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Thatcher, Margaret
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★ Thatcher, Margaret

Thatcher, Margaret: see United Kingdom & Great Britain & England & Politics & Government & Conservative Party & 1980s & Poll Tax & Falkland War & Steel & Miners & Unemployment

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128,954.  When Mrs Thatcher came to power she sold off the oil we had and used it to pay for redundancy pay for people she’d sacked.  (Labour & Thatcher & Biography)  Tony Benn, Last Will & Testament ***** Youtube 1.31.36

 

128,958.  When people look back on her [Thatcher] life now, the divisions and suffering she caused and injustice she perpetuated are much more remembered than the triumphs she claimed.  (Labour & Thatcher & Biography)  ibid.

 

 

5,134.  Mrs Thatcher just couldn’t bear the idea that British decline should be taken for granted.  She rejected that with her guts.  She thought Britain should be great.  Searching around for what was wrong she decided that what the economy needed was a dynamic shake-up, was to make people self-reliant again, and above all to break the power of the trade union movement.  (Trade Union & Margaret Thatcher)  Christopher Hitchens  

 

 

108,233.  There is still in Britain a large majority in favour of the removal of American bases, and if the election had been on that alone, the Labour Party would have won it.  Christopher Hitchens, What Did Margaret Thatcher Do for Britain, 1987, Youtube 1.26.44

 

108,234.  To get a third mandate at this level is an extraordinary achievement … She would rather be respected than liked.  ibid.

 

108,235.  She promised people sacrifice and pain … How pitiless that has been.  ibid.

 

 

40,964.  The sheer frustration of the Thatcher years.  (Insult & Thatcher)  Steve Bell, cartoonist

 

 

109,716.  How does it feel to be the mother of a thousand dead?  Crass, How Does It Feel?  song lyrics

 

 

41,063.  I’ve met serial killers and assassins but nobody scared me as much as Mrs Thatcher.  (Insults & Thatcher)  Ken Livingstone

 

 

116,124.  But you’ll just have to wait won’t you.  Not at all, your Majesty.  (Politics & Thatcher)  The New Statesman: Comic Relief 1988, Mrs Thatcher’s secretary

 

 

98,447.  What second ballot?  (Politics & Thatcher)  The New Statesman s3e2: The Party’s Over, Piers

 

 

5,233.  Mrs Thatcher’s administration simply didn’t think it was the job of the state to keep us all in work ... This new Tory administration made it clear it was time to sink or swim.  (Work & Unemployment & 1980s & Margaret Thatcher)  The British at Work: To Have and Have Not 1980-1995

 

 

29,999.  Thatcher’s Britain!  Thatcher’s bloody Britain!  (Great Britain & Margaret Thatcher)  The Young Ones: Summer Holiday, Rick to others

 

 

31,532.  Margaret Thatcher was walking into Downing Street as Britain’s first woman prime minister.  (Great Britain & England & 1970s & Thatcher)  Dominic Sandbrook, The 70s: The Winner Takes It All 77-79

 

 

31,541.  This fantastic poster: She promised to follow him to the end of the Earth; he promised to organise it.  (Great Britain & England & Cold War & Poster & Thatcher)  Dominic Sandbrook, Strange Days – Cold War Britain III

 

 

45,259.  There are times, perhaps once every thirty years, when there is a sea-change in politics.  It then does not matter what you say or what you do.  There is a shift in what the public wants and what it approves of.  I suspect there is now such a sea-change – and it is for Mrs Thatcher.  (Politics & Thatcher)  James Callaghan

 

 

31,857.  Against all her political instincts on the morning of November 15th 1985 Margaret Thatcher flew in to Hillsborough Castle to sign an agreement she'd been told would help bring an end to the conflict in Northern Ireland.  (Northern Ireland & Thatcher)  Thatcher and the IRA: Dealing with Terror, BBC 2014

 

31,858.  Almost from the moment of Ian Gow’s resignation, Margaret Thatcher regretted the agreement; so why had she signed it in the first place?  (Northern Ireland & Thatcher)  ibid.

 

 

63,738.  The truth is that as soon as Thatcher took power, her ministers courted Saddam Hussein.  A procession of them went to Baghdad: Lord Carrington, Cecil Parkinson, John Knott, John Biffin, Paul Channon, William Waldergrave.  In 1981 Douglas Hurd tried to sell Saddam Hussein an entire air-defence system.  And when in 1985 Britain banned the sales of arms to Iraq the flow of British arms and money did not stop.  (Arms & Truth & Iraq & Thatcher)  John Pilger, Flying the Flag (Arming the World)

 

 

98,990.  In the wake of Thatcher’s departure, I remember her victims.  Patrick Warby’s daughter, Marie, was one of them.  Marie, aged five, suffered from a bowel deformity and needed a special diet.  Without it, the pain was excruciating.  Her father was a Durham miner and had used all his savings.  It was winter 1985, the Great Strike was almost a year old and the family was destitute. Although her eligibility was not disputed, Marie was denied help by the Department of Social Security.  Later, I obtained records of the case that showed Marie had been turned down because her father was ‘affected by a Trade dispute’.  

 

The corruption and inhumanity under Thatcher knew no borders. When she came to power in 1979, Thatcher demanded a total ban on exports of milk to Vietnam.  The American invasion had left a third of Vietnamese children malnourished.  I witnessed many distressing sights, including infants going blind from a lack of vitamins.  ‘I cannot tolerate this,’ said an anguished doctor in a Saigon paediatric hospital, as we looked at a dying boy.  Oxfam and Save the Children had made clear to the British government the gravity of the emergency.  An embargo led by the US had forced up the local price of a kilo of milk up to ten times that of a kilo of meat. Many children could have been restored with milk.  Thatcher’s ban held.

 

In neighbouring Cambodia, Thatcher left a trail of blood, secretly.  In 1980, she demanded that the defunct Pol Pot regime - the killers of 1.7 million people - retain its ‘right’  to represent their victims at the UN. Her policy was vengeance on Cambodia’s liberator, Vietnam.  The British representative was instructed to vote with Pol Pot at the World Health Organisation, thereby preventing it from providing help to where it was needed more than anywhere on earth.

 

To conceal this outrage, the US, Britain and China, Pol Pot’s main backer, invented a ‘resistance coalition’s dominated by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge forces and supplied by the CIA at bases along the Thai border.  There was a hitch.  In the wake of the Irangate arms-for-hostages debacle, the US Congress had banned clandestine foreign adventures.  ‘In one of those deals the two of them liked to make,’ a senior Whitehall official told the Sunday Telegraph, ‘President Reagan put it to Thatcher that the SAS should take over the Cambodia show.  She readily agreed.’

 

In 1983, Thatcher sent the SAS to train the ‘coalition’ in its own distinctive brand of terrorism.  Seven-man SAS teams arrived from Hong Kong, and British soldiers set about training ‘resistance fighters’ in laying minefields in a country devastated by genocide and the world’s highest rate of death and injury as a result of landmines.

 

I reported this at the time, and more than 16,000 people wrote to Thatcher in protest.  ‘I confirm,’ she replied to opposition leader Neil Kinnock, ‘that there is no British government involvement of any kind in training, equipping or co-operating with the Khmer Rouge or those allied to them.’  The lie was breathtaking.  In 1991, the government of John Major admitted to parliament that the SAS had indeed trained the ‘coalition’.  ‘We liked the British,’ a Khmer Rouge fighter later told me.  ‘They were very good at teaching us to set booby traps.  Unsuspecting people, like children in paddy fields, were the main victims.’

 

When the journalists and producers of ITV’s landmark documentary, Death on the Rock, exposed how the SAS had run Thatcher’s other death squads in Ireland and Gibraltar, they were hounded by Rupert Murdoch's ‘journalists’, then cowering behind the razor wire at Wapping.  Although exonerated, Thames TV lost its ITV franchise.

 

In 1982, the Argentine cruiser, General Belgrano, was steaming outside the Falklands exclusion zone.  The ship offered no threat, yet Thatcher gave orders for it to be sunk.  Her victims were 323 sailors, including conscripted teenagers.  The crime had a certain logic.  Among Thatcher's closest allies were mass murderers - Pinochet in Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, responsible for ‘many more than one million deaths’ (Amnesty International).  Although the British state had long armed the world’s leading tyrannies, it was Thatcher who brought a crusading zeal to the deals, talking up the finer points of fighter aircraft engines, hard-bargaining with bribe-demanding Saudi princes.  I filmed her at an arms fair, stroking a gleaming missile. ‘I’ll have one of those!’ she said.

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