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Monday, January 09, 2012

Don't believe the myth that Thatcherism 'saved' Britain

With ‘The Iron Lady’ playing at cinemas up and down the country I think its timely to link to this piece of mine from 2009, on the neoliberal myth that Margaret Thatcher 'saved' Britain.

And in case you missed it, here’s Seumas Milne’s great piece on Thatcher’s legacy in last week’s Guardian.

Her government's savage deflation destroyed a fifth of Britain's industrial base in two years, hollowed out manufacturing, and delivered a "productivity miracle" that never was, and we're living with the consequences today.


Rory Gallivan said...

A vicious colonial war in the South Atlantic!?

Neil Clark said...

Hi Rory: happy new year to you.

I wouldn't have put it that way re the Falklands- it's the only part of the article which i wouldn't agree with.

As I wrote in 2007 on the 25th anniversary of the Falklands war:

The Iron Lady may have been wrong about many things, but she was right to stand up to the aggression of Argentina's fascist dictator Leopoldo Galtieri and send a taskforce to regain the Falkland Islands in 1982.

That said, of course Thatcher and her Tory ministers must take a lot of the blame for losing the Falklands in the first place. They appeased the fascist dictator Galtieri.

Douglas said...

I'm not really sure why the following is so, but it is so; 1) very few Americans watched The Iron Lady, 2) the movie critic community was divided on the quality of the movie 3) most of the few Americans who actually saw the movie liked it.

It didn't help that the movie was released on December 30, along with a bunch of other movies which were also commercial flops. It also didn't help that there was little or no promotion for the movie, unlike Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows

I grasp that the Americans who watched the movie are either Anglophiles or history geeks.

Rory Gallivan said...

Happy new year. On a different subject, have you followed the demise of SeaFrance?

Neil Clark said...

Douglas: happy new year- interesting to hear that it's not made too much of a splash in the US.
Rory: thanks. yes, have been following the demise of Sea France, hope to be posting about it shortly.

jack said...

@Neil Clark

Movie biopics never do that well at the box office not even the much publicized and promoted Mohammad Ali film.

Douglas said...

On further review, the movie went into wider release in America this week, earning about $5 million. While it's not a smash hit, it's definitely better than the .5 million it had before this weekend.

The movie critic for the Star-Tribune Newspaper of the Twin Cities (STNOTTC) reported that Meryl Streep's outstanding performance unbalanced the movie, but he gave it 3 out of 4 stars.