A Terra Pesará Sobre Thatcher
Recebi e repasso:
Na página da Associação dos Mineiros de Durham, Inglaterra – cujas lideranças estarão no fim da tarde de hoje num FESTIVO PARTY na Trafalgar Square, Londres -, foi publicado um Obiturário dedicado à chamada Dama de Ferro.
Margaret Thatcher – An Obituary
Margaret Thatcher died in the Ritz Hotel on the morning of Monday 8 April 2013.
She first came to attention in 1970 when, as Minister of Education in the Heath government, she ended the supply of free school milk to school children over the age of 7.
She never understood why this caused so much resentment and why it earned her the title “Thatcher the milk snatcher”. It was this detachment and lack of empathy with ordinary people that was to define her political career.
Although highly educated, she had a simplistic philosophy. For Thatcher, the historic problems of British industry were caused, not by lack of investment and innovation, but by trade unions and strikes were caused not by grievances but by evil leaders.
To rectify this she introduced the most repressive anti-union legislation in Europe which, some claim, was her greatest achievement but those who have seen their wages outstripped by inflation year on year do not view it this way.
Her “economics of the housewife’” led her to the conclusion that Britain would be better off without manufacturing industry and that banking and financial services should be liberated from state interference and regulation.
This policy spectacularly burst into in flames five years ago when the state had to “interfere” by bailing out almost the entire the banking system.
Those who inherited her ideology are now using the full force of the state to make the people of Britain pay for the orgy of greed that she encouraged so enthusiastically.
Many who loyally bought into her dream invested their hard-earned cash in pension funds and many have been duly informed that the promise of a comfortable retirement is not going to be honoured.
For some their pensions are next to worthless or have been stolen by fraudsters. These same pensioners are now at the mercy of the service industries she privatised with their price hikes and mis-selling scams. They have a right to be incensed, but this time they can’t blame the trade unions.
In the communities where once men and women worked in useful occupations, manufacturing useful commodities, we now have industrial deserts where hope for the young is dashed by the spectre of permanent unemployment. For the fortunate there is the low paid servitude of the call centres or the short time uncertainties of the service sector.
In her long term of office, she supported the apartheid regime of South Africa and dubbed Nelson Mandela a “terrorist”. She was a bosom friend of Chilean fascist dictator Pinochet who overthrew a democratically elected government and slaughtered thousands of Chilean workers including its elected president. She sunk the Belgrano when it posed no threat, and sent hundreds of young Argentinean cadets to their deaths.
But it is, of course, the destruction of our mining industry and the damage to our villages and towns that exercise our anger most. It is an often repeated in the media that in 1984 Arthur Scargill called a strike. It is a lie. He did not. The truth is that Margaret Thatcher deliberately provoked a strike.
After the appointment of Ian McGregor to the chairmanship of the National Coal Board, on 28 March 1983, which was a provocation in itself, pits closed piece meal throughout 1983. But this was not good enough for Thatcher. Her political agenda required the destruction and humiliation of the National Union of Mineworkers and to do so she was prepared to destroy the industry.
The announcement of a massive closure programme in February 1984 caused a strike at Cortonwood Colliery in Yorkshire, a colliery led by moderate miners not noted for their support of Scargill and from Cortonwood the strike spread spontaneously.
There is irrefutable evidence that the Tories had been preparing this confrontation prior to 1979 when they were still in opposition. Central to these preparations was the organisation of a mobile and nationally controlled police force capable of rapid deployment to the coalfields.
From the first day of the strike miners were denied their legal right to travel freely. They were regularly falsely arrested, beaten and framed. It was this systematic gratuitous state organised violence, which turned many moderate local miners’ leaders into militants. It steeled our communities, bound them together and made them more determined than ever not to allow state violence to win.
After a full year, the miners were defeated but Thatcher did not have long to savour her victory as Prime Minister. Her pigheaded imposition of the poll tax moved a people weary of the politics of greed to revolt. She became an embarrassment to her party and they brutally cast her aside.
When we say we celebrate her death, we are reflecting the deep and lasting bitterness of our mining communities – and felt across the entire working class – at the ravages of her brutal policies which destroyed the lives and prospects of so many people.
Even today, we see the legacy of her policies in the continued vandalism of the Tory-Lib-Dem coalition, this time aimed at dismantling the Welfare State.
Thatcher infamously said, “There is no such thing as society”. She was the person who did her best to wreck it. We are the people who will rebuild it.