Margaret Thatcher – Saint or Devil!

The 'Iron Lady'

The ‘Iron Lady’

There can be little doubt that the death of Margaret Thatcher has raised many feelings in Britain. Seldom in British politics has the death of a politician caused such diverse emotions among the population, for many have mourned her passing while others have celebrated it. Reading news items on the subject, and especially distasteful readers comments that have been posted on them, I am appalled at the callousness of people who have not taken the trouble to find out the facts of the ‘Iron Lady’s reign.

Scargill - Miners Leader

Scargill – Miners Leader

One of the biggest things she is accused of is destroying the mining industry in Britain. This is simply not true! The person behind the demise of this industry is none other than Arthur Scargill, who alone bears responsibility. What many people seem to forget, or do not know, is that he was a communist.  He joined the Young Communist League and became its Yorkshire District Chair in 1956 and went on later in the year to be a member of its National Executive Committee. He rose rapidly in the National Union of Miners (NUM), and when Margaret Thatcher ordered the closure of 20 loss-making mines, organized several strikes from 1972, culminating in the great strike of 1982-1983 which caused a split in the Union. He is guilty of holding the entire country to ransom at a time when union demands were growing ever bolder, and Margaret Thatcher would not give in. It was said at the time, that he refused to allow a ballot of members on whether to strike or not. After this year-long strike he was elected life-time president of the NUM in suspicious circumstances.

Along with Tony Benn of the Labour Party he campaigned hard for the release of two killers from jail, Russel Shankland and Dean Hancock who had been found guilty in a court of law of the murder of a taxi driver when they threw a concrete block off a bridge onto his taxi. Their campaign was successful, for the killers had their sentences reduced from life to eight years in 1985, and they were eventually released from prison in November 1989.

Ever since he was forced to step down from the Presidency, and membership of the Union in 2010, it became clear he is a true Communist sympathizer, and has gone on record as a supporter of Joseph Stalin, saying that the “ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin” explain the “real world”.

Barbican – Scargill’s Apartment for £34,000 A Year From NUM Funds

Another scandal hit Scargill in January 2012 when he insisted the Union pay his car expenses of £13,000, which he won in court. At the time the NUM General Secretary Chris Kitchen said, “I honestly do believe that Arthur, in his own world, believes that the NUM is here to afford him the lifestyle that he’s become accustomed to.” Later, in December of the same year, he lost a court action against the Union in which he demanded they continue to pay the rent for his apartment in Barbican, London. After this decision Chris Kitchen said,  “I would say it’s time to walk away, Mr Scargill. You’ve been found out. The NUM is not your personal bank account and never will be again.” On Scargill’s instructions The NUM had been paying his rent of £34,000 annually for years.

This is just a taste of the man who many people quote as the hero of the mining industry of Great Britain who managed to shift the blame firmly onto Margaret Thatcher for the demise of the mining industry. The fact that he was a self-confessed communist and agitator, and held the entire country to ransom for a whole year is not worthy of note in the eyes of those who ‘celebrate’ Margaret Thatcher’s death.

During her term as Prime Minister she upheld the principle of limited immigration, unlike Tony Blair of the Labour Party, who blatantly used mass immigration and extravagant Social Security payments as a means of gaining votes.

R.I.P

R.I.P

In the early eighties she reduced taxation to get the economy moving after a period of decline and by reducing government expenditure in education. Cabinet papers of the time reveal that Thatcher actually opposed the policy but was forced into it by the Treasury. Thatcher wrote in her autobiography: “I learned a valuable lesson [from the experience]. I had incurred the maximum of political odium for the minimum of political benefit.” It remains popular belief that Thatcher abolished free school milk for all ages. In fact milk for secondary school pupils was abolished by Edward Short, her predecessor as Education Secretary, whilst free milk for infants was abolished by Shirley Williams.

By 1983 overall economic growth was stronger and inflation and mortgage rates were at their lowest levels since 1970, but she does not get credit for that in some peoples eyes! She oversaw the privatization of several industries in Britain including gas, water and electricity with the intention of providing more competition. There is nothing wrong with that! In fact, regulation was significantly expanded to compensate for the loss of direct government control, and with the setting up of regulatory bodies like Ofgas, Oftel and the National Rivers Authority, until in most cases privatization benefited consumers in terms of lower prices and improved efficiency, but admittedly, the results overall were “mixed”. As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher consistently opposed the idea of privatizing British Rail, which was eventually done by John Major when he became Prime Minister and look at the mess it’s in today.

With regard to Northern Ireland and the IRA hunger strikers, I believe she was right in preventing those terrorists gaining status as political prisoners. They were not political prisoners, they were terrorists and killers plain and simple.

Falklands

Falklands

Her biggest triumph was the Falklands war, in which British forces took back the islands after the Argentinian invasion of 1982. Her close friendship with the then President of the USA, Ronald Reagan, opened up the possibility for us to strike back through use of the American controlled facilities at Ascension Islands, for refueling both air and sea forces.  Since the Second World War, few Prime Ministers in this country would have had the balls to stand up to such blatant aggression. With most it would have been no more than bleat! bleat! bleat! and endless complaining at the UN, but the Falkland islanders would be Argentinian today. Margaret Thatcher took the bull by the horns and let the world know in no uncertain terms that Britain would not be trifled with. Yet many today even castigate her memory for that!

To all those who are celebrating her death I have but one thing to say, before you blame the “Iron Lady” for every ill that has befallen you, first find out the facts, and then look to yourself and ask the question, In the same circumstances could I have done any better!!!!!!  

Roy.

2 Responses to “Margaret Thatcher – Saint or Devil!”

  1. Alan Says:

    Well said Roy.

    This country was bankrupt after a succession of Labour governments when she came into power. Same again today, the UK has never been so indebted, a repeat of history after a lengthy spell of Labour government.

    Also, it’s interesting that many of those making disparaging remarks weren’t even old enough to remember her when she was Prime Minister, they are just shallow know-nothings.

    Margaret Thatcher will be sorely missed, I don’t see the likes of her coming along any time soon.

    Cheers

    Alan

    Like

    • Hi Alan,
      Thanks for the comment. Once again the Conservatives have been thrown into the mixer to sort out all the problems left by the previous Labour government, just like before. The sad thing is, no-one seems to appreciate the task they have to take on. I am afraid that our next government could be Labour again because of sheer stupidity, and the old story of, “My father and his father always voted Labour and so will I”. These narrow-minded people cannot see beyond this, and do not take the trouble to look critically at what Tony Blair and his band of crooks did to the country. You are right insofar as we need another Margaret Thatcher today to sort out the problems, sadly that will not happen. I just hope David Cameron is up to the job, but the jury is still out on that one.
      Best Regards,
      Roy.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: