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Margaret Thatcher Dies At 87 539

Posted by samzenpus
from the rest-in-peace dept.
syngularyx writes "Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who became one of the most influential global leaders of the postwar period, died on Monday, three decades after her championing of free-market economics and individual choice transformed Britain's economy and her vigorous foreign policy played a key role in the end of the Cold War."
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Margaret Thatcher Dies At 87

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  • Good riddance (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) *

    Good riddance. She was a terrible Prime Minister and caused untold suffering and misery.

    PS. How is this News for Nerds? Why isn't the story tagged "troll"?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What a shame. She was a great Prime Minister and caused a massive shift in the British economy for the better.
      • Re:Good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:45AM (#43390157)
        She basically shut down the UK's manufacturing industry and moved us over to a service industry economy. Pity we're now outsourcing all the services. I remember living under her stiletto boot heels I'll not be dancing in the streets like some will be but I'll not miss her either.
        • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:51AM (#43390193)

          She basically shut down the UK's manufacturing industry and moved us over to a service industry economy. Pity we're now outsourcing all the services.

          The UK economy has grown massively since the 1980's, so apparently we're insourcing more than we're outsourcing.

          Manufacturing was dead by the time she arrived, the unions did it to themselves. All she did was pull the plug to put them out of their misery.

          • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

            by sa1lnr (669048) on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:55AM (#43390219)

            Bad management didn't have anything to do with it though, did it?

            • Re:Good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

              by ultranova (717540) on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:24AM (#43391091)

              Bad management didn't have anything to do with it though, did it?

              Economics 101: if the economy does badly, it's the fault of unions, while if it does well, it's the merit of execs and investors. Also, an industry can only be succesfull if it gets to share risks but not profits with the employees.

              • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

                by SolitaryMan (538416) on Monday April 08, 2013 @01:45PM (#43393295) Homepage Journal

                Well, this is actually true.

                The problem is that "economy wellness" is defined in terms that have nothing to do with well being of 95% of population. They try to drive up totally meaningless numbers (DJIA, S&Ps anyone?). When defined like this, unions *are* driving economy down.

                This shit will continue, unless we convince government to shove GDP, DJIA, S&Ps and other shitty metrics up their collective ass and come up with something that actually makes sense for most people.

              • British Unions (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Roger W Moore (538166) on Monday April 08, 2013 @02:26PM (#43393735) Journal

                Economics 101: if the economy does badly, it's the fault of unions

                It is arguable whether the unions were to blame for the state of the UK economy in the 1980s but they certainly were not helping it recover. The reforms she introduced included things like requiring a vote of members before a strike could be called, limiting the terms of union leaders (before her some unions elected leaders like popes - they were elected for life), requiring one vote per member - no massive block votes. Effectively she required the unions to actually pay attention to their members - I don't see anyway that these reforms can be seen as anything but a good thing. It stopped union bosses making decisions in their own best interests rather than the interests of the workers they were supposed to be representing.

                Had she stopped there she would have been remembered as a truly great prime minister. Unfortunately having fixed the economy by making the unions function properly again she then went a lot, lot further and did a lot of damage. Her legacy would have been far greater had she been a one term prime minister.

          • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ToadProphet (1148333) on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:10AM (#43390929)

            The UK economy has grown massively since the 1980's

            Not on balance. It's grown like most of the west has - borrowing massive amounts from the private sector to be paid back by future generations.

          • Re:Good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

            by gallondr00nk (868673) on Monday April 08, 2013 @12:52PM (#43392685)

            The UK economy has grown massively since the 1980's, so apparently we're insourcing more than we're outsourcing.

            Economic growth, frankly, doesn't mean shit if the top 10% make all of the money. The 1980's was the start of the economic malaise we face today, where rising household debt ratios countered the stagnation in real wages and the steadily falling share of the wealth held by the bottom 50% of UK workers. This trend was started during the Thatcher years, and is at the point now where 10% of the households own about half of the wealth.

            Manufacturing was dead by the time she arrived, the unions did it to themselves. All she did was pull the plug to put them out of their misery.

            There are still whole cities that have never recovered from the death of manufacturing. Service sector jobs simply don't pay as well, and there aren't as many to go around. I say this a lot, but in an economy that relies primarily on consumerism this is bad fucking news in the long run.

            Still, most that responsibility lies on those in the post Thatcher years. Don't even get me started on the malicious and ignorant buffoons that currently run the country.

            • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Xest (935314) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @05:21AM (#43399173)

              "There are still whole cities that have never recovered from the death of manufacturing. Service sector jobs simply don't pay as well, and there aren't as many to go around."

              You know the services sector includes things like Finance, IT, engineering, health, education, media right? I don't think factory workers and miners do get paid better than IT workers, financiers, doctors, engineers, teachers, and journalists somehow. Service sector jobs pay the most of any.

              I know the towns that were the centre of anti-Thatcher protests very well having previously lived in such areas and still having many friends there and I can assure you ability to recover has little to do with anything Thatcher did and is entirely about the social attitudes of people who live in these places. Many of the old mining towns in West and South Yorkshire, such as Hemsworth, Fitzwilliam, Grimethorpe, Goldthorpe and Shafton have had millions poured into them, by way of investment including shiny new doctors surgeries, dentists, learning centres offering free training, local railway stations that link them to the UK's 3rd and 4th largest cities (Leeds and Sheffield) such that all those cities in South/West Yorkshire have a train station, or are at worst, a 10minute bus/car journey from one, and then only take 30mins at most to the above mentioned major cities.

              But the state of each couldn't be more different, take two neighbouring villages, Shafton and Grimethorpe, only a few minute drive from each other, but the other side of Grimethorpe to Shafton you have a number of large employers with warehouses - companies such as ASOS, the major online clothes retailer for example. Grimethorpe has the advantage of being slightly closer to the employers than Shafton and Grimethorpe also has had more money poured into it (it has a medium sized ASDA, it has a massive brand new doctors clinic, it had a brand new learning centre that for the last decade has offered IT training- CCNAs and so forth), it has more new affordable housing developments, and yet despite these two neighbouring villages having come from the same background Grimethorpe is an absolute shit hole, full of criminal chavs with arsonist children, whilst Shafton has really picked itself up and whilst it has some way to go the place is much better looked after, people have gone to the far side of Grimethorpe and taken all the job opportunities that have come up.

              So here's the thing, I know it's easy for them to keep blaming Thatcher and so forth and yes there's no doubt she was the nail in the coffin that triggered these villages problems from the start, but that was over 30 years ago now, and to say their problems are still all her fault is ridiculous when you compare different cases. Grimethorpe has had more money and more opportunities thrown at it than Shafton as it became obvious it wasn't improving like Shafton and other towns were but it's still not going anywhere.

              The problem hasn't been Thatcher for a long time, when you have so many of these villages that have been all treated equally but where some have become quite nice, and quite modern, whilst others are still complete shit holes the only thing you can sensibly blame is the people that live in them. It's pretty clear that people in towns like Hemsworth and Shafton were keen to work, keen to pick themselves up and get on after the pits were closed, it's also clear that people in places like Grimethorpe and Goldthorpe had an entitlement attitude - they felt they were entitled to a job in the mines for life even when that became unprofitable, and they still to this day feel they're entitled to do what they want and have everyone else pay for it. The problem isn't Thatcher now, the problem hasn't been Thatcher for about 20 years, the problem is lazy people, who want a free ride in life. It really is night and day between the villages that have taken the effort to pick themselves up, and the ones that haven't.

              FWIW I'm with you on the current muppets in government :)

          • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

            by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:48PM (#43394947) Journal

            Oh please stop with the bullshit! I'm so fucking tired of the ring winger buttplugs trying to blame unions because "OMG the peasants won't work for a bowl of rice and a beating a day!" and then using them as an excuse to do what you were gonna do anyway because with a few bribes you can treat the third world as disposable people.

            Wanna know why the west is dying? Its simple FREE TRADE IS A LIE, its about as fair as putting your HS football team against the Denver Bronco and then just to make sure they don't score a single point bribing the refs. you go to these third world hellholes and the workers are practically drowning in fucking carcinogens, toxic waste just gets poured into the drain like something out of Victorian England, and if the workers get sick from all the poison they have been exposed to? Well fuck them yellow and brown people, a nigger by any other name right?

            When the whole thing collapses and it will [youtube.com], collapse is inevitable at this point, you and all the other job creators better damned well pull an Arnie and "get to the chopper!" as fast as you fucking can because the peasants WILL kill you, and personally? I won't shed a single tear. Its the greedy fucks at the top that have made nearly 20% of China's farmland so toxic its unfit for even animal consumption, killed millions with their toxic wastes, poisoned everything in their path and for what? So they can hoard a little more money, that's all. I'm sorry but capitalism, like communism and every other ism before it WILL die and when it does there is gonna be a lot of pricks dragged from their comfy beds and lined against the wall. And I'm sorry but honestly? The world will be a better place once they are gone, they are a cancer and need to be removed for the good of all.

        • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Informative)

          by Goose In Orbit (199293) on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:55AM (#43390221)

          Not forgetting the great 80s selloff of British Gas/Petroleum/Telecom under the guise of "greater share ownership for all" - whereas in reality most people bought their allocation, sold at a profit 3 days later and spent the "free" money they got as a result on stuff... ...result? Most of the shares ended up with Zarquon-knows-who and they've been getting away with making vast profits at our expense ever since... profits that could have saved taxpayers having to pay untold billions extra from their hard-earned wages - all that was needed was to get some decent managers in to run the damn things properly...

          • Good and greedy. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:14AM (#43390377)

            So others get the blame for the public being shortsighted and greedy and selling their shares?

            • Re:Good and greedy. (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Goose In Orbit (199293) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:32AM (#43390557)

              I'll agree that you're right re: shortsighted - but given that direct share ownership at the time wasn't widespread, and the buzz going round was that you could spend £400 one day and get £500-£600 a week later without any obvious risk, most people would take the money and run...

            • by Patch86 (1465427) on Monday April 08, 2013 @01:25PM (#43393049)

              If you put a small toddler in a playpen with a kilo sack of sugar, the child eats all the sugar, and subsequently gets very ill with diabetes, who's to blame? Yes, the child is to blame. But nowhere near as much to blame as the atrociously negligent adult who set the situation up.

              If you give every single working class person in Britain (or anywhere) a piece of paper with "IOU £1000" written on it, and you tell them they can either have £1000 to pay their debts right at this exact moment or they can sit on it and it MIGHT, MAYBE be worth more in 5 years (or it could be worth far less), what do you think they're going to do?

              It was not a scheme that was ever destined to "open share ownership up tot he masses". It was a vote-buying cash give away resulting in most of our major national infrastructure being owned by foreign companies. Indeed, much of UK's infrastructure is now owned by foreign governments- energy companies like the French state-owned EDF and German RWE (Npower), or in transport the German Deutsche Bahn (Arriva), Dutch NS (Abellio). Progress!

              • by nukenerd (172703)
                Mod parent up, it puts it in a nutshell.

                Mrs T fantasised that we would become a "Share-owning society". I remember the phrase well. But it was obvious to everyone except her government that people buying these shares would sell them again within a few weeks for the quick buck to be made. So the shares ended up owned by big investors.

                I own some shares myself today, because the bank interest rate is so low, but they are a PITA. They need constant attention if you are to make money with them and not
          • by bfandreas (603438) on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:27AM (#43391115)
            Fry&Laurie put her policies best:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhpNqSSdThc [youtube.com]
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6CkltzGAxY [youtube.com]

            This is a good deal for Britain. A good deal.
        • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Informative)

          by Onymous Hero (910664) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:10AM (#43390325)
          The unions killed manufacturing (as it was then). Thatcher killed the unions. The value of UK manufacturing increased since Thatcher was in power: http://tutor2u.net/economics/content/essentials/manufacturing_industry_in_uk_clip_image002_0000.gif [tutor2u.net]
          • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Xest (935314) on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:03AM (#43390855)

            This is really the problem you have with judging Thatcher.

            On one hand you have people telling us she's the devil, modding troll and flamebait left and right because she kicked their puppy when they were young or whatever.

            Then on the other you have facts and statistics showing that Labour previous to her actually shut down more mines, that manufacturing actually increased under her, that the economy very clearly improved under her, that British political clout on the world stage massively strengthened under her (which was no mean feat given that since World War II Britain's post-imperial influence had been in free-fall until she came along), and perhaps most importantly, she was elected 3 times which suggests that actually most people did prefer her to the alternative.

            It's kind of hard to reconcile the two, but ultimately the former is subjective, and the latter is objective. I'd much rather put faith in objectivity than subjectivity.

          • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Informative)

            by nukenerd (172703) on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:27AM (#43391113)

            The value of UK manufacturing increased since Thatcher was in power: http://tutor2u.net/economics/content/essentials/manufacturing_industry_in_uk_clip_image002_0000.gif [tutor2u.net]

            Well, I have seen plenty of lies with statistics. Not saying this is a lie, just that I cannot remember the last manufactured thing I bought that said "Made in the UK" - apart from a box of Xmas crackers. It is no longer possible to buy a sane british car (I don't count Jap assembly plants in the UK, because the clever designing is done elsewhere and those plants are just chimps banging things together). You do realise that stuff coming from abroad as a kit and assembled here is counted as made in the UK as far as the spin doctors are concerned?

            I also know that whole areas of cities that were once factories have been flattened and replaced by housing and "retail outlets". Small anecdote - I want to get something cast in iron. Despite being in South Wales, once a centre of iron and steel making, I cannot find anywhere for it. Suggestion gratefully received.

        • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DrXym (126579) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:11AM (#43390339)
          Despite what I think of Thatcher for other reasons, she did what previous leaders lacked the balls to do - stand up to the unions and put them in their place.
        • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kraut (2788) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:32AM (#43390551)

          She basically shut down the UK's manufacturing industry and moved us over to a service industry economy. Pity we're now outsourcing all the services. I remember living under her stiletto boot heels I'll not be dancing in the streets like some will be but I'll not miss her either.

          She didn't kill British Industry; the Unions did that.

          She just put it out of its misery.

        • "She basically shut down the UK's manufacturing industry and moved us over to a service industry economy"

          Why do people imply this is a bad thing?

          Imagine I make a widget that costs me $100 to build and I sell for $120.
          Now imagine I charge people $120 to ride a roller coaster for a day, which costs me $100 to run.

          Economically, the effect of these two is identical.

          But wait, you say, someone has to build *something*, right?
          Why? It is entirely possible to run a complete economy without any physical goods. Ask th

      • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nukenerd (172703) on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:14AM (#43390973)
        Strange to see this comment on a techies' site because the "shift" you praise was away from technology, in which the UK had excelled since the industrial revolution, to "service" industries. Mrs T came from a tech background herself, but having changed careers she had it in for it. Knowing her, you can imagine her resentment and relish for revenge for having been the laboratory junior, making the tea etc.

        She thought that Britons were cleverer than the rest of the world so Britain could make its living from purely cerebrial work, like finance, without getting its hands dirty. And of course, selling the "family silver" (the UK industries) and North Sea oil would keep the UK going, for some time anyway. This was before the internet allowed many service industries (apart from the most crappy things like washing up) to be outsourced, even more easily than manufacturing which has significant shipping costs.

        The French, Germans and Italians, the most comparable nations, did not follow suit. My own industry - railway engineering - was decimated by Mrs T (she particularly hated railways) and the world-leading railway technology we had was largely picked up by those nations to supplement their own, and they now manufacture and sell the hardware to us.

        It is a mystery to me what we live on now in the UK. Everyone I know is basically shifting paperwork around and is, metaphorically speaking, taking in each others' washing. The shit is starting to hit the fan now though.

        Here is what I think of her free market theories The Grantham Grocer Fallacy [demon.co.uk]. "The Grantham Grocer fallacy" because she thought it would work as it did among the Grocers of Grantham ( as her father was) during the 30's and 40's. I loathed the bitch, yet I am most definitely not a socialist. Views on her were binary - some loathed her while the others thought the light of the World shone out of her backside.
    • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheLink (130905) on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:49AM (#43390185) Journal

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream [wikipedia.org]

      One important development in the 20th century was the introduction of soft ice cream. A chemical research team in Britain (of which a young Margaret Thatcher was a member)[21][22] discovered a method of doubling the amount of air in ice cream, which allowed manufacturers to use less ingredients, thereby reducing costs. It made possible the soft ice cream machine in which a cone is filled beneath a spigot on order. In the United States, Dairy Queen, Carvel, and Tastee-Freez pioneered in establishing chains of soft-serve ice cream outlets.

      How's that not nerdy enough for you?

    • Tragic loss (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:57AM (#43390239)

      She rescued Britain. UK was nearly bankrupt before her, a block of the unions were in charge. Three unions would all strike together and UK had electricity blackouts as a result, the Labour party then gave them pay rises (20%) and as each union got a huge raise, so another union would go on strike and demand more than the others. The debt became impossible and the IMF was called in. It was a disaster.

      She came along and made a law that said you couldn't strike without a vote from union members, and no more than 6 people could picket a factory and no secondary picketing.

      Arthur Scargill (mine workers) then held a strike without a vote, the mine workers had their funds seized, and strikers were sacked. It broke union control of the UK. UK still had unions, but the need to have a vote before a strike made them less militant. People wanting to work don't keep going on strike, but the union bosses get paid whether on strike or not, so they're far more militant than the union members.

      Likewise the rent-a-mob shut down of factories ended.

      After that closed shops were abolished (the rule that said to work at the company you had to be a member of union Z), and Britain really turned around. You no longer had to be a union member to work, you could vote for whether to strike, and blackouts and power cuts ended.

      She was so successful, that she because a sort of hate figure for the left. Ineffective leaders (like John Major) are easily dismissed, not so the good ones. She was hard, and luckily came along at a time when that was needed.

      Goodbye Mrs Thatcher.

      • Re:Tragic loss (Score:5, Informative)

        by SkunkPussy (85271) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:09AM (#43390317) Journal

        Ever since she shut down the unions, social inequality has shot through the roof. CEO's wages have increased dramatically more than the median wage. This is a direct result of breaking the back of the unions. No longer were employees empowered to demand a reasonable share of the profits of their endeavours.

        • No vote no strike (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:43AM (#43390675)

          "Ever since she shut down the unions,"

          All Scargill had to do was have a strike vote. She didn't shut down the union, she made the union bosses answerable to their members, and gave people a choice if they wanted to be a union member.

          "CEO's wages have increased dramatically more than the median wage"
          No doubt, but then she hasn't been in power since 1990 and most of that is post 1995. The unions, as I said, weren't shut down. They're still around and chose Ed Miliband as the leader of the Labour party. Despite the party members voting for his brother. If you think the unions are the fix for things, why not vote for Ed. His party didn't.

          "No longer were employees empowered to demand a reasonable share of the profits of their endeavours"
          Britain was bankrupt, what are these 'profits' you refer to? At one point they couldn't even pay the nurses their wages.
          Nurses union wasn't as powerful as the miners+electricity workers unions.

        • Re:Tragic loss (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Xest (935314) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:50AM (#43390763)

          I think you have a rose tinted view of what the unions were offering (or in fact, still achieve today in public sector). Public sector unions are still fairly strong, and as someone who has worked in public sector (for 6 years) and took the time to get involved with Unison, including striking with it, I can assure you that it's not as rosy as you think.

          Unions have this horrible habit of protecting their members no matter what, you may argue they have a duty to do so, but it ultimately means that no matter how in the wrong a member is they will waste an organisations time and money fighting them tooth and nail over something their member is guilty of that is completely indefensible (such as simply not turning up to work for 6 months but also refusing to get a doctor's note as evidence of some sickness - a real example witnessed first hand). Worse than this, these sorts of lazy people often then go and apply to be union stewards and so forth because they can't be bothered to do their own job and it's a good excuse to get out of it now and again. This means they get time out of their job to spend with the unions at the tax payer's expense, due to them having contact with union staff they often have a greater influence on policy and sometimes even get given jobs there meaning the unions are built up of the worst, the laziest, most inept members of society which results in a repeat of the cycle of them then going on to defend more lazy inept people. They don't care about the average Joe, they don't care about genuine injustice, it's a scam - it's all about minimising their personal responsibility in life.

          On another note I think you're misguided regarding inequality. One of the times I went on strike, related to pay the government pay offer was something like 3% for the lowest paid workers and 2% for the highest paid workers (i.e. public sector executives and service directors) at a time of around 5% inflation. The lowest paid would normally be the ones that went on strike, the execs would never go on strike, so anyway the low paid workers went on strike for 2 days, giving up 2 days wages for their belief that the pay offer was too low, the government came back with a new offer which the unions accepted immediately - 3% across the board.

          So there you have it, the low paid workers, the union lackeys give up their wages to go on strike so that the union negotiators can get an extra 1% pay rise for the high paid execs that gave up not a single day of wages for the effort.

          It took me some years to grow up and realise in hindsight what the unions were about, how they really worked, but eventually I did. The people at the top of unions are no different from people like Rupert Murdoch - they don't care about you or I, they don't care about the workers, about increase their wages, they want one thing and one thing only - they want power to influence policy their way. Dave Prentis, the current boss of Unison, do you know what he earns? almost as much as the prime minister, he earns £127,000 and he holds so much sway in the Labour party that he can potentially determine a prime minister - it was him as much as anyone who managed to get Ed rather than his infinitely more fair and competent brother Dave as leader of the opposition right now. You really think with his salary, with the power he wields, that it's really about you, the worker?

          Unions in the UK have long lost their way, they have little relevance to the mythical ideal people hold about them and one of my biggest regrets in life was ever believing the lies and funding such a corrupt organisation. They're as much an affront to classical union ideals such as those you mention as bankers are to corporate responsibility.

          • Re:Tragic loss (Score:4, Insightful)

            by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:17AM (#43391005) Homepage Journal

            It took me some years to grow up and realise in hindsight what the unions were about, how they really worked, but eventually I did. The people at the top of unions are no different from people like Rupert Murdoch - they don't care about you or I, they don't care about the workers, about increase their wages, they want one thing and one thing only - they want power to influence policy their way.

            Amen to that. Face any direction in the USA and you'll be able to see examples of unions causing harm. Education unions protect massive executive salaries and ensure that our children are being educated (and their educational resources maintained and implemented) by the laziest available employee. The bigger the school, the more egregious the abuse of public funding. Short-timers' syndrome has transitioned from periodic illness to full-blown epidemic. One IT worker I knew at a community college had a countdown clock to his retirement on his desktop and screen saver for over two years and I saw that clock at least as much as anything else while he was sitting there. I was hired while a student there to do the work of another on contract because he couldn't be arsed to read the documentation. He'd have been gone already (his retirement had come up) but he bought a second Harley so he decided to keep his job another year to pay for it. I almost said "keep working" but HAHAHAHA.

            The plural of anecdote is not data, but it doesn't take many stories like these before they add up to a whole lot of wasted dollars.

      • So, which leader is going to shut down the thuggery of high priced and overpriced CEOs and Qango bosses? A well paid cartel, or union too, if you like.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:23AM (#43390447)

        Britain voted her into power again and again. She was chosen by Brits to lead because she was a good leader.

        Also, the coal strike fractured the coal miners union into two. A lot of miners resented the strike and wanted to work. They believed they'd win the a strike vote and prevent a strike. Scargill tried to shut them down using mob picketing of the Nottingham mines.
        The '6 person picketing rule' meant the police came in. The mob would be kept on the other side of the street, only 6 were allowed at the gate.
        Then we had the motorway killings, workers buses would be hit by bricks and railway sleepers, people died, that led to a further loss of support for Scargill.

        She did other things too, she increase corporation tax to held reduce the debt, and reduced the top rate personal tax from 83% to 60%
        (yes it really was that high! If your income came from sales, you'd pay 98% sales+income tax!).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_Kingdom

        She raised taxes and cut spending.
        http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/the-legend-of-margaret-thatcher/

        It's difficult for the left to accept her success. Largely because they'd have to accept the 1970's labour governments were a disaster. But thats why Britain voted for her.

        Mod points won't hide things. She was a good competent leader. Far better than the people dissing her now.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Exactly. Britain would have been in the exact same position Greece has been for the last few years in the 1980s had they had another Labour government instead of Thatcher's.

        • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:43AM (#43391267)

          Britain voted her into power again and again. She was chosen by Brits to lead because she was a good leader.

          She had the good fortune to be invaded by the Argentinians. Prior to that, her ratings were terrible, and she was on track to lose the next election. But winning a war where part of Britain's remaining empire was attacked, was enough to make her popular. Even though the economy was in the toilet.

          Economic success later in the 1980s was down to North Sea Oil. It would have benefitted any government in power in the 80s. Just as a Falklands invasion would have.

          She was a nasty person with foul policies who happened to be in the right place at the right time, and took credit for it.

    • by cs2501x (1979712)
      Nice that she used Scotland to testbed completely shitty policies as well--why? Because nobody in Scotland had any voting power to oppose her. Glad she's dead.
    • Re:Good riddance (Score:5, Informative)

      by Confuse Ed (59383) <edmund&greenius,ltd,uk> on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:19AM (#43390419) Homepage

      re:

      PS. How is this News for Nerds? Why isn't the story tagged "troll"?

      Unusually these days for a politician she was originally a science graduate ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher#Early_life_and_education [wikipedia.org] ) rather than coming in as a career politician or purely legal background (although she did switch track and become a barrister)

      Some of this showed through in her leadership style - trying to do the logical thing for the best long term results (at least in her analysis) rather than trying to win the popularity contest and appealing to the masses. Sometimes this worked out (surely everyone can at least agree that earning the nickname 'iron lady' is pretty cool? and my memories of the 80s are that most peoples standard of living improved significantly) but in other cases it contributed to her downfall - e.g. the per-person 'poll tax' vs. a property-based tax for local services (such as rubbish/refuse collection) surely makes some logical sense to many slashdot readers? but unfortunately it made a larger number of people pay more tax than those unaffected / getting a a tax reduction so it was a political disaster.

    • by mangu (126918) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:32AM (#43390549)

      She was a terrible Prime Minister and caused untold suffering and misery.

      The British people who elected her obviously disagree with you.

      She was elected after the policies of the Labour party dumped the country in the worst economic crisis in UK history [wikipedia.org]

      Labour had policies based upon raising the income tax without any regard for cutting government expenses. They claimed government spending and inflation are good for the economy. Sound familiar?

  • Long ago (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:35AM (#43390089) Homepage

    She reigned long ago but I think Britain is still not over her.

  • Fundraiser (Score:5, Funny)

    by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@@@davidgerard...co...uk> on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:36AM (#43390093) Homepage

    The Conservative Party could fund itself forever by installing a pay toilet on her grave.

  • the BBC at least... (Score:5, Informative)

    by johnjones (14274) on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:42AM (#43390137) Homepage Journal

    at least the BBC have :

    In quotes: Margaret Thatcher [bbc.co.uk]

    Obituary: Margaret Thatcher [bbc.co.uk]

    Video obituary [bbc.co.uk]

    whatever the politics at least link to the BBC...

    John Jones

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:42AM (#43390139)

    As a German who grew up in Britain in the 80s, I'd like to say she was an awesome prime minister, although many of my countrymen and indeed many Brits will disagree. Sod them.
    Germany would benefit *hugely* from someone like her. Sadly, there's absolutely no-one on the horizon.
    It doesn't matter whether she goes to heaven or hell. She'll clear either place up.

  • Ding dong ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ... the witch is dead!

    Here richly, with ridiculous display,
    The Politician's corpse was laid away.
    While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged,
    I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.

    - Hillaire Belloc (1870-1953)

    And of course, despite the damage she caused both the UK and the world at large, she will be given a state funeral. A funeral where protest and dissent will be not permitted. Where the militarised police (a

    • And of course, despite the damage she caused both the UK and the world at large, she will be given a state funeral...

      You might want to try checking your facts before posting. Here's a hint: No she won't.

      And of course, despite the damage she caused both the UK and the world at large, the Labour Party hacks will be out in force with nary a bad word to be said. (That's 'cause "New" Labour is just another party of capitalism, no longer socialism, if it ever was.)

      She did some damage, she did some good (generally speaking, the ones who claim nothing beyond the damage are those who didn't suffer the three day working week and its ilk). Such is the way of politicians. She made some tough decision that had to be made, she made some bloody awful decisions that we are still feeling the repercussions of today.

      In the end, she made a large impact on world politics exactly when a la

    • Re:Ding dong ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:24AM (#43390465)

      A funeral where protest and dissent will be not permitted.

      Westboro Baptist does it, and they're disgusting, unfeeling monsters who should be eradicated from the face of the earth.

      But a bunch of comfortably upper-middle-class white kids act like entitled cunts at someone's funeral, and they're heroes?

      Fuck your double standard. I'm not a huge fan of Thatcher, and never have been, but I *am* a fan of behaving like a gentleman. And that includes not shitting on the grief of family and friends who've lost a loved one. Go protest at Parliament, you thick cunt - they're the ones making the laws now.

    • by nukenerd (172703)

      .And of course, despite the damage she caused both the UK and the world at large, she will be given a state funeral. A funeral where protest and dissent will be not permitted. Where the militarised police (and possibly even the military, c.f. the recent Oxbridge Boat Race) will be used to keep all those who despise the policies she stood for elsewhere.

      Agreeing with you every bit on the damage she caused, but you can go to Hell with the rest of that bit I quote. Whether or not it is a State funeral (I hope not), a funeral should be respected. And f#@k you for supporting the disruption of a non-political sporting event - that event and anything else legitimate should be protected with whatever is necessary.

  • GoodBye Maggie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Monday April 08, 2013 @08:53AM (#43390203) Homepage Journal

    I was young when you arrived a PM. This country was on its knees. It was backrupt, dead people were in the streets unburied and weeks of garbage strewn the streets from leftism gone mad. Labour and the Unions were in full wrecking ball mode.

    Yes, you were a bitch, but the medicine we had, and it was not nice, was in the most part - needed.

    You played a part in ending the cold war, in hauling down the wall, and in supporting Solidarity in Poland when you'd normally prefer to drive a stake through any other union's heart.

    And you helped pull a wall down and break up the cold war.

    Rest in Peace.

    • by discord5 (798235)

      You played a part in ending the cold war, in hauling down the wall

      And you helped pull a wall down and break up the cold war.

      She did it twice? She must've been very thorough.

  • Mother of BSE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Teun (17872) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:14AM (#43390367) Homepage
    The way I read history she was the instigator of BSE or mad cow disease.

    Because her government started a relentless drive for less regulation the Brits decided to limit the rules on the reduction of offal to cattle feed.

    Although Scrapie and it's transmission is still not fully understood, in the day there was sufficient evidence it was related to a human syndrome called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    The rules for offal use were mainly about the time and minimum temperature it had to be processed to become acceptable as cattle feed, Maggie's government lowered both the time exposure and the minimum temperature resulting in Scrapie jumping the barrier to first cows and next humans.

    When Mrs. Thatcher came to office the country was in a deplorable state and changes were long over due.
    But the way she's gone on about them is not fit for a repeat, the all but destruction of the unions has left the country as an outsider in Europe re. workers rights. Even now it's become quite obvious the well regulated German system is superior her party is still strictly adhering to the path she set.
    The issues with her government are not with the subjects she tackled but with the rigorous and often cold-blooded way she did.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:19AM (#43391033)

      That decision would have been ministry for agriculture, she wouldn't have even been in the meeting. But yes, her government was not perfect, every choice she made was not perfect. You're kinda clutching at straws I think though.

      Also I see people complaining about Mr Whippy. Mr Whippy's 99 was the most popular icecream before Cornetto came along, it far outsold the icecream slice and more people wanted the soft 99's with the choc flake even than scooped chocolate icecreams. DON'T DISS THE 99!

      Overall though, damn good on you Mrs Thatcher, I remember the bin-men strikes, I remember the miners and their 20% pay rises. I remember my dad complaining that he had to go on strike because he's been told to and would lose his job is he didn't (closed shop agreements suck). I remember factories closing everywhere.

      I also remember how we'd get our food order in on Fridays, and eat banana sandwiches, and eat all the crisps. I remember how by the next week there would be no food. I even ate lard at one point. Britain was poor before her, a banana sandwich on a Friday was luxury.
      I sound like an old man, but I remember what the 70s were like, we were poor! We had power cuts, we would sit in the dark with an oil lamp because the power workers wanted a 20% rise this year since the miners got so much, and the bin men went on strike wanting the same. F*** you. I'm really angry when I remember how bad things were and hear you diss Mrs T.. You don't have a clue, you really don't know how much better she made things.

    • The issues with her government are not with the subjects she tackled but with the rigorous and often cold-blooded way she did.

      I'm sure that's how the human body feels when you remove a cancerous tumor followed by radiation radiation therapy. But it has to be done!. If you're going to die, die by the cure!

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:24AM (#43390457) Journal

    A) 900 years
    B) 3,000 years
    C) 11 years

  • This is geek news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Monday April 08, 2013 @09:26AM (#43390477)
    This is geek news because she created the conditions where IT professionals could sell their skills at a decent price. If you were in commercial IT between 1985 and 2005 and you didn't even try to become self employed, then you should ask yourself whether you missed something.

    I am aware that the deregulation of the financial market went too far. However, I maintain that if Mrs. Thatcher wouldn't have exercised her influence, the UK would not have thrived as it did.
  • by Pax681 (1002592) on Monday April 08, 2013 @10:07AM (#43390903)
    Scotland totally not giving a fuck!
    Scotland's Very own Frankie Boyle p t it best on Mock The Week [youtube.com] a few years ago
  • by Sunshinerat (1114191) on Monday April 08, 2013 @04:33PM (#43394809)

    Brezhnev took Afghanistan.
    Begin took Beirut.
    Galtieri took the Union Jack.
    And Maggie, over lunch one day,
    Took a cruiser with all hands.
    Apparently, to make him give it back.

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