by Martin Hodder
You know, it is not surprising that there is such a (as you put it) Saint Thatcher mood just now. The British media, the majority of which is Right Wing, or extremely Right Wing, have always loved Thatcher because she embodies the spirit of the Aristocratic founders of our newspapers, people who treated their employees and readers with utter contempt and were viciously ruthless in their dealings with others, both privately and in business.
Thatcher made this the official policy of Government, and in so doing put at severe risk the democratic processes that had put her there in the first place. This ruthlessness and callous disregard of the individual, especially those who were from the "lower classes" she and her cohorts so despised, in turn permeated right through the management of British industry.
At one point in the 1980s I had risen through the ranks of magazine publishing, through hard work, very long hours and perhaps a little talent, to Director level with what was then Britain's biggest publishing company. Then ruthlessness cut in, and those above me and, indeed, at my own level, began demanding the wholsesale closure of publications that were not performing at a satisfactory level. In each case they were making a profit, but not enough, ran the "argument".
Hundreds of hard-working people from editorial, advertising and production departments were to be axed through no fault of their own. Well, I tried making a stand against this and was told I was clearly not "hard enough for this kind of work". So I was fired, with no compensation or redundancy. Just fired. And they got away with it because employment legislation totally favoured the firers - because of Thatcher's policies. I was a scapegoat because I stood against those policies, and in short order was followed by the hundreds I had tried to protect.
That woman did untold damage to Great Britain, the British people (the working people, that is) and to Britain's standing in the international community. She set worker against worker, she destroyed our once massive coal industry (which we will surely need again one day) and she very nearly drestroyed that Holy Grail of Great Britain, the National Health Service. If she had been given more time, I have no doubt she would have privatised the NHS.
Tony Blair and his colleagues get no recognition for having to attempt to right Thatcher's wrongs. Yet this is what they have tried to do. Decades of under-investment in the NHS have had to be rectified and, given time, will bear fruit - which, actually, is already happening. They are trying to ease the shortage of "social housing", a problem created by Thatcher, but it's a slow process. I could go on and on but, in short, the damage done by Thatcher will perhaps never be fully rectified.
Instead of glorifying her, and erecting yet more statues, it would be more fitting to create a Chamber of Thatcher's Horrors. Fat chance of that though.