ANALYSIS – Margaret Hilda Thatcher, whose death was announced today at the age of 87, was to her admirers a reformer, a radical and to her detractors evil incarnate, someone who had polluted the values of a nation.
Anyone who grew up during the Thatcher era will tell you that it may have been great for some, but it was horrendously unpleasant for many more.
The City of London prospered during the eighties under a regime that celebrated tax cuts for the wealthy, self-interest and private enterprise.
All the while, the North of England was never the same again.
Thatcher shut down the coal mines as well as the ‘less productive’ parts of economy at a lightning pace sending millions of people onto the dole queue.
Many of those who are now castigated for living a life on benefits can trace the source of their troubles back to the day when the chief breadwinner could no longer bring home a pay packet.
The Thatcher project was fueled with revenues from North sea Gas and Oil, as well as the City of London and of course conspicuous consumption.
Today, as Cameron and Osborne attempt to wrestle with this country’s economic woes it is those pillars they are tinkering with, through cuts to public services and tax breaks for the wealthy.
Of course, the task for these modern-day radicals is arguably harder – the UK’s exposure to the financial services industry through the City of London has left a hole in the country’s finances that will no longer be filled with revenues from oil and gas from the North Sea.
And that leaves consumption at a time when only the wealthy can afford to enjoy the good life.
Anyone still think Thatcherism was a good thing for this country?