Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Thatcher the destroyer

Paddy Ashdown, in an interview about Margaret Thatcher, says she was a better destroyer than builder and wasn't that true. At the beginning of 1981 unemployment reached nearly 3m peaking at 3.2m a few years later. Manufacturing capacity fell by a fifth. At the same time the top rate of income tax was cut to 60% and then 40%. OK so a major shakeup was necessary. I was in the thick of the industrial mess at that time with incompetent management on one side & unions being obstructive for the sake of it on the other ( apart from the Unions a bit like now really – so it makes Ashdowns point about destruction but not building). Her great error, one might almost say crime, was to reduce taxes rather than invest in training for those thrown out of work. It was still, in those days, hard to find a decent domestic plumber, electrician etc & it wouldn't have taken much to retrain a shipyard plumber etc to do domestic work. But no it was the scrap heap. For that she should never be forgiven and to spend any taxpayer money on her funeral is a disgrace.

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