'd take her premiership over the current bunch of Nazis any day of the week and twice on Sundays, so comparing like with like I'm prepared to say rest in peace Maggie, you weren't all bad domestically, and you were the last of our great International leaders, we shall never see your like again.