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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In [1980s Margaret Thatcher's Britain's] case the decision to make large-scale pit closures with predictable consequences for employment, which in turn has had the direct effect of creating social exclusion, which in many areas has persisted for generations. My point here is that the government failed in their duty to the working population, to provide a stable transition. She didn't - she set it up as an ideological battle with no attempt at conciliatory politics.
    Oh aye? And how exactly was Thatcher supposed to bring about such a change in a concillatory way? The trade unions, who had effectively been running the country during the 1970s, were all-powerful and weren't in a mood to make any compromises, especially with someone who held ideas they were ideologically (some would say dogmatically) opposed to. Compromise simply wouldn't have been possible. We needed a leader with balls and determination back in the 1980s, much the same way that we're going to need one after Gordon Brown has been dragged out of Downing Street by men in white coats.

    We will know the next PM is doing something right if there are millions on the streets protesting, following the massive spending cuts that will have to be made in the next few years if UK plc is not to go bankrupt, for example. There were people on the streets protesting and rioting back then amidst huge social change. In a few years, it'll be a case of plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose*.
    When I say 'complex social exclusions' what I mean is that if you look at common forms of social exclusion (sometimes known as social problems) eg: involvement in criminality, dependent drug use, long term benefit claimancy etc. you see that while you see patterns across different areas, when you look in more detail at the history of a particular area you find that the causes and histories are subtly but significantly different.
    But who has the solutions to all these problems? Labour doesn't. It seems to think that throwing money up against problems will fix them. The Tories, who are committed to 99.23% of all Labour spending, have much the same attitude. Drug addiction leads to increased crime, increased crime leads to unemployment as employers won't hire people with criminal records - it's a vicious circle. Part of the reason for this is the pointless criminalisation of drugs. Legalise them, but with strict controls on quality and accessibility, and you're some way to sorting a whole heap of problems.

    * A French phrase, which translates as "The more things change, the more they stay the same".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be honest I think that's inaccurate reading. The 'enemy within' weren't these communities, but the Unions (such as NUM) who seemed more concerned with overthrowing the democratically elected Govt.


    I don't think it was - because if you look at studies of her rhetoric throughout the period (I can cite them if needed) she uses this statement repeatedly about people she does not like, not just Scargill (who BTW I've got little time for). It wasn't just in speech either; her rhetoric and policy combined to sustain a pattern of political behaviour that emphasised two core principles;

    1) Her conceptions of individual responsibility and self-reliance are inherent goods, irrespective of context or mitigating factors, such as long term unemployment, deprivation, or limiting long term illness.

    2) Anyone who doesn't share her economic vision is wrong; TINA wasn't just against Communism, it was levied against any vision of shared ownership of anything.

    She pumped millions into local communities to try to encourage new business - ok I accept it didn't work, partly as too much was concentrated on physical rather than mixed-use regen and partly due to too many local authorities who as I said were more concerned trying to fight battles of the past than paving the way to the future. It should also be noted that many of these communities were in mass-decline before Thatcher arrived. We romanticise the poverty of the 60s and 70s way too much...
    It was also in a terrible state after the Wilson/Callaghan years and will be in a terrible state after the Brown/Blair years. But then I've always found it pretty damn good. Off course we have a problem with the NHS (and to be fair every other Health System) which is the better it is the worse it becomes as people who would otherwise have died live longer and pick up new ailments, new technology can solve illness which would have been incurable before.

    Yes but the reason it was in a state after the Thatcher years was sustained cuts to services, systematically over a sustained period. If there is anything I will defend the government on is that they invested massively in the NHS compared to Thatcher when they came to power, and at least stopped the speed of rot that had set in under the Conservative government of the 1980s. That's just not a controversial assertion.

    Secondly, talking to a number of senior NHS professionals where I work, their big gripe with the Labour administration is political interference and bueracracy (broadly speaking). To a person when I ask those who were working in the 1980s which they would prefer, even with the MMC recruitment debacle and the calamitous computer system, is the current one.
    I think you need to go back before 1979 to examine the social and economic change. The Thames Gateway for example had been declining quickly since the 60s as a result of demographic and economic change. As had Tees Valley, as the chemical industry failed to keep up with foreign competitors. Arguably Liverpool had been in decline since the start of the 20th century and definitely was by the mid-50's. Indian Independence killed the cotton trade in Lancashire.

    Agreed and I wasn't neccessarily implying that we should start there, but my concern with Thatcherism is the type of social degradation that became prevalent after the 1980s. Now of course I'm not saying this is all directly her fault, but the climate that she and Regan helped create created fertile soil for the kind of anti-social, socially excluded groups to emerge.

    Someone I know recently completed a postgraduate research project on a South Coast estate, which is one of the 39 most socially deprived areas in the country. One of the most interest observations to come out of this were the reflections of people who had lived in this area since the late 1950s/early 1960s on the social change that occurred during that period.

    Another was the collection of a great number of truly inspiring stories of unemployed young men and women who take the issue of personal responsibility and pride in working very seriously, and undertaken actions far above and beyond that expected, but often end up suffering so many knocks at the hands of impersonal public services and exploitative employers that it just drives them to despair. I would not want to be a 16 year old entering the job market for the first time in this country.

    Almost to a person they state that despite increases in the availability of material goods, the breakdown in social empathy and the rise in anti-social behaviour started in the 1980s.
    She pumped millions into local communities to try to encourage new business - ok I accept it didn't work, partly as too much was concentrated on physical rather than mixed-use regen and partly due to too many local authorities who as I said were more concerned trying to fight battles of the past than paving the way to the future. It should also be noted that many of these communities were in mass-decline before Thatcher arrived. We romanticise the poverty of the 60s and 70s way too much...

    Well quite and there's your answer - she wasn't pumping them into communities she was pumping them into local economies. The magic of the marketplace didn't do what it was supposed to. Also I'd go even further, I've worked for a council regen department in the last few years, and the New Deal for Communities has been good at improving local ammenities for people, but efforts to tackle NEETs and entrenched local unemployment, antisocial behaviour and unemployment have met with limited success. I think there's a key reason but this post is already too long to elaborate just yet!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We needed a leader with balls and determination back in the 1980s, much the same way that we're going to need one after Gordon Brown has been dragged out of Downing Street by men in white coats.

    Ironically if we'd had a leader with literal balls things might have gone better - no, we don't need leaders with 'balls and determination' (sounds alot like 'conviction politics' to me, and look where that's recently got us...) as much as we need leaders who are able to respond reasonably to conditions based on evidence, with due regard for the consequences of their actions.

    Also when you say 'we' needed, who is the 'we' and what specifically was it that was needed, and how did her actions contribute to fulfilling that need. The majority of people certainly did not get materially richer so it can't be that...
    Oh aye? And how exactly was Thatcher supposed to bring about such a change in a concillatory way? The trade unions, who had effectively been running the country during the 1970s, were all-powerful and weren't in a mood to make any compromises, especially with someone who held ideas they were ideologically (some would say dogmatically) opposed to.

    By trying - she was the elected head of government of this country and had a basic responsibility to look out for those people.

    I agree almost completely with the description of the NUM leaders, and further I would state that dogmatic is the right term to use.

    The problem is that the mine workers, while being led by people with a wider dogmatic agenda, were still being led by people whose immediate assertions were proved right. They were worried about mass layoffs - they were right. They were worried about destroyed communities - they were right. They were worried about successive generations of disadvantage with no economic transition plan for ordinary people - they were right.

    Just because a person's opponent is unreasonable or dogmatic does not give that person the right to disavow their duty to them. She had a duty to those people which she failed in, utterly.

    If there was a decent viable transition package in place she might had a chance of winning more people to her banner - actually I think this might have been more successful than people give credit for. Had that failed and she needed to press on with forced closures, that is no excuse for not having anything in place to ease the transition.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also when you say 'we' needed, who is the 'we' and what specifically was it that was needed, and how did her actions contribute to fulfilling that need. The majority of people certainly did not get materially richer so it can't be that...
    Funny how a lot of alleged socialists seem to see everything in terms of money, isn't it?
    If there was a decent viable transition package in place she might had a chance of winning more people to her banner - actually I think this might have been more successful than people give credit for. Had that failed and she needed to press on with forced closures, that is no excuse for not having anything in place to ease the transition.
    And what should she have put in place to manage this "transition" you speak of.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Funny how a lot of alleged socialists seem to see everything in terms of money, isn't it?

    1) What?

    2) Thats s non-sequiter - socialism doesn't imply economy or systems of being redundant or unimportant, quite the reverse.

    3) And also I note you didn't answer the question.
    And what should she have put in place to manage this "transition" you speak of.

    Well this is where we should surely agree - if we accept the idea that the move towards a more open, flexible economy and workforce would have been better for Britain then we would have invested substantially in meticulously planned programmes of reskilling and education - what we got were a series of YTS schemes, which by the extensive number of studies done on them have largely been shown to be a fragmented, underinvested-in failure that was basically a patch on mass youth unemployment.

    We would have invested in a valuable commodity - skilled human capital, to help secure Britain's place within the new emerging economy.

    What we got was an extremely fast deregulation where a few got rich and most got poorer.

    It didn't work on it's own terms, or anyone elses. Incidentally this is not exclusive to Thatcher it can also be levelled at Regan.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think it was - because if you look at studies of her rhetoric throughout the period (I can cite them if needed) she uses this statement repeatedly about people she does not like, not just Scargill (who BTW I've got little time for). It wasn't just in speech either; her rhetoric and policy combined to sustain a pattern of political behaviour that emphasised two core principles;.

    Her speech is rhetoric - which is my point, so I'm not sure why you add it as a seperate issue. Her policy isn't as radical as made out - it was moving in a direction, but one which had gone before.

    1) Her conceptions of individual responsibility and self-reliance are inherent goods, irrespective of context or mitigating factors, such as long term unemployment, deprivation, or limiting long term illness.

    Again I think that's a simplification. She certainly did count things like long-term illness, and things like Heseltine's work in inner cities was an attempt to deal with the long term deprivation of inner cities and long-term unemployment, something that has been built upon since.
    2) Anyone who doesn't share her economic vision is wrong; TINA wasn't just against Communism, it was levied against any vision of shared ownership of anything

    And how is that different from any other politician... Politicians always say the opposition is wrong, and then pragmatically work with them when needed. Again her rhetoric might have been strident (though I don't think it often was - it just seemed so to many of her enemies because they didn't like being lectured at by a woman), but her policies needed to be delivered in a democratic context, ie they needed the consent of the goverened. The one time she didn't get that consent - ie the Poll tax, is led to her falling.


    Yes but the reason it was in a state after the Thatcher years was sustained cuts to services, systematically over a sustained period. If there is anything I will defend the government on is that they invested massively in the NHS compared to Thatcher when they came to power, and at least stopped the speed of rot that had set in under the Conservative government of the 1980s. That's just not a controversial assertion.

    That may be true, but you miss the macro-economic big picture. It was the Thatcher years and the freeing up of cpaital, providing growth, which provided the money to allow Labour to spend more (and bear in mind that even in the Thatcher years spending on NHS went up in real terms albeit not as fast as under Labour post 97)
    Secondly, talking to a number of senior NHS professionals where I work, their big gripe with the Labour administration is political interference and bueracracy (broadly speaking). To a person when I ask those who were working in the 1980s which they would prefer, even with the MMC recruitment debacle and the calamitous computer system, is the current one.

    That's probably true, in my expereince 90% of my colleagues are Labour and much prefer Labour Governments. However, if we continued as we were going there wouldn't have been the big bucks to put into Government spending. Taxes don't grow on trees and an inefficient economy means you you eventually get less and less for your services (or at best grow much slower and are left behind by technological advances other countries can afford).

    Agreed and I wasn't neccessarily implying that we should start there, but my concern with Thatcherism is the type of social degradation that became prevalent after the 1980s. Now of course I'm not saying this is all directly her fault, but the climate that she and Regan helped create created fertile soil for the kind of anti-social, socially excluded groups to emerge.

    But again I think you are misreading what she did (and there were plenty of anti-social groups witness the NF in the 70s). Now did she make mistakes, sure, but she didn't create this anti-society you seem to imply she did. In fact if you look at where the extremes of poverty and deprivation are in this country large chunks of them are where they were in the late nineteenth century (albeit in real and probably absolute terms there has been a major improvement)

    Someone I know recently completed a postgraduate research project on a South Coast estate, which is one of the 39 most socially deprived areas in the country. One of the most interest observations to come out of this were the reflections of people who had lived in this area since the late 1950s/early 1960s on the social change that occurred during that period.

    Another was the collection of a great number of truly inspiring stories of unemployed young men and women who take the issue of personal responsibility and pride in working very seriously, and undertaken actions far above and beyond that expected, but often end up suffering so many knocks at the hands of impersonal public services and exploitative employers that it just drives them to despair. I would not want to be a 16 year old entering the job market for the first time in this country.

    Almost to a person they state that despite increases in the availability of material goods, the breakdown in social empathy and the rise in anti-social behaviour started in the 1980s.

    Interesting as anecdotal evidence. But also as much about romanticism of the past as actually when the breakdown in social empathy happened (if it has of course). Of course it should be noted that the increase of material goods was a reason why people started locking their doors (as actually was the increase in decent inexpensive quality locks) as it didn't use to be worth burgurling a house in a poor area - It did so with the rise of electronic consumables.
    Well quite and there's your answer - she wasn't pumping them into communities she was pumping them into local economies. The magic of the marketplace didn't do what it was supposed to. Also I'd go even further, I've worked for a council regen department in the last few years, and the New Deal for Communities has been good at improving local ammenities for people, but efforts to tackle NEETs and entrenched local unemployment, antisocial behaviour and unemployment have met with limited success. I think there's a key reason but this post is already too long to elaborate just yet

    Actually I think your answer is interesting in that it seperates economics and communities. Any community can only survive if its economically viable - that's true now as it was when the old medieval towns were overtaken by the thrusting economies of Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester. People needs jobs and for that they need employment - the money she went didn't go into the pockets of company shareholders (well except building constructors) it went on physical building. Where it failed was, as you infer, in tackling the problems to do with skills (and I add transport). I'd agree that NDC only had a low impact on tackling those not in employment and training. I'm definetly straying into work related territory when talking about regen, something I'm loath to do on a public message board, but in my absolutely personal opinion they didn't make a great impact because they were too small and narrow. To work successfully regeneration needs money from DfT, DIUS, as well as LA involvement (and LAs are variable in their interest and skills) and business, not just CLG funding. And these funding streams need to better integrated - however, it seems harsh to blame Thatcher for failing to make Govt departments work better together when no-one else has managed it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    OK post in 2 parts - first in response to the above;
    Her speech is rhetoric - which is my point, so I'm not sure why you add it as a seperate issue. Her policy isn't as radical as made out - it was moving in a direction, but one which had gone before.

    Yeah I know - as I said the significance in this context is the speed and nature of the changes which took place, their polarising nature, and the authoritarian 'I'm right, I know I am, and sod anyone else, even within my own party, who thinks any different' approach.
    Again I think that's a simplification. She certainly did count things like long-term illness, and things like Heseltine's work in inner cities was an attempt to deal with the long term deprivation of inner cities and long-term unemployment, something that has been built upon since.

    And it's well known that Hesiltine and Thatcher did not see eye to eye on precisely this issue. Way more time for Hesiltine than Thatcher.
    And how is that different from any other politician... Politicians always say the opposition is wrong, and then pragmatically work with them when needed. Again her rhetoric might have been strident (though I don't think it often was - it just seemed so to many of her enemies because they didn't like being lectured at by a woman), but her policies needed to be delivered in a democratic context, ie they needed the consent of the goverened. The one time she didn't get that consent - ie the Poll tax, is led to her falling.

    Markedly and demonstrably different - reading Obama's recent 'The Audacity of Hope' gives me real cause for optimism, because he gives considered and reasoned analysis of lots different political opinions, ideas and policies (even those who've levied scandalous mud slinging lies against him). So no, I reject the idea that politics and debate have to be a game of authoritarian mudslinging, where both sides are entrenched from the start and out to win, irrespective of whether a consensus after the debate might actually yield a better compromise.

    Again remember her face when called up about the Belgrano by the lady on television - she wasn't horrified by the point, but by the fact that she was being questioned.

    She bullied, cajoled, manipulated, deceived and brow beat. And no that doesn't make her unique as a politician but the fact that it's behaviour that has been repeated changes nothing.
    Again her rhetoric might have been strident (though I don't think it often was - it just seemed so to many of her enemies because they didn't like being lectured at by a woman), but her policies needed to be delivered in a democratic context, ie they needed the consent of the goverened.

    Of course her being in government at all had nothing to do with a popular war that turned around repeated prior poll results showing massive predicted losses in the upcoming election.

    In any case this changes nothing about the elephants in the room that she presided over a time when mass unemployment, under investment in public services, cuts on everything in sight and strands of social conservatism that in today's world would be called discrimination, were rife.

    And most of this wasn't a neccessary evil she just didn't see it as a problem - anyone with a grievance was a 'moaning minny' and the 'get on your bike' ethos was what passed for public policy.
    That may be true, but you miss the macro-economic big picture. It was the Thatcher years and the freeing up of cpaital, providing growth, which provided the money to allow Labour to spend more (and bear in mind that even in the Thatcher years spending on NHS went up in real terms albeit not as fast as under Labour post 97)

    Services got worse, thats just not even controversial and by the logic of the earlier quoted paradox of the better health service = longer life = more to deal with, her government was still guilty of underinvestment and the only measure that matters was the organisation and quality of service delivery which was crippled by the Thatcher years.

    Two things about that 'freeing up of capital' - number one it helped start a trend that got us to where we are today in terms of recession. Secondly, that money would never have come back if Thatcher's ideology had been sustained, so it's a moot point because we'd never the investment if she'd had her way.
    That's probably true, in my expereince 90% of my colleagues are Labour and much prefer Labour Governments. However, if we continued as we were going there wouldn't have been the big bucks to put into Government spending. Taxes don't grow on trees and an inefficient economy means you you eventually get less and less for your services (or at best grow much slower and are left behind by technological advances other countries can afford).

    (I'm assuming by this that you work in the Health service now?) Yes which is a great case for increasing efficiency - there is no reason that better management practices could not have helped in a more evolutionary sense than the root and branch failure of betting it all on some abstract 'belief' in the market - her words by the way, not mine. She stated plainly that she had no economic theory, merely 'beliefs'.
    But again I think you are misreading what she did (and there were plenty of anti-social groups witness the NF in the 70s). Now did she make mistakes, sure, but she didn't create this anti-society you seem to imply she did. In fact if you look at where the extremes of poverty and deprivation are in this country large chunks of them are where they were in the late nineteenth century (albeit in real and probably absolute terms there has been a major improvement)

    Yes, there is ample evidence she repeatedy lumped the NF in with this group. And yes there has been a major improvement since the 19th century, but lets not forget it you go back further most of the labour of the 19th century resulted from the rural poor being shoe-horned, cajoled and bullied into towns and cities where their quality, length and experience of life was hellish.

    Modern industrial society was not built on honest labour but first of all on exploitation and the broken backs of poor labour. The works of Booth and Roundtree at the time are perhaps the best testaments to this. A step up from this I consider not an improvement but a neccessity, or we really would have had a revolution.
    Interesting as anecdotal evidence. But also as much about romanticism of the past as actually when the breakdown in social empathy happened (if it has of course). Of course it should be noted that the increase of material goods was a reason why people started locking their doors (as actually was the increase in decent inexpensive quality locks) as it didn't use to be worth burgurling a house in a poor area - It did so with the rise of electronic consumables.

    Oh it's not just annecdotal; there's peer reviewed work from up and down the country with countless numbers of these narratives which have been triangulated across populations, they just don't get reported as much.

    And the example I cited confronted this very point - the points that the respondents were making was primarily about antisocial behaviour in public places, not about burglary or property related (economic) crime. So no, I don't think romanticism in this case is the primary cause - there is a genuine widespread appreciation in this particular area that something endemic in the way particular individuals see themselves and others in society, and their stake in it, has changed.
    Actually I think your answer is interesting in that it seperates economics and communities. Any community can only survive if its economically viable - that's true now as it was when the old medieval towns were overtaken by the thrusting economies of Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester. People needs jobs and for that they need employment - the money she went didn't go into the pockets of company shareholders (well except building constructors) it went on physical building. Where it failed was, as you infer, in tackling the problems to do with skills (and I add transport). I'd agree that NDC only had a low impact on tackling those not in employment and training. I'm definetly straying into work related territory when talking about regen, something I'm loath to do on a public message board, but in my absolutely personal opinion they didn't make a great impact because they were too small and narrow. To work successfully regeneration needs money from DfT, DIUS, as well as LA involvement (and LAs are variable in their interest and skills) and business, not just CLG funding. And these funding streams need to better integrated - however, it seems harsh to blame Thatcher for failing to make Govt departments work better together when no-one else has managed it.

    Absolutely, which incidentally happened to be the one thing that Thatcher, Regan, Milton Friedman and Karl Marx would have agreed on!

    The money DID go into the pockets of shareholders, and it did make society top heavy. Even a cursory look at the city in the Thatcher years shows this - it certainly wasn't evenly distributed, nor did the trickle down effect materialise.

    NDC has had some limited successes but my argument is - having done field work in this area myself - you're dealing with actors and groups who are coming from a society where the practice of working as a fact of life, because everyone around you is doing it, has been shattered for perhaps two generations.

    The world has sped up and left them behind, and if Thatcher were in power today I'm not just saying things would be as they are, I'm saying she wouldn't even be bothered by it.

    Of course not everything we've touched on is Thatcher's direct fault but her bloody minded, individualised mindset encouraged selfishness and eroded some of the very values she claimed that she represented. Her understandings and rhetoric were simplistic in the extreme, and often based on faith and conviction politics that continued to haunt us through Blair.


    Part 2:

    Her rhetoric was not only extreme at times, it was also downright contradictory and her lack of conciliation damaged British diplomacy.

    Her refusal to compromise on Ireland helped prolong the conflict.

    Thatcher

    I have made it quite clear — and so did Mr Prior when he was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland — that a unified Ireland was one solution. That is out. A second solution was confederation of two states. That is out. A third solution was joint authority. That is out. That is a derogation from sovereignty.

    This one's the most contradictory, and reveals plainly her reliance on conviction politics;

    Thatcher

    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.

    I disagree within nothing in that statement but, in order; "an honest day's work for an honest day's wage" was what people were getting on fine with until her policies directly resulted in mass unemployment, not only that she also vehmently opposed the 'fair wage' by resisting the minimum wage with all her strength! "live within your means" - as a direct result of her policies and deregulation of finance, the ball started rolling toward unsustainable credit. "put by a nest egg for a rainy day" - then broke the link between pensions and earnings. "support the police" - and people are regularly beaten for any kind of lawful dissent, anything not considered 'English', and forces up and down the country are cauldrons of boiling racism with large numbers of ethnic minority deaths occuring in police custody (as well as underinvestment in the police service and poor policing at football throughout the decade - at a time when this was a big social issue).
    Thatcher

    Don't you think that's the way to persuade more companies to come to this region and get more jobs—because I want them—for the people who are unemployed. Not always standing there as moaning minnies. Now stop it!

    Great - thats just what you want to hear after you've lost almost everything you've grown up with. What a way to encourage the great British worker to strive for a better tomorrow!

    Worker moaning is not going to disuade companies before a body of well skilled human capital - which her investments in training and complete lack of an exit plan for the mass unemployed she helped foster, did not produce.
    From France to the Phillipines, from Jamaica to Japan, from Malaysia to Mexico, from Sri Lanka to Singapore, privatisation is on the move...The policies we have pioneered are catching on in country after country. We Conservatives believe in popular capitalism—believe in a property-owning democracy. And it works! ... The great political reform of the last century was to enable more and more people to have a vote. Now the great Tory reform of this century is to enable more and more people to own property. Popular capitalism is nothing less than a crusade to enfranchise the many in the economic life of the nation. We Conservatives are returning power to the people. That is the way to one nation, one people.

    Which succeeded by ensuring the wealth gap increases, across the board, exponentially; that multinationals could run off, unfettered with the resources of poorer nations. Virtually every single one of the countries she's talked about saw a rise in inequality and corruption due to Reganomic policies, the sale of viable state-run utilities. States she supported carried on subversive clandestine wars against elected governments for their own gain, and she supported a torturing, vicious, murdering dictator in Pinochet (to his death).

    Thatcher

    I, along with something like 5 million other people, insure to enable me to go into hospital on the day I want; at the time I want, and with a doctor I want.

    The audacity is just unbelievable - at the same time she's running it into the ground , she's accepting no responsibility over the system her government is responsible for! Choice! Choice will save us! Of course I want choice! No, I want to pay my taxes and be provided with services that are available to all. Thatcher would have denied me that right, and had she succeeded in privatising the NHS my family would be bankrupt many times over through no fault of our own.
    Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay.

    Homophobe - and also ignorant of the evidence, emerging at the time, of the physiological basis for homosexuality. Not that she seemed one to be convinced by evidence.
    A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country's flag.

    Somewhat contradictory (but no doubt politically expedient) appeal to collective identity and interdependence - when it suits. She panders to blind flag waving as soon as it suits, but when John Smith needs a little help from Auntie Albion he is referred to the republic of himself.
    To me, consensus seems to be: the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that need to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?

    And the last one gives it away; strength of personality wins over competence. Sorry but as far as I can see her record, her rhetoric, the effects of her policies, the abdication of any responsibility towards a society - the prophecies of 'socialist doom' that never came true, and if we look to Europe we now see them much better placed socially to weather the socio-economic effects of the storm her policies helped foster.

    I remain unconvinced I'm afraid.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Part 2:

    Her rhetoric was not only extreme at times, it was also downright contradictory and her lack of conciliation damaged British diplomacy.
    Thatcher

    I have made it quite clear — and so did Mr Prior when he was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland — that a unified Ireland was one solution. That is out. A second solution was confederation of two states. That is out. A third solution was joint authority. That is out. That is a derogation from sovereignty

    Her refusal to compromise on Ireland helped prolong the conflict.

    Too long a post to comment, I'm afraid. I'll try and get back to it, but I'm afraid as a Northern Irishman I can't let this one pass.

    Apart from the fact she was directly following the policy of Roy Mason (Labour NI Secretary) in those comments, she was absolutely right. Previous Govt's, Heath and Wilson, had spoken to the IRA - all that did was convince one side the UK was prepared to pull out and so they formed the UVF and convinced the other that a few more squaddies and peelers would make the British buckle and as per normal the poor bloody infantry (and the peelers and restuarant goers and people mourning their dead and the Northern Irish Collie club and someone who sold petrol to soliders and BBC engineers going to repair a mast) is the one paying the cost. Northern Ireland's security had to be stabilised before meaningful political discussions began and the only viable option in any state which claims to be a democracy is to accept the wishes of the majority of that part of the State affected - ergo Northern Ireland remains in the UK. This is now accepted by everyone, including Sinn Fein.

    The start of the peace process can also actually probably be traced from the Anglo-Irish agreement. Now as teenager I can remember going on protests against this - twenty years later there's no doubt I was wrong and Thatcher was right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Apart from the fact she was directly following the policy of Roy Mason (Labour NI Secretary) in those comments, she was absolutely right. Previous Govt's, Heath and Wilson, had spoken to the IRA - all that did was convince one side the UK was prepared to pull out and so they formed the UVF and convinced the other that a few more squaddies and peelers would make the British buckle and as per normal the poor bloody infantry (and the peelers and restuarant goers and people mourning their dead and the Northern Irish Collie club and someone who sold petrol to soliders and BBC engineers going to repair a mast) is the one paying the cost. Northern Ireland's security had to be stabilised before meaningful political discussions began and the only viable option in any state which claims to be a democracy is to accept the wishes of the majority of that part of the State affected - ergo Northern Ireland remains in the UK. This is now accepted by everyone, including Sinn Fein.

    OK, this is one example from a probably too long a list and I don't want to derail this thread but just to confirm, what I didn't say was that it was her fault or that she was inconsistent with previous governments; nor did I say that she did anything particularly inconsistent with the democratic will of that part of Ireland in her actions.

    What I said was that the intransigence, stridency and unambiguous opposition to compromise (even in abstract terms) meant we had at least one piece in a very complex puzzle that wasn't budging, the other side knew wasn't budging and there was no prospect of them budging.

    Incidentally the example that you cite of the Anglo-Irish agreement she actually said was a mistake in her autobiography (she now supports Enoch Powell's position of no compromise), so if this is seen as a positive step towards a peaceful solution, this is something she regrets.

    My reason for bringing this up in the discussion is purely to demonstrate, again, that her total level of intransigence was dangerous - even when agreement appeared to work in the long run and after she'd been able to see its effects.

    Your point about the actual effects and how they played out I have no disagreement with, from what I understand anyway.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2001/jun/16/northernireland.catholicism

    And this just underscores how dangerous she could have been - can you imagine that as a public statement; she honestly thought that was acceptable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    OK, this is one example from a probably too long a list and I don't want to derail this thread but just to confirm, what I didn't say was that it was her fault or that she was inconsistent with previous governments; nor did I say that she did anything particularly inconsistent with the democratic will of that part of Ireland in her actions.

    What I said was that the intransigence, stridency and unambiguous opposition to compromise (even in abstract terms) meant we had at least one piece in a very complex puzzle that wasn't budging, the other side knew wasn't budging and there was no prospect of them budging.

    Incidentally the example that you cite of the Anglo-Irish agreement she actually said was a mistake in her autobiography (she now supports Enoch Powell's position of no compromise), so if this is seen as a positive step towards a peaceful solution, this is something she regrets.

    My reason for bringing this up in the discussion is purely to demonstrate, again, that her total level of intransigence was dangerous - even when agreement appeared to work in the long run and after she'd been able to see its effects.

    Your point about the actual effects and how they played out I have no disagreement with, from what I understand anyway.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2001/jun/16/northernireland.catholicism

    And this just underscores how dangerous she could have been - can you imagine that as a public statement; she honestly thought that was acceptable.

    Seems like a misunderstanding (though how anyone can suggest there was a movement from North to South under Cromwell is beyond me - it seems her advisor picked a name out of the air and Thatcher went along with it because like many English she doesn't know much history (mind you us Irish aren't much better - how an English Republican who murders Crown Soldiers is reviled by Republicans and loved by Loyalists is beyond me).

    I would also say in the 80s intransigence was what was needed. The IRA had to know that their murder campaign was totally futile and the British wouldn't budge - if they thought we would Operation Banner would still be ongoing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm still trying to work out how this thread topic has somehow changed from the general cocktrumpetry of Mark Thomas to Northern Ireland in the 1980s...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    I'm still trying to work out how this thread topic has somehow changed from the general cocktrumpetry of Mark Thomas to Northern Ireland in the 1980s...

    One of the marvels of this here internetings i keep hearing about.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mark Thomas - yet another attention-seeking Left-wing comedian who manages to be not at all funny. I have never understood why Left-wingers hate Thatcher as viscerally as they do, so it's safe to say that this one really pissed me off. I quote from his own website:

    "To launch the Huddersfield Policy campaign, that Margaret Thatcher should pay for her own funeral, I have designed a postcard to protest the prospect of a state funeral for Margaret Thatcher. The person with most say on a state funeral is Elizabeth Windsor (sometimes known as the Queen), thus the cards should be sent to her, seeking to influence her decision making in advance of Margaret Thatcher's demise."

    Where do I send the postcard that tells Mark Thomas to sod off and die? Twat.

    Over to you...

    Your own personal tastes in comedy aside, you seem to have made two points in the original post;

    1) That Mark Thomas is a self-centered person who apparently undertakes his work on human rights, the arms trade and social justice for his own personal benefit or 'attention'.

    2) There is something fundamentally wrong with opposing Thatcher getting a state funeral.

    So;

    1) If this is the case then why in 2004 did he put up his house up as surety to fund the first round of legal work challenging the government's execution of the Iraq war on the basis of Resolution 1441 as a trigger mechanism for the Iraq war?

    Whether or not you agree with the action this does not seem like the actions of a self centered man, and this is just one example among many.

    Also, in particular relevance to the 'attention seeking' - apart from the fact that performing artists are to some degree by definition seeking attention, this doesn't really hold up either. He broke off a long working partnership with Channel 4, which used to show his regular show 'The Mark Thomas Comedy Product' because they would not broadcast his show challenging BAE systems.

    Again, if we put aside whether or not you disagree with the issue and remain on topic (as you have asked me to do) then this seems inconsistent with a man whose primary motivation is selfish and attention seeking in its entirety.

    2) There is absolutely nothing wrong with this whatsoever - Thatcher is clearly not an appropriate candidate for a state funeral by virtue of the fact that not only is she such a polarising figure in Britain, but secondly that if a case were to be made for her funeral the precident it would set would open the floodgates for many others who otherwise would not have had them, to get state funerals.

    Aneurin Bevin didn't get a state funeral, and his social policy in the NHS, if nothing else, is one of the greatest enduring achievements of popular policy in the history of this country. My evidence for this is that without it many including my own family would have been rendered destitute my medical bills and many lives would have needlessly been shortened.

    If this man's achievements aren't worthy then neither are Thatchers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "I believe it is the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting." H.L. Mencken

    Lol fair enough - clearly we're not going to get any reasoned discussion out of you today.

    Only if you are setting the standards for reasoned discussion, I guess.

    Preconceived ideas on the very nature of political machinery appear to be accepted by you as axioms.

    You may want to discuss the style of the emporer's new clothes but have you established that there are any clothes to begin with ? Are you open to that possibility ?

    Your total dismissal of the quote as rhetoric backs this up. As previously stated I see that quote as an aberration in the criminal world of politics. Flashman later said,
    I'd also argue that despite the rhetoric the changes Thatcher made were relatively few. There was still massive state spending, still free unions (arguaby freerer for their members), there was probably an increase in spending on regeneration. At no point since 1945 have we not been a mixed economy, with some changes around the relative margins.

    This is backed up by the statistics.

    The reality is that you should probably be lauding Thatcher for her actions yet you attack her for an infrequent moment when the truth is told.

    Your apparent desire for an increase in the size and power of the State was met by Thatcher (and by all other politicians for that matter). You should be overjoyed because my guess is that the future will be more of the same.

    What puzzles me is that practising communists always seem to be unhappy and complaining about the state of things yet they are getting what they desire.
    Aneurin Bevin didn't get a state funeral, and his social policy in the NHS, if nothing else, is one of the greatest enduring achievements of popular policy in the history of this country. My evidence for this is that without it many including my own family would have been rendered destitute my medical bills and many lives would have needlessly been shortened.

    This is a good example. The NHS is a state licensed corporation with a virtual monopoly on the provision of healthcare whose turnover the last figures I studied was fast approaching £100 billion. However that has not stopped you posting complaints. How much from the trough would be acceptable ? £200 billion ? £300 billion ? £400 billion ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Only if you are setting the standards for reasoned discussion, I guess.

    Well no actually if you read back my sentiments were actually echoed by another poster.
    Preconceived ideas on the very nature of political machinery appear to be accepted by you as axioms.

    You may want to discuss the style of the emporer's new clothes but have you established that there are any clothes to begin with ? Are you open to that possibility ?

    I'm sorry, what are you getting at?
    Your total dismissal of the quote as rhetoric backs this up. As previously stated I see that quote as an aberration in the criminal world of politics. Flashman later said,

    Originally Posted by Flashman's Ghost
    I'd also argue that despite the rhetoric the changes Thatcher made were relatively few. There was still massive state spending, still free unions (arguaby freerer for their members), there was probably an increase in spending on regeneration. At no point since 1945 have we not been a mixed economy, with some changes around the relative margins.

    This is backed up by the statistics.

    The reality is that you should probably be lauding Thatcher for her actions yet you attack her for an infrequent moment when the truth is told.

    Your apparent desire for an increase in the size and power of the State was met by Thatcher (and by all other politicians for that matter). You should be overjoyed because my guess is that the future will be more of the same.

    What puzzles me is that practising communists always seem to be unhappy and complaining about the state of things yet they are getting what they desire.

    What are you going on about?! I never said ANY of those things, as you tacitly admit by having to use 'you appear to'...and are you actually saying that you think I am a Communist?
    This is a good example. The NHS is a state licensed corporation with a virtual monopoly on the provision of healthcare whose turnover the last figures I studied was fast approaching £100 billion. However that has not stopped you posting complaints. How much from the trough would be acceptable ? £200 billion ? £300 billion ? £400 billion ?

    An example of what? It's a system we've collectively paid into to ensure that people aren't rendered destitute and bankrupt due to illness, or left to die beyond their means from treatable illness; which is a fact of all human lives (some, unfortunately, more than others). Please clarify what you mean by this point.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm sorry, what are you getting at?

    That from the posts you make you seem to be entrenched in the political adversarial mindset.
    What are you going on about?! I never said ANY of those things, as you tacitly admit by having to use 'you appear to'...and are you actually saying that you think I am a Communist?

    Decide for yourself. Take the time to study the Communist Manifesto, in particular the 10 planks. How many boxes do you tick ?
    An example of what? It's a system we've collectively paid into to ensure that people aren't rendered destitute and bankrupt due to illness, or left to die beyond their means from treatable illness; which is a fact of all human lives (some, unfortunately, more than others). Please clarify what you mean by this point.

    That is how the sales pitch went. The (NHS corporation) system was an extension of the 1911 National Insurance Act, originally pitched as an insurance scheme in the event of illness and/or unemployment. I would describe it as fascist due to it being compulsory and the beneficiary being the corporation. There is no legal duty on the corporation's part to provide treatment you deem necessary. In essence a set menu instead of a la carte assuming, of course, that tables are available.

    ("A fact of all human lives" ? Have you ever considered the possibility of managing your own health rather than needing a guardian in the form of a mammoth corporation ?)

    And what about those collective payments ? Do you really consider them a good investment ? The National Insurance scheme is effectively a ponzi scheme that relegates the likes of Bernie Madoff to non-league status. Do the maths.

    If that kind of thing is to your liking you should be happy because my guess the monster is only going to get bigger. Good luck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ("A fact of all human lives" ? Have you ever considered the possibility of managing your own health rather than needing a guardian in the form of a mammoth corporation ?)
    And how does one 'manage their health', pray tell?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That is how the sales pitch went. The (NHS corporation) system was an extension of the 1911 National Insurance Act, originally pitched as an insurance scheme in the event of illness and/or unemployment. I would describe it as fascist due to it being compulsory and the beneficiary being the corporation. There is no legal duty on the corporation's part to provide treatment you deem necessary. In essence a set menu instead of a la carte assuming, of course, that tables are available.

    I deem cancer treatment, I deem the fact that my grandfather lived to see his grandson grow up neccessary, I deem all of the other services that the National Health Service has provided to people whom other healthcare services would have denied, neccessary.

    This is just trolling at this point; the NHS is cannot be described as Fascist by any person with anything like an accepted general definition of Fascism. If a referendum on privatisation of the NHS was held tomorrow, there is virtually no doubt what the outcome would be.

    Add to that the Welfare State was a policy that successive governments, Tory and Labour, did not abolish because there was absolutely no call for it. That is not a Fascist institution, that's democracy
    ("A fact of all human lives" ? Have you ever considered the possibility of managing your own health rather than needing a guardian in the form of a mammoth corporation ?)

    What?! And how does one do this?
    And what about those collective payments ? Do you really consider them a good investment ? The National Insurance scheme is effectively a ponzi scheme that relegates the likes of Bernie Madoff to non-league status. Do the maths.

    If that kind of thing is to your liking you should be happy because my guess the monster is only going to get bigger. Good luck.

    I consider it a fantastic investment for two main reasons; one, when I need treatment, or my family, I am not going to go through my life worrying about whether or not some unforeseen event, which will come to all of us at some point most likely - will bankrupt us or destroy everything we've worked all our lives for, or leave us to suffer needlessly. It is also an investment in others around me; that I live in a society where good people are not left to die and suffer beyond their means.

    The largest cause of personal bankruptcy in America in 2005 was costs incurred due to illness. It isn't here.

    You are actually comparing Bernie Madoff to the NHS - you are actually equating a system that is the single biggest employer in Europe, that since its inception has improved, saved and lengthened the lives of thousands, to him. It's not the same thing at all really is it?

    As I said at the start, this is trolling at this point.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is is just trolling at this point; the NHS is cannot be described as Fascist by any person with anything like an accepted general definition of Fascism. If a referendum on privatisation of the NHS was held tomorrow, there is virtually no doubt what the outcome would be.

    Add to that the Welfare State was a policy that successive governments, Tory and Labour, did not abolish because there was absolutely no call for it. That is not a Fascist institution, that's democracy

    The definition I chose was Mussolini's. As he is often credited with the founding of political fascism, wouldn't his definition (state corporatism) be as valid as any (perhaps more so) ? He was practising the 3rd way long before Tony Blair was a twinkle in his father's scrotum.

    I am in agreement with you and your speculation on the outcome of your hypothetical referendum. For the most part, the general public as I observe "them" are in love with the NHS corporation. No doubt, come the General Election, the politicians will tap into this and start their hari krishna-like mantra of "schools and hospitals". I, for one, am not buying. If I am democratically allocated a share of schools and hospitals, I will decline. There will be more in the trough for the trough feeders. I wish them well.
    What?! And how does one do this?

    Legally there may be problems in offering medical advice. Generally one has to be licensed, bonded and insured. Big business protects itself. However, maybe you have, now and then, heard the phrase: prevention is better than cure.

    An analogy: I will assume that you manage your toilet activities yourself but this wasn't always the case. You more than likely had a guardian that dealt with the consequences of your actions. Some time ( and training) later I will now assume that you no longer have the need of that former guardian to deal with the consequences. I will further assume that you also do not deal with any consequences since you have learnt that prevention is better than cure.

    BUT imagine that your former (defecation) guardian relied on dealing with you to earn his/her livelihood. Do you think that they would be keen on ensuring that you no longer "deemed them necessary" ?
    I consider it a fantastic investment for two main reasons; one, when I need treatment, or my family, I am not going to go through my life worrying about whether or not some unforeseen event, which will come to all of us at some point most likely - will bankrupt us or destroy everything we've worked all our lives for, or leave us to suffer needlessly. It is also an investment in others around me; that I live in a society where good people are not left to die and suffer beyond their means.

    The largest cause of personal bankruptcy in America in 2005 was costs incurred due to illness. It isn't here.

    You are actually comparing Bernie Madoff to the NHS - you are actually equating a system that is the single biggest employer in Europe, that since its inception has improved, saved and lengthened the lives of thousands, to him. It's not the same thing at all really is it?

    As I said at the start, this is trolling at this point.

    Your first paragraph is flawed by reason of mathematics unless you are deferring the cost to future generations. If it was the case that "all of us" will face bancruptcy because of medical bills then the only way to deal with that would be to defer the costs. It then becomes your children's problems. Or your children's children.

    Which brings us coincidentally to ponzi schemes. That is the accepted definition of such. Future "investors" paying off the early ones. A recent study showed that the liabilities and obligations of the welfare state equate to around £70,000 per PERSON.The alleged $65 billion of Madoff is loose change compared to this, so I guess it, as you point out "is not the same thing at all".

    I wonder if your future grandchildren will speak of their grandfather with as much reverence as you do of yours once they realise the democratic decisions you have taken with their futures ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The definition I chose was Mussolini's. As he is often credited with the founding of political fascism, wouldn't his definition (state corporatism) be as valid as any (perhaps more so) ? He was practising the 3rd way long before Tony Blair was a twinkle in his father's scrotum.

    Of course not, because in the next paragraph you admit that you believe the NHS to be democratically sustained institution, despite your obvious disgust at its existence.
    I am in agreement with you and your speculation on the outcome of your hypothetical referendum. For the most part, the general public as I observe "them" are in love with the NHS corporation. No doubt, come the General Election, the politicians will tap into this and start their hari krishna-like mantra of "schools and hospitals". I, for one, am not buying. If I am democratically allocated a share of schools and hospitals, I will decline. There will be more in the trough for the trough feeders. I wish them well.

    Something that is democratically affirmed over a number of years, over the course of many elections, is not comparable with any institution in Mussolini's state, in Hitlers, or in Franco's.

    What you've done is taken an economic component of some Fascist models and neglected to mention the social and political elements that don't agree with your definition.
    Legally there may be problems in offering medical advice. Generally one has to be licensed, bonded and insured. Big business protects itself. However, maybe you have, now and then, heard the phrase: prevention is better than cure.

    An analogy: I will assume that you manage your toilet activities yourself but this wasn't always the case. You more than likely had a guardian that dealt with the consequences of your actions. Some time ( and training) later I will now assume that you no longer have the need of that former guardian to deal with the consequences. I will further assume that you also do not deal with any consequences since you have learnt that prevention is better than cure.

    BUT imagine that your former (defecation) guardian relied on dealing with you to earn his/her livelihood. Do you think that they would be keen on ensuring that you no longer "deemed them necessary" ?

    LOL if you are going to propose something to eliminate disease, illness and incapacity, en bloc, through some magical scheme of preventative healthcare, please do. The fact is that people need medical professionals and teams of dedicated healthcare providers to help them on occasion.

    The guardian you speak of in your analogy, doesn't have an equivalent BUPA or other service which, if money allows, the person receiving the service may elect to pay for.

    Apart from that, again I refer you to the earlier comment you agreed with that the NHS is a democratically managed institution. And by the way, consultants and healthcare providers can and do earn more from outside work, but many choose not to work in other systems all the time, here or abroad, because one part of their free choice in working is motivated by the desire to help others, not exclusively money.
    Your first paragraph is flawed by reason of mathematics unless you are deferring the cost to future generations. If it was the case that "all of us" will face bancruptcy because of medical bills then the only way to deal with that would be to defer the costs. It then becomes your children's problems. Or your children's children.

    Which brings us coincidentally to ponzi schemes. That is the accepted definition of such. Future "investors" paying off the early ones. A recent study showed that the liabilities and obligations of the welfare state equate to around £70,000 per PERSON.The alleged $65 billion of Madoff is loose change compared to this, so I guess it, as you point out "is not the same thing at all".

    I wonder if your future grandchildren will speak of their grandfather with as much reverence as you do of yours once they realise the democratic decisions you have taken with their futures ?

    I would like to see this study.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course not, because in the next paragraph you admit that you believe the NHS to be democratically sustained institution, despite your obvious disgust at its existence.

    You appear to be mixing apples and oranges. I said I believed that the majority of people would support the NHS corporation, just as the majority of the people concerned supported Mussolini.

    I am not disgusted at the corporation's existence. What facts led you to that conclusion ? I have merely expressed an opinion that, based on economic facts, I do not consider that particular programme to be beneficial to people who practice personal responsibility.
    Something that is democratically affirmed over a number of years, over the course of many elections, is not comparable with any institution in Mussolini's state, in Hitlers, or in Franco's.

    What you've done is taken an economic component of some Fascist models and neglected to mention the social and political elements that don't agree with your definition.

    Notwithstanding the fact that those three regimes mentioned held elections and acted legally, up to the point where I suggested that the NHS was a fascist enterprise, economics was the only factor on the table. Go and study the etymology of the Italian origins of the word, and I suspect you will find it has more in common with your beloved corporation's ethos than you care to admit.
    LOL if you are going to propose something to eliminate disease, illness and incapacity, en bloc, through some magical scheme of preventative healthcare, please do. The fact is that people need medical professionals and teams of dedicated healthcare providers to help them on occasion.

    I agree some people do,and no doubt they are in need of a guardian to manage their health but have you ever considered the possibility that there are some other people who do not ?
    The guardian you speak of in your analogy, doesn't have an equivalent BUPA or other service which, if money allows, the person receiving the service may elect to pay for.

    In the analogy the original recipient of the service gained competency and learnt to manage his/her own affairs. However if that person returned to incompetence they are free to contract with someone if they so desire.

    (Bear in mind that ass wiping is less regulated/fascist than healthcare provision so I think they would find it easier to find an alternative).
    Apart from that, again I refer you to the earlier comment you agreed with that the NHS is a democratically managed institution. And by the way, consultants and healthcare providers can and do earn more from outside work, but many choose not to work in other systems all the time, here or abroad, because one part of their free choice in working is motivated by the desire to help others, not exclusively money.

    It is a state managed corporation. The State ultimately decides how it is managed . Why shouldn't they ? They created the monster. It wouldn't make sense to me if they did not control it.

    Consultants and healthcare providers can do as they see fit as far as I am concerned. I do not really care how they conduct their affairs. I presume that you are refering to acquaintances rather than generalising. If that is the case could you establish if their desire to help others extends to giving up their pensions when the time comes to collect ?
    I would like to see this study.

    http://www.iea.org.uk/files/upld-book444pdf?.pdf
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You appear to be mixing apples and oranges. I said I believed that the majority of people would support the NHS corporation, just as the majority of the people concerned supported Mussolini.

    No, you didn't say that - what you did what equate the NHS with fascism with no additional contextualisation; when you could quite easily have used purely economic language to make an economic point; but no, you chose to equate it with fascism, and all the implications that would bring in train.

    In any case the resemblance in wider social and historical context is passing at best, and at only the most general levels of comparison does at all have any relevance, which doesn't justify the inflammatory equation with fascism. The NHS doesn't send the secret police out to imprison or disappear it's critics.
    I am not disgusted at the corporation's existence. What facts led you to that conclusion ? I have merely expressed an opinion that, based on economic facts, I do not consider that particular programme to be beneficial to people who practice personal responsibility

    Your equation of the National Health Service with Fascism. Personal responsibility is great so long as you don't get ill - preventative measures such as diet and exercise are highly important, as is a lack of overindulgence in alcohol and drugs (for example).

    What you can't yet do is tell me who will and will not be struck down by particular pathologies and when, so some form of healthcare provision seems reasonable.
    I agree some people do,and no doubt they are in need of a guardian to manage their health but have you ever considered the possibility that there are some other people who do not ?

    No because illness will be a fact of most human lives, increasingly so with the extension of life expectancy that the NHS has helped to achieve. I cannot think of one family I know of that has not benefited in some way from the existence of the NHS.

    If you live all of your life without ever getting ill I will be very happy for you, although the small fact of death makes this unlikely.
    In the analogy the original recipient of the service gained competency and learnt to manage his/her own affairs. However if that person returned to incompetence they are free to contract with someone if they so desire.

    (Bear in mind that ass wiping is less regulated/fascist than healthcare provision so I think they would find it easier to find an alternative).

    Yes and the example was a gross simplification, involving far fewer variables than comparing it, en bloc, to the monolith of pathologies and corresponding healthcare provisions that exist. You are taking two massively complex systems, the human body and the NHS, and equating them with another system that is incomparably simple.

    Also I take it from the juxtaposition in the quote that you equate regulation with Fascism?
    It is a state managed corporation. The State ultimately decides how it is managed . Why shouldn't they ? They created the monster. It wouldn't make sense to me if they did not control it.

    Consultants and healthcare providers can do as they see fit as far as I am concerned. I do not really care how they conduct their affairs. I presume that you are refering to acquaintances rather than generalising. If that is the case could you establish if their desire to help others extends to giving up their pensions when the time comes to collect?

    http://www.iea.org.uk/files/upld-book444pdf?.pdf

    Assuming the report is correct (which I will do, as I have no current dispute with it), you are using this as justification for the NHS as a ponzi scheme. What the report focuses on is pensions, another separate though related debate - what we started off on was the existence of the NHS as a body of healthcare provision to ensure a base level of healthcare for the general population.

    What you are now doing is implicating it in a wider debate about the future of the welfare state, including pensions, and the recent taking on of finance debt from the banks) and offering up only an extremely vague 'management of own healthcare' as the other option, backed up by an ass-wiping allegory.

    Funding for the NHS comes from General Taxation - the other Welfare state benefits are funded through NI contributions. There are two instants of 'NHS' in the document, one of which is used as an example to illustrate the difference between debt and expenditure, and the other deals with pensions for NHS employees.

    What you've done is conflate the two to implicate the NHS in the 'ponzi scheme' of the Welfare state pensions system. We all know the Welfare State needs reform, as does the NHS, but this doesn't make them the same thing.

    The NHS isn't perfect and in all likelyhood needs reform - what it isn't is fascist, a ponzi scheme, or the same thing as the Welfare state benefits funded through General Taxation.

    If you think that fundamental reform of the NHS is needed, or that pensions need reforming or the welfare state needs a serious overhall, tell me why, how and what you think the effects might be and who knows, I might agree. I'm actually much more receptive to the idea of a smaller state than you might imagine; but only in circumstances where it will improve quality of life for the greatest number and where basic standards (e.g: we don't let people starve where there is food, and we don't let people die of preventable disease where such healthcare exists to assist).

    But so far all I'm getting are giant swings between debates, massive generalisations, simplified analogies and conflations between different uses of public money, and I do not know how to proceed
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