Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Thatcher's Legacy

I am a stockbroker. Many of my clients are plumbers and builders. Many "working class" (and proudly so) people earn far more than the "professionals" who serve them. Those who lack the wit to buy their own tools, van and hire a mate, and instead spend their wages in the pub or the bookies, have only themselves to blame. Before Thatcher, someone like me would only have seen a plumber when a pipe burst. Now, they're my clients.


The working class people, who bought, or whose parents bought their council house, and got on haven't changed as people. They remain the stout, hard working, decent people they always were. They've just got access to wealth which in previous generations was reserved for others. 

Other generations have had means for people of the right talents to rise: Imperial service, industry, academia, politics or grammar schools provided means by which people from all backgrounds have risen to the top, and achieved comfortable stations in life. Britain has never been the snobby, closed society of myth. It's just we've never wanted to throw our Aristocrats out, but instead join them at table. 

The "post war consensus" though really did for a while create closed, corporatist, sclerotic society, and Thatcher shattered it. 'Right to buy' was, for many, the Thatcher policy which broke the mould as it put capital, and lots of it in the hands of people who previously were merely tennant vassals of the state or employer. That policy, and the idea that big business can start out of the back of a van gave people the confidence to try to change their station in life. These two policies shattered the working-class block-vote for Labour, and showed them that most people don't want a hand out, but a hand up. The sense of belief in the country, and the talents of its people came from the top. 

Labour in office spent 13 years spending taxes earned by Thatcher's children, rebuilding the client state she smashed, with disastrous results. Those who benefited from her reforms will never forget her. Those who were left behind will never forgive her. But don't pretend she was only for the rich. Because she made a lot of people of previously modest means very, very wealthy. 



6 comments:

JimmyGiro said...

She opened the floodgates to the autonomous Marxist metropolitan councils, such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, and Glasgow. The very councils that governed the teacher training colleges, and from there, the very education strategy for the next two generations.

The breaking of the 'establishment' was also the breaking of much of the cultural safeguards such as the family unit; seeing Marxist principles applied to the ever growing 'Social Services', hell bent on destroying the family in any which way it could. Thatcher must be seen as the cause of this too, for her group allowed the bureaucratizing to grow from the many quangos that were spawned during her period in power.

For good intentions, she empowered the entrepreneurs, but she also empowered the leftist organized subversives, and the mercenary asset strippers, that preyed on the old established businesses that were suckered into floatation on the markets.

What is so odd, is that she was referred to as a conservative, when clearly she was an extreme radical.

JimmyGiro said...

... And more to the point, she was Keith Joseph's radical

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Joseph

SadButMadLad said...

And yet though she allowed many to start their own business many are still saying (someone speaking from Grimethrope) that she destroyed their community and that the community still hasn't recovered so many decades later. If the community hasn't got off it's arse after so long then it deserves to stay at the bottom of the pile.

Simon Jester said...

Jackart, I agree with pretty much every word of your post. I think it would be food for thought, for those who insist that the Conservatives under Thatcher were the "Nasty" party.

Mark said...

Quite.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the sheer awfulness of this country in the 70s appreciate what she did.

Its quite remarkable the degree to which the left still tries to blame her 20 odd years after she left office.

As the arabs say you should judge somebody by their enmies and if Thatcher generates such visceral hatred from the left after so long surely shows she must have been right!

Anonymous said...

She and Reagan changed the world and helped free millions from the Soviets.

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