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Margaret Thatcher Dies At 87

samzenpus posted 1 year,11 days | from the rest-in-peace dept.

United Kingdom 539

syngularyx writes "Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who became one of the most influential global leaders of the postwar period, died on Monday, three decades after her championing of free-market economics and individual choice transformed Britain's economy and her vigorous foreign policy played a key role in the end of the Cold War."

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539 comments

Good riddance (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390059)

Good riddance. She was a terrible Prime Minister and caused untold suffering and misery.

PS. How is this News for Nerds? Why isn't the story tagged "troll"?

Re:Good riddance (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390103)

What a shame. She was a great Prime Minister and caused a massive shift in the British economy for the better.

Re:Good riddance (4, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390157)

She basically shut down the UK's manufacturing industry and moved us over to a service industry economy. Pity we're now outsourcing all the services. I remember living under her stiletto boot heels I'll not be dancing in the streets like some will be but I'll not miss her either.

Re:Good riddance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390193)

She basically shut down the UK's manufacturing industry and moved us over to a service industry economy. Pity we're now outsourcing all the services.

The UK economy has grown massively since the 1980's, so apparently we're insourcing more than we're outsourcing.

Manufacturing was dead by the time she arrived, the unions did it to themselves. All she did was pull the plug to put them out of their misery.

Re:Good riddance (4, Insightful)

sa1lnr (669048) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390219)

Bad management didn't have anything to do with it though, did it?

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390255)

No

Re:Good riddance (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390315)

Of course not. When people sign bad contracts for mortgages, it's the people's fault never the company's. When companies sign bad contracts for labor, it's the people's fault, never the company's.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390411)

Which makes sense, given that the negotiations are hardly fair. Labour unions are in a much stronger position and employees as well as their unions are strongly protected by law, while employers are not.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390459)

You clearly have not been a part of the working sector. Labour unions are entirely subject to the dictates of the investor class, not the other way around. The reason laws protecting unions are necessary is precisely because of this.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390349)

Has it grown like the US where the rich see huge income increases while the middle class remains stagnant? This is what happens when you destroy manufacturing and unions. When everybody is a shopkeeper, everybody gets paid like a shopkeeper.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390409)

No, in fact the middle classes are the ones who benefited the most from the policies of Margaret Thatcher during the 80's

So apparently that isn't "what happens".

Re:Good riddance (5, Informative)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390221)

Not forgetting the great 80s selloff of British Gas/Petroleum/Telecom under the guise of "greater share ownership for all" - whereas in reality most people bought their allocation, sold at a profit 3 days later and spent the "free" money they got as a result on stuff... ...result? Most of the shares ended up with Zarquon-knows-who and they've been getting away with making vast profits at our expense ever since... profits that could have saved taxpayers having to pay untold billions extra from their hard-earned wages - all that was needed was to get some decent managers in to run the damn things properly...

Good and greedy. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390377)

So others get the blame for the public being shortsighted and greedy and selling their shares?

Re:Good and greedy. (4, Interesting)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390557)

I'll agree that you're right re: shortsighted - but given that direct share ownership at the time wasn't widespread, and the buzz going round was that you could spend £400 one day and get £500-£600 a week later without any obvious risk, most people would take the money and run...

Re:Good riddance (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390339)

Despite what I think of Thatcher for other reasons, she did what previous leaders lacked the balls to do - stand up to the unions and put them in their place.

Re:Good riddance (4, Insightful)

kraut (2788) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390551)

She basically shut down the UK's manufacturing industry and moved us over to a service industry economy. Pity we're now outsourcing all the services. I remember living under her stiletto boot heels I'll not be dancing in the streets like some will be but I'll not miss her either.

She didn't kill British Industry; the Unions did that.

She just put it out of its misery.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390577)

She mainly prevented unions from making things even worse, so that at least some industry survived.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390123)

Um ... we live in a world in which politicians like her can have a real (bad) effect on individual's live .. so it affects all of us

Re:Good riddance (5, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390185)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream [wikipedia.org]

One important development in the 20th century was the introduction of soft ice cream. A chemical research team in Britain (of which a young Margaret Thatcher was a member)[21][22] discovered a method of doubling the amount of air in ice cream, which allowed manufacturers to use less ingredients, thereby reducing costs. It made possible the soft ice cream machine in which a cone is filled beneath a spigot on order. In the United States, Dairy Queen, Carvel, and Tastee-Freez pioneered in establishing chains of soft-serve ice cream outlets.

How's that not nerdy enough for you?

Re:Good riddance (1, Flamebait)

jacekm (895699) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390223)

To the contrary, she was one of the greatest politicians of the XX century. Together with Ronald Reagan and John Paul II she finished Soviet Union without going to war. That is why the Left hates her so much. She has proven how corrupt and dumb are leftist ideas. You sir are one of those usefull idiots that Moscow was using to cover their genocidal political system. Why don't you move to Cuba or North Korea, the last bastions of your belowed ideology ?

JAM

Re:Good riddance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390273)

To the contrary, she was one of the greatest politicians of the XX century. Together with Ronald Reagan and John Paul II she finished Soviet Union without going to war. That is why the Left hates her so much. She has proven how corrupt and dumb are leftist ideas. You sir are one of those usefull idiots that Moscow was using to cover their genocidal political system. Why don't you move to Cuba or North Korea, the last bastions of your belowed ideology ?

JAM

North Korea?

Because anybody except a brainwashed idiot who worships the "Right-wing ideology" would have recognized that North Korea doesn't even pretend to be Communist any more, since giving lip service to it doesn't get them any donations from Russia today. Instead they've adopted a nationalist stance with an aggressive military-first posture.

But no, don't let that get in the way of your empty rhetoric. You can keep on believing Reagan saved the world from the terror of the Soviet Union, but Reagan was just a patsy buying into the fabricated antagonism that was developed after WW2 when the wealthy industrialists needed something to keep the cash flowing into their coffers.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390571)

"You can keep on believing Reagan saved the world from the terror of the Soviet Union"

Gee, I seem to remember there is no Soviet Union anymore. And yes we can thank Ronaldus Maximus for this.

"when the wealthy industrialists needed something to keep the cash flowing into their coffers"

Gee you sound like a dirty commie bastard then don't you.

Better dead than Red is what I say.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390489)

The left hates her because she was a fascist.

The USSR finally dying was much more a credit of Gorbachev's policy changes and Jeltsin's drunken stupors than anything else, despite how much the rightwing nutters like to take credit for everything they had no part in.

Tragic loss (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390239)

She rescued Britain. UK was nearly bankrupt before her, a block of the unions were in charge. Three unions would all strike together and UK had electricity blackouts as a result, the Labour party then gave them pay rises (20%) and as each union got a huge raise, so another union would go on strike and demand more than the others. The debt became impossible and the IMF was called in. It was a disaster.

She came along and made a law that said you couldn't strike without a vote from union members, and no more than 6 people could picket a factory and no secondary picketing.

Arthur Scargill (mine workers) then held a strike without a vote, the mine workers had their funds seized, and strikers were sacked. It broke union control of the UK. UK still had unions, but the need to have a vote before a strike made them less militant. People wanting to work don't keep going on strike, but the union bosses get paid whether on strike or not, so they're far more militant than the union members.

Likewise the rent-a-mob shut down of factories ended.

After that closed shops were abolished (the rule that said to work at the company you had to be a member of union Z), and Britain really turned around. You no longer had to be a union member to work, you could vote for whether to strike, and blackouts and power cuts ended.

She was so successful, that she because a sort of hate figure for the left. Ineffective leaders (like John Major) are easily dismissed, not so the good ones. She was hard, and luckily came along at a time when that was needed.

Goodbye Mrs Thatcher.

Re:Tragic loss (5, Informative)

SkunkPussy (85271) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390317)

Ever since she shut down the unions, social inequality has shot through the roof. CEO's wages have increased dramatically more than the median wage. This is a direct result of breaking the back of the unions. No longer were employees empowered to demand a reasonable share of the profits of their endeavours.

Re:Tragic loss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390515)

CEO wages are an expense, not a profit.

Re:Tragic loss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390601)

"No longer were employees empowered to demand a reasonable share of the profits of their endeavours"

What complete bullshit. You are free to demand anything you want pussy.

And endeavour is spelled endeavor.

Re:Tragic loss (1)

nosfucious (157958) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390441)

So, which leader is going to shut down the thuggery of high priced and overpriced CEOs and Qango bosses? A well paid cartel, or union too, if you like.

Britain voter her into power (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390447)

Britain voted her into power again and again. She was chosen by Brits to lead because she was a good leader.

Also, the coal strike fractured the coal miners union into two. A lot of miners resented the strike and wanted to work. They believed they'd win the a strike vote and prevent a strike. Scargill tried to shut them down using mob picketing of the Nottingham mines.
The '6 person picketing rule' meant the police came in. The mob would be kept on the other side of the street, only 6 were allowed at the gate.
Then we had the motorway killings, workers buses would be hit by bricks and railway sleepers, people died, that led to a further loss of support for Scargill.

She did other things too, she increase corporation tax to held reduce the debt, and reduced the top rate personal tax from 83% to 60%
(yes it really was that high! If your income came from sales, you'd pay 98% sales+income tax!).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_Kingdom

She raised taxes and cut spending.
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/the-legend-of-margaret-thatcher/

It's difficult for the left to accept her success. Largely because they'd have to accept the 1970's labour governments were a disaster. But thats why Britain voted for her.

Mod points won't hide things. She was a good competent leader. Far better than the people dissing her now.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390299)

Of course people living of public money or union workers who want money despite any circumstances would complain ... shame on slashdot for vilifying her. She's done more for Britain than any other politician after Churchill.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390329)

Good riddance. She was a terrible Prime Minister and caused untold suffering and misery.

PS. How is this News for Nerds? Why isn't the story tagged "troll"?

Wait... didn't you take the opportunity to express your opinion on the subject of the story?

Re:Good riddance (2)

cs2501x (1979712) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390355)

Nice that she used Scotland to testbed completely shitty policies as well--why? Because nobody in Scotland had any voting power to oppose her. Glad she's dead.

Re:Good riddance (5, Informative)

Confuse Ed (59383) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390419)

re:

PS. How is this News for Nerds? Why isn't the story tagged "troll"?

Unusually these days for a politician she was originally a science graduate ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher#Early_life_and_education [wikipedia.org] ) rather than coming in as a career politician or purely legal background (although she did switch track and become a barrister)

Some of this showed through in her leadership style - trying to do the logical thing for the best long term results (at least in her analysis) rather than trying to win the popularity contest and appealing to the masses. Sometimes this worked out (surely everyone can at least agree that earning the nickname 'iron lady' is pretty cool? and my memories of the 80s are that most peoples standard of living improved significantly) but in other cases it contributed to her downfall - e.g. the per-person 'poll tax' vs. a property-based tax for local services (such as rubbish/refuse collection) surely makes some logical sense to many slashdot readers? but unfortunately it made a larger number of people pay more tax than those unaffected / getting a a tax reduction so it was a political disaster.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Inda (580031) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390435)

She split my family, caused debt and killed my career.

Ding dong the witch is dead.

Now I want to see her in her coffin.

And yeah, it should be tagged "troll".

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390451)

Why isn't the story tagged "troll"?

It didn't use the Stephen King template, duh.

Well, she was a scientist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390483)

Margaret Thatcher was a Chemist. At least she wasn't another Politician with a JD.

Winter of Discontent (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390549)

She was a terrible Prime Minister and caused untold suffering and misery.

The British people who elected her obviously disagree with you.

She was elected after the policies of the Labour party dumped the country in the worst economic crisis in UK history [wikipedia.org]

Labour had policies based upon raising the income tax without any regard for cutting government expenses. They claimed government spending and inflation are good for the economy. Sound familiar?

GO! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390061)

Let the bipolar love / vitriol begin!

News for nerds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390063)

Who gives a fuck? What does this have to do with tech & science? Just WTF

Re:News for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390169)

She was a scientist before she was PM.

Re:News for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390195)

She was a scientist before she was PM.

You mean a schoolteacher?

Re:News for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390249)

No, a real one.

Re:News for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390401)

She arrived at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with Second Class Honours in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree; in her final year she specialised in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin.

Roberts [Thatcher's maiden name] became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1946. She was influenced at university by political works such as Friedrich von Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (1944), which condemned economic intervention by government as a precursor to an authoritarian state. After graduating, Roberts moved to Colchester in Essex to work as a research chemist for BX Plastics.

What have you done that's even remotely as interesting? Let me guess, you're a 2 year community college "MIS degree" "graduate" who thinks that because you know a little about computers, you're smarter than everybody else?

Fucktard.

Good ridance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390073)

Destroyed the UK's manufacturing base, started a futile war and did nothing to promote women

Re:Good ridance (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390149)

Destroyed the UK's manufacturing base

The unions did that to themselves in the 70's. Look at BMC: they spent nearly as much time out on (largely wildcat) strikes than they did working.

started a futile war

Argentina started it. She, correctly, responded.

did nothing to promote women

The first female Prime Minister of the UK did nothing to promote women?

A sad day (-1, Troll)

gadget junkie (618542) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390077)

She was full of common sense. contrary to public perceptions, she maintained rather strict regulations on the economy. Only, laws were fewer.

Re: A sad day (1, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390151)

In other words she ushered in the era of zero accountability for the rich and corporations.

Sounds like she is partial author of the current turmoil.

Re: A sad day (0)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390343)

This is partly true but the alternative, the status quo was a country that leaned too far in the other direction - too many people wanting an easy ride, too many people with an entitlement attitude and an unproductive economy as a result, or to give a real world comparison, without her changes we'd have been more like Greece where personal accountability (as opposed to corporate accountability) went out the window instead such that people weren't paying taxes owed, were retiring incredibly early, were working short weeks, which all sounds great, until you realise there's no way to pay for it and it all comes crashing down.

The fact is, healthy economic policy needs balance between these two extremes, on one hand people need to be able to live healthy happy lives which means increasing corporate responsibility and accountability, but on the other you can't have people completely taking the piss else your companies and economy doesn't function.

I think it's definitely a fair assessment to say that Thatcher went just a bit too far in the direction of fat cats and exploitative companies, but on the other hand someone had to drag us away from the other extreme which was laziness and the sense of selfish entitlement many had (i.e. the miners expecting everyone else to subsidise them to continue as miners when it turned out their industry was no longer profitable and because they were all too lazy to retrain into any other profession).

Part the issue is the UK's electoral system encourages what is mostly a two party system, such that you end up with two parties who tend towards each extreme. The Lib Dems are centrist and would definitely create a fairer state but they are hopeless at countering Tory/Labour propaganda against them and have made enough blunders of their own to remove the chance of them ever seeing government again.

Re: A sad day (4, Informative)

singer-scientist (956421) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390529)

Sounds like she is partial author of the current turmoil.

In no particular order:

  • "Warehouse economy"
  • Deregulation of credit and banking
  • "Demutualisation" of not-for-profit savings and mortgage societies (Building Societies)
  • Fire sale of state assets, including state housing
  • Squandering of North Sea oil revenues
  • "Dash for gas" for electricity generation, killing off research into renewables and coal gasification (for political reasons)
  • Normalising crippling levels unemployment, and lifetime benefit dependency
  • Encouraging those out of work to move onto sickness benefit to massage unemployment statistics
  • "There is no such thing as society"

Yes!

Not to be an asshole, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390079)

I didn't even realise she was still alive!?!

i am eager to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390091)

if this will be another case of "posthumously, everyone is a saint"

i do not think she did much good

then again, a politician can't be held 100% responsible for what happens to the people.

Awesome prime minister (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390139)

As a German who grew up in Britain in the 80s, I'd like to say she was an awesome prime minister, although many of my countrymen and indeed many Brits will disagree. Sod them.
Germany would benefit *hugely* from someone like her. Sadly, there's absolutely no-one on the horizon.
It doesn't matter whether she goes to heaven or hell. She'll clear either place up.

Re:Awesome prime minister (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390233)

No, sod YOU and your misbegotten opinions. She is the reason why your country still makes things whilst mine doesn't.

From a Brit. Who thus actually has something valid to say on this subject, unlike you.

Re:Awesome prime minister (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390263)

Angela Merkel is not unlike Margaret Thatcher.

Julian Cope said it best... (0)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390147)

Now's a time of leper skin
How it ends, how it begins
Now's a time when patience files
The fare-the-well that means fuck off.

Rub thin the leper skin...

Re:Julian Cope said it best... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390607)

There once was a Maggie from Lincolnshire
whose conservatism would never tire
Milton Friedman was her hero
when things got warm she fiddled like Nero.

Ding dong ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390165)

... the witch is dead!

Here richly, with ridiculous display,
        The Politician's corpse was laid away.
        While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged,
        I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.

- Hillaire Belloc (1870-1953)

And of course, despite the damage she caused both the UK and the world at large, she will be given a state funeral. A funeral where protest and dissent will be not permitted. Where the militarised police (and possibly even the military, c.f. the recent Oxbridge Boat Race) will be used to keep all those who despise the policies she stood for elsewhere.

And of course, despite the damage she caused both the UK and the world at large, the Labour Party hacks will be out in force with nary a bad word to be said. (That's 'cause "New" Labour is just another party of capitalism, no longer socialism, if it ever was.)

Re:Ding dong ... (2)

CrazyBusError (530694) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390241)

And of course, despite the damage she caused both the UK and the world at large, she will be given a state funeral...

You might want to try checking your facts before posting. Here's a hint: No she won't.

And of course, despite the damage she caused both the UK and the world at large, the Labour Party hacks will be out in force with nary a bad word to be said. (That's 'cause "New" Labour is just another party of capitalism, no longer socialism, if it ever was.)

She did some damage, she did some good (generally speaking, the ones who claim nothing beyond the damage are those who didn't suffer the three day working week and its ilk). Such is the way of politicians. She made some tough decision that had to be made, she made some bloody awful decisions that we are still feeling the repercussions of today.

In the end, she made a large impact on world politics exactly when a large impact was required. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I'm not sure what the world stage would be like now if we'd had one of the current spineless idiots in charge in the latter days of the cold war.

Re:Ding dong ... (1, Informative)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390281)

You might want to try checking your facts before posting. Here's a hint: No she won't

Wrong!!!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1034634/Lady-Thatcher-honoured-State-funeral.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:Ding dong ... (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390289)

Note to self - check the age of stories before linking...

Re:Ding dong ... (2)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390321)

ITV reports “Lady Thatcher’s funeral will be ceremonial with full military honours, similar to the Queen Mother, but she will not lie in state, as was her wish.”

So not a state funeral - but not far off...

Re:Ding dong ... (4, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390369)

The Daily Mail. The Daily Mail.

For those outside the UK, the Daily Mail (along with other tabloids, e.g. The Sun) are about as accurate a news source as Fox News.

Re:Ding dong ... (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390423)

Seconded on the Mail definition...

There's no date on the story I linked to (other than the top of the page) - but it mentions Gordon Brown as being in discussions on the matter, so must be pre-2010.

Re:Ding dong ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390465)

A funeral where protest and dissent will be not permitted.

Westboro Baptist does it, and they're disgusting, unfeeling monsters who should be eradicated from the face of the earth.

But a bunch of comfortably upper-middle-class white kids act like entitled cunts at someone's funeral, and they're heroes?

Fuck your double standard. I'm not a huge fan of Thatcher, and never have been, but I *am* a fan of behaving like a gentleman. And that includes not shitting on the grief of family and friends who've lost a loved one. Go protest at Parliament, you thick cunt - they're the ones making the laws now.

I still hate her as much today as I did yesterday (0)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390191)

Thatcher makes me sick, and my first reaction to her death was "great", though I know that this is not a worthy reaction on the death of any human. She started us on the "no such thing as society" route with some people working until they drop or retiring in poverty while others are unemployed. I remember the disbelief when her government said "some people will never get a job" - now its the norm.

The thing I hate her most for is usurping the prayer of St Francis of Assisi [catholic-forum.com]. I cannot her it now without thinking about how she did the exact opposite of every single statement - it brings thoughts of selfish greed, self importance and hypocrisy instead of peace and humility now.

Another was changing the law and backdating it when she tried to take money earmarked for London transport, despite the judge saying it was not only legally but morally wrong,

GoodBye Maggie (5, Insightful)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390203)

I was young when you arrived a PM. This country was on its knees. It was backrupt, dead people were in the streets unburied and weeks of garbage strewn the streets from leftism gone mad. Labour and the Unions were in full wrecking ball mode.

Yes, you were a bitch, but the medicine we had, and it was not nice, was in the most part - needed.

You played a part in ending the cold war, in hauling down the wall, and in supporting Solidarity in Poland when you'd normally prefer to drive a stake through any other union's heart.

And you helped pull a wall down and break up the cold war.

Rest in Peace.

Re:GoodBye Maggie (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390295)

"garbage"?

Sorry, US-based feeble troll, but if you were actually British you'd know that that which is thrown away, and collected weekly by trucks, is called "rubbish" (or formally "refuse").

Now back under your bridge.

Re:GoodBye Maggie (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390309)

It was backrupt, dead people were in the streets unburied and weeks of garbage strewn the streets from leftism gone mad.

[citations needed]

Labour and the Unions were in full wrecking ball mode.

What? Again, [citations needed]

Re:GoodBye Maggie (5, Informative)

jcupitt65 (68879) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390405)

I think it's a reference to the Winter of Discontent [wikipedia.org], which I'm old enough to remember well.

This was a wave of strikes triggered by the government's cap on public sector wages in a period of high inflation. From the article above:

The most notorious action during the winter was the unofficial strike by gravediggers, members of the GMWU in Liverpool and in Tameside near Manchester. As coffins piled up, Liverpool City Council hired a factory in Speke to store them. On 1 February a persistent journalist asked the Medical Officer of Health for Liverpool, Dr Duncan Dolton, what would be done if the strike continued for months, Dolton speculated that burial at sea would be considered. Although his response was hypothetical, in the circumstances it caused great alarm. The gravediggers eventually settled for a 14% rise after a fortnight's strike.

(not a maggie fan, just providing some background)

Re:GoodBye Maggie (0)

H0p313ss (811249) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390345)

I was young when you arrived a PM. This country was on its knees. It was backrupt, dead people were in the streets unburied and weeks of garbage strewn the streets from leftism gone mad. Labour and the Unions were in full wrecking ball mode.

Yes, you were a bitch, but the medicine we had, and it was not nice, was in the most part - needed.

You played a part in ending the cold war, in hauling down the wall, and in supporting Solidarity in Poland when you'd normally prefer to drive a stake through any other union's heart.

And you helped pull a wall down and break up the cold war.

Rest in Peace.

This.

It was strike, after strike, after strike; the economy was paralyzed and the government was ineffective.

It was tough love, and mistakes were made, but can you imagine Britain without that change? (Think Greece...)

Re:GoodBye Maggie (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390485)

Things did need to change, but she was such an extreme lurch to the right which destroyed all our manufacturing base and created a selfish culture of debt and irresponsibility.

"key role in the end of the Cold War"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390213)

"her vigorous foreign policy played a key role in the end of the Cold War."

Can someone please substantiate this?

That's a serious question. I lived through Thatcher's era, and remember her entirely for her economic policies and the Falklands war. Whatever you may think about either of those, there seems little connection to the Cold War. The only cold war relevant memories I have of Thatcher are her resistance to German re-unification, where Thatcher apparently preferred a larger role for the UK in western Europe, compared to a (relatively) smaller role for the UK in a unified Europe. In other words, she kinda got in the way of things, rather than helping them. In the west, it was the largely the Americans that moved things along.

Thatcher is dead, but her legacy lives on. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390225)

Sadly. Even in death she is a blight on country.

Sad news (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390243)

If you are too stupid to realise what Thatcher did for the UK then I can only assume that you work for PC World.

Re:Sad news (2)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390395)

I know what she did - she sold everything "British" to fund tax cuts, when proper management of the utilities sold off would have fed into the public purse and kept them lower to this day and beyond - how many billions do "British" Gas/Telecom/Petroleum make these days? Do we, the people, see the benefit? No.

Divisive but so what (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390287)

I remember the state of the country and the standard of living in 1979.
I remember the state of the country and the standard of living in 1991.

In just a dozen years, she dragged the UK from a 19th-century mentality into a 21st-century one.

She could be arrogant, abrasive and dismissive, but she did what had to be done and we are now living with the gains.

Re:Divisive but so what (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390383)

The country's overrun by chavs, all goods we want we have to import because we no longer make anything, crime's so rampant and the police do so much NOTHING that nobody bothers even reporting it any more, so the politicians trumpet "crime's going down!"... these are "the gains"?

No, these are called "the reasons why I emigrated".

Re:Divisive but so what (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390569)

On that measure, Castro is the greatest leader in history (state in vs state out). Not so sure that's how you want to view things...

Mother of BSE (4, Interesting)

Teun (17872) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390367)

The way I read history she was the instigator of BSE or mad cow disease.

Because her government started a relentless drive for less regulation the Brits decided to limit the rules on the reduction of offal to cattle feed.

Although Scrapie and it's transmission is still not fully understood, in the day there was sufficient evidence it was related to a human syndrome called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The rules for offal use were mainly about the time and minimum temperature it had to be processed to become acceptable as cattle feed, Maggie's government lowered both the time exposure and the minimum temperature resulting in Scrapie jumping the barrier to first cows and next humans.

When Mrs. Thatcher came to office the country was in a deplorable state and changes were long over due.
But the way she's gone on about them is not fit for a repeat, the all but destruction of the unions has left the country as an outsider in Europe re. workers rights. Even now it's become quite obvious the well regulated German system is superior her party is still strictly adhering to the path she set.
The issues with her government are not with the subjects she tackled but with the rigorous and often cold-blooded way she did.

Mind your language (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390385)

Folks will have quite a bit to say about Thatcher. Just be mindful of what words you use.

If you find yourself using a word you wouldn't apply to a man, please consider how that will be viewed, and whether your reply (or worse, you) will be dismissed as sexist.

didn't read the article (2)

Frontier Owner (2616587) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390455)

but based on the comments, it sounds a whole lot like her US counterpart.

Reagan caught a lot of flack after he left office, but history has been kind to him. Perhaps in a few years Maggie will be seen in a kinder light. Or maybe not. The brits aren't too fond of the eastern european influx that have shown up for free medical.

This is geek news (5, Interesting)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | 1 year,11 days | (#43390477)

This is geek news because she created the conditions where IT professionals could sell their skills at a decent price. If you were in commercial IT between 1985 and 2005 and you didn't even try to become self employed, then you should ask yourself whether you missed something.

I am aware that the deregulation of the financial market went too far. However, I maintain that if Mrs. Thatcher wouldn't have exercised her influence, the UK would not have thrived as it did.

here we go (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390487)

[img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A_OtTeVCcAEjsAi.jpg[/img]

wars and austerity (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390497)

Austerity plans and Wars in far south, that's what she left. Free market beginning character came to an end. Rest in peace, capitalism.

This is what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390541)

This is what happens when you release cable leaks!

we have bbc for this crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#43390565)

One facist less to go.

Why the hell is this on /. anyway.

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