November 23, 2010

A clash of symbols

I've just read Laurrie Penny's article on Thatcher at the New Statesman, it isn't good but apparently it is OK to do a research free hatchet job because to her Thatcher is a symbol. However one thing that I doubt crossed her mind as she ground out her latest offering was that to other people Atlee is also a symbol, a symbol of decline and failure. He is a symbol of financial and moral bankruptcy. It was his government that formed the post-war socialist consensus. It was that consensus that Britain must inevitably decline, while those that stuck to free market principles speed ahead. It was that consensus that said that left wing violence was fine, and it was OK to use your boot boys to hold people to ransom if you could claim to be a lefty. It was that consensus that rising in crime was unstoppable and inevitable, as the murder rates climbed when those that grew up under the socialist post-war consensus hit their villainous peak in their late teens and early twenties.

Thatcher did not believe in Atlee's post-war consensus. She believed that British industry could actually produce things that people wanted to buy. She believed that people would be better off working rather than being forced to go on strike. Above all she believed in Britain. But that is not the reason that the left hate Thatcher so much, the reason for the hate is that she was right. The British decline was not some inevitable historical process. It was the result of failed policies: Atlee's policies. He took a Britain of reducing crime and increasing wealth, and threw it away in a failed socialist experiment. Thatcher started the, long, slow, painful process of reversing Altee's failure. It was hard going, and is nowhere near finished even now, but it worked, and that is why the left hates her.


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