Margaret Thatcher died today aged 87
If you want the hagiography then I recommend BBC news. Tributes to our Iron Lady that roll on and on and on. All very hard to stomach. But what did Mrs T actually achieve aside from, as The Sun newspaper famously put up, saying “Up yours Delors”! What did the policies of a government led by a Prime Minister who told us that she didn’t believe in society, actually do to our society? The answer is that she set about dismantling it altogether.
There were winners, of course, but that was inevitable given that Thatcher’s aims were all about winners and losers. So as she asset-stripped the nation, selling off our telecommunications, our electricity and gas companies, and our water supplies (government gradually reduced to the role of the banker in a game of Monopoly) those who bought the shares at bargain prices made a quick buck, thank you very much. And money was also flooding into the coffers from the sale of council houses, but mostly thanks to the boom in North Sea oil.
So where was all that money spent? Well, mostly it was redistributed by way of tax cuts; our own money given away so that it would supposedly trickle down back to us, ha ha… but of course the money never did trickle back down, and simply percolated upwards, lining the pockets of the new millionaires and then trickling away altogether into the off-shore tax havens and Swiss Bank accounts of the super-elites.
But Thatcher’s policies didn’t only ensure the tremendous wealth transfer from the poor to the rich. In achieving these ends she had also set about smashing up the trade unions, making ready to begin deindustrialising the country, whilst simultaneously “liberalising” the markets. So a country that had once been a powerhouse of industrial output was being reduced, cut down to leave our so-called “service economy”, and increasingly dependent upon sustained growth within The City of London. Growth that was delusory, since it was, we now realise, based upon an ever-expanding bubble of new “financial instruments”. A growth that was eating into the economy itself.
In short then, Thatcher encouraged us to be more selfish than ever whilst deregulating those parts of our society that most needed regulation. Deregulation that has carried us to where we find ourselves today… on the brink of bankruptcy. But obviously I wouldn’t expect those who still love and admire Mrs T to believe me when I say that this financial mess is actually her one true and lasting legacy. No, please don’t listen to me. Listen instead to Paul Craig Roberts, the former head of policy at Department of Treasury under Reagan and so-called Father of Reaganomics; the man behind the same neo-liberal policies and strategies that were also being applied at the very same time across the Atlantic:
Here’s what Paul Craig Roberts wrote in a recent article [March 6th] posted on his own website (please note that had Thatcher been American, she would undoubtedly have described herself as a Libertarian):
Libertarians will be the last to comprehend that the return of crony capitalism, robber barons, and economic insecurity is the direct consequence of a quarter century of deregulation. As I show in my new book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism And Economic Dissolution Of The West, it is the failure of the latest laissez faire experiment that has saddled us with crony capitalism. Monopoly concentration and rule by the few, not Libertarian nirvana, is what deregulation and unbridled greed produce.
More on how the economic policies of Thatcher and Reagan were the root cause of this present economic crisis, as well as proposed strategies for rescuing ourselves from an otherwise inevitable financial catastrophe, can be found in my earlier post [published July 2011] entitled “The answer to TINA… is TRISH”.
And this is British author, journalist and political activist, Tariq Ali, offering his own brief assessment of Thatcher’s legacy on today’s Democracy Now!:
On the latest episode of the Keiser Report [broadcast on RT, April 10th], Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert examined the question of whether Margaret Thatcher “saved Britain.” They draw attention to the economic impact of peak North Sea oil revenues, and ask, if Thatcher had saved some of our nation’s oil wealth, just how large might a UK sovereign wealth fund be today:
In the second half of the show, Max Keiser also talked to Jan Skoyles of The Real Asset Company about whether the safest way to protect your money is by investing in gold, silver or Bitcoin – an informed and interesting discussion.