Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thatcher

I have been trying to do some more reading on the Margaret Thatcher years in Great Britain and it's very hard to do and try to keep an open mind and sort through the extremes of beliefs and thoughts out there in net-land. I started looking her up again after seeing that a british friend of mine has a new profile photo:

The current Conservative party leader, David Cameron's, face superimposed on Thatcher, with 'Remember Things Could Be Worse'.

I have seen many news articles over the years saying that under Blair and now under Brown, unemployment and monetary inequality between british citizens has actually grown beyond what was reported during Thatcher years. So... could it be worse? Yes it could - it IS right now lol. Or is it? Who the heck knows with all the ranges of info and stats out there. You never know what to believe. I grew up as a child and teen with Thatcher being a recognized name because she was the British PM all that time. I started school in 1979 and finished in 1991. She was in, I believe, from 1979 to 1990. She was a household name and what I recall is her being a tough lady, from a working class family, and people either loved or hated her.

But now she is still being blamed for the poverty in GB. It could be her fault, I'm not saying it's not possible - but at what point do the new leaders start to take some responsibility for their own actions or in-action? It's been 20 years since she left the office of PM. I realize things can take time to get over, things can get worse before they get better - but from what I have seen on the news over the past couple of years, GB is in the worst spot it has ever been in. I've read several times that within the next few years, 25% of working-age adults in GB will have NEVER worked a single day of their adult lives. Is that Thatcher's fault? Almost everyone I know over there had a job, only two don't now that I really think about it. Only a couple live in council housing - everyone else I know has their own home or flat (oh and one guy still lives with his parents at 41 yrs of age, and blames the high cost of living, but I know he just likes his mommy to cook and clean for him lol).

Anyway I lived there from 1996 to 1998 and had my first child there. I was married to a Brit from 1992 to 1998 and while we lived in Germany, it was with the military so we paid tax , housing, car taxes etc to Britain, not Germany. I was only there for a few years, but I worked in a grocery store, had friends that worked with me or in the pubs... and they were able to make it. I knew a few richer people but really they were just average income. My former SIL worked for a bank/investment company and made darn good cash but she worked hard to get that position and deserved it. My other SIL worked for an accountant and made decent pay. The rest of my former inlaws ran 'working man clubs' (like a Union pub I guess) or worked in a shoe factory. My MIL cut soles, my BIL did the same thing but earned the respect to become a foreman eventually. They all owned their own homes. My MIL bought her council house from the govt after just a few years at the shoe factory.... her husband cleaned out garbage bins for the Council in a neighbouring county.

So what's going on over there? Why do some people work factory jobs or in Tescos and Sainsbury's and manage to afford a flat or house, while others cannot or won't do that? I had single parent friends there who did okay - no better or worse than I did over here.... so why such a big deal being made about 'the Thatcherites'? Who is to blame? If things have not even remotely improved under the current govt, why is it the fault of someone from 20 years ago? If some things had improved, you could assume Labour was at least trying to hack their way out of the dump they say Thatcher left for them - but I do not see any evidence supporting that claim. Taxes have increased considerably on various goods and services, car tax is astonishing to the point that many people I know there don't bother to buy a vehicle at all, gas tax is through the roof - but things are not improving. Why not? Why did another friend of mine totally get jacked on disability payments several times, to the point where her children had to buy her groceries while she was laid up in bed very ill? Surely with all the taxes on vehicles gasoline etc, they would have a big surplus or at least be able to break even? But no - people are struggling more and more.

I am not saying Thatcher is a saint, I have read no-end of bad things about her PMship, but it sure as hell isn't better now, is it? Maybe this is the clue that govt needs to back the hell off before they completely destroy GB, and other countries that follow suit could be under the same axe.

I found this blog post from 2008 that gave a different view of Thatcher and New Labour, which was a switch from all the negative blame-game stuff I found in several prior pages of google lol.

"Gordon Brown: Margaret Thatcher is to blame for social immorality" 

and just for some added reading enjoyment, here is a link to a Facebook group celebrating the defacement of conservative billboards in the UK . I hope the link works... if not I apologize. It's a long one ;)

1 comment:

  1. Read The Downing Street Years, part of her autobiography. You can get a used copy from Amazon.

    ReplyDelete

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