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Should Thatcher have handled the Maze Prison Crisis better? watch

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...ireland-hunger


    She may not have removed political status, but with the death of 10 men including an MP in her own parliament she without doubt took the blame for these deaths.

    It was really just a media front that she allowed them to die which is probably the worst thing about it. She couldn't even stay by her hard line attitude as she was looking for a solution behind closed doors. It was really more a case of 'because you are asking, you're not getting' as they ended up meeting most of the hunger strikers demands after the strikes were called off.

    She could have restored political status for all political prisoners and the problem would have been solved. However she decided to ignore the 5 simple demands and let them die.

    What happened was a huge surge in IRA recruitment, escalating the violence. She turned the general nationalist population away from the moderate SDLP and towards the radical SF party with its close affiliation with the IRA (she would later bring in censorship in 1988) and after all this decides to grant most of the demands or at least in some form.

    People argue that she changed the UK for the better with her policies, however it is these same people who tend to over look the fact the Northern Ireland is part of the UK and not only did she not change it for the better, she set it back about 20 years. 1981 escalated into widespread violence after years of relative calm, violence that would not have happened had it not been for Margaret Thatcher's poor handling of the prison situation. Even today with the power sharing government, the events of 1981 have scarred Northern Ireland forever.
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    (Original post by bestofyou)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...ireland-hunger


    She may not have removed political status, but with the death of 10 men including an MP in her own parliament she without doubt took the blame for these deaths.

    It was really just a media front that she allowed them to die which is probably the worst thing about it. She couldn't even stay by her hard line attitude as she was looking for a solution behind closed doors. It was really more a case of 'because you are asking, you're not getting' as they ended up meeting most of the hunger strikers demands after the strikes were called off.

    She could have restored political status for all political prisoners and the problem would have been solved. However she decided to ignore the 5 simple demands and let them die.

    What happened was a huge surge in IRA recruitment, escalating the violence. She turned the general nationalist population away from the moderate SDLP and towards the radical SF party with its close affiliation with the IRA (she would later bring in censorship in 1988) and after all this decides to grant most of the demands or at least in some form.

    People argue that she changed the UK for the better with her policies, however it is these same people who tend to over look the fact the Northern Ireland is part of the UK and not only did she not change it for the better, she set it back about 20 years. 1981 escalated into widespread violence after years of relative calm, violence that would not have happened had it not been for Margaret Thatcher's poor handling of the prison situation. Even today with the power sharing government, the events of 1981 have scarred Northern Ireland forever.

    They starved themselves to death. Hardly her fault.
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    Can't blame her when they starved themselves to death now can you?
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    Her blind stance towards NI caused more harm than good. That's pretty obvious.
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    Who was she? I heard she was the first woman to come out of the kitchen, is it true?
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    They starved themselves to death. Hardly her fault.
    (Original post by Will Lucky)
    Can't blame her when they starved themselves to death now can you?
    not the point here. By the time the forth prisoner died the situation had spiralled out of control. Many more would die that year as a result from violence caused by the decision not to restore political status. She clearly demonstrated she had no idea the effect he refusal to grant something so simple would cause. It isn't as if it has happened previously in the 20th century when a moderate nationalist population turned radical as a result of the governments treatment of political prisoners. She repeated the mistakes of the past and embedded further violence in the region.

    And yes, actually it is her fault they died. Generally when the people who have the power to stop something refuse to, they are held accountable for not doing so...this is also known as fault. Yes, it was also the hunger strikers fault as it was their choice, but she is held just as responsible.
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    The Government should not take a single thing to do with things like hunger strikes. It certainly should not be giving concessions or trying to negotiate an end to them. These are solely matters for the prison in question and, should it be relevant, mental health practitioners.

    Someone may think twice about a political policy if a hunger strike is held. What should never happen is a government feel that it is being held to ransom by people whose only argument appears to be the supreme PR stunt. It doesn't help that these are usually the very worst sorts of people.

    (Original post by bestofyou)
    She may not have removed political status, but with the death of 10 men including an MP in her own parliament she without doubt took the blame for these deaths.
    Perhaps amongst IRA sympathisers and the like. Not amongst normal people.

    What happened was a huge surge in IRA recruitment, escalating the violence. She turned the general nationalist population away from the moderate SDLP and towards the radical SF party with its close affiliation with the IRA (she would later bring in censorship in 1988) and after all this decides to grant most of the demands or at least in some form.
    Not through the hunger strikes, she didn't. The SDLP actually increased their number of votes between 1979 and 1983. Sinn Fein hoovered up the vote a number of minor republican groups, not the SDLP. For the record, in 1987, the SDLP increased its vote again and the Shinner vote dropped considerably.

    People argue that she changed the UK for the better with her policies, however it is these same people who tend to over look the fact the Northern Ireland is part of the UK and not only did she not change it for the better, she set it back about 20 years.
    I disagree. Although she said that she may not have gone forward with some parts of the Anglo-Irish Agreement had she known how negative the Unionist response would be, her premiership saw the start of a real process of engagement between Britain and the Republic, which underpinned the creation of a power-sharing assembly when Labour came into office.
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    (Original post by bestofyou)

    And yes, actually it is her fault they died. Generally when the people who have the power to stop something refuse to, they are held accountable for not doing so...this is also known as fault. Yes, it was also the hunger strikers fault as it was their choice, but she is held just as responsible.
    And had they have not gone on hunger strike in the first place there wouldn't have been a problem and their actions wouldn't have sparked further violence.
 
 
 
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