Margaret Thatcher dead at 87

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by JoeZhang, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Sam_I_Am

    Sam_I_Am Captain Captain

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    I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.
    --Margaret Thatcher.

    I love how you declare you're going to comment on her political career before attacking her appearance and charisma. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    owned from beyond the grave! hahaha
     
  3. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Whenever someone dies, their positive achievements are always magnified while the negatives are mostly sidestepped. Understandable, but hard to put up with if people exaggerate the positives too much.

    Note that "Thatcher's popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and high unemployment, until economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983." So, she made some mistakes and eventually there was a recovery (although it remains to be seen as to whether she was directly instrumental in turning the economy around).

    "During her premiership Thatcher had the second-lowest average approval rating, at 40 percent, of any post-war Prime Minister. Polls consistently showed that she was less popular than her party. A self-described conviction politician, Thatcher always insisted that she did not care about her poll ratings, pointing instead to her unbeaten election record."
    --> An election is a single event at a given moment. Things change. Yet, she would stubbornly hold onto the belief that her real approval was much higher than the polls indicated.

    So, she made some great strides but gave back a bit on that in the latter part of her reign. "By the time of Thatcher's resignation in 1990, inflation had again hit 10%, the same level she had found it in 1979."

    She was ascribed the nickname "Iron Lady" because of her "uncompromising politics and leadership style." Isn't politics all about compromise? Of course careful and balanced compromise, with an occasional uncompromising stance when you really believe your perspective is the proper one.

    She was a tough lady who stood her ground firmly, and it's natural to respect that, but despite it all "Thatcher's premiership was also marked by high unemployment and social unrest, a legacy of mismanagement by the previous government and many critics on the Left of the political spectrum fault her economic policies for the unemployment level".

    With Thatcher, it certainly wasn't all rose petals and sunshine. She did have the remarkable achievement of being England's first female Prime Minister and there were many fine accomplishments, including coordinated efforts with the USA to pressure the disbanding of the USSR. But was she a legendary leader? I don't really think so, although it's hard to lean heavily on that when there's the matter of respecting the deceased. She did make a memorable mark, and I think more positive than negative. May she rest in peace.
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    ^She might not be legendary but if you asked people to name two 20th Century PMs, the most likely two would be Churchill and Thatcher.
     
  5. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My second sentence highlighted one of the vilest acts of her public career. It is dishonest to imply otherwise. Apparently you can't even admire the scumbag without picking up some slime.

    Also, I wrote ""...version of Reagan..."

    Since you need things spelled out... Reagan was a colossal fraud, hiding viciously reactionary attitudes behind sentimental glop, sound bites and an army of lies. He had no ideas, just self-appointed enemies. His world view expressed a mixture of rank superstition and big business boosterism. He had nary a notion of governance even by bourgois standards, but was merely a poseur, an unctuous salesman whose moral principles were no grander than the Borax he touted on Death Valley Days, although considerably less useful. His life is an argument for the thesis that political conservatism is a species of mental illness, where the psychosexual traumas of a failed adult are miraculously expiated in the invocation of a fantasy of what a dullard child imagined the world to be when he (or she) was young.

    Margaret Thatcher was filth.
     
  6. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't claim this - it was posted on another forum I visit, and I actually don't quite agree with all of it. For anyone who can't understand the hatred for Thatcher, this will give you some idea :

    1) The woman whose anti-Trade Union policies reduced the power of collectivism to zero, and who decimated the employment rights of working class people everywhere. As a result, employers were legally permitted to replace proper meaningful jobs and apprenticeships, and exploit workers on perverted government schemes, paying them just £25 pounds per week in the process. Right-wing, extremist social and economic policy, espoused by the likes of Friedrich Hayek & Milton Friedman was to become the order of the day, and at it’s peak, over 3.6 million people would be out of work and on the dole.
    2) The woman who massively widened the already obscene gap between the rich and the poor, as her supporters in big business, the newly privatised utilities, and the arms and defence industries made billions. The rich got richer, the poor got poorer, and the word 'underclass' entered the public vocabulary for the first time. For millions of people, Thatcherism represented nothing more than crippling unemployment, homelessness, poverty, crime, drug abuse and hopelessness. For the elite Thatcherism represented an opportunity for the rich to get even richer by asset-stripping the country, as the orgy of greed that was Deregulation, was spun to look like something that the nation should be proud of, rather than the obscene, carpet-bagging, feeding frenzy that it actually was.
    3) The woman who actively promoted selfishness, and disdain for those less able, with her infamous 'no such thing as society' mercenary attitude, and who almost worshipped greed and opportunism as virtues. On 23rd September 1987, she told journalist Douglas Keay: “People say ‘I am homeless, the Government must house me’, and so they are casting their problems onto society, and who is society ? There is no such thing ! There are individual men and women, and no government can do anything except through people. People must look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves”. Dog eat dog, survival of the fittest, sink or swim, and I'm alright Jack - the very essence of Thatcherism, and her cold-hearted, wicked, vindictive, self-serving policies. Despite having no mandate to govern in Scotland, where she was rejected at the ballot box three times; three times she returned her illegitimate administration to power. And for eleven and a half years, her despotic, vindictive and spiteful policies were imposed upon the working class peoples who openly and democratically rejected her. Hell hath no fury like a dictator scorned, and she was to exact an awful toll for such rejection. People who drew strength from their working communities, were to have those communities erased before their very eyes. The weeds would relentlessly grow, where for centuries there was working life.
    4) The woman whose atrocious employment policies favoured those who kept her in power, at the expense of the working class people who actually generated the wealth. During her reign 250,000 people in Scotland lost their jobs as coal mines closed and industrial giants such as Ravenscraig Steel Plant were shut. A highly skilled industrial workforce, was annihilated at the stroke of a pen. Heavy industry, at the time was inefficient, heavily subsidised, and in need of modernisation. Instead of operating on the patient, Thatcher switched the life support system off. The subsidies could be used as tax breaks elsewhere, to reward those middle and upper classes, who kept her in power. Secure, full-time employment in manufacturing, engineering, and heavy industry was replaced with low paid casual, temporary contract work in the call centre, fast food, and service sectors. In the process, worker's rights were eroded to almost zero. An almost fanatical anti-Europeanism ensured that it would be many, many more years before Britain entered parity with the rest of the European Union on worker's rights and minimum wage levels. In many cases, parity is still a long way off.
    5) The woman who led a campaign demanding that General Augusto Pinochet be set free, after he was detained in the UK under an international arrest warrant from Spain, who were seeking his extradition to face charges of war crimes. The vile dictator, was directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of workers, socialists and other political opponents; presided over mass executions, torture and ****; and was openly described by his evil admirer, as 'a bastion of democracy' and the man ‘who brought democracy to Chile’.
    6) The woman who called mass-murdering dictator Suharto 'one of our very best and most valuable friends'. Suharto, with the full backing of obscene capitalists like Thatcher, waded to power through rivers of blood, as more than a million people were slaughtered and the whole population was held in fear of their lives for over 30 years. In the genocide that decimated East Timor, Suharto's gestapo, known as Kopassus, gunned down innocent men, women, and children with British-supplied Heckler & Koch machine guns, fired from British-supplied Tactica 'riot control' vehicles and received military training in counter-terrorism techniques from the British SAS. Such were the levels of premeditated violence meted out by the Kopassus in East Timor, the elite Special Air Service Regiment of the Australian special forces ceased training with them.
    7) The woman who ruthlessly and brutally ordered the sinking of the General Belgrano, to undermine impending peace talks and enter the Falklands War, to boost her flagging ratings at home. After being tracked for nearly 36 hours by the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror, the Belgrano was was sunk by three torpedoes on May 2nd, 1982, despite being well outside a 200-mile exclusion zone, and heading in the opposite direction from the Falklands. Nothing short of wanton pre-meditated mass murder, in order to facilitate a political goal, and cynically attempt to regenerate flagging ratings. War is VERY good for business, and Thatcher viciously and ruthlessly capitalised on this premise. If a few thousand Argentinian men need be needlessly slaughtered in the process, then so be it. The working classes did have some uses though, and to sustain her war for ratings, 258 British soldiers were sacrificed as cannon fodder. Sueing the British Government at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in July 2000, human rights lawyer Teresa Moya Dominguez, representing the families of the 323 murdered sailors, stated : "It is now the right moment in history for this. What we want fundamentally, is for the sinking of the General Belgrano to be recognized as a war crime." 8) The woman who allowed ten young men to starve themselves to death, by refusing to acknowledge the fact that they were imprisoned for their political beliefs, and for actions related to the political situation in Ireland. By trying to have them classed as common criminals - a tag no political prisoner has ever worn - she signed their death warrants. She did so freely, maliciously, willingly, and without afterthought, despite there being numerous opportunities to resolve the situation by alternative means. Before their lingering and painful deaths, for over four years the hunger-strikers were systematically, routinely and repeatedly brutalised, beaten, tortured, molested, and abused by hired sectarian thugs, who as agents of the British state security apparatus in Ireland, positively revelled in their role as Thatcher’s paid frontline thugs.
    9) The woman who routinely used state-sponsored terrorism to assassinate Republican activists in Ireland (and other soveriegn territory), and who unilaterally acted as judge, jury, and executioner by covertly re-introducing the death penalty for those who dared to oppose British imperialism on Irish soil. The mere trivialities of due process were discarded, the law was circumvented, the military was used to police the nation, and summary execution was proscribed for anyone suspected of being a Republican. Events in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, in the early hours of the 12th October 1984, were to demonstrate to Thatcher, just how deep resentment towards her in Ireland ran. She would subsequently require protection from armed guards, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for the rest of her wretched life.
    10) Despite not wishing to blame the parent for the sins of the child - her bastard reprobate offspring. Mark Thatcher, a human scum-bucket arms dealer, who used his mother’s insidious connections to line his pockets, and who also financed a failed coup d'etat in Equatoreal Guinea. Along with British upper class mercenaries Simon Mann and Nick Du Toit, Thatcher attempted to overthrow President Mbasogo, intent on seizing the country's vast natural oil and gas reserves. If successful, the coup would have installed opposition leader Severo Moto as the new President, in return for preferential oil rights to corporations affiliated to those involved with the coup. Greed, corruption and the conquest of power - the very ethos of the wicked old bastard, whose demise the world should raise a glass to. And that’s before we get onto her pontificating obnoxious bastard of a daughter.

    As to her being the first female Prime Minister - one of her MP's (Edwina Currie I believe) said something along the lines of 'She might have been the first one up the ladder, but she pulled the ladder up after her'...
     
  7. stoneroses

    stoneroses Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks to this I had a very busy day at work
     
  8. Sam_I_Am

    Sam_I_Am Captain Captain

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    Still, my point remains that you highlight her perceived unattractiveness quite a lot. Do you consider yourself a feminist?

    I suppose one can't expect a reasonable view from someone whose avatar is a hammer and sickle. If it wasn't for her, the USSR might have limped on for a few more years.

    I'm intrigued. What do you do? Media?
     
  9. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    You knw the great thing about living in a democracy is things can be changed, Labour was in power for 13 years between 1997-2010 and at times had a commanding majority they could easily have reversed any number of theings the Conservatives did between 1979-1997. They could have given power back to the trade unions etc...
     
  10. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Chamberlain and Churchill are probably more likely.
     
  11. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    I'd agree with MacLeod, if it weren't for his connection to the Great Unpleasantness and waving his little piece of paper promising peace in our time at the cost of Czechoslovakia, no one would remember Chamberlain today.
     
  12. Stoo

    Stoo Captain Captain

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    This strikes me as one of the most important bits. I wonder what could have been done (if anything) to make britain competitive as an industrial nation. Because otherwise, I think some of this painful change was going to be inevitable.
     
  13. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Really the most memorable 20th Century PMs are Churchill, Atlee, and Thatcher (and maybe Blair, maybe).

    The claims that the sinking of the Belgrano was a war crime always makes me laugh, an armed battle ship sunk in the middle of an armed conflict, and the argument was, what, she was sailing away from the islands? Seriously do people have any concept how quickly she could turn around? After Belgrano the Argentinian navy basically returned to port, and that likely saved British lives. Never start a war then complain when the other side come along and smacks you in the face.

    Northern Ireland, I imagine having lost friends and collegues to the IRA probably clouded her judgement somewhat, but again public support in Britain was behind her on this, and you could argue that beligerence is one of the factors that eventually convinced the IRA et al (for the most part) that this wasn't a conflict that could be won through force of arms.

    Destroying the mining industry? It was already well in decline but why let facts get in the way of dogma.

    As for British industry, again things aren't so clear cut as people would have you believe and no one ever talks about how much a factor in the destruction of British industry the intractableness of the Unions often was.

    If only Scargill had actually baolloted his men eh?

    In reality the only way to truly know what impact (positive or negative) Thatcher had would be to visit an alternate universe where she never won the '79 election, and since that's not going to happen people will just choose their sides, choose their facts. I think History will look at her objectively highlighting the good and the bad. She wasn't a saint but she wasn't a monster either.
     
  14. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: I love that!
     
  15. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I am a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. I am not afraid to say that I liked Thatcher. She had more "balls" than any politicians both on the left and right during her time. You may or may not agree with her policies but she was certainly a person of great determination and had the strength of character to pursue her sometimes unpopular policies. She was certainly the UK greatest peacetime PM in my opinion.
     
  16. { Emilia }

    { Emilia } Black Opium Moderator

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    Showing great determination, balls and strong character aren't really things that tend to impress me if they are used to pursue shitty policies.
    They're just secondary values.

    "I'm really dedicated to making the world a shithole! Isn't that awesome!?! I'm totally trying hard!"

    See the issue?

    It's like praising people who made mistakes for being "consistent" about it.

    "Ron Paul is a complete nutter with shitty ideas but at least he's consistent, you gotta admire that."
     
  17. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The funeral is next week - the big question for me is - can I still dodge a baton round?
     
  18. Pingfah

    Pingfah Admiral Admiral

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    Ugh, there's a time and a place to make a point, and a funeral is not it.

    There will be people genuinely grieving, although I won't be amongst them, but just leave them to it.
     
  19. TedShatner10

    TedShatner10 Commodore Commodore

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    I have no sympathy for what she did to the IRA movement ( the detainment, killing and torture of terrorists have always and will always happen, and she was relatively restrained by post-9/11 standards) and she did not intentionally start the Falklands War on a shaky to non-existent reason, however her support of vicious regimes and over zealous stripping down of obsolete UK industries (with nothing to fill the vacuum) seem less justifiable.

    Her privatisation, banking, service sector, and council house policies worked well enough through the 80s, 90s, & early 00s, but in recent years have hit a wall.

    Who we really need right now is a more humane and economically leftwing Thatcher.
     
  20. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ultimately, no politician can please everyone. Each of them make mistakes, some more painful than others. And only some of them make notable achievements. If a politician does no wrong but also nothing notably good, they fade into obscurity.

    A lot of the hate rhetoric for Thatcher seems centered around British policies in dealings with the other territories, namely Scotland and Ireland. It took a very long time to stabilize things and along the way, there were people seriously upset on all sides. Nobody likes to compromise. And when looking at things in retrospect, there's always a perceived better way to have handled them. Did her policies help pave the way towards eventual stability? Or were there many corrections necessary to "undo" what she'd done?

    What's most difficult to know is if policies that make things more uncomfortable for a period of time are a necessary step towards eventually making improvements. There always has to be sacrifice made somewhere. It must take extremely skilled and thoughtful analysts to comb through all the data and make objective assessments as to the cause and effects of policies, determining what worked well and what didn't.

    But then you have people who have made up their mind on how they see things and will select choice bits here and there to support their view, ignoring anything else that may contradict it.

    Take the sinking of the General Belgrano. It was outside the zone of exclusion by just over 30 miles when attacked. But if you look at the maps of their course, it was mostly straight along the southern perimeter, until the last few hours before it sunk. It was switch backing, approaching the zone, then moving away from it, then approaching again. It looked like it was "daring" to enter the zone, heading for it and then veering off, only to repeat it again. There didn't appear to be any good reason for it be on such a course other than to antagonize the British. But given the stealth and speed of the HMS Conqueror (the sub that sunk the Belgrano), wouldn't one torpedo have been enough? Partially damage the ship and let it limp back home? Or was the order to sink it outright?

    So Thatcher gets a call from the Royal Navy, saying how there's this Argentinian destroyer testing the exclusion zone southern boundary and that there's concern on what it might do next. She was probably advised that the prudent thing to do is treat the vessel as having violated the spirit of the exclusion zone. Was she a war monger? I highly doubt it. It was regrettable that over 300 crew members died, but thankfully far more were rescued. If she was really so vicious, she would have ordered the ship's destruction with orders for there to be no survivors. Clearly, this was not the case. But, for anyone hating Thatcher, it's easy to twist it around and make it look like she was viciously insensitive.

    I do sometimes wonder if she was as uncompromising as she was to compensate for her being the first female PM. Was she a more approachable and warm person off camera? I wonder if we'll ever get to see or hear informal recordings of her personal interactions with other politicians made off mainstream camera. It would certainly give us more insight into her character.