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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thatcher was prime minister when I was born. Thatcherism, of course, is wider than the lady herself. Who could forget the lovely Sir Keith Joseph and all her other 'advisors' including some from our own university. It's a long time since she was forced out of office but the impact of the ideology that she was seen as giving rise to has divided this city more than anything else I can think of in the last thirty years.

What do you understand by Thatcherism?


What was the effect of Thatcherite policies on the city of Liverpool?


In what way(s) did the city gain from the 'Thatcherite' approach?


What did it lose?

OPTIONAL: Is the 21st Century Liverpool Society a 'Thatcherite' organisation?

Lets have an informed debate. Please, no name calling but feel free to give it plenty of :bash: :bash: :bash: on both sides. Let's have it out into the open once and for all. I hope it will help us to move on.
 

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The proper answer is that it did both... and possible neither!
Liverpool's story is much more complex than... hey' here we were sailing along nicely and then this mad bitch got into No10 and smashed the place up.

The question about what is thatcherism and why were the principles taken up.. and where they need to do done is an interesting question I have raised myself. The main critics never ask what should have been done differently... as the path the country was on one hell of a bad course.. unless you believe in socialist armageddon theory!

Don't know whether to be pissed off or not with the loaded question about the 21CL being a Thatcherite organisation as this implies that
a. presumably that I am in sole control of it's ideological identity and direction... something I have been at pains to avoid (all this hard work could easlity be undone by statements like the one made).. and
b. It is conceivable to confine me into any bracket when it comes to political, economic or ideological preferences.. the box of choice in this particular statement being 'thatcherite!

Good thread though... I'll contribute later on.

Perhaps to contextualise things a little I will restate here that the 80s' where basically a wipe out for me... I am really interested in exploring the reaons why and how this ties in with the wider world instead of going along with the blanket condemnation that "thatcher did it".. if we go along with this notion entirely then we will miss a lot of other structural and historic processes that took place and could do for us again.. with or without another thatcher!
 

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The Thatcher Government's had a predominately southern/midland and rural support base - they did not poll well in Northern cities. As far as I can remember, the last time Liverpool sent a Tory to parliament was when Anthony Steen held Wavetree (stand to be corrected); and while the Tories did rule Merseyside County Council when it was established (in 74?) this didn't last and was purely because of jerrymandering with the boundaries, to exclude Labour voters in Ellesmere Port and Halton, and they thought get some Tories in from Southport.

I think that ideology (Thatcherism) had a strongly spatial colouring to it, and that played out in a number of ways. First of all, the enterprise and industry that mattered in Northern cities did not matter to Thatcher's regime - priorities more than ever became "the City", financial services etc. Indeed, any sector with a strongly unionised workforce and/or history of social ownership was seen as some kind of threat to national security. So, for example, there was no real effort to transfer shipbuilding at Birkenhead into safe private sector hands - something that could have been achieved. The DTI and MoD had no interest in Birkenhead or its workers, their interests where in the south of England.

I believe that because opposition to Thatcherism became intense in Liverpool - as intense as in say Lambeth - BUT there were no votes for her in Liverpool (and there are of course in London as a whole) that Liverpool became deliberately neglected. So things became worse - it wasn't simply that regional, economic and industrial policy was favouring London and the south, all sorts of Government policies punished Liverpool explicitly. Thatcher actually referred to Liverpool as a symbol of what was wrong, a sort of spatial version of her "enemy within" notion. Interestingly, Heseltine recognise all this and used his support for Merseyside as a symbol of his opposition to Thathcher - he was seeking a middle way, a way that could unite the nation rather than divide it, and supporting Merseyside was apotent symbol within the Tory party that he didn't agree with her.

Because the Tories became institutionatlly anti-Liverpool (a bit like their then house newspaper The Sun), it means that they effectively gave up on a city that they could have done well in. They didn't comprehend, in their blinkered southern prejudice, that Liverpool could become a beacon of entreprenuerial growth and one that could in the future support them as a party. They must never ever be forgiven for what they did, no change of personnel or policy excuses a decade long campaign they waged against Liverpool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sjwmoore said:
I wonder- is this bait being dangled at anyone in particular???

No one in particular. Just aware that 'Thatcher's' shadow seems to be lurking in the background hinted at never explicitly explored or interrogated on this forum. I'm aware that it generates a great deal of passion on both sides. As someone who was born towards the end of her time in office I find it hard to envisage a world that was pre-Thatcher! It's not a debate I can really have with people I know because they are, without exception, anti-Thatcher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[B said:
Tony Sebo[/B]]!

Don't know whether to be pissed off or not with the loaded question about the 21CL being a Thatcherite organisation as this implies that
a. presumably that I am in sole control of it's ideological identity and direction... something I have been at pains to avoid (all this hard work could easlity be undone by statements like the one made).. and
b. It is conceivable to confine me into any bracket when it comes to political, economic or ideological preferences.. the box of choice in this particular statement being 'thatcherite!
That wasn't my intention. I really can't figure out whether the 21CL is 'Thatcherite' or not. It's just a question in my mind. However, I'm much more interested in the other questions than this one.
 

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mmmmmm not sure what to make of this.

Of course Thatcherism affected all of us. Some more than others and in different ways. There are a great many people in Liverpool who wouldn't piss on MT if she was on fire, and not just in Liverpool either.

Its debateable whether Thatcher catalysed a process that may have been inevitable. The more I think about world leaders, the less I believe they shape the world (the majority of them that is), more that they are a reflection of underlying sociological issues. In terms of economy, the UK is like a rubber band, pulling first at the US, then at Europe, being disturbed by the Far East, and then affected by world resources like oil.

It could have been that the world in general was ripe for first recession then boom, and that Liverpool, Birmingham, Notting Hill, the docks, the miners, steel, the riots might have all happened under Tony Blair... if then had been his time.

I couldn't blame Margaret Thatcher for all the bad things that happened over those 10 years or so, any more than I would congratulate her for all the good things that happened.

I don't get the 21CL option... what's all that about? Can you justify the question please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
b4mmy said:
mmmmmm not sure what to make of this.

Of course Thatcherism affected all of us. Some more than others and in different ways. There are a great many people in Liverpool who wouldn't piss on MT if she was on fire, and not just in Liverpool either.

Its debateable whether Thatcher catalysed a process that may have been inevitable. The more I think about world leaders, the less I believe they shape the world (the majority of them that is), more that they are a reflection of underlying sociological issues. In terms of economy, the UK is like a rubber band, pulling first at the US, then at Europe, being disturbed by the Far East, and then affected by world resources like oil.

It could have been that the world in general was ripe for first recession then boom, and that Liverpool, Birmingham, Notting Hill, the docks, the miners, steel, the riots might have all happened under Tony Blair... if then had been his time.

I couldn't blame Margaret Thatcher for all the bad things that happened over those 10 years or so, any more than I would congratulate her for all the good things that happened.

I don't get the 21CL option... what's all that about? Can you justify the question please.[/QUOTE]

Make of it what you will. It's optional!
 

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We all (not just Liverpool) hated Thatcha back in the 80s, but then we didn't remember the 70s.

But then we all liked Ben Elton, so what did we know?

She took my milk away from me, but it's all a bit ancient history now? Don't you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Stephen Robinson said:
We all (not just Liverpool) hated Thatcha back in the 80s, but then we didn't remember the 70s.

But then we all liked Ben Elton, so what did we know?

She took my milk away from me, but it's all a bit ancient history now? Don't you think?

...erm... that's one way of looking at it.
 

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1990 was 16 years ago, meaning no one under 21 with have any memories of her "Leadership". We talking people who have left univercites not having a clue about her,

I'm sure I had a point there, but, no it's gone.

I like the story about how they ask people who they think have gone senile questions like "Who's the Prime Minister", but had to stop asking that in the 80s as EVERYONE could remember it was that Bloody Thatcher woman.

Probably not true mind.

PS everheard the song Deanshagger by Prolapse? It pretty much sums up my memories of the 80s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stephen Robinson said:
1990 was 16 years ago, meaning no one under 21 with have any memories of her "Leadership". We talking people who have left univercites not having a clue about her,

I'm sure I had a point there, but, no it's gone.

I like the story about how they ask people who they think have gone senile questions like "Who's the Prime Minister", but had to stop asking that in the 80s as EVERYONE could remember it was that Bloody Thatcher woman.

Probably not true mind.

PS everheard the song Deanshagger by Prolapse? It pretty much sums up my memories of the 80s.
1'm 18 and don't remember her at all. There are plenty on this subforum who lived through her time in office because unlike the others it's not predominantly a kiddy forum. Also, this city has a particular place in its psyche for la Thatcher. She may be long gone, nose-diving into senility but her time in office seared this city and its population still has strong feelings about her.
 

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So did the German airforce and 60s acritects, but we don't keep going on about our Brutalist Chip shop being bombed by the Germans, now do we?

Oh, yeah, sorry we do!
 

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She certainly did the city no favours, her policys did not address the current needs of people in Liverpool (or many other areas) and she and her government set out to drastically turn the country around and sod the victims along the way.

The truth is something had to give, the country had to change and 30 years of idling had to be challenged. In fact a lot of what she did has reaped rewards for many people today.

I don't like her and her party of the time because it didn't care about the effect on people, families, whole communities. That's not to say she destroyed the city, nor was she necesserily the catalyst for it's current position.

Never mind Thatcher, I've hated the police since her days, they politicised themselves under her leadership, they stopped being bobbies and became state bullies for a few pieces of silver. It sickened me to see them buying new cars, caravans, having boss holidays etc. as reward for helping to smash the trade unions, while everyone else was living off a giro.
 

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Toadboy said:
She certainly did the city no favours, her policys did address the current needs of people in Liverpool (or many other areas)
On what do you base this article of faith?

The truth is something had to give, the country had to change and 30 years of idling had to be challenged. In fact a lot of what she did has reaped rewards for many people today.

I don't like her and her party of the time because it didn't care about the effect on people, families, whole communities. That's not to say she destroyed the city, nor was she necesserily the catalyst for it's current position.
Thatcher was in short, a fool. The greatest legacy this country has had was North Sea oil. It came on tap just as she got to power. She paid for unemployment when her failed half baked economic theories collapsed a number of times.

Instead of using this money to invest and for education & training - the future - she squandered it all. Parts of British industry was outdated with primarily outdated management ideas. This needed updating and dragged out of the Victorian era. This was not done, it was allowed to rot.

She squandered the natural gas reserves to sell off the power industry allowing them to convert to natural gas, instead of using the coal beneath the ground, saving gas for domestic and commerce. Now we are short of gas are open to the whims of external countries - fuel has risen 25% in cases forcing the country to look to nuclear power to reduce external dependency.

She promised a meritocracy. The UK has a ruling class of Oxbridge/private schools. These people walk the privileged corridors of power even if they are as thick as pig kaka, and many are pure buffoons. At the end of her time it was still untouched with the same pillocks in charge of the civil service, military, judiciary, etc, and the anachronistic monarchy as strong as ever. See Who Runs Britain - Jeremy Paxman.

In short, the worst administration we have had in probably a 100 years.
 

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JUXTAPOL said:
Don't know anything about Thatcher, but i think that "21st Century Liverpool Society ", may be "New Labour", with a twist of Liberal and a sprinkling of Independant, garnished with some "Greenes"...... :)
As long as it is not Tory who reinforce outdated ideas of Queen and class, and such garbage. We need a meritocracy.
 

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Central government is v v important in our system and any p.minister has the chance to change things in a big way with no powerful regional/federal system in the way, but that lady represents a mirror image in our more polarised class based system. In my view thatcher was spawnwd mainly because of the failiure of the left to deliver in the post war settlement which was designed and led by the left.

No excess of 'Thatchers' can excuse the left for its basic anti business, anti enterprise and anti working class ethos. That generation despised the very existience of working class 'community' and its attendant rather conservative ethos with lots of business activity attached.......there is no getting away from a central fact....the new socialist utopia was expressly designed around destroying working class areas, decanting hundreds of thousands of people away from their 'natural' communities, a form of class warfare cleansing, with all the attendant loss of population, economic activity. That fantastic picture of the Customs House posted on the 'architectural triumphs' thread, represents that sort of community and it was deliberatly swept away by the left while Thatcher and her right wing generation in their home counties comfort acquiesed.

What we were left with were social, economic and cultural deserts like Kirkby and Speke, a complete fracture with society, as millions had previously adapted to. Thatchers policies may have made matters worse but that misses the main point. The left had had their glorious, expensive experiment and it had disasterously failed.
 
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