Maggie was right*
I have had fairly intense arguments over the last decade with those who think that Mrs. T sold our engineering and other industies down the river. Further, that her de-regulation of the banks lead to todays fiscal sins.
1. Today, BMW have invested yet more into Mini, preserving or creating UK jobs – in the middle of a downturn. Why is this? Because Mrs. T, who was a superb common sense visionary saw the flaws in UK:
a) Union power, that maintained a backwards status quo that a bit like repressive regimes in certain nations, did their people more harm than good. (I don’t include safety and human rights matters where unions are a force for good.)
b) Shoddy quality. The next time I hear anyone state that British engineering was the best in the world I’ll scream. Yes, our old school precision engineering (man + lathe) and technical innovation is second to none, but whether it’s a mass produced affordable car or the most expensive luxury vehicle, they were unrelable rust buckets. Remember how your 70s or 80s car would never start on a wet or cold morning? Or the common sight of vehicles broken down at the side of the motorway?
What a change today, cars are incredibly versatile and reliable, so much so, we don’t really moan about them at all! (Sadly, A greater inconvenience has taken over, the war on motorists by money grabbing authorities and jobsworths, but that’s covered in umpteen other pages in this blog.)
What is this? Because by allowing companies with a proven reputation for extremely high quality engineering and reliability (BMW, Toyota, Nissan, Honda etc) to invest here by buying or forming joint ventues with our own companies, we now have the best of both worlds. British design innovation + overseas engineering quality and worker ethic. The same goes for the US, where companies like Ford and Toyota share resources leading to a better product, happier consumer and therefore increased sales!
Let’s make this perfectly clear, if we had not sold British Leyland for £10 way back then (I think it was about that much), the Mini would not exist today, and neither would the superbly designed and top selling Range Rover Sport.
For those too young to remember the 70s, it was awful. Strikes, rubbish goods and services, inflation etc to go along with our equally rubbish weather and generally dour nature. It was horrible and today the standard of our products, sports and the quality of foods in restaurants is way way better than back then. This is all thanks to the merging of cultures and concepts from all over the world.
A very liberal value applied by Conservatives!
2. With regards the banks, at the time, as is often the case in situations like this, an element of trust was involved. If you give someone freedom to be industrious and they instead choose to be greedy and corrupt, I am not sure the blame lies with you or the other party? This is not much different from those overseas dictators who missuse our generous donations that are supposed to feed their children to instead build palaces and armies, or a parent that trusts their (supposedly) responsible children with the house for an evening.
As it happens, based on events of the last few decades, whether it be banks, big pharma, big oil, Internet privacy and more, industry self regulation does NOT work. It’s like putting kids in charge of class! So, whilst well meaning, the government of the time did make an innocent error with the banks.
There are many other areas where Mrs. T was missunderstood or blamed for events that she may not have been responsible for. At the time, I lost faith in her when the poll tax riots took place because I assumed she was out of order for introducing the tax on the most vulnerable. But more recently I learned that events were not that clear cut and she was not in fact responsible. (You can do your own research to uncover the truth.)
Mrs. T didn’t earn the respect of the respectable working classes for nothing – she was a true democrat and scientist whose personality and values would come in very useful today.
Rational leadership provides for a robust entity, whether it be country, company or community!
3. She was also spot on with the miners. The industry was dirty, unsafe and producing a fuel that was becoming obsolete, as we clamor for a cleaner environment and switch to alternative energy sources. Again, she saw all this ahead of time. Today, the people who would otherwise be stuck down mines are working in cleaner safer better paid service and other industries. That is why Britain today is so modern and we are not suffering strikes and industrial accidents on the same level of the 70s and early 80s.
Other than the banks, all we need to fix today (2012) is our railways. The staff and service is a disgrace – as my documented in full HD video experiences of the last few years can testify too.
*No pun intended!