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Monday, April 08, 2013

Margaret Thatcher died—“They’ll stand there and laughing they’ll tramp the dirt down”

Margaret Thatcher, the first woman ever to serve as prime minister of Britain, has died at age 87. Already the mainstream news media, the corporate lackeys and the bourgeois liberals are all singing praise of the “Iron Lady.” But for many of us, she is the hero of Britain’s corporate masters and the enemy of the working class. 
Thatcher was the ideological twin of US President Ronald Reagan. As with Reagan she crushed unions and pursued an imperialistic and cold war foreign policy.
In late 1978 and early ’79, strikes paralyzed Britain. When Thatcher’s Tories won an election and one of the first things she did was attached the unions relentlessly. There was a violent coal strike, by the National Union of Mineworkers, in 1984. Thatcher simply used authoritarian rules to force the strike to an end. There were no agreements.
She took a slash and burn policy towards the whole country’s economy. She had income tax cuts balanced by rising gasoline duties. She cut subsidies and drove up interest rates, causing 10,000 businesses to go bankrupt.
Over all, she cost workers benefits and living standards. Yet the overall economy improved for the wealthy. Just as with Reagan she was charismatic enough that many of the very people she hurt supported her and cheered here on.
When there was opposition it was often violent. In the summer of 1981 riots broke out in parts of England and they were televised.
In 1982 she waged an unnecessary and bloody war against the backward third world military dictatorship of Argentina over control of a useless windswept Island called the Falklands. It was more a slaughter than a war and it resemble Reagan’s war on the Island of Grenada.
She supported Reagan’s attacks on progressive revolutionary movements in Central America. She ignored the hunger strike for better conditions for political prisoners in Northern Ireland, lead by Bobby Sands. In 1984, she narrowly escaped being killed by an Irish Republican Army bomb in her hotel during a party conference. The IRA correctly labeled her a legitimate military target.
Tonight on TV, she has been described as “saving Britain,” “Brave” and “strong willed.” But for those outside the mainstream who were victims of her rule, she was seen as a ruthless tyrant. Yes—she probably believed all that shit she believed in—but she was an ideolog who supported Britain’s corporate masters and for those of us who support working class politics—she was our enemy pure and simple.
Here ate some songs that express my sentiments towards the so called “Iron Lady.” Maggie I won’t miss you a bit!

Elvis Costello- Tramp the Dirt Down
Blacflag-The day that Thatcher dies
Black 47 -Bobby Sands

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