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.

Tweet this post


1 2 3 4

  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! 😀

  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.

1 2 3 4

Powered By Wordpress | Designed By Ridgey | Produced by Tim Ireland | Hosted In The Cloud