Margaret Thatcher and Augusto Pinochet

Courtesy Photo

Margaret Thatcher and Augusto Pinochet

Thatcher a British Hero?

Depends on Who You Are

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

“With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.” – President Barack Obama

Thatcher was no hero to the working class people of the United Kingdom. Poverty increased 10 percentage points during her tenure as prime minister. She dismantled the trade unions and killed the manufacturing industry, leaving millions unemployed. The rich got richer, and the poor got poorer. She was a hero to the aristocrats, the bankers, and the rest of the 1%.

She was no hero to Ian Mckellan and homosexuals throughout the UK. Her government passed a bill that forbade local government councils from doing anything that would “promote” homosexuality. She was a hero to bigotry and intolerance.

There’s a good reason that “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead” hit the top of the charts on the BBC last week. Thatcher was despised by many, not just in the UK, but throughout the entire world.

Margaret Thatcher was no hero to Stephen Biko. She was a hero to the colonial mentality and the racist regimes of Pieter Willem Botha  and Frederik Willem de Klerk, which she refused to sanction. She was no hero to Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, whom she referred to as terrorists:

The ANC is a typical terrorist organisation … Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land’ – Margaret Thatcher, 1987.

She was no hero to the supporters of democracy in Chile. She was a hero to the ruthless dictator Augusto Pinochet, who tortured and murdered his opposition. She lifted the arms embargo against Chile and supplied his regime with armaments. She called for his release when he was arrested.

She was no hero to the million or so victims of genocide in Cambodia, nor to the additional hundreds of thousands who died of starvation and malaria. She was a hero to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, which Thatcher’s SAS (Special Air Service) armed and trained. Her government complied with the U.S. in giving aid to the deposed Khmer Rouge who hid in Thailand, and she championed their continued participation in the governing of Cambodia.

How many people died in the Falkland Islands as a result of her eagerness to bring back the days when the sun never set on the British empire? What a callous waste of life. She was a champion of pointless war and military aggression.

Margaret Thatcher was no hero to Bobby Sands and the nine other hunger strikers who died in the Long Kesh prison in northern Ireland. She was no hero to generations of Irish who fought for freedom and independence from British rule. One of her solutions to the troubles in Northern Ireland was to evoke the strategy of Oliver Cromwell, which was basically to wipe the Catholics off the map. No hero to those who sought human rights and recognition, she was a hero to the unionist thugs whom she colluded with through the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), the SAS, and various covert branches of the British military.

She was no hero to me.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Nor me, although I did respect her to a certain extent.

Gosh, if only women ran the world just think about how much better things would be.... oh never mind...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 6:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Before Thatcher, Brittain was completely under the thumb of the labor unions and was in the worst shape in the country's history. After Thatcher, Brittain was a respected country with a thriving economy. That should speak for itself.

Like those that blame Reagan for everything they didn't like about the 80's. But then again, they aren't longing for the days of Jimmy Carter either.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 7:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you to the writer for the timely article: Thatcher and Thatcherism are repugnant.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 9:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Per Botany, if only we could have Jimmy Carter back, presiding over an implosion while sequestered away in his little sweater. Oh yea, the 20% interest rates were completely the fault of someone else, no doubt Republican...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 10:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's a novel idea: How about something in the middle? You know, a system of government with the good ideas of Thatcher without the bad ones?

On a side note: I remember one of the Redgrave sisters on one of the talk shows bragging about how England beat Argentina in the Falklands war, saying it was British courage that won out. I'd say it was superior firepower--you know--like how the Empire was established.

How partisans overlook the sins of their temporal gods.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 2:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

ever the peacemaker, BC, but, see, Thatcher had very few good ideas, and MANY of her Tory policies in the UK hurt their economy, hurt individual British citizens, and via David Cameron continue to negatively impact the UK today. See the over 40 posts under the absurd Sills article celebrating Mrs. Thatcher:
Let's not romanticize nonsense. The only class of Brits Mrs. Thatcher really helped were the bankers, the City of London financiers, and the top 2%.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 3:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No, everyone benefited. It's just that some benefited more than others. It's unfortunate that liberals operate under the philosophy that misery loves company. Even her critics acknowledges that everyone was better off. When she was criticized on that subject of income disparity, she had the perfect response.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 5:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 5:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany: What about Irish-Catholics? I heard that Thatcher used Gurkhas in the Falklands war.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 6:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is also a book called Undue Process by Francis J. ("Frank") Forester who was a Santa Barbara resident back in the 80's and was hounded by the government for his Irish Republican views.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 6:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Then there is the story I remember seeing 60 Minutes do about her friend Pinochet back in 1988. Horrifying what happened under his regime.

I'm not saying everything she did was bad, but as Ken points out she is practically worshipped as a god when she had faults.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 7 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bill, I'm not saying she was a hero or perfect, only that the British economy during and after her tenure was a damn sight better than the economic mess she inherited.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 7:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What you're not seeing Botany is who's economy was improved? Corporate Britain or the people?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 9:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They both improved. The poor got wealthier as well as the rich despite the increased income gap disparity.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 9:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

With more wealth going to the top, that would mean it was the hard won and hard earned money and resources of the middle class that went to the poor. Not the people who profit off the poor.
Thatcherism and indeed all NeoConservative "thought" has been proven time again to be morally bankrupt, illogical in rationale and a disaster in practice. It's really past debate, it's like debating gravity or the shape of the earth at this point. "supply side economics" is a scam at best.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 9:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Time once again to consult the UK Guardian's famed Datablog for facts and stats. Here's how some key stats look for the period during and after Thatcher was leader of the Conservative party (1975-1990) and Prime Minister (1979-1990):

- Unemployment hit a record high
- Two major recessions
- Slow GDP growth
- Large decrease in inflation
- Decline in manufacturing
- Rise, then fall in public spending
- Price of homes increased
- Interest rates shot to record highs
- Union membership steadily declined
- Large rise in poverty
- Large rise in income inequality (Gini coefficient)

Considering she and her party were in power for so long, I would say these stats don't reflect all that well on Thatcher or the policies of her party at the time.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2013 at 2:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

here's the the thing about you Botany, you never change or read (stop with the YouTube videos). Look up Gini coefficient, read the easy bullet points in EastBeach's post above this one (4/24/13), and fess up you are completely wrong. Mea culpa, buddy, Try to accept facts.
And you can state, "They [rich & poor] both improved. The poor got wealthier as well as the rich despite the increased income gap disparity."
You do not mind the wealthy getting wealthier...and it IS at the expense of the rest of our SOCIETY, Botany. Gini coefficient. You live in this community, you claim to be a decent landlord (I imagine that you are), but you really don't care about others outside your family.
Oh yes, you're a perfect Thatcher-idolator (as KV states) because you agree with her infamous statement, 'there is no society.' It's all Ayn Rand: the individual "I" ueber Alles. 19th century selfish capitalist garbage. Do you live in a community??
Botany, please respond to EB's destruction of your defense of Thatcher's economic policies.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2013 at 5:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If they loved her so much in England, how come they drove the Wizard of Oz song "ding dong the wicked witch, the wicked witch is dead" all the way to number one on the pop charts.

She, like Reagan in this country, were put in power to shift wealth up and destroy the economies of the west until the poor workers in Asia can earn a little more while the Americans earn a lot less... Globalization and all the left/right wing nuts still, do not have a clue, what happened.

It must be Stockholm syndrome.

contactjohn (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2013 at 11:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Progressives always rant about the disparity between the rich and the poor as though it is some definitive measure of anything. It's not. In fact, in all western countries, the poor have been brought up out of abject poverty(starvation, lack of shelter etc) FASTER than ever before, but not in equal proportion to the super rich. While I do not adore the disparity between the two extremes I am intellectually honest enough to admit that we have redefined "poverty" in only a generation or two.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2013 at 5:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)


You must understand that some of these Progressives (Socialists) have spent a lifetime in a little "Glass House", have become a legend in their own mind, with the sole personal accomplishment of lording over the pimply faced pubescent children of silver spooned "Trust Funders". Whole lot of envy develops in such an environment coupled with no real experience, just ideas from books written by someone else to explain away their frustration.

Sad to say the least but a common historical theme of the Socialist mantra.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2013 at 8:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I could not agree more. Their philosophy has failed miserably in every single instance and that kind of leaves them with only rhetoric about class warfare and the like. Funny especially to me since I immigrated from a culture that still had real poverty and stratification of classes to find a better life. Weird that this union has been together for almost 240 years and created more opportunity for everyone than any other country in history.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2013 at 10:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This makes my Point that Fascism is necessary for Socialism, the need to suppress, the Nature of Man.

I reject any Coefficient and anything else from a Fascist loser.

Those freaks murdered Millions, how soon we forget.

Corrado Gini (May 23, 1884 – March 13, 1965) was an Italian statistician, demographer and sociologist who developed the Gini coefficient, a measure of the income inequality in a society.

Gini was also a leading fascist theorist and ideologue who wrote The Scientific Basis of Fascism in 1927. Gini was a proponent of organicism and applied it to nations

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2013 at 3:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

His name makes the coefficient sound like a magical charm from 101 Arabian Knights. How could a Genie be wrong?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 26, 2013 at 3:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Speaking of fascists, how about racists and proponents of eugenics? They're pretty bad too, eh?

Then prepare to "reject' any electronics you own. William Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor, was a well-known eugenicist.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 27, 2013 at 1:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Fascism may need COMMUNISM (not socialism, a very broad term), but you Botany need to read up on some history. You love to pontificate about your beloved Founding Fathers: Jefferson, whom I also admire, owned many slaves and profited by breeding them to have more to sell. Should we disregard the Declaration of Independence?? The examples run on and on: that the statistician Gini held specific fascist views really has nothing to do with the Gini coefficient.
Werner von Braun, head of our missile program in 50s and 60s, was a Nazi.... etc etc.
Try making some sense, Botz.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 27, 2013 at 2:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany can speak for his/her self.

Monarchies, Theocracies, Despotism, Fascism, Communism, Socialism are all one thing, Authoritarian States that deprive the Individual of their Natural Rights of Freedom and Liberty and any person following anyone of them or avowing their adoption is a very sick individual and a pseudo-intellectual fool. Anything they write or espouse is discredited by their twisted vile reality.

Utopia never exists in Nature, it is called Natural Selection, so it ain’t perfect but in the annuals of Human History 100’s of Millions of people have been and continue to be Murdered by those that prescribe to the above forms of Governing.

A Republic with all the flaws of the Nature of Man has proven to be the least caustic of any form of Human Government ever created.

Why would any sane person want to walk backwards into Hell.

Life is not perfect, people are not perfect and you cannot make them perfect with the Jack Boot of those insane forms of government, that is the lesson from history that cannot be discounted.

It has all been done before and it has failed.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
April 28, 2013 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

wow, "in the annuals of Human History" kinda sums it up

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 28, 2013 at 12:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

IQ that is not buffered with mature EQ is pretty much a waste of braincells. If you have to resort to "autocorrect" typing mistakes, as a point to discredit, if that is all you got, kinda sums it up, does it not.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
April 30, 2013 at 10:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

ha ha , your EQ is showing HGWMV.
This really makes sense, fella:
"Monarchies, Theocracies, Despotism, Fascism, Communism, Socialism are all one thing" ...uh, sure

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 30, 2013 at 12:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If you two are going to bicker can you focus on domestic issues?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 30, 2013 at 1:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

hey KV, it somehow connects to domestic issues since Thatcher had huge impact on Reagan, and we're still dealing with HIS (and Bush 43's) sucking up to the 1%!
When you wrote to Lacy Selby, "Good grief, ever stop to consider that you're the abnormal one Ms. Selby? Psyche-altering drinking water?" wasn't sure how THAT was different from bickering, yourself. But heck, let's not natter or bicker, eh?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 30, 2013 at 1:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah I hear ya. It's just a bummer.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 30, 2013 at 1:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Happy May Day - Comrades

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
May 1, 2013 at 9:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

My Russian collegue here at work says ... Спасибо Большое!

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 1, 2013 at 11:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: