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David Lindsay
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She gave Britain the Single European Act, the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the Exchange Rate Mechanism. She gave Britain the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, and the replacement of O-levels with GCSEs. And she gave Britain the destruction of patriarchal authority within working-class families and communities through the destruction of that authority’s economic basis in the stockades of working-class male employment. The middle classes were transformed from people like her father into people like her son. She told us that “there is no such thing as society”, in which case there cannot be any such thing as the society that is the family, or the society that is the nation. All in all, she turned Britain into the country that Marxists had always said it was, even though, before her, it never actually had been. Specifically, she sold off national assets at obscenely undervalued prices, while subjecting the rest of the public sector (fully forty per cent of the economy) to an unprecedented level of central government dirigisme. She presided over the rise of Political Correctness, so much of a piece with the massively increased welfare dependency, and the general moral chaos, of the 1980s. Hers was the war against the unions, which cannot have had anything to do with monetarism, since the unions have never controlled the money supply. And hers were the continuing public subsidies to fee-paying schools, to agriculture, to nuclear power, and to mortgage-holders. Without those public subsidies, the fourth would hardly have existed, and the other three (then as now) would not have existed at all. So much for “You can’t buck the market”. You can now, as you could then, and as she did then. The issue is not whether fee-paying schools, agriculture, nuclear power or mortgage-holding is a good or a bad thing in itself. The issue is whether “Thatcherism” was compatible with their continuation by means of “market-bucking” public subsidies. It simply was not, as it simply is not. Hers was the ludicrous pretence to have brought down the Soviet Union merely because she happened to be in office when that Union happened to collapse, as it would have done anyway, in accordance with the predictions of (among other people) Enoch Powell. But she did make a difference internationally where it was possible to do so, by providing aid and succour to Pinochet’s Chile and to apartheid South Africa. I condemn the former as I condemn Fidel Castro, and I condemn the latter as I condemn Robert Mugabe. No doubt you do, too. But she did not then, and she does not now. Speaking of Mugabe, it was she who refused to recognise the Muzorewa-Smith Government, instead holding out for the Soviet-backed Joshua Nkoma as if he would have been any better than the Chinese-backed Mugabe. It was also she who took away the British passports of the people of most of the British Overseas Territories (all of which remain so entirely by choice), she who supported the American invasion of Her Majesty’s Realm of Grenada, and she who sewed the seeds of the present problems of the Gurkhas. And it was she who issued what amounted to the open invitation to Argentina to invade the Falkland Islands, followed by the (starved) Royal Navy’s having to behave as if the hopelessly out-of-her-depth Prime Minister did not exist, a sort of coup without which those Islands would be Argentine to this day. Get over her!
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