Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Thatcher: The Female Führer

Looking back at the rhetoric and actions of Mrs T, one side of me and many respects the tackling of man ills in Britain and the rise of meritocracy she was both a symbol and protagonist for. The other side of me now remembers the bitterness she spoke of many landsmen and the lack of compassion for those once called " the enemy within"

"We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty"

which coupled to her middle-class-bourgeois "kulturkampf" can be easily likened to :

"Those nations who are still opposed to us will some day recognize the greater enemy within" 

: from another democratically elected leader, who also chose to demonise an otherwise productive sector of society,  Adolf Hitler.

So in remembering her rhetoric and lack of respect for communities which had once paved London streets with golden stock traders salaries,

I think of her also then as the Female Führer, with the miners and steel workers as her enemy within, her Jews and gypsies.

A culture of a life and family commitment to the two industries which subsidies or not, had built Britains wealth: the raw supply for value conversion which finds reward  on the stock market. Only the investment-. ROI was biased. The industries weren't modernised. The ironies are abundant: we imported subsidised coal from New Zealand and from the then communist Poland during the miners strike. After the planned downsizing, the command economy of reducing world capacity for steel closed one of the most productive mills in the world, Ravenscraig, it took only a few years for there to be a shortage of steel and a protected market in the US conserving its own capacity. That the union jack waving privatisations of Rover, and the stock market freedoms lead to the Germans and Chinese raking out our brands and technologies.

In the same way as Jewish citizens in 1920s Germany were often the most productive and enterprising peoples, who made many Christian Germans wary and lead to them being an easy target, so the steel and  coal workers were a productive backbone from the indsutrial revolution, through the war years and into the last great epoch of Britain as an manufacturing giant from the 50s to the early 70s. She demonised this class of workers who were dependent on their pits and mills, letting her own "

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