Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baroness Thatcher

God bless you, Baroness Thatcher. You remain a memorial to a movement and an inspiration to conviction.


Blogger john in cheshire said...

Hear, hear, and many more of them.

13 October 2011 at 22:13  
Blogger OldSouth said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 October 2011 at 22:24  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Greetings and warmest wishes to Mrs. Thatcher from the former Colonies!

13 October 2011 at 22:26  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Happy Birthday indeed!

I didn't agree with everything MT stood for but admired her values, principles and determination to do the right thing, come what may.

13 October 2011 at 22:54  
Blogger Chris said...

Absolutely. Wish more politicians today had her kind of spirit.

13 October 2011 at 23:30  
Blogger WitteringsfromWitney said...

As The Way of the Dodo said, even I did not agree with everything she did, however what I did admire was having chosen a course of action she went ahead with it.

If we had such conviction politics today, and knowledgable politicians, we would not be in the dire strait we find ourselves.

14 October 2011 at 01:35  
Blogger Gnostic said...

What a real cast iron politician looks like. Look at her and weep, Cameron, because you aren't even a pale copy of the lady and can never hope to be. You, and all the other Not the Tories are merely what she would scrape off her shoes.

14 October 2011 at 02:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

Dodo said "I didn't agree with everything MT stood for but admired her values, principles and determination to do the right thing, come what may."

Is Ernst still dreaming or woken up in a strange parellel Universe?
Ernst is in complete agreaal with The Bird! *guffaws*
If only feathers were brains *sigh*

She is/was irreplaceable and unique!

Ernst Blofeld


Happy Birthday also to Sir Roger 'Suave Bond' Moore at 84.

'Good evening, 007 and congratulations.' Just wanted to say that one last time!

13 October 2011 22:54

14 October 2011 at 10:01  
Blogger hellosnackbar said...

Maggie was the greatest.
I've never had anything like the same confidence in any other leader.
As she remarked, European Union as desired by some of the mainlanders was "cloud cuckoo land".

14 October 2011 at 10:25  
Blogger hellosnackbar said...

Maggie was the greatest.
I've never had anything like the same confidence in any other leader.
As she remarked, European Union as desired by some of the mainlanders was "cloud cuckoo land".

14 October 2011 at 10:52  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Yes, it's certainly admirable that, once you set yourself on a course to bugger up the lives of millions, you stick with it.

14 October 2011 at 10:57  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


"Yes, it's certainly admirable that, once you set yourself on a course to bugger up the lives of millions, you stick with it."

You are being a tad harsh on Rome and that benny fella, lad/lass. What?


14 October 2011 at 11:30  
Blogger Gnostic said...

whitespacebug: "Yes, it's certainly admirable that, once you set yourself on a course to bugger up the lives of millions, you stick with it."

Yeah, but to do that she had to unbugger the Callaghan mess first...

14 October 2011 at 11:58  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


You're not suggesting Maggie was a Vatican agent are you?

14 October 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


MT has to be judged as a Prime Minister according to her stated ambition on entering Downing Street.

I admired her Christian values (although too protestant ethic for me), her honesty and courage.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.

A fine prayer from a fine early Catholic monk and saint!

14 October 2011 at 16:31  
Blogger Oswin said...

Gnostic : exactly!

One wonders if Whitespacebug is old enough to remember our dead piling up in mortuaries, and in the back of refrigerated trucks; whilst our streets were buried beneath piles of rubbish? One could go on, and on, and ...

14 October 2011 at 17:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

The Inspector was never a fawning devotee of Margaret. What she did to the coal industry was really unforgivable. Basic economics madam…

British coal is CHEAPER THAN foreign coal + unemployment benefit for the thousands of miners out of work.

And the Poll Tax. A massive error of judgement there and no mistake. But there was no telling you, was there…

However, that aside, what a woman ! Makes Cameron look like a footman of the back stairs….

14 October 2011 at 17:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I remember Mrs T as being a bit like Cod Liver Oil: Pretty unpleasant and leaving a bad taste afterwards but necessary for the times.

14 October 2011 at 18:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ah, DanJ0, the Inspector was rather wondering what happened to you...

Pretty unpleasant and leaving a bad taste afterwards rather brings back memories of Dodo’s objection to homosexuality, don’t you think ???

(oh, do go on and have a laugh....)

14 October 2011 at 18:53  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

You understand, don't you, that Thatcher was a classical liberal by any measure you care to use, not a Tory at all?

14 October 2011 at 19:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

From his, erm, flamboyant early years again no doubt.

14 October 2011 at 19:52  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

I didn't agree with everything Mrs T did but I certainly admire her for her tenacity, determination and courage. It's a shame that since her we have had nothing but Dross.

14 October 2011 at 20:00  
Blogger bluedog said...

The OIG @ 17.51 said 'British coal is CHEAPER THAN foreign coal + unemployment benefit for the thousands of miners out of work.'

Utter piffle, Sah!

British mines are/were deep underground and labour intensive. There is no conceivable way that British coal could complete economically with coal from an open-cut mine in say, South Africa or Australia. The Germans have reached the same conclusion and have more or less shut down their coal industry with consequent benefit to their economy.

Quite simply, MT realised that the UK nationalised industries had evolved from being the commanding heights of the economy to acting as sheltered workshops for the trade union movement. These sheltered workshops were costing you, the tax payer, money every year.

Its thirty years on and yet you don't understand this?

Really, Sah, even your orderly would know better.

14 October 2011 at 22:23  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Whereas now we have "privatised" those industries and...oh...they are STILL costing the taxpayer money every year.

14 October 2011 at 22:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Not quite, that bluedog, as well as the the immediate industry itself, there was a large support infrastructure (eg qv Dowty Mining) as well as local economic activity based around the pits. It’s called localised economic activity, don’t you know. If Maggie had any sense, she would have privatised the industry early on and made ALL miners share holders, thus by-passing Scargill. You might think this is great in retrospect, but the Inspector held this opinion at the time. He knew the extraordinary power the NUM held over it’s members and the only way past that that was to appeal to the miners aspirations. After all, it takes some fortitude to go down a deep pit every day; these were /are hard sensible men.

Alas, Maggie was a mere women, and worse, didn’t take advice too readily. It takes a man, such as the likes of the Inspector General, to appreciate the full plot at the time...

14 October 2011 at 23:20  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

As in JAIL?

Her treason in cutting the Navy got us the Fl;aklands War, and has been copird by every poltroon PM since.

Lest anyone accuse me of being anti-tory, again:

I think H. Macmillan only made two mistakes. The small one was Profumo, the big one Marples.
I liked the Grocer....
I heard W. S. C's last public speech [Walthamstow 1955] I was 9 at the time, but what an impression!

15 October 2011 at 10:48  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr G Tingey @ 10.48, if anybody was responsible for the Falklands war it was the Foreign Secretary at the time, Peter Carrington. At least Carrington had the decency to accept ministerial responsibility and he resigned. These days the minister would issue a statement blaming his department.

15 October 2011 at 12:09  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

What was Thatcherism, really? What did she ever actually do? She gave Britain the Single European Act, the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the Exchange Rate Mechanism. She gave Britain the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the Children Act, and the replacement of O-levels with GCSEs, the last so much of a piece with her closure, while she was Education Secretary, of so many grammar schools that there were not enough left at the end for her record ever to be equalled.

During the same period, she raised no objection in Cabinet to the European Communities Act, to the abolition of ancient counties, to metrication and decimalisation, to the de facto decriminalisation of cannabis, to the first attempt at Scottish and Welsh devolution, or to the only ever attempt to withdraw from Ireland, all under a Prime Minister who had previously devastated small and family business by abolishing Resale Price Maintenance. And she gave Britain the destruction of the economic basis of paternal authority.

No Prime Minister, ever, has done more in any one, never mind all, of the causes of European federalism, Irish Republicanism, sheer economic incompetence, police inefficiency and ineffectiveness, the extension of the power of the State into the proper sphere of the family, collapsing educational standards, and everything that underlies or follows from the destruction of paternal authority. She did not come out against a single European currency until a rally 10 and half years after the end of her time as Prime Minister, by which point it was far from clear that she knew what she was saying.

Thereby, the middle classes were transformed from people like her father into people like her son. Her humble origins were massively exaggerated. Her father was a prominent local businessman and politician who ran most of the committees and charities for miles around, sent her to a fee-paying school, and put her through Oxford without a scholarship. She told us, and she really did, that “there is no such thing as society”, in which case there cannot be any such thing as the society that is the family, or the society that is the nation. She turned Britain into the country that Marxists had always said it was, even though, before her, it never actually had been.

Specifically, she sold off national assets at obscenely undervalued prices. Meanwhile, she subjected the rest of the public sector, 40 per cent of the economy, to an unprecedented level of dirigisme. She compelled the local forms of the State to make gifts of considerable capital assets to people who were thus able to enter the property market ahead of private tenants who had saved for their deposits. She invented the Housing Benefit racket, vastly more expensive than maintaining a stock of council housing, and integral to the massively increased benefit dependency of the 1980s. She presided over the rise of Political Correctness, part of that decade’s general moral chaos, which also included her introduction of abortion up to birth, and her mercifully unsuccessful attempts to abolish the special status of Sunday and to end Christian teaching in state schools.

Hers was the assault on the monarchy, since she scorned the Commonwealth, social cohesion, historical continuity and public Christianity, and called the Queen “the sort of person who votes for the SDP”, arrogating to herself the properly monarchical and royal role on the national and international stages, using her most popular supporting newspaper to vilify the Royal Family, and legislating to pre-empt the courts on both sides of the Atlantic by renouncing the British Parliament’s role in the amendment of the Canadian Constitution, as well as, on the instructions of Rupert Murdoch, to abolish the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to legislate for individual Australian states, to end the British Government’s consultative role in Australian state-level affairs, and to deprive the Queen’s Australian subjects of their right of appeal to Her Majesty in Council.

15 October 2011 at 17:03  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

Hers was the war against the unions, which cannot have had anything to do with monetarism, since the unions have never controlled the money supply. Hers was the refusal to privatise the Post Office, thank goodness, but against all her stated principles. Hers were the continuing public subsidies to fee-paying schools, to agriculture, to nuclear power, and to mortgage-holders. Without those subsidies, the fourth would hardly have existed, and the other three would not have existed at all. The issue is not whether any of them is a good or a bad thing in itself. The issue is whether “Thatcherism” was compatible with their continuation by means of “market-bucking” public subsidies. It simply was not.

Hers was the ludicrous pretence to have brought down the Soviet Union merely because she happened to be in office when that Union happened to collapse, which it would have done anyway, as predicted by Enoch Powell. But she did make a difference internationally where it was possible to do so, by providing aid and succour to Pinochet’s Chile and to apartheid South Africa. I condemn the former as I condemn Castro, and I condemn the latter as I condemn Mugabe (or Ian Smith, for that matter). No doubt you do, too. But she did not, as she still does not. Hers was the refusal to recognise Muzorewa, holding out for the Soviet-backed Nkomo as if he would have been any better than the Chinese-backed Mugabe, for whom she nevertheless secured a knighthood.

And hers was what amounted to the open invitation to Argentina to invade the Falkland Islands, followed by the (starved) Royal Navy’s having to behave as if the hopelessly out-of-her-depth Prime Minister did not exist, a sort of coup without which those Islands would be Argentine to this day. She had of course been about to sell the ships in question, at a knocked down price, to Argentina. Nor did she experience any electoral bounce as a result of the war that she had caused in the Falklands; on the contrary, the figures make it crystal clear that Conservative Party took fewer actual votes in 1983 than it had done in 1979, and won the 1983 Election only because it faced a divided Opposition.

Was she “the Iron Lady” when, in early 1981, her initial pit closure programme was abandoned within two days of a walkout by the miners? Was she “the Iron Lady” when she had one of her closest allies, Nicholas Ridley, negotiate a transfer of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands to Argentina, to be followed by a lease-back arrangement, until the Islanders, the Labour Party and Tory backbenchers forced her to back down?

Was she “the Iron Lady” when, within a few months of election on clear commitments with regard to Rhodesia, she simply abandoned them at the Commonwealth Conference in Lusaka? Was she “the Iron Lady” when, having claimed that Britain would never give up Hong Kong, she took barely 24 hours to return to Planet Earth and effect a complete U-turn? Was she “the Iron Lady” when she took just as little time to move from public opposition to public support of Spanish accession to the Western European Union? Was she “the Iron Lady” when she gave up monetarism completely during her second term?

15 October 2011 at 17:05  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

But then again, who cares these days? Or, rather, who really ought to care? She has now been out of office for nearly twice as long as she was in. People have already voted in a General Election who were not born when she left. The next Leader of her own party may be one such, the Leader after that is almost certain to be. By the time of a 2015 General Election, she is most unlikely to be alive.

People born in the 1990s are now entering university and the world of work. Entirely dispassionately, they will ask who was Prime Minister when the principle of unanimity in the Council of Ministers was surrendered, or when the police were first deluged with paperwork, or when O-levels were replaced with GCSEs, or when the dole became something that large numbers of people claimed for years on end. Among so very many other things.

They might even ask why, if the 1970s were so bad, there was no Conservative landslide in 1979, when that party only just scraped in, and would not have done so if there had been an even swing throughout the country. Or they might ask about how the combined Labour and SDP votes were higher than the Conservative vote both in 1983 and in 1987. They might even ask why her own party got rid of her and then went on to win an Election that it had been expected to lose. Get over her.

15 October 2011 at 17:05  
Blogger musky said...

He's got a point, or two.

15 October 2011 at 22:17  
Blogger musky said...


The prayer of Saint Francis was not by St. Francis.

15 October 2011 at 22:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Musky, are you one of Deputy Dawg’s mates by any chance ??

15 October 2011 at 23:02  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr OIG @ 23.20 makes a number of points with which this communicant concurrs to some degree.

However 'Alas, Maggie was a mere women, and worse, didn’t take advice too readily' cannot be allowed to pass without comment. MT's problem was that frequently she was the only man in the Cabinet. Many of her male colleagues fell into the category of 'old women of both sexes'.

16 October 2011 at 08:18  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Your Grace, I would never want to be called a Thatcherite and we know of the shenanigans of Mark Thatcher in funding the dogs of war so he is not someone I would want on my visiting list but your picture of them both is very moving and I think coveys the idea that for all their faults, there is a genuine love between them. She is overjoyed to be seen with her son and he is standing by his mother ready to support her as she supported him through thick and thin.

19 October 2011 at 16:27  

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