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Old 04-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #166
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

I'm looking at Glenda, a very successful and accomplished person, (and a beauty) then I think about Thatcher who was also by all accounts a very successful individual, her life just spells success any way you want to look at it. She ended up in the House of Lords if that means something, it certainly does in the UK.

In an "aspiring" society such as Britain, or rather very class-sensitive society, the success and pride that comes with it are multiplied, as are horrors that come with failure, to the extent that failure dehumanizes people. It's a European cultural trait I am afraid, seen in its purest form and glory in England. So "thatcherism" is just a word for that ways in another era and circumstances, basically it's the same old story.

As she famously said, there is no society, just individuals. So, if that's true, it was all about her success, not the succes of the UK. I wouldn't mind if there was no such thing as society, but everywhere I look I still see people.

the problem is not about success...if you are successful, good for you, great, I have great respect for successful people. But what with the weaker people? And it's a problem on the global scale. People are indeed different when it comes to skills, strength, knowledge etc, but everyone in each corner of the world has their potentials and should have the right to dignity and opportunity. Unforunatelly, masses of people are first stripped off their opportunities, then their dignity, and it ends with a horrible dehumanization.

From such a grim starting point, everything is possible...despair, frustrations, fear, oppression, manipulation and finally wars and mass killings.

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #167
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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Deregulation, and a cosy relationship between banks and the regulators for those regulations that did remain, certainly led to the financial crisis of 2007, and that process can be traced back to deregulation in 1986 in London, and perhaps more pertinently, the advent of new technology, screen trading, and renumeration structures that rewarded short term profits, whatever the long term consequences - those features occurred in New York and other financial centres, not just London. This crisis was a global one that began in the US and was exported around the world due to the intertwined nature of international finance, which was helped by deregulation. This is one reason I find it so completely odious that the UK Coalition blame Labour for everything, when they merely happened to be in office when it all blew up and did a good job of putting a floor under the resulting economic collapse, which this Coalition has managed to reverse.
How well versed are you with the mechanisms of the financial crisis and the banking sector? I'm not trying to be condescending but I've studied these topics in the University during my studies in Economics and so I don't want to use terminology that you are not familiar with and appear all high and mighty .

What aspects of deregulation specifically are you saying caused the crisis? Because the fundamental issue in this whole thing is mispricing risk, selling assets with a price that did not correspond with the truth. There are plenty of interesting aspects to discuss here but I want to narrow down the point of discussion.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:31 PM   #168
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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As she famously said, there is no society, just individuals.
One of the most misrepresented phrases of the 20th century. The full context from the same interview:

There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

It was not an ode to selfishness. It was an ode to personal responsibility. Too often people use 'society' as this nebulous construct and say it is responsible for solving problems, when we should be taking responsibility ourselves - whether that is to fix our own situation, or help our neighbour fix his.

We abrogate our own duties when we say something is society's fault, or society's job to fix. Society, insofar as it exists, is us.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:33 PM   #169
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Blaming Thatcher for the financial crisis in a practical sense would be pointless - her and her ideology may have helped kick off the process that ultimately led to the meltdown but many others in between 86 and 07 have dirtier hands than she. The reason Thatcher gets dragged into this is because ultimately this was a consequence of her ideology - free markets, deregulation, untrammelled wealth and the notion that the market is ultimately self-correcting and self-sustaining.
You want to start blaming everyone associated with a particular ideology for the subsequent consequences, then you may as well blame the Labour movement for Stalin's purges.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:37 PM   #170
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Nothing but leftist hyperbole. Industrial output and manufacturing rose exponentially under Thatcher. Even coal output was higher when she left office, despite the pit closures. It's a wonder what you can do when you trim the fat.
You can call me leftist all you like as though this wear some insult - I wear it as a badge of honour, the same way I wear gay as a badge of honour, in spite of that also being seen in its day as a thing of immorality under Thatcher's government.

What I liked was that people had employment and were valued. When that 'fat' was trimmed, people were thrown on the scrapheap and given no help to get back off it again, and were told it was their own fault. Change happens, I am no Luddite, but the human consequences were terrible and were met by an uncaring response from her Government, which condemned many workers and their children to dreadful poverty, disillusionment, stress and physical and mental illness.

Yes, manufacturing rose under Thatcher's 11 years, as new technologies came on stream and productivity increases replaced the thousands who were now on the welfare roles. It did so after dropping dramatically in the early 80s as the disastrous recession, exacerbated by Thatcherite economic policies wreaked havoc, and then rebounded in the later 80s as economic growth finally returned and the economy, after 7 years of Thatcher, finally returned to 1979 levels. I'm not sure I see your point - all recessions end eventually, and growth returns, it's part of the cyclical nature of capitalism. Government policy can exacerbate and worsen the recession, as it did under Margaret Thatcher, or it can help to alleviate it and reduce its impact on the most vulnerable.

It's no accident that under Gordon Brown, the UK recession that followed the 2007 crash ended and growth had returned to the economy by 2010, while as soon as the Tories took over, their spending squeeze, echoing Thatcher's mistakes of 1979-1981, threw the economy back into recession and stagnation.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:42 PM   #171
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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One of the most misrepresented phrases of the 20th century. The full context from the same interview:

There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

It was not an ode to selfishness. It was an ode to personal responsibility. Too often people use 'society' as this nebulous construct and say it is responsible for solving problems, when we should be taking responsibility ourselves - whether that is to fix our own situation, or help our neighbour fix his.

We abrogate our own duties when we say something is society's fault, or society's job to fix. Society, insofar as it exists, is us.
Thanks for the quote it indeed looks better and I actually agree with it. Especially with "our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate

But it seems that she personally failed in that part in bold. I don't like governments, but some organized effort is needed to solve this problem, it seems we can't rely on charities and similar stuff in the times when greed is a norm, a desirable thing.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #172
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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Originally Posted by Caesar1844 View Post
One of the most misrepresented phrases of the 20th century. The full context from the same interview:

There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

It was not an ode to selfishness. It was an ode to personal responsibility. Too often people use 'society' as this nebulous construct and say it is responsible for solving problems, when we should be taking responsibility ourselves - whether that is to fix our own situation, or help our neighbour fix his.

We abrogate our own duties when we say something is society's fault, or society's job to fix. Society, insofar as it exists, is us.
Here is the thing - society is not a nebulous construct - correct. Society is a thing that has been created as the country has grown in population and developed, as time has passed and as Government and other structures have been put in place to tackle certain kinds of problems.

For example, at some point, it was decided by Government and endorsed by the electorate that the best way of tackling poor health in our citizens was to create a nationalised health service that was free at the point of use and available to all. (Delivered in 1948 after Labour won a landslide in 1945 and won again in 1950). This was an instance where the citizens of the country agreed that we would use some our income, as tax, to fund this health service. This creates a more efficient, joined-up health service than would exist if it were left to private charity, local organisations, and the hodge-podge of initiatives that existed beforehand on matters of public health. The citizens pooled their tax money to create a service that worked for the good of all. This is not absolving ourselves of personal responsibility, this is collectively working together to tackle a problem more efficiently than could otherwise be tackled on a smaller scale. That's what the welfare state is about, it's not about abrogating personal responsibility, it's about using the power of a large organisation such as the state to deliver improvements and give help - charity - to those who need it. Welfare is institutionalised charity.

We should indeed take responsibility for our lives and our actions and where possible solve our own problems and help our neighbours, but in a complex world too many problems are outside our control and outside our singular ability to effectively solve.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:47 PM   #173
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You want to start blaming everyone associated with a particular ideology for the subsequent consequences, then you may as well blame the Labour movement for Stalin's purges.
She had her own faults, I believe her ideology was flawed from the start and so it proved to be, but the responsibility for testing her ideology to destruction does not fall on her.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:49 PM   #174
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How well versed are you with the mechanisms of the financial crisis and the banking sector? I'm not trying to be condescending but I've studied these topics in the University during my studies in Economics and so I don't want to use terminology that you are not familiar with and appear all high and mighty .

What aspects of deregulation specifically are you saying caused the crisis? Because the fundamental issue in this whole thing is mispricing risk, selling assets with a price that did not correspond with the truth. There are plenty of interesting aspects to discuss here but I want to narrow down the point of discussion.
Well I'm definitely not an expert so I would defer to someone on is on matters of terminology and fact.

Let me turn around the question onto you, since you are better qualified perhaps to answer it - what do you think caused it? How did mispricing risk come about? Why were regulators and others not awake to the fact that risk was being mispriced and an unsustainable asset bubble was being created?
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #175
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Thanks for the quote it indeed looks better and I actually agree with it. Especially with "our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate

But it seems that she personally failed in that part in bold. I don't like governments, but some organized effort is needed to solve this problem, it seems we can't rely on charities and similar stuff in the times when greed is a norm, a desirable thing.
And this is my exactly my point - I don't object to capitalism per se, although I have friends that do - capitalism seems to be the least worst way of organising society that we have tried so far, certainly better than the woolly notions of communism, libertarianism and other creeds that are woefully impractical.

However, capitalism is a system of winners and losers. Thatcher resolutely turned a blind eye to the losers and was uninterested in doing anything other than the absolute minimum she could get away with for them. She denied her policies caused a homelessness crisis even as the amount of people being forced to sleep rough in the 1980s skyrocketed. She was never keen on dealing with the inconvenient realities of her policies.

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #176
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You can call me leftist all you like as though this wear some insult - I wear it as a badge of honour, the same way I wear gay as a badge of honour, in spite of that also being seen in its day as a thing of immorality under Thatcher's government.
It's not an insult, just an indication of your hopeless bias.

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What I liked was that people had employment and were valued.
They were valued in spite of no real value existing. Billions upon billions of pounds thrown at uneconomic industries to keep people performing jobs that were a drain on the rest of the country.

I am sure you liked it. Fantasy lands are nice. The problem is that they are unsustainable in the real world.

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I'm not sure I see your point - all recessions end eventually, and growth returns, it's part of the cyclical nature of capitalism.
An absurdly blase attitude and shows no awareness of the historical context. I don't think you realise how close Britain was to becoming a complete economic basketcase at the end of the 1970s.

If not for Thatcher, Britain could well be in the position that Greece is now. Nobody sees that country recovering for over a generation, and the idea that it could ever foreseeably be in a position even closely approximating Britain's is patently absurd.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:56 PM   #177
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Here is the thing - society is not a nebulous construct - correct. Society is a thing that has been created as the country has grown in population and developed, as time has passed and as Government and other structures have been put in place to tackle certain kinds of problems.

For example, at some point, it was decided by Government and endorsed by the electorate that the best way of tackling poor health in our citizens was to create a nationalised health service that was free at the point of use and available to all. (Delivered in 1948 after Labour won a landslide in 1945 and won again in 1950). This was an instance where the citizens of the country agreed that we would use some our income, as tax, to fund this health service. This creates a more efficient, joined-up health service than would exist if it were left to private charity, local organisations, and the hodge-podge of initiatives that existed beforehand on matters of public health. The citizens pooled their tax money to create a service that worked for the good of all. This is not absolving ourselves of personal responsibility, this is collectively working together to tackle a problem more efficiently than could otherwise be tackled on a smaller scale. That's what the welfare state is about, it's not about abrogating personal responsibility, it's about using the power of a large organisation such as the state to deliver improvements and give help - charity - to those who need it. Welfare is institutionalised charity.

We should indeed take responsibility for our lives and our actions and where possible solve our own problems and help our neighbours, but in a complex world too many problems are outside our control and outside our singular ability to effectively solve.
None of which Thatcher would have disagreed with. Since you mention the NHS, I am sure you are aware that she increased spending on that venerable institution by over 30% during her Premiership?

Just because a government exists does not mean it is responsible for solving all the problems of the world, however. To be able to blame society for something is a wonderful thing - because society is everybody, but also nobody.

Where you have unions demanding 10% wage increases for an industry that is hopelessly uneconomic, propped up to the tune of billions of pounds by a government that is itself going bankrupt, it's manifestly clear that people's sense of entitlement with regards to what 'society' owes them is woefully out of whack.

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:59 PM   #178
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It's not an insult, just an indication of your hopeless bias.


They were valued in spite of no real value existing. Billions upon billions of pounds thrown at uneconomic industries to keep people performing jobs that were a drain on the rest of the country.

I am sure you liked it. Fantasy lands are nice. The problem is that they are unsustainable in the real world.


An absurdly blase attitude and shows no awareness of the historical context. I don't think you realise how close Britain was to becoming a complete economic basketcase at the end of the 1970s.

If not for Thatcher, Britain could well be in the position that Greece is now. Nobody sees that country recovering for over a generation, and the idea that it could ever foreseeably be in a position even closely approximating Britain's is patently absurd.
Your own hopeless bias is showing too dear, I hope you realise that. We all have our biases, unless you're honestly thinking you're coming across as some impartial sage?

There was real value - human value - humans who had housing and jobs and security in their lives, which I personally value more highly than numbers on a balance sheet. And in the end, that wasted potential from lives thrown on the scrapheap has been a huge waste of value, of potential that, trapped by circumstances, people were never able to realise.

I'm well aware of the state of Britain in 1979 thank you - by all means continue to patronise me by suggesting that just because we come to different conclusions about the medicine Nurse Thatcher doled out, and its efficacy, I must be ignorant. I shan't descend to that level myself.

That final paragraph is fantasy land hyperbole of your own hardly worth bothering with. By all means construct your straw man arguments, I shan't waste my time dismantling them for you.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:09 PM   #179
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None of which Thatcher would have disagreed with. Since you mention the NHS, I am sure you are aware that she increased spending on that venerable institution by over 30% during her Premiership?

Just because a government exists does not mean it is responsible for solving all the problems of the world, however. To be able to blame society for something is a wonderful thing - because society is everybody, but also nobody.

Where you have unions demanding 10% wage increases for an industry that is hopelessly uneconomic, propped up to the tune of billions of dollars by a government that is itself going bankrupt, it's manifestly clear that people's sense of entitlement with regards to what 'society' owes them is woefully out of whack.
She increased spending, yes, but demand was also increasing faster than spending, so the budget available per patient fell over her period of office and due to a deep ideological unwillingness to pay a decent salary to public sector workers, the NHS was afflicted with deep crises caused by lack of nurses and other staff. The NHS in the 80s was largely a basket case, as Glenda Jackson alluded to her in Commons speech yesterday.

As for the unions, they desperately needed to be brought back under the rule of law in the 1980s and she did so. They did not need to be smashed. They needed to be reformed so that they returned to their position as securing fair and sustainable terms with the management on behalf of their members.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:14 PM   #180
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There was real value - human value - humans who had housing and jobs and security in their lives, which I personally value more highly than numbers on a balance sheet. And in the end, that wasted potential from lives thrown on the scrapheap has been a huge waste of value, of potential that, trapped by circumstances, people were never able to realise.
Meaningless platitudes. Such mealy-mouthed self-righteous sentiment does not pay the bills. A strong, stable, growth economy is the fundamental basis for the improvement of living standards.

Thatcher gave Britain back a strong economy, and everybody who loves the welfare state should be kissing her backside to thank her for the luxury of being able to argue that it should be extended and improved.

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I'm well aware of the state of Britain in 1979 thank you - by all means continue to patronise me by suggesting that just because we come to different conclusions about the medicine Nurse Thatcher doled out, and its efficacy, I must be ignorant. I shan't descend to that level myself.
I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. Ignorance is preferable to foolishness.

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That final paragraph is fantasy land hyperbole of your own hardly worth bothering with.
ORLY? Three day weeks and the Winter of Discontent isn't evidence of a country on the verge of complete economic collapse? Please, tell me more.

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She increased spending, yes, but demand was also increasing faster than spending, so the budget available per patient fell over her period of office and due to a deep ideological unwillingness to pay a decent salary to public sector workers, the NHS was afflicted with deep crises caused by lack of nurses and other staff. The NHS in the 80s was largely a basket case, as Glenda Jackson alluded to her in Commons speech yesterday.
When times are tough, belts have to be tightened. The NHS was given a high funding priority, relatively speaking, which shows that it was indeed valued by the Thatcher government.

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As for the unions, they desperately needed to be brought back under the rule of law in the 1980s and she did so. They did not need to be smashed. They needed to be reformed so that they returned to their position as securing fair and sustainable terms with the management on behalf of their members.
The unions are exactly where they should be, and the last quarter of a century has shown we're much better off because of it.

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