Thatcher

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speedsixdave
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Re: Thatcher

Postby speedsixdave » 20 Jul 2009, 2:20pm

Mick F wrote:
Churchill once said, "Jaw-jaw is better than war-war." How right he was. At the first sign of trouble, Thatcher sent a war machine. Just like her domestic policy: war machine - destroy and obliterate all in her sights.


Agreed that diplomacy would have been a better solution than war. But - the Argentinians did invade 'sovereign' British soil (and whether it ought to have been British or not is a different argument) with military force. Under those circumstances, I don't see what we option there was but to fight back.

I've always thought the argument that Thatcher did it to win an election is a bit spurious. If she hadn't fought, or if we'd lost, the Conservatives would clearly have lost the next election.

But kudos to you, Mick, for doing your bit. As Johnson said, "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea".
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speedsixdave
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Re: Thatcher

Postby speedsixdave » 20 Jul 2009, 2:28pm

Back towards the subject of bikes...

At some point after the second world war Raleigh had the biggest cycle factory in the world, here in Nottingham. Now there is only a distribution warehouse for some far-eastern badge-engineered frames 'assembled in the UK'. What killed Raleigh?

(a) Pre-Thatcher trades union practices?
(b) Thatcherite capitalism?
(c) Something else?

I've often thought Raleigh is a good microcosm of British industry. I don't know the answer to this, it's just a question that we might have informed opinions on.

Dave
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mw3230
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Re: Thatcher

Postby mw3230 » 20 Jul 2009, 2:56pm

:idea: If I was to go back to university and I was looking for a dissertation topic I think I'd consider studying the correlation between people who appear to hate multi-nationals like Microsoft, McDonalds, Tesco et al and Thatcherite politics. I would be attempting to establish that the dislike was grounded in rational analysis and not a sour grapes resentment of something or someone who was 'successful'.
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cjchambers
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Re: Thatcher

Postby cjchambers » 20 Jul 2009, 3:50pm

speedsixdave wrote:What killed Raleigh?

(a) Pre-Thatcher trades union practices?
(b) Thatcherite capitalism?
(c) Something else?
Dave


I'm going to go for "c) Something else?", and suggest that the something else was simply market forces, and nothing to do with Thatcher at all. The far eastern companies can do it cheaper because they pay less for their workers and pay less in taxes. That's what happened to most of the other British engineering companies - the costs of manufacturing in Britain weren't competetive enough, so they went elsewhere.

Edit: I'm not going to blame any government for making it expensive to employ people in Britain, because I'd rather live in a welfare state with high taxes than somewhere were the poor and unfortunate are just left to scrabble around for leftovers.

johncharles
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Re: Thatcher

Postby johncharles » 20 Jul 2009, 3:57pm

cjchambers wrote:
speedsixdave wrote:What killed Raleigh?

(a) Pre-Thatcher trades union practices?
(b) Thatcherite capitalism?
(c) Something else?
Dave


I'm going to go for "c) Something else?", and suggest that the something else was simply market forces, and nothing to do with Thatcher at all. The far eastern companies can do it cheaper because they pay less for their workers and pay less in taxes. That's what happened to most of the other British engineering companies - the costs of manufacturing in Britain weren't competetive enough, so they went elsewhere.

Edit: I'm not going to blame any government for making it expensive to employ people in Britain, because I'd rather live in a welfare state with high taxes than somewhere were the poor and unfortunate are just left to scrabble around for leftovers.


This was happening way before Margaret Thatcher came to power anyway.

glueman
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Re: Thatcher

Postby glueman » 20 Jul 2009, 4:24pm

In the Falklands you had an extremely distant colonial outpost owned at various times by France, Britain, Spain and Argentina. Argentina attempted to pursue their claim for the islands diplomatically through the United Nations. "Talks between British and Argentine foreign missions took place in the 1960s, but failed to come to any meaningful conclusion. A major sticking point in all the negotiations was that the two thousand inhabitants of mainly British descent preferred that the islands remain British territory."

It would have been financially cheaper and far less costly in life for the nation to buy up and simply donate whole swathes of UK to those two thousand farmers, or pay them to farm elsewhere. Britain has withdrawn from almost all of it's former outposts of Empire as has most of the rest of the civilised world but in typically British fashion couldn't decide what was best. An opportunistc military junta saw its moment of glory and on the back of it many UK and Argentine troops died on bits of rock, on deck or the bottom of the sea. Seems a complete disaster of diplomacy to me. Until natural mineral resources were discovered nearby (a nice cash earner) the only thing stopping the government giving up a gross drain on the taxpayer was loss of face, not the welfare of some sheep farmers or whaler's descendents.

On the nationalised railway point there was no investment for infrastructure in rolling stock or track. The country were using life expired locomotives designed in the 1950s Modernisation Plan with a few later additions of diesel multiple units. In the Woodhead route we closed the most modern electrified route in the UK in the mid-80s but you could still take a bike anywhere you liked on a train. Now tickets are massively more expensive than they ever were (including inflation, CoL, etc), the country as a whole - rail users and non-rail users - are paying three times as much for a rail service that's overcrowded or empty and you can't take a bike on much of it and none without pre-booking.

The move from an integrated rail network to a piecemeal one was purely ideological.

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bigjim
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Re: Thatcher

Postby bigjim » 20 Jul 2009, 5:11pm

I'm sure somebody will turn up to tell me I am wrong but I thought the value of the Falklands was to do with the control UK had over Drake's Passage as it is the gateway to the Pacific and would be utilised by enemy submarines/shipping in time of [cold?] war. Much like Gibralter is the gateway to the med and maybe the reason we are reluctant to give it up. I do not think the government much cares for the will of the people in residence.
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climo
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Re: Thatcher

Postby climo » 20 Jul 2009, 5:51pm

bigjim wrote:I'm sure somebody will turn up to tell me I am wrong but I thought the value of the Falklands was to do with the control UK had over Drake's Passage as it is the gateway to the Pacific and would be utilised by enemy submarines/shipping in time of [cold?] war. Much like Gibralter is the gateway to the med and maybe the reason we are reluctant to give it up. I do not think the government much cares for the will of the people in residence.

It's was more to do with the Antarctic Treaty due for renewal in 1999 (date wrong?) that Britain wanted a base of operations in the Falklands. It would be difficult to run bases on the ice from the UK, although Chile might help. For many years it was thought that the mineral wealth in the Antarctic was vast. Recent information has revealed that to be true.
Incidentally I've met several highly placed submariners who think that sinking the Belgrano was the correct course of action.
Another way of looking at the Belgrano is that it was a war and people get killed. If the Argentineans could have, they would have sunk all of our ships, irrespective of loss of life.
Thatchers tub thumping was a bit odious though.
Last edited by climo on 20 Jul 2009, 10:34pm, edited 1 time in total.

climo
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Re: Thatcher

Postby climo » 20 Jul 2009, 5:53pm

timmitchell wrote:
climo wrote:I can't think of any person since the last war who so polarisies peoples opinion. It is really extraordinary.

I think that when Thatcher dies, her grave will be repeatedly vandalised. I suspect she'll have to be interred in a church somewhere.
Pity really, someone could make good money be charging people to dance on her grave. She did support the idea of free enterprise after all. :lol:

Someone said that the only good thing about getting older was that Thatcher could never be prime minister again.



I'd pay :D

Form an orderly queue. Have your tickets ready please. :)

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patricktaylor
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Re: Thatcher

Postby patricktaylor » 20 Jul 2009, 6:25pm

As a UK citizen I wouldn't mind in principle if the Falklands became part of Argentina, but the simple fact is that the islanders don't want it, and the islands are a UK territory (under international law, I believe). Which means that no other nation can move in and take over unilaterally. That principle is surely worth defending, by force if necessary, and I would be surprised if a majority of British people don't agree - at least at the time of the war. It's worth remembering that Thatcher was re-elected shortly after.

The forced resettlement of the island's population into the UK on the back of the compulsory purchase of equivalent 'farmland' over here - even if it were practicable - surely violates a number of other principles, such as the natural right of people to their land. Of course there are no absolutes, but 1833 is a long time ago.

[edit] More on the Belgrano here.
Last edited by patricktaylor on 20 Jul 2009, 9:22pm, edited 1 time in total.

glueman
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Re: Thatcher

Postby glueman » 20 Jul 2009, 6:38pm

OTOH if the neighbouring country were a large and politically sensitive one with nuclear weapons like China and the island were Hong Kong there'd be an orderly retreat with marching bands.

climo
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Re: Thatcher

Postby climo » 20 Jul 2009, 7:17pm

Belgrano info
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARA_General_Belgrano
and
http://www.channel4.com/history/microsi ... grano.html
Both say much the same thing. ie it was legal, fair and the Belgrano was a creditable threat to the British. That is now admitted by the Argentinean government.
Last edited by climo on 20 Jul 2009, 10:31pm, edited 1 time in total.

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patricktaylor
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Re: Thatcher

Postby patricktaylor » 20 Jul 2009, 8:26pm

glueman wrote:OTOH ... Hong Kong ...

The population of Hong Kong is 95% Chinese, with Britons a tiny percentage.

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gaz
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Re: Thatcher

Postby gaz » 20 Jul 2009, 9:00pm

There are rumours that Maggie invented the Raspberry Ripple ice cream.
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Kirst
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Re: Thatcher

Postby Kirst » 20 Jul 2009, 9:56pm

johncharles wrote:
Better than the comedians we have had for the last decade or so.

I disagree. I think she was a bloody disgrace, with her cosying up to Pinochet and Reagan, and her snatching our milk, and doing her best to destroy the public sector, and implementing the poll tax a year earlier in Scotland than the rest of the UK, and inventing Mr Whippy, and pontificating about pop music on Saturday Superstore, and her various dodgy practices during the miners' strike and just about everything else she ever did.
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