It didn't have to be like that - you know that as well as I do Andy, I too lived in those times and I saw a different Britain. Some of those communities threw their lot in with Scargill and people like the Socialist Worker Party. The mines couldn't pay for themselves and these people simply wanted the rest of the country to subsidise their existence. Equally, the miners and other groups operated flying pickets and would throw their forces into strikes for anyone who simply wanted to take on the government. No civilised country could operate in a world where one group of workers could overthrow a government such as had happened to Ted Heath, Jim Callaghan and Wilson in the 70s.
As a country the electorate chose to put a stop to that. You are tending to forget that Thatcher had the popular mandate.
We voted her into power three times, she was not kicked out by the electorate but by her spineless party who forgot that she had brought them 11 years in power. Next week's funeral will tell you how a lot of us feel about what she brought to our country.
If you had left it at your outrage for Section 28 and for the Poll Tax, you would have something to justly complain about.
1 - British Industry was on its last legs in the 1970's - the rundown of British manufacture began in the 60's and continued on into the late 70's. What Thatcher did was refuse to continue putting taxpayer support into industry which was being badly run or deeply uncompetitive.
2 - The service sector industries are as large as they are in other Western nations, our service sector runs at around 25-26% of GDP. 2% more than Germany and the US and very similar to France and other competitors. You have been badly misled by your politically coloured spectacles.
3 - British industry was slave to flying pickets and hardline co-ordinated union strike forces. These were based in and around the kind of communities you mention and when they chose to confront Thatcher they sealed their own fate. What you forget is that the rest of the country voted Thatcher into power on a manifesto of taming union power.
4 - LOL, don't even know where to begin on that one. There were a variety of signals that the Argentines got that led them to believe we wouldn't defend or go to war for our own people. Not all those signals came from Britain either..
5 - She privatised industries, the alternative was inefficient government monopolies running utilities and other services. She allowed working class people to buy their own homes and by the end of her term in power, 1 in 4 Brits had shares in those industries so I guess we were all her carpet-baggers.
At the end of her term, she was promoting Gorbachev to Reagan as someone we could do business with. She is lauded in many parts of Eastern Europe and only the Russian Communist Party have taken your line and tone today. She took the stockbroker belt which historically was filled with Old Etonians and Oxbridge garduates from established families and gave opportunities to ordinary barrow boys from London's East End. We were the sick man of europe in 1979 - a Labour run country refusing to bury our own dead and leaving rubbish on the streets. At the end of her time in power we were a major force in Europe again and she had turned our country around.
Very true, but in Sunderland for example - Nissan came in and employed a large number of former miners. The factory there is very productive and it shows what could happen when the workforce was engaged in productivity rather than strikes.
She deregulated the city and opened jobs up to ordinary people working in the city. As for class warfare - rubbish; there are more people from all sorts of backgrounds working in the city as well as women. Just look at the make-up of traditional stockbrokers before Thatcher if you want the truth on class warfare.
The vitriol coming forth from the left, is to be expected, but thankfully, the balance is restored by the many here who recognise the enormous contribution Thatcher made, both at home and abroad.
She was so overrated, just like her buddy Ronnie Raygun, and her legacy has been so inflated by neo-con-capitalists that it would be laughable if the damage she (and Raygun) did to the working class wasn't so severe and ever-lasting. She was the kind of matriarchal headmistress type who threw her own country over to the speculators as well as helping to turn it into a cheap labor colony. She's a prime example of why women shouldn't be in politics.
Well, she did save the British empire in the Falkland Islands, which has a lot of sheep.