petej + thatcherism   124

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 
january 2019 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 
january 2019 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 
december 2018 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 
december 2018 by petej
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 
november 2018 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  MitterrandFrancois  identityPolitics  technocracy  technology  financialisation  Blairism  ThirdWay  9/11  warOnTerror  crisis  LehmanBrothers  austerity  ArabSpring  class  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=RoosJerome 
june 2018 by petej
Interview for Sunday Times | Margaret Thatcher Foundation
What's irritated me about the whole direction of politics in the last 30 years is that it's always been towards the collectivist society. People have forgotten about the personal society. And they say: do I count, do I matter? To which the short answer is, yes. And therefore, it isn't that I set out on economic policies; it's that I set out really to change the approach, and changing the economics is the means of changing that approach. If you change the approach you really are after the heart and soul of the nation. Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.
neoliberalism  politics  economics  individualism  collectivism  ThatcherMargaret  Thatcherism 
july 2017 by petej
Ordoliberalism and the Death of Liberal Democracy – An Interview With Werner Bonefeld | Salvage
Catalonia and Scotland might liberate themselves respectively from Spain and England. That does in any manner change the conditions of social reproduction, as set out earlier. It does not transform Catalonia or Scotland into classless societies. It changes the situations in which social reproduction takes takes place. A dependent labourer from Glasgow, say, has more in common with a dependent labourer from Newcastle than with the Lord of Buccleuch. The identification of individuals with some transcendent values of the nation is regressive. It stinks of soil and blood.
Marxism  postFordism  Thatcher  Thatcherism  globalisation  neoliberalism  financialisation  nationalism  Catalonia  Scotland  Catalunya  ordoliberalism  democracy  theory  politics  interview  dctagged  dc:contributor=BonefeldWerner 
march 2017 by petej
Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
"The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism’s crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek’s “independent”; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal thinktankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled by those who know what they want. The likely result is the demolition of our remaining decencies, beginning with the agreement to limit global warming.

Those who tell the stories run the world. Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives. The key task now is to tell a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century. It must be as appealing to some who have voted for Trump and Ukip as it is to the supporters of Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn.

A few of us have been working on this, and can discern what may be the beginning of a story. It’s too early to say much yet, but at its core is the recognition that – as modern psychology and neuroscience make abundantly clear – human beings, by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish. The atomisation and self-interested behaviour neoliberalism promotes run counter to much of what comprises human nature.

Hayek told us who we are, and he was wrong. Our first step is to reclaim our humanity."
neoliberalism  politics  Hayek  Thatcher  Thatcherism  inequality  state  welfare  deregulation  privatisation  TrumpDonald  dctagged  dc:creator=MonbiotGeorge 
november 2016 by petej
Blue Lines Revisited - May’s Day
“Ditching Thatcherism?” Not so sure about that one either. In philosophical terms, maybe. But Thatcherism was an electoral strategy too - give the emerging middle class stuff and tell them they deserve it for working so hard. It was a time-limited strategy because the amount of stuff you can sell off (utilities, housing stock) eventually runs out. Cameron and Osborne kept the “you work hard” element but had nothing left to give away. So May is having to go back to interventionist government to keep that side of the promise. But all her touchstones for what hard working families deserve - “a place at a good school” (not just ‘good schools’), “getting on the property ladder” (not just 'good housing’) are couched in Thatcherite terms of limited, not universal, commodities: Thatcher’s dark genius was to realise the 'aspirational’ are only happy when they can be sure someone else is missing out. Wait a couple of years and “access to the best doctors” will be up there too.
MayTheresa  ToryParty  conference  speech  immigration  Brexit  xenophobia  aspiration  Thatcherism  state  intervention  dctagged  dc:creator=EwingTom 
october 2016 by petej
Theresa May to accuse politicians of sneering at Brexit voters | Politics | The Guardian
“Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public. They find their patriotism distasteful, their concerns about immigration parochial, their views about crime illiberal, their attachment to their job security inconvenient. They find the fact that more than 17 million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering.”
MayTheresa  UK  politics  conservatism  Brexit  patriotism  immigration  crime  work  labour  capitalism  state  FreemanGeorge  riot  DavisDavid  Thatcherism 
october 2016 by petej
Jenny Morris: A housing policy question for all politicians
"There has been a fundamental shift of expenditure from capital investment in housing (building new homes) to revenue expenditure in the form of housing benefit (propping up higher rents in social housing and subsidising the profits of private landlords). The latest manifestation of this shift is the introduction of ‘affordable rents’ for new housing association and council tenancies, set at a maximum of 80% of market rents and acknowledged by government as costing more in the long term because of the resulting increase in housing benefit expenditure.

The shift from capital investment to subsidising high rents has accelerated in the last five years, reflected in the dramatic reduction in the numbers of social housing properties built: in 2009-10, there was a total of 39,492 housing starts of properties to be let at social rent levels; by 2013-14, this had fallen to 3,961. Even including housing to be let at ‘affordable rent’ levels and ‘affordable’ home ownership there had been a 22% reduction over this period.

The Coalition government has decried the increase in housing benefit, focussing on the ‘failure’ of individuals to find a job or work hard enough to get themselves ‘off benefits’. In reality, it is government policy which has created the need to subsidise rents, but the focus on individuals suits the Conservative Party’s desire to bring about a residualisation of collective provision (i.e. the welfare state) until it only caters for a small stigmatised minority."
UK  property  housing  homeOwnership  rightToBuy  crisis  affordability  policy  Thatcherism  ToryParty  socialHousing  rents 
april 2015 by petej
LENIN'S TOMB: The UKIPisation of English politics II
"So here we are. The Labour leader is so utterly petrified of alienating this quasi-mythical figure, 'white van man', lest it turns out that he speaks for the whole 'white working class', that he fires a shadow cabinet member for even obliquely possibly offending them.

The government are so desperate to get in on this game that they have Michael Gove telling us that prejudice toward 'white van man' is as abhorrent as prejudice to an ethnic minority. And Ed Miliband, absurdly, is probably kicking himself not to have thought of that line.

This is the UKIPisation of English politics. It has been a long time in the making. "
UK  politics  UKIP  workingClass  demonisation  exclusion  nostalgia  neoliberalism  competition  stratification  Thatcherism  race  culture  islamophobia  recession  creditCrunch  immigration  EDL  BNP  LabourParty  dctagged  dc:creator=SeymourRichard  farRight 
november 2014 by petej
Private Island by James Meek – review | Books | The Guardian
"However misguided he was in other respects, Hayek understood that building a market society involved breaking with many of the traditions and practices of the past. Thatcher, on the other hand, wanted to revive British life as it was, or could be imagined as having been, in the 1930s or 1950s: a country ruled by values of family, patriotism and public service. But the stolid, dutiful Britain for which she was so nostalgic was not a creation of the market – in fact, at least in part, it was an inheritance of postwar Labour collectivism. The irony of Thatcher's career is that the process she set in motion has erased forever the past to which she dreamed of returning."
UK  economy  policy  privatisation  marketisation  competition  Thatcherism  Hayek  ownership  book  review  dctagged  dc:creator=GrayJohn 
september 2014 by petej
Sale of the century: the privatisation scam | Politics | The Guardian
"By moving from a system where public services are supported by progressive general taxation to a system where they are supported exclusively by the flat fees people pay to use them, they move from a system where the rich are obliged to help the poor to a system where the less well-off enable services that the rich get for what is, to them, a trifling sum. The commodity that makes water and power cables and airports valuable to an investor, foreign or otherwise, is the people who have no choice but to use them. We have no choice but to pay the price the toll-keepers charge. We are a human revenue stream; we are being made tenants in our own land, defined by the string of private fees we pay to exist here."
UK  economics  politics  Thatcherism  privatisation  marketism  ownership  utilities  energy  water  electricity  gas  taxation  housing  transport  Hayek  socialism  shares 
august 2014 by petej
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