The Legacy of Thatcherism Can Be Found In The Legacy Of Blairism

Since the death of Margaret Thatcher, her political opponents and dissenters claim she was more evil than Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Chairman Mao, Saddam Hussein and Idi Amin.  Yet given how Stalin was responsible for 20 million deaths, Hitler 15 million, Mao 10 million, Saddam Hussein 1 million and Amin 400,000, it’s clear that stupidity knows no bounds.

Since her death, the vilifying of Margaret Thatcher has been celebrated with so-called death parties and vitriolic burning of effigies.  While it should have been possible for Labour to address, to put right her mistakes, after a decade in power, they failed because to do so would have conflicted with what became Blairism.

By facing down the unions and in particular Arthur Scargill, Thatcher showed she could fight as dirty as any opponent and she took them both down to free Britain of Spanish practices throughout industry.  Without union reform then New Labour would have been a failed experiment.

Thatcher has been accused of selling off council housing to sitting tenants without having the forethought of replenishment which now, apparently, she is to blame for a so-called chronic lack of housing.  But for all the acerbic finger pointing, Labour had it within their power to do something about it but spectacularly failed because it couldn’t sit alongside Blairism.

Under Tony Blair Labour had three terms to set about a rebuilding programme but instead he thought it wiser to spend £20 billion fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This was his political legacy of choice;  his Falkland Islands, but unlike Thatcher’s war his still continues without an end in sight.

Thatcher had already left the building when she was ousted from power by the time that Labour finally came to Downing Street.  Yet although three election wins should have made change possible to rebuild decimated mining communities, Blair and Labour turned their backs and with it the chance to reconcile the wrongs of Thatcherism.

While Margaret Thatcher is vilified for changing the political and social landscape, it’s important to bear in mind that - for all she did that defined her premiership - it was Tony Blair and his band of political opportunists that came after who left it exactly as they found it.

They called it Blairism and yet the irony is that for all the death parties and burning effigies, twenty three years on, Blairism can still be found today covered in the ashes of Thatcherism.

Published by Martin Baum on 17/04/2013