Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gordon Brown: Margaret Thatcher is to blame for social immobility.

Here we go again.

Yesterday Britain’s woes were blamed on the ‘credit crunch’. Then they were blamed on global oil price. And today it is all the fault of Margaret Thatcher.

Tomorrow, it shall all be the fault of Benjamin Disraeli, and the day after it will be Julius Caesar.

After more than a decade in power, nothing, it seems, is the fault of New Labour or Gordon Brown.

Cranmer is incredulous that the Prime Minister’s latest ‘initiative’ (if that isn’t a misnomer) is a promise to get Britain ‘upwardly mobile again’, with talk of a ‘vision of fairness and social mobility’. And the reason they have not attained this in 11 years is because of Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies which created a ‘lost generation’.

This is the most absurdly facile reasoning, and only a complete idiot would be persuaded that the lack of social mobility may be blamed on a prime minister who has been out of office for 16 years. If her reforms were so bad, why have they not been repealed in over a decade? If she wreaked so much damage, why consort with her?

Child Poverty Action Group chief executive Kate Green states that Britain is ‘in the grip’ of a ‘damaging culture of inequality’. It beggars belief that a party that has been in power for almost as long as Margaret Thatcher has been unable to undo the ‘damage’ she inflicted.

New Labour pledged is to halve the number of children in poverty by 2010 and eradicate it by 2020. But last year the number actually rose by 100,000 to 2.9 million.

This must be Margaret Thatcher’s fault.

The number of adults living in relative poverty has also increased, including pensioners who are struggling to meet the rising costs of council tax, food, gas and electricity.

This must be Margaret Thatcher’s fault.

Some areas of the UK suffer 55 per cent unemployment, with all the attendant benefit traps, drugs, anti-social behaviour, and family breakdown.

This must be Margaret Thatcher’s fault.

Inflation has risen over 3%, and is expected to hit 4% by the end of the year.

This must be Margaret Thatcher’s fault.

Today, 6000 council employees have decided to strike over below-inflation pay increases, which amount to a pay cut.

This must be Margaret Thatcher’s fault.

And doubtless the great lady is also to blame for the woeful state of the Church of England, the schism in the Anglican Communion, and the decidedly average summer we have had hitherto.

If today it is sunny, that will be thanks to Gordon Brown.

And while he spins his fiction, let us dwell on the reality that Margaret Thatcher helped to make Britain great once again, and she did it by restoring aspiration. The daughter of a working class greengrocer from Grantham was the embodiment of social mobility, and was acutely aware of the plight of the working and middle classes. She fought for them against an establishment populated by the elite; a woman against an entrenched patriarchy who showed that women may not only aspire to the top jobs, they can actually do them better than many men. Her economic legacy permitted an upwardly mobile mindset to permeate into levels of society never before reached. She created wealth and encouraged thrift and charity; she sold off council houses in order that more might share in fruits of economic success. She confronted head-on the over-mighty unions and restored the rights of the ordinary union member.

Social mobility under Margaret Thatcher was a success story, and was based on the foundational Conservative principles of liberty and individualism. These were the building blocks of her vision of society, and it is one which so captivated New Labour that they absorbed much of it into their ‘third way’ thinking. By putting people in control of their own lives, the powers of the politician and the interference of the state are diminished, and this is intrinsic to social mobility.

Gordon Brown has failed to understand the meaning of the concept. Only when people are free to aspire, free to create, free to associate and free to choose are they able to be socially mobile. And only a true Conservative will understand this, and only a true Conservative will have the conviction to bring it to pass.


Anonymous najistani said...

NuLabour are downwardly mobile in the financial department if this is anything to go by:

24 June 2008 at 10:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These was a great deal upward mobility under Thatcher. There was a great deal of downward mobility too.

It is under her that the culture of inequality began. Nulabour has continued it.

It surprises me that people manage to see differene between the Conservatives and nulabour. They have largely the same economic and social policies.

They are both wrong. They are both the problem.

24 June 2008 at 10:27  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

this very odd , and looks to me like the beggining of the rants of a tormented liar .

in my youth i too was opposed to mrs thatcher , but as i matured i began to see what she had to do. for those who remeber the 3 day week ,the power cuts and the unburied bodies , the uk was an absolute mess under labour , if one union settled , the amalagmated union of bun makers wanted more more money and more time off.
british leyland was an example of the inefficent working practices that made goods that were being made cheaper in japan. the first datsuns were appearing on the roads , at first everyone laughed ugh jap crap , but then it turned out they were reliable .
still the amalgamted union of bun makers refused , until our exports fell off , unions told the goverment what to do . mrs thatcher could see (lets not forget the others strauss etc) we were kanckerd.

true men and women lost there jobs , but the union boss men didnt , men who never did offer a solution.

gordon is sounding more like head of the 1970s TUC congress each day , it is not my fault ?? previous governments have caused all this . oddly enough modern union men and women may not take too kindly to gordons remarks , it actually makes him look and increadibly weak leader, as unfounded and unjustified blame always does

24 June 2008 at 10:30  
Anonymous Rob F said...

I try to hate him, I really do.

But he's just too pathetic. It'd be like kicking a puppy.

24 June 2008 at 11:01  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

NuLabour have come closest to refuting Abraham Lincoln's dictum that you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

They had a very good try, supported by the likes of the fellow travellers such as the BBC.

But in the end old Abe was shown to be right again.

But it remains to be seen whether the penny will drop for many of my co-religionists who still vote in droves for NuLabour candidates.

24 June 2008 at 11:13  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

It's such nonsense. If they're still blaming everything wrong with the country on a government booted out of office eleven years ago, what the hell have Labour been doing all this time? Rearranging the desks in Whitehall?

24 June 2008 at 11:47  
Anonymous alberich said...

I quite liked Mark Steyn's description of the Third Way as stealing half the Conservatives' policies and then condemning them as extremists for maintaining the half considered not worth nicking.

In Gordo's case the Third Way has amounted to a veneer of admiration for the polity of the United States painted over the husk of Scottish municipal socialism. It was bound to end in tears.

24 June 2008 at 13:57  
Anonymous John said...

From a mundane mind, the dour effluent found in the speech of a PM with little imagination, only a modicum of leadership, and a man who bites his nails to the quick.

Whereas Margaret Thatcher was the champion of freedom, the current PM is not worthy to stand in this great ladies shadow, he would better serve the population by using the rear entrance to No 10 in the company of his family, in the embrace of a "Removal Company", Pickfords springs to mind.

I wonder how Robert the Bruce of Scotland would regard the PM on this anniversary of Bannockburn, a PM who will not accept responsibilities for his own shortcomings, for his errors or his omissions.

I find it difficult to write the PM's name, it has become an oxymoron for leadership, never to be scripted with our Margaret Thatcher.

24 June 2008 at 14:01  
Anonymous DocBud said...

"It is under her that the culture of inequality began. Nulabour has continued it."

Anonymous, please explain. Under Maggie we had equality of opportunity, the meritorious rose and the worthless sunk (where appropriate to be given state assistance funded by the hard working). By contrast, NuLabour rewards the worthless and treats the hard working, meritorious people as milch cows. Eco-taxes being just a new means of extracting money from those who earn it.

24 June 2008 at 14:17  
Anonymous John said...

docbud "It is under her that the culture of inequality began"

History awry I think, the culture of inequality is part and parcel of the human condition.

That gracious lady became great when she took to task the minority miners who held the country to ransom year after year, the minority miners who through their monstrous pay awards dragged the rest of the working class into the abyss of hyper inflation and discontent.

If you had lived through the 70's you might remember.

24 June 2008 at 14:37  
Blogger Not a sheep said...

The Tories are to blame for everything bad that happens, Gordon is responsible only for that which is good. Gordon = good, Tories = bad, is it that hard to understand the Labour creed?

24 June 2008 at 14:40  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

Labour have alway been a party of blame. They do nothing constructive and its always some one elses fault.

They do not create any wealth they just take it off others who have.

Chickens are now comming home to roost, its just amazing the British people have taken so long to wake up.

Labour always cons every generation with their something for nothing ways.

24 June 2008 at 15:14  
Anonymous Katy said...

I'm one of Thatcher's children (born the year she came to power: obviously an auspicious year!). Broon is right; we're a lost generation. Two things stopped us from being 'upwardly mobile'. One was the dumbing-down of our education system, all the fault (I think you'll find) of Shirley Williams, not Thatcher. The other is the stiffling of innovation caused by having a Labour Government obsessed with red tape and quangos (all with their own agenda and all wasting money not distributing it), legislating for the minutiae of life and encouraging idiots who've never done the job to start telling people what to do (I mean Management Consultants, for those of you lucky enough to have missed the reference, and not a decent innovative idea between them).

A nation of entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers, scientists and small businessmen brought to its knees by Labour. Who does he think he's fooling?

Of course, I should declare my interest. Lifelong Tory voter, working class, Union official (workers have the best ideas to make business better; get a proper job, Mr Management Consultant), Catholic.

24 June 2008 at 16:39  
Anonymous John said...

Our leaders who make promises are probably aware of their hypocrisy.

We should appreciate that the political classes are a paradox, they are sincere in their insincerity.

George Orwell referred to this as "benign self deception".

The other paradox is "we know this hypocrisy and do little about it".

24 June 2008 at 16:57  
Anonymous some english bloke said...

Your Grace, thank you for your superb description of The Blessed Margaret and her achievements.

I have photographs somewhere of bin-bags piled high covering Leicester Square, a la Naples, during the winter of discontent. Her reforms survived Mr. Major and were robust enough to allow many years of labour squandering and may just hang on in time for Dave The Untested to get in there.

Brown, as you say, always has to blame everybody else, here he is in Arabia ( for those happy few who have not seen his lackwit speech, who writes his rubbish ? ).


Blaming just about everything for the high price of fuel ( including by implication the House Of Saud, his hosts ) except his own money grabbing taxes which, of course, rise in proportion to world price rises.

As an aside, the local government 'workers' are flexing their muscles simply to grab what they can from a weak if sympathetic regime before it implodes.

PS. what would The Blessed Margaret have had to say about liberal theologians ?

24 June 2008 at 17:02  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

One of the worst things ever for me was the introduction of the minimum wage. It simply provided the excuse for everyone to pay shite wages. How the fuck does anyone manage to survive on £5.25 an hour? And you don't even get that much until you are 21 years old.
A 40 hour week will net you around £170 per week. This leaves very few options for survival, one being to breed like a fucking rabbit and claim all the tax credit bullshit payments under the sun.
Basically we are all doomed. It's greed and inequality which will eat our civilisation from the inside out. It will never change. The privileged will always have the opinion of the undeserving poor, and while it can be possible, and many do manage to break free and make a better life for themselves, they soon forget their roots and are all too often keen to snatch the fucking ladder up after them, and then point the wagging finger of scorn on their once fellow bottom feeders.

24 June 2008 at 18:18  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

anon said

"These was a great deal upward mobility under Thatcher. There was a great deal of downward mobility too.

It is under her that the culture of inequality began. Nulabour has continued it.

It surprises me that people manage to see differene between the Conservatives and nulabour. They have largely the same economic and social policies.

They are both wrong. They are both the problem."

When our elderly are freezing in their homes this winter because they cannot afford the crippling prices of our privatised energy companies that make Billions in profit, lets remember Thatchers continued legacy to our people. I agree with anon entirely!

24 June 2008 at 19:49  
Blogger Miss Snuffleupagus said...

While I tend to agree with you, Your Grace, I must point out that you are sometimes inconsistent!

You cannot write posts about the madness of labelling some people as 'poor' when they are not, and then attack Labour for not taking more children out of poverty.

I do agree though. I do, especially with all that you say about women. But I'm not sure Thatcher did much for those people who bought their council houses. She just gave them a very easy way to gain a load of cash very quickly. I've never understood why council housing was sold off in this way. How can this possibly teach people how to work hard, be responsible, and receive one's just deserts?

24 June 2008 at 20:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katy 1639, I couldn't agree with you more. Born 1980, I've seen the steady disintegration of the country over the past 12 years and none of this can be laid at the door of Thatcher- well, only indirectly in that she had to take the tough choices that any rightminded person would who had to follow Wilson and Callaghan (and, in the interest of fairness it must be said, Heath.

Just one slight gripe. I'm a management consultant! I agree that the big firms who have wormed their way into every aspect of govenrment have snarled up the whole process, but there are a number of niche firms out there who do a good job in clearly defined and limited areas. i'd have to believe that my job was genuinely worthwhile or I wouldn't do it- I'm certainly not on anything like a city salary...

Since it seems to be the fashion to declare interests when standing up for Thatcher; ex-public schoolboy, ex-navy, beagling, lifelong shire Tory voting, Oxford educated, Puseyite Anglo-Catholic.

25 June 2008 at 17:21  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older