Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher's economic legacy

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When Thatcher was elected in 1979 the fortunes of British capitalism were lagging behind its competitors after decades of poor performance. Her economic policies as a package reflected the desire of the British ruling class to break the power of the workers' movement in the workplace and, through higher unemployment, to increase the profitability and competiveness of British capital.

Under the banner of so-called "supply side" economics her economic assault to restore the competitiveness of the British economy was three pronged. First, trumpeting the virtues of free markets, privatisation was the centrepiece of her policies. By value, almost half of the stock of public assets was transferred to private ownership during Thatcher's term of office - including utilities such as telecommunications, gas, electricity and water and flagship firms such as British Airways.

The resistible march of Thatcher

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The death of Margaret Thatcher was greeted by celebrations across the country, while the ruling class went into a frenzy as they attempted to defend her legacy. Here Charlie Kimber looks at that legacy.

The media frothed against those of us who celebrated Margaret Thatcher's death. They said we were unpardonably using someone's death for base political ends. That's only allowed if you are chancellor George Osborne and the right wing media seeking to exploit the deaths of six of Mick Philpott's children in order to bolster the war on benefits.

Eton Whine

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The other day I heard a recording of a Thatcher speech on the TV. It was one of those awful repetitive dogmatic dirges she was so fond of. Immediately the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I felt my hackles rise.

It's amazing that after all this time she alone of politicians of my lifetime can produce such deep loathing and an urge to do something unspeakably violent.

There have been plenty of other politicians I have detested, yet none quite trigger the same feeling, and I'm aware it's not entirely logical. I mean there is so much to loathe about Cameron, Osborne and Clegg, smarmy sons of privilege, hiding truly vicious politics behind vague social liberalism.

The return of the nasty party: Cameron, Thatcher and the Tories

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The prospect of a Tory government will chill all who remember the 1980s. Yet bad as David Cameron promises to be, a victory for him need not herald a rerun of the Thatcher years. Ian Taylor begins our pre-election coverage by analysing the prospect of a Cameron government and what it would mean

Barring an astonishing turnaround, 13 years of betrayal by New Labour appear about to end. We can hope for a strong showing by left candidates and a campaign on their behalf that draws activists together for the fights ahead. But the likelihood is of a Tory return and a government committed to savage cuts.

The prospect of a victory for David Cameron can lead to one of at least two unhelpful conclusions: either that the result does not matter, since New Labour has become indistinguishable from the Tories, or that Cameron is a new Margaret Thatcher.

Raising the stakes

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The sight of Gordon Brown greeting Margaret Thatcher warmly at the door of Number 10 must have left most Labour supporters aghast.

It highlighted the extent to which the hated priorities of the Tories have been adopted wholesale by the government. Sadly, criticism from within the Labour Party was muted.

But where mainstream politics, and its obsession with pro-market solutions, has failed, PCS is taking action. Our national dispute actively opposes the public sector pay freeze, job cuts and the consequences of privatisation.

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