While I do not rejoice in the death of a human being, I did not mourn her passing. My mother suffered with a slow death through Alzheimer's so I can sympathise with her family to that extent. There it ends.
Thatcher supported brutal regimes around the world, from the Khmer Rouge to Pinochet; she opposed sanctions on South Africa's apartheid regime while referring to Nelson Mandela and the ANC as "typical terrorists".
She even managed to scar her achievement in liberating the people of the Falkland Islands by shunning the maimed at the victory celebrations and service.
She exhibited the vindictive side of Conservatism, what I think of as the "Skylon Syndrome". (You might have look up what happened to the Skylon, and why.)
She enacted the vicious anti-gay "Section 28" thankfully repealed by the Labour government. She embodied all the prejudices of the small minded lower middle class, fearful and contemptuous of the working classes only just removed from her, and jealous of the upper classes whom she scorned, eventually to her cost.
Her assault on the lower and working classes was never ending. She cut milk for school children, lowered the top tax rate while raising the bottom one, doubled VAT, and privatised pretty much everything she could without creating competition. She crushed the unions and then manufacturing industry, especially mining, the real crime being her indifference in what happened to those communities afterwards - after all, they were almost all Labour voting areas. She looked after what she called "our people". There was no strategy to cater for those cast on the scrapheap by her accelerated drive to move from a manufacturing to a service economy, itself a flawed policy as it turns out. Those Conservatives who showed some social conscience were castigated as "wets" and derided.
From having the safest and most technically advanced coal mining industry in the world - and yes, there was a cost to that - we now import 50 million tons of coal a year from countries where thousands die in mines extracting it. It's cheap of course, while we walk around on an island with millions of tons still in the ground.
She deregulated almost everything she could, ignoring why the regulations were there in the first place. The classic example being the need to superheat animal feed, which was costly. When these regulations were relaxed, what did we get? Surviving prions and Mad Cow disease and human deaths from CJD; with its long incubation period, how many more are to come? Mad Cow indeed!
She tore up complex and detailed building regulations designed to make homes safe and comfortable, replacing them with loose rules that enabled developers, anxious to maximise their profits, to build to lower standards using cheap and unsuitable materials, some of which were actually unsafe, so tragically exposed by the Grenfell fire. She is the cause of today's disaster facing so many leaseholders who face financial and personal ruin.
The right to buy was a charter for profiteering landlords. Once homes were cheaply bought out of the social housing stock, what incentive was there for councils to build more homes? And many of those who bought now find they have houses they can only sell at a loss to private investors who are rubbing their hands at each auction of repossessed homes.
And then she launched the 'Big Bang', pushing high risk financial deregulation of the financial industry that directly led to the global recession, bailouts, and cuts we're facing today.
She destroyed the social consensus, dividing a society that by and large had held to a single set of values. This was replaced by the "loads-a-money", yuppie culture where all that mattered was your bank balance. The price of everything but the value of nothing. The yobbery we see today, epitomised by the growing number of 'neets' and the social disorder affecting so many town centres in the evenings - these are Thatcher's children, raised in the era when "me first" became socially acceptable.
Thatcher is the reason for today's housing crisis, the welfare crisis, the financial crisis, and the rising unemployment and hardship in today's Britain.
She spent her later years as a consultant for Phillip Morris, pedlars of death by tobacco. Her much vaunted bravery was nothing of the sort. Frankly, she just didn't give a damn!
Thatcher's legacy? We're living it.
Thanks to Dave Anderson, formerly MP for Blaydon, and others for their input.
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