A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country’s flag

Diverse — Drokles on April 10, 2013 at 8:13 am

My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.

Citatet, som overskriften er fra Margeret Thatcher og taget fra en top 25 over Thatcher citater, (der dog ikke indeholder ”No, no, no”) og det bliver ikke meget bedre end det. Daily Mail gør status over det England Thatcher arvede

It is hard to exaggerate the pitiful state of Britain in the Seventies. The reckless economic policy of Mrs Thatcher’s predecessor as Tory leader, Ted Heath, who between 1970 and 1974 printed money as though it were going out of fashion, had left a legacy of high inflation, peaking at 27 per cent in 1975.

But the Labour administrations of Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan between 1974 and 1979 made things even worse.

Wilson began by buying off trades unions with budget-busting pay rises and implemented a programme of food and housing subsidies that owed more to the Soviet bloc than to a supposedly western economy.

Jim Callaghan succeeded him in April 1976 and continued to spend money the country did not have.

A refusal to accept that Britain could not spend its way out of trouble led to the International Monetary Fund having to rescue the country from bankruptcy in the autumn of 1976. The severe spending cuts the IMF ordered in return for its financial assistance aggravated relations between the Labour government and its notional supporters in the trade union movement.

Led in those days by hard Leftists such as Jack Jones of the Transport and General Workers Union, militant workers were more than happy to strike recklessly and at will.

Labour was still wedded to the concept of nationalised industries. British Leyland, famed for turning out ugly, rust-bucket cars, went bankrupt in 1975, partly because of the shoddy quality of its products, partly because its productivity and competitiveness were wrecked by its militant workforce.

Leyland was split into four divisions and its strike-plagued Longbridge plant was refitted at the massive cost of £140?million — equivalent to £1?billion today.

The cars still failed to sell, proving that the state was appalling at running industries.

The other big nationalised industries — coal, steel, power and the railways — were overmanned, heavily subsidised, unable to compete internationally and a drain on the taxpayer. The phones were nationalised, too, and it could take six months to get a line installed. Without a serious restructuring of the economy, Britain would not only never join the modern world — it would go bust.

Things were grim for the private sector. The top rate of tax on earned income was 83 per cent, which drove thousands of the best and brightest abroad.

It was an astonishing 98 per cent on unearned income, such as dividends, which prevented many people from investing in industry. Starved of investment, industry became ever more sclerotic.

The private sector was also held hostage by the unions. From 1976 a dispute had been running for two years at Grunwick, a London photo-processing laboratory, over the management’s refusal to recognise unions.

It came to symbolise the struggle between management and unions in pre-Thatcherite Britain.

Grunwick was a small company, but the dispute became a flashpoint between the Left and Right, with Marxist supporters of the union members questioning the owners’ right to run their company the way they wanted. There were endless confrontations and clashes on its picket line, and the nation was divided over it. However, in the end the House of Lords upheld the management’s right not to recognise unions among its workforce.

It was the start of the turn of the tide for the union movement, but its most destructive acts were yet to come.

By the winter of 1978-79, the public sector unions — accounting for more than a quarter of the workforce — were petitioning the Callaghan government for massive pay rises, but these were vetoed in accordance with the Labour government’s prices and incomes policy.

Callaghan wanted pay rises limited to 5 per cent in the public and private sector. He threatened sanctions on companies that broke the guidelines, only to find that Ford awarded their workers 17 per cent late in 1978. The unions renewed their unaffordable demands.

Lorry drivers — including those employed by oil companies and members of the TGWU — demanded a 40 per cent pay rise. The Army had to be placed on standby in case fuel supplies could not be moved.

From January 3, 1979, an unofficial strike of the drivers began and petrol stations started to close across the country.

Flying pickets — politically motivated militants who toured the country looking for workers to intimidate — turned drivers away at oil refineries.

Regulations for a state of emergency had to be drawn up, its implementation averted only when the TGWU agreed to a list of essential supplies that they would allow to be moved.

Eventually their demands were settled with a 20 per cent rise. Meanwhile, fearing they would be left behind, public sector workers organised the biggest day of industrial action since the 1926 general strike.

On January 22, 1979, the country was paralysed by a rail strike. NHS employees worked to rule. Ambulance drivers went on strike, with the Army again having to be called in to deal with emergency cases.

But the wave of strikes achieved their greatest notoriety in the actions of local government employees.

Rubbish went uncollected in many cities, creating an image of rat-infested squalor and chaos that was beamed around the world.

Most infamous of all was the unofficial strike of gravediggers in Liverpool, which led to the dead going unburied and coffins piling up.

In February 1979, when asked what would happen if the strike was not settled, the city’s chief medical officer suggested that the authorities would have to consider burial at sea.

The Callaghan government lost a vote of confidence on March 28, 1979, and a general election was called. Against the background of militancy the previous winter, Mrs Thatcher made reform of the unions and the removal of their legal immunities central to her campaign.

None of this was reported by the so-called paper of record, the Times — it was closed down for a year while its workers went on strike.

Michael Caine skriver (frit efter hukommelsen) i sin selvbiografi “What’s it all about” om Thatcher; “She got the british of their asses, but ,maybe she forgot those who only made it to their knees”. Det har været kritikernes anstødssten mod Thatcher og de har haft held til at gøre alle uretfærdigheder og social nød i England til et produkt af Thatcher.

Den surrealistiske socialrealistiske TV serie Boys From The Black Stuff var virkeligt noget i mit lille barndomshjem, der gjorde indtryk. Der var nu heller ikke andet på TV. Det var især, eller vel rettere, for mit vedkommende kun, Yosser Hughes’ desperate “Gis’ a job! - I can do that!” og hans effektive ’skaller’ til alle som kom ham for meget på tværs, der sidder printet i min lille hjerne - en hjerne der var for lille til helt at forstå Hughes’ afmægtighed og hans balance på sammenbruddets rand, når han også, som en autist hamrede sit hoved mod vægge og døre og hvad som helst, mens hans børn så betuttet på.

Mange troede fejlagtigt at Boys From The Black Stuff handlede om Thatcher Englad fordi serien kom frem i 1982, men manuskriptet er skrevet i 1978. Den handler om det England, som Thatcher overtog, Labour’s og venstrefløjens England, et England kørt helt i sænk under venstrefløjens og fagforeningernes konspiration mod skatteyderne.

Og læg mærke til “The Emperor of Anfield” Grahame Souness et kvarter inde. Well, som spiller var han kejser, men som træner kørte han holdet så langt bag af dansen samtidig med den onde Fergusons skabte et monster, at Liverpool den dag i dag endnu ikke er kommet sig. Men det var nu ikke venstrefløjens skyld (Bill Shankley var endda selv erklæret kommunist, men på sin egen spradebasse måde med udtalelser som “Chairman Mao has never seen a greater show of red strength”)

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