Lest we forget – Margaret Thatcher

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Sir,

THE obituary has already been written for Baroness Thatcher.

All newspapers have these ready for when any well known person dies. They will say how she changed the political landscape; how she dominated the political scene in the 80s and so on.

As people’s memories seem short, let us look at what she accomplished and how it still affects us now.

Let’s not forget she ruled over 3m, 290,000 unemployed. People got used to living on benefits, their children got used to living on benefits, and an underclass was created that is still with us.

Drugs took over communities, crime went up and children’s aspirations lowered - ask any teacher.

She presided over the run-down of our manufacturing industries, coal, steel, engineering, and the switchover to sea-ice industries – banking, insurance and investment. Now we know what this has meant – it’s why we’re in the mess we’re now in!

The privatisation of rail was hastily pushed through. Although the rail network is, presumably, run by private companies, the Government has had to prop it up ever since by millions of pounds. Buses were deregulated – is your bus or train service any cheaper or better?

One former Tory Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, called privatisation “selling the family silver”. Gas, electricity, water – all were sold off making nice windfalls for a few, and providing comfortable Board positions for Tory Ministers.

The theory was that introducing competition in these areas would drive prices down. Most of these are now owned by foreign conglomerates – who take the profits.

Pit closures was also a blunder. Apart from causing unemployment. With energy sources dwindling, prices rising and, such as gas supplies coming from abroad, the millions of tons of coal beneath our feet look even more like a viable alternative. But it will cost millions to sink new pits – and who will mine them?

Restrictions were taken off law firms which allowed them to advertise with the result we have become a litigious society. Delivery drivers sue householders because they trip on their drives; parents sue schools because their child falls in the playground...

You can now be accosted at any time in the street by eager clipboard wielders with the cry: “Have you had an accident?”

Accordingly, all schools and other organisations are increasingly aware of the dangers – and activities are duly curbed.

Poll Tax brought massive protests; non-payments, and large-scale riots in London – after which we eventually got what we had before – a tax on property values!

The sale of council houses proved very popular, but that has had the repercussion that councils now do not have enough houses to meet demand.

She also came up with the theory that people at the top should command large salaries because this would “trickle down” through society. I’m still waiting for this trickle.

These are just a few examples of chickens coming home to roost.

People do have short memories. Hopefully, I’ve jogged a few... and perhaps they could provide more.

Barry Jackson,

Kilnhurst