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Why is Margaret Thatcher so hated?

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    I recently had to do some research on her time as Prime Minister as part of my school project. I noticed that the public's opinions of Margaret Thatcher is rather polarised.

    For example when I searched her name on Google this pops up on the first page:

    http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/

    Why is she so hated by some and yet respected by others?

    What did she do to this country that makes people want to celebrate an 86 year-old woman's death?
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    (Original post by kindareal)
    I recently had to do some research on her time as Prime Minister as part of my school project. I noticed that the public's opinions of Margaret Thatcher is rather polarised.

    For example when I searched her name on Google this pops up on the first page:

    http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/

    Why is she so hated by some and yet respected by others?

    What did she do to this country that makes people want to celebrate an 86 year-old woman's death?
    Even though many people dislike Thatcher I am fairly confident in saying she is respected by most in that she was a conviction politician - unlike most of the ones these days.

    The sorts of people making websites like that are probably just immature marxist university students.
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    (Original post by kindareal)
    I recently had to do some research on her time as Prime Minister as part of my school project. I noticed that the public's opinions of Margaret Thatcher is rather polarised.

    For example when I searched her name on Google this pops up on the first page:

    http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/

    Why is she so hated by some and yet respected by others?

    What did she do to this country that makes people want to celebrate an 86 year-old woman's death?
    I guess she made a lot of decisions which were unpopular with many people, for example she was detested by the mining community. However, she also helped to invent soft-serve ice cream. So it's swings and roundabouts really...
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    Because she sold away our future and created a Britain for the rich.
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    She was very pro-active and a lot of changes happened under her leadership. She's not so well liked by working classes. My parents were newlyweds in the late 80s and they have completely differing opinions on her. My mum remembers how hard it was to find a job, how little help they got financially, and my dad remembers that without her, they never would have been able to buy the council house I grew up in.
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    (Original post by Hewitt)
    Even though many people dislike Thatcher I am fairly confident in saying she is respected by most in that she was a conviction politician - unlike most of the ones these days.

    The sorts of people making websites like that are probably just immature marxist university students.
    Simply having conviction doesn't mean squat...every politician that has ever gotten into power, and exercised power has had conviction. It doesn't earn my respect, it's just part of the job description. If it earns your respect, then you're easily satisfied and politically naive.

    David Cameron (to give you an example of someone people regularly moan about for being a "career" politician) also has excellent conviction. It's how he was elected to party leader and eventually how he gained premiership (albeit with a little help from his Lib Dem friends) and how he's managed to get his party's policies enacted. However, it doesn't say anything about whether or not he is effective or correct in his actions. If you're going to respect him simply due to the fact that he's done well in the dirty business that is politics, your respect is pretty worthless.

    As to Thatcher...people hate her because she was instrumental in creating a society revolving around individualism, and this philosophy permeated everything from big businesses down to local councils. Of course, this is only a bad thing if you disagree with unbridled individualism, but most people aren't Ayn Rand fanatics, and tend to believe in society and looking out for one another.

    There are also other reasons to hate her and what she did: for example her friendship and support of Pinochet (the Chilean dictator), her role in the aftermath of Hillsborough, Section 28, etc.
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    A recent YouGov poll put Margaret Thatcher as one of the most respected politicians in recent times from all political parties. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...ted-politician

    Clearly she is not hated by the majority of the UK, in fact you could state the reverse. It is only the politically left voting people in the mining towns that hated her.
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    Opinion on her is polarised because she herself was polarised. The good things she did were very good, such as beating the unions, and they required someone like her to do it (that is to say, someone with balls). However, the bad things she did (Hillsborough, poll tax, most of what she did at the end of her reign) were really very bad. The people who love her see the good things she did and conclude that she was wonderful, whereas others look more at the bad things, and conclude that she was terrible, and it is not necessarily the case that either side is wrong. She was kind of a prime minister of extremes, and so she is remembered in extreme fashion.
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    Because she systematically obliterated Britain's manufacturing sector, paving the way for Britain's future comparative advantage in the service sector. Of course, this is the service sector which we so heavily relied on which completely collapsed and is the reason why we're struggling to regain any real growth since the global recession. Meanwhile, countries which didn't abandon their skilled manufacturing workforce (Germany, America et al.) have managed to regain steady growth. When 80% of our economy depends on a bunch of people inventing fake money to sell fake money in order to make more fake money, you know you're heading for a ****storm.

    She privatised many industries, and rather than use the savings made on them on schools, hospitals etc. she used them to fund temporary tax cuts near election time in order to gain the popular lower-middle class vote. She was extremely hawk-ish in her foreign policy, she even defended the Berlin wall and was dreading it when it collapsed.

    She promoted a visciously backwards culture of individualism and anti-collectivism in Britain, which you can still see the evidence of today. No longer do people have the post-WW2 mentality where we should look out for one another and would happily pay benefits in order to get people back on their feet. She hated the common worker and trade unions, and wanted power to basically be in the hands of business and corporations. A fine example of her every-man-for-himself ideology was the poll-tax, where for example a single rich person in a mansion would pay less tax than a large struggling family in a much smaller house. It was so extreme that even the majority of the Conservatives wanted her out, let alone the public.
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    She overturned a cross party postwar consensus about the way the country should be run and caused a disruptive cultural and economic step change.

    when thatcher came in, keeping unemployment low was seen as a government responsibility, serious people including a lot of tories thought there'd be a catastrophe if unemployment exceeded 1 million.
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    I agree with Democracy that conviction doesn't mean anything.

    However what I struggle to understand is why individualism is pictured as a bad trait. I think it is only normal for an improving society, that people should not rely on others, otherwise this would create an endless cycle of reliance. At the end nothing is gained or generated.

    Don't you think it is fair for people to achieve what they can and want, and not having to feel like they are being weighed down by other people relying on them?

    I understand why some are critical of her actions during her time as Prime Minister, but one simply cannot expect a politician to be able to accommodate everybody's views. Her views may not be as liberal or as 'left-leaning' than some would've liked. At least she actually wanted to make Britain strong again in the 1980s, and to a certain extent she did achieved that at the end of her premiership.

    In regards to poll tax, although I don't actually agree with it being implemented (because that wasn't what people wanted), I do recognise her intentions. By enforcing a flat rate tax that everybody have to pay, this can reduce the tendency for some people to expect the richer population to provide for them by having to pay for a higher percentage of tax. This could be especially effective against the minority who abused the welfare system.

    What she did to Britain's manufacturing industry I believe, was inevitable. UK's industry by then was far less competitive than many countries like Japan and Germany. Mines had to be shut down simply because it costed more to dig the coal out than its selling price. Given the emerging power of globalisation, and China being able to manufacture products at much cheaper price than the UK, some industries simply needed to be shut down or be privatised to fill in for the deficits incurred by the previous government which was unable to put an earlier stop to this (and allowed jobs to be kept so people don't lose their jobs despite losing money). This rapid transition resulted in very high unemployment.

    Please do correct me if I am wrong on any information, I was born way after her years as Prime Minister. My analysis is totally research-based.
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    (Original post by Ben F)
    Because she systematically obliterated Britain's manufacturing sector, paving the way for Britain's future comparative advantage in the service sector. Of course, this is the service sector which we so heavily relied on which completely collapsed and is the reason why we're struggling to regain any real growth since the global recession.
    It's not really true that she 'obliterated' it. Sectors which were declining continued to decline, sometimes more sharply if they were being propped up by state subsidy. Interestingly enough, manufacturing declined more under the post-1997 Labour administrations than under old Maggie.

    Thatcher loved a bit of high-tech and skilled manufacturing. She wasn't against that. In my own dear Scotland, we had the "Silicon Glen" phenomenon - a skilled replacement for some of the declining heavy industries, brought about by the policies and support of Mrs Thatcher. Unfortunately what you imply, that it is somehow stronger than the service sector, proved to be false: after 2000, the industry collapsed and now employs less than half of the people it did at that point.

    Meanwhile, countries which didn't abandon their skilled manufacturing workforce (Germany, America et al.) have managed to regain steady growth. When 80% of our economy depends on a bunch of people inventing fake money to sell fake money in order to make more fake money, you know you're heading for a ****storm.
    We came too late to the party. Other economies changed over in the early 70s. We left it till the 80s. Silly old post-war consensus.

    She promoted a visciously backwards culture of individualism and anti-collectivism in Britain, which you can still see the evidence of today. No longer do people have the post-WW2 mentality where we should look out for one another and would happily pay benefits in order to get people back on their feet.
    Er, I think we rather do actually.
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    Alot of people here get over emotional and turn into drama queens when her name is mentioned
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    Simply having conviction doesn't mean squat...every politician that has ever gotten into power, and exercised power has had conviction.
    Pardon the insular Anglo-Saxon, but that's a load of old *******s, sir. You can be a gibbering, sway-with-the-wind, ideological void and still manage to get elected to office.

    David Cameron (to give you an example of someone people regularly moan about for being a "career" politician) also has excellent conviction. It's how he was elected to party leader and eventually how he gained premiership (albeit with a little help from his Lib Dem friends) and how he's managed to get his party's policies enacted.
    Ah, but how quickly will he drop policies and pick up new ones to satisfy the public? I mean, take "Vote Blue, Go Green" - that all got sidelined when it wasn't winning votes. Or how about going along with House of Lords reform? Not exactly a solid Tory there.

    most people aren't Ayn Rand fanatics, and tend to believe in society and looking out for one another.
    And yet they voted her in. Time and again. Then Major - the most popular British PM in history if you go by votes.

    Why? Because Maggie believed in that sort of thing too. Individualism, yes; personal responsibility, yes - but also a society in which the less fortunate are helped to reach their potential. She was also a Christian and a traditionalist: she undoubtedly placed a great deal of trust in community values, working together and getting things done.

    There are also other reasons to hate her and what she did: for example her friendship and support of Pinochet (the Chilean dictator), her role in the aftermath of Hillsborough, Section 28, etc.
    All of which, I'm happy to agree, are blots on her copy-book.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Pardon the insular Anglo-Saxon, but that's a load of old *******s, sir. You can be a gibbering, sway-with-the-wind, ideological void and still manage to get elected to office.



    Ah, but how quickly will he drop policies and pick up new ones to satisfy the public? I mean, take "Vote Blue, Go Green" - that all got sidelined when it wasn't winning votes. Or how about going along with House of Lords reform? Not exactly a solid Tory there.



    And yet they voted her in. Time and again. Then Major - the most popular British PM in history if you go by votes.

    Why? Because Maggie believed in that sort of thing too. Individualism, yes; personal responsibility, yes - but also a society in which the less fortunate are helped to reach their potential. She was also a Christian and a traditionalist: she undoubtedly placed a great deal of trust in community values, working together and getting things done.



    All of which, I'm happy to agree, are blots on her copy-book.
    well you're right that thatcher was prepared to be unpopular whereas cameron's conviction seems to be determined by whatever the latest focus group printout says.

    Thatcherism wasn't so great for communities and tradition if the community in question was based around a unionised industry. there was a suspicion that she was getting her own back on some regions afterwards, some areas blighted by industrial decline got helped, you mentione silicon glen, Also government supported japanese car plants in the north east and the midlands... But nothing for yorkshire iirc which was the region of core support for arthur scargill.

    Silicon glen always seemed a bit dismal, shiny workerless factories with robots putting a couple of screws into a japanese hard disk or mobile phone so it could be badged up to say it was made in the eu. no suprise the scottish microsoft or intel never started up.

    Tebbits advice about getting on your bike is disruptive of communities, we became much more a nation people in transit. You can't have communities and have everyone rattling around the country every couple of years.
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    Thatcher was evil incarnate
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    Because people can be rather silly.

    There was a generation of Union men who believed the Government owed them a job, and the Unions supported this idea. Maggie said no. We would not bow to the demands of over-active Unions in loss making sectors of industry as the previous Labour government had. SO that generation felt things harshly, so they hated. Then you have that hate permeating through the generations, with the more intelligent spouters of hate hating her ideals, Individualism, Monetariesm and so on. And the rather more dimwitted ones hate her because their parents and peers do.

    Thatcher was by no means perfect, she had her share of mistakes, but find me a PM or even a party that hasn't made mistakes over a 12 year period. The hate she gets is frankly, pathetic, but she is the demon for everyone that wants one and who is Left of Centre. As I always say, people who spout such nonsense say much more about themselves then they do about Maggie.
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    (Original post by Bobifier)
    Opinion on her is polarised because she herself was polarised. The good things she did were very good, such as beating the unions, and they required someone like her to do it (that is to say, someone with balls). However, the bad things she did (Hillsborough, poll tax, most of what she did at the end of her reign) were really very bad. The people who love her see the good things she did and conclude that she was wonderful, whereas others look more at the bad things, and conclude that she was terrible, and it is not necessarily the case that either side is wrong. She was kind of a prime minister of extremes, and so she is remembered in extreme fashion.
    I disagree they the Community Charge (aka Poll Tax) was bad. It was a brilliant idea that would have made local politicians accountable for their spending to the bill payers. It would force people to take an interest and vote in people who make sound economic decisions. This would have been the road to Direct Democracy. It only failed because Labour councils intentionally overspend so they could blame large bills on the community charge. Thatcher's vision was to make people take responsibility. She was the last leader we had with a vision.

    While Thatcher closed down some uneconomic state mines (which is what business does unless it wants to go bust) she created a net 3.4 million jobs during her leadership and no significant change to the national debt.

    I have heard people on the tube talking about how "bad" Thatcher was. When I asked them how was she bad, they were unable to say.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    For some people it is just because it is the 'cool' thing to do. Some people, especially the younger generation now, who hate her probably don't really know what she actually did.
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    ****ing milk snatcher
Updated: January 21, 2013
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