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I thank Margaret Thatcher …

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, April 9th, 2013 - 313 comments
Categories: activism, class war, democracy under attack, democratic participation, feminism, poverty, privatisation, socialism, uk politics - Tags: ,

… for her major contribution to my political education.

I lived in London during the entire time Thatcher was prime minister.  It was a time of major change;

of intensive, collective anti-Thatcher political action;

of street riots;

of international conflicts;

of turmoil;

of increasing divisions;

of the restructuring of the workplace, the economy, society and popular culture;

of the growth of individualism and the commercialisation of individual identifications;

of increasing extremes between rich and poor;

of the dismantling of the welfare state, of increasing poverty;

and for those on the left, sometimes there were times of fun, personal and political achievements and hope

– but, above all it was a time when the “neoliberal” right extended and consolidated its networks of power, influence, inhumane agenda, misleading PR, and political platform.  We continue to live with its legacy.

When I arrived in England in the late 70s, the left wing discourses were quite dominant in the media and in face-to-face-interactions.  The left seemed on the rise, and the future was there for the taking. It was part of the successful development of policies for a fairer world, with less poverty, more social justice and more opportunities for all to lead financially and socially secure, and fulfilling lives.

The left wing grassroots networks continue to operate strongly in opposition in the beginning of the 80s.  However, Thatcher set out to dismantle such socialist networks in the cities, and gradually, through a rafter of inter-related initiatives, they  were dismantled.

I recall the first New Year ’s Eve after Thatcher’s Tories were elected to government.  The snow was on the ground outside.  A group of us were sitting around despondently contemplating a future under (what we naively thought may be only one or two terms).  One of our group tried to positively energise us.  He argued that we should use the Tory time in power as an impetus for action and change.   However, over time I learned that successfully opposing the power of the elites needs more that earnest will and effort.

I remember that, in the early 80s, each time we went up to the centre of London, we saw the appalling sight of increasing numbers of people sleeping on the pavements, in doorways, and populating the Bull Ring under Waterloo Station and beside the National Film Theatre.  I recall the students (in my classes) and their families struggling to survive while the MSM touting the great British economic revival.  I remember going past burnt out cars, boarded up windows, and coach loads of waiting uniformed police in backstreets, and the helicopters buzzing overhead at night during the 1980s Brixton riots (I lived nearby).

The-Brixton-riots-in-1981-007

Brixton Riots 1981

I remember the support from feminists, gays and other groups for the miners during their strikes; the day trips to tramp through the mud, and pee in the bushes at Greenham Common and being uplifted by the sight of the protests living in their makeshift camps.

Greenham Common

I remember the reports of IRA, bombings around London; the massive anti-Nazi League demonstrations and rallies (begun before Thatcher became PM);

Anti-Nazi league rally Victoria Park 1978

Anti-Nazi league rally Victoria Park 1978

the industrial actions I participated in as part of the teachers unions, including leafleting in shopping centres, joining large demonstrations and rallies, work-to-rule periods; the poll tax riots, and the on-going opposition to Thatcher’s wars on the poor, waged on behalf of the elites.

But, above all, I remember, that no matter what the opposition groups tried – no matter how widespread the criticism of Thatcher and her government seemed to be on the ground, Thatcher kept on being elected again and again.  I remember the depths of my anger and frustration, and the way I came to see Thatcher as pure evil.

Thatcher and her government have left a long and deep legacy.  It continues to have an impact on life here in NZ, as well as in the UK.  The “neoliberal” revolution has done much lasting damage to many lives.  Nevertheless, in spite of the failure of “neoliberalism”, evident with the Global Financial crisis and its aftermath, it is a long time dying.

My memories of the time are diverse, personal and extensive. Ultimately, the main thing I learned from Thatcher is that action, political will, and policies based in sound evidence and humane values is not enough.  In order to work towards a more inclusive, fairer world without poverty and destructive divisions, there is a need to find a way to counter the extensive networks, power and reach of the “neoliberal” elites.

313 comments on “I thank Margaret Thatcher …”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    Well said again Karol.

  2. Well put Karol.

    I had the equivalent experience in New Zealand during the Muldoon years. He damn near wrecked the country and we are still feeling the effects now.

    Your snapshot reinforces strongly the damage the right does when it is in power and how we owe it to our countries and the world to make sure that progressives are in power.

    • prism 2.1

      ms
      And being Right means you’re never wrong.

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      I think Thatcher’s time is more analogous to Roger Douglas’ reign of terror as opposed to Muldoons. Muldoon cared about the working poor. Douglas never did.

      • xtasy 2.2.1

        Enough is Enough –

        In all honesty, I doubt whether Muldoon “cared” about the working poor. Wages for low paid were not great then, no different to today.

        He would have feared the unions, who then were as worker representatives still able to wield some power in New Zealand.

        Roger Douglas and his supporters within the New Zealand Labour party started the destruction of the workers’ rights in NZ, same as the selling off of assets, the endless privatisation, and with that and other measures the transfer of wealth and incomes from the middle class and poor to the top.

        “Pissing upstairs” was their economic practice, rather than letting it “trickle down”, as they claimed it would do. And the Nats swiftly realisised their “opportunities” after that, taking power and letting Ruth Richardson, Shipley and the rest continue the agenda even more ruthlessly in the 1990s.

        And there lies one major difference, the tories started the neo lib right wing capitalist reforms in the UK, a “seized” and soul betraying Labour Party in NZ started the same here.

        To this day Labour has not “recovered” from this, and the years under Clark were only held in power, due to endless compromises to big business and the right wing lobbies.

        • Enough is Enough 2.2.1.1

          Yeah I agree xtasy.

          I was trying to covey that on the terror scale Douglas wins over Muldoon and is therefore closer to Thatcher

        • Populuxe1 2.2.1.2

          The Reserve Bank counselled Muldoon that the dollar should be devalued. Muldoon ignored the advice because he believed it would hurt poor New Zealanders in the medium term, and in June 1984 announced the snap election mentioned above which, as predicted, caused an immediate run on the dollar. How is that “not caring”?

          • xtasy 2.2.1.2.1

            Populuxe1: Muldoon was caring more for the ones that had substantial funds in bank accounts and invested in other ways, than the average worker just paying their weekly rent, mortgage and living costs, that is as far his “caring” would have gone!

            A lower dollar could have assisted exporters by the way, but he did not “care” about that then.

            • Populuxe1 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Actually, I think you’ll find that at the time there was a great social emphasis on saving in New Zealand, and the gap between rich and poor was far narrower then than at any other time – something reinforced by state economic protectionism, price and wage freezes, universal employment, and a robust welfare state (for which Muldoon had the utmost respect). The “average worker” in New Zealand from 1978-1981was not what you seem to think it was.

              • ghostrider888

                Muldoon did the best he could under the circumstances.

              • xtasy

                Well, Pop, when I was working in a stores job during the last year Muldoon was in power, here in Auckland, my pay was barely enough to pay rent, food and transport. And I met many others in similar circumstances. Perhaps you need to read up on history or talk to people who actually worked and lived at that time in rather ordinary jobs? Thinking is nice, but thinking does not always mean that what is thought is or was reality.

                • Populuxe1

                  I was there. Still better than under Key. Much MUCH better than Rogernomics and Ruthenasia. Stop projecting.

      • Murray Olsen 2.2.2

        I’d say Thatcher was a combination of the worst of Douglas with the worst of Muldoon. The main similarity I see with Muldoon is that they were both so bad that huge social movements against them formed and expanded, only to be coopted and neutralised by the respective Labour Parties that were elected in later.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      I had the equivalent experience in New Zealand during the Muldoon years. He damn near wrecked the country and we are still feeling the effects now.

      And then the 4th Labour government got in and truly got the wrecking ball rolling.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.4

      He [Muldoon] damn near wrecked the country and we are still feeling the effects now.

      He did, didn’t he. And his programme? Government directly involved in the economy by owning whatever it happened to inherit and building any new thing it thought (stupidly, as it turned out) might take off synthetic fuel plants, urea plants, magic bean plants. High rates for benefits by today’s standards. Subsidies for favoured sectors of the economy. An awards system for wages. Heavy regulation of prices and wages. You needed a special exemption to move goods by road. Tariffs to protect local manufacturers.

      What is it that readers here didn’t like about that platform?

      • Colonial Viper 2.4.1

        Muldoon was a visionary mildly ahead of his time, that’s all.

        • Smith 2.4.1.1

          …I’m lost for words.

          “Muldoon was a visionary” said nobody in NZ, ever!

          Happy to quote CV as the first Kiwi to use those two words in the same sentence though. :)

        • xtasy 2.4.1.2

          After many gin and tonics, or scotches on ice, we may all be “visionary”, kind of.

  3. Pete 3

    I’m not going to be crass because I’m not British and I was only a child in the 80s, but I do lament the influence her politics have had even on our distant shores. The divisiveness, the striver vs skiver framing of discourse. The idea that there is no society at all. The outlook that she and her fellow travellers embraced only serves the elites and not the public at large.

    May she rest in peace.

  4. Rosie 4

    That was a moving account of your experience of the Thatcher years Karol. It was quite sad reading it and seeing from your perspective that no matter what, Thatcher always won.

    I was listening to Radio Active this morning and that’s how I heard the news of Thatcher’s death. The breakfast show DJ was a child in Thatchers England and has grown up despising her influence and the effects of her policies. Already they have played a tribute to her:

    The classic Bela Lugosi’s dead by Bauhaus

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKRJfIPiJGY

    In the meantime Shonkey shows the love

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/8524540/Former-British-PM-Thatcher-dies

    Elsewhere in the real world: is that the sound champagne corks I hear popping?

  5. Wayne 5

    Ah well Karol, well this is your perspective. I was also in the UK for much of her premiership and have a quite different recollection of the impact of Mrs Thatcher on British society.

    In fact she was the reason for my first Conservative vote in 1983 (I had been in the Labour Party till then).

    The reason was she was the first political leader who said the Soviet Union could be defeated in our lifetimes, by the force of ideas of freedom. Up till then the view was that “peaceful co existence” would be a permanent state.

    I also recall a Britian that by 1979 was beset by strikes, was ossified, had a huge amount of nationalized industires going nowhere (remember BMC cars!), and which was pining for a lost past. The IMF had to be called in and that was huge shock.

    So Margaret Thatcher was a breath of fresh air. Yes, she had to crash through, but most Britons knew that was essential.

    And I can say most Britons, since she won three elections with big margins. People liked the freeing up of the economy, they like the lower taxes, they liked buying their council house, they were pleased to see the power of unions curtailed. And by the mid to late 1980’s Britian had a dynamic and progressive economy, pretty much due to her reforms.

    Labour was not electable until they (actually Blair) recognised why people voted Conservative in four succesive elections.

    Actually a lesson here. You have to accept and indeed adopt some of the policies of your opponents if they have kept beating you on those issues. For instance the Nats have accepted ERA (by and large). And I say this as the author of the 90 day Bill, which is the shortest trial period in any developed economy – so hardly a radical move to the right!

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      It’s time for your reality check.

      1979 – 43.9%

      1983 – 44.9%

      1987 – 42.3%

      1992 – 41.9%

      So, no, you can’t say “most”. Just another day on Planet Wingnut.

    • Hi Wayne,

      And here’s a Guardian interactive of her popularity and unpopularity during her ‘reign’.

      ‘Most’ is a rare beast during that time. Remember that in the UK it’s FPP.

    • karol 5.3

      Yes, I recall well the winter of discontent. I recall the rubbish bags piling up on Clapham Common near where I lived. I recall the train strikes while snow was falling or lying on the ground. My main method of transport was motorbike. I remember having to motorcycle from one side of London to the other, for work and study, with the snow hitting my visor and decreasing my visions. I remember my hands going numb, and crying with pain as they un-thawed when I got inside.

      Wayne, you are just repeating the official version of what happened, and why, as increasingly promoted by Thatchers minions and fans int he MSM. i also saw the underbelly of poverty and struggle that was the result of Thatcherism for many, that usually didn’t get reported in the MSM.

      The winter of discontent was not the beginning of the rise of “neoliberalism”. It was the result of a struggle between right and left, when the forces that came to be labeled “neoliberal” or “neo-conservative” were gathering their forces, energising their networks, in order to pull back gains made by the left, including by the unions. David Harvey has written about his extensive examination of the conditions that led up to such things of the Winter of Discontent, in his book, A Brief history of Neoliberalism.

      Sure there were problems. But the right was pushing the late 1970s UK Labour government in the direction it wanted. So the government got into a struggle to contain the unions, which resulted int he strikes of 1979.

      I recall Bryan Gould (kiwi who became a Labour MP in the UK) saying that, when he started working at the City of London (UK financial heart), he was appalled to see how people there were working to undermine the UK Labour government. Can’t find a direct quote of that right now, but here Gould gives background to the problems and wrong-directions of the UK in the 70s.

      Sure manufacturing needed restructuring. However, Thatcher dismantled UK manufacturing in favour of building up the UK as a financial centre, via the City of London. This set up the conditions that inevitably lead to UK economic decline with the bursting of their bubble during the 2008 GFC. Many of the middle classes certainly did well in the boom times of the bubble. Now many are facing insecurity and uncertainty. And the UK no longer has a strong manufacturing base to fall back on.

      • Wayne 5.3.1

        Karol, Remember I was there, so I am not just going on “an official version of what happened”. This is my recollection. I appreciate it is different to yours, because I looked at the same events as you from a different perspective. But then isn’t that the nature of politics.

        However, you have noted why the winter of discontent was so aggravating to people, who shortly thereafter were going to be able to show their displeasure through their vote. And your own analysis of that time, it seems to me, shows that union power had got completely out of balance.

        Incidentally I was always surprised that Byran Gould left Britian so soon after Tony Blair had become leader. Bryan was a major figure in Labour at that time. Presumably he had been told by Blair that he had no future in a Blair administration. But did Blair really have that power? (Isn’t the Cabinet voted for by the Caucus). After all Tony Blair had quite a few people of the left side of Labour in his administration. I guess it is all in Bryans book, which I should read.

        • karol 5.3.1.1

          Individual perspectives – yes. But that is why I also referred to a more comprehensive examination of the full spectrum of events, etc, in David Harvey’s book. The facts support my perspective. But it’s also a matter of underlying values – left values vs right values, mostly.

          Bryan Gould was disillusioned with the UK Labour Party when john Smith was leader: ie before Blair’s leadership or his time as PM, as mentioned on Gould’s wikipedia page.

      • Harry Young 5.3.2

        The general poverty you describe came about BEFORE 1979, because of the power afforded to the unions by Labour and the weak Edward Heath Conservative government.
        Unlike you I was in England through the sixties and seventies, so I saw it develop.
        The unions held us all to ransom for inflated wages for the few, in uneconomic subsidised industries.
        It’s true that manufacturing diminished, like it has in NZ – because of cut price wages in developing economies, not because of UK governments.

        • xtasy 5.3.2.1

          Harry Young:

          So I presume they had “cut price wages” then in Germany and a few other industrialised countries in Europe?

          The truth is that is total nonsense, and that those other countries did a lot better than the UK in those years, maintaining core industries, by modernising, improving productivity and efficiency by COOPERATING with strong unions there, rather than trying to stifle and suppress them, as the so class conscious employers and conservative political establishment in Britain did.

          Somewhere your comment does not fit with reality.

          German companies still make cars, machinery, chemical products, medicines, computer equipment, lab and medical instruments, and the list goes on. Strange that, aye?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.3.2.1.1

            +1

          • Populuxe1 5.3.2.1.2

            Except that there is a demand for German engineering cars because they make them really well, and none of them are state owned, so I fail to see the analogy.

            • xtasy 5.3.2.1.2.1

              Strange that, British cars were also known to be well made at some stage.

              • Populuxe1

                Not really. Aside from expensive high end luxury stuff like Rolls Royce, they are mostly crappy – Land Rover being a case in point. The market for Jaguar and Austen Martin was almost entirely dependant on the James Bond Franchise. The mIni Cooper in no way compares with the Volkswagon.

                • felix

                  “The market for Jaguar and Austen Martin was almost entirely dependant on the James Bond Franchise.”

                  WTF does that even mean? That the cars were good but because they were driven by James Bond they don’t count? They were either good or they weren’t, and you were supposed to be arguing that they weren’t FFS.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Oh how sweet – you do realise that 90% of a Bond film is basically an ad for British luxury consumer goods, don’t you?

                    • ghostrider888

                      and some fairly scrummy women

                    • felix

                      No ghostrider, those women were in a Bond film so according to Pop they don’t count.

                    • ghostrider888

                      well, they counted to me; pussy galore Miss Money Penny (i know, i used that one when i was, umm, was, let me see now…rustles through old Fleming paperbacks, oh yes, when i was fnjckg :) )

          • Harry Young 5.3.2.1.3

            The common market was rigged in favour of France and Germany and sucked the lifeblood out of the UK. We also had massive overpopulation through unskilled immigration, an underskilled workforce and lack of investment through high taxes, a legacy of the Wilson years . Germany had maintained their lead in engineering since Hitlers slave labour days. Simple as that. Without Thatcher, we would have been finished.

            • prism 5.3.2.1.3.1

              “Without Thatcher, we would have been finished.”
              Who would have been finished Harry Young? Are you a Brit from the Thatcher sector?

            • xtasy 5.3.2.1.3.2

              Harry Young – what a load of rubbish!

              The UK always gained from the EU membership, having had access to large continental markets, but the problem may have been, with the limited range of products the made, they may not have used that opportunity.

              Since GB joined the EU they always insisted on special terms and deals, giving them extra benefits.

              They dumped NZ as a primary, guaranteed supplier in 1973, not for just some fancy reasons, they had real economic interests in joining the EU.

              • prism

                And when Brits joined the EU they didn’t carry their outlying connections like NZ with them like France did with theirs. The French territories in the Pacific were and probably still included in the EU structure as part of France.

    • Colin 5.4

      I fully support Waynes viewvof events as I was also in Britain at the time
      For some it is trendy to attack anyone who promotes freedom and opportunity depite
      The abject failure of socialism

      • Colonial Viper 5.4.1

        Not “trendy”

        Opposing the elite serving neoliberalism that Thatcher represented is an important activity and one which has gone on for decades.

        The abject failure of socialism

        It’s done quite well in NZ.

    • Emilio Zapata 5.5

      If you are actually Wayne Mapp, may I take this an opportunity to tell you to go fuck yourself to the utmost , as I have myself worked in places where your law has been taken advantage of to the nth degree. Usually against young or otherwise vulnerable employees who are either naive to the fact that their rights were ever otherwise or in such precarious positions that they dare not speak out.

      All the while the employers have seen fit to purge away like there’s no tomorrow and I have not seen this resulting in many of these people finding fresh employment elsewhere. They are usually forced in the meantime to approach an increasingly hostile and dysfunctional Work & Income department. Which is of course geared towards denying them benefits for losing scarce jobs, often driven by arbitrary KPIs* beyond their control and sending them back out into an equally scarce job market in a vicious circle.

      You’re content to throw human beings on the scrap heap regardless of the consequences to them or their families and due to your bloated privilege you’ll never have to see what can happen and a result and if confronted will hide like all you bastards do if held to account.

      So in conclusion:

      If you’re really Wayne Mapp: I hope one day against all odds you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. Might seem inconceivable to you now but you never know, and I hope your fellow humans show you more mercy than you have shown to your fellow citizens in your entire wretched existence.

      If you’re pretending to be Wayne Mapp: That’s a really odd fetish you’ve got there.

      *I’m willing to bet that Work & Income have KPIs too, and they’re probably geared towards getting people off the benefit or denying them it regardless of the social outcome.

  6. prism 6

    I heard Michael Howard saying that Thatcher had saved Britain from a cold shower. She should have stuck to the traditional family business – thatching. Well I also heard that she died at the Ritz – way to go! -when I go I want to go like Maggie.

  7. Shaz 7

    +Many Karol A great reminisce. If thanks are the order of the day – wonderfully ironical and tongue firmly wedged in cheek – then I thank Margaret Thatcher for clarifying my parents belief that ” war and the threat of war changes everything”. I’d not really understood what they meant but in the lead-up to the Falklands conflict the instant jingoism that was whipped up, the ugliness of pro-war sentiments , being called a traitor for opposing the invasion and seeing young colleagues reporting to the army recruitment centres in shows of bravado to say nothing of the popularity that the Falklands War brought in its wake for what was at that time a deeply unpopular government was an education that will never leave me.

  8. prism 8

    lprent
    I clicked my edit button twice before I got the box to work in and now the right hand list shows two posts but I still have just the one, now edited. Strange. (And now the second entry is still there and I have a third entry as a result of putting this. Who knows I might yet apparently take over the whole site with prisms. Confusing.)

  9. Gosman 9

    Thatcher’s greatest legacy Is she continues to get up the noses of hard core leftists like Karol over 20 years after she left power. She would be pleased by this I suspect.

    • felix 9.1

      Much as you’d like to make this about personality, the fact is that her policies and philosophies are still hurting ordinary people.

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        There are many millions who welcomed her influence in places like Eastern Europe which were freed from brutal left wing dictatorships under her watch.

        • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1.1

          Shame she opposed the re-unification of Germany because she was afraid of Kohl though. You have to mention that when making your point, or it’s a bit of a lie really.

          • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1

            What does that have to do with her opposition to Soviet control and oppression in Eastern Europe?

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.1

              What does any of it have to do with getting up peoples’ noses?

              • Gosman

                And once again ‘Whoosh!’ off on a tangent goes felix. Have a nice trip felix old boy.

                • felix

                  Actually you’re the one who keeps changing the subject Gos, presumably because it has dawned on you how absurd your first comment is.

                  Remember? About Thatcher’s greatest hits?

                • felix

                  ps that whooshing sound you keep hearing? It’s not tangents.

            • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1.1.1.2

              “opposition to Soviet control and oppression in Eastern Europe” is a pretty low bar mate.

              Shame she couldn’t reach opposing south american death squads or supporting the reunification of Germany

            • ghostrider888 9.1.1.1.1.3

              give us an apartment in the former East Germany anyday; many lamented the passing of the “bloc” and who is charge of heating now?

        • felix 9.1.1.2

          lolz, she freed “many millions” but apparently getting “up the noses of ordinary people like Karol” is a greater accomplishment.

          Says it all.

          • Gosman 9.1.1.2.1

            Yep, that means she significantly altered the world’s culture via a demoratic platform that a certain type of person is still annoyed enough to get upset with her even after over a generation has passed since she had any real influence. That is a pretty darn impressive accomplishment in my view.

            • felix 9.1.1.2.1.1

              You’re completely misrepresenting the reasons ordinary people have for being glad to see the back of her.

              It has nothing to do with “demoratic platforms”.

              You also totally fail to understand her “influence” if you think it no longer impacts ordinary people.

            • rosy 9.1.1.2.1.2

              “she significantly altered the world’s culture via a demoratic platform”
              Democratic platforms like those she supported in Chile, South Africa, Iraq and Indonesia…?

              I think you’re thinking her anti-communist rhetoric came with a belief that a liberal democracy was the alternative.

        • Murray Olsen 9.1.1.3

          Strange how a lot of those Eastern Europeans and their children are nostalgic for the “good old days.” They know they were sold a lemon, and for most of them, their lives are much worse. Of course, the Communist Party apparatchiks who handed themselves all the state industry did pretty well. In Abramov’s case, well enough to buy Helena Bay, although RWNJs might think that were a good thing because it’ll stop the local iwi denying kiwis their birthright.
          The people Suharto killed have no opinion on the matter, nor do those murdered by Pinochet’s goons.

  10. Walter 10

    As the Great Lady Thatcher said so correctly The only party to vote for is the Conservative party, because all labour governments sell the hard working tax payers out to dry while providing every thing from housing to food for the non working. no wonder every country thats had a labour government was broke at the end of their term.

    She was a great prime Minister and her place in history is set in stone, she sorted the scum of unions and the policys of the left which never work.

    • Rob 10.1

      Yes , unfortunatly the political organisations that use the word Labour (in both the UK and NZ), gave up on that particular working segment many many years ago.

    • johnm 10.2

      Walter
      Your comment is Rubbish.

    • prism 10.3

      Walter
      [Thatcher] was a granite prime Minister because her heart was set in stone
      (she sorted the unions and the policys of the left which were working well.)

      FIFY

    • Ben Clark 10.4

      every country thats had a labour government was broke at the end of their term
      Err, like the Clark government getting government debt down to a net zero with a surplus in each of its 9 years? Meaning we had money for English to use in this recession…

      The government that got us into dangerous debt (that Clark/Cullen managed to pay off) was Muldoon.

      Unfortunately reality doesn’t have much impact on your comment…

      • Colonial Viper 10.4.1

        Err, like the Clark government getting government debt down to a net zero with a surplus in each of its 9 years?

        What you also need to add was that Cullen allowed massive increases in private debt over that exact same time frame, effectively taking money injected into the economy by the private banks, to pay down the public debt.

        • Colonial Viper 10.4.1.1

          And yes, unemployment was low and wages grew during that time. But incomes did not grow faster than housing unaffordability, as houses got pumped higher and higher by ever increasing levels of mortgage debt provided by the banks.

          • Rob 10.4.1.1.1

            Yeah I generally agree with you CV. I would also add that the quality and type of employment dropped as manufacturing roles went off shore and were replaced with more burger flipping and coffee making hospo roles as well.

        • xtasy 10.4.1.2

          CV – this matter with the increase in private debt cannot simply be blamed on the former Labour led government, I feel. In part, yes, but the “middle class”, who wanted to buy a home, who wanted to gain on the gravy train house price rises, who in smaller numbers also “invested” in extra dwellings to let out, and who were quite comfy to be “addicted” to have more flush credit to spend on new home entertainment technology, on a new car, on an overseas holiday, they pushed the situation to where it ended.

          Had Cullen put a sudden brake on to slow this, the outcry would have been great, and they would have gone in droves to National, to get tax cuts and so forth.

          Part of the problem of the left is, they have to deal with the mentality in people that former Labour governments also nurtured, by falling for the right wing free market, capitalist ideology, that we can all achieve things we aspire to, simply by being thrifty, hard working, speculating, competing, investing and so on. That is what people did, more so than ever since the mid to late 1980s, and hence they as voters vote for governments perpetuating this idiotic dream, which resembles on a small scale the American Dream.

          Wake people up, but when they are “addicts” to consumerism, self indulgence and striving gains and more gains over others less able, they will play up and destroy any sensible plan by sabotaging it. Common sense is no longer the common aspiration and behaviour, I am afraid.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.5

      Walter, yawn: I appreciate your need to show your hatred, but do you have to tell lies while you’re doing it?

      For the link-averse, the graph shows NZ govt. debt to GDP ratio between 2001 and 2010. It shows the good job the fifth Labour government did of reducing debt.

      • Rob 10.5.1

        Why dont you just show a chart of just net debt rather than one showing an index against GDP . NZ actually went into recession (3 quaters of declining GDP) before GFC started. Your chart flaws your argument because even if Net debt had stayed constant the decline in GDP would elevate your chart.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.5.1.1

          Why don’t you back up your assertions with a reputable source if you’re so sure about them?

          • Rob 10.5.1.1.1

            Back up what. Your chart shows an increase in debt as an index of GDP. Its quite simple that during the GFC our GDP fell, there forte even if net debt had remained constant your index chart would show an increase.

            You based your debate on net debt . Show a net debt chart by year and dont confuse it as an index on GDP.

  11. One Anonymous Knucklehead 11

    …the extensive networks, power and reach of the “neoliberal” elites.

    Xtasy’s comment on Open Mike is timely.

  12. Te Reo Putake 12

    Spontaneous celebrations break out all over Britain:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-party-brixton-glasgow

    And an update on isthatcherdeadyet which has caused death threats on twitter, apparently:

    http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/

    And a wistful one from Robert Wyatt:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6T9qp9XbRY

  13. Olwyn 13

    “In order to work towards a more inclusive, fairer world without poverty and destructive divisions, there is a need to find a way to counter the extensive networks, power and reach of the “neoliberal” elites.” Amen to that!

    We do need to find a way of countering, or at least effectively confronting, the neo-liberal model championed by Thatcher. The new stability that I think even she expected did not happen. Instead, with the levers of power in very few hands, the neo-lib revolution goes on and on, with more and more cruelty, and more and more people being deemed surplus to requirements. Hence we get comments like Walter’s one above: on the one hand Labour governments spend the tax-payer’s money on free food and housing for the non-working, and on the other, Thatcher sorted out the “scum” of the unions. If Thatcher had not sorted out “the scum of the unions” there would be much less call for free food and housing. Get it Walter? In one short comment you would deny people both living wages and handouts in the absence of living wages.

  14. freedom 14

    A man eminently qualified to speak on the issue of Margaret Thatcher says it all
    http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/11676_10151561069412744_1687900975_n.jpg

  15. Sanctuary 15

    But it was all for the good, for she made sure the newspapers were published on time. Or something like that, if you read Russell Brown.

    What the anti-worker right fail to grasp when discussing Britain’s long industrial decline is that union opposition to change didn’t come from nowhere. The optimism of the working class in late 1940s and through the 50s and 60s was ultimately eroded by implacable class hostility from the upper classes in the UK. If the British unions were reluctant to adopt new technology, then the hopelessly incompetent British mangerial class were the most culpable in the development iof that attitude. The seeds of British competitive decline were sown a century before the strikes at Wapping, when the British elites stopped investing in industry and became usurers and landlords. The general decadence and incompetence of the British upper classes coupled with above all a desire to fight class war to the bitter end rather than accept the working class as equals in decision making in the new post Beveridge British state is what led directly to situations like the one Brown describes at Wapping. The response of British workers in industry to the hostility of the the upper classes – suspicion, patch protection, artisan production methods, etc was a reaction to the general class war waged on them by a failed leadership elite, and was not a primary cause of industrial decline or general class conflict.

    All Thatcher did was wage an all-out class war, and she did indeed win her round. But nothing is forever, including the North Sea oil which has since the 1970s paid for the fools paradise the hollowed out British economy has become.

  16. millsy 16

    Thatcher destroyed the living standards of millions of British, and made millions more homeless.

    She sold off vital infrastructure, leaving even millions more struggling with high power and water bills, and wrecked public, collective and mutually owned institutions, for the sake of individual greed. (Though she left rail privatisation for her successor to deal with), her smashing of the unions left Britons in low wage dead end jobs, needing tax credit top ups to cover living cost, and public housing was badly run down as her policy allowing tenants to buy their council flat, barred councils from using the proceeds to buy more housing.

    Like Reagan in the US, Douglas here, Hawke and Howard in Aus, she presided over the transfer of vast amounts of wealth to the right, at the expense of everyone else.

    [r0b: Deleting some of the more personal comments.]

    The unions could have quite easily smashed her like they did those who came before her, but it appears that they never really held together (I suppose they underestimated her as well).

    • karol 16.1

      I agree with most of what you say, millsy. But not the bit on the unions. I was a member of the NUT (Natioanl Union of Teachers) and involved in on-going anti-Thatcher policies, industrial action. the union was strong and could have gone on indefinitely with our campaign. But, in the end, Thatcher’s government brought in a law to outlaw our industrial action. And the media worked for her too. I was on a major national demonstration of massive proportions, that stopped London – and it did not get one bit of coverage in the MSM.

      This is why I say, we have to find a way to deal with the massive reach of the power elites. Whatever we tried, Thatcher’s mob found a way of countering. Ditto for the massive support the miners got.

      Maybe the union strategies weren’t the best, and they need to learn new methods. But the will and effort was not lacking.

      PS: So pleased to see Helen Kelly is continuing fighting the union corner, with her posts, including her one on TS today.

      • millsy 16.1.1

        From what I understand, the shotfirers union refused to take part in the strike, and I think a few miners in Nottingham were promised that their jobs would be retained if they kept working.

      • wyndham 16.1.2

        The MSM being largely Rupert Murdoch I presume ?

    • fender 16.2

      [r0b: Deleting some of the more personal comments.]
      +1

      Roger Douglas should go to her funeral and jump in the hole with her.

      • Walter 16.2.1

        Sir Roger Douglas was a labour minister after all , the Left forgets this.

        • felix 16.2.1.1

          I don’t think I’ve ever met a leftie who forgot this.

          • Matthew Hooton 16.2.1.1.1

            Data please

            • xtasy 16.2.1.1.1.1

              READ HERE on the Standard!

            • felix 16.2.1.1.1.2

              Sure Matthew. Number of lefties I think I’ve met who forgot this: 0

              Now let’s get back to your claim that Thatcher didn’t increase the level of inequality in Britain.

        • prism 16.2.1.2

          Walter
          Go play in your sandpit you naive twit. Those who understand Labour and politics know about Douglas and his travelling companions, did you all see Michael Basset with Susan Wood the other day? You’re a wally Walter, your remarks just reveal your ignorance.

        • fender 16.2.1.3

          Nobody forgets Roger Douglas used Labour to enter parliament where it then became apparent he was no lefty, hence the reason he went on to become a founding member of the pathetic ACT party, and it’s first leader.

          It’s only the right that seem to suffer memory problems, like the current PM and his tea party dropkick John Banks have proven over and over again.

          • chris73 16.2.1.3.1

            Memory lapses and politicians…like the current Labour leader?

            • felix 16.2.1.3.1.1

              No, like John Key who forgot the fucking Springbok tour, moron.

            • fender 16.2.1.3.1.2

              Was wondering which wingnut would bring up the Shearer bank account, should have known it would be our very own black-heart hero. You would have a valid point if Shearer was in fact a lefty.

              You should be with your whaleoil mates in circle-jerk bereavement today.

          • Joe Bloggs 16.2.1.3.2

            …It’s only the right that seem to suffer memory problems…

            Oh that’s absolutely classic fender! Your sense of dramatic irony knows no bounds!!!

            Lest we forget the forgotten bank account held by Shearer

          • Walter 16.2.1.3.3

            Both Banks and shearer have alot in common, whats good for one and all that.

            Thats why labour will lose the next election.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.2.1.3.3.1

              Memo to Walter.

              New Zealand’s electoral system is called “Mixed Member Proportional”, or MMP. It allows for a more representative parliament, and often results in “coalition governments”, such as those seen between 1996 and the present day.

            • ghostrider888 16.2.1.3.3.2

              ahhhh, Walter hottle bottle.

  17. johnm 17

    The 80s UK was defined primarily by the North Sea oil Bonanza giving cover to the backward policies of an ignorant egomaniac called Thatcher.

    @ Wayne “And by the mid to late 1980′s Britian had a dynamic and progressive economy, pretty much due to her reforms.” Thatcher oversaw the dismantling of British manufacturing and the replacement of NeoLiberal financialisation based on the City of London now recognised at the World’s centre of financial fraud.
    The dynamic and progressive economy was courtesy of the North Sea Oil Bonanza which covered her destruction in a flow of black gold; now it’s running out the UK is in the Sh*t. She began an even greater shift towards inequality and class difference. She began the whole Neoliberal nightmare in the UK. She supported the dictator Pinochet and the murder of Allende and rubbed shoulders with the dementia idiot Reagan who began a similar great leap backwards in the U$- That country is now a shell of its former strength except for the military.

    One woman, who gave her name as Claire, said:
    “That woman made my youth a misery. I think that she was to blame for most of the ills of society. And most of the things that poor people and ill people are now being blamed for were her fault.”

    Another demonstrator said: “She started the whole neo-liberal madness we’re all suffering from now.
    http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-04-08/revellers-in-brixton-celebrate-thatchers-death/

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art/32952/Margaret+Thatcher%3A+a+brutal+ruling-class+warrior+is+dead

    Arguably, on the other hand, without the oil revenues the Thatcher junta would not have been able to afford millions unemployed. Her and her successors, Major, Blair and Brown, have helped ensure this by avoiding doing anything sensible with the money, like the Norwegians have. But I’m sure you know that already.

    And, as I said above, without the oil Thatcher et al would have had a hard time paying for all the people she put on the dole with her magic monetary policy.

    • chris73 17.1

      “That woman made my youth a misery. I think that she was to blame for most of the ills of society. And most of the things that poor people and ill people are now being blamed for were her fault.”
      – No, we are responsible for own happiness not the government

      “Thatcher junta”
      – Junta, really?

      • prism 17.1.1

        chris73 That’s the line that alcoholics follow – take responsibility for one’s own happiness however you may have to search for it.

      • Te Reo Putake 17.1.2

        Yep, Thatcher Junta was a common term in the eighties. It was a play on the name given to the military dictatorship in Argentina.

    • johnm 17.2

      Some English opinions:

      I agree totally with all the red arrow comments. How can people forget what his woman did to destroy this country. The mess we have now the benefit culture,the greedy fat cat bankers, huge utility bills, no apprentiships or council houses, she sold this country down the river.

      Can I remind posters that now, in 2013, Britain is completely, totally and utterly bankrupt (more so than places like Greece). Can I also remind posters of the kind of society that Britain has become over the last 30 years. That’s all the legacy of Margaret Thatcher.

      Thatcher helped turned Great Britain to what it is going to be 3rd World Britain.

      How soon they forget……….Remember the term WET!….anyone who disagreed with her was wet…….she swept away all opposition and created a government of poodles….we are still paying the price !!!!!I do not believe she was deliberately evil…but she was woefully ill-informed !!!!!!!

      Nice one, George. True to form, Thatcher dies in luxury at the Ritz Hotel – how many old people have died of the cold because they can’t afford the ever increasing utility bills, brought about by her privatisation? And how many are dying due to the sanctions regime?

      the SUS laws; the anti trade union laws; the Brixton riots; Miners Strike; the sinking of the Belgrano; the Poll Tax; 4 million unemployed; The Battle of the Bean Field; the Criminal Justice Act;the destruction of industries; the sell off of our services; selling off council houses without replacing them: she filled the coffers of CEOs and the banks, unleashing a culture of greed; the sense of hopelessness that led to Tony Blair; and setting the stage for the economic strife we are experiencing now.

      Margaret Thatcher and mass murderer Pinochet. Friends Reunited.

      She destroyed this country’s strong exports, changed the face of the economy forever from being a producing one to one reliant on others and primarily services based. And she ruined millons of lives with her policies. Yes, she deserves all the hate.

      Many of today’s problems are attributable to Thatcher’s period in office. The sale of Council Houses at knock-down prices, Privatisation of Gas, Water and Electricity, Encouraging dole claimants to register sick so she could massage the unemployment figures and allowing companies to take lengthy pension holidays, thus creating a huge deficit for future pension claimants. This on top of the destruction of Manufacturing and Mining communities. She exposes Cameron’s maxim of us all ‘being in it together’ as a sham, with her, ‘There’s no such thing as community’. Possibly the worst Prime Minister this country has had until Cameron took the helm.

      I would just like to say a few words on behalf of the victims of Margaret Thatcher’s policies: Where there was harmony they brought discord – social and class division, miners strike, public sector cuts, increased wealth gap between haves and have nots. Where there was truth they brought error – poll tax, unemployment figures, Falklands war, deregulation of the banking industry leading to casino style derivative banking, council house sales. Where there was faith they brought doubt – economic policies, university student loans. And where there was hope they gave despair – privatisation of publicly owned state run assets, giving employers pension contribution holidays and using employee pension funds to pay redundancies, homeless and homelessness greatly worsened by councils being banned from replacing sold council housing stock, more poverty, closure of heavy industries such as car manufacturing, steel, ship building and coal mining industries and outsourcing offshoring jobs overseas

      • johnm 17.2.1

        “She decimated our basic industries of coal and steel. Shipbuilding virtually disappeared, along with much of heavy engineering. She tried to destroy our free trade unions through repressive legislation, and damn well near succeeded.

        She branded miners fighting for their jobs and communities as “the enemy within”, a foul slur on decent working people and their families for which she will never be forgiven.

        She made mass unemployment respectable, and used it as a tool of government. The dole queues were “a price worth paying” under her regime – once described as “an elected dictatorship” by one of her own ministers.

        She created a new underclass of jobless men, took away their status as breadwinner in the home and forced millions of women back into the workplace so that families could make ends meet. If she was a women’s champion, I am Meryl Streep.

        She sold our basic utilities – gas, water, electricity and telephones – and prices soared. She flogged off the buses and railways, and fares went through the roof.

        She sold off the council houses and built no new ones, so there are now more than two million families on housing waiting lists.

        She enthroned the profit motive, and unleashed the spivs and speculators in the City of London. She surrendered economic policy to the mysterious dark forces of “the market”, which led UK plc into one recession after another that led to the mess where we are today.

        She imposed the hated poll tax on the nation, first in Scotland where she made the Tories unelectable for more than a generation. She then thrust it down the throats of the English, prompting the worst riots in London since the disturbances of the early eighties.

        She took us into war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands , when her popularity ratings were rock bottom, to save an isolated British colony – and her own political face.

        On the back of that operation, she won a cynical landslide in the “khaki election” of 1983.

        Her enthusiasm for war initiated a new era of British militarism that has yet to run its course.

        She hated Europe, shouting “No, No, No!” at every opportunity and made Conservatives think and behave like Little Englanders.

        She took the UK to the sterile margins of the European Union, but in the end the issue did for her premiership.

        As it may well do for her greatest fan, Dodgy Dave Cameron.”

        http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-dead—now-1818150

        • halfcrown 17.2.1.1

          Well said Johnm and Karol. It is good to be reminded what this female has done. I like to remind NZ of the way she support France over the Rainbow warrior as Longey introduce a nuclear free policy.

          One of the casualties of Thatcher was London Transport who had the finest R&D research facilities in the world. Criminal.

    • xtasy 17.3

      johnm

      You are so right about the North Sea oil bonanza, which was one thing that kept the UK economy ticking along somehow, besides of the growing (largely also fraudulent) finance sector, a bit of bio-medical industry and what else remained.

      Now the oil is running out, and despite of investing a lot in alternative energy, the UK economy has run out of steam, as the businesses were asleep at the wheel, or gave up years or decades ago, to produce what other industrialised countries still do.

      You cannot run an advanced economy on “service jobs” where people cut each other’s hair, deliver each other pizzas and so forth.

  18. What bullshit from the RWNJs here.
    Thatcher’s death is neither here nor there. She had to die sometime.
    I would have preferred that she died in the Brighton hotel.
    That would have saved thousands whose lives she shortened with her ruthless policies of attacking workers for 11 years, though no doubt some other rightwing arsehole would have taken her place and used her death to ramp up the police state to smash working class resistance.
    She did massive damage, preparing the ground for the Blairites who continued the work, and now being finished off by the Condems.
    Thatcher will take her proper place in history when British workers throw out the whole capitalist establishment including the Labour Party and set up their own government based on the need of the many not the greed of the few.

    • chris73 19.1

      lol

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 19.2

      I would have preferred that she died in the Brighton hotel.

      Charming.

      • Pascal's bookie 19.2.1

        About as charming as when Bobby Sands, MP, died and parliament declined to attach the traditional condolences to his family when they noted his passing.

        • felix 19.2.1.1

          Please don’t talk about the horrible things she did while people are trying to rewrite her story.

        • NickS 19.2.1.2

          And what did that “tough line” give the UK? More extremism, more deaths and more pain as the fuckheads on both sides exploited the situation.

      • aerobubble 19.2.2

        Its interesting, did anyone die in the Brighten Hotel, or did the spin always make it about her
        near death escape, building a political brand so much more than her actual accomplishments.

        • Pascal's bookie 19.2.2.1

          I think there was a handful of dead, which confirms your point I guess.

        • Te Reo Putake 19.2.2.2

          5 people were killed and many more grievously injured. Bombings are the way cowards fight their battles and the results are rarely the desired outcome. The spin that came from it was that Thatcher was not killed because she was up working (supposedly she only slept 3 or 4 hours a night).

          • Colonial Viper 19.2.2.2.1

            Bombings are the way cowards fight their battles and the results are rarely the desired outcome.

            Please note, assymetric warfare is coming more in fashion, not less.

            • Arfamo 19.2.2.2.1.1

              “Bombings are the way cowards fight their battles and the results are rarely the desired outcome.”

              Agreed. The US should’ve learned that in Vietnam. But they’re still doing it, only now the bombs are attached to the front of missiles fired by drones.

          • Colonial Viper 19.2.2.2.2

            As for killing people like Cowards where on the scale do you rate killing uncharged, undisclosed, unreviewable secretly chosen targets (including civilians) in Iraq, Afghanistan and North Africa, all from comfy chairs in drone control centres in New Mexico and Nevada?

  19. Santi 20

    A true leader died today. One who scared all sort of lefties.

    • Ennui 20.1

      Thought it best as a Lefty to respond in song…..(from the Wizard of Oz)

      And the coroner pronounced her dead
      And through the town the joyous news went running
      The joyous news that the wicked old witch
      Was finally done in

      Ding-dong! The witch is dead.

      ‒ Which old witch?
      ‒ Well, uh,.. the wicked witch!
      ‒ Oh.

      Ding-dong! The wicked witch is dead.
      Oh yeah, happy day
      Wake up you sleepy head,
      Rub your eyes, and get out of that bed.
      Wake up, the wicked witch is dead.

      She’s gone where the goblins go,
      Below, below, below. Yo-ho
      Let’s open up and sing and ring those bells out.
      Sing the news out.

      Ding-dong, the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
      Let them know the wicked old witch is dead!
      Why everyone’s glad,
      She took such a crowning
      Bein’ hit by a house is even worse than drowning
      Let ‘em know the wicked old witch is dead!

  20. tamati 21

    Did the left ever have anyone as influential as MT? Possibly Attlee, but hard to compare her to someone thrown out after a single term. Perhaps Lloyd-George?

  21. Elizabeth Bourchier 22

    Herald Scotland reports Frankie Boyle on Thatcher news:

    “Finally, I get to wear my black suit and tap shoes together.”

  22. xtasy 23

    RIP –

    [r0b: Deleting some of the more personal comments.] dear “Maggie”!

    Sorry, I usually have more respect for the deceased, but Maggie Thatcher is to me one prime example of a person who has shown an excessive amount of arrogance, self centredness, stubbornness, insensitivities, division, lack of common sense, violent suppression of dissent, hatred and lack of respect (especially for the poor, the working, and for those in poor health, who needed state support rather than regimes introduced by the likes of Prof. Mansel Aylward, CMO, DWP).

    She showed her relentless push for getting her will and her lack of sensitivity and diplomacy also during the Falkland War in 1982, which recent relevations show:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/29/world/europe/falklands-war-caused-rare-friction-for-thatcher-and-reagan.html?_r=0

    Margaret Thatcher divided the UK for decades to come, and regrettably even the UK Labour Party under Tony Blair continued some of her despiccable policies, which last to this day, and especially in welfare we see now, that it leads to endless marginalisation, harm and even death.

    Incredibly one former NZ sole parent beneficiary (Paula Bennett, aka “Benefit” or “Bandit”, Minister for Social Welfare) is keen on adopting welfare approaches and work fitness assessments that were started off in the UK under Mansel Aylward, who will be speaking also at a leading annual GP conference in Rotorua in June this year, promoting the “work sets you free” ideology that is now being forced upon as a “medical solution” on NZ medical practitioners.

    She was also opposed to German unification, which brought about a new Europe, as the iron curtain fell. But she had the arrogance, like Reagan as US president, to claim the benefit for having “achieved” this, which is an absurd distortion of the truth, which any informed European who lived through the Cold War and its last years can testify.

    Good riddance, one enemy less, a few more to go!

  23. Walter 24

    My My My dont the Left hate the Truth.

    Even in her Death she still gets the left going, What a bunch of losers.

    The Truth is id rather see part of the state owned assets sold than the tax payers sold out like the left would do.

    • Pascal's bookie 24.1

      Funny how most of the people complaining about true things being said today are righties.

    • Colonial Viper 24.2

      Even in her Death she still gets the left going, What a bunch of losers.

      Nothing wrong with enjoying the passing of an enemy of the people, is there?

  24. r0b 25

    I did my time in Thatcher’s England and I’m no more fan of her than any leftie. But please let’s keep a certain standard of decorum in the comments. I’ve deleted one or two of the more personal attacks already (apologies to the authors – I do understand the anger).

    • Enough is Enough 25.1

      They are personal attacks because she personally destroyed the lives of millions. The gap between rich and poor in britian is extreme due to her.

      Anger is hopefully being replaced with joy today around Britian at the demise of this truly awful human.

      • felix 25.1.1

        While understandable, it’s a mistake to take all the feelings of anger and frustration and tie them to her as an individual.

        Of course she was a horrible person, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s the philosophies and policies she followed that are truly destructive and hurtful, and they’re alive and well right here today.

        This anger at what she did needs to be directed at those who are still doing it.

        edit: Billy Bragg, of course, says it below far better than I.

      • Matthew Hooton 25.1.2

        “The gap between rich and poor in britian is extreme due to her.”

        Due to her???

        Are you mad?

        Are you saying there was no class system in the UK until the grocer’s daughter became PM?

        Whatever criticisms are made of Margaret Thatcher, there is no doubt she stood for greater class mobility than even her Labour predecessors. Which is why the Tory nobility hated her even more than the political left.

        • felix 25.1.2.1

          I presume you’re going to data us up on that Matthew.

          • NickS 25.1.2.1.1

            Methinks you doth ask to much of teh Hooten, for he’s well know to have issues with the terms “data” and “evidence”…

        • karol 25.1.2.2

          Yes, Thatcher was another one who benefited from the post war moves to more equality and more opportunities for those not in the aristocratic elite….. then she helped pull up the ladder.

          • karol 25.1.2.2.1

            To add to my last comment: the working classes began to get more education and have more visibility in public life in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Thatcher’s political generation benefited from that, with the Tory caucus being re-vitalised by MPs from business, entrepreneurial and non-aristocratic backgrounds. It shifted the direction of right wing policies.

            However, as a result of Thatcherite policies, social mobility stalled, as shown in this 2012 Guardian article that examines the data.

            Here’s what the figures show:

            • Britain has some of the lowest social mobility in the developed world – the OECD figures show our earnings in the UK are more likely to reflect our fathers’ than any other country

            • Social mobility hasn’t changed since the 1970s – and in some ways has got worse. For every one person born in the 1970s in the poorest fifth of society and going to university, there would be four undergrads from the top fifth of society. But if you were born in the 1980s, there would be five

            • 24% of vice-chancellors, 32% of MPs, 51% of top Medics, 54% of FTSE-100 chief execs, 54% of top journalists, 70% of High Court judges …went to private school, though only 7% of the population do…

            More at the link.

          • The Pink Postman 25.1.2.2.2

            How true karol. Time and time again the same story .Here in Aotearoa we have Bennett and her mates ..All for Socialism while they are gathering But not for anyone else . Despicable greedy selfish uncaring beings.

        • Enough is Enough 25.1.2.3

          The class system is something just as vile but quite different to what I am talking about.

          Those bankers who sit in their ivory towers on Canary Wharf dont carry a title Matthew. Yet they have a disproportinate amount of the nations wealth.

        • karol 25.1.2.4

          And on the increases in income inequality under Thatcher:

          But the truth is that we are suffering the impact of the massive increases in income inequality under Thatcher, which Blair and Brown have since failed to reverse. In the 1980s the gulf between the top and bottom 20% widened by a full 60% – much the most dramatic widening of income differences on record. Since then there have been only minor fluctuations under Major, Blair and Brown. The result is that the gap between the top and bottom 20% in Britain is twice as big as among our more equal European partners.

        • Murray Olsen 25.1.2.5

          She stood for class mobility the same way Paula Bennett and John Key do. They stand on top of it and crush it. Who wants to be a member of your class, anyway? The working class is the only one I want to belong to.

      • Walter 25.1.3

        No the poor are poor because they want to be poor. They want the state to provide every thing for them.

        Why should we who are better off be made to support the lazy of our country. Only the left could have a policy of a hand me down world were people get rewarded for lazy behavour.

        The Truth is that the facts prove Thatcher was right.

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.3.1

          Wow, how come there were only 80,000 lazy non-working people in this country under Labour, and more than twice that under National?

          You really must think us stupid.

          • xtasy 25.1.3.1.1

            There has been an increase in the ones “perceived to be poor” under National, because National has put them onto their payroll, merely to prove – by supplying the statistics, that there are too many lazy, so the government then had the “justification” to push through the welfare reforms. It is all an agenda, perhaps?!

            That and only that can be the logical conclusion or explanation one can get from Walter’s comment.

            Haha

        • chris73 25.1.3.2

          Its true, its all about the choices people make. Spend money on booze, ciggies and drugs or spend money on an education…

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 25.1.3.2.1

            Yes, and the GFC and Bill English just bring out the worst choices of all.

            Fish, meet barrel.

          • Arfamo 25.1.3.2.2

            How many people have we heard from who got an education and then had to leave the freakin country to work because they couldn’t even get a job here, even flipping bloody burgers?

            • chris73 25.1.3.2.2.1

              Yeah because what NZ needs is more sociology grads

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                [citation needed]

                Like, one that shows that the problem is “too many sociology grads”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  chris73 doesn’t understand that it’s the excess in law, economic and finance grads which have really fucked things up.

          • Walter 25.1.3.2.3

            current unemployment is 7.3 % which is .04 higher than 2007.

            So unemployment is really not that bad under the current government

            • Arfamo 25.1.3.2.3.1

              “unemployment is really not that bad under the current government”

              Give it a try. And being unemployed is much worse under the current government because poverty and the cost of everything has increased.

              • Walter

                The rise in costs is not the governments problem.

                • Arfamo

                  Of course it isn’t dimwit. On their salaries & perks they wouldn’t even notice them. The increases in levies, petrol taxes, gst, and god knows how many other indirect taxes hit the people at the bottom end of the income earning pyramid, not the arsoles at the top. What would you know, you can’t even tell the truth about the official unemployment stats.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Really? Then why does the Government insist that the Reserve Bank keep inflation in the 1-3% band? Sorry, silly question, Walter, you know best. Do carry on …

            • McFlock 25.1.3.2.3.2

              current unemployment is 7.3 % which is .04 higher than 2007.

              Um – what?
              NZ unemployment went from around 3.5% in 2007 to 6.5-7% currently.

              UK unemployment went from 5% to 8% in the same period (just in case the mention of thatcher threw your source country).

              Got docs for whatever the hell you are talking about?

              • Arfamo

                McFlock, that link to stats dept figures only produces Your session has expired. Please refresh your browser. If the problem persists you can inform the support team using the ‘Contact Us’ button.”

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 25.1.3.2.3.3

              Walter, as McFlock amply demonstrates, your comment is nonsense. Now, is it a genuine mistake, a deliberate lie, or have you been led astray?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 25.1.3.3

          Walter, it’s nice of you to come here and embody the worst sort of low-life prejudice the way you do. It makes it easier to dismiss your opinion.

          As CV points out, according to your delusional bigotry, there are 80,000 more people unemployed since 2008. Obviously the global financial crisis and Bill English just make people want to be poor.

          Oh, and fewer people want to be poor in Finland than anywhere else in the world.

          The fact is you hate your fellow citizens, and it shows.

          • Walter 25.1.3.3.1

            I just dont believe the Tax payer should have to support people who are to lazy to work, yet i accept that in other cases such as unability of jobs, reall sickness then rightly the taxpayer should pay.

            but we have come to far to the left were taxpayers were paying for far to much.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 25.1.3.3.1.1

              Please learn the difference between to and too.

              “Far to (sic) much”. According to what measure? If there are far too many sickness beneficiaries, for example, what would you do to reduce their numbers? Order them to be well? A laying on of hands, perhaps?

              Or would you just defame them with a litany of vitriol?

            • muzza 25.1.3.3.1.2

              I’m a tax-payer Walter and I am happy that we have support for those who need it most, despite the facts that support is being dismembered continually.

              I am also ok if some of the support for the vulnerable is so called *benefit fraud*, because the gain is bigger, than any individual rorting that particular system.

              I do not care about the $39m per year estimated *benefit fraud*, I prefer to know the system is there for those who need it, and even some who possibly don’t!

              What I do care about, is the billions, and I mean tens of billions every year of the following.

              1: Dead weight profits going offshore – at the expense of all who pay the bill/use the services
              2: Jobs being exported offshore, to support the profit grab from #1
              3: Corporate subsidies, bail outs and the like – Many more to come
              4: Favorable legislations written by corporations, for corporations, employment subsidies, WFF etc
              5: Accommodation, supplements – Subsidy for landlords
              6: Worlds worst gas/oil/mineral royalty extraction deal – corporate welfare at NZ’s expense
              7: Interest payments on an un-audited foreign debt!
              8: etc, etc , etc

              Do you understand any of what I have written above Walter!

              In case you missed it – I am a tax-payer, and happy to know that I am able to contribute to supporting those vulnerable who need it, and are being screwed over by those who receive the most support of all – The Corporate Welfare Thieves

              • Walter

                Without the Corporate you would not have a job. The fact is Business should make profits and be rewarded for the risk their shareholders take in putting up the investment in the business

                • Arfamo

                  Make profits yes. Make obscene profits at the expense of the lower paid, no. Any government which increases the wealth of the well off by reducing the wealth of the remainder is not a good government.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Nice red herring. Did you spawn it yourself or are you just mindlessly repeating right-wing talking points like a silly parrot?

                • muzza

                  Oh lordy, where to begin!

                  No Walter, the corporate sector would not exist because it would not take any risk, if it was not propped up by the tax-payer underwrite, via certainty of tax collection, at national or provincial level.

                  The corporate sector is also propped up by captured regulatory bodies, and corrupted politicians, who allow private corporate entities to control and author NZ legislation, in their own favour!

                  Core infrastructure and services should NOT be private, they should be controlled by the people who those systems are there to support, and who in turn fund the infrastructure/services – Profit has NO place in core services, it costs lives, and promotes inequality and misery!

                  Tell me Walter, do you understand the following

                  1: Monetary Supply
                  2: The myth of scarcity

              • johnm

                Muzza
                100% right. :-)

            • johnm 25.1.3.3.1.3

              Walter you are illiterate. :-(
              dont is don’t. to should be too! you fool! unability should read unavailabilty. reall should real. to should read too. were should read where.
              Learn English you idiot and then come back you rwnj idiot. :-(

        • Arfamo 25.1.3.4

          People who lose their jobs and can’t get another one because there aren’t any don’t “want to be poor”, you idiot. Jesus Christ.

        • Te Reo Putake 25.1.3.5

          I’m with Walter; I’m sick of the lazy of our country. However, my definition of lazy is a little bit more fine tuned than his and almost exclusively involves the rich and their spruikers.

          • johnm 25.1.3.5.1

            Te Reo putake
            The most lazy person in this country is Yankee John off for another holiday to attend Attila the Hens funeral. You are a fool.

        • muzza 25.1.3.6

          Walter – what facts are those champ?

          Look forward to a well thought through explorative journey about those, facts!

        • ghostrider888 25.1.3.7

          ahhhh, Walter hottle bottle.

  25. joe90 26

    “This is not a time for celebration. The death of Margaret Thatcher is nothing more than a salient reminder of how Britain got into the mess that we are in today. Of why ordinary working people are no longer able to earn enough from one job to support a family; of why there is a shortage of decent affordable housing; of why domestic growth is driven by credit, not by real income; of why taxpayers are forced to top up wages; of why a spiteful government seeks to penalise the poor for having an extra bedroom; of why Rupert Murdoch became so powerful; of why cynicism and greed became the hallmarks of our society.

    Raising a glass to the death of an infirm old lady changes none of this. The only real antidote to cynicism is activism. Don’t celebrate – organise!”.

    - Billy Bragg

    http://twitpic.com/ci06yj

    http://uk.blouinartinfo.com/photo-galleries/margaret-thatcher-slideshow#image=0

  26. xtasy 28

    Good grief, Barak, Obama!

    But yes, I suppose the job as a “leader” of a “nation” and international diplomacy enforce certain conduct upon you:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-dies-tributes-obama

    • Murray Olsen 28.1

      I’d be surprised if Obama didn’t admire Thatcher. He’s hardly a lefty.

      • xtasy 28.1.1

        Murray Olsen – I agree, there is NO true left in the major 2-party set up, playing “musical chairs” in the White House and Congress, in the US. It is on the very margin, and hardly, if at all represented.

        I was just thinking, Obama at least tries to “appeal” to those aspiring for social fairness, which is not what Thatcher stood for. He probably described her as he did, merely as the “global” politician she was (amongst others) at that time, standing up against the “evil” communist east.

  27. outofbed 29

    Anybody in wellington want to join me in celibration drink?

  28. joe90 30

    The lady might not have been for turning but when that solemn procession passes you by, turn your back. Turn your back and, instead, remember the countless millions she gloatingly destroyed in pursuit of yet more wealth for her pals. Turn your back and think of ‘care in the community’; the elderly, the sick, the mentally ill and the infirm treated with all the compassion shown by a fox in a henhouse. Turn your back and remember her victims.

    Turn your back…

    http://sabotagetimes.com/reportage/the-best-way-to-deal-with-margaret-thatchers-legacy-is-to-kill-it/

  29. Thatcher’s legacy and our tasks

    But Thatcher’s legacy is still with us. In terms of the anti-union laws that still cramp and restrain the class-wide solidarity action we need to win. The unions remain reduced in numbers and in shop floor strength. The merger mania by the general secretaries is no replacement for that.

    Unfortunately her heritage still inspires those attacking us. Cameron and Osborne are attempting to complete the job she left undone – destroying the National Health Service, the public education system, and the welfare state. Fighting them is fighting everything she stood for.

    But the year of her death could be a year of rebirth for a fighting labour movement. That would be the best testimonial and tribute to those who fell in the battle against her and her like.

    So it is great to “dance on her grave.” But the job is not finished [rob: deleted]. What a dance that will be.

    http://www.workerspower.co.uk/2013/04/margaret-thatcher-dies-celebrate-agitate-organise/

  30. Matthew Hooton 32

    Karl, obviously I disagree with you but this is a classy post, expressing how you feel without crossing the line into the more disgusting abuse evident elsewhere.

    • felix 32.1

      Yeah, not a dead baby joke in sight. Stay classy, Epsom.

    • xtasy 32.2

      Yes, Matthew, “Karl” (Marx) is kicking back from his grave too, I suppose.

      Or who did you mean with “Karl”???

    • johnm 32.3

      You Matthew Hooton are a rwnj spin shallow ahole go back to radio live and whereever you pathetic shallow piece of something. Don’t scumbag this forum with your lightweight sh*t plse. :-( I really believe that… It’s not SPIN. Sincerity a land you won’t ever know you asslicker! Yankee John has a nice one go there!

  31. Te Reo Putake 33

    Steve Bell’s been on Thatcher’s case for decades now. He’s still as sharp as ever:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cartoon/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-steve-bell-cartoon

  32. aerobubble 34

    Thatcher was brought to the fore to lead Britain during the biggest oil glut ever. Her legacy is Britain today, bankrupt. It could have be so different, instead of lining the pockets of a few, rather than creating the now fiscal elite who think they create wealth. Not that the ideal of greater ownership society was a bad one, just where is it? Her own policies failed to achieve her aims! What will history say about her, well, that she failed so convincingly that her flaws were even before her death. But let’s not be too high minded, she was selected by a conservative party who have never had a history of reining in their own greed. A tool at best, a failed revolutionary at worst. Any other path would not have meant socialism, unless of course you believed that Britain would ever have elected Arthur Scargil PM, which is not ever likely. Its more bunkum to her legacy of spin and distortion that even her followers need to exaggerate her importance to the point of absurdity.

  33. johnm 35

    ““Tramp the Dirt Down” ”

    “I could not do it. I believe I spoke for millions. The wicked witch is dead. Tramp the dirt down.”

    George Galloway MP

    House of Commons

    London

    http://redmolucca.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/tramp-the-dirt-down/

  34. asd 36

    Good riddance Maggie.
    You destroyed the hopes, dreams and living standards of millions of people across the western world with your nasty brand of neo-liberalism. [r0b: deleted] with Friedman and Hayek et al for your sins against humanity you f****** traitors.

    • Wayne 36.1

      asd, So the half of all citizens of the UK who voted for her are “f******traitors” Do you believe in democracy?

      • chris73 36.1.1

        Lefties believe in democracy as long as its left wing parties being elected

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 36.1.2

        “half of all citizens”

        For fucks sake, can’t you morons make your arguments without this relentless mendacity?

      • Te Reo Putake 36.1.3

        “So the half of all citizens of the UK who voted for her are “f******traitors” Do you believe in democracy?”

        The Conservatives never won a majority of the popular vote, Wayne. It’s only their outdated FPP system that allowed her to ‘win’ power.

        • Colonial Viper 36.1.3.1

          Wayne and co. don’t believe in actual democracy so such details escape them

          Also the good old Falklands War was pivotal in returning Thatcher to power.

          • chris73 36.1.3.1.1

            Wayne and co. don’t believe in actual democracy so such details escape them

            – Oh please, according to the left National has no mandate for anything the left don’t want them to do

            Also the good old Falklands War was pivotal in returning Thatcher to power.

            – The people of the Falklands want to remain part of the UK not be part of Argentina, Thatcher had no choice but to do the right thing

            • Populuxe1 36.1.3.1.1.1

              Her resolve during the Falklands Crisis is the only thing I really give her credit for.

            • Te Reo Putake 36.1.3.1.1.2

              Actually, Chris, she had plenty of choice and she was in the minority in her own cabinet. Most preferred the option being pushed by Reagan that an honourable deal be struck to give the Malvinas back to the locals.

              • Arfamo

                She knew what she was doing. She knew jingoism would rescue her from electoral disaster.

              • chris73

                Slight problem being that the locals don’t call it that they call it The Falkland Islands, the locals don’t want to be part of Argentina they want to remain part of the UK and The Falkland Islands are part of the UK so Argentina invaded the UKs territory

                The blame here lies with Argentina not Thatcher

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Sorry, mate, but the Argentinians are the locals. Much as maori are here. History doesn’t start when the union jack first gets run up the flagpole, Chris. And have a look at the map of the world; anywhere the poms drew up the boundaries, there’s been nothing but strife.

                  • chris73

                    What bollix:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkland_Islands_sovereignty_referendum,_2013

                    “On a turnout of 92%, 99.8% voted to remain a British territory, with only three votes against”

                  • Populuxe1

                    Argentina starts with Spanish colonists by way of Peru in 1776 and was second only to the USA in terms of being a country of immigration. British sovereignty was established in the Falklands not long after. You are full of shit.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yeah, you didn’t bother looking at the Wiki link did ya? Muppet.

                    • Populuxe1

                      @ Te Reo Putake

                      “Yeah, you didn’t bother looking at the Wiki link did ya? Muppet.”

                      No, I did – it doesn’t contradict anything I have said. In any case, being old enough to remember the Falklands War, out of interest I have read a great many of the histories of both Argentina, the Falklands, and the war itself, from both sides in Sapnish and English, and I really don’t think you have a leg to stand on. The Argentinians certainly didn’t.

                • Arfamo

                  Yes I don’t disagree. The argies were silly to try and grab The Falklands. It was a gift to Thatcher. The British people ended up being shafted by both the Argentine Junta and Thatcher. Still, never mind. Too late to change things, and she went mad in the end.

              • Populuxe1

                Actually the locals were living on the Falklands at the time and since 1833 have wished to remain British. A former Spanish colony illegally and without provocation invaded a sovereign British territory? How is it “honourable” to force people from the previously uninhabited home they have known for generations, or impose on them foreign rule they do not want? That has some very ironic and amusing implications for the status of Maori, donchya think?

                • chris73

                  Something about drawing a long bow comes to mind…

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well Te Reo Putake just more or less said that the rights of the descendants of the first inhabitants of a land don’t matter a shit if some foreign power wants to colonise it.

                    • chris73

                      Wonder what he thinks about Indonesia and Timor and West Papua

                    • Populuxe1

                      “Wonder what he thinks about Indonesia and Timor and West Papua”

                      Or indeed the Palestinians

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Nope, not even close to what I’m saying. But, then, you know that, eh. The point is that Britain has no ‘right’ to the islands, as they took them by force. Logically, they are part of South America and the nearest country, which also has history on the islands, is modern Argentina. A deal needs to be done.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Logically, they are part of South America and the nearest country, which also has history on the islands, is modern Argentina. A deal needs to be done.

                      Well you better talk to the Falkland Islanders then.

                      Last I heard all but 3 of them voted to stay with the empire.

                    • Populuxe1

                      “Nope, not even close to what I’m saying. But, then, you know that, eh. The point is that Britain has no ‘right’ to the islands, as they took them by force. Logically, they are part of South America and the nearest country, which also has history on the islands, is modern Argentina. A deal needs to be done.”

                      It’s not that Britain has a “right”, but the Falklanders have the right to remain British if they choose, in which case Britain has an OBLIGATION to protect them.

                      “Logically”? Perhaps you mean geographically – in which case Maori had better fuck off back to Hawaiki, or Taiwan perhaps, because by your argument New Zealand belongs to Australia… As does New Guinea…

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Tell it to the Irish, Pop!

                  • Populuxe1

                    Yeah… but nah. The Irish were more in the position of the Falkland Islanders being colonised by Argentina in the first place. As for the present state of affairs, are you saying Northern Ireland doesn’t have the right to determine it’s own destiny?

  35. Brokenback 37

    To me 2 things stand out about Maggie:

    Along with Ron Raygun , she was successfully installed to head the Western Democratic alliance by the neo-con/fascists who have plagued us all since Mussolini’s days .
    Their politics of greed & plunder have haunted us since that time leading directly to the Wall St wonder world we now have.

    Maggies 2nd ,and most significant claim to infamy, is her decision to use the now standard [akaThatcher method] neo-con tactic when the public finally clicks that they are being rogered royally by thievesRus and starts getting vocal/physical in their objection to such treatment.

    Start A War :

    Her perceived “greatness” has much to do with how with text book precision she :
    Orchestrated one out of nowhere/nothing.
    Grabbed control of the media.
    Revived a basket case economy by demonstrating the effectiveness of British made weaponry and cashing in on the sales bonanza.
    Revived a basket case economy by destroying the British made weaponry owned by Argentina and cashing in on the sales bonanza.
    Revived a basket case economy by demonstrating the total ineffectiveness of British made weaponry[Sheffield class destroyers and Anti missile defence systems] and cashing in on the sales bonanza.

    BUT because of the sinking of the General Belgrano she should have been tried at the Hague for her war crimes and hung 20 years ago
    http://belgranoinquiry.com/

    &Shearers message demonstrates clearly just who is pulling his chain

    • chris73 37.1

      lol

      • Brokenback 37.1.1

        If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

        The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.
        It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
        Joseph Goebbels

        • chris73 37.1.1.1

          Not being ever so slightly melodramatic are we?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 37.1.1.2

          “…wenn du lügst, dann lüge gründlich, und vor allem bleibe bei dem, was du gelogen hast!”

          It sounds so much nicer in German.

        • ghostrider888 37.1.1.3

          Brokeback indeed.

  36. chris73 38

    Yeah, I suppose history means very little to someone as wet behind the ears as you, Chris.

    I also read that:

    “Controversy exists as to who first discovered the Falkland Islands with competing Portuguese, Spanish, and British claims dating back to the 16th century.[13][14] While Amerindians from Patagonia could have visited the Falklands,[15] the islands were uninhabited when discovered by Europeans.[16] The first reliable sighting is usually attributed to the Dutch explorer Sebald de Weert in 1600, who named the archipelago the Sebald Islands, a name they bore on Dutch maps into the 19th century.”

    – Don’t see anything about Argentina in there

    In 1690, Captain John Strong of the Welfare en route to Puerto Deseado was driven off course and reached the Falkland Islands instead, landing at Bold Cove. Sailing between the two principal islands, he called the passage “Falkland Channel” (now Falkland Sound), after Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount Falkland, who as Commissioner of the Admiralty had financed the expedition. The island group takes its English name from this body of water.[18]

    – An englishmen not argentinian

    Disputed islands which the british have governed since 1833 and the locals voted 99.8% to stay with the UK means they’re british…don’t like it well too bad

    • Te Reo Putake 38.1

      Yep, and the Poms are there by conquest, not because they were the original inhabitants. Have a look at a map and tell me which country is nearest to them, Argentina or the UK? Now, I know you are a sensible man, Chris, so why would the UK want to hold onto the islands? Sentiment? Loyalty? Winning elections? Potential oil and gas fields? Fishing rights? Whatever the reason, it’s not because the Falklands are part of England’s green and pleasant land or that the UK government give a toss about the inhabitants. They don’t, but the Falklands remain important for other reasons.

      • chris73 38.1.1

        The islands were uninhabited until settled by Europeans.
        The islands have been governed by the British since 1833.
        The descendants of those settlers voted 99.8% (thats 99.8% on a turn out of 92%) to remian British

        Your argument is: “Have a look at a map and tell me which country is nearest to them, Argentina or the UK?”

        • Te Reo Putake 38.1.1.1

          Yep, it’s not as hard argument to grasp in a post colonial world. For most people, anyway.

  37. tc 39

    “The collectivism she smashed could be over-rated — especially in nostalgia — but what replaced it has been an individualism of diminishing returns.”

    From Guy Rundle at Crikey.

  38. joe90 40

    Perhaps now that Thatcher is dead there’ll be a little light shed on her role in the Hillsborough cover up.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19584313

    Cracker obit too.

    http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/the_death_of_a_class_warrior_margaret_thatcher_1925_2013

    • karol 40.1

      Ah, yes. Hillsborough was one of the sad chapters in the history of Thatcher’s PM-ship. Policing was definitely distinctive under her watch.

  39. feijoa 41

    I used to have a vague feminist notion that the world would be a better place if it was run by women

    Thatcher totally ruined that idea

    • Colonial Viper 41.1

      You must have loved Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley.

      • rosy 41.1.1

        +1 Perfect examples of why you can’t judge people by their gender.

        • Colonial Viper 41.1.1.1

          Condaleezza Rice, Christine Lagarde, Hilary Clinton, that bloody racist MP Krarup from Denmark, Anne Coulter…

    • karol 41.2

      I did know one left wing Brit feminist who had difficulties with seeing Thatcher as ground-breaking for feminists.

      But the vast majority of left wing feminists see someone like Thatcher has being damaging to less well off women, and really not doing anything positive for women in general.

    • Colonial Weka 41.3

      feijoa, Thatcher, Shipley and Richardson all eschewed women’s culture to play with the boys. The other women of that time that stayed true to ‘women’s’ ways of doing things left parliament before they got ruined.

      It’s hard to imagine how contemporary Western women would manage if they were able to run the place. Certainly the left/right divide would be massively problematic, and since most women have been raised under patriarchal rule, there would need to be a process of decolonisation. But we do know that societies where women have their own systems and processes for making collective decision intact work pretty well.

      The idea of women running the world is pretty patriarchal though (there is no such thing as the matriarchy) – women wouldn’t run the world, they’d share it ;-)

      (and just in case I’m offending any men here, take it as given that I believe most men do badly under patriarchy as well).

  40. Colin 42

    Funny how people can be in the same place and have an opposite view A case of glass half full or empty Facts help when she became PM unemployment was 13% and when she left it was 5%
    Meanwhile in NZ Labour safe seats have the common denominator of keeping its voters poor
    Thatcher saved Britain at least for a while She was a true leader another league from the Buy a vote mob we have now

  41. freedom 43

    karma sure has an odd sense of humour
    here is how the BBC announced the passing of Margaret Thatcher
    http://postimg.org/image/i32ia98zn

    • rosy 43.1

      lol.

      Because she broke the working class there is also a perfect symmetry in her demise on the day that the coalition cuts are implemented against the precariat and underclass. The growth of the working poor, the disabled poor, increasing inequality and reduced social mobility are her legacy (as are the bankers).

      Great post Karol.

  42. Private Baldrick 44

    fffffffffudge !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. marsman 45

    Celebrating the death of an erstwhile tyrant people in Brixton are dancing in the streets, heartening.

  44. big bruv 46

    We should all thank Mrs Thatcher. She showed the rest of the western world how to smash the corrupt unions. The death of the union movement will be her lasting legacy.

    A great lady who left the world in a far better state than she found it.

    • Colonial Viper 46.1

      And now she wants a socialised funeral.

    • The Al1en 46.2

      “We should all thank Mrs Thatcher. She showed the rest of the western world how to smash the corrupt unions. The death of the union movement will be her lasting legacy.”

      In your politically biased mind, perhaps.
      The first call I got from blighty, not ten minutes after the story broke, said nothing good about her or her politics, infact out of the following thirteen calls, all were firmly insulting. Not scientific, sure, but much more so than your bullshit.

      “A great lady who left the world in a far better state than she found it.”

      That’s just words you think will rile, and not really unexpected given your form.
      Truth is she wasn’t a great lady and the blood is on her hands.
      Her infamy against the British people will be her lasting legacy.

  45. johnm 47

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/09/pers-a09.html

    “Much more can and will be said. But five years on from the 2008 financial crash, with mass austerity the order of the day, any objective appraisal makes clear that Thatcher’s real legacy is the greatest economic and social crisis wrought by capitalism since the first half of the 20th century.

    Nothing whatsoever remains of her stupid and wholly insincere promises of “popular capitalism”, of Britain as a “home-owning democracy” with prosperity for all secured through the “trickle-down” of wealth and the “miracle of the market.” Posterity will record her as having presided over the initial stages of an on-going putrefaction of bourgeois social and political life.”

  46. RedBaronCV 48

    Do you think that Cameron might be silly enough to declare a national day of mourning or something similar?
    Honestly I feel that the Brits deserve to have a day off so that they can, if they wish, mark her passing with some decent demo’s, marches and parties.

  47. johnm 49

    “The Queen Mother of Global Austerity and Financialization”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/08/the-queen-mother-of-global-austerity-financialization/

    “The UK became the IMF’s best neoliberal poster child, establishing a comparative advantage in offshore finance in what ultimately would flower as Gordon Brown’s notorious Light Touch that brought about the banking collapses of 2008. In this sense her role was to serve as Britain’s version of Boris Yeltsin, sponsoring the carve-up of centuries of public investment.”

  48. Murray Olsen 51

    I’m always impressed at the number of RWNJs who appear here to post their simplistic rubbish whenever they get excited. I’m less than impressed by their ability to do anything except quote moronic slogans.

    In their eyes, it seems that Thatcher’s greatness comes down to two things:
    1. She hated unions as much as they do.
    2. She sent troops to kill Argentine conscripts shivering in the Falklands or feeling seasick on the Belgrano.

    The fact that she left a Britain which is now, as so aptly described above, a Cyprus without sunshine, seems to not be worth worrying about. It conflicts with their story tales of freedom, hard work, etc, etc. Unless all the trolls are multi-millionaires, I really have to doubt their sanity.

  49. NickS 52

    Got myself a 6 pack of Mac’s Sassy Red to celebrate. Nice n bitter…

  50. johnm 53

    “The flames of hatred: 30 years of loathing for Baroness Thatcher explodes in celebrations of her death. Will funeral now be targeted?

    Violence erupts at death parties across UK as Left marks her death
    Six officers injured in Bristol and Barnardos shop smashed in Brixton
    Glasgow, Liverpool and Derry were also the scene of the Left’s parties
    More parties are now being planned for funeral date of next Wednesday”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2306165/Margaret-Thatcher-death-parties-The-Lefts-sick-celebration-Brixtons-streets.html

  51. johnm 54

    “Disunited in mourning: police fear Thatcher funeral may turn into security nightmare

    Fears of civil disorder in capital as plans are revealed for partially state-funded ceremonial funeral. Meanwhile lawyers warn against pre-emptive arrests as police scan social media to identify likely protesters”

    “The Met’s first large scale challenge is likely to be an impromptu party which anti-Thatcher protesters are planning for this Saturday in Trafalgar Square – a corner of London forever associated with the moment the former Prime Minister’s power began to crumble as the poll tax protests turned violent. Flyers, some of which have been on websites popular with protest groups since 2004, have long called for a party in the square for the first Saturday after Mrs Thatcher’s death.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/disunited-in-mourning-police-fear-thatcher-funeral-may-turn-into-security-nightmare-8566452.html

  52. johnm 55

    “We could go on. Britain was one of the most equal Western European countries before the Thatcherite project began, and is now one of the most unequal. Thatcherism is not just alive and well: it courses through the veins of British political life. The current government goes where Thatcherism did not dare in its privatisation of the NHS and sledgehammering of the welfare state.

    The challenge ahead is the same as it was yesterday: to tear down the whole edifice of Thatcherism, heal Britain of the damage done, and build a country run in the interests of working people. It’s a fight we must all fight. The champagne is on ice until we win it. ”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/owen-jones-thatcherism-was-a-national-catastrophe-that-still-poisons-us-8564858.html

  53. johnm 56

    The Artist Taxi Driver Update on the U$K Austerity Class War :-( . Thatcher Special.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj4dQbfkoTE&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=5
    I am back…Thatcher is dead, but her tyranny is still alive..I bought a pig

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2y5VKnFgSI&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=4
    **Thatcher Special Edition** BBC Sucks O Cocks News

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-Tcd3q60wI&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=3
    OMFG!! Thatchers funeral..You Pay???? £8Million

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFWC14RQNBA&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=2
    **recalled Parliament Special** BBC Sucks O Cocks News
    “Podgy faced Cameron has just nearly broken down in tears whilst putting Thatcher up there with Lloyd George, Churchill and Attlee. What a soaking wet toss rag he really is.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rNKuXosPL4&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=1
    Thatcher Eulogy Live from Houses of Parliament. ” Just heard ATOS have declared Thatcher fit to work.” :-)

    :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

    • karol 57.1

      Ah, thanks, johnm. It was outside the Ritsy, opposite the old Lambeth Town Hall – been there and abouts way more times than I can count. I lived in nearby areas for many, many years.

  54. johnm 58

    “Thatcherism represents Chicago School fundamentalism writ large. She’s gone. She won’t be missed.

    She launched a corporatist revolution. She headed Britain down a slippery slope toward unfettered predatory capitalism.

    She transferred public wealth to private hands. She privatized British Telecom, British Gas, British Airways, British Steel and other state enterprises.

    She force-fed deregulation. She cut social benefits. She enacted corporate-friendly tax cuts. She cracked down hard on non-believers. She waged war on labor.

    In 1984, she unleashed thousands of truncheon-wielding riot police against striking coal miners. Doing so sent a message. Worker rights no longer mattered. “New realism” became code language. Free market fundamentalism was policy. ” By Stephen Lendman

    http://rense.com/general95/thatch.html

  55. johnm 59

    George Galloway has done a coverage of Thatcher a must see video!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLbFWivsfFE

    “Excellent speech, George. We all need to unite now and stop the impoverishment of the majority of the British people which is happening now, under Cameron.

    “What can we do to fight back when we tried so hard in the 80′s. How do we win? if we don’t win, our children will suffer 19th century poverty levels all over again. This govt has betrayed the sacrifice of those who fought against the nazis. Now we face fascism in our own land”

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    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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