The toady William Rees-Mogg reminds us that thirty years ago today the Conservative Party leader Margeret Thatcher became Prime Minister. Click here for his sycophantic drivel.
The outgoing Labour PM Callaghan warned that the Tory government would be a "national catastrophe', but, as we said at the time, capitalism is always a catastrophe for the working class. We asked how would a Tory administration be different from a Labour one? Would employers, with government backing, try to keep wages as low as possible and only employ workers when it is profitable? Would the Tory government try to smash strikes by invoking emergency powers and employ troops as stike-breakers, measures used by the earlier Labour government? Would unemployment increase by hundreds of thousands as it did under Labour? Would the Tories propse amendments of trade union law against the interests of the unions, as did the Labour government under Wilson with its 'In Place of Strife' Bill in 1970? Clearly then as now not enough workers paid attention to the refrain 'Labour, Liberal, Tory same boring old story'.
Later, in a piece from 2002, we provided a summary of the Thatcher years from a Socialist perspective and concluded:
"With her going there was something like a sigh of relief in the parliamentary Conservative Party. No longer would ministers be physically sick before seeing her for what promised to be one of her handbaggings. No longer would they be so overshadowed by her that the very name “Maggie” was synonymous with their party. We had eleven years of her premiership and then another seven of her party in power. So we had her revolution and the end effect was no different from the experience of all the other capitalist parties. In 1997 millions of people were so dispirited with the Tories that they turned to the alternative capitalist party of Blair's New Labour. When Thatcher was at the height of her power there were psychiatrists who assessed their patients' contact with reality by asking them who was prime minister. If they named someone other than Thatcher the psychiatrist knew they were a difficult case for treatment. It says something about Thatcher's brand of capitalism, that her very name was used as a measure of insanity."
So, after years of Leftwing cheerleaders chanting 'Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! Out, out, out!' they got their wish. But they, unlike the working class, need their misleading bete noire, something we explained in an article from May 1989 titled Why the Left needs a Thatcher.