Margaret Thatcher and taxation

One has to say something about the woman who commenced the noble task of dismantling the structure of a civilised society, a task being carried forward bravely by Cameron and Osborne supported by the demented wailing of the Daily Mail and The Sun.

It is particularly worth noting that all the increased wealth in the country since then has accrued to the top 1% of the population in terms of income or wealth, and that for the average person income has effectively stood still, following the years from 1945 to 1979 when the country was moving slowly towards equality. The lowering of tax rates over time has simply given the advantage to the rich.

In 1979 I was working for the Inland Revenue, and saw how over the years that followed, as public sector incomes fell further and further behind the private sector, the department steadily lost its brightest performers to the burgeoning tax avoidance industry. It was in those years that the department started to lose its battles because it no longer had the right people to fight them, and its political masters took a distinctly relaxed view of complex tax avoidance: it just showed how clever you were. In some ways, I think, it has never recovered. Greed was good, and Greed won.

At the same time the great traditions of the UK Civil Service - the very notion of public service - were broken as workers in the public sector were, and are., constantly denigrated by their employers.

There was massive resistance to the Thatcher project: even apart from the miners, the 1980s seemed to be about demos as people tried to express their anger about what was being done to them or what was being done in their name. Resistance, whether passive or active, was in the air and in the end it was resistance to the poll tax that ended her career.

But the crushing of the trade unions, taking the law back to the nineteenth century, has left the ordinary worker helpless before the large employer. Work for nothing internships?  Zero hours contracts? Immigrants used as virtual slave labour by gangmasters? 

And then HMRC’s entirely toothless policing of the minimum wage legislation leaves even the worst employers untouched while it fiddles around with RTI to annoy those who are trying to comply.

We are still living in Thatcher’s Britain: and we are not the better for it.

Comments

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The points about employees    1 thanks

Anthony123 | | Permalink

are entirely valid, though how far down to her and how far to other causes who knows.

Certainly the onset of "outsourcing" made it a field day for cutting costs by worsening working conditions for the lowest paid. Which have then perversely been paid for by the taxpayer by the onset of tax credits to subsidise low wages.

WOW    10 thanks

Wiganer Elaine | | Permalink

Just out of curiosity, can you explain how she managed to win 3 successive general elections with an outright majority, if she was so obviously in favour of the rich and greedy?

It is a curious fact is it not that she was undefeated in a democratic election of the populace and ultimately deposed by her own cabinet on the question of Europe - as I understand it, she was against further integration and did not want Britain to be subservient to the non democratic monolith known as the EEC!

With regard to "the crushing of the unions" - perhaps if the ultra communist leaders of the unions at the time had operated in a more democratic fashion (eg Scargill should have balloted his members before taking them out on strike; Scargill should not have ignored the ballot held by the Nottinghamshire miners which showed a 70% majority opposition to going out on strike!) the unions would not have had to be so ruthlessly crushed?

She was also intensely proud of being British and acted in what she believed to be Britain's best interests, irrespective of whether or not this put her at the top of the popularity charts! I suppose though this is considered a grievous sin by certain sections of the British so called intelligentsia?

 

ShirleyM's picture

I agree with Simon    3 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

So I guess I am a dinosaur, too :)

Eventually, the capitalists who 'work hard' and 'earn' their money (Thatchers description!) will be the only ones with any spare cash, so the majority of their customers won't be able to afford to be customers any longer, and the capitalists businesses will go 'poof' and disappear .... like the dinosaurs. :)

Of course, the taxpayer (those who aren't wealthy enough to wriggle out of paying tax) will pick up the tab and pay the benefits that make up for the low wages.

Odd statistics    3 thanks

Shirley Martin | | Permalink

In the 1970's I attended an appalling comprehensive school as part a disastrous policy by the local Labour council.  As a clergyman's child there was no money to pay for an alternative.  Then we discovered that there was a Direct Grant school nearby where you paid according to your income.  I studied in my own time to pass the entrance exam but there was a problem.  The Labour council had previously funded scholarship places each year and now decided to stop doing so.  This meant that the the fees were going to increase substantially.

Fortunately Margaret Thatcher came to the rescue, as she had become aware that this was happening all over the country, and increased the Government grants to such schools.  I went to uni and trained as an ACA .  I qualified and now own my own home - a dream of mine since spending my childhood in tied and, usually, badly maintained accommodation.

I am most definitely not in the top 1% of the population - my highest tax rate is currently 20% - but thanks to Mrs T (as she was then) even my starting salary exceeded that of my clergyman father.

As for the unions, when trying to better myself by passing my school exams, I had to do my homework by oil lamp - thanks to the miners' strikes under Mr Heath.  Who were they helping?  Not me.  And I wasn't alone.  On Saturday the BBC reran the election night/morning after programme for the 1979 election.  It included a poll of voters' concerns.  The top one on the list?  Secondary picketing - at 91% of voters polled.

Kind regards

Shirley

Roger.Thornton's picture

ShirleyM    3 thanks

Roger.Thornton | | Permalink

I take it that unlike us you are not closing your office tomorrow morning as a mark of respect?

I’m fascinated. As a “socialist” accountant, which your comment suggests, and your stated belief that the “workers” should earn more, do you advise your clients to increase the wages they pay their employees, even though that reduces retained profits and therefore places the company at increased risk of future insolvency?

Similarly, as you clearly believe in the state having sufficient funds to pay for a vast welfare and benefits system, do you advise clients to pay more tax rather than less?

 Do you not find that your duty to your clients conflicts with the beliefs you have promoted?

I’m not in any way “having a go”, I genuinely fail to see how you can reconcile your duty to your clients with the political beliefs your comment suggests you hold.

 

davidwinch's picture

Sadly    6 thanks

davidwinch | | Permalink

Sadly Margaret Thatcher's legacy is a country without values.  Since 1979 the 'unacceptable face of capitalism' has come to appear acceptable.  Greed and selfishness have triumphed over responsibility and public service.

We live in a society in which there is no such thing as society.  No obligations are recognised - only 'wants'.

I don't believe that was Mrs Thatcher's vision of Great Britain.  I think she believed that people had obligations and responsibilities - not just entitlements.  The poor lady will be turning in her grave before she's even in one.

David

carnmores's picture

one word for this    5 thanks

carnmores | | Permalink

BULLSHIT

ShirleyM's picture

@Roger    3 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I explained my thoughts badly. I don't believe in propping up wages with welfare. I believe in people being paid a living wage.

I know some businesses are struggling, but there are also many large businesses squeezing their suppliers/contractors/employees while raking in record profits.

I guess the point I was trying to make (and badly) is that the lower paid people are being squeezed hard, so they need benefits, which needs taxpayers, but if people are earning less they pay less tax, and the circle continues. While unemployment is so high people will work for whatever they can get, and this situation is exploited by many to their own advantage.

carnmores's picture

WELL SAID    1 thanks

carnmores | | Permalink

DAVID 

Of course what the article    11 thanks

peterdell | | Permalink

Of course what the article omits is that in 1978 we had to go cap in hand to the IMF because we had run out of cash and because 1978 was a very different place from today you couldn't just wander up to the money markets and borrow more. We were in fact bankrupt. What had happened was that the Keynesian policies we had followed since the 40's no longer worked because additions to the money supply created more inflation, excessive pay demands and higher interest rates. Callaghan was actually forced by the IMF to introduce cuts which lead directly to The Winter of Discontent. Monetarism was born out of the fact that Keynesian policy had failed, and failed the UK more than other countries. As this country was the first to introduce monetarism mistakes were made and very bad mistakes. The introduction of monetarism meant that the government tried to control the money supply too tightly (they didn't allow for natural growth) and this lead to the decimation of industry in 1980-81. It was like a car smashing against a concrete wall. The Falklands war came along and gave the government breathing space and then by 1983 the economy had started to grow. These events lead to a landslide for the Tories in the election. The monetarists realised you couldn't stop the money supply from growing and that natural growth had to be included in economic forecasts. Boosted by north sea oil we then enjoyed a period of growth between 1983 to 1987 hence the next landslide at the election. The growth in wealth and prosperity of the western countries now using monetarist policies directly lead to the collapse of communism.

Unfortunately we then tied ourselves into the ERM and this put restrictions on our economy and sent the country into a much deeper recession in the early 1990's than should have happened. Our lucky fall from the ERM in the early nineties then allowed the country 16 years of growth at which time our country strengthened.

It is probably fair to say that overspending and greed in government and individual households, together with the failure of regulation of the banks and companies has lead to the recession from 2008 onwards.

 

From an economic perspective I fail to see how Thatcher, love her or loathe her, has contributed to today's problems. There has been 20 years since she was in power and I can't help feeling that many people are trying to assign the problems of today onto a period when the key argument at the time was whether the state should control resources or whether this should be left to individuals and markets. The failure of regulation is clearly down to recent politicians, and the bonus and greed culture of excessive directors pay which only grew up in the nineties is something that both parties have failed to deal with. It is however handy for politicians to lay the blame elsewhere.

I doubt there is any serious politician who calls for re-nationalisation, and the bitterness felt by the far left is that the legacy of communism and the failure of the state to improve prosperity for all has left only one option. This is capitalism and the markets.

However there are different versions of capitalism and the one we have at the moment is very unsatisfactory. Wealth is largely untaxed, rules are introduced to benefit the politicians and their friends and the poor are left increasingly desperate. Countries are invaded to grab resources and the only word on the street is self. I would go so far as to say that the whole idea of capitalism, free markets and consumer choice is being undermined by greed and self interest.

 

 

 

 

 

If Margaret Thatcher    4 thanks

Anthony123 | | Permalink

was as great at understanding our economy and sorting out our long term economic problems as the above suggests, then we should not be in the mess we are today.

If her policies had been so successful then why by 1997 did the country chose a Labour government for the next 13 years?

The failure of regulation started in the 1980s, under Margaret Thatcher, with something called the "Big Bang".

The selling off of council houses in effect gave large numbers of people an asset to borrow against and contributed to the economic problems of the early 90s. Which problems are often now conveniently forgotten (like 14% interest rates?)

 

 

Rose tinted    9 thanks

Peter Cane | | Permalink

Sorry Simon, but I have to disagree.

I don't normally like to comment on political matters on Aweb, but you have a very rose-tinted view of the seventies. I was a 17 year old lad, still in the 6th form at the time of Maggie's victory in 1979. I can well remember the power cuts etc in the early to mid seventies and the winter of discontent in 1978/9. The unions were all powerful and were destroying British industry, British Leyland and Red Robbo being a prime example.

Far from crushing the unions, Maggie merely took away the power of the union barons and gave the British workers their rights back. If Arthur Scargill had not been so stubborn and had ordered a ballot of the NUM members in 1984, he would have received a convincing mandate for strike action and the outcome of the miners' strike in that year might have been totally different. As it was, he split the miner's union and alienated many of his own members and other workers.

Maggie was not perfect and I did not agree with her on everything, but she was in my opinion the greatest Prime Minister in my lifetime.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

It is a long term project ...    4 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... when Labour got in, my own humble opinion was that the Baroness had done the needful, trimmed the waste, tamed the union trotsky's, and cleared the decks for a strong resurgence, which had it been well managed would have allowed focused spending on health and welfare, where needed on a means tested basis.

The reason they lost power was mainly people wanted jam today, they were bored with the Tories, and more importantly the Tories were too busy infighting.

Labour knew this and maintained the Tory policies for the first term pretty much, so they could get a second term (knowing they could take the credit for the good times that were just starting) and then they could show their true colours and set the rot well and truly in.

I will always aver that the economy had been left in such a good state even the profiligate policies of labour couldn't wreck it before they could steal a third term, which was a smuch due to the disarray the Tories were in still -back-stabbing and in fighting as ever.

It was probably around (1997 ish) I lost faith in party politics, I am apolitical these days - I vote from respect for those who died to give me that right and vote the the least despised, not the most liked. I don't subsribe to labels, I look at each case on merit - and if there were a "none of the above" box on a voting slip I would use it.

Never let the facts stand in the way ...    3 thanks

JC | | Permalink

Of entrenched views about miners etc.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2308755/Which-PMs-sacked-miners-...

As someone said on the radio earlier - it was the will of the people who elected Mrs T (not just once) to curb the unelected power of the unions. They had previously brought down two Governments. In other words a mandate was given to her by the majority of the electorate in just the same way as they could have removed her from office

Why is it that those in opposition to her always seem to bend the truth to suit their views?

And as for anyone under 30 years old (Facebook revolutionaries!) - did they live through it and what has formed their current views except possibly a stream of left rhetoric and bile which conveniently ignores reality to fit their agenda?

Of course bling entrenched view (closed minds) are almost impossible to persuade, but maybe doing a bit of their own research would give a clearer picture of reality

ShirleyM's picture

That's funny, JC    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Who is to say which 'side' has the closed minds? I assume it is anyone who disagrees!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

But, what we'll never know ...    3 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... (although imagining gives me nightmares) is where we would be if she hadn't won in 1979?

Roger.Thornton's picture

Glad to see    2 thanks

Roger.Thornton | | Permalink

I am glad to see that the "protests" were a complete failure and were totally ignored by the media. 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

@Shirley    1 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

that's why I don't like labels - as soon as you give a label you put whatever in a box and "close" it.

Those who call her "evil" have a strange understanding of the word though!

But, you cannot blame her for how people interpreted her views. I don't personally beleive she thought greed was good, and I think she would be disappointed with those who didn't assume a mantle of integrity and responsibility to go with their rewards and privileges.

A bit of not could you but should you!

k743snx's picture

Mrs T    3 thanks

k743snx | | Permalink

"if her policies had been so successful then why by 1997 did the country chose a Labour government for the next 13 years?"

 

If her policies were so appalling, then why did this same Labour administration fail to overturn them? They were given enough time by the voters.

Mr Sweetman is entitled to his views and opinions, but my understanding of these boards is that they should be apolitical and objective (and accounting-related) as far as reasonably possible. I notice this isn't the first time he's had a poke at the Conservatives. There are plenty of other forums out there if he wants to argue politics.

FWIW, I've seen many comments on Mrs Thatcher by her opponents over the last week - ranging from the obscene to grudging respect. What I've seen very little of is what alternatives there were at the time of her gaining power and how they would have been implemented.

 

ShirleyM's picture

@OGA    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I honestly believe she was the instigator of greed & selfishness. It is now seen as acceptable to be selfish & greedy, and no longer any need to be honest & fair. There is no stigma to ripping off the taxpayer for millions.

Maybe she didn't intend her words to be interpreted as they have been, but the results have been devastating all the same.

Closed mind ....    1 thanks

JC | | Permalink

@ShirleyM

Not about disagreement or debate but more about ..

Anyone who ignores the facts in favour of rhetoric or adjusts reality to suit their own agenda - i.e. perpetrating lies for their own purposes

Which is why the following comment was made

'.. maybe doing a bit of their own research would give a clearer picture of reality ..'

ShirleyM's picture

@JC    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I didn't think I needed to research my own experiences :(

I do hope you are not including me in the following comment:

"Anyone who ignores the facts in favour of rhetoric or adjusts reality to suit their own agenda - i.e. perpetrating lies for their own purposes"

Old Greying Accountant's picture

This is a blog ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

k743snx wrote:

Mr Sweetman is entitled to his views and opinions, but my understanding of these boards is that they should be apolitical and objective (and accounting-related) as far as reasonably possible. I notice this isn't the first time he's had a poke at the Conservatives. There are plenty of other forums out there if he wants to argue politics.

I agree if he said this in the forum's it would be out of order, but on blogs and timeout anything goes as long as not insulting, abusive or obscene etc - no one makes you read it!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

@ Shirley ...    5 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... that may be, but I honestly believe that was not the intended consequence.

My view is she wanted people to be paid a fair days pay, but they needed to do a fair days work (without demarkation, work to rule, etc.etc.) and she was also sick of the state draining the work ethic out of people with onerous tax, compounded by waste and inefficiency in the spending of that revenue.

I agree the pendulum swung too far, but it has gone way too far back the other way.

For any faults, she was far better for the country than Tony Blair, she was honest and did things because she thought they were right, not because she thought they would keep her in power.

However, greed and selfishness are the raw human condition, she was not responsible for it, it was always there but in check by a sense of national identity, by law seen to be fair and by strong parenting - backed up to a degree by a strong church. The erosion of these checks and balances has more to do with the drip drip drip of liberal drivel from the Guardianista and the cloud cuckoo land politics of Clegg and Cable than from the Baroness.

ShirleyM's picture

@OGA - please explain    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Why shouldn't Simon have his say? It was the same with the article in Any Answers. We are all entitled to our views, whether it is one personal alone, or a 'gang' of people in agreement. Is it a prerequisite that you only post in Any Answers if you agree with one view alone?

ShirleyM's picture

@OGA    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I respect your view, but I disagree with it.

I have not stated that I believe it was the intended consequence, but greed and selfishness was the result all the same.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Read it again ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:

Why shouldn't Simon have his say? It was the same with the article in Any Answers. We are all entitled to our views, whether it is one personal alone, or a 'gang' of people in agreement. Is it a prerequisite that you only post in Any Answers if you agree with one view alone?

... I didn't say he shouldn't, someone else did and I was refuting that, as long as that comment is on a blog or time out, and not on the accounting forum!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Exactly ...    2 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:

I respect your view, but I disagree with it.

I have not stated that I believe it was the intended consequence, but greed and selfishness was the result all the same.

... I understand and respect your view, big difference though between setting out to do something but pretending you are acting in the public good and treating the population as foolish young children who don't know what's best for them (Tony Blair) and acting in what you believe is the public good openly and honestly, treating them with respect and allowing them to make their own decisions, for good or bad. and having unintended consequences (Baroness Thatcher).

ShirleyM's picture

Read again    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

I agree if he said this in the forum's it would be out of order, but on blogs and timeout anything goes as long as not insulting, abusive or obscene etc - no one makes you read it!

There has been a misunderstanding! I asked why he couldn't have his say in Any Answers, and why his comments would be 'out of order'?

ShirleyM's picture

So ....    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... I understand and respect your view, big difference though between setting out to do something but pretending you are acting in the public good and treating the population as foolish young children who don't know what's best for them (Tony Blair) and acting in what you believe is the public good openly and honestly, treating them with respect and allowing them to make their own decisions, for good or bad. and having unintended consequences (Baroness Thatcher).

I guess people who commit manslaughter don't intend to do it, and it isn't as bad as murder, but that doesn't excuse what they do.

Anyway ... I'll agree to disagree, and hope you will do the same.

Roger.Thornton's picture

The other point of view    3 thanks

Roger.Thornton | | Permalink

Just to put the cat among the pigeons, I think that Maggie was the best thing that ever happened to this country - apart from winning the World Cup in 1966 obviously :)

Before she came to power we were crippled by strikes leading to the 3 day week. The unions were too powerful and totally undemocratic. They would have turned Britain into another North Korea with a brainwashed population. Maggie took them on and forced them to ballot their members instead of dictating what their members did.

She took on the EU and it is clear to me that if she was still Prime Minister we would not now be bankrolling the  excesses and waste of Brussels.

She showed her strength when Argentina invaded the Falklands and made it clear that as a nation we would not be pushed around by tin-pot dictatorships.

She instilled a work ethic in the nation and tore down the class barriers showing that anyone, whatever their background, could succeed.

And even in death, she has shown us how devisive and vile “the left” can be with the disgraceful actions yesterday of Skinner and Galloway trying to stop members of Parliament attending her funeral.

Yes, I’m a fan of Baroness Thatcher. Sadly the country has no one fit to take her place.

Precisely what was meant ...

JC | | Permalink

@ShirleyM

About wilfully misrepresenting a situation by statement or innuendo to gain traction for ones point of view

'.. I guess people who commit manslaughter don't intend to do it, and it isn't as bad as murder, but that doesn't excuse what they do ..'

In this situation - is likening manslaughter to Mrs T really a worthy response from an intelligent person?

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Because ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... any answers is for Any Answers, not for any rants. But why not pick on K743snx, they didn't want any comment period.

If someone asks is council tax deductible for tax if you work from home, a rant about the injustices of the poll tax isn't helpful. I have no problem with people voicing views, I am not a hypocrite!, but it annoys me when following a thread if they are diverted by someone venting their spleen. In the case of Simon, he is a very good Aweb user and confines his opinions to Blogs and Discussions and doesn't clutter Any Answers with them.

Persoannly, I don't care, but the site will not work as people will be turned off if Any Answers is filled with diatribes and rantings, and it will cease to be an effective source of learning.

ShirleyM's picture

@JC    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I mentioned manslaughter, NOT because it related to Thatcher, but because totally unrelated arguments were being included, eg. people not doing research, people making up things, Tony Blair, so I thought I would join the fray and throw in my own totally irrelevant & unrelated  comment.

I guess that makes the lot of us unintelligent, eh?

You can carry on having a pop at me. I won't defend myself so you can really let rip!

@OGA - I didn't 'pick on' anyone. I wanted to understand why you thought that Simon should not air his comments in Any Answers, when there is already a long thread of comments (or rants!).

1997 and following on    1 thanks

peterdell | | Permalink

To answer one of the questions above the reasons the conservatives lost the 1997 election was:

 

1. They were in charge at the time of the ERM shambles and they lost all economic credibility at this date.

2. They failed to invest in Education and Health something that was desperately needed by 1997.

3. There was a feeling in 1997 for the need for change.

4. The corruption and sexual scandals in the conservative party in the mid 1990's was at all time high.

Who can forget David Mellors toe sucking.

The poor chap who died in some bondage act

Brown envelopes

Cash for questions.

The MP who was jailed

Every week there was something else and by 1997 they were unelectable. Have to say apart from the chap who died it was highly entertaining.

However in 1997 anyone could have taken over the economy and it would have been a success. We had falling interest rates, falling unemployment and falling inflation. Something the economists couldn't understand. The question should really be how did the conservatives win the 1992 election? In both elections the economy was not a major factor. In 1997 the public services needed cash and Tony Blair tapped into the mood of the nation hence his large landslide and then we had 13 years of labour. However 1997 was seven years after Thatcher retired. 

I wish the debate would not be centered around today's issues and projected as if these were arguments from 20 years ago.

 

 

Talking of miners    3 thanks

Shirley Martin | | Permalink

As we were 8 hours ago (I've only just got in) .....

Standing alongside me earlier today (100 yards from St Paul's Cathedral, 9 rows back) was the brother of a former miner.  He told me that, prior to Mr Scargill's strike, Mrs T had offered to invest £800 million to redevelop the mines rather than close down what were viewed as unproductive ones.

The bosses were in favour but Mr Scargill wasn't.  His brother had wanted to vote against strike action but was denied a ballot (as Peter Cane has noted) by Mr Scargill.  As a result of a strike he didn't want, his mine was closed.

Kind regards

Shirley

[EDIT] Forgot to say - people now have to vote before they strike.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

@ ShirleyM    1 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

Now I'm completely lost, looked through last half dozen pages of Any Answers, a few should may be have been in Time Out, but all seem accounting related - couldn't see the long thread of rants to which you refer.

But Simon posted on his blog, which to me is the appropriate place so I can't see why you are picking at my comment when an other said he should not have posted at all and they remain uncommented upon.

ShirleyM's picture

lol @OGA

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I thought I was the only one with a crappy memory!

Here's the link .... I am pretty sure you posted in the thread so I will put it down to senility (it's catching!!!!!!)    :)

http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/anyanswers/question/margaret-thatcher

It's even made it into the 'most commented' section on the home page.

@OGA ... why don't you believe me when I said I wasn't picking on you? Your comments didn't (and still don't) make sense to me, so I thought I had misunderstood and I politely asked for clarification. I ignored the 'another' as I have been slammed down myself for expressing similar views (but not in reference to Simon!).

I was maybe a little sarcy over the 'rants' (or ironic, depending on your point of view). You said Simon was ranting ... but his comments were no worse than those (from both camps!) in the Any Answers thread, but the thread hasn't been pulled, so I assume the 'ranting' wasn't abusive.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

@ ShirleyM ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... OK, I give you that, but realy that thread should have been on Time Out, but, it was asking a question (so Any Answers is within the realms!) this OP was just a diatribe from Simon.

I think if you read my posts again though, I do not once say Simon was ranting (and I haven't edited any before posting this :o) ) I was pretty much defending his right to post his views and congratulating him on choosing the right platform!

That said, nothing like a good rant on AWeb - very cathartic, and spares the dog having to endure it on our constitutional (she has to put up with poetry instead).

Paul Scholes's picture

It is with great relief...    2 thanks

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

that she and all the McCarthyist hype she engendered in death and well as life can now be relegated to history along with the fingers down throat image of George Osborne crying at having been told by the IMF he's cocking up the economy (I swear if you cut him you'd see sparks and a milky fluid).

I've no doubt that I and others have over-egged Thatcher's influence on things since she was dumped by her party and the country (just to remind people) but so too has the influence of the handful, and they really were a handful, of figurehead union leaders whose only answer to debate was to shout louder than the other person.

The belligerence and intransigence of the unions didn't just happen out of the blue (or red), it was as a result of prolonged poor pay and working conditions in which the employers had enjoyed and misused their power.  People forget that this wasn't just the miners kicking up a fuss, it was practically every large industry and public sector, millions of people were not happy with their lot and this was whipped up by tribalism spouted by the union leaders.

The UK was not a happy place, I remember, but then, as in so many countries before and since, along comes a strong, belligerent, intransigent, strutting figure who promised much and spouted all the stuff the other tribes wanted to hear. 

What the county needed was someone to bring harmony, to let the conflict take it's natural path and to broker discussion and compromise, but from her views on South Africa, Chile, and the Irish "all liars" she didn't have it in her, so, like so many leaders before and since, she used her vastly superior power to impose "peace".

She was no better or worse than Scargill, she just had more power, and she let the county down by creating a tidal wave of privilege, for the few, that finally ran aground in 2008. Unbridled anything is unhealthy but when it's deregulation of the financial markets mixed with blinkered belief that those in charge of the money will balance the interests of the country with their own "needs", it's also inexcusable.

It was a lovely warm day where I was, the cold and bitterness of the past few weeks finally lifted and it was good to see they used horses to save a bit of money & CO2. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever you think of the man ...    2 thanks

JC | | Permalink

Personally I am not a fan - nevertheless ..

'.. fingers down throat image of George Osborne crying at having been told by the IMF he's cocking up the economy ..'

For god’s sake it was a personal moment of grief at a funeral, where cameras happened to catch the man in mourning

I sincerely hope that there are not cameras about when any of us attend our next funeral; so that commentators cannot publically ridicule our own grief on bulletin boards

There must be something about the internet that seems to strip contributors of all sense of propriety or feeling in order to vent their opinion when silence would be more dignified - what about respect for the dead and those who mourn?

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I would agree ...    3 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... that things could have been handled differently, but I don't think the alternatives had any more ability to broker discussion and compromise, and Scargill and the union barons were in no better mood for compromise either.

The main fact is the millions who were unhappy were in large scale manufacturing/mining etc, all of which were being done cheaper and more efficiently overseas in what was already an emerging global economy. What was needed was not capitulation to militant trotskyite unions, but investment and training to ready our workforce for the inevitable changes.

Labour had 13 years to reverse this and decided instead to import cheap labour from overseas, the way I see it.

The greed and selfishness is grossly unfair to blame on any one person (are we not responsible for our own actions?), but, from where I stand, the rot set in nearly two decades pre Thatcher with the "swinging sixties" where the pure and simple true hippy culture of doing your own thing but respecting other people was misrepresented and led to the I'll do what I like and sod the rest attitude still prevelant (but more so). This was well in evidence whilst I was at school in the seventies, long before the Baroness took up the reins of power.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I do agree ...    3 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

JC wrote:

Personally I am not a fan - nevertheless ..

'.. fingers down throat image of George Osborne crying at having been told by the IMF he's cocking up the economy ..'

For god’s sake it was a personal moment of grief at a funeral, where cameras happened to catch the man in mourning

I sincerely hope that there are not cameras about when any of us attend our next funeral; so that commentators cannot publically ridicule our own grief on bulletin boards

There must be something about the internet that seems to strip contributors of all sense of propriety or feeling in order to vent their opinion when silence would be more dignified - what about respect for the dead and those who mourn?

... as inevitably you go to more and more funerals as you age, I find each more difficult than the last, a combination of the accumulated grief from each loss, plus the nearing of your own demise. When my nan died in 1996 I head been to few funerals, by the time I attended my late friend's mothers funeral last year I had seen both parents, my father-in-law, my grandmother, plus several other family members off, as well as some clients who were also dear friends. Each funeral those feelings all come back, and I would easily have expected David Cameron and Gordon Brown to have a glint in their eyes too, having both suffered the tragedy of losing children,  

All this money    1 thanks

justsotax | | Permalink

and hot air wasted on just another self serving ego tripping politician who always suggests there is a price to pay (or worth paying) but it is never their family, friends or colleagues who are likely to come close to being the ones to pay the price.

 

I was in primary school when the bins weren't being collected pre 1979 (and actually enjoyed the electricity shortages....candles out - it was kinda exciting)....not really sure what Mrs T provided...but much the same as Mr Blair...she was the dawning of new hope in politics following a miserable time....and as all politicians do failed in the long term.  

 

Perhaps it was because i missed out on buying a council house on the cheap (under Blair as long as you had a house you made).  Perhaps its the sadness of british lives lost, at the cost of millions many miles away from our shores (make your pick, blair or thatcher).  Either way self interest is always the order of the day.....so why we blow further millions we can ill afford on these people i am not sure....perhaps instead those who really loved her should join the tory party and contribute in their own way.

ShirleyM's picture

Eh???

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Talk about spin!

Where did Paul mention George Osborne crying at the funeral, and why twist what he said to mean something he never intended?

It reminds me of this comment:

Anyone who ignores the facts in favour of rhetoric or adjusts reality to suit their own agenda - i.e. perpetrating lies for their own purposes

@ShirleyM - Various …    1 thanks

JC | | Permalink

'.. You can carry on having a pop at me. I won't defend myself so you can really let rip! ..'

Not about having a pop at anyone ... although it is a masterful play (injured party) to deflect from the underlying points. Unfortunately we see this approach in so many walks of life when people become uncomfortable and want to shut down debate

More about clarity and putting forward a cogent point of view for debate without the emotional knee jerk action (understandable but possibly not relevant) that this subject engenders. In fact I agree with a great deal you say about fairness and equality, just go off message with some socialist sentiments and the extreme animosity towards someone who is now deceased

George Osborne

‘..Talk about spin! - Where did Paul mention George Osborne crying at the funeral, and why twist what he said to mean something he never intended? ..’

Exactly what was referred to earlier – smear by innuendo

What spin – in reality a logical association? Possibly a coincidence (stretching a point) that GO crying at Mrs T funeral was publicised and within hours posts (tweets etc.) appear all over the internet (including Aweb) about GO in tears about the IMF (just Google it & see)

Anyway lets clarify by asking  @Paul Scholes what was meant by the comment – over to you @Paul; please clarify

Adjusting facts

‘..Anyone who ignores the facts in favour of rhetoric or adjusts reality to suit their own agenda - i.e. perpetrating lies for their own purposes ..’

Of course those who massage facts for their own point of view cannot be described in any other way

The very fact that it has caused such angst must have meant that it contained a grain of truth – otherwise, why else all the fuss?

would accept most things    1 thanks

justsotax | | Permalink

JC - but as 'we' have had to contribute to someone else's funeral it kinda opens it up to every one to comment.....perhaps a private funeral would have been better for all.....

Old Greying Accountant's picture

There is much I object too ...    1 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... about what "we" have to pay for, and I will voice my opinions on that, as is anyones right. But those opinion's are relevant to the issue and not a carte blanche invitation to make personal attacks of individuals.

Doesn't worry me, the empty vessels and all that ...

£10m seems a bargain ...    2 thanks

JC | | Permalink

@justsotax

'.. To this date, Margaret Thatcher's EU rebate has saved this country's taxpayers some £75 billion ..'

Once again we need the whole story - not edited versions to fit our point of view

As an aside It is interesting that a great many posting against Mrs T are flagged with thanks (generally 1 thanks) !

I    4 thanks

justsotax | | Permalink

just wonder what she did with the billions she got from selling BT etc...and that North Sea Oil...

 

Not sure I care how much she apparently 'saved' this country (if its based upon figures prepared by the government one worries if they managed to get the decimal point in the right place)....or are you suggesting that where all of us have contributed to a saving we should have a contribution made to our funeral....?

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Simon Sweetman was an inspector of taxes for 18 years. He left the Inland Revenue in 1989 to join Chartered Accountants Scrutton Goodchild & Sanderson, later part of Scrutton Bland, where he was successively a senior manager and later a partner. He has been an independent consultant since 2001. He is a former member of the tax policy unit of the Federation of Small Businesses and the small business working group of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.