Dec 03

Now that we’ve had 30 years to assess the Thatcher Govt I think we can say that its central ideas failed. That despite Blair and Brown’s slavish devotion to her private sector and markets the result is that we’d have been better off with council houses and monolithic public enterprises and maybe even producing our own subsidised coal.

Yes privatising has made sacking workers easier but has it actually saved money? Have we not been paying through the nose for energy and other essentials? Has extra investment taken place? Do we have any slack to cope with disasters? Are we closer on Green issues? No. Indeed it’s only fringe stuff like airlines etc that we may say that state involvement is best the way it is.

Indeed what the utility companies which are mostly foreign owned have done is cut to the bone. The company left behind is a debt laden holding company and what investment does happen has to be guaranteed by the Govt. If these companies fail the Govt has to step in. This debt allows them to pay little or no tax by posting phantom losses in the UK.

In short it’s difficult to think of 3 bigger disasters than Thatcherism’s core of Big Bang, selling council houses and privatisation.  The latter leaving individuals spending more and the service skeleton before we get to the prospects for future necessary investment.

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