Thatcher

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JohnW
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Thatcher

Postby JohnW » 18 Jul 2009, 1:35pm

I'm sorry about the title of this thread - especially as Moderator Si has, in another place, reprimanded anyone with a tendancy to swear, but I couldn't have asked this question without doing it.

Years ago, during her regime, Thatcher made a comment which said that anyone still travelling by bus by a certain age was low-lifeish and wasn't going to be of any use to society - or something like that. Well of course, as wife of the president, or chairman, or chief executive or whatever he was, of the Motor Traders' Association, she would, wouldn't she? My impression of the record of her successive governments is that she was no friend of cyclists either.

Anyway - the question is - does anyone know exactly what she said, and if possible where and when? I have my own views about why!!!

Jack
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Re: Thatcher

Postby Jack » 18 Jul 2009, 1:38pm


cjchambers
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Re: Thatcher

Postby cjchambers » 18 Jul 2009, 1:40pm

From http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.

Attributed to her in Commons debates, 2003-07-02, column 407 and Commons debates, 2004-06-15 column 697. According to a letter to the Daily Telegraph by Alistair Cooke on 2 November 2006, this sentiment originated with Loelia Ponsonby, one of the wives of 2nd Duke of Westminster who said "Anybody seen in a bus over the age of 30 has been a failure in life". In a letter published the next day, also in the Daily Telegraph, Hugo Vickers claims Loelia Ponsonby admitted to him that she had borrowed it from Brian Howard. There is no solid evidence that Margaret Thatcher ever quoted this statement with approval, or indeed shared the sentiment.


Sorry to disappoint . . . . .

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Thatcher

Postby hubgearfreak » 18 Jul 2009, 1:48pm

when i saw the thread title, i reached for the cold champagne in the fridge. :lol:

mw3230
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Re: Thatcher

Postby mw3230 » 18 Jul 2009, 1:50pm

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. On a personal note, I didn't realise I was such a dismal failure - I've been on a bus several times since I was in my 30's
Retired and loving it

JohnW
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Re: Thatcher

Postby JohnW » 18 Jul 2009, 2:42pm

Thanks for that cjchambers - interesting and not as I'd thought then. It doesn't raise Thatcher in my estimation though, and the effect of the Thatcher regime upon bus services suggests that she may very well have meant it.

This is just a question, and not getting at someone whose sentiments may not be the same as mine, but, in the light of what she actually did, if she didn't support the sentiments, why did she say it?

I'm with you mw - I'm retired now, led a full professional life, raised two children, both Graduates, and never had a car. I wouldn't do that to the world. Used buses all my life, although the way bus companies are going now, especially FirstBus, who have the virtual monopoly in my area, the bike is often the only option, particularly after 18.00hrs, and whatever the weather. I have to say that I understand why people do have cars. Actually, it's still Thatcher's Britain.

JohnW
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Re: Thatcher

Postby JohnW » 18 Jul 2009, 2:46pm

hubgearfreak wrote:when i saw the thread title, i reached for the cold champagne in the fridge. :lol:


I should think so too hubbgearfreak - people whose Champagne isn't cold are failures in life - a bit like travelling by bus, really.
:?

kwackers
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Re: Thatcher

Postby kwackers » 18 Jul 2009, 2:49pm

Let's not forget that before Thatcher, Britain was Utopian - a model society for the rest of the world...

Manx Cat
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Re: Thatcher

Postby Manx Cat » 18 Jul 2009, 3:04pm

One of the things she was supposed to have also said was that "There is no such thing as family, only self".

I do hope that wasn't a quote from her, but saying that, you do notice such behaviour on the roads sometimes do you not?

Mary

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Kevin K
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Re: Thatcher

Postby Kevin K » 18 Jul 2009, 3:48pm

Manx Cat wrote:One of the things she was supposed to have also said was that "There is no such thing as family, only self".

It wasn't a quote I could find, but I think you might be thinking of this:

"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."

Kevin
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hubgearfreak
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Re: Thatcher

Postby hubgearfreak » 18 Jul 2009, 3:58pm

JohnW wrote:
hubgearfreak wrote:people whose Champagne isn't cold are failures in life - a bit like travelling by bus, really. :?


funnily enough, i bought a bottle from M&S yesterday. we were going to come home by bus, but after waiting for two and not being allowed on as both pram spaces were full on both buses, i had to walk it :lol:
mum & toddler went home on the bus, baby stayed dry in his pram, but i got soaked 8)

JohnW
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Re: Thatcher

Postby JohnW » 18 Jul 2009, 4:15pm

hubgearfreak wrote:we were going to come home by bus, but after waiting for two and not being allowed on as both pram spaces were full on both buses, i had to walk it :lol:
mum & toddler went home on the bus, baby stayed dry in his pram, but i got soaked 8)


It's just the 'bus company's way of saving you from becoming a failure. FirstBus I presume?

sirmy
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Re: Thatcher

Postby sirmy » 18 Jul 2009, 7:00pm

It's amazing anyone still can travel by bus after some idiot in one of her governments deregulated us services and destroyed the majority of maintained routes overnight

Give me a path away from cars as much as possible where you can pootle along and see some wildlife rather than having to contend with the wildlife in those silly metal boxes anyday!

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paulah
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Re: Thatcher

Postby paulah » 18 Jul 2009, 7:19pm

Hmm, so if I choose to go into town by bus and read or doze enroute instead of taking just as long in my car while having to concentrate on the traffic and then pay more for parking than the bus fare would have cost, I'm a failure? And there was me thinking I was just being adaptable and intelligent enough to way up the pros and cons of each mode of transport. :D
There shall be only one pannier

random37
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Re: Thatcher

Postby random37 » 18 Jul 2009, 7:26pm

I don't have a car, although I've got five bikes and a boat. What would they have said about me? :shock: