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Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 12:28:13


{rp} Kingmaker 
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What are your views on the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher?
Did she do more good than ill for Britain and the World?
Was she right to defend the British soveriegn territory of the Falklands?
How instrumental was she in bringing about the end of communism and the cold war?
Did she do the right thing by breaking the unions and changing the face of British politics and society?

Share your thoughts on the iconic first woman prime minister of Britain.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 12:42:45


x 
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I think she probably would have been better at boxing and synchronised swimming than Harold Wilson.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 12:52:32


ps 
Level 60
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i can tell you the movie was pretty crappy.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 13:55:57


Ironheart
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Get your hands off pour Falklands, there's oil there you see so defending it is good in the eyes of all.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 14:53:48


myhandisonfire 
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Unless we are part of a lucky happy few, part of 10 to maximum 20% of the society, the very upper to upper class and unless we dont have the slightest bit of a conscience and sense for justice, we wouldnt cry a single tear.

Margaret Thatcher was the figurehead of neo-liberalism. What Reagan was for the USA, she was for GB. Together they destroyed the british and US economies and social structures. Their mass privatisation of governmental controled industy and public services into the hands of a selected few led to dramatical inequal and injust society, making the rich richer and the poorer poorer, ultimately laying the foundation for all the social and economical problems we can witness today. The current finacial crisis just being the top layer of this crippled socities. An ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor, two-tier or even three-tier society, less and less political and social participation for the majority of the population etc etc.
In the US, income distribution shifted radically in favor of the wealthy under Reagan’s neo-liberalist policies. During the 1980s, the wealthiest 10 percent of American families increased their income by nearly 20 percent, while the top 5 percent took home a staggering 25-30 percent more. Meanwhile, the other 90 percent of Americans lost considerable income, with the bottom 10 percent losing over 15 percent of their already paltry earnings. While the income of the wealthy 10 percent increased from $200,000 to $400,000 per year under ‘Reaganomics’, the income of the bottom 10 percent fell from $4,000 to $3,500. American corporate executives began to take home astronomical salaries, up to 200 times higher than those of their average workers, who often struggled to keep their jobs in the face of massive layoffs and cutbacks.
The situation in GB was not much different, this shows the gini coefficient, which is the most common method of measuring inequality. Under gini, a score of one would be a completely unequal society; zero would be completely equal. Britain's gini score went up from 0.253 to 0.339 by the time Thatcher resigned.

You should always remember, that when we are talking numbers, we are talking actual people. Millions of people who lost their homes, fell into poverty, their daily hardships increased, their families destroyed, their lives worsened or ultimately ended.

So when we talk about Thatcher we need to talk neo-liberalism. neo-liberalism benefits the wealthiest 10-20 percent of most societies, which explains why it is the preferred mode of discourse of the media and politics, which are dominated by the wealthy the world over. Proving that ideas do have real effects in the world neo-liberalists launched and maintained what amounts to a major campaign of thought-control to ensure that citizen-consumers of the world do not see its destructive flaws and that they are unable to conceptualize any other possibilities, or even that neo-liberalism is anything but an inevitable, eternal truth of economic thought. The top 20 of society gets richer, the rest lose even basic benefits.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 15:06:34


szeweningen 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdR7WW3XR9c

myhandisonfire, I must say that I have greatest contempt for what you just said. Neoliberalism is a term forged by socialists to associate every modern policy with the word liberal and what you wrote shows how little understanding of economics you have and the fact that you say:
The current finacial crisis just being the top layer of this crippled socities. An ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor, two-tier or even three-tier society, less and less political and social participation for the majority of the population etc etc.
is just laughable.
Living in Germany you might try relating to your richest 10%, but believe me, anyone in Poland's poorest 50% would rather have the economic ststus of UK's poorest 10%. Since it is a thread about Margaret Thatcher I won't start a full-on economic debate and will just say, that she was one of the very few politicians I truly respected.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 16:48:26


myhandisonfire 
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Sze

I am sorry to say that to you, but you have not the slightest idea of what I am talking about.
I know that you give a great deal on economics and I know that it explains your world, but you fail to see that the truth is hidden in plain view. You dont understand that your sacred economical theories are applied by people with agenda.
And this agenda is not necessarily to provide a just and lawful enviroment that offers same chances for everyone and protection of everyones rights.
If i wouldnt know you better, I would just say you are another partial blind, misguided brainwashed economical fundamentalist, but since I do, i will only say you never really doubted your own way of thinking. You are just naive when it comes to politics.
You insult me by claiming that what i said is laughable, instead of disproving any of the facts given by me to you, which you should do if you would try to have a real argument with me.

Addressing the youtube link you provided,
I want you to look at this graph :



and then compare it to this graph :



now I want to do you the math. That must be simple for you since you are a maths ace.
If you still believe the populism of Margaret Thatchers speech in the video now, that the poorest got actually richer under Thatcher, so to say "poor on a higher level", i can no longer call it ignorant or naive or blind on one eye anymore, i will have to call it stupid.

You claim that anyone in Polands poorest 50% would glady have the economic status of UK`s poorest. That remains a ridiculous statement even if I accept that unproven assumption and arbitrary number you provided. I could counter with telling you that the majority of South Africas population would glady switch their economic status with that of Poland`s poorest and that allthough South Africa offers more of your beloved economical freedom than Poland does.

Let me explain to you how poverty truely works. Poverty is not dealing in absolutes. Poverty is always dealing in relatives. If you`d have a million dollars you think you`d be rich. But if everyone else but you would have a billion dollars, you`d be a peniless pauper. UK before Thatcher had more social and economical equality to start with and obviously much more than Poland had at the same time. Given a just and fair economic framework (a social market ecomony model like Sweden applied i.e.) this could have benefited everyone in the country and not only 10% of the population, without hampering the economy of the UK in the long run. Everyone would have become richer.

It is saddening for me to see that someone like you sze, who should be smart enough to know better, is not asking for the "cui bono". It is also very or even more saddening to hear that Thatcher was truely one of the only politicans you ever respected.
That can only mean you are either loving injustice and have no social conscience, or you are totally clueless and misguided about what true and just political leader look like.
To your benefit, I think its the latter.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 17:04:58


myhandisonfire 
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Here is the Gini-index for both the USA and GB
I decided to post them seperately since they take up a lot of space.

One thing ahead. As being said before the Gini coefficient is commonly used as a measure of inequality of income or wealth, with a value of 0 representing a very equal distribution (perfect equality-everyone has the same income) and a value of 1 a very unequal distribution (all the income is concentrated on one person).

One of the foremost true democracies in the world, Sweden and Denmark rank the best, with a Gini index of under 0.25 or 0.24 while GB has a gini index of 0.34 and USA 0.45 much like China with a gini index of 0.48.

Another thing you might find interesting:
The United Nations has set a “danger level” of 0.40 for potential social unrest.

Now you can judge for yourself about the Reagan and Thatcher era:



Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 18:00:33


x 
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anyone in Poland's poorest 50% would rather have the economic ststus of UK's poorest 10%


And what does this prove? Just because they would rather have it, doesn't mean they would be happier, or even better off. Aside from the fact that you just completely made this up. I'm not going to get involved in the economic side of the argument, but please try not to fail so hard at logic, thank you.

That can only mean you are either loving injustice and have no social conscience, or you are totally clueless and misguided about what true and just political leader look like.


No, people like this only care about numbers, and not about people. Nor the long-term effects of their actions.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 20:26:59


Gnullbegg 
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Net private non-residential fixed investment as a percent of GDP (5-year moving average)


Financial profits as a percent of total profits (5-year moving average)



These are for the US but I'd be hugely surprised if the UK's didn't look very similar.
You get the idea. Keep in mind this was before the crisis.
So what did Thatcher & Reagan do? They enabled an economic boom by de-regulating financial markets. The boom outside of the financial sector didn't last very long (there really wasn't a whole lot of 'trickling down' taking place, look at myhands graphs). The financial market kept on expanding though. Until the bubble burst. We currently 'have to correct for' this 30 years of bubble economics.
However, if Thatcher hadn't done this in Britain someone else would have. But you can still hate her for supporting Pinochet, for example.

((source: http://monthlyreview.org/2008/04/01/the-financialization-of-capital-and-the-crisis))
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/9/2013 23:32:50


Accept my Surrender
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As I know very little about Margaret Thatcher except for maybe an hour I spent on her Wikipedia page (which some argue has a left leaning bias) I will not try and attempt to make a position on any of her policies. Instead I will just say that the Falklands War in my eyes seemed like such a useless waste of time, money, and lives for Argentina only to fail in gaining their objectives. It realy makes me wonder why Argentina attacked in the first place. Surely, they should have known that they would lose against England. Anyway it would be cool if anyone living in England or Argentina at that time could give me their perspectives on this interesting moment of history. Thank you.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/10/2013 09:41:02


{rp} Kingmaker 
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I remember as a 13 year old teenager watching the news unfold from the moment the Argentinians first took the islands. I think the whole nation was glued to their TV boxes waiting for the next news bulletin.

When it was announced that a task force was on its way to reclaim the territory I felt anxious as I had only ever watched films about war or read in books, but now my country was at war for the first time in my lifetime. The same feeling occured when we had the two Iraq wars but not so intense. This was just Britain alone verses the Argentinians. (1v1 you could say.) National pride was at stake and I must admit Britain had lost its glorious prestige of the past by that time.

The voice of Brian Hanrahan still echos in my memories as he recounted each day's events and most famously he said "I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back." It was a thrilling if dangerous time and was set in the backdrop of the cold war with nuclear annihilation on the cards.

When our chaps finally won it was a certain sense of relief, pride and sadness. Relief that was over and that we could resume our mundane lives once again, pride that we once again had shown that we can defend our selves and our lands, and sadness at the lost lives. We were victorious and I do remember most here celebrating the return of the armed forces. The nation was divided but I think the vast majority were glad that we reclaimed our soveriegn territory and that we also rescued our friends in the Falklands.

It took us about 50 years to forgive the germans but I think now we get on well with our germanic cousins. How long will it be for the Brits and Argies to get on again? It's been more than 20 years now. The French and the Germans have stopped squabbling over the Alsace region but the South Pacific islands seem to burn harshly in both nations hearts still.

(BTW. I'm not looking for an online battle.)
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/10/2013 10:26:28


Accept my Surrender
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Thanks {RP} Wordsworth
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/10/2013 10:43:04

Qi 
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What? Reagan wasn't the greatest Republican president since Lincoln? And Thatcher (the Iron Cunt, as my co-worker calls her) wasn't an economic genius? I'm flabbergasted.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/10/2013 16:36:10


skunk940 
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Margaret Thatcher is one of the greatest Prime Ministers the UK has ever had. She improved our economy to one the best in Europe, retook the Falklands which was ours in every right, she did the right thing with the unions. After all someone is always going to lose out, you have to pick the people who lose out for the most reasonable reason which is what she did. Our current prime ministers and politicians don't do that now. They don't work for the people only to keep themselves elected for another season...
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/10/2013 19:16:09


Ⓖ. Ⓐrun 
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South Atlantic Islands Wordsworth.. :P

Whether you like Thatcher or not, you can't deny she showed that women could get into politics too (I know other women became Prime Minister before her abroad, but I am talking about Britain) and do everything men could there. However, whether due to voters or lack of women politicians in general, the amount of women in Parliament is pretty low.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/10/2013 23:39:24


Harbringer of Change
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Guys, anyone who says Margaret Thatcher was a bad prime minister is sexist and corrupt. You all are terrible.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/10/2013 23:40:14


Harbringer of Change
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Damn, wrong account.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/11/2013 07:46:57


{rp} Kingmaker 
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Thanks Arun. My bad. I did know it was the Atlantic. I have no idea why I typed Pacific.

:P

I think you have to take a balanced view of her. No one is perfect and she made wrong decisions like anyone else does, however she was able to make some really tough decisions.

I believe the retaking of the Falklands was right, her stance on Europe justified and the change in the economy necessary. Arthur Scargill set out to bring down the government so he left little choice for Thatcher but she was perhaps too ruthless in how she dealt with the communities who were after all human beings. I think she could have been tougher against apartheid and less tough on the IRA hunger strikers. The former to help bring about the end of the apartheid government swifter and the latter to avoid the natural sympathy that flowed towards the IRA prisoners. Her ruthlessness resulted in a successful IRA recruiting campaign. The final mistake was the Poll Tax which was never going to work and had failed previously in history to dire consequences.

I respect her as a strong determined leader and conviction politician. She never played games and was straight acting. She was a very clever woman who was able to "persuade" the consensus to bend to her will.

I dread to think what Britain would have been like under Michael Foot.

BTW I am not Tory but a natural Liberal with individual thinking on each issue. Thatcher also claimed she was a Liberal at heart too, who believed in the power and right of the individual.

What matters most he she truly believed that she was doing the right and best thing for Britain and in many cases she was very right but like all human beings she sometimes got it wrong!
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/12/2013 07:34:40


{rp} Kingmaker 
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I must say I did expect a more heated debate on Thatcherism. I am disappointed. I can only put it down to the current trend of political apathy and the majority younger membership which still don't have a clue who she is.

:(
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/12/2013 23:24:08


FBG - Gaspumper 
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not to hijack a thread that's already been hijacked, but Fidel Castro is the last icon of the cold war. IMO.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/12/2013 23:48:14


professor dead piggy 
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Isn't the last and most important icon nuclear weaponry, mad and the threat of apocalypse? I don't see why it would be a person.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/13/2013 08:47:56


{rp} Kingmaker 
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Last living icon: Gaspumper maybe correct although Gorby is still alive and non-living: piggy correct.
Thatcher! the last icon of the cold war?: 4/18/2013 07:01:29


FBG - Gaspumper 
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forgot about gorby- he's definitely an icon as well
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