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General Category => Off topic => Topic started by: EgoTrip on 15:21, 08 April 13

Title: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: EgoTrip on 15:21, 08 April 13
Maggie Thatcher finally croaked it. HOORAY!!!


However she died peacefully. There is no god.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: MaV on 15:44, 08 April 13
Best quote so far:
Твиттер / BenjiWilliamson: #nowthatchersdead We can have ... (https://twitter.com/BenjiWilliamson/status/321231302001041409)

"We can have her funeral handled by the lowest bidder. It's what she would have wanted."

Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 16:40, 08 April 13
I know she was a divisive figure but I admire and respect her calculated and single minded approach both on a national and world stage. RIP Thatcher. (Obviously if I was in one of the communities negatively affected by her policies my opinion would probably be different).
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 09:26, 10 April 13
Not sure if someone deserves respect for being 'single minded' and having a calculated way. Serial killers are like that. My dad used to tell me, when I was little, "better stupid than good, rather than clever and bad".


Having a leader who doesn't believe in society lead an, erm, society, can never be good.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 14:37, 10 April 13
I would have said being single minded is a good leadership trait, obviously not the only one  :) .

I was 1 years old when she came to power and something like 12 years old when she left office so am a Thatcher kid growing up in the home counties so can only speak from that perspective (and indoctrination). Obviously Gryzor, you know the economics side a lot more than I ever will but to me she was right for Britain at the time (much as Churchill was for WW2 but was less successful later in peace time) and succeeded in repositioning Britain, at the time the sick man of Europe, into a position where it was able compete again albeit at the expense of manufacturing, trade unions, many communities and high unemployment at that time of transition. People bemoan how her policies negatively affected their lives but it would be interesting to see where the UK would be without Thatcher; would Britain be part of Europe and in the same position as Spain, Greece and Ireland? The current Governments since Blair appear weak and floundering, especially under Cameron with all their U-turns where he's trying to appease everyone.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 15:11, 10 April 13
Speaking of leadership, being single minded can only be a good thing for short periods of time. Since you mentioned Churchill, this was one of the differences he had with Hitler (who was truly single-minded).


It's wrong, I think, to judge a politician by the measure of those who came after him/her. Just because Blair, Major et co. were opportunistic, self-serving, and incompetent doesn't make Thatcher good by itself.


Also, I've been reading analyses to the effect that Thatcher's policies, although maybe beneficial (to some) in the short term, are the sources of many problems of today's UK economy. And Thatcher has not been the only isolationist anyway. Nor are Spain, Greece, Ireland, Cyprus, Holland, Italy in the place they are in because they followed policies other than the UK's...


But, I say, fuck it. I don't think it needs lots of econ-speak to discuss this one. As Matthew said, "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?". What good is it to have an economic 'progress' if the people are not benefitting from it (like it's been happening in Germany for a few years now)? And this is the single-mindess that's so condemnable: she cared only for the economy and forgot about the people, really.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 16:44, 10 April 13
It's wrong, I think, to judge a politician by the measure of those who came after him/her. Just because Blair, Major et co. were opportunistic, self-serving, and incompetent doesn't make Thatcher good by itself.

No, I think they are worse as they did nothing to build on any short term benefits to improve society or reverse any policies that were no longer fit for purpose. If it becomes economical to equip the mines and start mining coal, why not invest in that sector?
At least Thatcher took on the economy and attempted to find a solution.

"Do or do not, there is no try."  - Yoda

...she cared only for the economy and forgot about the people, really.

I disagree, she wanted for people to make it on their own merits rather then rely on the state; thanks to her indoctrination success to me is measured on personal wealth.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 21:23, 10 April 13
They might have been worse; still not proof that the previous 'owner' was right. Good/=better.

Making a sector 'profitable' is a gospel for neoliberitarianism; ignoring all the other aspects, mainly people. Noone says no to making something more productive. But you can do it in a variety of ways, some of which do not involve people losing their jobs. From a purely economic point of view, anyhow, doing that does not mean the economy as a whole will fare any better as the cruelty of fiscal multipliers shows.

"Making it on one's own merit" is, again, one of the neo-liberals' credos. Two problems with this line of reasoning:
-first, not everyone can make it on their own merit. You also have to consider needs, but of course when you say 'there's no society' you're a long way past that.
-second, what about building everyone's merit? All sorts of broken (even rotten) wrongs here.
-can we talk about the merit of bankers, for instance?

Those are very big issues and cannot be looked at at a microeconomic level. And these are just off the top of my head. I could go into economics, too (financial institutions leverage; capitalisation; moral hazard; funds funelling; high street vs main street; lorenz curves. Those are all very simple stuff, actually, anyone can look them up), but it's not worth it because at this point we're not talking economics but about the principles of democracy.

And what about milk, for instance? Is this merit? Or is the UK better off now 40 years down the line instead? Did Pinochet, her hero and colleague, work for "one's merit"? (this may seem unfair as an argument but it's valid, since they both used to drink to Chicago's health). But this is a silly argument. It's very wrong to judge Thatcher as a standalone moment in history; one needs to study the emergence of the social state and WWII to understand what she brought down and where it leads.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 01:11, 11 April 13
...lorenz curves.

mmm... Loren curves.... that's what you meant wasn't it?  :P

[attachimg=1]

Sorry, what were we talking about again?  :-[ Oh yeah, Thatcher. Well you could be right, hypothetically things could have been done differently,  possibly over a longer period, with less casualties if that was an option with trade unions and miners, but she got things done, rightly or wrongly in the way she thought best at the time. It sounds from the news that she was prepared to have her views challenged and if someone made a valid argument she could have her views changed. At the end of the day people have a polarised view of her and I don't think everyone will come to an agreement any time soon...

However, I do completely agree with your last comment regarding not judging Thatcher as a standalone moment in history.  :)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: buzby on 01:26, 11 April 13
this is what thatcher did for me and my mates


we didnt take any career options at school and went onto her new courses that she brought in and went to college 2 days a week whilst still at school in our final two years as we wanted to be mechanics and this ended up been a waste of time as there wasnt any proper training


we left school and we had to go onto a yts (youth training scheme) which payed £27.50 per week wages as she started doing away with the apprentices and you had to do this for 2 years and then you were employed by the company you were sent to at the end of the 2 years........................ guess what after 2 years the company never took you on as they  said there was no more funding so it was all a waist of time


she then decided to bring in the council tax and you had to pay it or you got fined and people even went to prison, my bill was £300 for the year so i earned £110 a month, mum had £40 board for the month, i spent £40 on my bus fare for the month, had to pay £25 to the council tax so this left me with £5 out of my wages to do what ever with.................. cheers margaret


i could go on but i wont


anyhow moan over
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: buzby on 01:40, 11 April 13
just to add so in the end it was like 4 years wasted when you could of learned a trade in that time.


just fount this and well its true even they say it was a waste of time in not so many words


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_Training_Scheme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_Training_Scheme)



Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 01:49, 11 April 13
I was a bit young for that but its completely different to what I experienced. For me the 80's was both parents in employment. I wouldn't say we were rich but I never went without. I kicked around with my mates on my BMX. We had holidays abroad to places like Majorca and Spain. My nan got to buy her council house. Life was good and I have fond memories of the era which obviously clouds my opinion completely. I guess I've led a sheltered life where I've not had to work hard for anything...  :-[
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 09:22, 11 April 13
 Ooh, the young Loren was a beaut, really! A bit hard to focus now... :D


"prepared to having her mind changed" does not chime well with "single-minded". And I would bet that "having her mind changed" would involve choices like "should we just kick them to the curb or just chop their heads off and be done with it? Discuss".


"In the way she thought best at the time": sure, that's what everyone does. The problem is what you're trying to achieve. Hitler went about it in "the way he thought best at the time". Attila, too. Yes, she did what she thought best - to destroy unions, to serve the ruling class, help industrialists and London bankers -and, oh, suppress other nations too. Let's take a look at this, for instance:


Income Groups     0-20%     21-80%     81-99%     Top 1%

Income increase   18%        37%         65%      275%

This is how income strata evolved from 1979 to 2007. Even the middle class ("21-80", didn't look up more detailed data - still haven't had coffee...) didn't fare well. 37% up in 30 years' time is not a success. So, you see, once you start drilling down in the data a whole different story appears. It's interesting to note that if you check the historical data for the Gini coefficient (in economics it shows the (in)equality of income dispersion), it spiked dramatically in the 80s - and stayed roughly stable after that. Add to this that poverty is not measured in terms of GDP but in terms of inequality and you get what she did.
...and of course the fact that your personal story was a happy one does not change an iota :D Myself I've been lucky enough to have grown up in a home where I didn't miss much (though, no holidays abroad :D ), but this doesn't mean a thing for the rest of the society...
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 13:12, 11 April 13
Ooh, the young Loren was a beaut, really! A bit hard to focus now... :D
Sorry about that :D

"prepared to having her mind changed" does not chime well with "single-minded". And I would bet that "having her mind changed" would involve choices like "should we just kick them to the curb or just chop their heads off and be done with it? Discuss".
Both appear mutually exclusive, you have a consultation phase where you are prepared to have you views challenged, and once set you follow it through.

This interview seems good to me. It puts the "no society" comment into context and people making it on their own merits. I especially like the comments about the Youth Training Scheme that Buzby will probably tear apart :)

Interview for Woman's Own ("no such thing as society") | Margaret Thatcher (http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689)

"In the way she thought best at the time": sure, that's what everyone does. The problem is what you're trying to achieve. Hitler went about it in "the way he thought best at the time". Attila, too. Yes, she did what she thought best - to destroy unions, to serve the ruling class, help industrialists and London bankers -and, oh, suppress other nations too. Let's take a look at this, for instance:


Income Groups     0-20%     21-80%     81-99%     Top 1%

Income increase   18%        37%         65%      275%

This is how income strata evolved from 1979 to 2007. Even the middle class ("21-80", didn't look up more detailed data - still haven't had coffee...) didn't fare well. 37% up in 30 years' time is not a success. So, you see, once you start drilling down in the data a whole different story appears. It's interesting to note that if you check the historical data for the Gini coefficient (in economics it shows the (in)equality of income dispersion), it spiked dramatically in the 80s - and stayed roughly stable after that. Add to this that poverty is not measured in terms of GDP but in terms of inequality and you get what she did.
True, I don't deny that a lot of people suffered especially the communities that relied on steel and coal. Given that this is a snapshot of the UK, how does this compare to other developed countries at the time to put it in some sort of context?


...and of course the fact that your personal story was a happy one does not change an iota :D Myself I've been lucky enough to have grown up in a home where I didn't miss much (though, no holidays abroad :D ), but this doesn't mean a thing for the rest of the society...


True, the point I was trying to make is this is what has shaped my own personal views, as a child, of the Iron Lady.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 13:37, 11 April 13
Sorry about that :D
Both appear mutually exclusive, you have a consultation phase where you are prepared to have you views challenged, and once set you follow it through.


I totally disagree with this action method. As a professional (and, I'd like to think rational person) I've always acted on what my dad tought me (and then found in all the handbooks about decision making): analysis->action->feedback->analysis->correction->take it from the top. What's more, as is done with almost all of the western governments, the 'consultation' phase involves cigars and brandy and sitting around a heavy desk, counting one's beans. I won't bite for that.


 


This interview seems good to me. It puts the "no society" comment into context and people making it on their own merits. I especially like the comments about the Youth Training Scheme that Buzby will probably tear apart :)

Interview for Woman's Own ("no such thing as society") | Margaret Thatcher (http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689)


I was aware of the interview, actually, and I have watched the entire discussion where she quipped that infamous saying. It doesn't change a thing. As I said above:

Quote from: myself
-first, not everyone can make it on their own merit. You also have to consider needs, but of course when you say 'there's no society' you're a long way past that.
-second, what about building everyone's merit? All sorts of broken (even rotten) wrongs here.
-can we talk about the merit of bankers, for instance?

There's a reason people came together in societies. If there was no need to we'd still be living in groups of maybe a housing unit (as far as "neighbor" goes). The economic/sociological reasoning is, I think, that in a society output is very much maximised, and problems get smoothed out much more easily. Start breaking this down to "individuals" and "families" and "neighbours" and output (not measured in shillings and pence) drops, while problems get much more difficult to contain - from invasions to a house fire (a well-known example, immortalised I think in the Gangs of New York, was the fire department that was run by a company or individual, on his own merit, and those who couldn't pay the extortionate subscription were left to burn).


 
True, I don't deny that a lot of people suffered especially the communities that relied on steel and coal. Given that this is a snapshot of the UK, how does this compare to other developed countries at the time to put it in some sort of context?





A lot of people suffered, and only a few benefited (see, for instance, privatised railways). I think it's very wrong to compare the UK at the time with other countries - every country is another tale. In Greece, for instance, in the 80s income inequality went down because of the socialist (or rather 'socialist') government and the belated emergence of the social state (not socialist, let's not confuse the terms here), but I can't compare the two[nb]A nice parallel to the milk story: I remember when I was 7 or 8 they would give big cans of surpluss peach juice to us in schools. Later they stopped the practice, preferring to dump the peaches in order to keep the prices up. Makes sense for a few (producers), none at all for society.[/nb]


But keep it coming, I like a civilised discussion :)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Optimus on 14:06, 11 April 13
(http://news247.gr/eidiseis/politiki/article2201914.ece/BINARY/w660/mitsotakis.jpg)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 14:21, 11 April 13
Oh yeah, saw it last night and couldn't stop laughing :D


Poor woman, she didn't know what was coming to her...
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: AMSDOS on 11:55, 18 April 13
So I get the sense people in the UK don't give a stuff what the rest of the world thinks of them?? I never knew Margaret Thatcher except for what you hear here about her (which isn't much), and now she's dead people have a party. Maybe she was bad, I don't know, though I know she wasn't PM up to her death, why do people drag up the past and still have a party?
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 12:19, 18 April 13
Easy: because her policies deeply affected the state of affairs people now live in, in the UK.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: AMSDOS on 13:01, 18 April 13
Easy: because her policies deeply affected the state of affairs people now live in, in the UK.


Or is that just the government of today?


Australia's political system is based on U.K's horrible 2 party preferred Westminster system (not Margaret Thatchers idea), which doesn't work when both parties are as bad as each other.


I think the only good thing I heard come from the UK was somehow limit the amount of foreign trade. Australia is buggered because of it and businesses are moving overseas because it's cheaper to ship it in or whatever.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 13:09, 18 April 13
So I get the sense people in the UK don't give a stuff what the rest of the world thinks of them??

Hey, as an Englishman that assumption hurts  :'( ;) :D

I never knew Margaret Thatcher except for what you hear here about her (which isn't much), and now she's dead people have a party. Maybe she was bad, I don't know, though I know she wasn't PM up to her death, why do people drag up the past and still have a party?

As Gryzor said:

It's because her radical policies affected so many people who are still alive. In the 1970's the UK was the sick man of Europe with traditional industries the UK relied on such as Manufacturing and Coal on the wane due to cheaper imports; there was already policies in place to shut down mines in prior the Maggie taking power. The power of the Trade Unions made the country ungovernable resulting in the winter of discontent. Maggie declared war of the Trade Unions, passing laws to diminish their powers, turning public opinion (across the rest of the country) against them, breaking up strikes and destroying their power base by wiping out the traditional industries that supported them, and as a result destroying their communities that resulted in high unemployment during the transition (although certain parts of the country have never recovered). In the process, she changed the UK to a market based economy by privatisation which people suggest have caused a boom and bust cycle because without much manufacturing, there is nothing for the UK to fall back on during the bust years.

Those who lived in areas that relied on the traditional industries and saw their livelihoods destroyed hate Thatcher which is why most of the parties happened in the old coal mining towns. I am guessing as Gryzor studied in Wales (a traditional mining community) he will have experienced a lot of disdain for Thatcher if the subject had come up?

The ceremony in London was to mark her importance in British history (good for some, bad for others) and the fact she was the first female Prime Minister in the UK made remarkable that only 4% of politicians in the House of Commons were female at the time.

Australia's political system is based on U.K's horrible 2 party preferred Westminster system (not Margaret Thatchers idea), which doesn't work when both parties are as bad as each other.


Well you have the Conservatives and Labour but what about the other parties in the UK? Lib Dems who the Tories are in coalition with, Green Party, BNP, UKIP, Raving Looney Party?
The problem is UK politics have become an old boys club again and the politicians from the main parties all come from similar privaliged backgrounds so the two main parties are as bad as one another, and there is little difference between them, but at least we don't have Julia Gillard  :D

I think the only good thing I heard come from the UK was somehow limit the amount of foreign trade. Australia is buggered because of it and businesses are moving overseas because it's cheaper to ship it in or whatever.


That's just the Governments attempt to win back votes from the UK Independence Party (UKIP). The UK relies on imports.

I take it the mining boom is over in Australia then?
 
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: AMSDOS on 13:28, 18 April 13
Hey, as an Englishman that assumption hurts  :'( ;) :D 


Sadly yes, there's Australian's who probably do that too. :(

Quote
As Gryzor said:

It's because her radical policies affected so many people who are still alive. In the 1970's the UK was the sick man of Europe with traditional industries the UK relied on such as Manufacturing and Coal on the wane due to cheaper imports; there was already policies in place to shut down mines in prior the Maggie taking power. The power of the Trade Unions made the country ungovernable resulting in the winter of discontent. Maggie declared war of the Trade Unions, passing laws to diminish their powers, turning public opinion (across the rest of the country) against them, breaking up strikes and destroying their power base by wiping out the traditional industries that supported them, and as a result destroying their communities that resulted in high unemployment during the transition (although certain parts of the country have never recovered). In the process, she changed the UK to a market based economy by privatisation which people suggest have caused a boom and bust cycle because without much manufacturing, there is nothing for the UK to fall back on during the bust years.


What beats me is she was in Government for over 10 years! People here in Australia are comparing her to Kevin Rudd (PM Late 2007-2010), being booted out by the person still in office (till September this year I guess).

Quote
Those who lived in areas that relied on the traditional industries and saw their livelihoods destroyed hate Thatcher which is why most of the parties happened in the old coal mining towns. I am guessing as Gryzor studied in Wales (a traditional mining community) he will have experienced a lot of disdain for Thatcher if the subject had come up?


Mining is a bit of a joke in Australia, yes it's well paid and easy to get work in, though it's setup so you kind of loose your money on lousy accommodation and other living expenses along with a bit of that going into Tax.

Quote
Well you have the Conservatives and Labour but what about the other parties in the UK? Lib Dems who the Tories are in coalition with, Green Party, BNP, UKIP, Raving Looney Party?
The problem is UK politics have becomes an old boys club again and the politicians all come from similar privaliged backgrounds so the two main parties are as bad as one another, and there is little difference between them, but at least we don't have Julia Gillard  :D


Tony Abbott (opposition leader) appears to be worse than Gillard, anyone who listens to promises these days is a fool, and Abbott (maybe he'll be known as a-boot one day), cannot even keep a straight story and moves the goal posts.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 13:55, 18 April 13
I saw some of the miners accommodation last year while on holiday, tin mobile homes with cardboard on the windows to keep out of the light - is that what they're all like? The tour guide also suggested the Aborigines were still getting stiffed by the Government. If they wanted to open a mine on Aboriginal land, the Aborigines were being told they owned anything on the land but anything below the land was Government property (they'll just put the land back as it was once the mines are closed)?

So, do you think Rudd has bowed out of the leadership challenges altogether now or is he biding his time on the assumption his party can't win the next election anyway?
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: AMSDOS on 11:39, 19 April 13


I saw some of the miners accommodation last year while on holiday, tin mobile homes with cardboard on the windows to keep out of the light - is that what they're all like? The tour guide also suggested the Aborigines were still getting stiffed by the Government. If they wanted to open a mine on Aboriginal land, the Aborigines were being told they owned anything
on the land but anything below the land was Government property (they'll just put the land back as it was once the mines are closed)?

I don't know if all the accommodation is like that, though the other problem is a shortage of Houses in those Mining areas, that people are choosing to live out of Tin Containers for a ridiculous price, which is simply a landlord owner taking the advantage of a situation. However there maybe another side to the story which explains why they have to charge so much.

Tony Abbott (the opposition leader) has some grand plan on moving people into Central & Northern Australia (Darwin) and it looks like they want to create a series of Dams (as Food Bowls) which looks as if will have an impact into Arnhem Land (which looks like is asking for more trouble).
Quote
So, do you think Rudd has bowed out of the leadership challenges altogether now or is he biding his time on the assumption his party can't win the next election anyway?

Yeah it looks like Rudd is out of the Picture when it comes to mounting a challenge because his supporters got booted out, though I've got some doubt about if he was ever going to mount a challenge, cause it looks like some media scam to get things shifted around like they have been doing these last few years. This September election could be an interesting one, fingers crossed people will decide to vote out main players out of their key seats, so there's no Gillard & no Abbott.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 20:51, 20 April 13
Thanks, Beaker, for a nice and objective summation.


And, what do you know (real coincidence), today I was talking to my girl about how Cardiff was still showing signs of suffering and disintegration when I was there...


I remember professors at the university there (hardly leftists, unionists or radicals - this *was* a Business School after all) saying how bust Wales got with Thatcher and how they were trying to get it back on track through university efforts.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: duncan_bayne on 04:57, 02 July 13
Maggie Thatcher finally croaked it. HOORAY!!!

The lady who prevented England from being in the state Greece is today, you mean?  Yeah, you'd have been better off without her  ::)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 08:42, 02 July 13
*cough* pardon me, kind Sir, Thatcher had nothing to do with Greece or its situation. Might as well drag Mars into the comparison. What's more, arguably the sorry state of the UK economy nowadays *can* be traced back to her policies...
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: AMSDOS on 09:13, 02 July 13
*cough* pardon me, kind Sir, Thatcher had nothing to do with Greece or its situation. Might as well drag Mars into the comparison. What's more, arguably the sorry state of the UK economy nowadays *can* be traced back to her policies...

I don't think Duncan was suggesting that. To me he's suggesting that Thatcher prevented the UK from falling into what happened to Greece. Personally I thought it all happened because of the US, though I don't truly follow the issues that Europe is facing just as I don't fully understand why Aussies now have Kevin Rudd back as Prime Minister. Media say it was the Opinion Polls, though I really wonder how much pressure Media put to emphasise those opinion polls, personally I don't care anymore for the party running the country and next election I'm voting for the other party - I don't care about how bad they are, I'm just sick of this internal crap which has been happening since 2010 and the faceless people who voted Rudd out in 2010 and then voted Gillard out the other week, as long as they are in that party, the public can only get rid of them by voting them out.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 09:54, 02 July 13
Well, if we manage to agree on what's wrong with Greece we may have a stab on whether Thatcherian practices could have prevented it, and at what cost :D
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: MaV on 10:33, 02 July 13
Well, if we manage to agree on what's wrong with Greece we may have a stab on whether Thatcherian practices could have prevented it, and at what cost :D
I'm going to take a stab:

There'd be one who'd have said that he wants his money back instead of transferring the credits right into the collective arses of EU-banksters.

On the other hand, Greek children would have to drink dog's piss instead of cow milk.


Quote
What's more, arguably the sorry state of the UK economy nowadays *can* be traced back to her policies...
There, fixed that for you. Now cast that in concrete for posterity.

Yes, I'm biased.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: EgoTrip on 11:29, 02 July 13
"If if's and Buts were whisky and nuts then we'd have a merry xmas"


So who knows what would have happened without thatcher. But what we do know is that she sold off most of the public services and opened up the country to the global corporations. This led to us being shafted at every turn; water, energy, public transport are notoriously overpriced for example.  Decent, established companies were swallowed up by the giant unethical corporations, with greed as their primary motivation, and those who were not were aggressively forced out of business. She did what she did with the rich and unscrupulous in mind, her own short term rather than long term national prosperity. But labour did no better before or after, didnt see them rescind most of what they were opposed to. They never do. Politicians are self serving and dont give a crap about us.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: JonB on 16:37, 03 July 13
Maggie Thatcher finally croaked it. HOORAY!!!


However she died peacefully. There is no god.

..distasteful, however you judge her policies.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: rexbeng on 20:38, 03 July 13
So, reading EgoTrips latest post it seems to me that Thatcher some 30 years ago brought the UK (economically thus socially) to the state Greece is GOING to find herself in the next couple of years! So that must be of some worth! ;D
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: TFM on 20:39, 03 July 13
Who cared about the distate when poor people died due to her actions?
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: JonB on 21:49, 03 July 13
Errr.... Loaded question, and I'm not being drawn into it. If you don't already understand the point I'm making here (basically, not political, just human) then I can't help you.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: TFM on 21:51, 03 July 13
No help needed. My point here is that death can not be an excuse for everything evil done, maybe one day you learn that. :)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 12:23, 04 July 13
Jon, I see your point. I think it was touched before; but personally I don't subscribe to the "don't speak ill of the dead" motto. Basically, noone does, it's just that different people apply different measures of "evilness" to it - who doesn't speak ill of Hitler for instance?


As for Thatcher, if one's life has been touched by her policies, and unless you're a banker, I can't imagine not being happy about the fact...
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: JonB on 14:32, 04 July 13
Hitler is widely seen as overtly evil. I'm not sure you can say the same about Thatcher. I think my point is "it's a bit soon to be dancing on her grave" - that's why I think the OP is distasteful; I wasn't making a political point.
 
I'm not a banker; in fact, I was a student in the 80s and against the Poll Tax, for example. However, I consider myself a "child of Thatcher" because she was in power during my formative years and like many other people I was inspired by the Thatcherite ethic of taking responsibility for your own welfare. This includes working hard, home ownership and providing for yourself and your family without relying on the state (recall that she was a grocer's daughter who battled her way to the top of the Conservative party, no mean feat when you consider the mysogynism of contemporary politics). At the time it seemed the only alternative to Thatcherism was Trade Unionism, which had been shown to have disasterous effect. The rate of inflation was out of control (affecting everyone, but the poor disproportionally) and had to be dealt with. The Keynesian approach of cutting the money supply (we call this "Austerity" today) was logical, even if the effect was very high unemployment, which I accept was seriously damaging to many people's lives.
 
Of course, there are many examples of things the Thatcher government got wrong, too: privatising the national industries (especially the railways), entering the ERM, the Poll Tax - and it is easy to see all this in hindsight. On the other hand, they reduced taxes and introduced the Right to Buy and MIRAS (to help people into property ownership) and beat the militant unions who seemed to take great pleasure in regularly holding the country to ransom. Now compare her legacy with that of Blair and Brown: crippling public debt, questionable war decisions (WMD my ass), failure to properly regulate the banks (deregulation was, of course, only started by Thatcher), failing (in the latter years) to properly control public spending. Now we are saddled with debt that will take a generation to clear and while you may say "this is caused by the banks", you'd only be half right; the truth is, the regulators effectively stood idly by and let it happen, and of course since Brown had basically spent all the money by then (abandoning his earlier persona of "Prudence"), we had to incur immense debt to bail the banks out because the kitty was empty.
 
I can't believe this would have happened on Thatcher's watch, and anyone who thinks people are not having a hard time and going hungry as a result of the actions of the Blair / Brown governments is mistaken.
 
Ooops, sorry, lecture over...
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 15:18, 04 July 13
Some interesting points :)


The fact that you speak about Hitler as widely seen as overtly evil is proof that the "do not speak evil of the dead" axiom is only relative and based on one's measures. If you accept it for one, you must accept it for all. That's not a political point indeed, and I wasn't meaning that; it's a philosophical/ethical thing, mostly.


I didn't mean you are a banker, that was just a figure of speech :D But what you say ("the Thatcherite ethic of taking responsibility for your own welfare") is the polarised view as drilled into us by Thatcherite (and neoliberal) propaganda. The opposite side is not against "taking responsibility for your own welfare". Au contraire (chews end of smoking pipe, lights tobacco, continues while waving said pipe in the air) opponents largely say, "take responsibility for your own welfare, but if something happens you won't have to die or sell your body for a Mars bar. Oh, and by the way, we refuse to pay for the bankers".


The rise of the social state in the UK and everywhere else after WWII is a very good example - given a disaster, it's only through pooled resources we can pull through. And this applies to society as much as to single individuals. The social state has, as I see it, two foremost aims: provide some insurance net and redistribute income, given the undeniable propensity of money begetting money. So, it's not only about you not having to starve if something disastrous happens to you (knock wood), but also making it easier to make some money/earn some resources while you're able to.


You say that inflation was hurting the poor disproportionately - but then who does unemployment hurt? Keynes actually was a proponent of the opposite of what you say; observing that cutting spending while in a bad time leads to even worse times, he said you must turn the faucet on. Money supply issues, while terribly interconnected with other variables, are quite well understood; sure, supply too much money (which is not the same as the state spending much, that's totally different) and you may end up with inflation if other variables are not there in sufficient quantities to absorb it. But cutting spending (like the do here in Greece, btw), leads to a downward spiral.


Inflation, btw, reached an all-time high during Thatcher's reign. Subsequently fell, but rose up. But that's not the point. Battling inflation in a non-emergency economy is very easy. It's the problems this will cause to the economy that are hard to deal with.


And maybe the Unions took a pleasure in holding the country to ransom (not really familiar with labour history in the UK to be totally honest), but hey, what about the City holding the country to ransom? Because that's the alternative she offered...


Your assessment of failure vis-a-vis the banking sector, bailing-outs (see Moral Hazard) etc is spot-on. But deregulation is in the heart of neo-liberalism.


T




PS Oh, and I don't give a rat's ass if she was a grocer's daughter, most great dictators started from humble beginnings :D )
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: JonB on 16:58, 04 July 13
Thanks, Gryzor, very nicely written if I may say so.. I particularly liked your reference to waving a pipe in the air; perhaps you were - figuratively speaking - standing by the fire with one elbow one the mantelpiece and a foot on the fire guard, 1930s "chap" style?

I think I have to disagree about the banks holding society to ransom. That phrase iimplies intent. I believe that central banks stepped in because they were deemed "too big to fail". That is, they'd take all our savings with them if they fell (cue the inevitable doom laden post apocalyptic scenario). Did the banks ask to be bailed out? I'm not sure. They agreed to it, certainly. Apart from Barclays, who borrowed from the Saudis (or Quataris, I can't recall).

Nevertheless, my point is really that it's not entirely fair to consider the "evils of Thatcherism" in isolation. I think no government can get it 100% correct, and that's why I tried a comparison with more recent events. Although from the sounds of it, you have a better understanding of Keynes than me..

As for Hitler, well, you mentioned him first.


Great debate, by the way. :)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 21:00, 04 July 13
Don't know about the mantelpiece, but I did imagine a tweed jacket with elbow patches :)


Regarding banks: I have this perverted hobby, reading about financial and corporate scandals. "Did the banks ask to be bailed out?" No; they begged for it. It's actually all quite well documented to tell you the truth - and how couldn't they? As for the "too big to fail" thing, it's one of the plagues of our times. Again I must mention moral hazard. So, if you behave as recklessly as possible, aiming to earn as much money as possible within the shortest possible time and knowing the scheme will eventually collapse and others will pay for your profits, is this just criminal negligence or criminal intent as well?


What is not a question, though, is that banks/funds have actually and deliberately attacked whole countries and geographical regions, knowing fully well that those attacks would impoverish large populations. This is clearly intent, and there are countless books on the topic (read I was a Financial Hitman for instance; while a bit on the sensationalist side, it reveals quite a bit the common methodology among all these attacks).


Of course no government is 100% correct -ever. But we're talking about Thatcherism here :) The fact that more modern governments all around the world have managed to get even worse than Thatcher's is a testament of the times we live in, but a bit off-topic. What's more, Thatcher, Pinochet and their Chicago friends were those who started it all, really...


And as for Hitler, heck, that's what Godwin's law is about!


Yup, always love a good debate :)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: JonB on 21:57, 04 July 13
Hmmm... Food for thought, and good quality. I'd forgotten about currency attacks. The swine! Still, who's laughing now? You see, I'm not actually a banker, but I do work in the banking sector, in IT. And I happen to know that the regulators, deeply embarrassed as it were, are now baying for blood. They have the bankers by the short and curlies. Let's hope they hold tight eh?

So, a good debate but I have to conceed defeat. You win this time, Moriarty....
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 11:27, 05 July 13
The fun is in the game, Holmes!


But, seriously, the interesting thing with such debates is that unless you're knee-deep into it (I'm not) you need to research stuff. Before replying, for instance, I had to take a look at capitalisation and leverage ratios for the UK banks (more later).


The scrutiny you talk about seems to me to be just a knee-jerk reaction. Just wait a couple of years... What's more, regarding regulations:


Back in 2006 I was working for Sony here in Greece, and we were migrating to SAP. I was designated Key User for marketing, meaning I got to tell the guys (based outside London) how to design the relevant functions. We had countless and long meetings with the UK consultants - as you may know as an IT guy, implementing an ERP program for a major corporation and needing to customise it on the company's needs AND to the letter of the local law is nothing to laugh at. Well, at one meeting I said, regarding some issue (don't remember what), "Well, we got SOX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes–Oxley_Act), right?" A lady senior consultant (she was awesome) looked at me with a meaning that years later would be translated as "You know nothing, Jon Snow!" (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/you-know-nothing-jon-snow). As she went on to explain, rules are just instructions as to how to get away with murder.  "You cannot be found over the body handling the knife" - so step a bit back and put the knife in your pocket; occasionally change pockets. That sort of thing.


Take UK banking, for instance; Basel I and II failed, hence the need for a Basel III. And what do Basel III criteria show for UK banks? That the best bank has a ratio of only 4.5% (meaning, the ratio of capital/assets(borrowing) is 1/22. Or, that the bank has a risk 22 times over what it actually owns. Very simplistically, btw). Barclays, which is the worst, stands at 2.8%. And what does Basel III impose as a floor? A paltry 3%. Now you tell me, whether regulators have them by the balls or not, how long it takes for a single bank to fail, bringing others down with it, and requiring a bailout.


Fuck it - we know with a pretty decent degree of certainty that the regulators will, anyhow, be called in or paid off sooner rather than later, anyway. The revolving doors between the banking sector and regulatory bodies is not a secret, anyway...

PS It's not only currency attacks; Greece (and others, but I think mainly Greece as the weakest link) suffered a tremendous bond attack.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Bryce on 14:15, 05 July 13
I'm not going to join the political discussion, but I find the title to this thread very fitting. "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead". Isn't that the film where their hope for the future turned out to be a little man behind a curtain and a complete fake that couldn't actually achieve anything they wanted?.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_Major_1996.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_Major_1996.jpg)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: redbox on 14:31, 05 July 13
http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/food/john_major440.jpg (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/food/john_major440.jpg)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: JonB on 16:00, 05 July 13
Perhaps, Gryzor, I am only hoping the regulators have them by the wotsits. Having recently participated in a regulatory reporting project for Dodd-Frank (and later, EMIR), I have to say the IT infrastructure requirements are pretty onerous. Think thumping great pipelines connected to huge repositories into which you must squirt all your reportable trade information. Expensive. And what will Mr Regulator do with that torrent of data? My suspicion is "bugger all", because they don't have the capability to deal with it.
 
Which I suppose is why they were unable to see the coming financial apocalypse; the banks tend to suck all the best minds out of the job market by paying the most, so the "office of the regulator" ends up being staffed with also-rans who don't understand the often complex financial products and markets they are attempting to regulate.
 
For my part, I thought something nasty would happen, but that it'd be a housing market crash, not a total credit meltdown... That, I think, is still to come (a house price crash I mean), because QE and low interest rates (but the QE mostly) are keeping asset prices artificially high. One hint of a suggestion that the taps will be turned off (by the US FED)sent global stock markets diving last week. You'd think dealers would price in this certainty up front... sigh..
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 20:25, 28 October 13
Hey, lots of weeks later I realised I hadn't replied to you...


Well, the torrent of information you're describing is just one of the issues. Lack of transparency (which data torrenting is supposed to fight - yeah right) is one thing, fundamental stupidity is another. Instead of piping into a trader's data stream, for instance (in any case not even the companies themselves know what to make of all their data), just say, for intance, "no selling what you don't own"; "can't insure what you don't have"; "here's a nice cell for leveraging 100x". Stuff like that, that patently don't contribute to real economic activity and have been proven to cause crises, huge and small.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: MaV on 11:58, 04 January 14
If anyone still needs to be convinced read (the January 3rd entries in particular):
National Archives | UK news | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/uk/nationalarchives)

From my POV, I have nothing but disgust and disdain for that figure (if anyone doubted that).
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 19:33, 04 January 14
Ha, read something on these revelations today, picked off Twitter: Thatcher vs the miners: official papers confirm the strikers’ worst suspicions (http://blogs.channel4.com/paul-mason-blog/thatcher-miners-official-papers-confirm-strikers-worst-suspicions/265) .


Goes to show that, even if you agree with her economics policies, there's no denying in that Thatcher broke the social contract and didn't care much about Democracy and the necessary structures to support it.


But then again, what's new. This is no Democracy, it's clearly a parliamentary autocracy.
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: JonB on 19:39, 04 January 14
I'm not surprised The Guardian has all that bad stuff about Thatcher.  ::)


See, the thing is, Gryzor, that the first types of derivatives (called futures) did have a socially useful function. They allowed a producer to guarantee a price for his / her produce, which is a great thing as it allows all sorts of insurance (against a bad season), so producers don't go bust (which is very bad for the rest of society).


Yeah, I'm oversimplifying somewhat, but my point is that not all derivatives are bad. Misusing them, on the other hand, is. Very.


How about this for a laugh: http://husky1.stmarys.ca/~gye/derivativeshistory.pdf (especially the biblical reference)..


Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 19:47, 04 January 14
Guardian is, IIRC, not the bastion of "radicalism" it used to be; in any case, this is no op-ed, but rather a dive into the official archives, so it really doesn't matter where the article comes from. Just read Thatcher's notes themselves.


Oh, I know perfectly well about the use of derivatives etc, but that's not the issue here; the problem arises when derivatives (and derivatives of derivatives of derivatives, which only a handful of people in the world can wrap their brains around) are in the hands of persons who don't care about the underlying economics but are into it just to make a quick buck; I think that's clear from my paragraphs two posts above...


Thanks for the pdf, I'll print it out :)
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: Gryzor on 18:22, 07 October 14
Came upon this today...

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Ding Dong! The Witch is DEAD!
Post by: beaker on 18:30, 07 October 14
With absolutely no research I still say County Kerry would be poorer if it wasn't for European sub's lol