Internationals Scammed By Thatcherism? Go Local For Details

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan laugh together at an outdoor gathering
Maggie & Ronnie: a meeting of conservatism's earthly gods.

Ireland, The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more: international victims of a Whiz-bang Goddess of Conservatism — Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990.

“Thatcherism” offered music to ears tilted towards the right side of political hearing. A sampler:

  • Governments are generally incompetent and, though unfortunately necessary, should be shrunk to the smallest possible size.
  • Government spending, ditto.
  • As much as possible, social enterprise on behalf of the citizenry, including infrastructure development and maintenance should be farmed out to the private sector. It is filled with competent people who can do anything better and cheaper than government, despite taking a profit-sized (flexible terms available) bite out of any contract to pay for superior free enterprise skills.
  • Disasters in the management and maintenance of public housing for low and no income citizens are proof of government incompetence. Public housing should be sold off to anyone prepared to buy it and the free market allowed to take care of the poor.

We could go on.

Thirty years after Thatcher, international governments are still following many of Thatcher’s iron-fisted prescriptions for national health. But closer to home, Thatcher would seem to be falling victim to a famous saying: “no man is a hero in his own country.”

Putting it bluntly, there is an emerging view that Thatcher was a scam-artist — a leader parading forwards even unto war while spouting principles that she did not in fact follow herself, and nor did the government she led.

A lengthy article in The Guardian calls out this right-wing goddess, still sitting high on her pedestal overseas. It makes for interesting, if colloquial, reading in other countries. Unfortunately local Brit-speak abounds in the following article. It may require frequent trips to Wikipedia or elsewhere to decipher this unexplained expression or that incomprehensible acronym. We reckon it’s worth it.

Read more in The Guardian: Thatcherism is the big Tory scam that still distorts our politics

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