Wednesday, 10 April 2013



  1. By coincidence, I've been watching YouTube uploads of the 1971 BBC production of "Elizabeth R" with Glenda Jackson in the title role of Elizabeth I.

    I had no idea that she (Jackson) had gone into politics, so I was startled to see the old "Queen" talking about Thatcherism.

    Very nicely laid out it seems to me. And a nice counterpoint to the American media hype, full of unending praise for the British PM who, if you believe the spin, with her great love Ronnie Reagan brought down the Soviet "evil empire."

    I was struck by the fact that even though in poor health, she was in Washington for the Reagan State Funeral, and ironically was seated in Washington Cathedral next to Mikhail Gorbachev. She even boarded Air Force One with the Reagan party and made the almost six hour flight to California for the interment. She apparently liked the old boy. ;))

  2. Glenda Jackson was ...and is... a superb actress, whether playing serious roles or more frivolous ones... and today her delivery was superb.

    No one wants to rejoice at the death of the woman. Had she still been peddling her vile policies maybe her going would have been a blessing. But she wasn't. It's Camergoon and Milibug, Lamont and Clegg who are doing that on her behalf... and they are still more or less alive.

    But, every day people die. She got to 87. That's not a bad age. She was in recent years a relatively harmless senile old woman, who was fortunate enough to be able to live in the Ritz instead of one of the appalling nursing homes for geriatrics where they don't feed them and pump drugs into them to make them sleep most of the day.

    The gushing here has been quite extraordinary. Utterly sickening. It was good to hear someone who actually knew how it was, tell it like it was. Not this fairy tale we have been hearing.

    It all reminds me of a funeral of an uncle of mine. A bad tempered miserable old git, the minister conducting the funeral said a few words, all nice about him, and, sitting behind his two sons, I could see them look at each other as if to say... are we at the wrong funeral????

    Most of us don't recognise the woman they are talking about.

    The cost of this nonsense to a broke country is quite out of proportion to her worth.

    I think she was completely besotted with Reagan. He was probably in films when she was a lass and she was a fan. It would be like me working with Pet Clark. She copied all his policies. I don't think there was such a thing as Thatcherism. I think it was all Reaganomics ...and if I recall it wasn't even Reagan who came up with all that. It was his finance secretary.

  3. If you judge people by their friends then Maggie doesn't look so nice...Pinochet..mass murderer and torturer.

  4. Considering Jackson's 'friends' are socialists and all the odious mass murdering regimes they supported, I think Thatcher probably got off lightly from the bile the left normally spout.
    As for Thatcher copying Reagans economics, don't be silly, the economies of the UK and USA are not really comparable.

  5. @ Tris: Yes, Reagan's controversial Director of the Office of Management and Budget, David Stockman, was a young man during the five years he served in the Reagan administration, and is still occasionally seen on TV. As ideologically dedicated as he was to trickle down economics, he got in trouble by being too vocal about the problems in selling trickle down to the Congress and public. When he left the administration, he wrote a book in which he declared the failure of the "Reagan Revolution" in cutting government programs to offset the Reagan tax cuts and increased military spending.

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  7. PS: Not sure about the political context in Britain, but one thing that's as certain as the sunrise in the USA is that perfectly decent left leaning folk who have something nice to say about democratic socialism will be accused of favoring murderous totalitarian regimes which have had socialist economic systems. It’s a way of demonizing the political left that makes no rational sense, but it sure plays well on FOX news and among the inhabitants of the Republican right wing alternate reality bubble.

  8. Tris

    I am no fan of anything Labour but at least she had the balls to turn up and speak her mind, I would think that rather than not just turn up some others might have wanted to remind people of the shift to the right that the posh boys and the wanna be's are taking this country.

    I agree that it is not time to celebrate the passing of anyone but it is a timely reminder of what the Conservatives did to the UK and the way we are now moving back in this direction with the support of the 3 same/main parties.

    I used to say to my kids that I hoped they would never go through a lost decade like many did when I was a teen in the 80s but sadly they will and it's going to be worse. I really believe people will take to the streets again and we will see social discord in the UK again as this governments attacks on the most vulnerable continue. Thatcher has a lot to answer for, even today after she has gone her legacy is damaging the social fabric, or what was left of it, of this country.
    I won't celebrate her passing, for me that reduces me to their level, but I will never have a fond memory of the destruction she brought upon the industrial base in Scotland and the UK.

    One interesting thing to note though, Thatcher never saved the United Kingdom from financial ruin in 1979, the disovery of oil in 1976 did. 79 was the year the taxes srated to arrive. It's the same today, if there was no oil, we would be banging down the door of the IMF and things would be a lot worse, thats why Scotland staying in this unfair union is important, for now.


  9. Quite honestly I neither wept nor rejoiced at her demise - she simply did not matter any more. I hope that in her final years she had time to reflect and to greatly regret her actions in life so that she may not be judged too harshly wherever she has gone.

    John the Buddhist.

    Buddha said "Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little!

  10. I think the person who said this said it best

    The important thing is not that Thatcher is dead but that Thatcherism still lives on.

    Well done Glenda. I heard that Angus Robertson gave a good though short speech too.

    Tony B liar is back again in the Telegraph telling Miliband that Labour should be tough on "welfare" and there's no lurch to the left in Britain. Well good to know where we stand if it's a no vote then Tone.

  11. I think to be honest, I could care less. She did her damage long ago and as others have said she was an old woman. The only problem we have with regards to Thatcher is however the fact that her ideals are being carried forward by her "sons" Cameron,Clegg and Milliband!

    I have watched Angus Robertson's speech from yesterday and it is short,sweet and to the point.

    Last night I did inadvertently catch sight of Malcolm Rifkind giving his "lovey dovey" speech in the House of Commons. It had me reaching for the sick bucket in record time. :-)

  12. Yeah Monty. She was keen on some real horrors. She seemed to like Pinochet on the basis that he offered her air bases for her campaign against the Argentinians. He didn't do this because he liked her; he did this because if gave him an opportunity to do some rebalancing on the other side of Argentina. The Malvinas/Falklands was a great time for him. He wanted Galtieri distracted for as long as Mrs Thatcher's troops could go on.

    She seemed to forget that women who crossed him (unlike her who fawned over him) were subjected to subhuman torture, and that that he liked dropping people from aeroplanes into the Pacific ocean.

    She had a cozy relationship with Suharto too...I suppose because he bought solid British weapons to massacre his people, and they were only brown so it didn't matter.

    She invited Mr Savile for Christmas at Chequers every year that she was prime minister. I wonder how she entertained him... and if that was at our expense?

    I remember some Tory grandee saying that Dennis would NEVER have tolerated anything like that... Maybe ayes and maybe noes, but as Dennis spent most of his life pissed as a newt and wouldn't have interested himself with the downstairs rifraf, I shouldn't think he noticed where cook's daughter was!

  13. Oh yes, QM. I totally agree with you.

    British governments of both colours (if there is any difference between these colours now) are quite happy to have cordial relations with the scum of the earth. Indeed even her majesty was pleased to invite his majesty the king of Bahrain to her jubilee, fresh from another round of massacring his people with British weapons... and torturing the doctors who treated them for their injuries, aided and abetted by him majesty the king of Saudi Arabia.

    Funny how Cameron was so for the Arab spring some countries and providing weaponry to stop it in others...

    Jackson is a real socialist, yes. Possibly her "friends" are too. There are very few left. She cares more about the people who Thatcher ruined, than the ones who prospered under her reign.

    I don't think that it is silly to suggest that Thatcher copied Reagan's economic policies. They seem more or less identical to me. And it wouldn't bother her that they were ill-suited to the British (or rather English) economy.

    They were certainly disastrous for Scotland, which is why, from being a reasonably conservative country we went to having zero Tory MPs, and all this time later only have one, on the borders.

    Thatcher managed to do a Nick Clegg on the Tories in our country.

  14. LOL Danny. It works like that here. It plays well in the Daily Nail and the Telegraph.

  15. Bruce, John, Panda Paws and Arbroath:

    I think you all pretty much agree, as I do, that it is pointless to rejoice or weep at the death of an 87 year old that you didn't know personally, regardless of what she did in the past.

    From some people's point of view she saved Britain, but as Bruce said, it was oil that saved Britain. It allowed her to pursue her small state, get rid of industry and get rich quick, spiv policies.

    As PP says, Thatcherism lives on. Blair was the son of Thatcher (poor old Major never got a look in). Thatcherism played well in the southern counties of England where the bulk of the population lives. He grabbed something he could sell from it, something that would propel him to the top, for where he could get his filthy murdering, war criminal hands on laodsamoney... Mrs Thatcher's poster boy, living her dream.

    I really doubt that she regretted any of it, John. She was surrounded by starry eyed sycophants who probably told her how wonderful she was, and relived the sinking of the Belgrano on an almost daily basis. Rejoice at that news.

    Like you, I was and am, indifferent to her death. The harm she did was already done. Blair couldn't have been Blair without her (actually neither could Major and his rail privatisation); Cameron would never have dared do what he is doing if she hadn't moulded the minds of people that it is wrong to be poor, and good to be rich, no matter how you do it.

    I heard some of Rifkind on the radio (and I found bits of it amusing to be honest), Arbroath.

    I also heard some of the lords, including old Tebbit saying that he would never have left her if he had known that she would be stabbed in the back. .. a go at Ken Clark and the rest of the cabinet of the time.

    It was a day of slobbering over an old dead friend for most of them. Nothing wrong with that. I guess many old people do that, quite reasonably, blotting out the bad and highlighting the good. La vie en rose! The problem is that they did it at our expense, which might be OK if we could afford it!

    Bercow, for whom I normally have no time at all, queried the recall of the Commons, saying that it was only done in times of emergency, but Cameron insisted. This is the bit of being a prime minister that he can actually do, and as a result, he enjoys.

    But, the death of an old woman is not an emergency. The tributes could have been made at her wake, or in the Commons, or Lords in their own time, sometime next week. It's not like she was going to hear them.

    The things that annoy me most about it is that we have had this endless news about her (I still maintain we should look carefully to find out if Cameron has slipped out something horrific while everyone was looking the other way), and the cost that our broke country has to bear.

    Let those who liked her and whom she liked (and helped) pay.

  16. I liked Mr Murray's short piece on this:

    "In the week they took hundreds of pounds from people in severe poverty, MPs and Lords claim up to £3,750 each to return from their luxury holidays to spout off in honour of Margaret Thatcher. Meantime the media are busy classifying any potential protest or expression of opinion at the taxpayer funded funeral jamboree as “potential terrorism”.

    "Whether protest at the funeral is tasteful or not is a fair question. But there is no question it is perfectly lawful. There is virtually no understanding of the very notion of civil liberty in the mainstream media."

  17. Thatcher and the words no one mentions: North Sea Oil

    Her 'conviction' would have been nothing but folly without the North Sea's black gold. It was oil revenues that bankrolled the unemployment, the destruction of manufacturing, the high-exchange rate, the termination of British coal mining, and the big-bang that turned London into a capital of global neo-liberalism and pumped growth into the South-East in the early 1980s

  18. I sent an e-mail of thanks, to Glenda, for being one of the few who had the courage to speak the truth about Thatchers legacy.

  19. I am at a loss as to understand why Westminster was reconvened on Wednesday. As you point out Tris there was NO emergency, at least not as far as I am aware.

    Was there an outbreak of the plague?.....NO
    Was there great pestilence across the land?...NO
    Was the whole country under six feet of water?....NO
    Was there another great fire of London?......NO
    Were we within 45 minutes of extermination from Syria?....NO
    Had North Korea launched a missile attack on Scotland?....NO
    What had happened that required such an immediate response from the M.P.'s?.......oh Thatcher died on Monday. THAT was it!

    I agree with you Bercow for once stood up and did his job, yet despite this Cameron OVER RULES him. Questions really need to be asked of Cameron, Clegg and Milliband as well, apparently they all agreed to recall of parliament.

    There is NOTHING that was discussed/debated yesterday that could NOT have waited until Monday when parliament resumes as normal!

  20. To keep the Ding Dong theme going, is Glenda the Good Witch of the North?

  21. The problem was set out by a guy on Scotland Tonight two nights ago when they discussed the party in George Square. In among the expected indignation, he merely pointed out that it was important, in among all the pomp and occasion of a state funeral, not to lose sight of just how much of a nutter she was and the ruinous effects her policies had when she was in power and there-after.

    I don't agree with dancing on the grave of a deceased old dear, but I also don't think what she did should be glossed over by GB-coloured paint filtered through the prism of nostalgia.

  22. Yes, CH. It's what I was trying to say somewhere up there, a good deal less elegantly than this person.

    Good article.

  23. Well said Anon (Bruce?). It probably took a bit of guts to get up and say that in the face of a hostile audience that chattered through most of it.

  24. LOL. Indeed she is Conan...

  25. There's been too much of the rose coloured specs and "don't speak ill of the dead, Pa.

    It OK for people who liked her to mourn her, and it's Ok for people who didn't to point out that she ruined the country. Fair enough it was pretty much ruined anyway, but mismanagement in every way since Clem Atlee handed back to Winston Churchill in his dotage, and drunk as a puggy before 11 am most days.

    But she compounded it. Where she could have repaired she threw out and she paid for it with our oil.

    So twice in a lifetime these people have wasted money on their projects. Marshall Plan money was spent on the development of nuclear technology for the bomb; and oil money was wasted on turning the country into one big corrupt bank.

    Now, before it's all gone, can we have it back, in competent hands to do US some bloody good.

    I don't believe in dancing on people's graves. There is absolutely no point. But I do think we need to remember she she was a dangerous mad weirdo who wrecked what was left of Britain after the 50s, 60s and 70s and left us with Blair!

    And he'll get the same treatment when he goes too!