Monday 18 January 2010


A while back on my RealAleBlog I referred to a beer brewed in honour of Thatcher, and called ‘Iron lady’, as a ‘fuck-awful name for a beer’. Some ‘commenters’ couldn’t understand why I hated her so much:

A lot of lefties will cite the miners’ strike as one of the many disasters of the Thatcher era. I don’t get quite as emotional as many about what on one level was indeed a human tragedy, but on another level was an example greed and gross stupidity. I felt quite sick when Thatcher came to power, sick and betrayed. I didn’t understand how working people could effectively cause self-harm by voting that way. No doubt some will argue, citing the popular vote, that the working class didn’t vote for her, but they did. I was there, and those Sun reader types were just so behind her.

Thatcher’s legacy is quite pronounced, and whilst it is difficult to fully comprehend what His Vagueness the Shallow David Cameron means when he talks about ‘Broken Britain’, he is clearly referring to that section of society written off by Thatcher’s work. A part of Britain is broken it is a section of the population that might well be best described as the disenfranchised white out-of-working-class. Those second and third generation Burberry wearing no hopers who can trace their creation back to Thatcher’s reign when their forefathers, and mothers, were consigned to the scrap heap as the Tories laid waste to vast swathes of British industry. Thatcher didn’t believe in ‘society’ but just in case it existed she put measures in place to see that it wouldn’t survive past her Reich. Those measures were most successful.

It is so sad that we have a defined underclass that has no manners, no idea about social responsibility, considers unemployment to be the norm, reproduces from teenage years onwards, is poorly educated, poorly housed and with no doubt very few if any aspirations. It may sound patronising and belittling to say that they can’t help it because they don’t know any better, and I’m probably guilty of that, but they really don’t seem to know any better. You could even say I’m making excuses for them in a condescending middle-class liberal valued woolly and judgemental way from my safe ivory tower. But think about it. If you were brought up in the same sort of run-down area that your parents were brought up in and your grandparents lived in. Received the same sort of education as your parents. Had the same sort of job ‘opportunities’ as your parents and grandparents, were subjected to the same cultural deficiencies generation after generation, then it is little wonder that we have spawned these communities of ‘broken’ individuals. Then to have that all reinforced by the professional classes, with their self-centred, money grabbing, the ‘individual is king’ attitude, along with the ‘do as I say not as I do’ approach, just seals it.

Many people never twigged what a cultural change the Thatcher administration brought about. It was quite a fundamental and seismic shift. The Britain that I was born into ten years after the Second World War ended was a society where Britons were culturally individual but economically collective. A society where people had a sense of neighbourhood and community. Where people took pride in the work they did. Post Thatcher and it’s all about looking after number one and screw everybody else. The attitude, ‘I’ll do as little as I can, take no pride in doing anything well, and expect loads of money for it!’ pervades. We are now a nation that is culturally collective and economically individual. This is why bankers and captains of industry continue to get richer and richer whilst at the same time pissing on the little people below. The little people are mostly anaesthetised by ‘celebrity’ worship, Big Brother, East Enders and the X Factor, so they don’t notice that they are getting wet. They’ve got us exactly where they want us and there is no easy way back!

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