Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Areas Of Lesser Importance To The Tories

Those of a certain generation may recall Thatcher's comments when she paid a flying visit to the city in March, 1989. News had broken that day that the Bird's Eye factory in Kirkby was to close with the loss of 1,000 jobs. Thatcher was asked by local reporters for her reaction. Her reply was chillingly sociopathic. They couldn't remain competitive, she intoned. If they couldn't compete & keep their costs down, they had to lose their jobs.
Sermon duly delivered, Thatcher left, alongside Hillsborough liar Bernard Ingham, in a speeding car which attracted a flying egg.
The last nine days have served as a stark reminder that the divided realm she bequeathed is still with us. While central London was witnessing her funeral, whole swathes of the UK marked Thatcher's final journey in a way which reflected the impact her policies had on those areas. Liverpool, of course, wasn't to be left out of proceedings; this was the scene outside St George's Hall a little earlier: .
Merseyside was always going to be largely barren ground for the Tories during the 80s. Indeed, they knew that early on during the Thatcher years ( ). The antipathy was mutual from the very beginning & was made clear to a national TV audience ( ).
There are Tories who deny that the Thatcher years were marked by a targeting of areas like northern England, South Wales & Scotland, & it would be inaccurate to say that areas in & around London didn't suffer, too. They did, as Glenda Jackson pointed out in a damning critique last week during a Thatcher nostalgia-fest in the Commons ( ).
However, the regional nature of Thatcher's policies was pronounced & entrenched throughout the 80s, as well as beyond. The Tories knew, & still know, that there are no-go areas for them north of the Midlands. They can live with that. Their base is elsewhere. Anyone who still demurs from that harsh political fact need only listen to what Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph & Thatcher's authorised biographer, had to say on BBC 5Live this morning. Moore opined that areas which opposed Thatcher & everything she stood for were "less important" ( ) -- his comments come at 4 minutes 50 seconds in the clip.
"Managed decline". "Less important". With those two dismissive quotes you have the Tories' real view of those who opposed their policy of deindustrialisation. It's a view which Cameron, Osborne (didn't someone have any tissues for him today, by the way?), et al share.

1 comment:

Guillaume said...

I watched the news coverage about her funeral, fearing she might open the lid of her coffin.