Margaret Thatcher RIP: AccountingWEB views

The only female British Prime Minister and 'Iron Lady' Margaret Thatcher has died from a stroke at the Ritz Hotel aged 87. 

Yesterday, her spokesperson Lord Bell announced that: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning."

Lady Thatcher had been staying at the hotel after being discharged from hospital at the end of 2012. 

She will receive not a state funeral, but a ceremonial one...

Continued...

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Comments

Thinking back to the Thatcher days...    1 thanks

Trevor Scott | | Permalink

.... I preferred the pre-self assessment days, with the Companies Act 1985, SSAP's with only 4 fundamental accounting principles, and the giddy budgets with ever decreasing income tax rates....even the Revenue being rather profesisonal with, largely, well trained staff.

 

Look at all the rubbish, including legislation, we now have to deal with.

Seeing the wood for the trees    1 thanks

reilloc | | Permalink

@TrevorScott: has it not occurred to you that there might be some link between the demise of the Revenue being professional and well trained, the current rubbish legislation and ever decreasing income (and indeed corporation) tax rates?

The good outweighed by the bad    6 thanks

reilloc | | Permalink

Much though it pains me to deny it, Thatcher had her good points - she stood up for the UK and was ambitious for us as a nation. Even things like her so called anti union laws had some merit. However the bad far outweighs the good. She left the uk far more divided than it was or had been since the civil war. She flogged off the family silver, using the revenues, along with those from North Sea Oil, to cut taxes instead of paying off national debt and investing in infrastructure. Investment in that infrastructure was cut in such away that much of it will never again be fit for purpose. She promoted house ownership and living on consumer credit that ultimately lead to the 2008-2013 recession/stagnation. I could go on but it feels unecessary to list the many different ways that today's problems are rooted in Thatcherism.

@reilloc    1 thanks

Trevor Scott | | Permalink

The ever decreasing tax rates I referred to were those in late 1980’s, as opposed to those in the 1970’s.

I wouldn’t say there is a direct link, as you suggest, as the facts and events are too remote from each other. There were issues (including training) at the Revenue before Self-Assessment…it is just that with the politically motivated introduction of SA there were a lot of other sweeping politically motivated changes at the Revenue…which weren’t for the good. Many experienced/well trained Revenue people warned of problems with SA, that it hadn’t been thought through, but they were side-lined or retired around the time/just after SA.

 

A great PM who kick started the modernisation of Britain    5 thanks

gladiator923 | | Permalink

It's always interesting how those vilifying Thatcher for closing British industry allow the union bosses to get off scott free when they were just a culpable, if not more so for their stance and unwillingness to allow modernisation and reform. Change was needed and people like Scargill made the process far more painful than it needed to be. Inefficiency and industrial disputes were hallmarks of the UK in the 70s/80s.....without some admittedly pretty tough medicine we'd have never attracted the inward investment desperately needed for us to move on.

The changes brought about by her governments were so comprehensive and far-reaching, and in the main eventually accepted, that the arguments with the left aren't even being had anymore (barring a very small minority who've crept out of the woodwork this week). Socialism as a realistic mainstream model has been soundly rejected. Her policies and record in many areas have been proved to be right, (labour reforms, low taxation, Falklands, nuclear policy, Europe). Successive governments of whichever party have followed the model for the most part, and haven't seriously altered the course set. Of course it's not perfect, and recent years have reminded us of this, however there's no doubt that the country she left was in a far far better place then the one she inherited

History will rightly remember her as a great political figure who made a massive contribution to the rehabilitaiton of the UK.

Politically motivated?

andrew.hyde | | Permalink

I can't see that really.  What was the supposed political advantage? And to whom?

I can see more easily see 'cost-motivated'.  Which begs the question of whether the savings are illusory.

I tend to agree with reilloc but 'de mortuis nil nisi bonum' so I'll stand and observe a minute's silence if asked.  But I'll resist canonisation.

reilloc    1 thanks

peterdell | | Permalink

Selling off the family silver - or the rusty old tins!

Would you really have BT nationilised? No Vodaphone, no Three, no Virgin Media, no Talk Talk!

You would have higher bills and probably be using the old dial up telephone system.

 

If you have a national monopoly then arguably it should be in the public sector so selling the water companies may have been a mistake although we don't know what the bills would have been had they been run the public sector with its higher wages.

The energy companies are expensive because of various protocols that subsequent governments have signed for climate change etc, but the development and innovation within these companies will provide the solutions for cheaper energy solar, wave, wind etc. If you left the energy companies in the state system they would still be using coal. There would be no innovation. 

The point of privatisation is that you drive innovation. The state with no competition does not do innnovation hence the failure of Eastern Europe. While we were driving around in our BMWs, Audis, Renaults, Peugeots East Germans were driving around in Ladas and Trabants cars designed in the 50s which couldn't use our petrol because they were so unsophisticated.

 

 

Steve-EBL's picture

She promoted living on consumer credit?    3 thanks

Steve-EBL | | Permalink

I recall Thatcher as being someone who would recommend living within ones means? 

BT was the only major privatisation that was good    4 thanks

philfromleeds | | Permalink

Does any one think the railways are better than they would have been?

Does any one think that were better off buying our energy the way we are doing?

Does any one think the water tastes nicer?

Does anyone think we should be burning coal until Nuclear Power is ready to take over?

Does any one think we should be proud of the fact that the successful industries have been sold to the foreigners like Cadburys and Roundtrees and Range Rover and Mini and Rolls Royce Cars and with the process of deindustrialisation we have been left with the crud.

If Thatcher's legacy would have been so good for the country why are we in the state we are in? Labour made a mess but there was no foundation to the economy they began with. It was all top show.Tall buildings in London.

No words can praise her enough.    6 thanks

JDBENJAMIN | | Permalink

She is quite simply one of the greatest people who has ever lived. It is very unlikely any of us will see somebody of her calibre in our lifetimes. When I think of all the things she achieved, it seems amazing someone could do all that in just a few years within the constraints of democracy. Consider the smashing of the unions, the privatisations, the Falklands, reform of the City, council house sales, paying off national debt, the EEC refund, standing firm against the Soviets, renewing our nuclear weapons and power stations, the rate-capping of looney left councils, vanquishing inflation, standing up to the IRA, etc etc. It shows her predecessors and successors to be political pygmies in comparison. 

Maggie    4 thanks

Dutchnick | | Permalink

The cult of personal responsibility is what matters and living and working in the Netherlands and Scandinavia I can see it in action on a daily basios and it works! Socialism is a sad failure no better summed up by;

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

 

 

 

Get a bit real.    3 thanks

ck | | Permalink

Mrs T has been away from power for well over 20 years. 

She started and implemented lots of change, but if those in charge after her did not keep control of the pace and method and result of change while they were in charge, that is hardly her fault.

In fact it just further enhances her.

 

pembo's picture

right place and time    2 thanks

pembo | | Permalink

Most memorable statesmen/women have the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time.Thatcher was no exception given the state of the nation in 1979. Her first term was unremarkable and it is always a matter of  debate whether she would have been reelected in 83 without the Falklands. Her achievements thereafter would have happened anyway in time as history shows change always happens just a matter of when and how. With Thatcher though change had to be done on her terms that caused massive injustice and division that exist to this day.

Her misunderstanding was the absolute conviction that her mindset about freedom and aspiration was universal. The reality is that not everyone aspires to own their own home or run their own business and neither should they. Tell me what you want from life and I will tell you the type of person you are. Thatcher did not appear to grasp that the reality of that for many people is far removed from the illusion she believed in.

The saddest epitaph I've heard is that she once said her greatest achievement was Tony Blair. No doubt she meant that in a different context but the result was a world where integrity and substance come a poor second to duplicity and spin.

jasonholden's picture

.    4 thanks

jasonholden | | Permalink

Personally I think it is very sad, she was someones mother/friend/grandparent, and yes, she was a great PM (more so her first 2 terms mind not so much the third, they should never be allowed a third term).

It is interesting to read that some 23 years after she left office people still try to blame her for all their ills, what about the other PM's we have had since, let alone 13 years of Labour, time people face reality, when she came to power after, oh hang on Labour again, in 1979 we had a top rate of tax at 83%, 98% on unearned income, Unions killing the country with 40% pay rise demands, 3 day weeks, I could go on, I think some need to revisit history.

She may not have been perfect, but I would rather have her fighting for this country than any I have seen since.

Just an opinion.

Jason

Steve-EBL's picture

Tony Blair

Steve-EBL | | Permalink

Perhaps she meant that even labour now would follow her agenda in the future(which they have and do) so to align the opposition to your point of view is quite an achievement.

Maggie's heritage.    3 thanks

jiatbanus | | Permalink

I managed a Group of manufacturing companies before and during Maggie's time. Someone needed to deal with the Unions to allow managers to manage (and to take responsibility). That she did. I'm struggling to recall what else she did for industry. I'm not even sure that the heroics of the military were worth the Falklands foray. And there were certainly serious heroics performed, particulary the amazing feat to bomb the runway at Stanley!

I digress; the Poll Tax. A good idea badly executed. Another Government rush.

Sadly; like all powerful Parliamentarians, it went to her head and, if she could have got away with it, she would have legislated to stay in power forever.

BUT : SHE WAS OUR LAST STRONG BRITISH LEADER and she should be remembered for that - even if not loved.

 

 

 

 

johnjenkins's picture

One of the    2 thanks

johnjenkins | | Permalink

things I felt most during Maggie's reign was the "feel good factor". I have never felt it since.

When the Tory idiots got rid of Maggie I don't think they would ever realise the far reaching consequences it would have.

The poll tax would have gone a long way to stop the drug and booze craze of our youngsters.

What she achieved has now been totally destroyed. Instead of being held to ransome by the unions it's the bankers that pull the strings.

Perhaps now she's gone there is someone out there that feels strong enough to put our Nation back on the right track. 

 

I wouldn't be here (on this site) if it wasn't for Maggie    1 thanks

taylorag | | Permalink

I was bumbling along as a BT engineer with few realistic opportunities for promotion when Maggie decided to double the number of accountants in Government in an attempt to impose financial control.  Thanks to that initiative I was recruited and trained by the, well I won't say because they're still not very good.

At the time she was in power I was opposed to her, but, for me, history shows we needed her. Yes, she made mistakes, but facing down Scargill, the Soviets and some South Americans were hallmarks of a leader.

My hero    1 thanks

Shirley Martin | | Permalink

Both sides of my family had traditionally been Liberal voters but in 1979 both my parents and I, quite independently, decided to vote for Mrs Thatcher.

We were desperate for someone to take on the unions.  I'd seen dockers' strikes (no sugar), miners' strikes (people in industry suffering financially because they'd been put on a three day week), unpleasant secondary picketing (two thugs from my college joined the Grunwick picket line and another student I knew, who lived nearby, had her front garden being used as a toilet by the pickets) and the winter of discontent with rubbish bags piling up in the streets.  I have no problem with unions, I have belonged to one and gone on strike myself, but there is a huge difference between throwing a spanner in the works for your own employer and holding the country to ransom.

Having had to do my homework by oil lamp during the power cuts of an earlier miners' strike, my only personal memory of the later one was being in the basement of John Lewis in Oxford Street and hearing a lady with a very penetrating voice say "Ooh look, there's Arthur Scargill - shall I shoot him?" followed by "He's much uglier than he looks on the telly."  Wonderful.

As a woman going into accountancy in the late seventies she was an inspiration.  Accountancy was not merely a male dominated profession, it was seen a male profession where women had no place - "Accountancy's a man's job.  A girl can't do it".  So to have a woman at the top of another male profession was brilliant.

I hope she is truly resting in peace - she deserves it.

Kind regards

Shirley

That comment made me laugh

taylorag | | Permalink

"Accountancy's a man's job.  A girl can't do it"

I refused to study accounting at my macho school in the seventies because I regarded all office jobs as women's work.  Given that I have to sign on to a client's accounting systems as "Anne" and "Lindsay", maybe I was right!

In spite of what she did for    3 thanks

Vinoo | | Permalink

In spite of what she did for the country- I think she is disliked by more people then any other previous prime ministers

Albasas's picture

Mrs T; The Inconvenient Truth Is Social Division Everywhere.    2 thanks

Albasas | | Permalink

Of all people Ken Livingstone was right when he said: "everything she achieved was wiped out in the banking crisis of 2008."

So her legacy is tragic in that, ironically as a Brit, she disunited the UK by removing the big expensive heavy industries, (coal steel, British Leyland), from its heartlands for (if you were very lucky), Yuppie service industries and a credit based economy ruled by bankers. A mirage in economic terms which has all but disappeared. North Sea oil was squandered for welfare cheques because she hated subsidizing businesses and anything public sector. Lunacy! Money down the drain. Meanwhile to this day the South-East grow more affluent disproportionately to the rest of the UK. Not everyone could cope under Thatcherism. You had to live on your wits. Lunch was for wimps! Survival of the fittest and all that. Drug dealing went through the roof in the council estates overnight. Buying under 'right to buy' the better council houses and shares in Nationalised industries- all things which the people owned already! What a vote gathering whiz this was especially the latter!

Today's UK welfare reforms are all thanks to her 1980's experiments in social engineering which she started and so evidently went terribly wrong. PM Cameron may like to forget who the architect of all this was while he ponders ways of making Britain a new shiny bright hi-tech manufacturing economy- but her death only brings the human cost into focus again.

What did she get right? Well the bolshi British trade union movement was a hotbed of KGB Cold War activity which Labour under Callaghan failed to address.UK coal, steel and cars were too expensive to produce, and poor quality, yes, but come on ? No plan B? Strengthening our ties with our then estranged American cousins and the international stage in general. I would say The Falklands too. If you want illegal wars then Tony Blair the 'Socialist Thatcherite' takes some beating in my book. Her downfall came when instead of experimenting on just 'Northern Britain' she started on those 'down south' too with her Poll Tax to give her millionaire friends in the Tory Shires huge rates rebates. Even the average Tory recoiled in horror at this and soon got rid of then out of touch 'Imperial Empress Maggie' in a coup.

On a bright note she did inspire by their rage some great alternative comics and the 'new wave' arts in general. Me too ! So in a strange way out of all her economic chaos she changed us all for better or worse. I think its now termed broken Britain or something. As I say not everybody could cope with the Thatcher legacy. It was how you raged against it all that mattered. For me, young and politically aware, doing nothing wasn't an option, going with the flow to hopefully make a difference was.

I'm glad to correct that she never nicked the milk from school children. That was not her idea but Anthony Barber's.                                          

Paul Scholes's picture

Her legacy is evidenced by these and all other threads    2 thanks

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

We could all rant on about the people we think have done great things in the world and those who we think have done nothing but harm.  

She was one of those rare people who so divided a nation that she gets both in equal measure.

Whilst I feel for any family when a loved member dies, I have felt relief this week and it was good to hear today that, with so few of the next adult generation knowing anything about her, she'll soon be forgotten and of no consequence, hopefully this will help to heal the chasm she generated.

 

 

cfield's picture

Just think what the alternative would have been!    1 thanks

cfield | | Permalink

If Labour had stayed in power in 1979 or been elected in 1983 after just one term of Mrs Thatcher, this country would definitely have gone down the tubes. Our standard of living would have plummeted. 

Can you imagine Foot, Benn, Shore, Heffer and that lot running the country instead back then? The longest suicide note in history, their manifesto was called, and it's frightening to think that if we had lost the Falklands war and her Government had fallen, which could quite easily have happened, they would probably have been in charge.

I think most sensible young people with any aspirations would have emigrated, as Jim Callaghan actually said he would have done if he'd been a younger man. I reckon I would have done.

Of course she was divisive. You could never have united the country on some of the strong medicine this country needed. The re-structuring our economy needed after years of stagnation would have taken place over a much longer period and the agony would have been far more prolonged.

What would you rather have? A country with no divisions because we're all in the same mess or one divided because some of our children grew taller than others? I think the so-called divisions in this country are a lot less than some would have you think. There's always going to be some people moaning about us not being a workers paradise, but they're just a vocal minority. The ones glorifying in her death are probably just blaming her for their own failings. Some of them look too young to have even been around when she was PM.

PhilfromLeeds

peterdell | | Permalink

 

 

Royal Mail is an example of why nationalisation doesn't work. There is no incentive for nationalised industries to innovate and when the business is operating in a competitive world enviroment you innovate, die, or  rely on ever increasing government subsidies funded by the taxpayer. The problem with all western countries, and in future China, is that with an ageing population and its increasing cost, the state won't have the resources to put subsidies for other projects, therefore eventually all areas of government and business will have to be lean and mean to complete.

In answer to your question why is the country in such a bad state?

First of all I don't think we are in such a bad state. If you go back to the seventies the wealth of the country had fallen behind Italy! 

 

In list of things that need to be done:

- Investment in regions outside of London and diversifying what we do.

- Better regulation of companies and directors pay.

- Fairer tax system and a movement to taxing wealth instead of income.

- A reduction in government and government bureaucracy.

 

In terms of privatisation, energy is a problem at the moment because you have an oligopoly but that should change in the next decade when new innovation changes the energy mix. I suspect this will look very different in ten years. If we just had British Gas then you would still be burning gas and coal into the next decade until it was switched to Nuclear power. Stronger regulation would make this market work better.

Water is a natural monopoly so agreed a very poor sell off.

Trains - I remember the trains being a running joke at the back of the seventies for punctuality and for its general state of hygiene. Capacity has trebled and services like Eurostar are not worse than the trains in the 70s.

and airlines - Would you want British Airways to be a national monopoly. No Ryanair (probably a good thing) no easy jet, no monarch (to mention them and they didn't refund me properly for the ashcloud).

 

I should also point out that the so called "banking crisis" and its all down to the bankers was a crisis of people and governments borrowing money essentially from overseas and buying overseas goods with that borrowed money. If the banks had not lent this money then the UK would have had lower growth rates in the Labour years and we would still be where we are, all it did was create an illusion that we were doing better than we were. 

 

and just to comment on Albasas as much as you may dislike the service sector it produces a huge net surplus for the national economy. If the UK was to lose the likes of Barclays and HSBC overseas it would be a disaster to the UK which is why the government is desperately bribing these companies to stay through lower corporation tax rates. However much you dislike this fact  London produces a massive net surplus which subsidies the rest of England 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

johnjenkins's picture

You can't just

johnjenkins | | Permalink

pick and choose what you privatise. It's either all or none. Similar with Europe. You either have a united countries of europe or not at all. This half measure we have now will never work. People say the country was divided. Not so. You can't win 3 general elections without being popular (or some would say strong) Major only got in on the strength of Maggie coming to his rescue. I voted for Maggie and I voted for Tony Blair. The only mistake Maggie made was trusting her friends. The only mistake Tony made was not getting rid of Gordon Brown when he came into power (although GB did realise his cock ups when he became PM and tried to stop the financial institutions grabbing back property as they did in late 80's early90's for which Messrs. Major and Lawson were to blame).

As for North South divide. Go to Leeds, Bolton etc, and have a look at women doing their shopping doled up to the nines and not just a few. Yes of course Oxford street is the same, but then most of the shoppers are from North of Peterborough. 

We go motorhoming all round the country and value for money is always in the North. The Asian community have money coming out of their ears (most of them work 24/7). We call the South rip off city.

As far as lending is concerned, if all countries cancelled all debt to each other (just like an individual bankruptcy) and started again this would give the world finances and economy a bit of a chance to grow but while interest is just being swapped around and the really rich are getting really richer stagnation is the name of the game - isn't that where Maggie came in.

cfield's picture

Tony Blair

cfield | | Permalink

johnjenkins wrote:

The only mistake Tony made was not getting rid of Gordon Brown when he came into power

I'm surprised you think so much of Tony Blair seeing as he wanted to drag us kicking and screaming into the Euro. In fact, he still does (allegedly).

I'm no fan of Gordon Brown, not by a long chalk, but the one decent thing he did do was stop us joining the Euro.

johnjenkins's picture

@cfield I think we should have gone

johnjenkins | | Permalink

not only into the Euro, but a federal Europe. The reasoning behind this is quite simple. The quicker this happened the quicker it would have been realised it wouldn't have worked, so then a proper European agreement could have been worked out and most of the waste saved.

Look what we have now and please don't say whatever happens to the Euro won't affect us cos we all know it will.

Tony Blair is a true European and believes a federal (or whatever) europe is the way forward. You can't do it by piecemeal though. It's like having the rail track owned by one company and the rolling stock by another.

@PeterDell    1 thanks

reilloc | | Permalink

Before it was privatised BT had begun work on linking every house in the uk fibre optically - 25 years later, with the so-called benefits of privatisation, this still hasn't happened. The various competing mobile companies have resulted in a proliferation of telephone masts and repeater cells in urban areas but crap coverage in most rural areas.

The illusory higher wage costs in the nationalised water industry were chicken feed compared to the need for the privatised companies to generate obscene levels of profit whilst pursuing the poorest members of society for their debts and largely failing to invest in updating the victorian sewage and water delivery systems. Where I live there are currently a dozen active water leaks that have been reported months ago with no action!

The pre-privatised electricity supply industry was lauded for its research and development work. The privatised companies spend peanuts on r&d - the cegb's researchers were either laid of or retasked with working on modelling the energy markets. Privatisation brought the various scandals about customers being moved between suppliers without consent or knowledge. At the very least the distribution system is a monopoly and should have remained public. Oh and by the way the CEGB was spending huge amounts on renewables especially wind power - most of today's turbines are based on cegb designs and the same goes for tidal and other systems. Privatisation brought about the 'dash for gas' that has driven up gas prices and ultimately makes us dependent on russian exports.

Asvfor rail privatisation all that has happened is we have poorer services at a vastly higher cost to the tax payer - we effectively pour tax revenue into the pockets of the shareholders.

Your point about innovation would carry more weight if the was any evidence that the bulk of the private sector were willing or interested in more than short term gains a

Albasas's picture

But Don't Forget... She Actually INCREASED Public Spending!    1 thanks

Albasas | | Permalink

That's the irony on the back of North Sea oil. Creating a problematic social divide of welfare junkies. Perverse headlines in the tabloids today are partly all the seeds of her 'negative' class ridden policies. An underclass was created in the 80's which has every successful person in the UK today wary of showing off their material wealth at. Education? Pop down to Weatherspoons or Starbucks on your lunch break to gratefully receive your service from some of the Graduate children who tried to grew tall and failed? Post Thatcher young people have never been so educated as now. So what is wrong with the economy? Some may argue their courses are dole fodder to escape dole but that's another Debate for another time. Blair devaluing higher education to take folk off the dole etc. No apprenticeships in manufacturing industries more like! In a recent Budget the Chancellor alluded to all this. The UK has to find a way back into (hi-tech) manufacturing somehow. The City of London and all that can only do so much. Ditto North Sea oil and gas. If you don't make stuff or specialise in value services and sell it on at a profit then the balance of payments will eventually suffer. This is all Mrs T's true legacy. Her recent death is a salient reminder.   

Continued    1 thanks

reilloc | | Permalink

reilloc wrote:
Before it was privatised BT had begun work on linking every house in the uk fibre optically - 25 years later, with the so-called benefits of privatisation, this still hasn't happened. The various competing mobile companies have resulted in a proliferation of telephone masts and repeater cells in urban areas but crap coverage in most rural areas.

The illusory higher wage costs in the nationalised water industry were chicken feed compared to the need for the privatised companies to generate obscene levels of profit whilst pursuing the poorest members of society for their debts and largely failing to invest in updating the victorian sewage and water delivery systems. Where I live there are currently a dozen active water leaks that have been reported months ago with no action!

The pre-privatised electricity supply industry was lauded for its research and development work. The privatised companies spend peanuts on r&d - the cegb's researchers were either laid of or retasked with working on modelling the energy markets. Privatisation brought the various scandals about customers being moved between suppliers without consent or knowledge. At the very least the distribution system is a monopoly and should have remained public. Oh and by the way the CEGB was spending huge amounts on renewables especially wind power - most of today's turbines are based on cegb designs and the same goes for tidal and other systems. Privatisation brought about the 'dash for gas' that has driven up gas prices and ultimately makes us dependent on russian exports.

Asvfor rail privatisation all that has happened is we have poorer services at a vastly higher cost to the tax payer - we effectively pour tax revenue into the pockets of the shareholders.

Your point about innovation would carry more weight if the was any evidence that the bulk of the private sector were willing or interested in more than short term gains a


At the expense of longer term investment.

Privatise the funeral - it's what she would have wanted    3 thanks

Bagel | | Permalink

- and as the film director Ken Loach suggested:
http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/ken-loach-wants-thatcher-s-funeral-privatised...

Rather hard to argue against that for anyone who really believes in her ideology. A funeral paid for by taxpayers money... outrageous! How more 'dead hand of Stalin' could you be...?

 

johnjenkins's picture

There you go see

johnjenkins | | Permalink

It wasn't Maggie who decided on her funeral and I'm sure she would have been only too pleased to pay for it herself, though it wouldn't have been as lavish.

It was the PM who decided and then it was tempered down.

reilloc

peterdell | | Permalink

I went to East Germany just after the wall came down. The locals were driving around in Trabants and Ladas and couldn't fill up in West German garages because they only stocked four star petrol as opposed to the two star petrol that these cars needed. The East German buildings all had bullet holes in the walls because there had been no redevelopment since the war. The contrast between West Germany and East Germany was immense. People believe it was Star Wars that brought down the former USSR I think this was a myth. The grinding poverty of East Germans looking across at their Western neighbours must have been akin to a homeless person looking through the window of a swanky restaurant. Of course if a government throws all its money into a specific industry it will look like its doing well. North Korea does well at nuclear weapons.

Whole scale nationalisation is a complete and utter disaster.

Last year I switched back to BT and looking at the previous twelve months my bills doubled so in the next couple of months I will switch back to Talk Talk something I wouldn't be able to do with a BT monopoly. Wireless technology has to be better than digging up roads every other week!

When you talk about the big energy companies are you including companies like Solar Century who will eventually usurp the big players if they don't invest enough in technology? The whole point of capitalism is that innovation incurs in the small companies they use this innovation to grab market share and get rid the established players. Where is Ebay compared to woolworths. Vodaphone didn't exist 20 years ago.

 

The problem in the energy market is that Gas and Nuclear used to be the cheapest energy, as the prices rise this encourages new technologies to come to market. Soon it will be cheaper to have solar panels and if SSE and British Gas haven't invested then they will cease to be just like Woolworths.

The whole point of capitalism is that encourages change. Now explain to me how the post office is beneficial to anyone under the age of 30 (or those who have never written a letter in their lives) and why they should be funding this industry to the tune of £1 billion over the next four years. In twenty years it will be gone the cost will outweigh the benefit. You need to make sure the people affected will be given other opportunities but as you probably observe there will be a failure in government to manage the change.

And on the point of trains, why we should be employing tube drivers when anyone who has been on the latest upgraded underground trains knows the tube drivers don't do anything. they can operate without a driver!

Change has to be managed and under Thatcher it was not, hence the division (a bit like the end of the gulf war) but stepping in the way of progress for some historical ideology is pointless.

And my final rant you are absolutely right to say that companies and director pay needs to be governed better and this is the most urgent issue within the government, and your probably also right to say that nobody will take a blind bit of notice. But please don't call this capitalism. This has nothing to do with the money market mechanism it has everything to do with individual greed.

 

 

 

mrme89's picture

@ johnjenkins – “The Asian

mrme89 | | Permalink

@ johnjenkins – “The Asian community have money coming out of their ears (most of them work 24/7)”. I live in Bradford (a high Asian area). I can tell you that they don’t have money coming out of their ears from working 24/7! There are lads 18 years old driving around in Ferrari’s, yet going home to a £60k house in a rundown area. I went to school with and have Asian friends. However, something is amiss when they have never worked a day in their lives but somehow drive around in a brand new Audi.