I second the motion that Margaret Thatcher appeared in a time of deficit, and in this time she transformed economic losses into a sustainable machine. The injustice suffered by the working class that are often argued to be her fault are a consequence of the deficit of the time she is symbolic of. On the topic of the working class, opportunity and justice i'd also say that none of them would have proposed better policies. On the topic of the Falklands and other implications that Thatcher was a war monger i'd say this argument is biased; British education teaches alot about colonialism and the exploitation of other peoples by the Britons. However it was actually Spain and Portugal who started colonialization - Peru for instance - and Britons policies in early colonies blended trade relations with conquest. Also at present shouldn't Russia be persecuted for its actions in Georgia? Thatcher was a genius dealing with inexplicable problems, not the cause of social and economic unrest. She never touched a spliff in her life, heart of gold i say, heart of gold.
Britain was in decline in the 1970s because of its outdated state-owned industries and it was being held ransom by the trade unions. Has the Iron Lady not rose to power, then Britain's decline would have been inevitable. What Thatcher did was turn the economy from one based in manufacturing to one based on services. This was needed because other countries were expanding and beating Britain economically. All that high unemployment was necessary as the economy changed. She unleashed the power of the individual and slashed taxes. We should not forget her important victory for the Falklands during the war with Argentina.
Her government made "promoting homosexuality" illegal for any civil servant, the consequences of which were that sex education teachers in schools had to pretend that homosexuality didn't exist, on pain of losing their jobs. This was a gigantic step backwards in terms of the social development of Britain, and cannot be ignored. People are children of their times, yes; Thatcher's time does not afford her an excuse, as society was already well on the way to total acceptance of gay people for who they are.
Doubt this went to the top?
"Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay... All of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life—yes cheated." - Margaret Thatcher, 1987 speech to conservative party conference
Thatcher was a force of devastation, who destroyed British industry and laid waste to communities that have never recovered; who sold the country's fortunes to a deregulated financial sector and encouraged a speculative culture with disastrous consequences; and whose premiership was defined by the pitched battles of the 1984 miners' strike, by inner city riots and by the social unrest over the hated poll tax that eventually led to her political demise in 1990.
In foreign affairs, she dismissed the apartheid-fighting Africa National Congress in South Africa as "a typical terrorist organisation" and refused to back sanctions against the racist state, and drank tea with Augusto Pinochet while the former Chilean military ruler was being held under house arrest in London as part of an investigation into human rights abuses.
A dance with US President Ronald Reagan in 1988 [Reuters]
"She pursued policies that caused great suffering to millions of ordinary working class men and women in this country," Peter Tatchell, a political activist, told Al Jazeera. "She decimated the manufacturing base, causing unprecedented mass unemployment. She used virtual police state methods to suppress the miners' strike. The miners were effectively starved back to work. These were very cruel and heartless policies."
Thatcher’s policies may have benefitted indolent aristocrats, greedy bosses and swindling bankers but for ordinary, hardworking people her policies were a nightmare.
Because the Thatcher government withdrew all political and economic support for Britain’s heavy industries, the power-base of her enemies, the unions, the industries crumbled one by one in the face of subsidized foreign competition.
My own father was a shipyard worker who was forced to go and work abroad for low wages when most the British shipyards closed down, as a consequence of which, I grew up in poverty, hardly knowing him.
That sort of story is repeated millions of times by people from the industrial parts of Britain and it was all the fault of Thatcher and her evil policies.