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Thatcher’s biographer says the left may be right

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 pm, July 23rd, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

This today from Charles Moore, Eton and Cambridge, ex-editor of the Telegraph and the Spectator and Margaret Thatcher’s authorised biographer.

It has taken me more than 30 years as a journalist to ask myself this question, but this week I find that I must: is the Left right after all? You see, one of the great arguments of the Left is that what the Right calls “the free market” is actually a set-up.

The rich run a global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the lowest possible price for labour. The freedom that results applies only to them. The many simply have to work harder, in conditions that grow ever more insecure, to enrich the few. Democratic politics, which purports to enrich the many, is actually in the pocket of those bankers, media barons and other moguls who run and own everything.

It’s worth a read.

27 comments on “Thatcher’s biographer says the left may be right”

  1. Thanks Mike.

    All I can say is amen, amen, amen …

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    It’s only dawning on him now that the traditional conservative agenda has been hijacked by neoliberal economics and crony kleptocratic capitalism.

    Hopefully he’ll then realise that this is no longer an argument of Left vs Right, but of the wealthiest 0.01% (700,000 people) in the world against all others.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The problem there is that the 0.01% who are the wealthiest have about 20% of the population supporting them. Chances are that a lot, if not most, of that 20% are conservatives.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Here’s the thing – its crucial to distinguish between true old fashioned Tory conservatives (those who truly believe in localisation (aka small central govt), the conservation of societal and environmental values) from the crony capitalism neo liberals in amongst them.

        That cleavage plane needs to be split cleanly in two. Here in NZ this is what I have realised:

        The neoliberal supporters of ACT and the National party simply love the idea of asset sales.

        The true old fashioned conservative supporters of ACT and the National party fucking hate the idea of asset sales. With a passion.

        Not enough for them to vote Labour perhaps (after all they are conservatives who love tradition and for them voting National is a tradition), but certainly enough for it to stick like crow in their throats.

        Think about this for a good long minute.

        • peteremcc 2.1.1.1

          Please do point out all these ACT supporters that hate asset sales, I’d love to meet them!

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Go read The Authoritarians again. The conservatives have two options: 1) Vote for Winston or 2) do as they’re told. Most of them will do 2) as they’re authoritarian followers.

        • felix 2.1.1.3

          Not enough to vote for Labour, no.

          If only there were a conservative in the running with a nationalist economic agenda and a bone to pick with ACT and the Nats.

          Hmmm….

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.4

          thanks guys. DTB – haven’t actually read that, looks intriguing.

        • weka 2.1.1.5

          There are also old fashioned conservative National voters who are uncomfortable with what’s been done to core services like health. I agree being able to differentiate between the neoliberals and the conservatives is crucial.
           

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.1.1.6

          Since when have the Nats believed in localisation?

          They have always been captured by Corporatism and the model of making labour as cheap as possible. That means centralised control of everything.

          Muldoon did it too- he just had different methods.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.6.1

            They have always been captured by Corporatism and the model of making labour as cheap as possible. That means centralised control of everything.

            I have to disagree somewhat, as i think that your comment underestimates the impact of neoliberal Chicago school style globalisation and deregulation.

            That did not start its run in the Right Wing until the late 1970’s. And in fact as we know all too well in NZ, that ideology overtook both Labour and National.

            However I agree with your comments from the standpoint that Tories have always tended to side “with the Bosses” and not the people.

            The difference now is that the neoliberal economics/money set primarily side with the multimillionaires, billionaires and financiers, and don’t even care about ordinary SME type businesses.

            This is no longer a fight between left and right politics per se, its a fight between the wealthiest and most influential 0.01% in the world (700,000 people) against everyone else.

  3. Where do I collect my prize for multiple postings of this earlier today?

    • prism 3.1

      I-north Well you have our admiration for finding such a good item and our gratitude for giving us the good quotes you did. As the link unfolds it gets more surprising. It is quite a startling summation from Mr Moore of today’s conditions. Who would have thunk?

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      One little sticky gold star from me mate 🙂

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    The damage has been done and it’s now too late. Under Thatcher and Reagan all the conservation work that was underway in the 70s was demolished in a frenzy of squandering of energy and resources… basically suck the North Sea dry as quickly as possible, shift as much manufacturing as possible to China and base the economy on consumer spending… abosolute lunacy.

    Well they succeeded. Britain is now stuffed (as is America) and facing economic, social and environmental meltdown. NZ is not far behind of course, as a consequence of the actions of the sabotuers Douglas, Prebble etc.

    • But their off-spring still will have jobs in retail (on the boards of the companies selling the Chinese made junk to the unsuspecting plebs) – always looked after their own.

  5. Lazy Susan 5

    This is a very accurate summation from a right-wing commentator of the disaster that the neo-liberal experiment has become.

    However the sting in the tail is at the end of the article.

    One must always pray that conservatism will be saved, as has so often been the case in the past, by the stupidity of the Left. The Left’s blind faith in the state makes its remedies worse than useless. But the first step is to realise how much ground we have lost, and that there may not be much time left to make it up.

    The problem with the elite is that they are driven by greed. It is like a drug and once hooked they just want more and more. This has blinded them to the political and economic reality that their own greed will ultimately destroy them. I think what Moore is saying is that for the elite to survive they must give just enough back to prevent the destruction of the system.

    • KJT 5.1

      “The Left’s blind faith in the state”.

      A typical RWNJ misconception.

      Most people on the left want us to have democratic control over our own lives.

      The right wants central control by the wealthy. Hence increasing the powers of the State to protect their wealth. The search and surveillance act , police being equipped and trained against civil disobedience and laws allowing snooping into internet access.

      They right a re the ones who like centralized State power, so long as they control it.

      ” The largest obstacle to democracy is the illusion of the poor that we have it, and the terror of the rich least we get it”

  6. Thatcher and Reagan = Pinochet – Friedman = Shock Doctrine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHrEH5G90wo

  7. Bill 7

    Reads very much like a celebration of the policies and processes of the past 30 odd years with a confused disappointment of the results tagged on alongside the generally celebratory thrust of the piece.

    The right were correct. The left were wrong. But the result, according to Moore was inexplicably perverted.

    Fact is that nothing was perverted. What we have is the natural result of the types of policies and programmes Moore celebrates. So Moore is either a deluded idiot or a shameful apologist. Or both.

  8. lefty 8

    The man is still a right wing idiot with little understanding of the political economy.

    Tories do happen to disagree on policy details from time to time but there is no cleavage between the ‘good old fashioned tory’ and the new breed of neo liberal. Don’t be fooled by the gentlemanly facade some of them are good at projecting. Tory’s have always been nasty, greedy and destructive – this part of their tradition they hold on to at all costs. Everything else is up for grabs if theres a buck in it.

    They have learned they can be as destructive as they like because the B team – the various type of Labour Party, or its equivalent, will always save the day and sort out the problems caused by their excesses if things get too bad.

    We cannot afford to keep indulging them. Labour simply has to stop rescuing them and their system before it is too late for all of us.

    The next time the media and the rest of the establishment start screaming for a Labour government it should come with a price – the dismantling of capitalism.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Labour simply has to stop rescuing them and their system before it is too late for all of us.

      Not Labour, Us. Labour is just another party of business now.

  9. mik e 9

    It makes the GRAPHS on economic growth even more relevent. where govts spread wealth we get more economic growth. This fact has been known for some time but the likes of Thatcher and her neo liberal feudalists ,with the help of the Murdoch style media have had ascendancy for along time.With their little homespun untruths.they stripped the working class and decimated the middle class then say its your own fault while they have been undermining democracy at every opportunity they can through control of the media.

  10. mikesh 10

    The trouble was that Keynsianism copped the blame for the “stagflation” of the seventies and eighties, though I think the the blame for the latter should rather have been laid at the door of oil price rises exacerbated by the wage/price spiral.

    This allowed neoliberalism, with its advocacy of balanced budgets etc to sneak in.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The modern economics profession is an extremely sick, unhealthy profession. It has led entire countries and their peoples to virtual destruction.

      It tries to make out that it is a science, when it is not, it tries to make out that you can mathematize things that you cannot, and it has been captured by political and corporate money.

      Further, the only kind of economics that seems to make the headlines now is a highly financialised macro-economic monetary kind. “Real economics” around the best use of scarce resources, investment in infrastructure and industry, the relationship of people and labour and society to the economy – all largely ignored.

      • mik e 10.1.1

        CV most mainstream economists are tied to the hand that feeds them. Ive read very widely on the subject I can assure you and with more powerful computers economics has become more of a science its just like fox news those economists only put the facts that suit them out their ie like treasury growth charts referred to by a right winger in one of the other blogs.you are right in your summary their. the facts speak for them selves the more you spread the wealth the better economic growth you get better use of resources improves economic growth. thats why Michael Cullen succeeded better than any other finance minister in the last thirty years because he has a PhD with honors at a very young age from a working class background in the history of economics going back to Egyptian times . So he Knew what makes an economy grow and he implemented many of the things required. By contrast Bill English plodded through university long hours of study to make the grade as he dosn,t have the talent, and has been captured by Chicago school/Victoria university model having to put a bit of Keynesian into the mix not of choice but for political survival.

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  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Capture: Well spaced out
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
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  • Why those bubbles are so important
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  • A Government System That Works
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  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
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  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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  • Saving lives
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
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  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
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    15 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
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    15 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
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    16 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
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  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
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    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
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    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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    7 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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    7 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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    7 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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    7 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago