Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    ...I think I'm starting to like you already

    I was born in 94, so I was raised and educated under the New Labour administration; so I guess it's fair to say that I lack 'economic / political competence'. From what I understand however, even though Thatcher gave the country a good kicking in the '80s, didn't the economy pick up towards the latter end of the '80s, because Thatcher gave the country the kicking it needed to jumpstart the economy?

    I'm asking not because I'm trying to defend Thatcher, but because it's difficult to really know because I haven't lived through anything other than the New Labour administration. People say she destroyed Britain and left it decimated - others think it saved Britain from the catalogue of problems that occurred in the '70s.

    Besides the Falklands that won her the '83 election, was it not for the entrepreneurial and business attitude she encouraged, as well as the computerisation of society the main reason why she was in power for so long? Construction may have dwindled etc. but wasn't computer technicians and the like replacing the same jobs?

    I mean what can we replace jobs with today? Cameron is selling this country off lock stock to pay for the debts - which, ironically, New Labour left us in.
    It's good that you like this because basically all I do around here is strut around spouting vaguely incomprehensible things that no-one cares about :thumbsup:

    Meh. I'm no Thatcher fan and think that she did a lot of real damage to the fabric of our society and our economy, but people who say that she did nothing good are probably not thinking very clearly. What she had was a sort of weird vision where she would set up glorious competition and capitalist awesomeness but what she didn't have was any idea about how do actually do it. So what she ended up doing is crippling swathes of our economy while allowing other bits to sort of do whatever they liked. This included the banks, who proceeded to make a huge amount of money.

    New Labour's economic problems largely stem from the fact that they overspent on everything. I'm not saying that government spending is bad. The problem is that they did it in such a way that they created an artificial illusion of growth which could not be sustained. The problem with that is that when the economy goes down the crapper, you can't inject capital and expect it to fix everything because that's how you created the problem in the first place. So it's true to say that Labour sort of screwed up economically... but it isn't true to say that the coalition's economic policies are necessitated by the situation they've inherited. They're making things much worse.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    How so? Won't UKIP's traditionally right-wing stance exacerbate Labour's left-wing stance? (although they've got more of a centre ground now?) :confused:
    split the Conservative vote....plus the left wing stance is the best!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    How so? Won't UKIP's traditionally right-wing stance exacerbate Labour's left-wing stance? (although they've got more of a centre ground now?) :confused:
    Nope.

    They largely split the right wing vote, as has been said, but because of the nature of their party (populist nutjobs) they also suck votes from Labour and the Lib Dems. Labour's stance around them is sort of molly coddling let's talk about the issues they talk about but not really do much. Cameron is moving right, though, which could hypothetically exacerbate Labour's position. But it won't.
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    It's good that you like this because basically all I do around here is strut around spouting vaguely incomprehensible things that no-one cares about :thumbsup:
    Doesn't most people on TSR do that?

    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    Meh. I'm no Thatcher fan and think that she did a lot of real damage to the fabric of our society and our economy, but people who say that she did nothing good are probably not thinking very clearly. What she had was a sort of weird vision where she would set up glorious competition and capitalist awesomeness but what she didn't have was any idea about how do actually do it. So what she ended up doing is crippling swathes of our economy while allowing other bits to sort of do whatever they liked. This included the banks, who proceeded to make a huge amount of money.
    I think you have it spot on. I think, with the benefit of hindsight, if Thatcher hadn't have inherieted an economy that was in such bad nick, then she wouldn't have gone through with her radical slash and burn policies that dogged the 1980s.

    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    New Labour's economic problems largely stem from the fact that they overspent on everything. I'm not saying that government spending is bad. The problem is that they did it in such a way that they created an artificial illusion of growth which could not be sustained. The problem with that is that when the economy goes down the crapper, you can't inject capital and expect it to fix everything because that's how you created the problem in the first place. So it's true to say that Labour sort of screwed up economically... but it isn't true to say that the coalition's economic policies are necessitated by the situation they've inherited. They're making things much worse.
    Nailed it again. We only have to look at the NHS - While the money injected into the NHS has profoundly reformed the NHS, too much of our taxpaying money went into the NHS and got very little out of it. All New Labour did was throw money at problems in hopes it would go away, but obviously when we've ran out of money, you can't keep doing that.

    Labour's spending binge will still tag them as being the party of tax and spend. Which, as I said in another post, high taxes and high spending isn't inheriently problematic. Look at Sweden - who are happy to give up to 70% of their money in taxes because they trust the government to provide them with better public services and more effecent spending. I wouldn't mind doing the same - but Britain has a spending problem - For too long the government has overspent too much of our cash, and now that the money is drying up, it's us that's having to pay for it.

    The question we should be asking is why are we paying for the mistakes of casino bankers, tax evaders, millionaires and selfish people, while the hard working majority of us are being squeezed even harder by a government so far out of touch with the British public?

    Patience everyone though - We'll get our own back in the 2015 election... If the "vote of no confidence" for David Cameron and Michael Gove doesn't shake things up already...
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    Nope.

    They largely split the right wing vote, as has been said, but because of the nature of their party (populist nutjobs) they also suck votes from Labour and the Lib Dems. Labour's stance around them is sort of molly coddling let's talk about the issues they talk about but not really do much. Cameron is moving right, though, which could hypothetically exacerbate Labour's position. But it won't.
    That's always been Labour's problem though. 13 years they've had to sort the party out - Lies, hypocrisy, and delusional arrogance from a party that supports the interest of the hard working, working class majority. What we actually got was a watered down Conservative party - because Labour knew their left-wing stances wasn't popular.

    How can people who vote Labour honestly say that they represent the interests of the working class? What BS :rolleyes:
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Harrow.7)
    split the Conservative vote....plus the left wing stance is the best!
    Can of worms there, my friend. Can of worms
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Well yeah but prior to this government the Conservatives were also a party of tax and spend, in all but rhetoric. And the coalition's balance of payments is actually rising so... well, yeah.
    • Community Assistant
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    How so? Won't UKIP's traditionally right-wing stance exacerbate Labour's left-wing stance? (although they've got more of a centre ground now?) :confused:
    Our First Past The Post system means that with a uniform swing Ukip needs over 20% of the vote just to pick up one seat which is very unlikely, a vote for Ukip in 2015 really is just a vote for a Labour government.
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    Well yeah but prior to this government the Conservatives were also a party of tax and spend, in all but rhetoric. And the coalition's balance of payments is actually rising so... well, yeah.
    Interesting theory behind the government's mentality - Cuts cuts cuts - Spend spend spend.

    Labour may have got it wrong on the election, but they are dead right about one thing - We need growth to get us out of this stagnated mess, rather than cuts in the hopes it will springboard us out of recession.

    Whatever Brown did wrong, he did get something right - In January 2010, we were in prosperity. Brown also got something else right - The Tories will lead us into a double dip recession - which their failed economic policies means they have.

    Make no mistake - Labour voters will be sitting smug in their armchairs screaming profanities at the current government, along the likes of "I told you so!", but does that mean that Labour should be trusted with taking care of the economy? Absolutely not.

    I don't know how failed chancellor Osborne can honestly get away with saying we need more cuts when he's actually borrowing more money to solve the problem. Rather like drying up a tap leak, rather than switching the tap off surely?
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Our First Past The Post system means that with a uniform swing Ukip needs over 20% of the vote just to pick up one seat which is very unlikely, a vote for Ukip in 2015 really is just a vote for a Labour government.
    I disagree with you there - I always thought UKIP swung more to the right than the traditional left-wing stance Labour occupied? :confused:

    I'm not economically literate of course, so I don't pretend to know everything
    • Community Assistant
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    I disagree with you there - I always thought UKIP swung more to the right than the traditional left-wing stance Labour occupied? :confused:

    I'm not economically literate of course, so I don't pretend to know everything
    Ukip in by-elections have picked up voters from all over the spectrum which is testament to the fact that they are largely a protest (no self respecting Labour voter supports a flat tax or deeper cuts). More than that though in our First Past The Post System there are few seats where they are second and thus by taking with one hand from the Tories by voting for Ukip you are voting for a Labour victory.

    It's sad but our political system requires tactical voting.

    Also New Labour are more centrist than leftie.
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Ukip in by-elections have picked up voters from all over the spectrum which is testament to the fact that they are largely a protest (no self respecting Labour voter supports a flat tax or deeper cuts). More than that though in our First Past The Post System there are few seats where they are second and thus by taking with one hand from the Tories by voting for Ukip you are voting for a Labour victory.

    It's sad but our political system requires tactical voting.

    Also New Labour are more centrist than leftie.
    They are now, yes - Only after 18 years of being out of government did they become a centerist party - because New Labour knew they couldn't lose the '97 election.

    New Labour sold out their party in order to bid for votes - because Labour knew that their left wing stance (for example, the extreme left-wing manfesto in '83) was massively unpopular. New Labour shifted to the centre as a way of wooing voters and appealing to the middle class - and in doing so lost a lot of their working class, unionist support base.
    • Community Assistant
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    They are now, yes - Only after 18 years of being out of government did they become a centerist party - because New Labour knew they couldn't lose the '97 election.

    New Labour sold out their party in order to bid for votes - because Labour knew that their left wing stance (for example, the extreme left-wing manfesto in '83) was massively unpopular. New Labour shifted to the centre as a way of wooing voters and appealing to the middle class - and in doing so lost a lot of their working class, unionist support base.
    Personally I've been quite surprised just how capitulating they have been to the coalition, they did not vote for a motion opposing the 50% tax cut, they did not oppose numerous benefit reforms and they won't even repeal the whole Lansley act, just a particular section of it.

    I myself assumed Ed to be more Old than New Labour with his union support but once you get past the outer skin it does appear as if the whole Blairism/Blue Labour is well ingrained and going nowhere fast.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    I think you have it spot on. I think, with the benefit of hindsight, if Thatcher hadn't have inherieted an economy that was in such bad nick, then she wouldn't have gone through with her radical slash and burn policies that dogged the 1980s.
    Well Thatcher inherited an economy that was thrown into chaos by a precipitous global situation. A mess that was really sparked by the US decision to abandon Bretton Woods in the early 1970s and exacerbated by the oil crisis at the end of the decade. The ease with which Thatcher undertook her slash and burn policies reflected the malaise that the Left was in and the desire of so many of the baby boomer generation to throw off what they saw as the crusty inheritance left to them by the fears of their grandparents and the efforts of their parents. Whilst Labour certainly share some of the burden of responsibility for not quite getting to grips with the global crisis and ostensibly running out of time by 1979, it's also true that had Callaghan gone to the polls in 1977 or early 1978, he'd have won and the country would have faced a Labour government into 1981 or 82. To put it another way, many parts of the country wouldn't have been thrown into a decline from which they have never recovered.

    Thatcher was the beneficiary of two key things: the intellectual exhaustion of the Left and the reconfiguration of the Anglo-American model away from the progressive consensus. Had Carter won in 1980 and the US remained allied to the progressive consensus, it's doubtful that Thatcher would have gone anywhere near as far as she did. She was lucky, unfortunately.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Well Thatcher inherited an economy that was thrown into chaos by a precipitous global situation. A mess that was really sparked by the US decision to abandon Bretton Woods in the early 1970s and exacerbated by the oil crisis at the end of the decade. The ease with which Thatcher undertook her slash and burn policies reflected the malaise that the Left was in and the desire of so many of the baby boomer generation to throw off what they saw as the crusty inheritance left to them by the fears of their grandparents and the efforts of their parents. Whilst Labour certainly share some of the burden of responsibility for not quite getting to grips with the global crisis and ostensibly running out of time by 1979, it's also true that had Callaghan gone to the polls in 1977 or early 1978, he'd have won and the country would have faced a Labour government into 1981 or 82. To put it another way, many parts of the country wouldn't have been thrown into a decline from which they have never recovered.

    Thatcher was the beneficiary of two key things: the intellectual exhaustion of the Left and the reconfiguration of the Anglo-American model away from the progressive consensus. Had Carter won in 1980 and the US remained allied to the progressive consensus, it's doubtful that Thatcher would have gone anywhere near as far as she did. She was lucky, unfortunately.
    A few questions come to mind.

    Why was the abandonment of Bretton Woods so destructive?

    If the problems of the 1970s were driven by global factors, why were the relative performances of France and the USA so dramatically better than the UK's? (Note: this is true not just for the 1970s but for the entire postwar period).

    On a related note, if Thatcherism was so bad, why has the UK's relative performance been so much better than other developing countries since 1980?
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dapperatchik)
    On a related note, if Thatcherism was so bad, why has the UK's relative performance been so much better than other developing countries since 1980?
    That's just it though - I don't think you're ever going to get a consensual agreement on Thatcher. I was born in the Major administration - so obviously I have no relevant say - but people I think all too easily judge Thatcher on what she did - and not actually on the situations and problems she inherited from the previous government.

    I don't think that if the country wasn't in such bad shape, Thatcher wouldn't be panned half as much as what she is doing. Others say she saved Britain, however...
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I myself assumed Ed to be more Old than New Labour with his union support but once you get past the outer skin it does appear as if the whole Blairism/Blue Labour is well ingrained and going nowhere fast.
    That's because unions have either abandoned the Labour party, or it's becoming common politicians are clawing for that "Blair Effect" - Cameron is not an individual - He's a Tony Blair wannabe.

    Labour also know that they would be slaughtered at elections if they adopted a more left-wing stance. you only have to look at Labour during the 1980s and 90s to see just how much of a panning they got...

    Even by '92, Labour was still too left wing to be a genuine party. Tony Blair saved, and also ruined at the same time, Labour by adopting a more centerist policy.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dapperatchik)
    On a related note, if Thatcherism was so bad, why has the UK's relative performance been so much better than other developing countries since 1980?
    On possibility is that it's because Thatcher's policies allowed the City of London to thrive. Britain's economy relies greatly on the City to be as strong as it ostensibly is compared to other states. Financial Services count as growth on things like GDP scales*, so even if for example manufacturing and mining go to pot over a given period of time you can still 'grow' as an economy because your capital makes such a huge amount of money. I'm no economist and I'm also weaker on political history of the 70s and 80s than I am about the stuff I, y'know, lived through, but it seems a decent idea to me.


    *Which are totally useless.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dapperatchik)
    A few questions come to mind.

    Why was the abandonment of Bretton Woods so destructive?
    Well, it basically signaled that the United States was withdrawing from the post-war settlement. I'm sure you don't need me to state in rather obvious fashion exactly why that would cause no amount of chaos in the world.

    If the problems of the 1970s were driven by global factors, why were the relative performances of France and the USA so dramatically better than the UK's? (Note: this is true not just for the 1970s but for the entire postwar period).
    In a nutshell? The UK never really recovered from the mauling it experienced in the Depression, a mauling that exponentially thrived on the country being bankrupted by the Second World War.

    On a related note, if Thatcherism was so bad, why has the UK's relative performance been so much better than other developing countries since 1980?
    Has it, though? If you strip out banking and finance which is essentially the economy of a bubble in London, the British performance overall since 1979 has been quite bad in comparison to those economies that remained "planned" (to the extent that such things exist" through the period - i.e. France, the Netherlands, and Germany. Britain is a bit like Italy - dysfunctional and riven by regional interests and problems - but, unlike Italy, has benefited from the cloak of the banking sector boom. London is the ideal place to have a banking boom, really, since it is situated pretty much in the middle of the Asian markets and American markets, but that is about it. Thatcher created the neo-liberal equivalent of the Emperor's New Clothes. For naked read the City.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Well, it basically signaled that the United States was withdrawing from the post-war settlement. I'm sure you don't need me to state in rather obvious fashion exactly why that would cause no amount of chaos in the world.
    I was genuinely interested as to how you define the 'post-war settlement,' why it was so relevant to the global economy even into the 1970s, and why its end was so destructive?

    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    In a nutshell? The UK never really recovered from the mauling it experienced in the Depression, a mauling that exponentially thrived on the country being bankrupted by the Second World War.
    France and the USA had much worse Depressions than we did (and of course France and Germany had much worse WWIIs than we did). That doesn't explain why we were very substantially poorer than all three in 1980.

    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Has it, though? If you strip out banking and finance which is essentially the economy of a bubble in London, the British performance overall since 1979 has been quite bad in comparison to those economies that remained "planned" (to the extent that such things exist" through the period - i.e. France, the Netherlands, and Germany. Britain is a bit like Italy - dysfunctional and riven by regional interests and problems - but, unlike Italy, has benefited from the cloak of the banking sector boom. London is the ideal place to have a banking boom, really, since it is situated pretty much in the middle of the Asian markets and American markets, but that is about it. Thatcher created the neo-liberal equivalent of the Emperor's New Clothes. For naked read the City.
    I agree that, to some extent, the banking boom was not 'real' GDP. But at the same time there is some value in financial services - they aren't economically useless just because you don't like them. Even our new post-crisis potential GDP (per capita) is much bigger relative to France's or America's than it was in 1980. And much of the current downturn - as I'm sure you'd agree - is down to abysmal short-term macro policy.

    It's an interesting stylised fact that the more neoliberal reforms your country did post-1980, the higher its relative growth rate.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.