Thatcher’s death tribute orgy is a ghastly warning of a British future

0
492

  By Ken Ferguson 
 
The Voice was going to press as Margaret Thatcher’s death was announced, triggering a tsunami of fawning tributes about her greatness, leadership, wisdom and so forth with Lords, ex-cabinet ministers, the Prime Minster and his echo Nick Clegg among those getting in on the act.
 
It will come as no surprise to Voice readers to learn that your paper will not be joining the queue of those signing the condolences book and heaping praise on the extremist former PM.

As a paper committed to a socialist future and an independent, democratic Scottish republic, we stand four square against the entire Thatcher project and the neoliberal nightmare it spawned.
 
Obscene
 
Not for us the loadsamoney city slickers unleashed by the Thatcher deregulation of finance or the obscene fat cats who wrecked the banks while pocketing bonuses beyond the dreams of avarice. The hijacking of key industries such as electricity and gas which was sold as a “peoples, capitalism” but actually ended up with super profits for the bosses and fuel poverty for millions.
  
And of course we should remember the brutal destruction of the coal industry after the miners dared to resist, and the destruction of manufacturing industry as the ruling elite turned the UK economy into a giant Ladbrokes.
 
Subsequent events have shown that, far from the act of brilliance it was sold as, this was about as sensible as betting your house on the Grand National, and we are now living amidst the smoking ruins of that policy.
 
However, while it might be said you can only expect class war from the Tories, perhaps Thatcher’s greatest achievement was that she created a climate of fear for Labour which saw them abandon their own history for the market friendly, city-fawning New Labour.
 
The fact that, in England, the basic ideas of market greed, privatisation, attacks on welfare and hostility to trade unions are now the accepted currency of all the major parties is both a tribute to Thatcher and a dreadful warning to those who will vote in next year’s independence referendum.
 
The Thatcher tributes will reveal the increasingly right wing politics of the Tory-led coalition and the weak-kneed trimming to them by a gutless Labour Party.
 
Poll Tax
 
What is unfolding before our eyes is the ghastly vision of history repeating itself.  In the Thatcher years, Scotland never voted for pit closures, the Poll Tax, privatisation of electricity and gas, etc, but we got them just the same via English Tory votes in Westminster.  Of course, this time we will be told its different – Holyrood will protect you and for the moment that is partly true.
 
However, should the Scots forge their own chains and vote No next year, only the terminally naive can believe that won’t change.  Faced with an every escalating financial crisis the cash given by London to the Edinburgh government will be slashed.
 
This will be justified by pointing at England’s suffering from spending cuts alongside a barrage of tales of how much more the pampered Scots suck out of the London Treasury and demands that cuts be made.
 
Nightmare
 
Given such cuts, the promise of “increased powers” from London will turn into a poisoned chalice which leaves any Holyrood government to make the cuts and manage the Scottish end of the British crisis.
 
The old saying is indeed apt – he who pays the piper calls the tune – and the only way to avoid a re-run of the Thatcher nightmare is to vote Yes and take control of all the powers to break with neo-liberal Britain and shape a Scotland which puts people before profit.
 
For a nation which consistently shunned Thatcher and her politics, this would be an appropriate epitaph on her era.
 
This article appears courtesy of the Scottish Socialist Voice

 

Help Promote Newsnet Scotland
You can help promote Newsnet Scotland by distributing our high quality custom designed leaflets.

Please click on the image to the right to find out about our promo-campaign and how you can help make others aware of Scotland’s biggest independent online news site.