Even Meryl Streep can’t whitewash this
Posted by Charles II on April 9, 2013
Not only in former mining communities and industrial areas laid waste by her government, but across Britain [the late Prime Minister Margaret] Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatisation and social breakdown. Now protests are taking the form of satirical e-petitions for the funeral to be privatised: if it goes ahead, there are likely to be protests and demonstrations.
This is a politician, after all, who never won the votes of more than a third of the electorate; destroyed communities; created mass unemployment; deindustrialised Britain; redistributed from poor to rich; and, by her deregulation of the City, laid the basis for the crisis that has engulfed us 25 years later.
Thatcher was a prime minister who denounced Nelson Mandela as a terrorist, defended the Chilean fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, ratcheted up the cold war, and unleashed militarised police on trade unionists and black communities alike. She was Britain’s first woman prime minister, but her policies hit women hardest, like Cameron’s today.
A common British establishment view – and the implicit position of The Iron Lady – is that while Thatcher took harsh measures and “went too far”, it was necessary medicine to restore the sick economy of the 1970s to healthy growth.
It did nothing of the sort. Average growth in the Thatcherite 80s, at 2.4%, was exactly the same as in the sick 70s – and considerably lower than during the corporatist 60s. Her government’s savage deflation destroyed a fifth of Britain’s industrial base in two years, hollowed out manufacturing, and delivered a “productivity miracle” that never was, and we’re living with the consequences today.
What she did succeed in doing was to restore class privilege…
Predictably, even The Guardian is now full of amnesiac hagiography. I was unable to watch any of the US electronic media, knowing it would be even worse.
One Response to “Even Meryl Streep can’t whitewash this”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.