thatcherism   182

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Brexiters ache to dish out a severe spanking, whether we like it or not | Nick Cohen | Opinion | The Guardian
Thatcher protected her voters while hammering the manufacturing working class. Cameron, Clegg and Osborne turned benefit claimants into an enemy within and spun the fantastical tale that Labour’s generosity towards the poor was the true cause of the financial crisis. As it was with Thatcher and Cameron, so it will be with May. The referendum was yet another symptom of how the old overrule the young in the modern west.
UK  EU  Brexit  Thatcherism  Leave  suffering  hardship  nostalgia  KCaCO  class  dctagged  dc:creator=CohenNick 
5 weeks ago by petej
How Thatcherism produced Corbynism - UnHerd
In Britain, as elsewhere, the Thatcherite project was self-undermining. While the country Thatcher brought into being was very different from the one she inherited, it was nothing like the country she intended to fashion. Insofar as it ever existed, her Britain was a country of dutiful middle-class families prudently saving for the future. But rather than consolidating and expanding this middle class, she consigned it to the memory hole. More individualist, post-Thatcher Britain is also less bourgeois.

Aside from their homes, few middle-class people have assets of any importance. Beyond the public sector, pensions are dependent on the vagaries of the market. Without job security, much of the middle class lives only months from penury. Incomes have increased for many, but so has debt. While distancing Labour from its past and turning it into an overwhelmingly middle-class party, Tony Blair continued the hollowing out of middle-class life that Thatcher began.

A type of capitalism emerged in which the practices that shaped bourgeois life as it had been known in the past – saving for the future, pursuing a lifelong career, self-sacrifice for the sake of family stability – became redundant or dysfunctional. Adapting to ceaseless change came to be regarded as the primary virtue. Accelerating and accentuating processes that globalisation was driving anyway, Thatcher created a society she could not have imagined.
UK  politics  academia  tenure  Thatcher  Thatcherism  JosephKeith  Keynesianism  state  welfare  employment  individualism  neoliberalism  precarity  insecurity  post-industrialism  middleClass  Corbynism  TheLeft  globalisation  Brexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=GrayJohn 
5 weeks ago by petej
The Attack on Public Housing
The attacks on Osamor, who is black, are undeniably racial but also carry the unpleasant subtext that people who live in social housing should not be MPs. Parliament is still broadly unrepresentative of British society: there are still far more men than women, the number of black and Asian MPs is still shockingly low, and the class make-up of practically every legislative body throughout the United Kingdom skews heavily middle class, with the number of MPs educated at Oxford and Cambridge an embarrassment. Hounding an MP for daring to remain in the council home she has dwelt in for thirty years highlights how few MPs come from more ordinary backgrounds.

Crow and Osamor were right to defend their living situations and to call for more people to be given secure tenures that help people escape the exorbitant rents that private landlords extract from tenants. Individual actions will do little to solve the housing crisis; but defending social housing as a political good, and arguing that housing should be a human right that offers the best start in life, rather than yet another source of private profit, is essential. People attack this position because it upsets the status quo — because it forces the public discourse to acknowledge that our housing system is rigged, and tenants need both more rights and a second national house-building program.
UK  housing  socialHousing  OsamorKate  CrowBob  Thatcherism  rightToBuy  homeOwnership  tenancies  community  construction  policy  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
6 weeks ago by petej
Theresa May is now a lame duck – too weak to take back control of her party | Martin Kettle | Opinion | The Guardian
More profoundly – much more profoundly – this vote was a wake-up call about the terminal sterility of a certain kind of Conservative vision. It’s a kind of Conservatism that is a confluence of two different traditions, and the Tory party is too respectful to both of them. On the one hand, there is a white establishment tradition, largely English rather than British in mentality, that has not come to terms with the loss of empire, dislikes foreigners, and which somehow equates Brexit with the restoration of British superiority and power. On the other, there are Thatcher’s children, often self-made, self-confident, petit bourgeois, anti-foreigner and anti-state, flirting with Ukip, beguiled by the Great in Great Britain and irreconcilable to any European engagement.

May’s critics are genuinely hopeless at politics. They can cause a lot of trouble. But they cannot, will not, take responsibility for practical action in government. They appear to believe that there is a Commons majority for their faith-based, crash-out, free-at-last, ourselves-alone Brexit if only they can install a true believer and bring the DUP back onside. The vote confirmed that is not true. The naivety is breathtaking. Such a Tory leader would lose any Brexit bill or confidence vote. Luckily for the Tory party, most MPs proved today they are not so foolish.

In the end, it’s the recklessness over Ireland, an instinct that lies deep in the DNA of part of the Tory party, that is the most frightening piece of foolishness. These fanatics, playing footsie with a DUP clique that puts sectarianism above the wider needs of a Northern Ireland that voted remain, are the direct political descendants, though with half the talent, of people such as Lord Randolph Churchill in the 1890s, FE Smith in the 1910s and Enoch Powell in the 1970s. All of them tried to play the Orange card. All of them did so with awful results for Ireland and Britain alike. As Talleyrand said of the Bourbons, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing – and they proved it again this week.
UK  politics  ToryParty  leadership  MayTheresa  TheRight  Brexit  authority  dctagged  dc:creator=KettleMartin  conservatism  nationalism  xenophobia  Thatcherism  neoliberalism  delusion  Ireland 
9 weeks ago by petej
Neal Ascherson: Declinism
As the toffs began to retreat, they were replaced on boards by a very different species. The ‘money men’, attentive to the company’s share price rather than to its product, moved in as the City of London – once the centre of industrial investment as well as financial services – ramped through its Big Bang and became a casino of debt speculation. It’s a shame that neither author refers to The State We’re in (1995), Will Hutton’s analysis of this fateful change in British capitalism, which retains all its deadly relevance this side of the 2008 bank crash.

Hamilton-Paterson adds the example of Network Rail’s bungled electrification of Great Western (its cost rose in two years from £874 million to £2.8 billion). ‘That’s privatisation for you: layers upon layers of managers and accountants who know nothing about railways. The old British Rail alternative was layers upon layers of experienced railwaymen who knew nothing about accountancy but who did know exactly what electrifying a line entailed and simply got on and did it.’

How magnificent and confident, and how irrecoverable, those schemes now seem! Hamilton-Paterson ends What We Have Lost with a marvellously written requiem for British firms and brands now dead or buried under takeovers or lost to the portfolios of foreign-based conglomerates. He mourns ‘a Britain that can never come again because so much that was original and characteristic has gone under the hammer for cash which has long since disappeared into the black hole of the national debt … So we have come to this. My country has been sold off to defray charges.’
management  economic-performance-uk  1950s  thatcherism  1970s  popular-culture  1940s  books-non-fiction  1960s 
12 weeks ago by craigryan
Brexit is a class betrayal. So why is Labour colluding in it? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
These things are part of a vast charge sheet not only against the modern Conservative party, but an alliance of old and new money that has set the basic terms of British politics for the past 40 years. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson were educated at the same exclusive school as the prime minister whose idiotic decision to hold a referendum gave them their opportunity. Nigel Farage and Arron Banks are archetypal examples of the kind of spivs who were given licence to do as they pleased in the 80s. For all their absurd bleating about “elites”, we all know what these people represent: the two faces of the modern English ruling class, who have long combined to be nothing but trouble.
UK  Brexit  Leave  ToryParty  deindustrialisation  austerity  referendum  misinformation  dishonesty  Thatcherism  opposition  LabourParty  withdrawalAgreement  noDeal  PeoplesVote  class  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
12 weeks ago by petej
ROAR Magazine: The Long Shadow of May ’68
After 2011, it became clear that in today’s globalized and financialized world, class struggle is alive and well—even if its forms have changed in a number of important ways as a result of the transformations of capitalism and work over the past four decades. Contemporary class struggles still fundamentally revolve against the opposition between those who own capital and those who have to sell their labor power in order to survive, but they no longer take place exclusively at the point of production (they arguably never did, but this was nevertheless long the privileged site of struggle for the dominant Marxist and anarcho-syndicalist traditions). Today’s struggles also crucially unfold in the relationship between debtors and creditors; between tenants and landlords; between taxpayers and state financiers. The field of action, in short, has become significantly greater and much more complex to navigate.
May1968  students  strikes  DeGaulle  industrialism  post-industrialism  socialMovements  Thatcherism  MitterandFrancois  identityPolitics  technocracy  technology  financialisation  Blairism  ThirdWay  9/11  warOnTerror  crisis  LehmanBrothers  austerity  ArabSpring  class  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=RoosJerome 
june 2018 by petej
Carillion’s Missing Millions – Grace Blakeley – Medium
We cannot nationalise Carillion because there is nothing in Carillion to nationalise.
thatcherism  johnmajor  carillion  to_blog  primecontractor 
january 2018 by yorksranter

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