Monday, April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher: Rest In Peace

Margaret Thatcher, rest in peace.  

Margaret Thatcher changed the UK and especially the English-speaking world---all the way to New Zealand and Australia.  Like staunch conservative Churchill, she came to power in a time of chaos and crisis caused by socialist policies of the far left Labour Party in that country.  Out-of-control public expenditures on entitlements and industry supports led the UK to request an IMF in bailout loan in Sept 1976.  The IMF demanded budgetary restraint and devaluation.  The British pound was crashing at the time.  In 1979, the country was gripped by inflation and strikes called the 'winter of discontent.'   During the 1970s, the UK was known as the "poor man" of Europe in terms of GDP.   (If you think that this is not instructive to the current situation in the US, I believe that you are mistaken)

Margaret Thatcher, like Churchill, came to power in crisis to "save" Britain once again---this time from inflation, strikes and financial ruin.  Ronald Reagan also came to power in 1980, in the wake of the largely failed and left-leaning "malaise" administration of Carter, and also defeated rising inflation, cut taxes and boosted defense in the midst of the cold war.  Both Thatcher and Reagan created conditions of prosperity lasting decades and well past the Clinton administration.

From the Obit in the Financial Times (to follow the link, you'll need a subscription):
The developed world's first woman prime minister transformed a sclerotic UK economy, all but neutered the trade unions and endeavoured “to roll back the frontiers of the state” with a policy of offloading the great nationalised industries and selling council houses to their occupants. Abroad, she was the indomitable leader who won victory over Argentina in the Falklands war, who decided that Mikhail Gorbachev was a Soviet leader she could “do business with” and who inspired a respect for “Thatcherism” as a political philosophy that was never quite matched on the domestic front.
Well said.

I lived in Britain during some of the early Thatcher years in the 1980s.  When I arrived, she was in the middle of a confrontation with the labor unions led by coal mining union leader Arthur Scargill.   Scargill was a communist idiot.  His ideas HAD to be defeated.  In a way, Thatcher had to answer the question of "who's running this country?"   She decisively answered that the government ran the country and not the Unions.  To some extent, SHE ran the country! 

To give you some idea of how radically things changed after her, the next Labour PM, named Tony Blair, came to power with a demeanor and political philosophy quite similar to Thatcher's.  These policies eventually migrated all the way to socialist bastions of Australia and New Zealand.

But unlike Churchill, Thatcher still isn't held in high regard in the UK.  If you ask a British person, in general you'll get derisive comments about her. The British never seem to understand what's good for them or learn the lessons of history. That's the problem with The Left.  They have a faulty memory.  It's the same with the Democratic party in the US.  They never got (or remember) the lessons of the successes of the Reagan or Thatcher administrations nor the serial failures of European socialism.  So expect lukewarm comments from the likes of Piers Morgan and the US left-leaning media outlets.

The Brits promptly dumped Churchill after the war to pursue decades of disastrous socialist governments and policies culminating in the "winter of despair" in 1979.  Churchill had warned the people against taking the path of socialism but they didn't listen---just like they didn't listen to him about the rising danger of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s.  Like I said, the British never seem to know what's good for them.

People will keep saying how "divisive" Thatcher was.  The problem is that there are a lot of dumb asses out there who must be defeated and defeated decisively.  You can call that divisive, but one path is a proven failure: the failure of leftist policies that wrongly put the State and government in the driver's seat with ever rising taxation--- rather than free market capitalism.  Thatcher won 3 general elections.  She was wildly successful (judging by Labour successors adopting her policies), and created a much more prosperous Britain.  No longer is Britain the poor man of Europe.  Now France is headed in that direction with a lower per-capita income than Britain (by some measures).

She was stridently against communism alongside Reagan--which was controversial at the time--especially in Europe.  Of course Reagan and Thatcher were dead right.

Thatcher was dead set against joining the Euro currency and warned repeatedly, and ad nauseum, against a European supra-national government.  This led to her eventual defeat in 1990.  Judging by the events of recent years, she is completely and utterly vindicated in these convictions!  The Euro currency is a complete and utter disaster and the EU is like a political "circus act."  From the FT Obit:
As prime minister she had sanctioned the Single European Act, creating a genuine single market. Yet she hated any idea of a European superstate. In an outspoken speech at Bruges in 1988, she insisted: “We haven't worked all these years to free Britain from the paralysis of socialism only to see it creep in through the back door of central control and bureaucracy from Brussels.”
It's the socialism, stupid!

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