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On the way to paradise with the hell she created behind On the way to paradise with the hell she created behind
by Thanos Kalamidas
2013-04-09 11:11:27
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There is definitely irony into me writing about Margaret Thatcher a day after she died. Actually with all the effect the last few years to smooth and beautify her icon even with a little help from Hollywood, the Iron Lady might be on her way to paradise but only after she created hell to many on earth. The irony into having me writing this is mainly due to the many years I lived in Yorkshire back in 1980s, being there from the beginning of the miners’ strike, having seen with my own eyes the outcome and met all the protagonists of the period.

I’m sure that this moment every single site, blog and social media all around the world is writing about Attila the Hun with all the necessary historical facts and hours after her death Maggie still divides the world between the ones who loved and admired her and the ones who simply hated her. The girl who was brought up in a grocery shop to become the woman to rule an empire and die as a legend.

Yorkshire is a place I really love; I lived in a small village near Huddersfield and after short time you could see that this was the place of the Wuthering Heights and James Herriot’s land the same time. The drama of the nature and the people to the humour of the vet it was all there. Until Margaret Thatcher decided to save money.

When Margaret Thatcher took over from the labour Callaghan flagging the necessity for economic change. During Callaghan’s government the pound had lost power to the dollar, inflation had been rising while state expenses seemed to mount. Maggie didn’t let a day go after taking over. She first change taxation adding more indirect and definitely unfair taxes for the poor with best example the capital tax for the water where a rich land owner paid the same or even less tax with a worker with three kids. The injustice economic policy soon led into a confrontation with the unions that were powerful that period in UK. When Maggie decided to start cutting state expenses the National Coal Board suggested closing 20 out of the 174 state owned mines as non profitable. And she did leaving overnight nearly 20,000 people in Yorkshire unemployed.

The mines were a huge help and a steady income even periodically for the farmers in Yorkshire where there were even families with generations’ traditions into mining. And there was a whole local economy that lived from the miners’ communities. Arthur Scargill the leader of the National Union of Miners decides to react and calls all the miners in strike and in days all the mines close and over 200,000 people are on strike with the biggest number of them in Yorkshire. The whole Yorkshire became economic still and if in the beginning the whole community tried to help financially or even with things the miners and their families soon the result of over 200,000 people without a job was visual all around Yorkshire affect tens of other professions and families.

The same time the napoleonian, Machiavellian and definitely controversy presence of Arthur Scargill with all the things he was doing or saying; the man after dismissing the leadership of the labour party in the most insulting way, the party that supposedly supported him, decided that he was going to dissipate Maggie and obviously become the savoir of Britain. I had the ...honour (?) to meet him a few times and I insure you there was nothing pleasant about it. This man gave Maggie the golden chance to do too many things at ones.

First of all in few months she literally dissolved the labour party and it took the party over twenty years to recover until Tony Blair came to give the final hit but this is a different story.  Using good old Arthur and with a lot of help from what he was doing and saying she totally destroyed the reputation of the trade unions and their work among the British workers and the unions have recover still. And after a year in strike the 20 mines that were going to close in the beginning with the excuse that the strike had caused more than a billion damage to the British economy she closed 150 living tens of thousands families unemployed and financially destroyed creating even ghost cities in Yorkshire. And she used the same policies in industry making the gap between rich and poor in Britain huge.

Margaret Thatcher was a leader with an iron fist often castrating friends and foes inside or abroad. She created a dogma and stereotypes about the European Union that still today are used by the euro-sceptics. Her presence only damaged women’s’ equality movement and after the liberal 1960s and 1970s she definitely gave a new wind to conservatism and capitalism.

But saying all that you cannot dismiss the fact that Margaret Thatcher was a great personality that she loved her country and in her way – you agree or not – she fought for the best and Thatcher presence changed history in Europe. But as I said her later sainthood might lead her to paradise but she left behind a hell she created and she was responsible. 


       
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Emanuel Paparella2013-04-09 11:51:12
Indeed Thanos, in some way her policies continue today with austerity measures, mostly against the poor and the disadvantaged and producing zero growth in the British economy, the same exact policy the Republican nit wits in Washington would like to adopt as we speak. Those are the one who will now heap praise upon praise for Margaret Tatcher. But I think the best insight of the above piece on St. Iron Lady in Paradise leaving hell behind is that she gave a bad name to feminism. Rather than offering a real alternative to the political cultural enormities perpetrated by so called “courageous” men with balls she became one of them in every respect, and imitated their political tactics and stratagems, not excluding the sad spectacle of having half the British navy leave England to go and defend a couple of rocks in the South Atlantic next to Argentina, a defense of principles worthy of any male chauvinist politicians unconcerned with fighting a useless war with the death of thousands of young men. She even got furious at the US when the Monroe doctrine was invoked and she did not get 100% support. They say one ought never speak bad of the dead and in fact we ought to leave the final judgment to the Maker who knows even recondite intentions, but this is not a judgment but a critique of a public record that many misguidedly continue to find admirable.


Leah Sellers2013-04-10 05:55:15
Yes Gentlemen,
I must agree with much of what you have asserted. Although, she was an advocate for Protecting Mother Earth and the Environments and Resources which Sustain the very Humanity she had such a profoundly chokingly austere impact upon.
Ah, Life is filled with just such ongoing Ironies and Iron Ladies and Men, who have no compunction about imprisoning some of Humanity into insufferable Iron Maidens, while creating a whole class of The Few to Create, Maintain and Guard the EnSlaving Iron Maidens of the World.


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