So Margaret Thatcher has finally popped her clogs. I know of people who have had champagne on ice in preparation for this moment. I wouldn’t go that far, but I won’t be mourning. I heard the news whilst I was driving earlier today. Caught unawares, I cheered. Loudly.
I lived through the Thatcher era, and I still remember how bad things were. When she became Prime Minister in 1979, unemployment was under one million. Within a few years it was over three, and still rising. When she finally realised that something needed to be done about it, her solution was to change the way the figures were calculated.
She destroyed the manufacturing sector in the UK and put most of our state assets into the hands of profiteers (for the most part, her peers). She created the lost generation, provoked countless suicides, and used market forces to drive down wages and conditions for ordinary working people. As a satirical comedy show put it at the time: ‘Never before, in the field of human con-tricks, has so much been taken from so many by so few’. She oversaw the beginning of a process of transference of wealth from those at the bottom of society to those at the top – a process that has been perpetuated by successive governments since.
Her legacy is the creation of the Selfish Society.