Don't you remember her mantra about 'one member, one vote' in relation to union elections? How come that ethos only applied to trades unions and not to political parties?Thatcher went head to head against Ted Heath and had a lot of back-bench support while the Tory Grandees supported Heath. He stood down but she still had to go for a second ballot where she received the support of 149 Tory MPs. Are you talking about the MPs not supporting her or the conservative party membership? Personally I believe the MPs (of all parties) know among themselves who commands the highest respect and leadership qualities. I certainly think the membership should have some form of say but the perfect example of how this can provide lame duck leaders is the recent contest between Ed and David Miliband. Ed was foisted onto the Labour party by the unions while the MPs went for David. (if I recall correctly)
Except that those cheaper sources ran out. Britain's North Sea Oil has gone, just 40 years after coming on line. There are still millions of tons of coal that would now be uneconomic to extract, but wouldn't be had we kept the mines open. The difference was in the non-unionised nature of the North Sea oil industry, and the unionised coal mines i.e. the profits for the Tory-supporting oil companies trumped the sustainability of coal and the prosperity of the mining communities. As I've said before, Thatcher was a great, great class warrior. She knew whose side she was on. Nothing to do with the economic prosperity of the nation as a whole.Many of those jobs came from industries that the taxpayer subsidised. Coal mines that made no money or profit. Where is the economic sense in taking taxpayer money to put people into jobs producing something we couldn't export and which faced cheaper / more efficient / better quality imports?
Nonsense. Tebbit didn't invent the idea of getting on your bike. Working class people had been doing that for centuries - as far back as the Black Death in fact. Tebbit was merely expressing the Tories' disdain and domination of the working class. "You do what we, the Bosses, tell you. Or else.Yes many towns and communities lost their central industry but this comes down to what kind of society we want - we still have a legacy of people who sit in their local communities and demand that life treat them well or take care of them while hardworking Polish immigrants come and do the work local Brits refuse to do. Tebbit was hated for his "get on your bike and look for work" statements but at heart - he was right. If you looked for work, you could find it - even in the worst of the 80's unemployment era.
Clearly, as we've never returned to a situation even approaching full employment, and we never will while neo-liberal economics is the model. It would be fatal for the neo-lib model to even conceive of full employment. Capitalism requires a pool of under-class workers that can be assimilated or discarded into or out of the work-force according to whichever cycle of boom and bust it is in at the particular time. It has nothing to do with trades unionism, and everything to do with an economic model that builds in its social inequality. It won't last forever, but it does require its prophets and its apparatchiks. Thatcher is notable merely for being both.It reached 3.2 million under Thatcher at one point but that doesn't change that many of the lost jobs were unsustainable anyway.