Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Thatcher

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  • Raymond A Francis,

    That is ,for someone from the left, a fair summing up of the Lady
    Some people seem to have forgotten what a basket case the UK was then
    I am sure it could have been do better but it had to be done

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    here's my play list for the day:

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd,

    In other countries, New Zealand included, the move to a new era of production was achieved pragmatically


    (On edit: I need an explicit definition of "pragmatically" to make any sense of this claim).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    and of course there's: http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/

    Iain Banks is quoted:
    "It's not over; we live with her legacy still (in the glorification of greed, the denigration of the idea of public service and the privatisation of financial return along with the nationalisation of debt we have just seen in our financial systems, apart from anything else). Margaret Thatcher did everything in her very considerable power to make greed fashionable and turn naked selfishness from a vice into a virtue, and I find that beyond unforgivable. It is partly due to her that we live in a world divided into the super-rich and everybody else, with the poor, the starving and the exploited of the world scrabbling for the crumbs of a civilization that values money beyond everything else. I fully intend to piss on her grave (no matter how long the queue) and believe me she's still getting off lightly."

    Hurry up, get her in the ground, the clock is ticking on that

    and of course people are celebrating

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    Oh yes and there's CNN's goof today:


    (collecting for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)

    they both screwed miners

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    In other countries, New Zealand included, the move to a new era of production was achieved pragmatically


    In newspapers, it absolutely was. When I started at the Christchurch Star in 1981, they’d just gone through the change, retiring the old compositional technology in favour of a computer-based system. In consultation with the trade unions involved, workers were retrained and the large majority kept their jobs. It took years for the changes to fully play out, but there was a general recognition that this was the sensible way forward.

    That didn’t happen in Britain. When I went to work there in 1986, I couldn’t believe how primitive things were. As The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger has noted, his newspaper owes a debt to Murdoch for breaking the union lock on the way newspapers could be produced.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    No Bragg ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    In newspapers, it absolutely was.

    Ok, I didn't read that sentence as confined to newspapers.

    I was thinking of NZ's transformation in the 80s, along the same lines as the UKs, and having trouble understanding how that could be described as pragmatic.

    Raymond says;

    I am sure it could have been do better but it had to be done

    This implies that what was done was fundamentally right, and flawed only in execution. I disagree. Something needed to be done, to be sure, but this is just recycling the myth that There Is (was) No Alternative.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    No Bragg ?

    I know what you mean, the 80s for me was largely sitting in freezing student flats listening to Bragg, but here's what he has to say today.

    "This is not a time for celebration. This is a salient reminder of how Britain got into the mess that we are in today."

    Mitch Benn has described living in Scotland under Thatcher as like living under a foreign occupation. That Thatcher's legacy is what's happening in Britain right now: the feeling that, if you are of a certain 'class', your own government despises you. How else would any government come up with something like the bedroom tax?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    I actually searched for a Bragg I didn't find a BB that really called to me but here you are:

    and to me the Beat's:

    I said I see no joy
    I see only sorry
    I see no chance of your bright new tomorrow
    So stand down Margaret
    Stand down please
    Stand down Margaret

    is what I think of when I think of Thatcher

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    I worked summers as a student in a hot type press shop as they were changing - it used to be that every word was read by 4 people before it hit the press - reporter->lino operator->copy holder->reader - every town had jobs for grammar nazis after they had gotten their english degrees - now it's a reporter and a spell checker and no one to really check the grammar .

    Luckily they had a good union here in NZ - and while they could see the writing on the wall they negotiated the jobs away slowly

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Emma Hart,

    Of course, I've spent all morning grateful for the way my friends and my feeds have been talking about and demonstrating compassion, and what's running through my head? This:

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report

  • StepDoh,

    Born in 1978 in the west coast of Scotland I had my milk snatched, protested the poll tax and watched the then shipyards shoved into unprofitability by the monetarist policies.

    Towns such as mine became purposelessness and without the hard working balancing out the always present hard drinking, the social effects of the changes were apalling. It wasn't some workers paradise by any stretch of imagination, but the changes managed to turn Pride of the Clyde into the kind of place Ken Loach makes films about.

    Fully agree with Emma/Mitch Benn's comments above, suspect it is why devolution was something to be feared by westminster then similarly with the current administration.

    Me, I'm now just a bit freaked out by the comment from the mayor of hamilton:

    Sad to hear of Margaret Thatcher's passing. A leader who will go down in history for her strength and resolve to bring change.

    Change at all costs.

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Iain Banks

    well at least he saw Maggie out...
    ..."... it looks like my latest novel,
    The Quarry, will be my last."

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    Ian: well that's why I said "Hurry up, get her in the ground, the clock is ticking on that"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Matthew Poole,

    I can't help wondering whether NZ would have endured the same degree of fervour from the Rogernomes if they hadn't had Thatcherism as a beacon. Yes some change was necessary, but the manner of the flogging-off of state assets has had some exceptionally negative consequences for NZ as a whole. We also saw the NZ Labour Party, in the same way as its UK namesake, embrace the market wholeheartedly; and fuck the working-class prolles.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report

  • Grant McDougall,

    Great analysis of Thatcher's very dubious legacy in The Quietus here

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report

  • Hebe,

    I have never again experienced the bleak, pervasive sense of alienation she fostered in government.

    Exactly. I worked in London 1985-90 in the MSM and in the agitprop industry. That woman was and is anathema to me. I have not a good word to say about her and her government; their policies and the awful, awful carnage inflicted on individuals and society under her ideological jackboot. Rob Muldoon was a eccentric old uncle in comparison -- and he had a sense of humour. Thatcher and her people had none; a clear sign of fanaticism and stupidity.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report

  • Ken Double,

    I was living there at the time too. It was apparent that having crippled the union movement Thatcher was going after the Left's remaining power base in the councils. The poll tax was pure insanity, so egregiously inequitable it boggles the mind that anyone beyond a fox-hunting Tory peer would have given it the time of day. But she wanted to see the utter destruction of socialism, to have that as part of her legacy. It overrode every sensible consideration. That was her mode of governing, increasingly unrestrained as she went on. Just like Muldoon really.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2012 • 119 posts Report

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Best thing about Thatcher: she unified people against her and insane policies like the poll tax. Worst thing? People focused on her personally, and ended up doing sweet fuck all in the end.

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report

  • Geoff Lealand,

    What is most difficult is people telling us that we should show 'respect' or 'compassion'. No, that is not needed nor justified; it should be kept for those people who lives were ruined by Thatcherism...and the hideous legacy she has bequeathed to us all,

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report

  • StepDoh,

    I think it's perfectly acceptable to show the exact same level of respect and compassion that Mrs Thatcher had for society.

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Margaret Thatcher did everything in her very considerable power to make greed fashionable and turn naked selfishness from a vice into a virtue

    It is no coincidence that the 1987 financial collapse happened after those policies of greed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Shaun Lott,

    I grew up in the UK in the Thatcher years. She snatched my milk as a schoolchild, but her election as prime minister in 1979 probably saved my high school education, so I think that's a draw.

    After that, though! My enduring memories of those years are:

    Thatcher using the gift of the Falklands conflict to inspire jingoistic support. She then used this to enact a mass of extreme policies with no effective parliamentary opposition. A 'glorious' patriotic war enabled her to convince many working class people to be complicit in undermining their own futures.

    Pre-Thatcher, my memory was that the homeless were largely middle-aged alcoholics. During her tenure, their numbers were swelled by very many teenagers who could no longer claim state benefits in often dire personal circumstances. It was a striking and visible change on the streets of British cities, and sat alongside the shameless wealth creation for the elite. It felt like the end of a compassionate state.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 113 posts Report

  • tonyH,

    Was there through the Thatcher chapter. Nearly bought our council house for a price which the market would have quadrupled in the next five years – saved from a lifelong sense of guilt by an urgent return to an unrecognisable yet somehow familiar Rogernomical NZ (will we dance on his grave?). John Peel and Steve Bell helped keep us sane in those days.

    [ [2116-22-7-04_REJOICE.jpeg] ] sorry not up to speed with posting images

    Pakuranga • Since Nov 2011 • 9 posts Report

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