T Nation

Margaret Thatcher Dies

Great leader. Great ally. Had solid Brass balls.

Being British it’s incredible how little I know of British politics, I’d wager that I know more of US Politics than British ones. I’m not at all very experienced with Thatcher’s conflict with the worker’s Unions and the steel industry, if anyone has any documentaries, articles or books that relate to Thatcher in that sense, I should express my gratitude if you could offer them.

From the little I know, I do still admire her handling of the Falklands War in opposition of the aggressive Argentinian Junta. Her steadfastness in the face of foreign occupation and recovery of our claimed sovereignty was noble and deeply commendable. I should also put forward that any knowledge I have of the Falklands War is from British military personnel I’ve talked to on the matter, so I have no formal, objective understanding of it. However the statistics of the situation lead me to believe that her planning was acute and impressive in effect.

I plan to learn more about her policies and actions in the coming days so I can come to an informed and respectable position on her. But for now, I admire her principles, may she rest in peace.

Whether you for or against her would depend on the information you have been given and believe. If you were part of the trade union in Britain you are probably singing the wicked witch is dead.

[quote]Zeppelin795 wrote:
Whether you for or against her would depend on the information you have been given and believe. If you were part of the trade union in Britain you are probably singing the wicked witch is dead.[/quote]

I see your point, it’s incredibly difficult to come to a non-partisan opinion on the matter. It may sound silly but all of the British politics talk I hear is word of mouth in close-knit communities of like-minded thinkers, I find it laborious to see any outstanding arguments about it online, maybe I just don’t look hard enough though. By comparison US Politics is flourishing on the internet, I definitely have a more cognizant idea of Obama’s presidency than I do of Cameron’s Ministry in recent light.

I vaguely know a blue collar Scottish man that hates Thatcher, but I don’t particularly trust his opinion. My father is also strongly conservative, and over time I’ve grown not to trust his either. It’s all a big kerfuffle around Baroness Thatcher.

Kahuna–

I would posit that as far as sources about military operations go, you couldn’t find much better than military veterans. The boys on the ground tend to know more about planning fuck-uos and successes, as well as logistics, than most ppl give them credit for. Also, they ended up living it personally so if they think it was alright, it’s probably so…after all, the guy in the ditch getting shot at has a much more vested interest in being critical of the politicians who sent him there than he does of praising them.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
Kahuna–

I would posit that as far as sources about military operations go, you couldn’t find much better than military veterans. The boys on the ground tend to know more about planning fuck-uos and successes, as well as logistics, than most ppl give them credit for. Also, they ended up living it personally so if they think it was alright, it’s probably so…after all, the guy in the ditch getting shot at has a much more vested interest in being critical of the politicians who sent him there than he does of praising them.[/quote]

Oh of course, I don’t find myself doubting at all that the military men involved are very trustworthy in their representation of what actually occurred on the ground on the Falklands islands, but my need to gather more views from an outside source is mostly dependent on your last sentence. I almost feel like military veterans involved in the conflict are prejudiced about the affair because of their emotional connection to it. In that time spent, physically in war, has left them scornful enough to have a slightly biased opinion. For the most part they are indeed very understanding of the whole affair, but I still find it a necessary evil to sift through patriotism and, on the other hand, a personal distrust of the “old grey-bearded men and women in suits” that sent them there.

This is not to say that I don’t by any means disregard the military’s standing on the conflict, but it’s within my principles to find a political “pen and paper” position to accompany it, so that I may formulate my own opinion from a wide variety of angles.

my personal opinion on what she did is that she had some good political ideas which took to extremes, thus making the good ideas bad

example:-

trade unions were too powerful, so she destroyed the unions plus made tens of thousands of union members unemployed in the process. good idea taken too far

many industries were nationalised (everyone in the country owned a share) but inefficient, so she privatised them and made money for the few at the expense of the many. didnt help efficiency. good idea taken too far

UK “owned” small island next to Argentina. Argentina wanted it back. UK obliterates Argentinian Navy, including a Battleship which was sailing AWAY from the islands. 1000 or so dead from that ship alone. good idea taken too far.

I could go on but you get the point

Kahuna–I very much understand that opinion, and it is one which i widely agree. My point was moreso that i distrust political viewpoints more than i would distrust a man on the ground (who is sufficiently educated to “see” the world as he is going through it) whose opinion is in contradiction to his vested distrust of political greybeards. Your position on patriotism re: the military emotional involvement is well taken.

I, however, see that emotiinal involvement in a much more pedestrian scope. I think this is mostly informed by my close association with many currently serving military as close friends, coworkers, and about half of my social circle, as well as relatives.

My observation is that the emotional content is strictly reserved for the people who went “through the shit” with them as unit mates, squad mates, etc., and those at home who helped them get through their deployments mentally. At least here in the US, the rash of patriotism is disentangled from the emotional aspect of war deployment, unless it is acutely present at the homecoming (ala drunk soldiers feeling ostracised or just getting culture shock being newly returned, which i also deal with a lot). The emotional patriotic heartstrings doesn’t much fly with my personal observations although i definitely believe that cautious outlook regarding gathering opinions for perspective.

I’m slowly becoming more understanding of your perspectives the further we expand on this. I must confess that I still have somewhat of a naivete as it concerns the military and most of what I say is largely pre-emptive conjecture on my part, so I by no means should like my opinions to be taken as concrete, but rather be informed of my mistakes as they arise.

Of course the political aspect has just as much subjective disposition, but I still feel it is a necessity. If I were to over-simplify, that the mental is just as important in this case as the physical. It is obvious that both sides have an experience in matters that the other does not, and it is through that, that I feel both sides perspectives are to be accounted for and put through the same analysis in order to come to a fuller understanding of the affair, of which I need yet to find.

If you could expand on your personal sentiment concerning the US Military’s emotional investment (or lack thereof) concerning experiences in and around War, I expect Iraq to be the predominant subject of articulation here, but any and all conflicts involving the US recently would be of interest to me also. Of course this depends on how in depth you plan that response to be, lest this be misinterpreted as an inappropriate argument on a thread dedicated to mourning.

Truly one of the giants of twentieth century statesmen. It will be a long time before we see someone of her stature again, if ever. She took a once mighty nation that had been broken and diminished by socialism and restored it to prosperity and a position of importance.

To understand the importance of the victory that she won over the unions one would have to understand just how militant, out of control and irrational the British unions were. For example, during WW2 workers at the Hawker airplane company went on strike. It was so outrageous that the government had to keep it secret in case it started a civil war. That is the level of selfishness that the unions could sink to.

I can still remember my uncle who worked at a British Leyland Rover factory telling us about how they only needed two men to put a bonnet (hood) on a car, but the union went on strike to get a third man added to the task. The third man just sat around smoking fags drinking tea and chatting all day. The unions went well beyond serving the best interests of the workers and rendered their company uncompetitive.

Also a lot of major industries and corporations had been nationalized by previous Labour governments. ie British Steel, British Leyland, British Aerospace. Today there is no British auto industry. Despite the fact that Britain is still home to many of the best automotive engineers in the world. It is where almost every racing team in the world has their cars made. Rolls Royce is a BMW brand. Bently is a Volkswagen. The remains of Rover including MG was bought up by the Chinese. What was left of the Steel industry was sold off to Tata an Indian company with the transaction being paid for with British taxpayer money.

If one were to find fault in the de-nationalization of industry it would be in being too ideologically motivated and reintroducing companies to market forces in a state where they had been so crippled by socialist mismanagement and unionization that they could not survive and their remains were eventually bought out by foreigners.

The importance of Falklands war should not be underestimated in the greater context of the cold war. Just a few years earlier America had been kicked out of Vietnam and two years before that America had been badly humiliated by the Iranian hostage crisis. The western military powers were looking to be paper tigers. With our big military and advanced weapons we looked dangerous on paper but we had no national will, which is crucial to being a military power. American weakness had made the world so dangerous that even third world tin pot dictators thought they could push us all around.

The British projecting military power all the way to the south Atlantic like they did was a tremendous accomplishment that aside from the US no one else in the world could do. It showed the kind of resolve and determination that a great power needs in order to be taken seriously. It is something Britain could not do today because of David Cameron’s betrayal of the British people by gutting the military in order to pay for the foreign aid budget. If you consider the Falklands war alongside the Reagan defense build up, it renewed NATO credibility and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

after seeing people in Glasgow celebrating her death I was disgusted. It doesn’t matter if you loved her or hated her, it’s still someone’s mother and celebrating her death is just an insult to a grieving family, and it’s not going to change the effects of her policies no matter how hard people are celebrating. Also this video proves she had giant balls, well if the Falklands didn’t. http://youtu.be/RBzAwro8M90

No matter what else you could say about her, she did have a giant stone set of balls. Agree with you loolu, celebration of her death is disgusting.

Sifu, very interesting and comphrehensive take on her political importance. Not a lot to add at the momen (but i am on my mobile), although it can be argued a few ways; still, i tend to agree with what you presented here.

Kahuna, i would be glad to answer you later if it wont derail the thread, i am quite ok with your attitude lol. It is a good attitude towards gathering information that leads to well balanced knowledge base and a deeper understanding of things, as opposed to an ego marriage to one group of like-thinkers.

That’s a damn thorough expression of knowledge you have there Sifu, you’ve given me a lot to research here. If you have any books or sources you feel are thought provoking that pertain to any of the subjects you’ve mentioned, I would feel grateful should you be able to throw them my way.

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:
That’s a damn thorough expression of knowledge you have there Sifu, you’ve given me a lot to research here. If you have any books or sources you feel are thought provoking that pertain to any of the subjects you’ve mentioned, I would feel grateful should you be able to throw them my way.[/quote]

Charles Moore’s biography is being released after the funeral and is meant to be pretty balanced and comprehensive.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Truly one of the giants of twentieth century statesmen. It will be a long time before we see someone of her stature again, if ever. She took a once mighty nation that had been broken and diminished by socialism and restored it to prosperity and a position of importance.

To understand the importance of the victory that she won over the unions one would have to understand just how militant, out of control and irrational the British unions were. For example, during WW2 workers at the Hawker airplane company went on strike. It was so outrageous that the government had to keep it secret in case it started a civil war. That is the level of selfishness that the unions could sink to.

I can still remember my uncle who worked at a British Leyland Rover factory telling us about how they only needed two men to put a bonnet (hood) on a car, but the union went on strike to get a third man added to the task. The third man just sat around smoking fags drinking tea and chatting all day. The unions went well beyond serving the best interests of the workers and rendered their company uncompetitive.

Also a lot of major industries and corporations had been nationalized by previous Labour governments. ie British Steel, British Leyland, British Aerospace. Today there is no British auto industry. Despite the fact that Britain is still home to many of the best automotive engineers in the world. It is where almost every racing team in the world has their cars made. Rolls Royce is a BMW brand. Bently is a Volkswagen. The remains of Rover including MG was bought up by the Chinese. What was left of the Steel industry was sold off to Tata an Indian company with the transaction being paid for with British taxpayer money.

If one were to find fault in the de-nationalization of industry it would be in being too ideologically motivated and reintroducing companies to market forces in a state where they had been so crippled by socialist mismanagement and unionization that they could not survive and their remains were eventually bought out by foreigners.

The importance of Falklands war should not be underestimated in the greater context of the cold war. Just a few years earlier America had been kicked out of Vietnam and two years before that America had been badly humiliated by the Iranian hostage crisis. The western military powers were looking to be paper tigers. With our big military and advanced weapons we looked dangerous on paper but we had no national will, which is crucial to being a military power. American weakness had made the world so dangerous that even third world tin pot dictators thought they could push us all around.

The British projecting military power all the way to the south Atlantic like they did was a tremendous accomplishment that aside from the US no one else in the world could do. It showed the kind of resolve and determination that a great power needs in order to be taken seriously. It is something Britain could not do today because of David Cameron’s betrayal of the British people by gutting the military in order to pay for the foreign aid budget. If you consider the Falklands war alongside the Reagan defense build up, it renewed NATO credibility and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

[/quote]

Yes, the Falklands was part of a broader power play.

I’ve always been impressed by her handling of the Iranian embassy siege, -deploying the SAS in central London (an unprecedented gamble at the time) was as much about sending a clear message to the Irish et al as it was to resolving the specific crisis.

Seeing people dancing in the streets at her death is fucking disgusting.

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:
That’s a damn thorough expression of knowledge you have there Sifu, you’ve given me a lot to research here. If you have any books or sources you feel are thought provoking that pertain to any of the subjects you’ve mentioned, I would feel grateful should you be able to throw them my way.[/quote]

Charles Moore’s biography is being released after the funeral and is meant to be pretty balanced and comprehensive.[/quote]

Thank you Badger I’ll keep my eye out for that, I feel somewhat silly for not reading up on Thatcher much sooner.

Thanks for the kind words guys. I haven’t read any books on Thatcher just followed world events and watched one or two biographies. Obviously Lady Thatcher wasn’t perfect. There are limits to how strictly one should hang on to ideology. She got a little crazy at the end of her reign and it lost her support. Otherwise she could have stayed on for a long time.

The people who are dancing in the streets tells us a lot about the kind nation that the socialists have turned Britain into. The Scotch especially are just a useless bunch of whinging socialists at this point. They would be doing Britain a great favor by getting out and becoming just another unimportant province of the EU. They won’t be dancing in the streets when the Germans and French tell them get a job, we aren’t going to pick up your welfare tab like the English.

I can remember how the older generation of my family who were deeply patriotic and grew up with a hardcore work ethic felt about Thatcher. What lesser people hate about Thatcher is she was someone who actually gave a damn about Britain. She wasn’t one of the useless “citizen of the world” scumbags that have taken over and are now running the place into the ground.

Sifu:

Great summary.

Isn’t it also true that she fought VERY hard to keep Great Britain out of any European “Union”?

If that’s true, the British should thank her for generations to come.

Mufasa

[quote]Loolu wrote:
after seeing people in Glasgow celebrating her death I was disgusted. It doesn’t matter if you loved her or hated her, it’s still someone’s mother and celebrating her death is just an insult to a grieving family, and it’s not going to change the effects of her policies no matter how hard people are celebrating. Also this video proves she had giant balls, well if the Falklands didn’t. http://youtu.be/RBzAwro8M90[/quote]

I agree that it’s in poor taste nut I’m not surprised as she was the enemy of the working man.