Dancing on graves and rewriting history: Ann Tanner on Thatcher’s legacy
Margaret Thatcher began the process that finds us where we are now, she destroyed British industry so that the working class could be defeated and began the neoliberal agenda that deregulated finance capital that led to the disaster in 2008.
The present government would not have been able to get away with their murderous policies if it were not for the ground she prepared in the 80’s. The Labour party finally lost all pretence of being the party of the working class.
It is thanks to Margaret Thatcher that you face the your hopeless situation. While I never feel comfortable about dancing on anyone’s grave I’ll make an exception in this case.
Except the “process”, as Tanner refers to it started under Harold Wilson’s Labour administration:
In 1969 when Barbara Castle as Labour’s Secretary of State for Employment, was trying to introduce curbs on the trade unions with her bill “In Place of Strife” she was the most despised woman in politics. After the bill was withdrawn and Labour was defeated in the 1970 election, it was another generation before its finer points were resurrected by none other than the late Margaret Thatcher.
It was the failure of the trade union movement to organise effectively that allowed much of Barbara Castle’s proposed legislation to be introduced by the later Thatcher governments, starting with the Employment Act in 1980, following Jim Callaghan’s “Winter of Discontent” in 1978-79.
And if proof of this failure were needed , only 39% of union members voted for Labour candidates in the 1983 general election.