Margaret Thatcher

by craig on April 8, 2013 2:25 pm in Uncategorized

By chance I knew Margaret Thatcher rather better than a junior civil servant might have been expected to, not least from giving her some maritime briefings during the First Gulf War. On another occasion Denis and I once got absolutely blind drunk in Lagos – I had been given him to look after for the day, and the itinerary started with the Guinness brewery and went on to the United Distillers bottling plant, before lunch at the golf club. I had to reunite him with his spouse for the State Banquet and quite literally fell out of the car. Happy days.

I can say I was on first name terms with her – she always called me by my first name. Except unfortunately she thought that was Peter. I recall she came out to Poland when I was in the Embassy there and I was embarrassed because she knew me, and thus greeted me more warmly than my Embassy superiors. The problem was lessened by her continuing to call me Peter very loudly, even after I corrected her twice.

In person she was frightfully sharp, she really was. If you gave her a briefing, she had an uncanny ability to seize on the one point where you did not have sufficient information. She also had that indescribable charisma – you really could feel when she entered a room in a way I have never experienced with anybody else, not Mandela or Walesa, for example. You may be surprised to hear that in person I found her quite likeable.

Yet she was a terrible, terrible disaster to this country. The utter devastation of heavy industry, the writing off of countless billions worth of tooling and equipment, the near total loss of the world’s greatest concentrated manufacturing skills base, the horrible political division of society and tearing of the bonds within our community. She was a complete, utter disaster.

Let me give one anecdote to which I can personally attest. In leaving office she became a “consultant” to US tobacco giant Phillip Morris. She immediately used her influence on behalf of Phillip Morris to persuade the FCO to lobby the Polish government to reduce the size of health warnings on Polish cigarette packets. Poland was applying to join the EU, and the Polish health warnings were larger than the EU stipulated size.

I was the official on whose desk the instruction landed to lobby for lower health warnings. I refused to do it. My then Ambassador, Michael Llewellyn Smith (for whom I had and have great respect) came up with the brilliant diplomatic solution of throwing the instruction in the bin, but telling London we had done it.

So as you drown in a sea of praise for Thatcher, remember this. She was prepared to promote lung cancer, for cash.

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  1. James Morton

    8 Apr, 2013 - 2:36 pm

    I once said I would dance a jig when she died. My Gran once said she was a bigger bum than ten arses with a face you’d never get tired of slapping. My mother to this day, can’t abide hearing her voice or seeing her face. But oddly now that day has come to pass – I feel nothing. She did me & mine great misery, in her drive to promote the monaterism that she would later deny having ever followed. In the end she was nothing to me but an unpopular politician, who without even knowing it, pushed Scotland further away from her precious union. She was a pathetic figure in the end surpassed in cruelty and sheer bloody minded stupidity by the new breed of westminster politicians. Who these days seem to be basing their careers on the legend that was Alan B’stard.

    what will amuse me is watching the contortions of the Scots tories over the coming days.

  2. King of Nothing

    8 Apr, 2013 - 2:38 pm

    If there really is an afterlife she’ll have to get used to a much warmer climate.

    Nice to hear from you again BTW.

  3. Am impressed, Craig, with your honest appraisal of Thatcher. Most would have let their negative opinions of her politics and their dreadful effects on the country colour their opinion of other aspects of her personality. To your credit, you didn’t.

    And the humour wasn’t bad either!

  4. So, “Peter”, YOU are the one responsible for the dereliction of that nice, homely fellow, Dennis Thatcher. 

  5. Why do readers think she was given the OM, which is in the personal gift of the Sovereign? Perhaps Her Majesty sensed her charisma? :)

  6. “This lady is not for turning” wont cut much mustard on the roasting spit, and long may she roast. The absolute bastard that she was deserves no less, though the misery of millions she promoted, cannot go unpunished and if it does then there is no natural justice.

  7. Well it took Marillion, earthquake gamma ray satellites, UFOs, swearing and the death of Thatcher to bring you back but glad something worked :-)

    Nice to hear you are well.

  8. Hey Pete, in your list of Thatcher disasters you could have mentioned the deregulation of the City, a cynical piece of idiocy that did so much to encourage the current fiscal crisis.

  9. I hold her responsible for MIRAS (tax relief on mortgages) which caused house prices in London to shoot up immediately, so that today houses in the capital are unaffordable for new buyers.

  10. The Thatcher ‘disaster’ that comes first to my mind (perhaps because I lived in the North-East at the time) was the miner’s strike. Words can’t describe what that did to the people and communities concerned.

  11. This is a true disaster for pharmaceutical companies. Sales of anti-depressants have crashed, with singing & dancing taking place throughout the land. Here in Wales, anyway. :)

  12. She got this character over from the Rand Coporation in America to set the NHS privatisation project in motion, ie a private health insurance model. Cameron and Clegg are now completing it.

    Affordable health care and consumer choice: An interview with Professor Alain Enthoven

  13. So for Paddy Ashdown seems to have been the only politician to go seriously off script and attack her in a BBC interview. But he clearly was prodded and finally concluded that destroying all the things he had mentioned was just what the country needed at the time. Doubt we will see the first part of his interview repeated.

  14. @Glenn_uk

    Am sure that the Scots will be joining you …

  15. OT. Did they bump of Thatcher just to upstage Julian Assange?

    ‘Illegal we do immediately; unconstitutional takes a little longer’: Kissinger in new mass WikiLeaks document release

    Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is quoted as saying, “Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, ‘The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer’,” during a 1975 conversation which included a Turkish and Cypriot official.

  16. ALL the newsreaders are wearing black. It is unbelievable. We will be having solemn music next. And yet they jeer at the construct of North Korea’s Dear Leader.

  17. Ding! Dong! The Witch is dead. Hooray. But for the waste of fuel, the national tradition of lighting bonfires in celebration, ought to be revived in some form.

    Dreadful woman, if only those who mourn her, in a fitting tribute, could speedily join her.

    Popular legend and myth – of monsters, fiends and evil – alone will preserve her name.

    So shove her in a hole whereupon the citizenry can defecate and move on. The festivities should quickly turn to dealing with her successors: Tories, Liberal and Labourites.

  18. trowbridge h. ford

    8 Apr, 2013 - 4:12 pm

    I woud suggest that she put us all at risk by reluctantly seeing that MI6 supplied an assassin to kill Olof Palme – what was intended by the Reagan Iran-Contra people to trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War, but would have apparently led to a nuclear one which the USSR would probably have won if it had not been for the countermeasures that Moscow adopted to prevent it, thanks to all that spying that Rick Ames, Robert Hanssen, Jonathan Pollard, and the Walker gang had supplied the Soviets.

    Thatcher believed too much in what covert government could supply, thanks to Washington’s continual prodding.

  19. “she was a terrible, terrible disaster to this country. The utter devastation of heavy industry, …”

    But that was all in the interests of global free trade, free movement of people, aka, unrestricted mass migration, and an end to nationalism and national economic policy. You are for these things are you not? So how does your view differ significantly from MT’s other than in the desire to have things both ways?

  20. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    @ Abe Rene , who says :

    “I hold her responsible for MIRAS (tax relief on mortgages) which caused house prices in London to shoot up immediately, so that today houses in the capital are unaffordable for new buyers.”

    Nice try, Abe, but MIRAS was actually introduced by the 1966-70 Labour government and continued through the succeeding Conservative and Labour govts.

    BTW, you might be interested to know that various forms of MIRAS apply in several continental European countries without having led a boom in house prices on the scale of the UK boom. No, I think you’ll have to look elsewhere for an explanation…

  21. Well, according to BBC News, she was a good chap and cared for everyone around her, except for those fools Paddy Ashdown and Ken Livingstone who dared to go off message and speak the truth for once. Apparently there will be military honors at her funeral to remind us how she enjoyed death and destruction. Back to normal now with much more gushing appraisal and adoration and no mention of the criminal destruction of manufacturing, mining and social cohesion she left in her wake.

  22. If anyone needs some relief from UK News, they are debating whether Tony Blair should be arrested on RT right now.

  23. doug scorgie

    8 Apr, 2013 - 4:39 pm

    Thatcher dead

    No doubt the expense of the pomp and ceremony, with military honours and a funeral at St Pauls Cathedral will be met by our taxes.

    No tears please remember what she stood for:

    “Thatcher stands by Pinochet”

    “Baroness Thatcher has visited General Pinochet at the home where he is staying under house arrest near London – and talked of the “debt” she believes the UK owes him.”

    “The former UK prime minister met with the one-time Chilean dictator in a rare public appearance televised live from the house in Wentworth, Surrey.”

    “General Pinochet is staying in the rented mansion during his legal battle to avoid extradition to Spain.”

    “Lady Thatcher thanked her old friend for being an ally during the 1982 Falklands War – and for “bringing democracy to Chile”.

    “I know how much we owed to you for your help,” she said. “

    “The information you gave us, communications, and also the refuge you gave to any of our armed forces who were able, if they were shipwrecked, to make their way to Chile.”

    “She added: “I’m also very much aware that IT IS YOU WHO BROUGHT DEMOCRACY TO CHILE, you set up a constitution suitable for democracy, you put it into effect, elections were held, and then, in accordance with the result, you stepped down.”

    “General Pinochet said it was an honour to have Lady Thatcher there at the “simple house” on the estate, and thanked her for her “kindness”.

    She was also a dear friend of Henry Kissinger.

  24. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 4:43 pm

    A choice Thatcherism;

    “A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.”

    Margaret Thatcher

  25. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 4:45 pm

  26. “Revocation information for the security certificate is not available. Do you want to proceed” just popped up on my Windows box playing RT

    Seems some users have been getting this from time to time since March 2012 but Oracle (it appears to be their certificate related to Java) are playing dumb.

    Anyone else with Java installed seeing this?

  27. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 4:52 pm

  28. Question for Craig:

    I loathed Thatcher while she was in power, but I also have a grudging respect for her abilities, esp given that Blair makes her look like a saint. What do you think her actions would have been re Iraq? I half-suspect she would have given Bush & co a much harder time than Blair did …

  29. It’s become convenient to blame Thatcher for the collapse of British manufacturing but lazy and wrong. Heavy industry was in serious trouble long before she came to power and management complacency, union intransigence and a failure to invest in new technology were the real culprits.

  30. Good riddance

  31. Hmm, is the Java updater tripping over the fact that something not quite right is in between me and the certificate servers. Or is Oracle staggeringly incompetent as the bug is still listed as “Open” despite ongoing reports for over a year.

  32. I don’t agree with everything Mrs Thatcher did; she made many mistakes but she put Britain first, was a conviction not a focus-group politician, she had a vision that she believed in and as for ruining British industry I think the unions, the management and lack of investment caused the real damage she just faced up to the problem and did what was needed.

    If you want a testament to her achievement politics have remained broadly Thatherite (excluding the dismal Brown days) ever since. Even Blair admitted that he continued her legacy.

  33. Ben F: Savile’s reputation is sunk to completely new depths!

  34. I had a not too dissimilar experience to yours with Dennis Thatcher on a Russian summer-course at Norwich. It was with a chap who claimed to have had the rather dubious honour of being ‘last fag-master at Eton’. For the evening of entertainment that always accompanies these social courses some young Scottish undergraduates had opted to demonstrate a national folk-dance called ‘Strip the Willow’. Their problem was, because they were all women, confusion arose as to who the male partners were supposed to be, so they commandeered me and Fairbanks-Smith to partner them. Rehearsals were disastrous, almost as bad as when they were all women together. The moves seemed to go all right but the music always went on for a few bars after the dance had finished, or it finished a few bars before the dance itself. On the night of the show we had been downing one after another until somebody rushed into the bar panic-stricken and screaming at us that we were on. (I think there had been a search party out looking for us). Somehow we got onto the stage and amazingly, for the very first time ever, the dance finished at the same time as the music. Neither of us could believe it. We looked at one another and burst out laughing.

    Politically we were miles apart, but yes, sometimes if politics is laid aside, there can be common-ground, even if it is found in a well-filled glass. That, I guess, is what diplomacy is all about. Three years later Thatcher had had her war in the Falklands and I had joined the miners in Birmingham on their march against her pit-closures.

  35. Thatcher exits the stage leaving an endowment of contempt for local democracy maintained, bolstered and hoisted by her protégé, agent Cameron and his malfunctional sick crew hell bent on their toxic elimination of community-spiritness and fairness; these are corrosive neo-liberal values that has left Britain a nastier place – coarser, greedier, sadder, more divided.

    June 22nd this year some of the enlightened ‘angry’ will take over, seize back togetherness and educate. Representative Democracy is a sham with synthetic delegates of the status quo establishment.

    This is an assembly of the people of Britain, time for all to capture public business.

  36. Glenn and Ben

    That had to be deliberate by someone at CNN surely inserting that photo into her obit package.

    CNN has drawn unwanted attention on the internet after broadcasting a picture of Margaret Thatcher with Jimmy Savile.

    Thatcher, the former Prime Minister, passed away aged 87 this morning after a stroke. However, the US news channel has run a photo of her with the disgraced DJ and TV presenter.

    In case anyone missed it upthread photo at

  37. BBC at it as well.

    Margaret Thatcher dies: BBC News “strike” typo goes viral – picture

    A typo by BBC News on a Margaret Thatcher story has become viral on the internet.

    The former prime minister passed away aged 87 after suffering a stroke. However, the publication accidentally typed that she died following a “strike” instead.

  38. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 6:33 pm

    @ Kempe :

    “It’s become convenient to blame Thatcher for the collapse of British manufacturing but lazy and wrong. Heavy industry was in serious trouble long before she came to power and management complacency, union intransigence and a failure to invest in new technology were the real culprits.”

    Spot on, again. And not only heavy industry (a Western European decline, in fact) but also light industry and manufacturing industry in general.

    Phenomena well attested at the time in works by serious commentators like Andrew Schonfield (“British economic policy since the war”, 1958) and Michael Shanks (“The stagnant society”, 1961).

  39. Stephen Morgan

    8 Apr, 2013 - 6:42 pm

    Let’s have some sympathy for the devil.

    After all, he’s the one who’s got to deal with her from now on.

  40. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thatcher was “a great leader, a woman of principle, of determination, of conviction, of strength; a woman of greatness. She was a staunch friend of Israel and the Jewish people. She inspired a generation of political leaders. I send my most sincere condolences to her family and to the government and people of Great Britain.”

    MK Avigdor Liberman, the former foreign minister, noted that Thatcher was the first British prime minister to visit Israel. “I remember well the tears she shed on her visit to Yad Vashem and the empathy she expressed for our nation’s past and future challenges,” he said, calling her a great friend of the Jewish people. ”Margaret Thatcher was a strong and courageous leader and stateswoman, who showed great foresight and was not afraid to act in the interests of her country and people.”,179844

  41. Thatcher was the sole cause of the selling off of council houses and the destruction of affordable housing stocks for working families. I shed no tears.

  42. Thatcher – Thatcher = 0

    Just as she dies we decide that we should never have abandoned coal power stations, or banking regulation, or Union power to regulate corporate greed, or animal food regulation, or morality in the courts of justice, not least in the area of marital breakdown.

    She was a Goliath, a monstour of Grendel proportions and fame. The double G of Maggie.

    Hwæt! Wé Gárdena in géardagum
    Listen! We –of the Spear-Danes in the days of yore,
    þéodcyninga þrym gefrúnon·
    of those clan-kings– heard of their glory.
    hú ðá æþelingas ellen fremedon.
    how those nobles performed courageous deeds.

    Nobody of this generation of emasculated politicians can lay claim to have laid her legacy to rest. Tony Blair emulated her violence and violation of international law. Gordon Brown peddled her economic trash into extremity and David Cameron wafted incense over her broken victims’ gore.

    However Craig is totally correct to give Mrs Thatcher credit for her strength of character. She inherited a generation that dreamed of a different idea to colonialism and class barriers, emerging from the second world war, and the endeavours of a thousand years of British commonsense and decency. She delivered leadership for both those aspirations: social equality and global trade.

    Craig mentioned a few years ago that her attitude to torture was moral and clear. It wasn’t going to happen on her watch or in her name. Let that be her monument. A bold, adventurous, annoying but honest human heart. Let that be her testimony, that she ruled in an age before the war on terror and nobody can place the crimes of her successors at her door.

  43. Guano, I love the maths. You’ve been practising with the Captchas but it’s logically correct. I did not know she had morals over torture. Let that be her saving grace then. But let’s not forget she was honorary president of the bogus charity “Atlantic Bridge” and with Fudgefase I am shedding no tears.

  44. As the first Gulf War – over Kuwait and Southern Iraq’s oil – was already underway, along with sanctions that killed millions in the end, she was in at the beginning of the current crusade, or revived series crusades and shares in its criminality and consequent woeful results for humanity and for frail, recovering British prestige, stolen for a fig-leaf of legality, to form a bandit coalition. By the time Desert Storm was launched, she was gone from power but her influence remained through the party and her protege Major did not waver or act independently in foreign affairs from the outlaw course she set us upon. Could it be that someone with such an independent bent, as we’re told she had, really have just been another performing puppet, regurgitating others’ ideas as her own, a servant of manipulative power, than mistress of her own and failed hijacker of all our destinies?

    The newborn monopoly private sector simply leeched off the public teat and consumer captivity and drew on investment and research carried out and paid for by nationalised industries in public hands, innovated nothing beyond what was handed to them at the outset.

    Economic events culminating in the existence of criminal, too big to fail banks, bailed out to an extent that could have saved every indusry lost: from steel-making; mining; car and commercial vehicle manufacture; shipbuilding and so much more – could have saved all thousands of times over, with plenty change to spare and could now be dominating world markets, in a balanced, shock-free resilient economy. The contradiction in the belief that we couldn’t do certain things – we couldn’t go it alone – in quality engineering and manufacturing particularly, but apparently, paradoxically, in others it seemed some were supernaturally equipped to succeed unerringly in the world of kleptocratic, parasitic banking and finance, leglised theft. This contradiction, this simultaneous clutch of mutually exclusive beliefs still bewitches her knavish fans, counting their ill-got gains.

    Her vilest spells weaken, by comparision with today the 1970s were halcyon happy days.

  45. Stephen Morgan

    8 Apr, 2013 - 8:15 pm

    Actually she wrote an article for the WSJ advocating the second Iraq War, and apparently Bush was inspired by the popularity she got from the falklands.

  46. Stephen Morgan

    8 Apr, 2013 - 8:19 pm

    She’s only been in hell for three hours and she’s already closed down three furnaces – some wag on twitter.

  47. No irony.

    Obama hails Margaret Thatcher as ‘great champion of freedom’ in tribute

    Meryl Streep adds to bipartisan tributes to former British prime minister, who has died at the age of 87

    Barack Obama led tributes from the United States to the former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, whose death on Friday* led to an outpouring of remembrances that went well beyond normal courtesies.

    Obama described Thatcher as “one of the great champions of freedom and liberty” and a true friend to the US. Former president George HW Bush and the Republican House speaker John Boehner also paid generous tributes.

    *It appears that the Guardian have got their Fridays muddled up with their Mondays.

    The master of extrajudicial killing by drone, the fact that he has not closed Guantanamo as he promised, the fact that he is persecuting Bradley Manning, put Obomber’s tribute into context.

  48. English Knight

    8 Apr, 2013 - 8:46 pm

    The “Finchley voters bloc” in this blog have so far only managed to raise their heads just slightly over the parapet. Where is resdis when you need him?!

  49. Thatcher state funeral to be privatised

    Responsible department: Cabinet Office

    In keeping with the great lady’s legacy, Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders.

    The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded.

    Number of signatures:33,816
    Created by:Scott Morgan
    Closing:10/10/2012 09:25


    Loving it.

  50. Geoffrey Howe’s resignation speech 1990 in the HoC. Killer blow. 18 mins


    Try some realism, our materialistic wasted generations playing the left- right political hokey cokey.

    Essence is something shared.

  52. The said Ambassador to Poland.

    From 1970 to 1999 he served in the British Diplomatic Service, in London, Moscow, Paris, Warsaw and Athens, his last two posts being Ambassador to Poland (1991-96) and Ambassador to Greece (1996-99).

  53. Kempe, Habbakuk,
    British heavy industry was failing so it needed to be quickly and completely eliminated, thus ruining most of the country north of Watford. A generation later the British financial services industry failed completely so it needed to be – propped up by the taxpayer with an incredible commitment that puts ordinary taxpayers in debt for generations, thus saving London and the South East because these jobs, unlike industrial jobs, are essential to the country.


  54. Great timing: The bitch dies, just as her corn-fed cub’s benefit cuts for the disabled come into force.
    Hopefully, we’ll see a repeat (and then some) of the Poll Tax Revolt, if people can switch off their screens for long enough to talk to their neighbours.
    It’s the rich against the poor. Always has been. Easy credit delayed this kind of disclosure, but now that’s gone. The lines have been drawn and they’re pretty clear,
    It’s simply a case of what kind of world you want to live in. Please act accordingly.

  55. Good points:
    Unlike David Cameron and Blair she didn’t take evidence by torture.
    She was to the left of Cameron and Blair.!

  56. She was quite simply a traitor. She sold out her country, not for principle, but for her own selfish, self important benefit.

    She was interviewed for the job of Prime Minister at a Bilderberg Group meeting. She was told what policies she would have to implement if she wanted the job, and she agreed. And so to pay for her brief period in the spotlight, the infrastructure of our country was thrown to the globalist jackals, our manufacturing plant and skills were broken up and destroyed for ever, our financial regulations were turned into a thieves’ charter, and our welfare state became the enemy instead of a proud mark of civilisation.

    True, Blair and Cameron went through the same interview, made the same deal with the Devil, and have continued the same policies. True, if she had refused the deal at that meeting, they’d have found someone else to do it, but she took the 30 pieces of silver, and started the whole rotten business.

    But what really gets me is that she isn’t universally despised. Blair was just as bad but he has to live with our loathing and his children know how their father made his fortune. He’s paid a price, not high enough but a price. But fucking Thatcher has come out of it smelling of roses. Because she was a figurehead for privatisation throughout the world, the MSM protected her reputation to the end, made her revered instead of vilified.

    State funeral indeed. I’m even having to pay to bury the witch.

    I have decided to renounce my atheism for the day so that I can wish with more conviction that she rot in hell.

  57. “There is no such thing as Society” – Thatcher 1988

    “There is no such thing as Thatcher” – Society 2013

  58. Of coarse there should be a world of difference between letting a sector of work (and peoples lives) run down gently because it is deemed unprofitable, and demolishing it with haste (throwing out the ‘babies with the bathwater’).

    Today there is even no talk of running Financial and Insurance ‘work’ down, which would be easily Socialised with modern IT infrastructure and which as private business only directly profits a tiny and ruthless minority.

    Almost everything useful is made by China now – this was somehow deemed desirable decades ago, and arranged at haste chanting this old mantra “tough decisions need to be made”

  59. course :(

  60. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 12:11 am

    The MSM is trying to imply that Mrs Thatcher did not want a state funeral “in accordance with her own wishes.”

    I remember that a few years ago Tony Blair suggested that Mrs Thatcher should have a state funeral when she dies. He was heartily seconded by all the Tory MPs and the MSM.

    The uproar by the British public that followed caused a massive U-turn on that idea.

    Mrs Thatcher has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for many years, a truly horrendous mental illness. So she would not have been able to comprehend what was being proposed by her lickspittles as regards her funeral arrangements – let alone making her own wishes known.

    However her death poses a problem for our next elected government, whichever party that may be. The new Prime Minister will not be able to have a photo opportunity with Mrs T on the doorstep of number 10 (as Blair, Brown and Cameron did) to signal to their true masters in the “City” that Thatcherism is alive and well.

  61. Expect she wanted to be frozen, numb and brittle and cold till resurrection.

  62. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    9 Apr, 2013 - 1:04 am

    @ Craig :

    Happy to engage, but first – so that we’ll be discussing the same things and not talking past each other – which sectors of the (former) UK economy do you consider to have been “heavy industry”? What would you include under this rubric, apart from (the obvious) coal and steel industries?

  63. She destroyed Scotland and the north of England and Wales and protected her voter base in south east England. She destroyed union power thereby opening up the total abuse of workers in the present day. She elevated “the free market” to a religion that was to take precedence over fair human qualities that had generally been acknowledged in professions and everyday life. She set in motion a dog eat dog society. Besides all this,on a more personal level, she totally blighted a generation to which my kids belong. I just hope there is a hell that she can burn in.

  64. Habbabkuk
    “Happy to engage, but first satisfy my tiresome demands for elaboration on these variables – I never clarify anything myself which i can possibly get my opponents to drag out, after which i like to respond to my own misinterpretions an”

  65. Habbabkuk
    “Happy to engage, but first satisfy my disfunctional demands for elaboration on these variables – I never clarify anything myself which i can possibly get my opponents to drag out for me, after which i like to respond to my own misinterpretations regardless.”

  66. a draught escaped!

  67. Mary
    8 Apr, 2013 – 3:39 pm

    Your post brought this back to me.

    “He (Healey) is a strange person. When he was at Oxford he was a communist. Then friends took him in hand, sent him to the Rand Corporation of America, where he was brainwashed and came back very right wing.”

    “In 1978 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey, controversially began imposing tight monetary controls. This included deep cuts in public spending on education and health. Critics claimed that this laid the foundations of what became known as monetarism. In 1978 these public spending cuts led to a wave of strikes (winter of discontent) and the Labour Party was easily defeated in the 1979 General Election.”

  68. “Thatcherism”

    In truth it should not be called “Thatcherism”, it should have been called Gaitskellism, Healey, Thatcher and Blair are the children of Gaitskellism.

    The Labour party have always been right wing, they did have a slight flirtation with the left of centre under Attlee’s Labour government, the roots of all the problems we are experiencing at this moment in time go back to the evil seeds Hugh Gaitskell and Denis Healey.

    Note the strange death of Hugh Gaitskell.

  69. `Baroness Margaret Thatcher has completed a Work Capability Assessment with ATOS medical advisers and has been declared ‘fit for work’ according to a Government spokesman.`

  70. Christopher Hitchens said she was sexy.

  71. In order to destroy the unions she destroyed industries and wrecked lives and communities.

    The damage continues, one of her first acts as PM was to change the laws restricting the movement of currency abroad. Making tax evasion easier.

    Imagine how differently the banks in the UK would have behaved if the collateral to back their reckless gambles had been the money of the powerful & wealthy.

    Growing up in the North I was no fan of Thatcher, but her dying makes no difference.

  72. “Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher!”

    We should have got rid of her then……!

  73. Craig,

    Wasn’t it that fine, upstanding Scottish socialist Gordon Brown who first had the idea of propping up the banks with public money? I also thought the worst casualties/offenders were based in places like Newcastle, Halifax and Edinburgh.

  74. Oh and the banking industry hadn’t been in terminal decline for decades previously.

  75. Maggie’s Desert Island Discs pick? – Comic Relief Special –

    “Her body should be burned in a rubbish bin.”

    “If the right people were in charge of Thatcher’s funeral, her casket would be launched into London’s renowned Victorian sewage system.” One of the few bits of Britain’s infrastructure she didn’t manage to dismantle for her Anglo-American chums (see Lobster magazine link below).

    – To (ER, loosely? Ed.) paraphrase Dr. Hunter S. Thompson on another Reich-wing US Nazi party apparatchik – far to the _left_ of the leaderene. No, Really!!! – Substitute ‘Margaret Thatcher’ for ‘Richard Nixon’ and it fits perfectly! –

    “She was a crook” – The Atlantic –

    … UNCLE SAM’S NEW LABOUR – Page 88


    “The US government was also paying attention: in 1985 – only two years after Blair became an MP – an official in US embassy in London described him as ‘one of the brightest and most ambitious of recent Labor intake’; and the next year Blair took the first of his freebie trips to America.”

    “Brown and Blair were ‘modernisers’ and that had a specific meaning in this period: accept the power of the City and American global hegemony and give up all this nonsense about economic independence (let alone socialism). John Smith, another ‘moderniser’ in the Labour leadership, was on the steering committee of the Bilderberg group, one of the key elite forums promoting globalisation, from 1989 to 1992. In June 1991 Smith took his then understudy, Gordon Brown, to the Bilderberg meeting at Baden Baden. There Brown met the then obscure governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton. Blair attended the 1993 Bilderberg Conference in Athens.”

    Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs!!! Shocked, Shocked! To discover gambling going on. ; )

    Thatcher too was of that Anglo-American foundation gravy train ilk. Further, she sold out the people of Britain to her Anglo-American chums on UK oil. Where Tony Benn wanted a sovereign wealth fund to preserve the wealth for future generations, as Norway did successfully.

    So the Tories are _exactly_ as New Labour. Utterly corrupt US Empire poodles, desperately competing to jump the highest whenever the US Empire whistles.

    See Lobster #60, ‘Well, how did we get here?’ – Page 62, Issue #60 –

    More – ‘Perfidious Albion’ – Comments to New Labour’s Franco Adventure, 7th November, 2013 – Craig Murray blog –

  76. Deregulation of the City Of London
    Sell-off of council housing stock
    Ending free school milk (Thatcher the milk snatcher)
    The Poll Tax
    Lady Porter
    Neoliberal economics
    Unecessarily perpetuating the Irish problem
    The sinking of the Belgrano
    Ignoring the Peruvian Peace Initiative
    Police brutality against the miners
    Canary Wharf
    Mark Thatcher
    Gagging of Gerry Adams
    Ben Elton
    Tony Blair

  77. conjunction

    9 Apr, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Re Kempe, Habbakuk, etc

    To be fair I wasn’t paying close attention to the political scene during the Thatcher years. However it has always been my impression that you are right in saying the manufacturing scene was on the way out by 1979. Thatcher’s response – or at least one of theme – was to smash the unions, thereby saving industry billions. She is quite explicit about this in her autobiographies. I would be interested to know exactly how Craig thinks she was responsible for destroying the manufacturing base – was this a question of lack of tax breaks or other help, or should she have done more to encourage investment?

    My feeling about Thatcher has always been that she came to power at a time when Britain’s wealth was declining sharply and that she solved this by massively boosting the financial sector by deregulation and encouraging ‘service’ industries – Starbucks etc.

  78. It is galling that the news readers and presenters are still wearing black. A few daring males have coloured ties.

    The eulogies and the sycophancy continue apace. They cannot see that our present parlous condition emanates from her policies of letting the City rip. All those crooks in the financial world had free vein in the fever of the privatisation of the public utilities and the word ‘entrepreneur’ was heard increasingly.

    PS I thought Kempe had been banned here?

  79. Instead of being in the Ritz care home, she could have been by the seaside in Devon.

    Note the NHS colours on the notice board. See the money invested – hope for creaming. Any financial input from the NHS I wonder? Note Mr Robertson’s many other interests.

    You will note the number of posts being advertised. Recruitment was slowed by the CRB checks of course.

  80. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    9 Apr, 2013 - 8:16 am

    @ Craig :

    my question to you was, despite Crab’s unhelpful intrusion (a fairly standard kind of reply to every post of mine), a genuine one. I should myself be inclined to add shipbuilding and the potteries to the list of heavy industries, but am in two minds about (cotton) textiles and the railways and have probably overlooked something blindingly obvious. So grateful if you’d specify. And then I’ll attempt to answer your proposition.
    Best regards.

  81. For Robertson above, read Rutherford.

    Andrew Pierce of the Mail is an ardent Thatcher admirer and was on Sky News last night waxing lyrical about her. He writes of her decline here.

    Frail final years of the Iron Lady: The death of Denis was a shattering blow as her great powers diminished

    By Andrew Pierce

    PUBLISHED: 00:22, 9 April 2013

  82. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    9 Apr, 2013 - 8:23 am

    And, pending those clarifications, a warm thank you to Mary who, on-topic as always, graces the blog with two posts

    – one on what newsreaders are wearing/blaming Thatcher for “letting the City rip”/on another poster, Kempe


    – another on the NHS and a Mr Robertson (connection to Mrs T., out of power since 1990?)


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  83. No show without a word (and self publicity) from the ubiquitous Welsh songstress!

    Katherine Jenkins wrote on her Twitter: ‘RIP Baroness Thatcher. I will always fondly remember the afternoon tea & chat at your home #GirlPower.’

    But once again being criticised for her tweet, Katherine later added: ‘Say what you like but she was a wonderful supporter of our military in her later years and for that reason I have massive respect.’

  84. @Habbakuk: “MIRAS was actually introduced by the 1966-70 Labour government”

    Thanks for this eye-opener. Evidently Roy Jenkins (former Blertchley Park codebreaker, later to be an SDP founder) introduced it in 1969.

    So that enables me to recognise better the positive side of Margaret Thatcher: she broke the power of the trade unions, saving the country from economic decline. She helped the rise of Gorbachev and the subsequent fall of Communism in Europe and the end of the cold war. She helped liberate Kuwait from Saddam’s invasion, though treachery organised by the Cabinet prevented her from finishing the job, leading to a much messier situation later. She enhanced British prestige abroad, not to mention saving the Falklands from Argentine fascism. Apart from being a woman who triumphed over many odds by perseverance. All this may have something to do with her getting the OM. May G_d grant her forgiveness for her sins, and may she rest in peace! :)

  85. “came up with the brilliant diplomatic solution of throwing the instruction in the bin, but telling London we had done it.” – any number of comments can be made about that, but I wouldn’t know where to start.

  86. Hi At 1.48am you wrote about Denis Healey and his Rand Corp connections. He was also the head of the IMF for a time.

    I found his name the other day on this front/’think tank’ outfit. It was founded by the Saudi Sheikh Yamani who ran OPEC. They used to directly control the supply and the price of our oil supplies. I suppose the ‘market’ does that now.

    About CGES

    Founded in 1990 by His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) is a non-profit think tank, specialising in oil market analysis and forecasting, and the economics and politics of energy.

    As energy analysts our task is to understand a complex reality, to simplify a confusing picture, to deconstruct the energy market into its constituent parts and reassemble them in such a way as to form a coherent narrative.

    The CGES is known for its well-researched, in-depth studies and reports on oil and gas issues. Our expertise lies in:
    • Oil demand, supply and price movements and forecasts
    • The futures market
    • OPEC policy
    • Geopolitics of the Middle East, the FSU, Africa and other oil and gas producing regions

    We offer advice and consultancy, publish oil market reports and hold regular energy-related events.


    Little or nothing has been said so far about the creation of the internal market in the NHS and the ensuing nonsense.

    1987 Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher commissions a review of the NHS, amid concerns over growing financial pressures. This leads to the creation of the “internal market” in 1991 under the auspices of the then health secretary Ken Clarke. The market splits health authorities (which commission care for their local population) from hospital trusts (which compete to provide care). GP fundholding, which gives some family doctors budgets to buy care on their patients’ behalf, is introduced.

    History of NHS reforms: A state of permanent revolution

  87. larry Levin

    9 Apr, 2013 - 9:03 am

    When Reagan died a headline read

    “Ronald Reagan’s Body has Died”

  88. Larry

    preceded by 150 years by ” Here lies all that could die of Lady Sale. “

  89. Habbabkuk wrote:
    “Crab’s unhelpful intrusion (a fairly standard kind of reply to every post of mine)”

    Ive not got the commitment to shadow your posts the way you shadow Marys hbk. I just like to point out your standard patterns now and then.

    But now you might be close to interesting –
    how would these refinements on the definition of “heavy industry” (which you rightly provided yourself after some encouragement) affect your assessment of Craig’s previous statement?

    Don’t hold back on anyone elses account, i for one will do my best to make sense of a rare comment from you which makes something of your own deliberations…

  90. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 9:36 am

    The only newspaper front page without Thatcher’s smirking mush is the London Evening Standard which reports the death of a female cyclist in an horrific road accident; far more tragic than the gentle passing away of an 87 year old war criminal.

  91. “she died following a “strike” instead. ” – Incredible! :D

  92. “She’s only been in hell for three hours and she’s already closed down three furnaces” – ROTFLAMO

    I almost wish she came back to life – “I’m not quite dead” – so that a second round of these incredible lines will come about.

  93. I have it on good authority that she is at this very moment causing a scene on account of being told that she does not have the correct paperwork for entrance into the blessed paradise.

  94. Our resident non contributor said

    “Spot on, again. And not only heavy industry (a Western European decline, in fact) but also light industry and manufacturing industry in general.”

    No not so spot on, because some countries in western Europe were doing well namely Holland and Germany who’s financial as well as manufacturing structure was not marked by large shareholders demanding ever increasing appanage’s and stifling investment in modern machines, but by private share ownership which understood the value of modernisation and investing in the future, something Britain never understood after it lost much of its Commonwealth markets, which was easy to supply with old inferior equipment.

    For example, Triumph. A largely successful company during the 40’s 50’s and 60’s, it was producing new motorbikes with the same old 1890’s machinery and expected to get away with shoddy work, it failed and the buying public went for a plethora of bikes, modern and reliable. Not unless some serious investment, re-modelling and modernisation took place in the 1990’s did they slowly regain some markets.

    The lesson is that there is a fine balance between share returns to those who seem to live of nothing else, and the survival of a manufacturing company that competes in a rapidly evolving global environment, any manufacturing.

    Even the developing world cannot be suckered with old clapped out technologies, they are clued up as to what is available, so it is more important to invest in modernisation to sustain a business long term, than to plod along and merely serve a market for max. returns to a fickle share ownership.

    Unless this attitude changes, Britain will not return to the top manufacturing league.
    Craig wrote
    “British heavy industry was failing so it needed to be quickly and completely eliminated, thus ruining most of the country north of Watford. ”

    Its shown that wholesale elimination is detrimental, evolution and modernisation seems to be the way to go.
    Another example. Thatcher had a problem with the unions, but she failed to see the hard working communities behind the shouting man, Scargill, despite proclaiming to be ‘aiding the working class’
    She had 4 bn. of coalboard funds to play with. Instead of investing in alternative energy generation, then coming up on the horizon, using the heavy industry still in place and making mining equipment to make wave and wind energy generators, being equipped with the best capapbilities in all of western Europe for these developments,, her and Heseltine wasted the money on the nuclear industry.

    That left hard working communities with no work,on the dole and with no hope, some living in areas with no other employment, were thrown into despair, the real victims. Heroin turned up in towns were there was no record of drug taking ever, that how hard the despair was after a long strike. She was a disaster to manufacturing, preferring to sell/Sid us something we already owned, she failed to see that the UK was not a corner shop that could be restocked at ease.

    I detest the blanket coverage MSM and what other news it now smothers. Press officers all over the country working hard to bring over local issues are tearing their hair out.

  95. Don’t entertain the trolls!

    I am a time-served engineer and know exactly what happened to industry and mining under Thatcher. There are no indentured apprenticeships any more. She killed one industry after another. People who have never done a day’s work in their lives, who have never got their hands dirty as factors of the production process, presume to tell those who really know what happened how things were simply to raise tempers and disrupt the mutual respect most people on this blog share, should not be abjured but ignored.

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  96. I did not start it Sir, it was Pete who’s done it……:)

  97. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    I see the right-wingers on this blog are revealing themselves in support of Mrs Thatcher

  98. I withdraw my claim (8 Apr, 2013 – 11:46 pm ) that Thatcher was recruited at a Bilderberg meeting. She did attend one but it resulted in her being replaced by John Major. I do not withdraw my similar claims about Blair and Cameron.
    I am extending my atheism lapse for another day so that not only can I continue to wish her to rot in Hell, but also so I can pray that the Government have a change of heart and call for a minute’s silence at all football matches this weekend.

  99. Nevermind. You mention the mining industry. Just as she got Enthoven over from the US Rand Corporation to plan the commencement of the conversion of the NHS into a private insurance construct, she also acquired the services of McGregor, an Americanized Scot, to hack the miners into little pieces.

    Someone earlier said that she had never been involved in torture. I have no chapter and verse on this, but I am sure I have read that terrible practices went on in Long Kesh/the Maze prison. She loathed the Republicans with a great loathing.

    PS How can the Queen and P Philip attend the ceremony next Wednesday? Troops (that is what’s left of the armed services) are to line the route, gun carriages, Chelsea pensioners, etc all out of the public purse which as so little left in it thanks to four of her ‘children’, Dave and Gideon and Tony and Gordon.

  100. Rumours abound that Satan has created a 10th circle of hell for Thatch with enough space for Bliar, Bush I + II.

    IBS, sorry, IDS is trying is damnedest to qualify as the suicides rise.

  101. @Kempe
    “Oh and the banking industry hadn’t been in terminal decline for decades previously.”

    It’s in terminal decline now.

  102. I don’t know why people rail against individual politicians instead of against the whole political process. Politics is the art of brazenly lying in order to manipulate the behaviour of others against the rules of justice, equality and commonsense.

    I would like to be able to present to you Islam. The process of not destroying people and capital through lying in order to benefit the political player. But I can’t, because Islam as it is represented in this country, and in the world, is engaged in the ‘reactionary’ process of responding to political pressure with counter-lies and counter-pressure.

    Mrs Thatcher wanted to restore the values of Victorian England. David Cameron’s purpose is to continue that process, wherein employers have absolute power over the lives of their employees, landlords enslave families to their production process, capital is used to steer UK foreign policy against the minds and hearts of UK citizens.

    In response to that, the Muslims, instead of offering an alternative construct of benign truthfulness and unity, have been paid/bought/bribed by the powers that be, to construct a parallel restoration of values slogan, Salafism, returning to the values of yesteryear.

    Yes, but just as Mrs T did not want to us return to the fear of God and morality of respectable, Victorian England, so the Salafists do not want to return to the abscence of lying and absence of cheating and spying of the original Muslims.

    Us Brits would like to be able to zap wogs with superior firepower and bend the rules of international law. The Salafis want to strut around in militaristic uniforms and terrify civilians with rifles and suicide bombs. Their political wing, the Muslim Brotherhood like Mursi, want to re-use the prisons of the dictators to receive the transgressors of thought crime caught on their sordid spy cameras.

    Slogans are advertisements, intended to deceive and to deprive. Mrs Thatcher cranked up the use of slogans to deceive and handed the baton of deceit to Brown and Blair. They did not tell you that after you closed your coal industry China would open one a week blasting stench and maiming miners over there. They did not tell you that your Muslim Brotherhood leader would flood the tunnels that brought sustenance to Gaza.

  103. I’ve just reminded myself of the time Thatcher made me happy.
    I was at at Hampden in 1989, Scotland vs France, a World Cup qualifier The story went round that Thatcher was attending the match. I choose to believe she really was, although I can’t verify it. This was the year she foisted the poll tax on Scotland. For half an hour before the game began, 50,000 people sang with one voice, top of our lungs, to our captive audience of one …. “You can shove your f***ing poll tax up your a**e.” It was a very emotional experience, a wonderful feeling of unity. I imagined her squirming, unable to escape as our chanting made the very stadium vibrate.
    We won 2 -0 and went on to qualify. What a great day. If anyone can verify that Thatcher was really present, I’d be delighted to hear from you. If you can prove the opposite, keep it to yourself, leave me my happy memories.

  104. In honour of “old” Abe’s trilling with praise of his sainted Thatcher, the following is probably appropriate. “Old” Abe would probably agree with every word:

    (“She played the Granthem Anthem, and she made the universe!” … her dozy supporters probably think this is all fair comment.)

  105. For those nauseated already by the media coverage, “Le Monde”‘s edition on sale today contains no mention of an elderly female Daily Mail reader’s demise. It has a full page on the latest Wikileaks revelations re. very rich people avoiding their tax obligations, however.
    The financial bubble which has deflated around our ears since 2007 was, in its British incarnation, Thatcher’s creation. It was her consistent policy to boost the finance and service sectors at the expense of primary production, and the idea of the population selling itself hamburgers for non-existent money was one which she embraced fervently. The incredible unaffordability of housing is another of her bequests.

    I say, bugger the state funeral. Crossroads, midnight, stake.

  106. John Pilger on her support for Pol Pot.

    Lest We Forget
    How Thatcher Gave Pol Pot a Hand

    Almost two million Cambodians died as a result of Year Zero. John Pilger argues that, without the complicity of the US and Britain, it may never have happened.

    April 08, 2013 “Information Clearing House” -“NS” – 17 April 2000 – On 17 April, it is 25 years since Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh. In the calendar of fanaticism, this was Year Zero; as many as two million people, a fifth of Cambodia’s population, were to die as a consequence. To mark the anniversary, the evil of Pol Pot will be recalled, almost as a ritual act for voyeurs of the politically dark and inexplicable. For the managers of western power, no true lessons will be drawn, because no connections will be made to them and to their predecessors, who were Pol Pot’s Faustian partners. Yet, without the complicity of the west, Year Zero might never have happened, nor the threat of its return maintained for so long.

    Declassified United States government documents leave little doubt that the secret and illegal bombing of then neutral Cambodia by President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger between 1969 and 1973 caused such widespread death and devastation that it was critical in Pol Pot’s drive for power. “They are using damage caused by B52 strikes as the main theme of their propaganda,” the CIA director of operations reported on 2 May 1973. “This approach has resulted in the successful recruitment of young men. Residents say the propaganda campaign has been effective with refugees in areas that have been subject to B52 strikes.” In dropping the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on a peasant society, Nixon and Kissinger killed an estimated half a million people. Year Zero began, in effect, with them; the bombing was a catalyst for the rise of a small sectarian group, the Khmer Rouge, whose combination of Maoism and medievalism had no popular base.


    Did anyone hear Kissinger croaking away about her on Radio 4 Today this morning?

  107. @Glenn_UK: “In honour of “old” Abe’s trilling with praise of his sainted Thatcher”
    I wouldn’t call her a saint. But we all make mistakes, so may the Real Maker of the universe have mercy on her.

  108. Err, Mary…would you think the Khmer Rouge was in any way affected by the then British Education Minister’s parsimonious attitude to school milk in 1973? And is this Pilger’s contention?

    Creaking 1973 kids’ programme here\\\\;

    Just asking.

  109. resident dissident

    9 Apr, 2013 - 1:34 pm

    English Knight

    The reason why I am not commenting at the moment is that until recently precious little of worth has been said on this blog (although I did note Mary’s disgusting “untermensch” reference but I have long got over expecting any shame from that quarter) – I was also taught that it was good manners not to speak ill of the dead until they were at least buried. I think if you bother to look through my past posts you will see that I am very far from being a Thatcherite or resident of Finchley – in fact Craig showed rather more enthusiasm for her Monetarist economics than I did as a social democratic Keynesian.

    Will be happy to give my thoughts after next Wednesday.

  110. Well I smoke heavily and am aware of the potential consequences, but I’m not going to blame Thatcher or Philip Morris for my habit, which is my choice.

    I am a bit of a fence-sitter when it comes to Thatcher, but her policies won the day, whether you approve of them or not. The sheer vitriol and nastiness of many of the sneering lefties is down to the fact that she effectively destroyed their socialist politics. So spitting on her grave and organizing silly street parties are all they have left.


  111. For all those still banging on about the Belgrano, it was a warship, in a warzone, playing a part in an aggressive and unprovoked war. Sinking it does not make Thatcher a “war-criminal”, however desperate you are to tarnish her name.

  112. News from the Con constituencies.

    Conor Burns, Con MP Bournemouth W, has been holding back the tears on BBC South Today about the fact that his dear friend Mrs T who he visited weekly until the end, is no more and that he will not see her again. His mouth was trembling at the end of the piece.

    Claire Perry, Con Swindon, previously Agent Cameron’s advisor on family matters and latterly Hammond’s PPS, and motor mouth on QT, is getting divorced.

    She recently visited Afghanistan.

    And in New York Ms Mensch would not be left out. She even managed a plug for her new website and another for a dress designer. Incorrigible. Chutzpah. No shame.

    unfashionista ‏@unfashionista 1h

    New: in Herve Leger this morning – black dress for #Thatcher. too early for hair.

  113. Belgrano. Thatcher. Diana Gould.

    Margaret Thatcher’s Roasting
    Margaret Thatcher is torn apart by angry citizen Diana Gould over the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the Argentinian battleship, The General Belgarno during the Falklands War.


    Earthquake near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power station

    A 6.3 magnitude earthquake has struck in south-west Iran, not far from the country’s only nuclear power station, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says.

    Initial reports on state media say three people have died.

    Posts on social media in the region said people felt the quake across the Gulf in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

    Iran’s nuclear programme has roused concern among major powers that Tehran wants to build nuclear weapons – a charge Iran strongly denies.

    The USGS said the quake struck at 11:52 GMT at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles), some 90km from Bushehr city, near to the power plant.

  115. USGS estimating Level 4 shaking in vicinity of nuclear plant. Hopefully not too serious.


    The Bushehr plant remains unaffected, according to an official from Atomstroyexport – the Russian company which built the station.

    “The earthquake in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor, personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm,” he told RIA Novosti.

  117. Give the ‘establishment a contrivance ‘Mary’ to brush the busby, polish the brass and enter everybody’s living room and they will pounce.


    “There are currently 3.6 million children living in poverty in the UK . That’s almost a third of all children. 1.6 million of these children live in severe poverty . In the UK 58% of children living in poverty are in a family where someone works .

    These child poverty statistics and facts will help to give you an idea of the scale of child poverty in the UK and the affect it can have on:

    a child’s education
    a child’s health
    the day to day lives of families.”

    Barnardo – Believe in Children


    Welfare reform kills.

    According to a senior Jobcentre employee, staff have been sent guidelines advising them on how to cope with clients who say will kill themselves.

    This Thatcher dualistic coalition no longer acts for it’s people and screaming in their faces will only promote screams of ‘austerity’ and help! we need more ‘green-backs’ for that Trident project first agreed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Jimmy Carter and more British tax-payers dosh for the W76-1 ++100Kton weapon of mass destruction.

  118. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 2:52 pm

    9 Apr, 2013 – 1:45 pm

    “For all those still banging on about the Belgrano, it was a warship, in a warzone, playing a part in an aggressive and unprovoked war.

    Sinking it does not make Thatcher a “war-criminal”, however desperate you are to tarnish her name.”

    The Belgrano was not in a war zone at the time of its sinking and it was sailing away from the Faulkland Island at the time.

    You are a liar Giles but that’s what right-wingers do; they have no stomach for the truth.

  119. The Belgrano was steaming full ahead just outside the 12 mile limit and had been repeatedly been warned to reverse did not so it was torpedoed….end of story really!

  120. Mary 2.09 pm your link to Mrs Gould tearing the ignorant and interrupting Thatcher’s argument apart adequately shows in what a minority (Giles 1.45 pm) and other dissenters are to the fact that the General Belgrano was sailing away from the Falkland Islands and well outside the exclusion zone. She tarnished her own name. Nobody did it for her. We knew long before the 30 years were up what a bare-faced liar she was. War could have been avoided. The other striking feature of her defeat in this argument was the way she kept referring to armed servicemen, some of whom had given their lives in an unnecessary war, with lashings of smarm as ‘our boys’. Those on board HMS Sheffield were as disposable to her as the poor servicemen who died in the General Belgrano. The General Belgrano was a warship outside of a war zone. So Giles, get your facts right.

    Talking of Generals, she protected the mass murderer, Pinochet, and as John Pilger points out, Pol Pot too.

    How can these Thatcher-praisers hold their heads up when it is well-known that people are judged by the company they keep. The woman was obscene. Her policies were obscene.

  121. “The Belgrano was not in a war zone at the time of its sinking and it was sailing away from the Faulkland Island at the time.”

    It was not in the Exclusion Zone but that’s not the same thing.

    In the mid-1990’s the Argentine Navy admitted that they launched a pincer style attack on the British Task Force, Belgrano and her (Exocet armed) escorting destroyers were to launch a diversionary attack from the south whilst the Argentine carrier group sent in the real attack from the opposite direction. Fortunately the wind was not strong enough for the carrier to launch it’s aircraft so both groups withdrew for the night with the intention of having another go the following morning. It was whilst doing this that the Belgrano was torpedoed.

    Even though she was sailing away from the Falklands she still represented a threat to the Task Force and her sinking was a legitimate act of war.

  122. Re. “nil nisi bonum”….big up for Mao Zhedong, Adolf Hitler and Joe Stalin. Who did a lot (the experts disagree on its value) for their countries. And are also dead.

    More recently, I hope the admirers of Thatcher can bring themselves to speak well of the late Jimmy Savile, and practise as they preach. He’s dead too, and deserves not to be calumniated by you bad bastards on account of it isn’t nice.
    She was a cow. End of.

  123. Giles spat, “I am a bit of a fence-sitter when it comes to Thatcher, but her policies won the day, whether you approve of them or not. The sheer vitriol and nastiness of many of the sneering lefties is down to the fact that she effectively destroyed their socialist politics. So spitting on her grave and organizing silly street parties are all they have left.


    For someone who throws down insults like this so freely, Giles, you are remarkably thin skinned when it comes to receiving criticism of your own lot.

    “Her policies won the day” you say, as if that were somehow a profound observation. Hitler’s policies “won the day” when it came to most of Europe. Stalin’s policies “won the day” in the Soviet Empire for many long, dark years. “Winning the day” is not any affirmation of rightness, no more than the policy to invade Iraq “won the day”.

    That is such a feeble argument, I’m still astonished to hear any adult make it.

    Yes, Thatcher did destroy socialist politics – we ended up with Blair and “New” Labour. A lot of the social structure to this country was destroyed. A class divide is now quite enormous, in-your-face inequality taken as quite acceptable – far more than we see in more civilised, happy and successful parts of “old” Europe.

    Maybe you’re satisfied seeing banksters drunk on champagne, bragging about their bonuses, while child poverty is greater than ever.

    Maybe the increased suicide rate among the despairing poor, increased homelessness, alcohol and drug abuse, increased prison population, increased debt – maybe that just doesn’t matter to you.

    But even you should understand that it does matter to people who actually do have compassion, who believe in society and fairness, and that is why the passing of this cruel woman is celebrated in some quarters. And quite rightly too.

  124. UK H7N9 guidelines for GPs

    April 2013

    Investigation & management of possible human cases of avian inuenza A/H7N9, in returning travellers

    If avian inuenza A/H7N9 is considered a possible diagnosis then before continuing with the initial assessment:

    • Isolate patient to minimise contact/exposure to staff and other patients. Ask the patient to wear a surgical mask.
    • Wear personal protective equipment – if possible, this should be a correctly fitted FFP3 respirator, gown, gloves and eye protection.
    If not available, wear a surgical mask, plastic apron and gloves. Eye protection may be considered if the likelihood of splash exist

  125. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    Controversial Respect MP George Galloway launched a brutal attack on Lady Thatcher yesterday, saying: “May she burn in hellfires.”
    He also tweeted: “Tramp the dirt down”

    Oh dear!

  126. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 3:36 pm

    9 Apr, 2013 – 3:04 pm

    “The Belgrano was steaming full ahead just outside the 12 mile limit and had been repeatedly been warned to reverse did not so it was torpedoed….end of story really!”

    Another liar

  127. Frazer I judged from reliable Naval sources that commander-in-chief Thatcher on waking Sunday morning, 2 May first heard of the Peruvian peace plans and was confronted by messages of serious peace proposals emanating from the United States and Peru, based on what was happening in Argentina.

    The brutal truth is that on or near her waking hour, Sunday morning 2nd May, Minister Thatcher was in receipt of serious peace proposal messages emanating from the United States and Peru, based on what was happening in Argentina.

    Over a period of at least five hours Thatcher deliberately and knowingly elected to create a global reality jurking, catastrophic sinking of the ex-US cruiser Belgrano (with no ASW capability and no sonar (a sitting duck) and the subsequent killing of 323 naval personnel and civilians.

    Her waking up in the morning corresponds to midnight in Peru. Not until 15-16 hours after that, did the UK Government admit to its having heard of the Peruvian peace plans: three hours after the sinking.

  128. Two American commentaries on Counterpunch, one on the film ‘The Iron Lady’ by Gail Dines

    and the other by Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Sommers

  129. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 3:47 pm

    The trolls are coming out of the woodwork now! Take note of their pseudonyms

  130. The above was confirmed in Tam Dalyell statement to the House (House of Commons 21.12.82, TT p.23) and Northwood engineering contacts.

  131. Regarding the Belgrano and Thatcher’s determination to wage war (while peace proposals were on the table) did you notice how she used that 30 year policy to try and cover her sins. It’s got even worse since then. Hutton, in the Dr Kelly murder (oops!) case, has put a restriction of 70 years to cover the hide of liar Blair. Do these prime ministers have to pass a “How to lie with impunity test” before being installed as party leaders?

    As to Kempe, Frazer, Giles et al, they will all be singing from the same hymn-book right up to the funeral of the dear old lady nod doubt with with chants of “Ding Dong Merrily on High”. While others rejoice, rather blasphemously, with choruses of “Ding, dong the wicked witch is dead.” She, like Thatcher’s friends Pinochet and Pol Pot, had their supporters too. So did Adolph Hitler. You have to have sympathy for Thatcher’s supporters, since they will take the cyanide capsule before admitting their Fuhrer was in the wrong.

    Don’t you love the cartoon at the foot of this article? No offence Guano!

  132. A Thorn in Their Side: The Hilda Murrell Murder
    Robert Green

    About the Author

    Robert Green served for twenty years in the Royal Navy from 1962-82. As a Fleet Air Arm observer/ bombardier-navigator, he flew in Buccaneer nuclear strike aircraft and anti-submarine helicopters. On promotion to Commander in 1978, he worked in the Ministry of Defence before his final appointments as Staff Officer (Intelligence) to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet. Having taken voluntary redundancy in 1981, he was released after the 1982 Falklands War, and trained as a roof thatcher in Dorset. In 1984, the murder of his beloved aunt and mentor Hilda Murrell led him to examine and then challenge the hazards of nuclear electricity generation. This, plus the break-up of the Soviet Union, followed by the 1991 Gulf War caused him to speak out against nuclear weapons – the first ex-Commander with nuclear weapons experience to do so.

    The book

    In 1984, at the age of 78, world-renowned rose grower Hilda Murrell was found brutally murdered in the Shropshire countryside. She had just gained approval to testify on the unsolved [problems of radioactive waste at the first British planning inquiry into a new nuclear power plant at Sizewell, Suffolk. The police theory that a lone , panicking burglar robbed and abducted Hilda in her own car for petty cash erupted into a sensational political conspiracy involving prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s plans for British nuclear energy and the controversial sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano in the 1982 Falklands War. The West Mercia police took until 2005 to secure the conviction of Andrew George as Hilda’s unlikely murderer – in 1984 he was a 16-yeat-old truant from a local foster home who could not drive. The case spawned numerous books, plays and TV programmes as it became one of the most baffling British murders of the 20th century. Now, Hilda’s nephew Robert Green – a former Royal Navy Commander who operated nuclear weapons before holding a key position in Naval Intelligence during the Falklands War – tells the story of his extraordinary pursuit of the truth. Believing that Hilda was abducted by those who wanted to find out what she knew about the Falklands conflict and problems in the Sizewell nuclear power plant, and undeterred by ongoing harassment, Green exposes the implausibility of the police theory and uncovers explosive new evidence that should have acquitted Andrew George. This is the incredible true story of Hilda Murrell – and one man’s quest to find out how and why his beloved aunt met such a violent and bizarre death.


    There are some interesting and intelligent comments on the Amazon page.

  133. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    Off topic but a subject close to Mrs Thachers “heart”.

    “Israeli army vehicles have crossed into the Gaza Strip and destroyed Palestinian farmland, witnesses in the besieged territory said.”

    “Palestinians say several Israeli military bulldozers backed by tanks crossed the border in the southern Gaza Strip, near Khan Yunis, on Tuesday and began bulldozing farmland.”

    The only logical reason for this attack by Israel is to goad the Palestinian militants into firing rockets. That would give the bastard Zionists another excuse to bomb Gaza.

  134. trowbridge h. ford

    9 Apr, 2013 - 4:09 pm

    I am just amazed at the rambling, unfocused discussion of the ‘Iron Lady’ which completely ignores her political demise – i.e., why former Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe was sacked suddenly in July 1989 – what completely baffled Thatcher insiders like Alan Clark, and led to the resignation of SoD George Younger in protest who had organized previous campaigns for her election as Party Leader.

    Seems that Howe and Younger were expected to keep Captain Simon Hayward, the former leader of the 14 Intelligence Company’s South Detachment in Northern Ireland who for some unexplained reason had been set up as drug smuggler in Sweden, under wraps, and failed to do so when his autobiography, Under Fire: My Own Story, was published in Britain. In it, he complained bitterly not only about how the FO and MoD had treated him in prison, but also about how he had been set up before in Ibiza, especially by DUKE apparently aka ‘Steak Knife’, a British tout in the PIRA Council.

    Howe, Younger and their supporters did not take kindly to what the PM had caused, and the rot a year later brought about her forced resignation.

    The question seems to be: why was Hayward such a hot item that Thatcher reacted in this most destructive way?

  135. Nevermind, 9 Apr, 11.14am

    Good post.

    I am amazed at how people don’t appreciate how shareholders, usually public, are short term profit vampires who do nothing for sustainable industry. They don’t care how profits are made, so they send the signal through the board of directors and executive management, all the way down to the shop floor – make more profit this quarter than the last or else you’re fired. So people cut corners (fail to modernise), cheat (falsify product quality data), skimp on maintenance (and lie about it) and choke expenditure on vital supplies that also chokes productivity – all to squeeze a few more bucks to pay out a dividend and bump up the value of the shares. The unions were also crooked bastards who wanted to maintain the status quo.

  136. The historians here who have been on tenterhooks since my comment at 9 Apr, 2013 – 12:46 pm may now relax. I can confirm that Thatcher really was at Hampden in 1989 and I really did tell her in person to “shove her f***ing poll tax up her a**e.”

    In 2009, David Torrance wrote:

    Thatcher visited Scotland at the weekend as guest of honour at a dinner to mark 30 years since she became the first woman Prime Minister of the UK. It was an oddly poignant occasion. [snip] Labour chose to mark the occasion by issuing a statement that called on Baroness Thatcher to “apologise to Glasgow for her policies that wreaked havoc on our city”.
    Glasgow MSP Margaret Curran said: “The constituency I represent is still trying to recover from the destruction that ensued from her plans and political approach. This is the woman that closed down our shipyards and steel mills, believed that unemployment is a price worth paying, and then told us that she knew best. If that wasn’t bad enough, she used Scotland as a guinea pig for the poll tax. The Tories abandoned families and offered no support to people in desperate circumstances. Twenty years ago, Glasgow showed Margaret Thatcher what we thought of her government when she was booed at Hampden Park. I don’t think many people’s views have changed.”

  137. Mary – As an intelligence officer Robert was privy to details of the sinking of the Argentinian ship the General Belgrano(those details are classified and unfortunately I have signed the OSA).

    Hilda was very close to uncle Robert and knew those details… her death sadly was the ‘hit’ our grand-children will acknowledge in 100 years time.

  138. Craig,

    Is there any truth, that you are aware of, to the rumour that Britain lost nuclear weapons to the bottom of the ocean in the Falklands conflict?

  139. doug scorgie

    9 Apr, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    The right-wing Taxpayer’s Alliance has nothing to say about the funding of Mrs Thatcher’s ceremonial funeral.

    What a surprise.

  140. I have just completed the following comprehensive imaginary cross referencing survey:

    All the posts which say we shouldn’t speak ill of the dead before they’re buried
    All the posts which gloated over the death of Hugo Chavez.

    These are the results:

    Matches = 100%
    Average time before describing Chavez as “brutal” = … er, is there a smaller unit of time than a picosecond?

  141. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    9 Apr, 2013 - 4:42 pm

    In deference to our contrarians; a word (or two) of praise from the States.

    “I remember reading an article in the Washington Monthly back in the late 1980s by one of the smugger liberal British columnists, Polly Toynbee. It captured part of the true derangement that Margaret Thatcher brought out in her political foes. It was called simply: “Is Margaret Thatcher A Woman?” It’s still online. It was a vicious attack on her having any feminist credentials. It included this magnificent lie:

    She has experienced nothing but advantage from her gender.

    Toynbee’s case is worth hearing out, but it’s an instant classic of the worst British trait: resentment of others’ success. No culture I know of is more brutally unkind to its public figures, hateful toward anyone with a degree of success or money, or more willing to ascribe an individual’s achievements to something other than their own ability. The Britain I grew up with was, in this specific sense, profoundly leftist in the worst sense. It was cheap and greedy and yet hostile to anyone with initiative, self-esteem, and the ability to make money.”

    Trowbridge H Ford
    The trouble with these sometimes erroneous explanations of FRU/UDA murders is that they are dealt with in a disjointed, episodic fashion, an approach which seems completely unjustified when we are told by Davies that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, was continually provided with Military Intelligence Source Reports (MISRs) regarding individual operations. This was no renegade, hit-or-miss campaign. We need to put these killings, and others in the changing counter-terrorist context of Northern Ireland, one which appreciates its evolving causes, objectives, strategies, organizations, operatives, and limitations. After the successful completion of the Falklands War, Britain was prepared to go all out with its own campaign of terror in order to defeat revolutionary Irish nationalism.[..]

    [..]Hayward’s assignment was to expose the stockpiling of Libyan weapons in the Republic by means of Hegarty’s arrest while leading another series of so-called shoot-to-kill murders to meet the alleged PIRA threat which would give him a believable alibi for triggering the showdown with the Soviets, the shooting to Swedish statsminister Olof Palme in Stockholm at the end of February 1986. Hayward saw to it that McMichael and Stone disposed of joiner Kevin McPolin in Lisburn as the new campaign commenced. Then he apparently led the drawn-out assassination of arms mover Francis Bradley on February 18, 1986, one so outrageous that it was being hotly debated in the press when Palme was murdered. Hayward had been actively sizing up Bradley for the shooting, even having his picture taken in military battlegear outside McVeys’ cafe in Magherafelt during the process, ever since unknown parties had shot up the Castledawson Police Station on December 9, 1985.

    While the shooting of Palme, apparently by Hayward while reassessing the performance of his bodyguards, went off without a hitch, the problems with the South Detachment’s Ops Officer only increased for British officials as the Swedish police failed to find a likely suspect for the shooting, thanks particularly to SIS’s false leads. Jo Thomas of The New York Times published a belated story of the recent killings in the province, especially Bradley’s, to keep Hayward’s alibi going, and he added to it by helping entice Seamus McElwaine from across the border two months later, in the hope of catching the long sought-after James Lynagh, resulting in McElwain’s execution, and Sean Lynch’s wounding.[..]

    A long piece, densely packed with names and facts.

  143. “…why former Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe was sacked suddenly in July 1989 ”

    He wasn’t sacked there was a re-shuffle. He was offered the post of Home Secretary but turned it down and became Leader of the House instead. George Younger went on to run Thatcher’s leadership campaign in 1990.

    Didn’t take long for this thread to dissolve into the usual conspiracy drivel.

  144. Anon
    Avian inuenza.
    When a bird drops something on you, it is trying to tell you something.

  145. trowbridge h. ford

    9 Apr, 2013 - 6:12 pm

    Just the expected drivel from a disinformer.

    Howe was sacked in July 1989 after the PM heard about what was in Hayward’s autobiography, and that it was to be published in Britain, resulting in Younger resigning from the Cabinet on July 24th.

    Younger had been in charge of seeing that NATO’s Anchor Express Exercise was cooped into the assault that US Navy Secretary John Lehman, Jr. had organized to go across Norway Finnmark province to take out the Soviet forces on the Kola Peninsula after 44 of his attack submarines had taken out their boomers which were assumed to go on station in response to the surprise the Anglo-Americans had caused in Stockholm to Sweden’s stats minister on the night of February 28, 1986.

    Younger had to convert that Anchor Express into naval exercises after the NATO forces ran into killing avalanches in the Vassdalen valley.

    Little wonder that he felt more responsible for what had happened to Howe over Hayward, and not only resigned but refused to have anything more to do with Margaret Thatcher. As Alan Clark has written, as I recall, the failure of Younger to sponsor Thatcher’s re-election was the biggest cause of its failure.

  146. Kempe: Don’t forget that when Lawson was chancellor, he was repeatedly undermined by Thatcher’s “special adviser” Alan Walters. They both resigned (Lawson & Walters) as a result of their rows.

    It wasn’t simply that this or that minister became ticked off and deposed the sainted Thatcher, the truth of the matter is that she was completely unhinged by that point, and that is why she had to be got shot of.

  147. Is Kempe banned or not? Somebody on the Nuclear Nightmare thread said that he had been banned.

  148. She should have a state funeral, but for a fitting tribute, it should be put out to tender and the cheapest bid wins.

  149. “Is Kempe banned or not? Somebody on the Nuclear Nightmare thread said that he had been banned”

    The phrase Craig used was “Fuck off.”
    Kempe is pretty skilled in the art of misinterpretation. He probably takes it to mean “Carry on with your sinister activities”

  150. “How Thatcher Gave Pol Pot a Hand…… the bombing was a catalyst for the rise of a small sectarian group, the Khmer Rouge, whose combination of Maoism and medievalism had no popular base.”

    Here is a contrasting account:

    “The Khmer Rouge experiment lasted only three years, from 1975 to 1978.
    Surprisingly, Cambodians have no bad memories of that period. This is quite an amazing discovery for an infrequent visitor. I did not come to reconstruct “the truth”, whatever it is, but rather to find out what is the collective memory of the Cambodians….. The Pol Pot the Cambodians remember was not a tyrant, but a great patriot and nationalist, a lover of native culture and native way of life. …. The Cambodians I spoke to pooh-poohed the dreadful stories of Communist Holocaust as a western invention.”

  151. John Goss 9 Apr, 2013 – 3:06 pm
    Talking of Generals, she protected the mass murderer, Pinochet……

    According to the Rettig Commission (1991), Chile’s struggle with terrorism resulted in 2300 (both sides) dead and missing. Raúl Rettig was a former ambassador of President Salvador Allende. Allende was elected for a President by the Chilean Congress in 1970. Three years later, the Chilean congress censured Allende for violating law and the constitution in order to “establish a totalitarian system absolutely opposed to the representative system of government established by the Constitution.” Allende was censured for “making violation of the Constitution and the law a permanent system of conduct” and for “systematically trampling the powers of the other branches of government” while at the same time “violating the civil rights of the citizens guaranteed in the Constitution and permitting and stimulating the formation of illegal parallel powers which constitute a grave threat for the nation.” The resolution condemned Allende for aiding and abetting the establishment of illegal armed groups that “intend to replace legitimately constituted powers and serve as a base for the dictatorship of the proletariat.” The resolution noted that this goal was publicly acknowledged by Allende himself.

    “The censure of Allende called upon the military to intervene and oust the Allende government. Housewives, unable to find food for their families, had been calling for military intervention for months.”

    The book discussed above was published in Chile in Spanish by one of the universities in Chile, based on researching newspaper files, interviewing the generals, Pinochet, housewives, businessmen, members of the successor government, civilian members of the Pinochet government, surviving terrorists, including a former “most wanted” terrorist who ended up president of the Spanish-owned telephone company and a number of others who experienced the era.

    “Based on both left-wing and military sources, including testimony from both sides, the book covers the Chilean military’s efforts to put down Marxist terrorism in Chile. The actions undertaken to fight terrorism garnered the Pinochet government the reputation as a human rights offender. The international press never reported the activities of Chile’s violent left. Former leftist terrorists cooperated with the authors and told their story because they want their place in Chilean history…….

    The Pinochet government was the most successful government Chile has ever known. Yet, the world views Pinochet as a monstrous dictator and Allende as a caring social democrat. The book tells the story of how the myth of Allende was created and shows its continuing deleterious effect on Chile.”

    Margaret Thatcher was apparently right in her regard for Pinochet.

  152. Glenn_Uk,

    Forgive my late reply – naturally I have been slurping Bollinger all day and laughing at plebs.

    Hitler/Stalin comparison – patently absurd. They didn’t win any arguments – they killed those who disagreed with them.

    Thatcher won the argument. She destroyed socialism by the ballot box. The reason you see this level of hatred from the left is because she finished them as a political force. Street parties and other pointless and gratuitous celebrations of her death are all you have left, and it shows. There is nothing you can do that would further prove she was right than engaging in this idiotic behaviour.

    Even the fiercest critics of Thatcher admit things could not carry on as they had before she came to power. This is is a tacit approval of her policies. One major criticism is that she changed the country too fast, without feeling or compassion. Again, this is a criticism of the manner in which she did it, not that the direction was wrong. New Labour sold out because after Thatcher, Labour was no longer electable.

    Anyway, Thatcher gave us the Single European Act, and that resulted in fewer turds floating around off Blackpool, which I know is the foremost reason for your support of the European Union, so for that, at least, you should be thankful.

    So keep on raising those pints and by all means piss on her grave, Glenn_UK. The only death you’re celebrating is that of your own kind.

  153. I grew up in Fife through the Thatcher years and watched two industries totally disappear.They never came back.
    She used our Police forces against us as a paramilitary during the miners strike. She split communities and impoverished thousands.All of Scotland and northern England were her targets.Yuppies appeared and money was worshipped.
    Our MSM are not permitting comments for obvious reasons. Censorship to make her look more popular than she was. War in the Falklands, war in Ireland, and war on the streets of England and mass unemployment.Britain was grim.
    If there was anything to cheer after this long winter , it’s her demise.
    Her legacy is greed and a banking sector that is robbing the country and her citizens blind of pensions and savings.
    Auld Nick will have his work cut out.That’s if he isn’t made redundant first and Hell sold off.

  154. Levantine, don’t know who you are but you live in a world of make-believe history. Any success Pinochet had was because of support from CIA-funded operations like the overthrow of Allende and US money backing his extreme right wing policies. I suspect if you had been one of his torture, murder or rape victims you might have a different view on history. He wasn’t Julian Assange. Spain had a cast-iron case against the dictator. Thatcher protected him from facing trial because of helping her with her unnecessary war in the Falklands. I don’t normally entertain trolls. I write under my own name. I suspect you wrote the book you quote from yourself because I cannot think of two people having such a misguided view. No wonder you support Thatcher.

  155. B.Liar was probably having thoughts about the aftermath of his own demise. There will definitely be no grand funeral for him, just as there should be none for Thatcher.

    ‘Mr Blair, who, like Baroness Thatcher, won three general elections, told the BBC: “I think that’s pretty poor taste. You’ve got to, even if you disagree with someone very strongly – particularly at the moment of their passing – show some respect.”

    He added it was “part of modern political life” to make “very difficult” decisions.

    Mr Blair also said that “when you decide you divide and that’s just the way of it” and that Lady Thatcher would be “pretty philosophical” about any criticism following her death.’

    9 April 2013
    Tony Blair: Margaret Thatcher death celebration parties in poor taste

    The BBC seem to be giving him many opportunities to voice his opinions. Is this a result of his pal Purnell who now within the BBC as strategy director easing the way for B.Liar.

    Reminder of Purnell’s Friend of Israel connection.

  156. The growing Pinochet dictatorship toll up to last year.

    “Last year, President Sebastián Piñera’s government officially recognized 9,800 more victims of the dictatorship. That increased the total list of people killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons during Pinochet’s regime to 40,018. The government estimates 3,095 of those were killed.”

  157. How many of those 3,095 were tortured John and how many of them were dropped into the Pacific from helicopters and aircraft? May their souls rest in peace. We can only weep.

  158. So how much are they going to milk us all for this one? Giving her what pretty much ammounts to a State Funded wake is obscene.

    Whatever it is clear that the followers of the Thatcher Cult have no grasp of reality much like the fact that British Nationalists still refuse to waken from thier Dream State in which the Sun Never Sets and so on and Brittania Rules the Waves.

    It is the 21st Century but from watching any of the Brit Media and dipping into any of its Press I suppose we could be fooled into thinking it was another Century or a parallel universe that has collided with the UK. I cant make up my mind if it is fantasy or science fiction that I am viewing. I think I will ignore it all and go back to the 21st Century, perhaps the rest of the UK will catch up but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  159. Why is it that Allende fans never mention the money he received from the KGB to get into power? Seeing as you lot are so fond of “links” and “connections”, surely Allende being “linked” to quite possibly the most murderous regime in human history would be of some passing interest, no?

  160. ” How many of those 3,095 were tortured John and how many of them were dropped into the Pacific from helicopters and aircraft? May their souls rest in peace. We can only weep.”

    Like you really care, Mary. Had it been done by one of your favoured regimes we would hear nothing at all from you. The only reason you pretend to care is because Pinochet was “linked” to Thatcher.

  161. “Just the expected drivel from a disinformer. ”

    Pretty rich coming from yourself but anyone can check for themselves and will see that what I posted is true and can be verified as such which is more than can be said of anything you’ve written.

    To be honest I don’t know why I departed from my usual tactic of ignoring you and responded at all. I don’t think you believe a word of the tripe you write; I think you just enjoy laughing at the poor saps who do but there you are, I have risen to your bait just this once.

  162. Good Thatcher story. Her support of thugs the world over, I think, tells us about who she really was. Pinochet, Saddam, Suharto, even Pol Pot (yup, even he, according to Pilger). Basically, she hated the left, to an extent that was borderline, if not actually, pathological. A willingness to turn a blind eye to some of the worst human beings, all because they ‘controlled’ communists and other unspecified ‘left wing’ types was the true mark of her Government, and her personally. She may well have been charismatic and intelligent, though I never saw it personally, but her record was dismal, at home and abroad. Bluntly, her record suggests a woman with a personality disorder, but we can never prove that, just speculate.

    As to the point about Allende, that’s just purest conspiracy theory. Not that I mind conspiracy theories, but they are so named because they can’t be proved. I submit to you that Allende got no KGB funding at all, and the CIA just spread disinfo that he did; also a conspiracy theory, and just as, if not more, likely. Whatever. He still won the election fairly. If sources of funding were a factor in what constitutes fairness (and they may well be), all US elections would be void. Not such a bad thing, perhaps.

  163. “Spain had a cast-iron case against the dictator. Thatcher protected him from facing trial ”

    Not quite true, whilst she campaigned not to have him extradited the British courts ruled he should go but it was Jack Straw who let him off the hook on the (false) grounds of ill health.

  164. 22_09_1986 Tell Sid about the British Gas share offer

    80s advert BT shares sale





  165. Brendan,

    “I submit to you that Allende got no KGB funding at all, and the CIA just spread disinfo that he did”

  166. ‘Like you really care, Mary’ That I resent.

    I care and have spent a lot of my adult life caring for others. There are no degrees of caring. You either care or you don’t.

  167. Care for whom, Mary? If you are a carer then I respect the work you do. And naturally you will care for your friends, family and others in need. But your “care” as exhibuted here follows your politics. Do you really lose sleep over the Belgrano or the victims of Pinochet, or are you motivated by hatred of Thatcher?

  168. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    9 Apr, 2013 - 10:10 pm

    @ Craig :

    Apologies for not yet responding to your invitation to discuss; I’ll do so tomorrow.


    One might be forgiven, after skimming through today’s posts, for gaining the impression that Margaret Thatcher was descended in direct line from Attila the Hun, Savonarola, Uncle Joe and Pol Pot. I think it would be difficult to find a more concentrated expression of vindictive hatred and a greater outpouring of bile on one single page of a thread.

    It might also be worth reflecting that the UK is a country (one could wish it were not so) where people are able to hold “street parties” to celebrate the death of a former Prime Minister without interference. I wonder how the authorities would have reacted to similar events in Moscow in 1953 or in Pekin after the death of Mao….or how they would react in Havana once the boss dies.

  169. trowbridge h. ford

    9 Apr, 2013 - 10:14 pm

    Just more crap from you, Kempe.

    Howe was sacked, the biggest disappointment of his life, and committed him to get back at ‘Iron Lady’ for the most unexpected dismissal – what made him ultimately dismiss successfully the PM.

    How about a link for Howe just being involved in a Cabinet reshuffle?

    And still no explanation from you about Younger’s surprise retirement from the Thatcher administration.

    I believe everything I write, especially in this case where we all well might have been incinerated in a surprise nuclear war which was to be triggered by the assassination of a democratically elected stats minister whose unnecessary murder is still unsolved, and there were about a dozen or so double agents and spies killed in the process, about 16 Norwegian engineers killed in the fallout, Soviet spies who saved our lives being imprisoned for life so that the real story doesn’t leak out, etc., ad nauseam.

    I am totally committed to exposing this and other covert plots which usually result in devastating disasters.

  170. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    9 Apr, 2013 - 10:20 pm

    Afterthought : I’ve come to the conclusion that what motivates the Eminences on this blog is a hatred of their country. They post not to engage in discussion or to learn or even to inform but to externalise that deep hatred within them. And, of course, Margaret Thatcher provides an ideal focal point for their hatred at present.

  171. “It might also be worth reflecting that the UK is a country (one could wish it were not so) where people are able to hold “street parties” to celebrate the death of a former Prime Minister without interference.” — Habbabkuk

    Hardly …

    “Disunited in mourning: police fear Thatcher funeral may turn into security nightmare

    “Fears of civil disorder in capital as plans are revealed for partially state-funded ceremonial funeral.

    “Meanwhile lawyers warn against pre-emptive arrests as police scan social media to identify likely protesters”

  172. Dreoilin – wholly understandable given the pissed-up “protesters” hurling abuse and missiles at police. Any excuse for a fight and the chance to scream “Fascists”, eh?

  173. @Giles

    Are you saying you approve of pre-emptive arrests?

    “Michael Oswald, from Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, which represented 15 people who were arrested on [sic] during the Royal Wedding, said: “There must be a concern that the events that took place in Bristol and Brixton last night will be used by the police to justify the kind of tactics that were seen in the run-up to and during the Royal Wedding. Whatever one thinks about the rights and wrongs of protesting during a funeral the law protects people’s freedom to voice their opinions publicly in a peaceful manner”.”

    People’s ‘freedom to voice their opinions publicly in a peaceful manner’ seems to have virtually disappeared, in the USA and in the UK. Taken off the books. (And yes, I am aware that hurling missiles at police is not included in that ‘freedom’.)

  174. Trowbridge H. Ford. I bet Howe never forgave her for that time in a cabinet meeting when he was expressing an opinion and she interrupted him with “Shut up Geoffrey” according to the Guardian I think.

  175. Frazer wrote “The Belgrano was steaming full ahead just outside the 12 mile limit and had been repeatedly been warned to reverse did not so it was torpedoed….end of story really!”

    The Belgrano was outside the 200 mile TEZ when sunk, steaming towards Argentina. Geez, you mistake 12 miles for 200. What are you? Military Intelligence?

  176. No, I’m not. The article you quote talks of a potential “security nightmare” and “civil disorder”. Under such circumstances the Police would have to maintain order, and events yesterday show that violence is a distinct possibility. Nobody is suggesting a clamp-down on people voicing opinions.

    I don’t know why the death of a hated old lady with dementia should spark “protests”, as I had thought you were all happy she was dead, but, hey, we live in a free country! Maybe you miss her?

  177. “I’ve come to the conclusion that what motivates the Eminences on this blog is a hatred of their country”

    The very opposite is true. What Thatcher did to OUR country and the people was abominable.

  178. A case in point.

    The destruction of public science: an Indian scientist records one aspect of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy

    April 9th, 2013 by PCU

    The positive and negative aspects of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy are being aired. For the writer, the damaging effects of privatisation, mass unemployment, waste of North Sea oil revenue, financial deregulation and outsourcing far outweigh the rapprochement with Gorbachev – the only positive which comes readily to mind.

    Dr Devinder Sharma writes today:

  179. “but, hey, we live in a free country! Maybe you miss her?”

    Giles, I’m Irish. I’ve never lived in the UK, and no, I don’t miss her.
    I’ve never celebrated anyone’s death, either.

  180. Sounds like there’ll be overtime for Met officers.
    And if anyone is thinking of effigy-burning, better not discuss it here.


  181. After the recent flurry of political discourse; can someone please tell of any government policies that are significant, positively?

    Left or right. Just one.


    H7N9 bird flu may mutate 8 times faster than regular flu, study finds

    The new bird flu could be mutating up to eight times faster than an average flu virus around a protein that binds it to humans, a team of research scientists in Shenzhen says.

    Dr He Jiankui, an associate professor at South University of Science and Technology of China, said yesterday that the authorities should be alarmed by the results of their research and step up monitoring and control efforts to prevent a possible pandemic.

    With genetic code of the virus obtained from mainland authorities, the team scrutinised haemagglutinin, a protein that plays a crucial rule in the process of infection. The protein binds the virus to an animal cell, such as respiratory cells in humans, and bores a hole in the cell’s membrane to allow entry by the virus.

    The researchers found dramatic mutation of haemagglutinin in one of the four flu strains released for study by the central government. Nine of the protein’s 560 amino acids had changed. In a typical flu virus, only one or two amino acids could change in such a short period of time, He said.

    “It happened in just one or two weeks. The speed may not have caught up with the HIV, but it’s quite unusual for a flu.”

    CDC activates emergency center over H7N9

    Robert Roos * News Editor

    Apr 9, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Atlanta yesterday to support the response to the H7N9 influenza outbreak in China, CDC officials said in an e-mailed statement today.

    The EOC was activated at level 2, the second of three levels. Level 1, the highest, signals an agency-wide response. “This is a limited activation that allows for the use of additional resources and staff to meet the technical needs of a public health response,” the agency said.

    Activation was prompted because the novel H7N9 avian influenza virus has never been seen before in animals or humans and because reports from China have linked it to severe human disease, the agency said.

  183. ‘A former senior civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, Clive Ponting leaked information about the sinking of an Argentinian warship, the General Belgrano, in 1984. The classified documents revealed that, contrary to official accounts of the incident, the ship was outside an exclusion zone and was moving away from a Royal Navy taskforce when it was sunk by the submarine HMS Conqueror, resulting in the loss of 323 lives. Ponting was charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act 1911 after the leak, but was later acquitted by a jury which decided, against the direction of the presiding judge, that it was in the “public interest” for the documents to be released. In the years following Ponting’s acquittal, the Thatcher government introduced the Official Secrets Act 1989, which in effect removed the public-interest defence.’ New Statesman. Hiding state corruption

  184. Giles: You’ve fascinated onto one comment, and ignored the rest of my post. Don’t worry, you didn’t disappoint. You chose to attack a weak misinterpretation of a single aspect of my reply to you. The rest of your supposed rebuttal consists of retorts against positions I have never held or expressed.

    That is not the act of an intellectually honest person. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I invite you to give it another shot.

    For instance, I did not compare Thatcher with Hitler/Stalin – but rather illustrated the weakness of your own “won the day” argument, as if it proved Might is Right.

    “Winning at the ballot box” might sound very laudable, if the entire gutter-press/ establishment media and Murdoch with his running-dogs were not entirely behind the winner. Tell me the winner in any election for the last 30 years where the press wasn’t behind them.


    I have to end this discussion here.

  185. The Official Secrets Act in action hiding state corruption

    ‘Former foreign secretary Jack Straw and Sir Mark Allen, a former senior MI6 officer, have said they cannot respond to allegations of conspiracy in the torture of a prominent Libyan dissident, pleading the need to protect official secrets.

    They do not deny being involved in rendering Abdel Hakim Belhaj into the hands of Muammar Gaddafi’s secret police in 2004 but say they did nothing unlawful.’ The Guardian

  186. Friends – this is a fascinating and involved discussion such as my Dad would have loved. But he’s just passed away. I’ll be back in due course.

  187. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    10 Apr, 2013 - 12:50 am

    Glenn; I am very sorry. Lost my Dad in ’90 after a bittersweet 72 hour final watch. Can I suggest a book?

    “Who Dies?” by Steven Levine of the Hanuman Foundation.

  188. My sympathy Glenn_uk -solace in those we love are never truly gone.

  189. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    10 Apr, 2013 - 1:11 am

    ” The pain of death for survivors many times is the feeling of separation, but that feeling of separation, is an illusion”

    S. Levine.

  190. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    10 Apr, 2013 - 1:14 am

  191. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    10 Apr, 2013 - 1:18 am

  192. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    10 Apr, 2013 - 2:06 am

    I submit this for your Dad and for you Glenn…..

  193. Glenn_uk

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioun/ Indeed we belong to God and indeed we will return to him. Dads are best, sorry to hear you’ve lost yours today.

  194. Thank you, friends. But I think this is more fitting:

  195. I was never a fan of Thatcher. I thought she was a nasty piece of work and I voted against her. But can you really blame just her for the destruction of British industry?

    You have to ask what the alternatives were at that time. Where were the policies and people that could have been put in place that would have put British industry on perhaps the same path as Germany? They just weren’t there, is the answer. The alternative to Thatcher, at that time, was more union power, more protectionism and more state spending. Kinder in the short term, perhaps, but nothing that would change the facts that British industry was inefficiently making crap products that nobody in the world wanted to buy. So much for the “world’s greatest concentrated manufacturing skills base”. Britain didn’t have the visionary industrialists, the product-centered management or the diligent (obedient?) workforce and there wasn’t much that Thatcher or anybody else was suggesting that was going to change that and suddenly morph BL into BMW or Amstrad into Siemens. A massive failure, for sure, but not a failure that was Thatcher’s alone.

    It might be easy to vilify Thatcher, and there’s some feel-good benefit to dancing on her grave, but actually the problems are deeper and the solutions a little more difficult.

  196. A Bayesian Question

    What is the probability of a country that elects bad leaders resulting in people dancing on the graves of those leaders, compared to the probability of a country that produces people who dance on the graves of bad leaders electing those kinds of leaders?

    Every country where the deaths of hated leaders are widely celebrated, are shit countries. I would hope that the British people remain stoic and dignified when burying one of their mistakes. 
    Debate about the relationship between Thatcher’s personality and her legacy seems belated. The time to deal with the problem of politicians with personality disorders is before they get elected to higher office. Take a close look at your next crop of leaders and weed out the bad ones before you make another mistake.

  197. Democracy = you get what you vote for.
    Who’s to blame for bad leaders?

  198. After the 2nd world war: The de-Nazification of Europe came a massive rise of the left wind cultural Marxist Ideology and unionist power which re-forced the massive divide of workers, middle management and Elites.
    Add to this a new emphasison materialistic principles and focus on “self satisfaction” came the weak divided society we have.

    The profiteers run Britain, they send us to war and they put our women and children in the factories.

    Our unemployed sit at home on the couch and our work is not done.

    There is reason out there you are all too stupid to see it!


  199. It is too easy to personify the errors and crimes of the 1979- ???? tory governments in one objectionable person. But it is not so simple.

    They LOVED her while she was an asset and despised and deposed her when she was a liability.

    Her attitudes, character and intellectual flaws, mental illnesses etc were in part to blame for the disaters that befell Britain during her time and after – but she cannot realistically be scapegoated.

    We NEED a new way of selecting, monitoring and controlling those we put in power over us. What we have is clearly not working.

  200. Glenn,
    I especially appreciate your notes and i am struck the news of your loss.
    My best wishes *

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